The Galaxy Nexus was the first device to usher in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), the first Android OS to unite smartphones and tablets under one roof, and the first to offer a major aesthetic overhaul. It framed a new type of Google, one that sold its unlocked products straight from its Google Play store as well. But soon there will be a new kid on the digital block, and with it reigning in new innovation in hardware and OS. Below are the top five things to expect from the next Nexus.
1. Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0/4.2)
With every new product launch, comes a new OS. Like Froyo (Android 2.2), Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) has been dished out in the summer during the middle of the Galaxy Nexus’ product lifecycle. But like Gingerbread (Android 2.3), which arrived in late November during the same year as Froyo, Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0/4.2) should be only months away. So just as unlocked HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus devices are welcoming Jelly Bean in through the OTA front door, be sure to prep for Google’s latest dessert ‘Key Lime Pie’ shortly.
2. Multiple Nexus Phones
Google has done its part to offer one device liberated from carrier bloatware, manufacturer modulation, and crippling fragmentation. The Nexus line has been Google’s flagship product ever since the Nexus S (sorry Nexus One), and has introduced new hardware and OS with every new incarnation. Like Apple’s iPhone, Google has only released one Nexus product roughly every year, but rumors have been circulating that Google could offer something radically different: multiple Nexus devices from multiple manufacturers.
This would offer choice among a Nexus line immune from painful OS update wait times, and offer more control from Google’s end of the stick. This will allow updates to be pushed to more devices quickly – meaning a larger percentage of the Android populace – serving to dilute one of Android’s main obstacles: its fragmentation.
It also allows customers to pick between each Android manufacturers’ strengths within the Nexus framework. By choosing between things like Motorola’s battery life, HTC’s build quality, or Samsung’s raw specs, manufacturers can finally focus on what they are good at: building phones and not OS.
3. Extreme Horsepower (Quad-Core CPU/2 GB RAM)
One obvious, but important thing on this list is horsepower. Because it’s what justifies each customer to shell out an extra $300 every one to two years. Software is the most important, but hardware sells phones – especially if you already own a Nexus product. Currently, HTC’s One X (European Version) has a quad-core CPU and Samsung’s Galaxy SIII has 2GB of RAM. So as Joey Tribbiani, from NBC’s sitcom ‘Friends’, stated when answering a question about a girl from the Xerox place or jam, “put your hands together.” It only makes sense that Google’s next Nexus smartphone would have both – or at the very least from one of the many rumored manufacturers undertaking the Nexus project.
4. All-Day Battery
Trying to go a full 24 hours without having to charge your smartphone is borderline impossible these days. So look for Google to resolve this. There are already examples of impressive battery life like Motorola’s Droid RAZR MAXX, which possesses a ginormous 3300-mAh battery within its slender frame (I wonder who just bought Motorola?). It only makes sense that the next Nexus would house such a battery beast.
5. HD Camera Front and Back
Smartphone cameras have come a long way – well for smartphones that is. I’m not talking about everything you can do with the photo after you take it, but rather the sensor, flash and exposure before you do. Smartphone cameras have mastered broad daylight, but one obstacle has always been low light.
Any smartphone camera out there still fails to stack up to the basic point-and-shoot. When using a smartphone in low light, many are left with blurry images that look more like drunken photos of poltergeist than your actual friends. So expect this to improve significantly, come late November, as users are left with crisp images that they didn’t have to hold their breath to get.
Also, expect the front facing camera to improve. The norm has ranged from 1.3 and 2 megapixels, so look for up to 5 megapixels in the front, giving the device HD capability both front and back.
It’s almost a guarantee the next Nexus will be launched in November. Last year we saw the iPhone 4S launch in October, which was shortly matched a month later by the Galaxy Nexus. So expect nothing less from Google as we reap the benefits from a company that has traditionally spit out innovation weeks before the holiday season.