October 9, 2012

LG Nexus Phone Is Bad News

More details are beginning to leak out about what the next Nexus phone may be. Unfortunately, it looks like LG is building it.

After solid phones from HTC (Nexus One) and Samsung (the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus) some credible sources are pointing to the LG Optimus as the design inspiration for the next Google-branded phone. Each year Google has partnered with one hardware maker to produce a Nexus device, which runs stock Android and serves as the flagship phone.

Consider me skeptical about how this may turn out with LG. CNET reviews do not list any LG device as higher than three-and-one-half out of five stars.

Perhaps I’m just a disgruntled customer, but I have found most of what LG puts together to be subpar. My experience has been two low-quality phones and a perpetually malfunctioning refrigerator from the South Korean company. LG is hoping to change this, of course, with its forthcoming Optimus G. The buzz is that LG will then take this device and build a pure Google experience, which will change minds about its potential for smartphones.

The phone looks like a beast. The rumored device sports a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 display, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and a 13-megapixel camera.

With those kind of specs, hopefully LG won’t drop the ball. Also, there is hope that LG may not be the only phone to carry the Nexus brand this year. Several reports have indicated that multiple manufacturers will be building a Nexus device, which would be a great move for Google and Android.

Android’s achilles heel is the system’s wide fragmentation, with multiple handset makers offering a customized version of Android that leaves consumers guessing when they will get the newest update. For example, barely two percent of Android phones are running Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android. Meanwhile, over 60 percent of iPhones have updated to iOS 6.

A more robust Nexus program could help alleviate this, as it would put more phones in the hands of consumers that get automatic updates from Google. And as the robust development pace on Android continues, there may be less reasons for manufacturers to put their custom UIs on Android smartphones.

The holiday season could offer some juicy options for those looking for their next smartphone with the iPhone 5, Windows Phones and of course one or several Nexus devices available.

Image Credit: LG

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