Google, please don't release a Nexus 5 yet

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: May 12, 2013

Once again I've been following rumors way too closely lately, and I’ve been watching them like a hawk regarding which, if any, new Nexus we will see revealed at Google I/O this week. The Nexus 4 was just announced last October and released during November, so doesn’t May seem a little early to release a new Nexus? Yes and no, and it really depends on how they go about it.

It makes sense to release a new Nexus 4, given the backlash that Google and LG received after discovering that the Nexus 4 didn’t include LTE – even Apple finally included LTE in their iPhone release during that same time, so you know you’re behind at that point. (I’m kidding… sort of.) The device didn’t really display anything extra special other than knowing you’ll have the latest software updates and a nice quad-core processor. There was no microSD card, the internal memory was minimal, and it only came out on GSM networks. However, for a price point starting at $299 you can’t really complain about it once you factor in that it’s still a lot of phone for such a cheap price tag.

All the Nexus 4 needs is a small makeover. Make it available to CDMA networks, give it LTE (we all know it’s capable of it anyway) maybe give it a boost of internal memory and bam! Super phone.

I mentioned in a previous article that I thought a “Nexus 4S”, for lack of better term, wasn’t a bad idea. But I do think that that releasing a Nexus 5 right now is. It’s too soon, and since the Nexus line is so big in the Android (and smartphone) community I fear that it would be setting the bar even higher to push new technology out even faster than it already is. It’s bad enough that my iPhone, only one of which gets released each year, already seems to move slower than molasses after only having it for a year and a half. And yes, I use the term “already” because $200 is a lot of money to me – I am not made of the stuff, and if I could keep my phone running as smooth as it did when I first got it for the length of my contract I would be so happy. But that is not the case, and if nothing else I would just like to make sure that my next phone doesn’t feel that slow mere months after purchasing it.

I’m not a big fan of “fixed” versions of phones. I’ve mentioned this before when talking about Apple iPhones. They make it seem like they’re making this fantastic new product when really it’s a few tweaks in the same shell – that’s fine if it happens once, but when it becomes a habit you’re going to have a lot of people drop off the wagon. The iPhone 5, although doing well, isn’t doing as well as other devices. Honestly, it probably has little to do with the fact that people find iOS boring and unimaginative. It’s more likely they’re waiting for that “fixed” version that comes out a year later, but I digress. Since this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a Nexus device (possibly) doing this it’s not that big of a deal. In fact, I kind of encourage it because this device really does need the changes the rumors have been throwing around.

But the Nexus 4 doesn’t need so much change that it becomes the Nexus 5. I would just find it unnecessary at this point. The Nexus 4 has the potential to be a perfectly competitive device; it just needs some tweaking. But I still fear that the rumors of a Nexus 5 may still be a threat and that the rest of the industry will feel the need to push out more products more quickly – and we all know Samsung doesn’t need another reason to make even more phones, because they’ll do it.

Readers, how do you feel about the upcoming Google I/O and the devices that we might see? Would you rather see a new Nexus 4 or a Nexus 5 at the event? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Image via Anandtech

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