Why is the Galaxy Nexus so significant?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| November 20, 2011

As you all probably know by now, I'm not exactly happy about the situation surrounding the Galaxy Nexus launch. An entire month has passed since the device was officially announced by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong. We are still mostly in the dark on the situation and are beginning to the second week in December may just be when we can finally expect the phone to hit US shores.

Just a few days ago, I said that if the Galaxy Nexus launches in December, I may buy something else. It's not particularly something I want to do. In fact, I'm desperately trying to avoid it. In regards to my post, however, I received several replies on Twitter and a few commenters stating things along the lines of, "What's the big deal? Just get something else. The Galaxy Nexus will be outdated soon anyway."

Can I blame them for thinking this way? Not at all. I've pondered these things myself. Every other Android handset is irrelevant within a few weeks of its launch, so why not the Nexus? What makes it so special or more significant than other handsets?

If you've ever owned a Nexus device yourself, you likely know the answer to all of these questions already, especially if you were the proud owner of the Nexus One. I've owned both generations of Nexus devices and to date, they've supplied me with the best experience any Android handset has to offer.

That said, the Nexus S was not nearly as extraordinary as its predecessor. In my eye, the Nexus One was easily the most iconic handset thus far in Android history. Some of you may give that title to the EVO 4G or original Motorola DROID. But for me, it was the Nexus One that truly made me fall in love with Android. I had previously owned a CDMA HTC Hero, Motorola DROID, HTC DROID Eris and HTC Incredible before breaking down and buying (I traded, actually) a Nexus One. (Oh, how I miss that phone.)

At the time of its launch, the Nexus One was a fairly significant upgrade to the Android handsets before it. It touted a 1GHz Snapdragon processor (and kick-started a Snapdragon frenzy), a 3.7-inch WVGA display 5-megapixel camera and much more. In today's eyes, that might see laughable in comparison to dual- and quad-core processors or the advanced lens cameras we see today. But it wasn't even the hardware that made it so special. It was the way the hardware worked seamlessly with the software. And the Nexus S? It was hardly a noteworthy upgrade to existing technology at the end of last year; there were dual-core phones on the brink of release and larger handsets with bigger or better displays, better cameras, more memory, etc. Yet the Nexus S is still one of the more popular Android phones around. And despite its mediocre specs, it can nearly hang with many of the most powerful phones of 2011.

The Galaxy Nexus will only prove to be much of the same. Sure, phones like the HTC Rezound – with its 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch 720p S-LCD (342ppi) display, microSD card slot, Beats Audio and 8-megapixel camera – might edge out the Nexus on paper. But I'm positive, even before getting my paws on the Galaxy Nexus, that the Rezound will pale in terms of performance, even with its custom version of Ice Cream Sandwich.

On top of that, it could be April or May before the Rezound – or any other non-Nexus handset, for that matter – ever officially sees Android 4.0. Sure, you can flash a custom ICS ROM onto your handset. But something about knowing you will actually have the latest official firmware at any given time and that fragmentation will never be an issue with a Nexus handset, just makes it all that much better.

So when someone asks me why I prefer a Nexus over any other Android handset, why I'm making such a big deal over waiting it out for the Galaxy Nexus or why I don't just cave and buy something else with better specs, the answer is not because of the hardware itself or even the software. The answer is because the hardware and software mix together so well and Nexus phones have a history of consistency and great performance that nothing else really piques my interests. In addition, I'm an Android purist and while I understand the need for custom interfaces, I prefer my Android in the purest of forms. Having a phone that is shipped with the purest of stock Android and promised first dibs on any firmware updates from Google is enough to win me over.

There is on one specific reason why I want the Galaxy Nexus so bad. It's everything brought together in a single device, all of the gripes and disappointment in other, non-Nexus handsets that I've had over the past two years and the thought of using Android specifically how Google envisions it. Not everyone will agree, not will everyone understand. But we all have our reasons for the preferences we have, and a run-of-the-mill Android phone just doesn't cut it for me anymore.

Image via The Verge

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