Nexus Essentials

10/03/2012 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

If there is a new (or 5) Google Nexus phone launching before the end of the year, it will be the best kept secret in tech this year.  The GSIII was pretty well kept, but didn't stun anyone and everyone saw the iPhone 5 and upcoming iPad mini from a mile away.  Meanwhile, almost every phone that comes through the FCC is rumored to be a potential for the next Nexus device.

I'm a big supporter of the multiple Nexus device idea.  I would love to see HTC, Motorola, LG, and samsung each have a Nexus device of their own.  There's a lot of things people want to see, from screen resolution, to SD card support.  If we are to consider the Nexus line an iPhone competitor there are 3 things that a flagship Nexus must have.

1. New Android Iteration

This does not mean Android 4.1.2.  This means Android 4.2 or above.  If we are not getting tangible Android improvements over just basic tweaks and adjustments, then the hardware can wait.  I know that Android is getting to the point where that won't always be a reasonable expectation, because as it get's polished and refined, there's a lot less to polish and refine, but there are enough UX inconsistancies in Jelly Bean to make the move to Key Lime Pie (or whatever it gets called).

2. Build Quality

A quick look at Apple's quality control process will show a vast disparity between the final product of most Android devices vs iPhones.  I understand that some people don't care as much, but if there are to be 5 Nexus variants, then one model (preferable Motorola or HTC) should be the high quality flagship.  Android is about choice and some people don't care about things like build quality as much, but don't let Apple's engineering go unchecked.  Google and the involved OEMs have far more potential than they are living up to in that arena and I would love to see an Android who's physical features live up to the quality of user experience we've seen in Android from the likes of Matias Duarte.

3. Carrier Support

I get it, Verizon and Sprint haven't been the greatest of Nexus experiences (although I love my Sprint Google Voice integration), but Google can't just park these phones unlocked in the Play Store and expect people to care.  Sure, they'll sell, but when Apple can release unlocked phones on GSM and CDMA carriers (of both the prepaid and postpaid variety) on and international scale, you have to support your carriers.  CDMA carriers (specifically Verizon) can and will be a pain to get them to avoid some type of rebranding or carrier bloatware, but Google needs to lay down the law here.  After this many iPhone iterations and even Samsung being able to have the carriers play along with the GSIII, Google will be sorely mistaken to sell these phones from the Play Store alone.  Especially with 5 variants?

Imagine the demand of the Galaxy Nexus split 5 ways.  None of those manufacturers will ever make another Nexus device if they don't work with the carriers (or just get it over an buy one...)

I love my Nexi and I will buy an unlocked model and get a straight talk sim if I have to, but I'd much rather be able to get it on Sprint (yes, I'm a loyal Sprint customer.  Maybe I'll probably post on this another time).  I think theses guidelines are what's necessary to not only halt increased fragmentation, but push Android past being percieved by the mainstream a "cheap iPhone alternative" and actually make it something people line up for.

One can dream, right?

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