Nexus 4: What to Expect From the Top iPhone 5 Competitor

In December of 2011, Google released the third Nexus smartphone in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This year, in an effort to battle the iPhone 5, Google will likely release the fourth Nexus smartphone, dubbed Nexus 4 at this point.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally launched on Verizon back in December of 2011 and eventually made its way to Sprint’s 4G LTE network which goes live on July 15th. The device was met with great reviews and the device remains one of the best smartphones available on the market well in to 2012.

And, seeing as though we have reached the half way part of the year and the iPhone 5 rumors are swirling about, it’s time to take a look at what we expect from the fourth version of the Nexus smartphone which may arrive later this year, that is, if Google sticks to its usual game plan.

We look at what to expect from the next Nexus.

As of right now, nothing has leaked yet so it’s impossible to tell exactly what Google has for the Nexus 4. However, we can make some predictions based on the current state of the smartphone market and the experience owners of the Galaxy Nexus have had.

Quad-Core Processor

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first 4G LTE Nexus smartphone and we expect the next Galaxy Nexus smartphone to employ 4G LTE speeds as well. One thing that the Galaxy Nexus didn’t have, and something no 4G LTE smartphone in the U.S. has at the moment, is a quad-core processor.

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We fully expect, now that Samsung has released a device with both 4G LTE and a quad-core Exynos chip in Korea, the next Nexus smartphone to employ this technology.

In fact, it may even be the first Android smartphone in the U.S. to feature both a quad-core processor and 4G LTE data speeds.

One thing that Android devices do well is push the bar from a hardware standpoint so it would not be surprising to see the Galaxy Nexus either continue a trend, if quad-core 4G LTE devices launch before it does, or start one with that type of technology on board.

Multiple Carriers

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus launch and experience on Verizon has been sub-par at best. Owners had to wait for five months before they received an update from the carrier and in that span, we saw Google take some subtle shots at Verizon and how it handled the update process.

This may make Google reluctant to launch the Galaxy Nexus exclusively on Verizon, or better yet, any carrier.

Read: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Update: Final Impressions and Performance.

As the launch of the Sprint Galaxy Nexus has shown, the device doesn’t need to be and probably shouldn’t be limited to just one single U.S. carrier.

So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the next Nexus smartphone launch on a large swath of carriers including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and possibly T-Mobile when it gets its 4G LTE up and running in 2013.

Big Name Manufacturer

The Nexus One was produced by HTC. The Nexus S and Nexus S 4G were made by Samsung. The Galaxy Nexus was made by Samsung. See a trend here besides the company names themselves? The devices were made by big time Android manufacturers, no small fries.

Samsung is already rumored to be making the next Nexus smartphone. And while that isn’t confirmed as of yet, what is confimred is that Google isn’t going to allow a small player to make the device.

Sorry, LG.

Sorry, Huawei.

Samsung might make the next Nexus smartphone.

Instead, it’s going to go with proven winners and at this point, Samsung is that company based on the successes of the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S II.

But again, nothing is for certain and HTC and Motorola could be in the mix as well. However, be sure of one thing. The company that manufacturers the Nexus 4 will be a proven Android manufacturer.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

At Google I/O in June, Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the operating system that has replaced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as the company’s main operating system.

Android 4.1 has started to roll out and will continue to roll out over the next, oh, who knows it’s Android.

That being said, many have wondered whether Google will unleash Android 5.0 with the Nexus 4. After all, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is an incremental update and not a massive one like Android 4.0 was.

Currently, we don’t have the answer to that. The relative silence about Android 5.0 is a sign that Google might not be releasing another piece of software this year.

Read: Jelly Bean Makes Galaxy Nexus Faster, Smoother & Smarter.

As we’ve said, that wouldn’t be something that that would be met with wide spread enthusiasm across the Android universe.

Google won’t want to anger its customers any more than it has with the arrival of Android 4.1, remember many people still don’t have Android 4.0, and we think Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will likely be the software on board the Nexus 4 when it arrives.

This is Google and mobile software we’re talking about here so who knows.

Release Date After iPhone 5

Lastly, a Nexus 4 release date. This year is a little more tricky, considering the fact that Google hasn’t really stuck to a cycle in years past. The Nexus One came out in January, the Nexus S in November and the Galaxy Nexus in December. It also has released a major Android software update.

Last year, at Google I/O, Google announced that Ice Cream Sandwich would be released later in 2012 and it ended up coming out in December.

That being said, this year we think that Google will be sticking to last year’s game plan. We’ve already heard that Google might be announcing or releasing a Nexus device (or five, but that seems too crazy to believe at this point) at some point in November.

November 5th has been rumored as its the fifth birthday of Android.

Whatever the case may be, expect the phone to launch after the iPhone 5. Google will not want the Nexus to be caught up in the pre-launch hype of the iPhone 5 but it will want to launch in time for the holiday season.

November or December fit that mold perfectly.

What do you want to see from the next Nexus smartphone?

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Comments

  1. Lee Charles says

    We need a micro SD card slot onboard. Failure to have this essential component has always puzzled me on the nexus devices.

  2. Kevin says

    After the GNexus fiasco, I can’t believe that Google won’t have learned it’s lesson and gone with a non-Samsung manufacturer.

    Give Motorola a try Google!!

    And really?? We’re still calling the GNexus one of the best phones on the market?? A smartphone that can’t be used as a phone??? Really???

    • jeytee says

      get a life you lolipop. samsung puts everyone in second league, and google going with somebody else? you nutcase, you been asleep for the past 3 years? samsung is everywhere for a reason, you could even market as “iPhone – Samsung Inside”. so next time you try to alternate, don’t alternate the essential elements – samsung.

    • Barrnutz says

      I don’t understand what you mean by “cant use as a phone” mine works peferctly. I sell these for a living, and you’re a nut job.

    • asdffaa says

      What’s wrong with this idiot. I would rather have Samsung develop the Nexus than LG or Huawei and Sony due to crap support, crap design (except Sony), and crap builds (LG). And IMHO the Galaxy Nexus is still one of the best phones out atm. I even prefer it to S3, due to it running vanilla android. It can also be used as a phone, maybe you can’t use yours because you shoved it up your arse?

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  4. Logan Ogletree says

    I think it’s funny that you said sorry to Lg and now they are supposedly the company that’s in charge of making the next Nexus. I wish they would have chosen Samsung or Motorola though.

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