Should Motorola make a Nexus phone?

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: June 5, 2011

Of all of the Android phones out there – and let's be honest, it seems like new ones are launching nearly every day – a few particular phones tend to get more attention than others. Even though they may not sport the best of the best in terms of specifications, Google's Nexus line still draws a large crowd and tends to outperform many others.

It isn't hard to understand the advantages of buying a Nexus phone over any other. Nexus users will always be among the first to get the latest Android version with no custom user interface and the most optimized software (which can save on battery life and greatly improve the performance and user experience). Being a developer's device, they are also extremely easy to hack and modify.

To date, we have only seen one Nexus phone made by HTC and the other by Samsung. The HTC-built Nexus One sported some of the most impressive hardware we have ever seen on an Android device. In fact, the build quality even gave the ever-popular iPhone (notorious for excellent hardware and build quality) a run for its money. As per usual from Samsung, the Nexus S was made primarily of plastic and sported mediocre hardware.

Last week, the question of who would be making the third generation Nexus phone was seemingly answered as a picture of an HTC-made Nexus 3 was leaked. The honor of getting to work closely with Google again is well deserved by the Taiwanese company. They built the first Nexus and did so with flying colors, and instead of only slightly raising the bar like Samsung did with the Nexus S, the Nexus 3 appears to be just as groundbreaking as the first. According to the picture – which wasn't exactly of the best quality, mind you – the device appears to be missing capacitive or physical buttons.

But I digress. After seeing the photo and writing an article about HP licensing their webOS out, I had the strange thought, "Why isn't Motorola stepping up to the plate?" Should they not have a swing at a Nexus phone? My initial reaction was that they probably aren't because they made first "Google" tablet, the XOOM. That said, just because they created a tablet for Google doesn't mean they shouldn't have the chance to make a phone for them, too.

I would love to see what Motorola could do with a Google phone, given the opportunity. Hardware with decent to great quality and impressive specs has easily been a strong point for Moto as of late. Software, on the other hand, isn't exactly their strong suit. Just try to imagine a phone like the Atrix, Droid X, or really any other flagship Motorola phone with completely stock vanilla Android. Not a bad concept, eh?

All of their recent phones have been outstanding devices that were arguably ruined by their custom software. I know some, albeit few, who love MOTOBLUR. I, however, find it a disgrace that changes the Android experience for the worse. Earlier builds destroyed battery life; but even the new builds have random lag and aren't exactly pleasing to the eye.

Assuming the photo is, in fact, the upcoming Nexus device, Motorola won't get a shot at the Nexus line until at least 2012. Regardless, a Nexus device would put the software in the hands of Google and leave hardware to the experts. Motorola on hardware might just make for a perfect pair, and I think it would be worth the time and wait.

What do you guys and gals think? Would a Motorola Nexus phone be of any worth and would you be interested in it? Or should someone else give it a go?