I bought the Nexus 5 the day that it came out. I did so because I desperately needed a replacement for my aging Galaxy Nexus after passing on the Nexus 4 for various reasons. I did not sign a contract when I bought the Nexus 5 which means that I’m free to replace the device whenever I want. So far, there are a few devices that have caught my eye including the iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and yes, Google’s rumored Nexus 6.
Before I was a Nexus 5 owner I was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus owner. I bought the Verizon Galaxy Nexus on the day that it came out, thinking that it would be the Android smartphone of my dreams. The dream was short lived. My Verizon Galaxy Nexus experience was a torturous one that I thought about ending mere months into my contract.
However I, like many others, endured as Verizon was late to every single major Android update. I even held onto the phone after former Android head Andy Rubin essentially called it a colossal failure.
I badly wanted to pay my expensive ETF and ditch it for its successor but the Nexus 4 simply did not get me excited. The lack of LTE was one the big reasons why I avoided it. The susceptible glass back was another reason. When Nexus 4 release day came, I was on the fence and couldn’t pull the trigger. And then LG and Google forced my hand.
LG and Google mucked the launch up so badly that the device sold out until February. That’s an eternity in smartphone years. Once the new year rolled around, the new rumor cycle began and I was content with waiting. So I waited, promising myself that I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. (I also hoped that LG and Google wouldn’t either.)
In November, I bought the Nexus 5 to finally replace my Galaxy Nexus. I’ve been using it since it arrived in the mail and I consider it to be one of the top Android smartphones on the market. Passing on the Nexus 4 now seems like the right decision.
Nevertheless, I am without a contract and because I am without a contract, I am constantly thinking about current and upcoming Android smartphones. I like what I’ve seen from both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the all new HTC One but it’s the rumored devices that have me intrigued once again. In particular, I find myself being lured in by Nexus 6 rumors.
The Nexus 6 will be one of just many smartphones that competes for my attention and the attention of many others in 2014. While I can’t speak for all Nexus 5 owners, here is what I want on board the Nexus 6 later on this year. A combination of these features could lure me into giving Google more of my hard earned cash.
Maybe my biggest complaint about the Nexus 5, and it’s one that my colleague Cory Gunther brought up in his Nexus 5 review, is the inconsistent battery life that it delivers. Like Cory, I honestly can’t put my finger on what’s causing the inconsistent battery life. Perhaps it’s an application, perhaps its Android, perhaps its a faulty battery, perhaps it was an oversight by Google and LG. I don’t really know but it doesn’t deliver what I am looking for.
I hate the bring the iPhone into the conversation but the iPhone 5, a device that is a year older than the Nexus 5, delivers better battery life than the Nexus 5. With smartphone innovation coming to a bit of a standstill, battery life is going to be, strike that, is one of the features that manufacturers must deliver on. It should be a focus on every high-end smartphone.
My hope is that Google and whoever winds up making the next Nexus (a device that could be the final Nexus-branded smartphone) figures this out. The Nexus 6 needs to have fantastic battery life if it has any chance of standing out amongst the average consumers that Google is now targeting with its Nexus brand.
With devices like the OnePlus One impeding on its territory, battery life is a place where the Nexus 6 should standout.
One of my other gripes with the Nexus 5, and there aren’t many, is with the camera. Like the battery life, the Nexus 5 camera is way too unreliable. My colleague and fellow editor Josh Smith put it best when he told me that when he picks up his iPhone 5s, it will shoot high quality footage 90% of the time. Google’s Nexus 5, he says, shoots quality photos about 50% of the time. I feel the same way.
Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat update did improve the Nexus 5’s camera and my guess is that the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update will fix some things as well. But I just can’t see a software update bringing the Nexus 5’s camera into the upper echelon of smartphone cameras. It might improve but not enough.
In February of 2013, former Google employee Vic Gundotra claimed that Google was intensely focused on delivering “insanely great cameras” on the Nexus line of devices. The Nexus 5 camera is not insane, it’s average. I want the Nexus 6 camera to be more than average, I want to to be insane.
And if it’s not insane, it should at least be consistent.
The Nexus 5 features a 5-inch, 1080p display. The screen provides a ton of real estate for games, for watching content, and for general use like checking email, surfing the web and more. For me, the Nexus 5’s screen size is the threshold. I honestly can’t imagine toting a phone that’s larger than 5-inches. And I have huge hands.
Anything larger than 5-inches and you’re creeping into niche territory. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G Pro 2 but they are flat out hard to use with one hand. I hate that. The Nexus 5 is easy to grip, and use, with one hand and that’s what a smartphone is all about. Easy access, easy use.
So my hope is that the Nexus 6 comes with a display that is in and around 5-inches. Improvements like a QHD display would simply be a bonus for me.
I love the HTC One M8’s BoomSound speakers so much that I am tempted to go out and buy one right now. The Nexus 5’s speakers are decent but they certainly leave room for improvement.
It would be great to see Google and its Nexus partner deliver a Nexus 6 that comes with impressive sound. I don’t always want to have to use my Bluetooth speaker. It would be phenomenal to fire up a game or a movie knowing that I don’t have to connect my device to something just to get amazing sound quality.
Verizon may have let me down with the Galaxy Nexus but there is still no denying that it boasts one of the best networks in the land. Its 4G LTE network is massive and the carrier will be one of the first in the United States to deliver LTE-Advanced data speeds. I use 4G LTE, a lot, and it would be exciting to be able to use one of the best Android smartphones on one of the best networks in the world.
Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 debacles probably aren’t helping the cause but if a true Nexus were ever to come to Verizon’s network, I’d have to seriously think about buying it. Hopefully, the Nexus 6 is that device.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor isn’t good but the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s is. And while there is a difference in quality, both bring added security and convenience to the table, two things that I covet given that I bring my smartphones everywhere with me.
It would be fantastic to see Google offer a fingerprint sensor on the Nexus 6 and encourage developers in the same way that Samsung has with its Galaxy S5 sensor. The technology will continue to improve and I’m extremely excited about what the future holds both with Android smartphones and the iPhone.
Finally, I’d love to be able to buy a Nexus smartphone with a ton of internal storage space. A 64GB Nexus 6 would allow me to take photos and videos at will. It would also just give me the peace of mind that a 16GB Nexus 5 simply cannot give to me.
I realize that this device would command an expensive price tag and I’d have to give it some serious thought before buying. But I’d love to have that option because when the Nexus 5 came out, I didn’t.
In the end, the Nexus 6 may have some of these features but it probably won’t have all of them. Even if it partially fulfills my wish list, I’ll probably be giving it a look. I’ve been a Nexus owner for years and if this is truly the last Nexus smartphone, I hope that Google goes out with a bang.
What’s it going to take for you to buy, or consider, the Nexus 6?