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While most of the recent rumors and leaks have focused on the forthcoming iPhone, it's hard to ignore the fact that Google, too, will soon be aiding in the production of one of the market's next flagship Android phones. Despite having faced some adversity and getting off to a rough start, the Nexus brand is one that carries a great deal of weight within the Android camp. And among developers and modding fanatics, Nexus is a name that is highly regarded.

For two years and counting, Google has teamed up with some of its most loyal partners to create halo devices to debut new versions of software. To date, that has led to the creation of five Nexus devices and one Motorola-made, developer-centric tablet dubbed the XOOM.

Rumors of any possible Nexus later this year have been scarce. However, there has been a single rumor that suggests Google will be putting its newly announced PDK (Platform Developer Kit) to good use and give a handful of its partners access to the next version of Android months in advance for an arsenal of hero devices come time for the software launch. We can only hope that means there will be multiple Nexi in the last few months of the year, or at least a couple purely stock Android phones. (But that may just be wishful thinking.)

It's impossible to say whether there will actually be a Nexus phone to launch in 2012. But if there is one thing we're certain of, it's that Google is nowhere near done with the Nexus brand and it's actually in the process of refocusing its efforts on getting Nexus back to its roots by cutting the muck and selling unlocked devices directly to consumers through its digital Play Store.

So, just like we like to do with the iPhone, I'm here to speculate and share what I hope the next Nexus will entail.

 

Made by ASUS, HTC or Motorola

When it comes to manufacturers, I have no loyalty. I like any manufacturer that can put together a solid device. And I'm not here to say Samsung isn't capable of making a great phone; they definitely can and the Galaxy S III is a testament to just that. But Samsung has made the last two Nexi phones and they've been … okay.

I'm not a fan of Samsung's penchant for PenTile Matrix sub pixel layouts in their HD Super AMOLED displays, nor am I fond of their excessive use of plastic in the build of their phones.

One of my all-time favorite devices is the HTC-made Nexus One. While it may be small in stature compared to the market's current flagships, it was easily one of the best designed phones to date. I would love to see what HTC is capable of doing with another crack at the Nexus line. But I would also love to see what Google's in-house handset maker, Motorola, can do. And ASUS did a standup job with the Nexus 7. The phone component of the Padfone may be lacking, but I have faith they could knock a smartphone out of the park, just as they did with their Nexus tablet.

All I know is that the Nexus (handset) line is in dire need of a change in manufacturers. Samsung has had two chances to knock a grand slam and they've hit two ground rule doubles. It's time another manufacturer steps up to the plate, maybe even multiple, which leads us to …

 

Choice

One of Android's best selling points is choice. If you want an Android device, you have a surplus of devices to choose from with each U.S. carrier. Among other things, you can choose between different: price points, specifications, hardware, software, build quality and manufacturer.

That said, when it comes to the Nexus, there is never any choice, It's only one device, take it or leave it. I would love nothing more than to see choice, two or three different manufacturers' attempts at the best pure stock Android phone, the choice between various chipsets, build quality, display technologies and manufacturer amongst Nexus devices.

 

Big, long-lasting battery

To be concise, smartphone batteries suck. Most of the time, all of my phones come close to dying long before the day is through. Of all the manufacturers making smartphones, however, Motorola is the only one who has offered a decent solution: a gigantic battery. The Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX comes equipped with a 3,300mAh battery, whereas most smartphones have 2,000mAh or less.

I will be the first to admit that simply upping the capacity isn't the best solution; cramming more milliampere-hours in the same space comes with a few caveats of its own, like nearly doubling charge times or requiring more amperage to charge. But it's a solution that will work for the time being.

I can deal with my phone taking longer to fully charge if it means I can comfortably make it through an entire day without supplementary charges. For all I care, it can take my phone eight hours to charge – which could easily be done while I sleep – as long as it lasts a full day of heavy use.

 

Future-proofed specifications

While each Nexus phone has been relatively up-to-date in comparison to the respective flagships from their eras, their specifications have been quick to become outdated. Of course, most smartphones face the same hurdle of unavoidable and near-immediate obsolescence. But these Nexus devices, in particular, have dated faster than the average phone. For example, the Nexus S launched in late 2010 with a 1GHz single-core Hummingbird processor. Just a few short months after its release, a plethora of dual-core smartphones hit the market.

Instead of Google and its choice partner(s) simply fitting their Nexus with already-aging specs, I would love nothing more than to see a Nexus that pushes the envelope. For example, it would be great to see a brand spankin' new chipset – the S4 Pro or quad-core Exynos – and ample RAM. As long as the screen size is anywhere between 4.65-inches and 4.8-inches, I'll be happy.

Oh, and it would be nice to actually see a Nexus with a great camera as opposed to the bottom-of-the-bucket image sensor that was used on the Galaxy Nexus.

 

Your turn …

At this point, the next Nexus phone is a complete mystery. We don't know who will make it, if or when it will be available or what kind of specifications it will entail. But that doesn't mean we can't press the issue and revel in a bit of speculation.

What do you want to see in the next Nexus phone? Who do you want to make it? And is there one feature that will be a make-or-break for you? Mine is most definitely the camera. If the manufacturer can't fit their Nexus device with an adequate camera, I may just have to pass. What say you?


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60 Reactions to this post

"What do you want to see in the next Nexus smartphone?"


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Tyler Kirchman If it's HTC that thing will be BOSS...
Razi Ul Hassan just a BETTER battery ,, like 4000 mah minimized to smaaler size!
Dylan Greene No Samsung bullshit
Dylan Greene A phone actually built out of Google's parts
Bram Nobbe Android 4.1, 4.7'' display with a really high resolution, 1.7 GHz quad-core, 2GB ram, Siri but much Better, 7mm thin, and really really leight!
Robby Olko Something not over 350$
Nicholas Kresky A smaller model would be nice (somewhere in the 4 to 4.3inch range max) and be sure to keep the heapphone jack at the bottom. Thanks, peace...
Joe Francesco Kassira A Quad Core Exynos CPU with 12 core graphics. A Metal and Polycarbonate hardware. Running Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie. A Retina Display (iPhone) and a 4.8" Screen. Made by HTC but made the ability to root and install ROMS as easy as a Galaxy S phone
Sam Rick Super amoled HD display
Aaron Dean More cow bell
Byktor Urvaes Micro sd card slot and better a camera
Mark Belkowski i want moto to make the next nexus, no more samsung and crappy radios/hardware.
Abdul Ghani Aaron Baker - I'd love to see the option of "turning off" OEM "skins" and options on ALL Nexus devices ...that'd be awesome - for every device to have the capability to go stock. PLUS - No manufacturer should be allowed to make non-removable battery & non SD Expansion Card devices (@ HTC One X) - Big NO NO! Plus - don't like the HUGE bezel of the Nexus 7 (seems cheap and poor)
James Maxwell Would like asus to do it more than htc or moto. Samsung did a good job with the galaxy nexus I thought. Ubuntu for Android... if google and conanical would just work together on making that happen everything else on my galaxy nexus has been fine so just slightly bumping up the specs to more current specs is about all I'd want. Anthony Ochoa's suggestions seem about right. And lag free is already here thanks to jelly bean. I haven't had slow downs since using CM10 preview and this is something thats still in it's early stages.
David Fauerbach i think it should look like the galaxy nexus but change the back and improve the camera and processor
Anthony Ochoa 2gb ram, quad core exynos processer , 8 mp camera 4.72 " screen , 2250 mah battery....and lag free
Mike Cooper I hope it have a iPhone or at very least a iPhone theme
Cesario Brito Jr. Bigger screen/super amoled + HD/better camera 8-12mp/bigger battery/quadcore/more memory/surprise awesome feature
Kristopher Davis Great article, I agree totally! ...HTC made, S4 pro processor, super LCD2 or comparative( we've all seen how much better the HTC one x screen is to that amoled pentile mess), android 5.0, better image sensor( f2.2 or better) better sound, 2gb ram( needed for true multi tasking) solid build( no Sammy plastic junk) ...wait, shouldnt they just let me design it? LOL
Joel Durden A physical qwerty, dammit!
Patrick Singleton 12 meg camera. Set the bar!!!
Victor Perez High end camera, 64gb internal, quad-core, internal pop-up messaging, same design as galaxy nexus besides the back, amazing screen, and other cool stuff
Lashun Manning I should rite I'm calling Google as we speak w/my idea
Bernie Fen lol wow sounds like this post just became a "OK NOW WTF DO YOU WANT TO SEE FROM THE NEW NEXUS" lol
Dean Inglis Better camera
Brian McGuinness Lol a digital scale
Lashun Manning Better camera,speaker,4.8 screen 3300 mah a digital scale to weigh my bud on when the guy says he doesn't have one and of course 4.1 goodness lol
Brian McGuinness That new Samsung OLED 350 ppi diplay ! & a power efficient quad-core processor
Vincent Cabral It have android 5.0 gummy bear and a 10 mega pixel cam with a 4.5" screen(:
Joernie Berrios Dual Core,12 Megapixil cam,,,and some AOKP goodness
Justin Fitzgerald A better speaker. The speaker in the current phone blows.
Josh Veerkamp Since the Nexus is never ahead of it's time and is meant more as a reference device.. 4.8" 316dpi non-pentile display 16gb storage, would like expandable but won't happen 8mp camera rear, 1.3mp front 2100mah battery 1.5ghz dual core S4 or OMAP5 processor Speaker that doesn't sound like it was made from the cellophane windows they put on envelopes.
Ian Baylon Hopefully something that can top JB but I doubt it they already pushed android over the limit with ICS and a small upgrade with JB and there's not much left that needs major improving besides the phone itself.
Andrew Lipps it'd be cool to see a more upgraded & more expensive version of the Nexus 7 tablet by 2013. Possibly with 2 cameras, 1.3 MP front & 12 MP rear. Tegra 4 processor 1.8 GHz with 2GB of Ram 10" HD Display USB 3.0 (2 Ports) SD Slot Android 5.0 with extra "Butter" I believe this could be a huge replacement to the Google Chromebooks, just add a keyboard attachment such as the ASUS Transformer tablet line and your good to go.
Hector Luis Lopez Not to lag or freeze
Ryan Clement What I want to see in the next nexus is some AT&T action.. I really wanted the galaxy nexus so badly x.x
Byron E. Cóto Louder speaker that's all :)
Anuja Kanagu I like smrt phones
Bernie Fen i'm diggin your specs haha... and i agree Iphone5 really have to do something remarkable here or expect the consequences
Andrew Lipps 32GB internal storage (No need for more, its 2012 use the cloud) Android 5.0 8 Megapixel camera Increased battery life (Or include extended battery) 1 - 2GB Ram Edge to Edge screen Metal vs plastic backing - less cheap feeling Better wallpapers lol Overall the nexus is already by far the best phone on the market right now, as long as it has Jelly Bean that is. All i can say is please pass more butter Google. Used to be an avid iPhone Fanboy, till they started to fall behind. iPhone 5 will have to really be mind blowing in order for me to even consider switching back.
Bernie Fen and i can die happy
Bernie Fen 5" Ultra LED Screen
Bernie Fen dubbing it Nexus Alpha - bare minimums are as follow 4 gigs of RAM 64 gigs of storage space Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SRR4 (SRR - Super Rapid Response) 4 qhd or higher front facing camera 12 super qhd or higher rear camera with 4 Quantom LED FLASH Dedicated camera shutter 2000 mah battery Laser detection keyboard Rocket Launcher
Troy McKenna I don't care. I just want it to be made by HTC! B-)
Chris Wayne How about customizable? You can customize half the components on a PC when you buy it these days -- you should be able to do the same with a phone. When we buy it, give us a choice of processors, RAM, camera, battery size and maybe even screen size. Some things will have to be standard (like current Android version and case materials) but the rest are really just components that should be able to swapped around.
Guillermo De León Long battery life.
Kristoff Lewandowski Nothing I'm waiting for next Lumia to surprise me even better than 800 :-)
Brandon Little-spoon Levesque 8 megapixle camera please
Vicente Reyes Of course a new fast CPU/GPU. Maybe 1.5-2of memory,(ram)
El Toke de Ezj Everything that the old one dosnt have n, every thing that the,other new HTC phones have duh
John Anthony 4.8 hd displays 4.1 jelly bean
Tim Moore I'm with Antonio. I LOVE the Galaxy Nexus but the camera was...eh compared to others out there. Still good but not great. Would be nice to have sd-card slot to expand the memory and it's also easier to transfer photos or videos that way.
Idris Hussain the best smart and interactive features the user can finally expect
John Anthony better camera and on at&t,t-mobile,sprint-and verizon
Randy B Hoopes One that works lol since the Galaxy Nexus was garbage
Thatcher Ford Volz You mean the 6th iphone...
Leroy Langston I honestly don't even wanna think about it til 2013, late 2013.. phones keep coming out left and right there are no more secrets
Justin Michael Duncan 2 gigs of ram! An quad core snapdragon! 4.8 or 5.0 inch screen:) super LCD 2 or super amoled plus 2?? Lol
Antonio Vazquez sd card support would be nice, a better camera, a good CPU/GPU, one of the latest preferably. 1gb of ram is sufficient. and an hd display. i love everything about my Galaxy Nexus except the camera i admit
Lowell Orlando Richmond um why are we alreday talking about a new phone and the previous model just came out :/




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