Is the Nexus 5 what LG's G2 should have been from the start?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
With each new device, a manufacturer aims to secure a few (and by a few, I mean a lot more than a few) more fans, and buyers. When a phone is being planned, the idea is to figure out just which type of market you're planning on releasing it into, and who, exactly, the device is aimed at. It's all about knowing your audience.
Our high-end phones are definitely filling that role these days, even more so than in past years. When a manufacturer goes into the "high-end" mode, we get devices like HTC's One, Samsung's Galaxy Note 3, and LG's G2. Apple's iPhone 5s can fit into the fold here, too, as well as Nokia's Lumia 1020. (Those particular devices are the high-end models of their respective platforms.)
These are the phones that are, without a doubt, designed to live through a year of use, if not longer. The device you're supposed to want to keep for an extended period of time. The phone that's supposed to win you over, right out of the box -- or even on the showroom floor.
Around the middle of August, I asked all of you if you think the G2 could be the device to propel LG to the top of the Android stack. To start leading the Android army. To, effectively, replace Samsung at the head of the party. Of course, we know nothing like that could happen over night, or with just one device, but it was more about a jumping off point. Is the G2 a sign of what's to come for LG, their devices, and their growing presence in the Android ecosystem?
It could be. As long as LG continues on this trend of creating a high-end device like the G2, and just continues to expand and build upon it (in good ways), then I could easily see LG taking the fight to Samsung in a big way. (We'll have to see how the G Flex looks, if it's real.)
It's a good sign that I keep getting asked, "Is the G2 the best phone this year?"
As I've said in the past, I think one of the coolest things about the LG G2 is that the company decided to think a little outside the box, and comp up with a unique button layout for their flagship device. It's different, and considering we're in a generation that just loves its black slabs, I can't give them enough credit for the design. However, with that being said, I can understand why it might be too daunting for some people to get used to, or want to use.
In my short time with the G2, I know where those folks are coming from. I like that LG is thinking out of the box, and while I know I use my index finger to do a lot of things on my smartphone, I'm not sure I like the button placement when I'm actually using the device. I'm just accustomed to using my thumb, to navigate the keys on the side of the device, just as I've done for as long as I can remember.
The idea is great, but in my personal time with the device, I'm not sure I can get behind it in practice.
Which is why I hung onto the rumors that the next Nexus, the Nexus 5, would be based on the design of the G2. It sounded almost to good to be true, but I hung onto the idea anyway. I wanted it to be true. And now that we're apparently only a few weeks away from Google officially announcing the device, those rumors are looking more plausible every single day.
There will obviously be changes, though. Most notable? The button layout. The next Nexus will more than likely have a more traditional button layout, which I think is only a good thing -- especially since LG and Google are obviously looking for sales here.
Which is why I can't help but propose the question: Is the next Nexus the phone that the G2 should have been? Considering the next Nexus will reportedly feature all of the high-end specifications that the G2 currently boasts, and put the buttons back where people expect them to be, I can't help but wonder. If LG really is in a position to give Samsung a run for its place in the Android ecosystem, maybe a wide-release of the Nexus 5 makes that even more possible.
If everyone really is clamoring for the G2, but they don't want to use the new button layout, then the Nexus 5 will be the best bet. Especially if it launches with a cheap(er) price tag, and availability on multiple carriers (with LTE).
Tell me: Is this how you would change the G2? Make it more like a "regular phone," but with stock Android? Is that, for a lack of a better term, your dream phone? Are you eagerly anticipating the release of the next Nexus smartphone? Or, did you already pick up the G2 and fall in love with the button layout? Let me know!