Once again, we’ve reached October and as expected, Nexus rumor and leak season is going full swing.
This year I’ve been following less of the rumors and leaks (not to mention posting less too) since I’m not really in the market for a new phone at this moment. Of course, I’m trying to convince my better half to get her phone changed but resistance is strong!
Back to Nexus season. All indications and leaks have more or less confirmed that the next Nexus phone, rumored to be Nexus 5, will again be manufactured by LG. This would be consistent with Google’s trend of giving each manufacturer a couple of the years manufacturing the same device (phone, 7-inch tablet, 10-inch tablet). Samsung had 2 phones released in the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus and LG has gotten the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5. This may not be a bad thing as the Nexus 4, while being a little disappointing to some who did not like the glass back, was a pretty solid phone experience for its price.
If there was something that many of us hope LG learnt from their first foray into the Nexus lineup is their manufacturing capability and stock availability. Last year’s Nexus 4 release was badly handled and demand was very much higher than what Google or LG anticipated, leading to a lot of frustration when people tried to place their orders.
Some facts that have been leaked out so far regarding the Nexus 5 are the 5″ 1080p display, an 8MP main camera, USB OTG support (I do miss it on the Nexus 4), 2.5GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. What I consider most interesting is the fact that it is still equipped with an 8MP camera. With numerous complaints regarding the Nexus’s (Galaxy Nexus especially) camera capability and Google’s previous statement of being committed to enhancing photography capabilities, many was expecting a higher resolution camera, like the 13MP ones found in LG G2, Note 3 and S4. However, it is entirely possible that Google does enhance the camera capabilities via software rather than simply bumping up the MegaPixel numbers. I do hope any software enhancement to the camera comes as part of Android 4.4 KitKat so my Nexus 4 can also enjoy some of it.
With Apple releasing a 64-bit capable OS and processor in their iPhone 5S this year, you can safely bet that Android will not be too far behind. Samsung has already pushed the RAM barrier to 3GB this year and will likely be looking to hit 4GB within the next year or so. For that to happen, Android will have to be 64-bit enabled as well. I’m not as confident as others who think (or hope) that Android 4.4 KitKat will be 64-bit enabled as I think Apple’s announcement caught the Android camp off guard. I would think that Google would either do a 4.4.X upgrade to enable 64-bit or only enable 64-bit in their next version launch Android LemonJuice perhaps?
One question that would probably be on some people’s mind would be: Should I upgrade to the Nexus 5 at those specs?
Personally, I think that the 1080p display, the processor and the GPU are good upgrades. However, I find that the Nexus 4 display is still fine, the processor is still working well and while I’d love to have a new phone, especially a new Nexus with those specs, I can live without it for now. Besides, the Nexus 4 is guaranteed to get the Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade from its current Android 4.3 JellyBean. It also comes down to the pricing. In Malaysia, where top end phones easily cost about a working person’s salary, changing phones regularly is not really an option for most. At least, not for me. If you have a phone with at least a dual core processor and 1GB of RAM, chances are, your phone can still be used without too much issues. Sure, you may not be on the cutting edge of Android goodness but you probably do not care too much about which Android version you’re on. You’re probably content as long as your phone manages to do what you need. For everyone else, if the Nexus 4 is still available in your area, it is probably attractively priced and I encourage you to pick one up if you’re looking for a phone that can last you a while. Currently I can still find the 16GB Nexus 4 in Malaysia for around RM1049 (approx USD300) and compared to every single phone in its price range, it has better specs, more definitely getting updates and has better value for money.
For me, I will not be getting the Nexus 5. At least not right away, since I am planning on upgrading my laptop soon (still in planning though).