With the new Nexus 7 on the market, enthusiasts are now wondering what Google has planned for the future regarding its other Nexus devices. News of the rumored Nexus 5 smartphone has been dormant for a while, but with Google’s next-generation tablet now available, many consider that a next-generation Nexus smartphone could be on the way.
Considering Google’s prior release schedule, it appears highly likely that a Nexus smartphone could follow the new Nexus 7 release. Google introduced the original Nexus 7 as its first tablet in July 2012, following up with the new Nexus 7 in July 2013; the current Nexus 4 smartphone released in November 2012 alongside the wide-screen Nexus 10 tablet. Rumors have indicated that Google may release a Samsung-made second-generation Nexus 10, likely to release in the fall. If the rumors, which reportedly came from Google senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, are true, we may see the prospective Nexus 5 accompany a new Nexus 5 in a fall release.
The new Nexus 7 includes a host of new features, which will likely be included in future Google devices. Here are some of the updated features on the new Nexus 7 that are highly likely to be included on future Nexus devices, especially the Nexus 5.
Following several issues with its Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google seemed to steer clear of Big Red, with later devices such as the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 4 being hosted on AT&T and T-Mobile. However, the Verizon embargo is now over with the introduction of the new Nexus 7, which will soon be available on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Google once again supplying devices for the Verizon network could be an indicator that the tech company has plans to host future devices on the mobile carrier. Many Verizon customers notably lamented at the Nexus 4 not being powered by Verizon; a Nexus 5 on Verizon is sure to make up for that.
In addition to two Wi-Fi variants with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, Google is also including LTE connectivity on its new Nexus 7 units to be powered by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Google announced at the new Nexus 7 unveiling that the 32GB LTE variant will be a single U.S. model, which means it will be able to transfer between the three carriers by which it will be powered. The Verizon model will notably be LTE only, while the AT&T and T-Mobile models will have 3G and HSPA+ connectivity in addition to LTE.
The lack of LTE capability was a large criticism of the Nexus 4 smartphone. With Google now set to launch a LTE capable device, there is hope that future devices, such as the Nexus 5 will similarly allow high-speed data.
No Micro SD
Other criticism of Google’s Nexus devices is that they lack micro SD slots to allow for expandable memory. So far, the Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, as well as the Galaxy Nexus and the new Nexus have all shipped without micro SD slots. Google enthusiasts aren’t expecting this trend to end in future devices.
16GB and 32GB Storage Options
Even if future devices such as the Nexus 5 lack micro SD support, there is still the possibility that Google will increase the storage options in next-generation Nexus smartphones. The original Nexus 7 offered 8GB and 16GB storage options, which were upgraded to 16GB and 32GB storage options in the new Nexus 7. The Nexus 4 similarly sold in 8GB and 16GB variants, which could mean the Nexus 5, will sell in 16GB and 32GB variants. Seeing as Google’s devices run stock Android operating systems with no bloatware, Nexus tablets and storage maintain significantly more memory for personal use compared to Android devices sold by OEMS. Considering the popularity of the Nexus 4, which caused it to sell out quickly and frequently, larger standard storage options are sure to make future Nexus devices customer favorites.
Low Price and Steady Supply
Another aspect of Nexus devices that ensure their popularity is their high quality components paired with a low price. The original Nexus 7 sold for $199.99 and $249.99 in its 8GB and 16GB variants while the new Nexus 7 saw a price increase of just $30; its 16GB sells for $229.99 and its 32GB sells for $269.99. Additionally, the 8GB Nexus 4 smartphone sells for $299.99 and the 16GB Nexus 4 sells for $349.99. Considering the Nexus 7 upgrade history, perhaps a $30 more expensive Nexus 5 will sell for $329.99 and 379.99 in 16GB and 32GB variant, which is still significantly cheaper than most carrier unlocked devices.
Customers can likely expect a future Nexus smartphone to have better availability than its predecessor. As previously mentioned, the Nexus 4 often sold out at the Google Play store and other retailers and carriers. Even the white Nexus 4, which released six months after the initial devices launch sold out with the same voracity of its black counterpart. Google prepared for the release of the new Nexus 7 by providing availability at a large range of retailers including Best Buy, GameStop, OfficeMax, Amazon, RadioShack, Walmart, Office Depot, B&H, J&R and Home Shopping Network. The new Nexus 7 notably sold out at Staples due to a sale on tablets the retailer was hosting, but supplies at other retailers as well as the Google Play Store appear to still be going strong.
Other Prospective Nexus 5 Features
In addition to these new Nexus 7 features, we may also see on future Nexus smartphones a new design, well-known hardware and a new operating system. We may see the a Nexus 5 that is slimmer and lighter than the Nexus 4 similar to how the new Nexus 7 is slimmer and lighter than the new Nexus 7.
While other general specs on the new Nexus 7 are updated from the original, they are still less used current-generation components. The new Nexus 7 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor for example when other devices are using much beefier current-generation parts such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Some reports have indicated that the processor in the new Nexus 7 is actually an under clocked Snapdragon 600 parading as an S4 Pro. Regardless, even if the next Nexus smartphone contains quality specs, it likely won’t sport the latest component technology.
Finally, there is a good chance the Nexus 5 will run a new operating system such as the rumored Android 5.0 ‘Key Lime Pie.’ Many Android 5.0 rumors circulated earlier in the year, but were quickly replaced by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean rumors just prior to Google’s I/O conference in May. Android 4.3 was finally unveiled and released in late July, which now paves the way for Android 5.0 rumors to return. Google notably introduces new hardware and software together, and the Nexus 5 and Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie have already been pegged for an October release. A fall release is extremely likely seeing as the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Android 4.2.2 all launched together in November of last year. With Android 4.3 now out of the way, there doesn’t appear to be anything obstructing the Nexus 5/Android 5.0 timeline.
Do you expect these new Nexus features to be featured on the Nexus 5 or other future Nexus devices? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow me on Twitter @FionnaatIBT.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.