Editorial: What I Realistically Want Out Of The Next Nexus

Over the past few months there have been many, many rumors floating around in regards to upcoming Nexus devices. Prior to even the announcement of the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q at I/O this year, we were hearing that Google has been planning as many as five devices for this fall. There have been many manufacturers flying around, from Samsung, to HTC, and recently to Sony.

On Sunday night I had one of my many late night conversations with Android And Me writer Dustin Earley. As usual, the various rumors and other tech talk came up, mainly what Google would be doing with the next Nexus. After all was said and done, I began to think about what I would like my next Nexus to be. I’m going to try and keep this as realistic on things we could actually see, not just a big wishlist of specs that won’t make it to production for a few years.

Of all the rumors in the last few months, I’ve picked the one I like the most: the HTC Nexus One X. Essentially a One X with updated specs and stock Android, the phone could turn out to be quite the powerhouse. Rumored to have a Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, it would easily become the most powerful device on the market. Pair that with 2GB of RAM, and you’ve got the new benchmark phone.

A big reason the Nexus One X excites me is the display. After using both the Super AMOLED HD display on the Galaxy S III side-by-side with the regular One X for about a month, I came away with a clear victor. The One X’s SLCD2 display looked much crisper and less saturated. Colors were much more accurate, and text was just that much more clear. Super AMOLED may allow a device to lose a few millimeters, but Super LCD 2 has the leg up in my mind.

Up until the Nexus 7, I’d been using only manufacturer UIs for about 5 months. The Nexus made me realize how much I love stock, and that no UI can beat that affection. One of the biggest downfalls of the One X was the software it was running, Sense 4. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it just lacked anything that truly made it stand out. A stock Jelly Bean One X would fly with the quad-core Snapdragon, and there’s nothing I want other than that.

There’s two little requests I’d make for the next Nexus: onscreen buttons, and a better notification light. The Galaxy Nexus was the first Android device to bring onscreen, software buttons, and I absolutely adored them. Skeptical at first, after using the Nexus for a few days I was committed to onscreen buttons (on devices with screens large enough to handle it of course), and wouldn’t want it any other way. Another little thing – one of my biggest pet peeves on the One X – would be a better notification light. The One X did have a notification light, but it was barely visible unless looking directly at the phone. Google, please include the same style notification light as the Galaxy Nexus in the Nexus One X.

This fall is going to be a hectic one for the mobile industry, and Google has the potential to make quite a mark. The best way to market the latest Nexus – this goes for the Nexus One X or not – would be to put it at the same price point as the Galaxy Nexus. That’s right, sell it unlocked for $349, and it could be the greatest Android handset to date.

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