As an Android manufacturer, one of the most prestigious opportunities you can have is the chance of working alongside Google on one of their Nexus devices. To date, there have been three: the Nexus One made by HTC and the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus (I still hate that name), which were both manufactured by Samsung. While sales of these three devices have paled in comparison to some of their more popular counterparts (EVO 4G, original Motorola DROID, etc.), it is still regarded as an honor to create a Nexus device. And these devices are usually very popular among the development communities Android has kindled over the years.
Every year, it's a mystery as to which manufacturer will have the honors of working with Google. When we heard of the possibility of a Motorola buyout by Google, however, we got a bit afraid that Google would be stepping on the toes of their partners, and that they would play favorites when it came to future Nexus devices.
Despite Google claiming they will treat Motorola as a separate entity and won't give them an unfair advantage over the competition, we're still a bit wary of the situation. While I would love nothing more than to see a Motorola Nexus phone, I don't want Motorola to be the Nexus maker every year. Google's ability to switch it up and work with different OEMs every year is something that makes the Nexus line very unique and lustrous.
As the end of the year, the next Nexus device and the next build of Android approach, we will be keeping an eye on Google, Motorola and any other possible manufacturers for the Nexus.
According to a report from CNET, one of the potential OEMs for the upcoming Nexus is LG.
Just to clarify, I respect LG as a contender and a decent handset maker. I owned the T-Mobile G2X by LG for several months and, for the most part, enjoyed it while I was using it as my personal device. And, for the record, some of their more recent handsets have been rather impressive. For instance, the Optimus 4X HD touts the latest processor technology, a quad-core Tegra 3 chip, a 4.7-inch 1280 by 720p resolution display and a 2,130 mAh battery.
There is no question that LG is capable of producing high-end specifications. Their latest releases show just that. However, I don't think they are going to be willing to meet in the middle with Google. During the interview with Roger Cheng of CNET, head of LG's smartphone division, Ramchan Woo, said, "We know the customer data better than Google." Woo went on to say that he believes LG "has the know-how to build a better user interface than Google can with its stock software," quotes Cheng.
Even though Google will be solely in charge of software, it doesn't seem to be a good match. A Nexus device is hinging on great – not just decent – hardware.
Although preferences for build materials and design is extremely subjective, I've never been a fan of LG's choice in materials or design. I feel as if LG's choice in materials is second-rate and their designs are ... lacking a bit of necessary luster. There is nothing about the external appearance of their devices that set them apart – save for the random strip of brushed aluminum on the rear of some devices. In fact, I've always felt like LG's Android phones strongly resemble earlier HTC devices, though they are a far cry from HTC's build quality. Not to mention their use of thick bezels and ... enormous chins (see above).
After seeing the Optimus Vu, I seriously question their judgement. At the top of this article is a picture of the Vu. It looks cheap, awkward, and stumpy to boot. Why anyone would want a phone with a 4:3 aspect ratio is beyond me. A large phone like the Note is one thing, but making a one-handed device nearly as wide as it is tall just doesn't make sense to me. I digress ...
If LG is actually chosen to be the OEM for the forthcoming Nexus, though, I only hope their increased attention to specifications is spread out to better design. They have a handle on the components and specifications for now. It'd be nice to see the put a little extra effort in appearances.
I've been an owner of every Nexus to date and, obviously, I want to buy the next. But I may have to pass if LG is the maker. Personally, I would rather see HTC make the next Nexus. The Nexus One was easily my most favorite HTC-made Android phone to date, and after learning of the newly announced HTC One series, I would love nothing more than a pure vanilla Android phone made by HTC, just to see what kind of Nexus they could conjure up this go around.
What say you, ladies and gents? Should LG be given the opportunity to show what they're made of by making the next Nexus? Or should that spot be reserved for the top handset makers? If not LG, who would you rather see make this year's Google phone?
Image via Pinoytutorial