It's that time of year again, pumpkin flavored everything, cool weather, leaves turning and the pre-holiday rumors abounding. We're at the point where we've seen dozens of rumored smartphones become official, and we're still waiting on many of them to reach shelves. We have a pretty good idea what hands all the major players are holding, and it's time we yet again look to what's on the horizon.
Lucky for us, the rumor mill is as active as ever. And many of those rumors are pointing to something I predicted back in July: a new version of Android and another Nexus.
A staple in the Android community, the topic of the next Nexus is always an interesting one. Back in April, I asked which manufacturer should be handed the torch for the 2012 Nexus. Samsung has now had two rounds with the honor, and they've done a decent job. But there's a part of me that feels Samsung purposefully downplayed the Nexus line to boost the appearances of their own Galaxy S series. (Compare the cameras on the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus with those on the Galaxy S II and S III. Or compare the Super AMOLED displays between the four. You will definitely notice a major, positive difference in the Galaxy S devices.)
Crackpot theories aside, I feel its time another manufacturer has a go at the Nexus line. Samsung has proven its dominance in the industry, especially amongst the Android crowd. It's time someone else – who may not fear cannibalizing their own brand – takes a crack at it.
Fortunately, it appears as if 2012 will be the year Google gives another competitor a shot. But which company?
The most recent rumors are back and forth between HTC and LG being the chosen manufacturer. One week ago, GSM Arena reported that the 5-inch HTC phablet we've been spotting left and right – the DROID Incredible X or HTC One X 5 – will be the Nexus 5. And several different sources are pointing to the LG Optimus G being the base for the LG-made Nexus. Android and Me's Taylor Wimberly also reported another rumor stating LG would make a phablet-sized Nexus.
According to Android and Me, we may know sooner rather than later. The Android site reported just yesterday that a new Nexus device and version of Android will arrive within the "next 30 days," along with a new Nexus smartphone. The site's Taylor Wimberly reports that the version of Android will be a minor point update – 4.2 – instead of the major update to Android 5.0 many were hoping for. And his sources tell him the next Nexus is a device that has already leaked on Android sites around the Web.
Despite all the conflicting information, the good news is all of these are just rumors – nothing more. Each should be taken with its own dosage of salt. The bad news is that if yesterday's rumor is true, the next Nexus will not be a surprise and we need to keep expectations relatively tame.
But again, I'm curious. Who do you want to see make the upcoming Nexus handset? HTC or LG?
As much as I would love to see LG have a go, the HTC Nexus phablet rumor has me salivating already. The LG Optimus G seems like a nice device, I like the design and the specs are nothing to scoff at. But in light of the LG phablet rumor, I can't help but think of the LG Optimus Vu and how atrocious a 5-inch 4:3 smartphone really is.
As for HTC, the Nexus One is still one of my all-time favorite phones. I would love nothing more than for HTC to recreate that on a larger scale with modern specs. As unlikely as that may be, the HTC phablet will do.
However, a 5-inch Nexus with a 1080p display wouldn't be without its faults either. Two weeks ago, I wrote about how smartphone technology needs improvements to flash storage space and battery technology before we make the leap to 1080p displays. And the 5-inch HTC phone is rumored to ship with Sharp's 5-inch 1080p panel that was announced in May. For a smarpthone 1080p is overkill. At 441 pixels per inch, will be ultra clear. But it will also use an unnecessary amount of power and require larger resource files for graphics.
Unless the HTC Nexus comes with a 3,000mAh battery and 64GB of storage (or more), I'm not sure it'd be a worthwhile choice.
Luckily, other rumors from earlier in the year allude that all of these Nexus rumors could be true, that HTC, LG and other manufacturers will make Nexus phones this year. Some believe Google is allowing more than one partner to make a Nexus so they can build their own (with Motorola) without being scrutized. Either way, it seems we'll find out by the end of the month.
Guys and gals, which manufacturer do you want to make the next Nexus, LG or HTC? Another? And if there is more than one, which rumored device(s) do you hope makes the cut?