It’s no secret that HTC isn’t exactly doing their best right now in regards to their smartphones. Despite the positive attention that the HTC One M7 garnered for the company 3 years ago due to its premium design (a rare occurrence for Android users at the time) the following 2 years with the HTC One M8 and the HTC One M9 weren’t nearly as kind – and that’s just scratching the surface, considering that HTC came out with a number of handsets alongside their flagships during this time. Although HTC is doing well making headlines thanks to their ground-level action on virtual reality headsets with the HTC Vive, the brand could still use a boost when it comes to their smartphones.
The HTC One M10 is the handset that most smartphone enthusiasts are holding their breath for, hoping that HTC manages to fix some of the problems that caused the One line to lose its luster. Among the offending issues are camera quality, camera features, a hardware design that is too similar to previous generations, and most recently an unfortunate overheating issue with the Snapdragon 210 processor. At the end of the day, I think HTC managed to set the bar really high for themselves with the M7 and have had trouble trying to figure out a proper groove to follow. We allegedly have a couple of months to wait before we know what the M10 officially entails, but here’s hoping that HTC is able to wow us once more.
However, even if the M10 isn’t the next M7 there’s still a chance that HTC will be a brand that’s associated with warm and fuzzy thoughts once again. Another rumor is floating around that suggests that HTC may have not just one, but two, Nexus devices in the pipeline for 2016 – and that just might be the boost that the company needs right now.
The Nexus line of smartphones is highly regarded in the mobile tech community. These devices feature stock Android, and are some of the most secure Android devices on the market. They're also relatively affordable considering the high-end specs that you tend to get with them. Not only do you get all of that, but when a company ends up making a Nexus device it always seems like people start to pay more attention to them.
Take LG, for instance. The LG G line of smartphones, LG’s premier flagship, have been growing in popularity steadily over the past few years. However, I think it was LG’s Nexus 4 that really started garnering attention to the brand. While the LG Optimus G sold 1 million units when it was released in 2012, the LG G2, released in 2013, sold 3 million units. I’m not saying the jump in sales for the G2 are mutually exclusive with the Nexus 4, but I do think people started taking LG a little more seriously after that.
The LG Nexus 5 also managed to sell really well. The device was so well-liked that they got a second generation Nexus 5 in last year’s LG Nexus 5X, which was released alongside the Huawei Nexus 6P. That brings me to my next point – who really cared about Huawei (in the U.S., at least) until they released a Nexus? Even if it looks a little goofy with its camera, it’s still a powerful device that people seem impressed with overall. What's more is that people actually know what company I’m talking about if I mention Huawei in phone-related conversations now. Before that? Hardly ever did I come across anybody who recognized the name.
Google’s Nexus line is respected, and because of that it feels like whatever company manufactures those devices are also respected a little bit more. Not only that, but many people feel that HTC has already proven itself to be a good manufacturer for Nexus devices. The Nexus One, the first Nexus device to ever be created, was considered the “next step” for Android devices. With a 3.7-inch display and a 480 x 800 resolution and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, the Nexus One was a big step for Android. Receiving a 9/10 rating from PhoneArena, the Nexus One was an impressive phone 6 years ago.
Then you have HTC’s other Nexus device, the Nexus 9 tablet. It's probably unfair to compare the Nexus 9 with the Nexus One considering that tablets and phones are on different levels, but the Nexus 9 was still a pretty good tablet in its own right. It was bigger than the Nexus 7 in order to directly compete with Apple’s iPad Mini, and it was a little more expensive, but it did feature a nice Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and was the first device to feature Android 5.0 Lollipop.
HTC has done a solid job making Nexus devices in the past, and I think now is good time to have HTC make another one. With their premium build quality and the close involvement of Google, I have the utmost faith that HTC could create a stunning Nexus device – or two – this year, hopefully boosting much-needed enthusiasm along the way.
Readers, what would you think of a 2016 HTC-made Nexus – or two? If not HTC, then who do you think should manufacture this year’s Nexus devices? Let us know in the comments below!