Editorial: From Now On, I Will Only Buy Android Smartphones That Carry The Nexus Name

Having taken in all that Google had to offer through two days worth of keynotes, I’m left with one standout thought, stock Nexus devices are the only way to go these days. That’s not to say that Sense or TouchWiz aren’t good, on the contrary, but if there are any concerns over future updates, stock Android and Nexus is the only way to play. So here’s my take, Google announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and while it’s more evolutionary, than revolutionary, it’s packing enough features that it’s a desirable upgrade for any Android smartphone owner. Which leads me to my concern and what I’m betting is the same concern as many of you, when will we get it on our smartphone? For Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S owners, that question has already been answered, mid-July. Unless of course you want to go the hacking route and install it now, but that’s a story for another day.

The bottom line is that while there is a lot to love about Android, perhaps the single most disappointing aspect of Android ownership is the unknown update timetable. With every Android purchase these days, I can’t help but feel I’m going to sit there wanting, waiting and hoping the next update comes and in a timeframe that doesn’t make me weep like a baby.

So, I’ve made a decision, from this moment forward, I’m only buying stock Android devices, which will likely be those that carry the “Nexus” name. HTC, Samsung, LG,  and Motorola are not disavowed in my world, except they’ll just have to make the aforementioned Nexus device I’ll buy. One of the reasons I’ve kept an iPhone by my side is the certainty that I’ll get an upgrade at the same time everyone else does. Sure, I may lose some features depending on the age of my device, but when the upgrade drops for one, it drops for all iOS devices.

My one disclaimer is that a job as a tech blogger affords me the opportunity to try multiple devices so of course I’ll experiment with all sorts of Android skins in the future. However, any devices that I actually buy, from my pocket, will only be those in the Nexus line. Still, none of this changes my aggravation and frustration with Android updates and that I’m already wondering just how long it will take my Galaxy S III to receive Jelly Bean. This device is just over 10 days old and I’m already questioning if I’ll receive Jelly Bean before year’s end. Is that a tad bit dramatic? Sure, it hopefully won’t take till 2013 to get Jelly Bean on Samsung’s flagship device, but the fact that I can even raise that as a concern is leading me straight into a Nexus-only Android lifestyle. I hear the weather in Nexus-ville is beautiful year-round.

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  • i’m with ya on this one Dave!  as much as i love HTC phones , my next phone will be a Nexus.

  • Mr Guest5

    Totally Agree! ONLY NEXUS from now on.
    I’m a happy Galaxy Nexus user. I used to be a Sense/Touchwiz sucker waiting many months for upgrades if any. The hardware is as good as the latest software update. Pure Android is the way to go since it is how it was designed, and getting quick updates directly from Google rocks. 

  • Palus85

    Cant wait for my nexus s to get Jelly Bean. Cant wait for nov 5th either. New phone time!

  • Jimmy Jimmy

    I had the exact same thought sitting here looking at my HTC Sensation, which can easily handle Jelly Bean, but doesn’t have the support from HTC, and the hacking community doesn’t really focus on as much anymore either.  Even if the specs aren’t as great as whatever is out at the time, I’m going to go with the next Nexus device for the software and community support.

  • Palus85

    A HTC G3 Nexus would be awesome

  • As a mainly iPhone user, I applaud your realization and agree with your reasoning. Stock Android is so much better than anything any manufacturer has pushed out thus far.

  • TheReder

    Root. Rom. Be happy.

    If you’re waiting for the manufacturer/carrier to feed you updates, you’re doing Android wrong. That’s the true beauty of the open platform.

    •  I disagree completely, end-users shouldn’t have to tinker to get updates. If we buy a computer OS, we don’t have to mess around to get patches, they’re there to take. LG/Nvidia are horrible for keeping Tegra2 drivers to themselves while showing no interest in releasing ICS for their devices. In this case, you can’t even do it yourself since the manufacturer is working against us.

      • TheReder

        You don’t have to tinker.  You can sit on your hands and wait, or you can be proactive about getting the exact experience that you want for your device. My laptop didn’t come running ubuntu out of the box, but I tinkered and got it working the way I wanted it to.

        I understand where you’re coming from, especially with Nvidia dragging their feet on updates and keeping their drivers under wraps. That’s pretty inexcusable. 

  • Brie

    +1 with you as well.  Running my GNex with JB right now :),  I could and still can wait for the official OTA update from Google but hey, that’s GNex for you.  …………yet, still waiting for the official update to ICS for my SGT10.1 WiFi from Samsung, yes you can root and flash to the SGT10.1 but the camera does not work and apps tend to crash every few uses.  JB would be great on the SGT10.1 as the hardware is fantastic BUT you cannot use it to its full potential as Samsung  just doesn’t give a s**t. 
    Nexus ALL THE WAY!

    • Mr Guest5

      Rooting is Ok but from my experience it makes the phone buggy. Nothing beats official Google releases.

  • Stephanie

    I only get Nexus phones for Android as well. Learned that a long time ago. I had Nexus One, Nexus S, and now GNex. And I’ll get the Nexus 7 tablet and whatever Nexus phone is next.

    • Stephanie

      Oh and I should mention I only get the UNLOCKED versions of the phone…no hassles to deal with cell companies keeping updates from me either.

  • hah….I’d just come to the same conclusion a few days ago.

  • Yeah it’s getting more and more frustrating. I’ve had the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 since last October and I’m STILL waiting for ICS (it was announced it’s finally coming sometime this summer) but it’s ridiculous that my tablet had to wait that long for it.

    I’m trying to sell it and get the Nexus 7 now and I’m tempted to even wait for the next batch of Nexus phones coming out instead of pulling the trigger on the GSIII just because of this whole update situation. 

    • Trace

      I’ve had a Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus for 7 mos and I’m seriously considering trading it in at GameStop for a Nexus 7 when they start offering that service next month. WAY more tablet for a lot less and stock Android will ensure I am always current.

      The whole Nexus line of phones has intrigued me enough to wait and see what comes next, and has disuaded me from a SGS3 purchase (that and the price).

  • I actually just ditched my t989 gsII because I figure with future iterations, it’ll take forever to get them. I rooted my t989 but still, there’s lot of bugs due to things not being released and we always get it later. Nexus devices usually get the new iterations first because it’s a “Google” experience. I just bought an unlocked galaxy nexus from the play store and look forward to the huge dev base and rooting community. =)

    • odemata

      I’m about to do the something. I have the t989 and its a good phone. Really good but I miss having my galaxy nexus and the knowing that it will be supported.I know that being Samsung Flagship phone theyll do what they can for support but I just don’t like how they left out some things in ics For example no lock screen controls for google music.

  • Rick

    I own the Nexus S and I totally agree.  Even though I don’t have the best hardware, I am always showing off my “Ice Cream Sandwich” phone to my other Android friends, and very soon will be showing off “Jelly Bean”.  Meanwhile my friend languish in the land of I-might-get-an-update-someday. The new phones from Samsung and HTC are very compelling with the new camera features, but not enough to make me ditch the pure Google exerience. 

  • mmeyer4663

    When do those 5 new devices come out later this year?  :-)

  • jonathan3579

    Welcome to the Nexus pool, David. It does not get much better than here. Hopefully Google will keep all future Nexus devices low priced like the Galaxy Nexus.

    • Dan

      Google Play Music? I haven’t had music on my phone in a year.

  • BigMixxx


    Are you moving from an iPhone? I guess the world will be ending in 2012.

    I feel you there. I wish, however, an sd card slot. I have a ton of music i listen to.

  • jobber99

    former Nexus S, Nexus One (Briefly), and HTC HD2 (where the updates come fast and furious anyway) owner, and rocking the Galaxy Nexus now (although i spent $560 on it, not knowing 6 months later it’d be $349) and yeah, I only buy Nexus devices as they are the Chosen Ones

    • Spanky

      Don’t feel bad, I spent $720 on my GNex. Don’t regret it one bit.

    • That’s how technology works. You should have known it’d be much cheaper in a few months. Moore’s Law and all…..Not to mention, we see it every time. 

      • jobber99

        one thing i didn’t know is that google would be undercutting everyone and selling it for $399 then $349. if you look at previous devices, i sold my Nexus S AFTER the Galaxy Nexus came out, so it was well after a year from device launch, for $300. and i sold my Nexus One AFTER the Nexus S came out, for $260. these are used prices. 

  • Harddude5

    Hopefully Google will continue Web sales. If so I will only buy from them

  • JulianHaro

    “That’s not to say that Sense or TouchWiz aren’t good…” Nope, just say it, they’re not good.

    • You know, I don’t mind Sense 4 that much, actually the email client is the best I’ve ever used out of TouchWiz, Blur, LG’s client etc.

  • JB

    I totally agree with you on this one! Though my SIII is rooted and I can flash a Jelly Bean ROM when a stable one is available, the general consumer side of me feels I shouldn’t have to wait with baited breath to see when (or if) Android’s next iteration will drop on a phone. 

    I have a feeling that Google is trying to strike a balance between bleeding edge tech and low entry price point which that in itself will make a Nexus purchase all that more alluring… Though I’m almost certain that the technophile side of me will win out, so I’ll end up getting another phone in addition to any Nexus branded device. It’s a curse I tell ya!!! 

    The one downside to a Nexus branded device (for most, not necessarily for me), I think they are going the way of non-removable batteries and no SD support, since they are heavily pushing their cloud service… It’s almost a non issue being that Android is getting more and more stable with each release (and I have an external battery pak) and I almost never use all of my on board memory (or external memory when applicable)

  • 16309A

    I am also sitting here wondering if/when my One S will get Jellybean.  I’ve only had the phone a month and love it, but still, if it’s out there, I want it!!

  • Nathan S.

    Yes, I will likely never buy another phone through a carrier provided that Google is still offering devices.

  • I’m all in with ya on this one. I’m selling all of my android phones starting today and i’m going to order a galaxy nexus by next weeks end and from this point on will only buys a Nexus device. 

  • mooggyy

    I too agree and will be treating myself to a galaxy nexus for my upcoming birthday.  No its not the latest and greatest spec’d 95 core 67 jiggawatt phone with a built in human but you can bet that google will look out for its own. The updates are tested on their flagship devices.

    • And with Google’s 18 month guarantee, you know even if they end up dropping 5.0 for the new phones in Nov. GN is still supported. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • 87230

    Sense, Touchwiz and Motoblur are for the masses. Gimme the pure Android experience! 

  • KPB

    It is pretty sad but I understand it completely. Unfortunately, even sticking to a stock android phone isn’t enough. It has to be a nexus device. Still haven’t seen any official word on if the G2 will ever be updated to ICS let alone JB. 3rd party roms are pretty good but the camera and gps still seem to be a little flaky in most because they’ve had to just tinker with the drivers to get them working with no official ICS driver released yet.

    • rtechie

      The G2 is not getting an official update to ICS. On T-Mobile, only the Galaxy S II, HTC Amaze, and HTC Sensation got updates. It is very likely that only the Galaxy S III and HTC One S will get Jelly Bean.

      I’m running ICS on my G2 right now.

      Everything works but WiFi calling and 3rd-party camera apps. It’s beginning to look like those features will probably never work since T-Mobile uses a completely different WiFi calling app for ICS (not even remotely similar) and there doesn’t appear to be a proper ICS driver for the camera.

      • J-Hop2o6

        I believe Tmo Wifi Calling works now with EdKeys Wifi Calling fix. Its apart of the G2 ICS rom I use now (Andromadus Mimicry). You have the option to install it before completely flashing the ROM via Aroma. Hopefully we can get some JB love on our G2 since its only a incremental update (even tho its a great update–what ICS SHOULD’VE been).

        • rtechie

           Thanks, I just got the new ROM (mimicry) installed yesterday and it works like a champ!

        • J-Hop2o6

          Good to here that. I noticed you in the thread today. Enjoy! My G2’s days are number tho. G-Nexus will be my next device. Then maybe the upcoming Nexus device(s) right when they come out. We’ll see.

        • rtechie

           That will probably be my next device as well, if I’m not blown away by the Galaxy Note.

  • Kristoff119

    When Google said the Nexus S would get 4.1, my thoughts were exactly the same: Nexus or nothing!

  • whiteiphoneproblems

    To add a dissenting voice — I totally understand why everyone feels this way, but I’ve played with the GNex as well as GSIII, and just couldn’t see spending even $350 on the GNex. As with the other Nexus phones (I owned the Nexus One), it is, to my eyes, fairly lacking in the “looks” dept… I just wouldn’t be too jazzed to carry it around. Somehow even the screen seems to pale in comparison to the screen on the GSIII (don’t know why that is, when they’re so technically similar; I’ve tried jacking brightness all the way up on the GNex, but it just doesn’t seem to dazzle like the GSIII’s). Add to that the fact that stock Android itself is (again, to me) drab and unattractive… I don’t particularly care for the ICS/JB menu & UI designs, etc. (I know 3rd-party launchers can address a lot of that.)

    I really appreciate what TouchWiz brings to the table — not just aesthetics, but the added features like removable homescreens, quick toggle buttons in Notification shade, etc. But is that enough to justify spending a ~$300 premium on a (nicer) phone that will be far slower to see updates? Maybe not… But if the Nexus phones continue their trend of middling hardware and unappealing aesthetics, it’s hard to be excited about them, unless updates are absolutely your main concern (which I respect too).

    [Note — I’ll add that I’m still, pretty happily, using stock Froyo on a Vibrant — just to demonstrate where I fall on the “gotta have updates!” spectrum… :) I do think the new JB features look great, tho.]

    • Louie 23

      Good for you! and keep buying carrier branded phones. That is also veryimportant for the Android ecosystem.

  • Kristoff119

    Too, true: your G2 and my G2x are forever stuck with our cookies…

  • Asfd

    If only subsidized Nexus phones were available on ever carrier.  :/  Not everyone can buy the phone at non-contract price.

    • Mirad77

      if u can’t afford $350 then how do u afford GS3 plus everything that comes with it? broably u should get the og moto razr.

      • Dakota

        esp if you only use less than 2gb like most people you can save a boatload on a prepaid plan – youll save more than half of a contract plan and youll start saving money in just a few months

    • Then you can afford a GS3 on Classic plan, that’s for damn sure. Maybe you should be a MetroPCSnews.com or something. :P

  • Kenny O

    I completely agree. It’s a shame that there are some incredible new phones like the HTC One X and Galaxy S3 on the market right now and the only one that I would currently want to buy is the Galaxy Nexus. Sure you can go the rooting/flashing route, but that rarely ever guarantees a completely stock and bug free experience. I’ve been running an ASOP based cutom ICS rom on my Sensation since back in February, while they have all been good enough to be my daily drivers – none have been completely prefect. Even Cyanogen is still in nightlies and they are usually first to the party. 

    IMO Google should release 3 Nexus Phones – a low (or just keep one last gen phone around at a reduced price), mid and high end phone. This way everyone could have a pure Google experiences and proper updates at the price point they desire. 

    • rtechie

      Custom ROMs that are based on the shipping ROMs  are almost always MORE reliable than the stock builds because the ROM developer usually fixes bugs. This has a dramatic affect on some phones like the LG G2x, and Motorola Droid 2 where the shipping ROMs have nasty bugs.

      Your problems with ICS will tell you how much effort the carriers are putting in. Virtually all the remaining problems with most ICS builds relate to carrier apps and problems with the camera drivers.

  • RL

    I reached the same conclusion this week. I am now officially out of excuses for buying a Nexus and out of compelling reasons to buy the provider’s phone. Oh, and for Nexus for T-Mobile, it is unlocked. That is another bonus. I am buying one next week and showing off my new Jelly Bean to the GSIII and HOS owners.

  • It’s the only way to do Android!  I started with the OG Nexus, now I have the Gnex.. putting my pennies away for the fall when El Goog unleashes the next batch of Nexi!

    • Mirad77

      No one so far has put it the best way like you just did. You took the words off my mouth.

  • mreveryphone

    $350 for a off contract 720p display dual core phone that will be running jelly bean here in a couple of weeks is a no brainer

  • Cycad007

    I love my HTC One S & would agree with David’s opinion wholeheartedly except I want…the Nexus device to have

    1. Wi-Fi calling enabled
    2. Ability to tether my *soon-arriving* Nexus 7
    3. Removable battery (my biggest compliant with the One S…otherwise I love it)

    • oryan_dunn

       T-Mobile just needs to release WiFi calling as an app in the play store.  They can test it on devices and limit it to those that work (I’d assume they test with at least the nexus devices).  That’d be a smart move on T-Mo’s part.

      • They can even make it so that the App only appears for GN using a T-Mo sim. Really dropping the ball on that one. 

        • rtechie

          Exactly right. I think Google should somehow REQUIRE carriers to do this (you can’t bundle an app unless you put it in play). This would also make life easier for custom ROM builders.

  • MarcusDW

    Spoken like a true Android fan.

    David you spoke for everyone when you wrote that (even though some of us won’t go Nexus only) in the fact it is very frustrating to buy these phones and have to immediately wonder if it will continue to get updated.

    My GS2 should have as equal of a chance to get Jellybean as the recently released GS3 and I would say that they should both get the update on the same day BUT TouchWiz has new features it still has to bring to my phone.  This will be the excuse if I do not receive the update…

    They both can CERTAINLY run JB but we are left at the mercy of both Samsung as well as T-Mobile and that casts the darkest cloud of doubt in regards to this manner.

    • Vim

       Samsung makes some really nice handsets but their OS update history is atrocious.  I’d say the odds of the GS2 getting a 2nd Official update are about as great as a leopard changing its spots.   Odds are better that HTC’s Amaze and Sensation will see an official JB than Samsung’s GS2.  Luckily for Samsung owners in the know, there’s always XDA…

  • Xavier

    i agree for the most part.  but if the nexus’es dropped or annoucned on Nov 5 aren’t quads, and there is a quad offically available here by that time…i might go try out that quad phone in hopes it gets j.bean in a timely fashion.

  • anonymous

    Since no one is defending skinned phones, I’ll give it a shot:

    There’s certainly a market for skinned phones. Many people, probably many more than read this blog, are probably more than happy and satisfied with their skinned phones. I’m speculating, but I think most people walking into the T-Mobile store probably don’t know what “ICS” or “Jelly Bean” are, let alone “Google I/O.” Many of these people are the same ones that won’t know or care about the differences between Android 2.3 or 4.0 or 4.1. For them Sense, TouchWiz, etc. provide a user interface that is arguably more aesthetically pleasing (Sense with its iconic clock face, and TouchWiz, with its “iPhone-like” look) and probably easier / less intimidating to use. I think it’s this market that HTC and Samsung want most; us power users that demand stock Android are probably a much much smaller piece of the pie.

    I’m assuming HTC and Samsung wouldn’t continue to sell skinned phones it they didn’t sell. They certainly have sold both Nexuses and skinned phones side by side; HTC’s Nexus One was a dud (sales-wise) and I’m almost sure it was outsold by it’s skinned kin. I’d be curious to see sales figures of Samsung’s Nexuses versus the Galaxy S line, but I’m almost sure that the skinned Galaxys continue to outsell the Nexuses. It’s been over 2 years since the Nexus line came out, and around 2 years since we’ve all known that new Android OS’s will be pushed to the Nexus line first, and over 2 years since power users have known that if you buy a skinned phone, you will not receive updates as timely, if at all. Yet as the latest figures for the Galaxy S3 show, we continue to buy skinned phones at record paces. Even David has a Galaxy S3, and I’m not even sure he owns a Nexus. ;) 
    In contrast, when a new version of iOS comes out, the new features are heavily promoted by Apple. Siri gets commercials with celebrities, FaceTime gets lots of promos, etc so that the general public knows the differences between the new iPhone’s features and the old versions.

    • “Many of these people are the same ones that won’t know or care about the differences between Android 2.3 or 4.0 or 4.1.”
      This is true, until I show them Google Now, or how smooth JB is, or some other new feature. They go, “wow, does my phone do that?” And I have to say, “sorry your phone doesn’t support it.”
      Why not?
      Because you have sense, or TouchWiz, etc.
      And so the conversation goes with them asking questions and me trying to explain about manufacturer and carrier modifications. Of course I always end up recommending they just buy a Nexus next time.

    • JB

      Good argument, as I’m sure if EVERYTHING was just vanilla Android it would be a stale, stale OS. If it wasn’t for custom UI’s and our wonderful development community, there would be no one to keep Google (outside of Apple) on their toes.. imagine what jelly bean would be like without Sense/Touchwiz, developers, ect… Variety and choice is definitely the bread, butter and beauty of Android…

      It’s not that I’m against skinned phones, actually I’m glad that they exist.. being that I, for one, would probably be one of the first ones to jump on the latest and greatest device from HTC/Samsung and as you said, there is for sure a market for skinned devices. However, part of me says don’t make this power horse of a device and then take forever to release an update for it. OEMs and Carriers need to be more proactive about these sorts of things. Or maybe Google needs stricter guidelines on updates or not release updates close together…

  • Theblaqman

    Welcome to the club.  I got  the GNex for the same reason.  I was tired of waiting for the official ICS update and the roms all have broken video recording by default.  My last two devices both left me waiting for the update until the next version of android was out (waiting for Gingerbread, then ICS came out, waiting for Froyo, then Gingerbread came out).  So frustrating being a version behind and then T-mobile EOL’s the phone while I’m still waiting, pretty much guaranteeing the only way I can get the updae is to buy another phone.  I can’t hate.  I know the businesses are doing that to force us into a yearly upgrade cycle and sell more phones to make money.  But as a consumer I found a plan.  Buy the Gnex.  When the update comes out, I have it on day one.  When my T-mobile contract runs out, but the newest phone they have with my upgrade then ebay it and put the money in savings for the next Nexus phone.

  • Dtanner01

    If Google continues to build their own “branded devices”, they really need to add memory card slots (micro SD cards) to phones, tablets etc. Just because they want people to use their “Cloud”,  doesn’t mean that everyone is happy with it. I know that I’m far from being the only consumer that prefers to have my ringtones, contacts and apps backed up and accessible on a memory card.

    The Nexus Galaxy appears to be a great phone but the lack of expandable memory puts me in line for a Galaxy S 3.

    • niftydl

      I agree, but I see this as a sad trend that will not stop. Google does not want you to own any of your own data and basically store everything in their cloud. This way they can harvest even more information and sell you streaming services. I am kind of glad at least there is enough pushback in Asia to make Samsung leave the microSD slot in their device. Sigh, first world problems but no expandable memory = no buy. Google thinks they can charge $49 for an extra 8 GB on a tablet, BS.

      • Miradd77

        Serousely niftydl, that is what every body charges out there( apple is $100 for 16GB more=$50 for 8GB). The price will go down with time, so call Google for lack of sd card not size.

  • 30014

    If anyone is foolish enough to buy a non-nexus android device don’t blame Google when your phone takes months to get updated or maybe not updated at all. Blame yourself, the manufacturers, and the carriers. I’ve had my galaxy nexus for 4 months and never again will i buy anything other than a nexus phone.

    • fixxmyhead

      pfft i hear this same story everytime. 

      nexus= sub par hardware

      s3, one X= better and already have jb ports  plus software will always come to these devices courtesy of xda. u can always upgrade software but u cant update hardware

      • 30014

        If the software is optimized you don’t need cutting edge hardware dumb ass. If you don’t like the nexus then by all means don’t buy it. You do you and ima do me.

  • rtechie

    About 50% of the reason I have an Android phone is the ability to run custom ROMs.

    I firmly believe the best solution to this problem is to encourage device makers to unlock the bootloader (they’re all going in this direction) and to release their source code and drivers to the community. And for carriers to distribute all their custom software through Play. This will make it a lot easier for people to build custom ROMs and will solve the whining by the carriers and manufacturers who don’t want to support older devices. It’s it more of a PITA than the OTA carrier updates, yes.

    Will this approach ultimately serve more users? Definitely. Most carriers are simply not going to devote the resources to push out updates for most phones. This was exactly what happened with Windows Mobile.

  • Mike Haddox

    1st world problems…

    • Louie 23


    • fixxmyhead

      i know huh.

  • C Alejandr00

    People even tech people still dont get it the focus of manufacturers like samsung and htc … focus on mass production of android phones they cant asure any update because people who buy budget phones dont care about them only people who buy 500 dollar ones care it is not google’s fault or android. I would be the same if they make devices with iOS. But i learned that last year and got my worry free nexus . I am never going back

  • Mueller2051

    here my two sense First off I
    am not the type to never say I would buy one kind only and not the other that
    to me a narrow way of thinking “Chevy rules no Ford rules kind of
    argument” I have worked on all brands of electronics and no one company
    make every thing great. With that said I usually go with what seams the best
    after doing research and what feels good in my hands. For example I own the htc
    amaze but I will not be buying a htc ones s with no removable battery and sim
    card option I don’t want to be attached to a cloud for my music base. The best
    and most interesting thing I look forward too with goggle selling there own branded
    phones are that they can, if they market the product aggressively, change the
    way we buy phones. I love that an unlocked phone from goggle give me the
    freedom to use different carriers if I so choose. I would love to see a day
    when I can choose my phone then the sim from the carrier I prefer and not have
    to buy a ford because the only gas station if owned by ford and no other cars
    are allowed in the station. I would even be happier if the carrier gave me a sign
    on bonus to use on my purchase to sign a two year contract with a phone of my
    choosing (lg motorola, htc. samsung, sony, etc) So go google make 5 devices and
    market it well you have a future to change the way phones are sold in America
    it hopefully lead company like amazon to follow suit creating even more compotation
    to tmobil and at&t   I like having freedom
    to choose and choices that the reason I never liked the I phone there control
    over what I can use and where I can shop has never thrilled me.

  • Google announced their new PDK at i/o. If this thing ends up making it much easier for manufacturers to update their devices and drivers, perhaps updates for these custom phones will be released quicker. We can only wait and see for the moment. It would be a big boost for Android if it works though.

    • I’ll probably always be a Nexus customer though unless they really screw it up somehow lol.

    • jordanjay29

      PDK = Android Update Alliance without the alliance.

      We’ve been here before. OEMs could have taken advantage of this program last year, but they didn’t. They’re too eager to sell people the next device than they are to support their current one. A PDK might convince them, it might not, but I doubt that all OEMs are going to be stepping in line to push updates in a more timely manner.

      I’ll bet we get a show of it from Samsung and HTC, but it’ll likely be some underdog like Acer or LG who actually follows through on it but doesn’t have the market share to make a real difference.

  • Seanmmvi

    For me to get a nexus phone, it will have to be able to take advantage of T-Mobiles HSPA+ 42mb speeds…. plain and simple… ” oh but Sean, you wont notice the difference between 21mb and 42mb ”  shenaniganz, when i had my Galaxy S4G and went to my Galaxy SII, the difference between the two modems was clear. i saw a huge improvement in real world internet/networking applications, which was backed by speedtest, on the SII.

    mandatory features of a Nexus phone for me to get it:
     -Micro SD card slot ( this shouldn’t even have to be talked about, but unfortunately it needs to be )
     – 4.5″+ High Res screen
     – HSPA+ 42mb modem
     – 2500+mah battery
     – support HDMI out
     – on screen software buttons (would be a plus )
     -notification light
     – camera button!!!!! <<<<!!!!

    • Louie 23

      The Galaxy Nexus has one of the BEST notifications light I can remember. As good as my old BB Bold. There is an app Light Flow for the GNex that totally controls how the notification LED works. Very bright and visible. 

    • pops87

      It sucks, but a lot of new devices are not including expandable memory. Everyone seems to be going in the direction of cloud storage. No microSD was the reason i didn’t get the galaxy nexus.

  • JgomezstI

    Price of gs3 (off contact) = a nexus 7 & a galaxy nexus phone. Help what should i do? Pro and cons

    • NateK

      paying that kind of money for a phone with an outdated software (GSIII) would bug me to death. And by the time you get the update (probably early next year as past experiences show), there will be a newer phone out already.

      • fixxmyhead

        outdated software yea but its the s3 a real high end flagship and development will be high and it will get jb fast. as a matter of fact theres already a beta port and this happened in like a day. if u want a nexus go ahead but id rather have better hardware cuz the software always comes from xda if u have a flagship. even the one x has a port too

  • Spanky

    I’ve stated this over and over – after getting the Galaxy Nexus (my first Nexus device), I will always have a Nexus handy. Although I’ll be getting the GSIII when I make the move to AT&T next month, I’m keeping my unlocked GNex to ensure that I will get to enjoy timely updates.

  • The S3 xda community is growing to be huge.. so it’s only a matter of time before S3 owners get 4.1 on a custom rom.  They already started on the One X and S3 and have a couple of things ported already.  Yes, the nexus gets it first, but if you can wait a couple of weeks, then the phones with the biggest xda communities will get it soon after.  

    • JB

      Very true… There are actually some unconfirmed reports hanging out there today that an Official Jelly Bean update is coming sometime in Q4 for the S III… which that probably means sometime late next year.. haha

      Either way, We’ll see…

    • Numlock3

      Did the custom ROM thing once with  my Sensation. It is not the same, I had a lot of trouble with my phone missing incoming texts, camera malfunctioning, etc.  

  • Zedklind

    Once you go nexus you never go back!

    • cellularcrazy09

      I went galaxy nexus and went right back to my iPhone…guess i just have to much invested in iOS…ics was really cool though…I might get one now that the price has come down and use it as a back up… 

  • FuzzyButtt

    Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update Set for Q4 2012 [REPORT]


    • Numlock3

      dream on! LOL, I remember they said ICS was coming early 2012.. it came in May..

      • Numlock3

        Sensation 4G that is

        • Technically, that is still early 2012. Early 2012 is Jan-May. Mid-2012 is Jun-Sept, and Late 2012 is Oct-Dec.

    • Arvin

      yea how many times does samsung have to set a date and push it back before people get a clue. 

  • FuzzyButtt

    Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port arrives on Samsung Galaxy S3


  • NexusO

    Beautiful article, David. I’m right with ya. There’s nothing better in the android world better than nexus devices.

  • Chad

    Welcome to the Nexus brotherhood. I love Android but I ONLY buy Nexus Android phones.

  • Vim

    Only a Nexus originally sold directly through Google is guaranteed to receive timely OS updates.  Those bought from carriers have to deal with carrier modification and certification delays just like SenseUI and TouchWiz handsets do.   This is why HTC’s Vivid received ICS before Sprint’s Nexus S, and the HTC Sensation only a handful of weeks later.  This works out well for T-Mobile users since T-Mobile is happy to allow Google to handle everything, but for Sprint and Verizon users it’s a real issue.

  • Deceptivesmiles

    I’d have to agree. I bought my G2 w/ the understanding that it was pure Vanilla Android which shouldn’t have been an issue with updates. However, with purchasing through TMo, it slowed updates dramatically. Yea, I can root but then you lose all the apps you already have on ur phone

    • jordanjay29

      You must not have found apps like Titanium Backup or MyBackup. There’s no problem with losing your applications or data. The problem is finding a stable rom for the G2 that’s current (no, 2.3 is not current).

  • farfromovin

    I had a Sensation 4G as my Android, got frustrated at the lack of (good) development so got the GN because it was a Nexus and figured it would fare much better and I was not dissapointed. I really wanted the GSIII just to stay on top of the bleeding edge but I’ve been holding off not sure how I’d like Touchwiz. Well, yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to be running JB on my GN :-) I think that sealed the deal for me as well. Only Nexus devices from here on out. Now, hopefully Google pulls through and expands their unlocked Nexus devices on the play store this fall :-) It’s a good sign of forward momentum for the backwards US cell industry IMO.

    • That was my experience too.  I started with the G1, Nexus One, Sensation (that is where I went wrong) and now I’m using the Galaxy Nexus. All I found for the Sensation where a bunch of “almost done” ROMs.  I bought the galgaxy Nexus from the Play Store and have tried three non-stock ROMs and all of then haved worked 100%. 

      I would imagine that some of the latest phones would get some good development but how long will that last? Probably till the next big thing comes out. 

  • Bill

    Wifi Calling, Kies Air, Allshare, S Voice… there are plenty of Samsung additions that make the T-mobile SIII a very good choice over the nexus… the first three are features I use almost daily on my 2yr old Vibrant.

    On the other hand, I do agree that waiting for updates that will never come is no fun (i.e. my Vibrant was deemed obsolete very quickly and never made it to gingerbread).  Let’s hope Samsung learned a lesson or two and keeps us updated.

    • I’ve been playing with the GSIII for weeks now and Jelly Bean’s “Google Now” makes Siri look stupid, and S-Voice appear retarded.

      AllShare is a fancy word for DLNA. Every single android phone sold with Wifi can do it. Kies Air is for wireless syncing and everything the Nexus does is cloud based anyway and is quickly available from any browser at any time. 

      I’m not knocking the Galaxy Line but stock Android almost always wins, on top of that if you do it right you’re not at the mercy of any carrier or contract. Don’t like the service? Try another carrier and jump around from carrier to carrier until you find what gives you the best performance. It makes Wifi Calling null and void.

      I’m a huge fan of Wifi Calling and think it’s a great way for T-Mo to leverage their service, but they should be going greater lengths of making it available to people who want to BYOP (bring your own phone) to the carrier.

      • T-Mobile did. The code for the new IMS-based version was open sourced back in December. However, it seems nobody picked up the code and integrated it into the various custom ROMs.

  • fixxmyhead

    this is a bunch of bologna. as long as u buy a really really high end flagship xda has u covered. look at the one x already a jb port. yea theres some bugs but id rather have cutting edge latest tech and then wait for the software. 

    • Mattcat03

      Been there, done that. It’s not worth the time and effort to try different Roms only to find out that they are unstable after you have it for a while.  I admit it is fun learning to root and flash Roms at first but it gets kind of old, especially when you have other better things to do.  At least with a Google phone you will get the latest updates first and the reliability factor is priceless.  Speaking from experience. Only Google phones for me from now on.

    • I like XDA a ton and they are doing good work but buying a device and hoping that hobbyist developers will support your device is almost as bad as buying a device and hoping that the manufacturer will continue to update and support said device.  

      I’ve learned my lesson with the Sensation.  After buying it and enjoying it stock for a few months I quickly realized that all the alternative ROMs that I tried for it were not fully baked. They were all pretty much 80% done and I could find anything from Cyanogenmod.

      My experience with the Galaxy Nexus has been completely different.  I used it stock for about two months.  Then I flashed AOKP and EVERYTHING worked. I was curious about Cyanogenmod 9 so I tried a nightly and EVERYTHING worked.  Then the leaks for Jelly Bean were made available (not even 12 hours after it had been announced) and once again EVERYTHING worked. 

      I won’t go as far to say that I won’t every get a non-Nexus phone but my experiences with the Nexus One and Galaxy Nexus are much better (support-wise) than I had with my Sensation. 

    • jordanjay29

      Heh. I’d agree with you, except for…

      I was a proud owner of a G1 for 20 months and I was happy with how well the developer community and HTC/T-Mobile supported the device. Yes, it took a while, but CyanogenMod got Froyo working on the G1 and I never really had any doubts that Android updates would eventually come.

      Then I bought the HTC Vision, aka the T-Mobile G2, the supposed “successor” to the G1. The fact that developers had to fight with the phone to get it rooted should have been my first clue. The phone received Gingerbread fine, but despite having the hardware to support it, HTC isn’t going to deliver ICS. Nor is CyanogenMod even building nightlies for it. The golden successor to the G1 was…the Nexus One.

      So I do agree with David that the Nexus line might have to be my next phone. I do hope Google announces a new Nexus line this winter, my plan comes up for renewal then and I’d like to weigh my options with the subsidized choices. Given that the HTC One S and GSIII are likely to rule the roost for a while, I’m not expecting much with the subsidized options, so I only have one thing to say to Google.

      Give me a Nexus this winter and take my money!

      • fixxmyhead

        come on that phone of freaking old u swear like there gonna be supporting an old weak phone compared to what we have now. also the nexus one isnt getting anymore updates and its a nexus. the nexus s is next its days are numbered maybe like 2 more updates and thats it. u need powerful phones that can handle updates not just nexuses those are the ones that will continue to get support from devs

        • jordanjay29

          Read my post. The HTC Vision was posited as the G1’s successor, so why shouldn’t I have assumed it would have the right kind of specs and the upgrade ethic? Also, the Vision DOES have the hardware capabilities to run ICS…I am running a ported version of CM9 on my phone and everything works. So there’s really no excuse for it, from anybody’s perspective.

          Also, though the Nexus S might not receive Jelly Bean straight from Google, you can bet it will receive CM10 Jelly Bean. It’s still a relevant device and certainly still powerful enough to run.

          My post intended to highlight that the Nexus One was the G1’s successor in the idea that it would get plenty of love from Google and the development community alike, which it did for years until the NS and finally made obsolete by the GN. That’s about 23 months, versus the 16 it took for the HTC Vision to become truly obsolete.

          So you tell me which device I should bank on. The subsidized phone which I won’t know about it’s upgradable capacity until it starts not receiving updates (12-18 months), or the Nexus line which I can pretty much bet on around 24 months of updates?

        • GT-i9020 Nexus S will receive Jelly Bean in two to three weeks.

          GT-i9250 Galaxy Nexus will receive Jelly Bean at the same time.

          Motorola XOOM (Wi-Fi) will receive it probably around the beginning of August.

          Motorola XOOM (VZW), SCH-i515 Galaxy Nexus, SPH-L710 Galaxy Nexus, and SPH-D720 Nexus S 4G will get it sometime in the distant future, depending on when the carrier decides to do something about it.

          CDMA devices aren’t supported directly in AOSP because of how American carrier implement CDMA2000, so it has to be hacked on.

      • You know, 2 weeks ago I would have agreed with the idea that HTC One and GSIII would rule. However, after seeing how the Galaxy Nexus runs on Jelly Bean and how quickly it will be on current phones.  I’m sold on the promise of Nexus devices. 

        The promise is that we Google Nexus users will be getting updates first. 2ish weeks from when it was announced the update will be available for my phone. It is the way I want it. How long did it take for the ICS update to come to the GSII? How long did the Verizon Nexus owner wait for their 4.0.4 update?  Getting you device straight from Google is the only way to go if you want fast updates. 

  • Perry_F

    I agree whole heartily on the logic behind buying only nexus devices. BUT the real key will be future nexus devices will have to have ALL the features of the subsidized handsets. The fact that the galaxy nexus doesn’t have an sdcard slot is a deal breaker for me. And cameras are one of the most important features on any modern smartphone. To have a 5MP shooter when all other high end phones are rocking 8MP cameras is a travesty.

    Give me a nexus with specs equal to the carrier flagship devices and count me in as a nexus only fan boy.

    I just got ICS on my GSII through tmobile. And when the price of the galaxy nexus dropped to $350 I was all set to buy but spec wise I think the GSII is equal to if not better than the galaxy nexus. And the GSII has a better camera and an sdcard slot.

    If the rumors are true and google will roll out multiple nexus devices to cater to every level of enthusiasts then I for one would only buy nexus. But it has to be comparable to the top of the line offered by the carriers if they hope to make it a success. As a tmo customer I’m lucky that I can bring my own phone to the party, I just want to bring a good one.

  • jobber99

    that being said, i don’t regret it.  i spent $200 extra to use it 6 months.  that’s fine. happy customer.

  • Braun

    Absolutely, but also add unlocked, GSM Nexus devices. Just look at how far behind Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus or Sprint’s Nexus S was with updates compared to its unlocked, GSM bretheren. 

    • Arvin


    • Fish

      Unfortunately kinda true

  • EvanMax

    I was thinking the same thing as I read all of the news during the Keynote the other day.  It just so happens that the last two phones I’ve paid out of pocket for WERE Nexus phones direct from Google (N1 and GN).  Of course, I stopped using the N1 in favor of other devices that I was seeded due to jealousy over things like front facing camera, higher speed internet, and larger higher resolution screen, so I really can’t say 100% that the same won’t happen to me with my GN down the road.  Then again, I can’t think of anything the GN is missing that I really can’t live without: There is faster HSPA+ available in other phones, sure, but 21 mbps is plenty fast. There are larger screens available, but they just have larger pixels.  It would be nice to have a memory card slot, but honestly anything less than 128 gigs is all equally useful to me, and 128 gig SDXC cards cost far more than that is worth to me at this point (I can’t fit all of my music and videos in 64 gigs, so if I have to pick and choose files then 16 gigs is equally as useful to me as 64.)  A stylus and a slot to hold it would be nice, I guess, but the interface isn’t designed for it so I don’t feel like I’m missing out.  Honestly, the only thing I can think of that the GN lacks is missing from pretty much every other phone as well: a front facing speaker (someone really needs to get on this.  Phones are becoming media devices more and more, the speaker should face me so I can actually hear it, not send sound away from me.)
    I’ve never owned an iPhone, but I do like their model for updates, and the idea that I will get at least the next couple of updates without having to wait eight months is really attractive to me.  I also like not having to worry about missing out on hardware features that the core OS supports (like the One S and NFC) because, as a developer device, every component that the OS expects to be there is there.  Maybe that means I won’t have the best camera or the biggest screen, but I’ll have expandable notifications and project butter before anyone else I know, so I think I’ll find a way to manage.

  • Mattcat03


  • taken you this long? I realized that day 1 of the n1.. lol. much love David

  • My first phone was the G1, then I bought the Nexus One and still have them cause I will never get rid of them and last month bought the Galaxy Nexus. I’m sticking with stock Android and never buying skinned phones. 

  • RaChi

    I’m in perfect agreement. I came to this realization after my recent purchase of a Samsung galaxy nexus.

  • AJ

    I bought the g1 and the nexus one from google but I quickly give up on the nexus line when Samsung made the same exact phone a year later to replace the nexus one. Now I buy flagship devices like the GSIII and root it and flash the latest roms and tweak that the guys at the xda-developers have to offer. Sticking to the nexus line is like sticking to the Iphone line, you get one every year.

    • Fish

      False. I’m still using my NS and it runs great and I’m still getting updates. I got it the day it was released at best buy. I don’t plan on buying a new phone until it is just too old to get updates.

      The non nexus phones require a new phone upgrade each year, or sooner, to ensure you have the latest OS or because the manufacturer EOLs it.

      • AJ

        I have the the sensation 4G and I was running a very usable ICS developmental ROM from the Xda two months or so after Google announced it. T-mobile customers didn’t get an official upgrade until May 16th, but by then I was already using a very good ICS rom with sense 4.0, The same rom that is only shipped with the OneX line.

        So yeah, if you’re a noob then you can stick with an official Google release phone for the updates, but otherwise get a flagship device with more features and remove all the bloatwares. 

        Actually, I’m waiting to get the S3, root it and flash the vanilla ICS instead of that stupid Samsung skin. I’m also gonna give the Jellybean a shot because there’s already a usable rom out for it.  

  • Oboy

    Really wished the GN had an SD slot. I was really looking to make that move after owning this G2. But even now I average about 5.5GB/mo in data with a 16Gb SD on board. I couldnt imagine how aggrevated Id be every month getting throttled on a GN as I do now. But hopefully this 5 Galaxy phone rumor in November will create some different options for us wanting that stock android feel. And those phones with Jelly Bean would be great.

    • Cautionchris05

      What does your data have to do with your phone memory?

  • Arvin

    i made this decision about a year ago and i am loving it lol. i just bought a galaxy nexus after the I/O announcements and will buy the next nexus when it comes out. 

  • 21stNow

    While I love the Nexus line as much as anyone else I have to warn you, David, that being first has a cost, too.  Some apps don’t get updated to run on the new OS as quickly as you may like.  If it’s an app that you depend on daily, it can be a pain to wait for the developer to catch up. 

    This has happened to me in the past, but I still prefer the Nexus line.  I always have a backup device that is on the older OS version, just in case.

    • Adadas8787

      False, I bought my Galaxy Nexus as soon as it came out last year. No problems whatsoever. In fact, most developers use the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S as test devices.  

      • Kennyo112

        No, he is actually right. You were just lucky in the case that the apps YOU use all happened to be compatible. I upgraded to ICS shortly after it was released and experienced compatibility issues with several apps until they were updated. Watch ESPN and my Verizon DVR app both were not compatible initially. Granted they were updated quickly, the issue was still there.

        • Of course, the transition from Gingerbread to ICS is fairly unusual. The Android API stack changed quite a bit between the two. Such a major change to the system isn’t likely to happen again.

          I wouldn’t expect such radical incompatibilities going forward.

      • 21stNow

         How can you say that this is false when it has been my experience?  I send feedback to developers all the time when the app won’t work with the new OS version.  This has happened with the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus.  Maybe every app that you have has worked with the new OS version as soon as it was released, but some of my apps don’t.

  • Sanman202

    Galaxy Nexus arriving early next week. First non carrier phone for me and I’m thinking this may not be the last. No more bloatware and carrier waits for updates.

  • Qpinto

    the only thing thats keeping me away from getting a nexus device is T-Mobiles wifi calling feature. if that app could be ported to the GN, or the next nexus devices, id be on one forever. but for now I’ll have to rely on xda for asop builds and the wifi calling app seperate

  • Zach Mauch

    I too love the idea of the nexus devices.  In fact, I just bought a Galaxy Nexus after the price drop. Like many, I’m really missing the lack of an SD card.  If you feel the same way, please sign this petition I made.


  • Jomaxwel

    Bought my galaxy nexus a month ago and I couldn’t be happier. Now running jellybean and its a welcomed improvement. Have owned about every T-Mobile android worth owning and the galaxy nexus is by far the best (g1,my touch 3g,g2,galaxy s 4g,g2x,and sensation 4g). I will never go back and saved 50.00 a month by going with a no upgrade plan. Went from paying 130.00 to 80.00 a month for two lines. Over 2 years I will save 1200.00. Awesome.

    • How did you get JB?

  • TMoFan

    Totally agree, it’s either Nexus or stock for me. The price drop of the Nexus is very tempting…

    • livebriand

      I bought a Nexus 2 weeks ago for $400 and now I’m slapping myself on the forehead after reading about the price drop to $350…

  • tomnewtn

    Yep, and I’ll buy another Nexus that isn’t a Samsung or LG. I hate fragmentation, bloatware, UIs getting in my business with the OS. 

    • Kirbi182

      And yet samsung made that nexus your holding, lol. Probably even the next ones haha. 

      • Samsung is most likely going to continue to be the maker of choice for Nexus phones because they can lowball everyone else (they control the entire supply chain and can manufacture every component in their factories in South Korea, Europe, and the Americas).

        • JK

          I have a feeling Motorola will take over the Nexus line within the next year or 2.

        • davedsone

          Yeah, a feeling……….  

  • zifnab

    Lol, my sensation just got the ics update, i’m assuming 4.1 will never come and if it does it will after the first of the year. I agree with you, only nexus from now on if i buy Android.

  • BrothaDave

    I will say this, I just got my GS3 and most of the stuff they are adding to 4.1 isn’t that much more a big deal than what’s already in 4.0. Now when 5.0 comes out then I’ll worry. I think Google is going to a 2 year strategy like Apple, every 2 years you do big things. 4.0 then 4.1. 5.0 then 5.1 same as they did with all the other os updates, only every other one is really big. 2.2 to 2.3 was pretty minute but 2.1 to 2.2 added apps to sd so that was big.

    The key for me is which year is it in their cycle and what phones are coming out that year. I would have Gotten the Galaxy Nexus instead of the GS3 but that extra ram and newer hardware sucked me in. I’ll stick to pure google on tablets though I will say that.

    A trend I”m noticing is no storage expansion slots available on Nexus devices and that’s a deal breaker for me. We are all going to have to make a decision because Nexus devices will still have limitations depending on your needs

  • GS3

    i really love samsung and the galaxy s line, the specs, the features, etc… i find it more logical to get a nexus device if you really want a stock android experience and better OS updates, but if google stays the non-micro sd card way on their devices, then it’s pointless.. hmmm

  • Silk7412

    Am I the only one to ask? Where is nexus 4 5 and 6?

    did anyone ask Google?

    • Jrcolas19

      I think they named it Nexus 7 because it has a 7-inch display, like the galaxy tab 10.1.

    • Omar

      The naming of the Nexus 7 pertains to its display size. 7 inches.

  • ianken

    from now on you’ll curse the buggy ass Bluetooth stack.

  • Scoobyracing03

    My first Andorid phone after coming from AT&T with an iPhone to T-mobile and getting the “iPhone killer” the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant.  I assumed this is Samsung’s flagship phone it will be taken care of in the update department.  Sadly I was wrong, it was plagued with GPS issue and promises of updates to fix it only to be disappointed to see a few months after it was released they came out with an updated version the Galaxy S 4G and the support ended for the Vibrant.  So now here we are as my 2 year contract is up and the phone I got on it is now sitting with an official Froyo update as the last release for it but now there’s Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, and now Jelly Bean that it never received.  I’ve also since bought the LG G2X and HTC MyTouch 4G and seen similar lack of updates with them.  If T-Mobile doesn’t get the next iPhone I’ll be getting a Nexus phone and not have to worry about T-mobile not wanting to spend the money to keep the phone updated for the life of my contract.

  • Waynewash

    I concur, I had these same thoughts earlier . I want a Galaxy Nexus.

  • jian9007

    I love stock Android as much as the next person but I don’t have to have a Nexus device. Sure the updates are quicker but there are many good ROM’s out there (Cyanogen is not the only one people). As for how smooth everything is I beg to differ. When they rolled out the 4.0.4 update to the GSM version many people had signal loss issues. We won’t even go into all the problems with the Verizon version and its update. The problem with any new software coming out on any device (be it iOS, Android, Windows, etc.) is that there might be, and usually are, issues.

    The Nexus line has always been and will continue to be a Dev phone, not a flagship. That’s why there’s no SD card (also the fact that Google wants you to use their own cloud services) and only a 5MP camera in the Galaxy Nexus. Also, if you think that Google tests each new version of the OS on all the different hardware versions of phones out there, you’re wrong. With one phone having snapdragon S3 or an S4 chip and another with TI OMAP, then another with Exynos, then different radios with different cell frequencies, etc., it’s too time consuming (and costly) to develop for every phone out there. Even the custom ROM makers like Cyanogen only support certain phones. Differences in radios, screens and screen resolution, apps, batteries, etc. ensure that not every phone will work optimally with the new versions.

    The reason iOS is easier to put onto the iPhones and iPads is the simple fact that there are only (literally) a handful of devices that you need to develop for. Even then, features like Siri are not available and when iOS 5 was released it was compatible with the 3GS, 4, and 4S. That’s 3 total handsets it needs to work on. Three, and they all have the same screen size too. So I am hopeful that the rumors of multiple Nexus devices is true and also (wishing) that they include removable storage and battery and quality specs as well.     

    • Naslau

      Google only needs to worry about their Nexus devices. The hardware makers need to test their own stuff.

      As far as Verizon, they screwed up the GNex updates so bad that they’re the reason Google is going extra hard with the Nexus devices now. That and the sorry state of tablets.

  • HelloAmaze

    I am also sticking to the nexus brand after my current phone the Amaze 4G, its the best android phone I’ve had, but I know if my phone ends up with this update it will take a while, so the next nexus is definitely the route I’m taking

  • J-Hop2o6

    I didn’t know u got the GS3. Nice! How do u like it so far compared to your recent Android devices.

  • con72

    Eh…..Nexus One……

  • Decalex

    Has anyone gone from an HSPA+ 42 device to a GNex .. HSPA+ 21?
    I’ve got an HTC One S now .. and pretty sure I’m in a 42mbps area (socal).. and wonder how the speed will differ. From what I read, it’s about half. I know these are all theoretical speeds, but curious about some real life differences.

    • The ping time is likely to increase (up to double from HSPA+42 ping time), and your throughput on HSPA+21 is likely to be somewhere between 5Mbps to 10Mbps instead of from 8Mbps to 24Mbps.

    • livebriand

      I have a Nexus on tmo and what I’ve found is that it puts the cellular antenna into a low power mode if you haven’t used data within a minute or so, making ping times look terrible on speedtests. (around 1200ms for me) If I just used it, it’s more like 100-150ms. As for data speed, I get about 6mbps down, 1.5mbps up here. (it varies a bit though)

  • annon

    I work for T-Mo and I haven’t used one of our phones in years.  I’ve had all 3 Nexus phones though and I’ve loved every single one. 

  • philly8

    The question is does the nexus lineup support wifi calling dave? Thats a key feature for choosing T-Mobile for many people. 

    • Wizzstar

      Philly8 yeah man,  give me the smartphone with the most yet to be technology, WiFi calling is a must have, I refuse to leave home without it …(lol) Dave, I feel you guy …!

      • As far as I know, there is no WiFi calling support.

    • ICS includes SIP calling stock.

  • Going_home

    Agreed. Just got the HTC One S last month.
    Next device will be the next Nexus.
    I dont have a tablet so I am thinking about the Nexus 7,
    which…..do I really need a tablet ?  No.
    But as far a sa phone it will be a Nexus next time (as soon as Google releases the next one).


    • Baxter444

      I’m considering a One S over a GS3 believe it or not. Besides the non-stock skin, a delay in Jellybean and other future releases what’s your reasoning for wanting to go for Nexus, if you don’t mind answering?? thanks 

      • tommy

         I like my One S very much. I saved $200 off it on the value plan, at a sale with a rebate. I think this HTC phone is the first decent one they’ve made (with the One-X) even though it has minor problems and screen is too small.

  • mingkee

    Manufacturer-branded devices also have their pluses.
    I can play flash videos as well as windows media videos with Galaxy Tab Plus without conversion.
    The big plus of Nexus series is “clean”, but video support may be limited because of that.

    • Frigadroid

      Guess what their is a app for that, but yeah good luck finding it & good luck with the updates for the app.

  • GRNK

    The Nexus brand may help the Android market, but after going through Android phone after Android phone I won’t be purchasing any Android phone for a long time.  Here’s some thoughts and experiences; I believe Android phones are disposable, only because current manufacturer’s don’t provide support over the long haul. 
    Example: HTC pushed an update to the Inspire I owned, which afterward the camera stopped working (and would actually shut the phone off).  After several support phone calls later, it was blatant a fix was not coming.  So I worked past that, continued to use the phone for another month before it would begin completely turning off at a seemingly whim, middle of a phone call, sending a text message, checking a quick email.  Fast forward a few months, this time I’ve got a Motorola in my hands and it begins to have it’s own issues.  It’s not their latest and greatest, and again support was less than preferred.
    I’m struggling with a Samsung nowadays, but I look to colleagues who own iPhones (I began the smartphone revolution being highly anti-Apple) and see the ease at which many still have with even their iPhone3G (not even the 3GS, a 3G).  Apple is invested in their phones, and to my vantage point Android manufacturers are the same manufacturers of your old “dumb” phones and expect you to spend more money on a phone that will likely wither away in 8-14 months.
    Hopefully, Google with this Nexus brand will instill some investment into these initial phones.  I’m tired of being a disposable consumer.

    • Guest

      Amen to that.  That is the problem in a nutshell.  Unless you buy a nexus or a flagship phone you can expect limited support and no updates.  Ditto if your phone did not sell well. That is android encapsulated.  If you have a premium device that sells well it will be great, for everything else, expect to be kicked to the curb of android refuse.  Likewise, expect to be at least one OS release behind, if not two or three.

  • I wish t-mobile would make a G3. People would love it.

  • Try Googling Me

    The one thing that no one has mentioned which is huge is that it’s unlocked and no contract involved which is huge for $349 price and a phone that is still the number one phone for most but still in the top 4 of all smartphones right now. With JB it will be the number 1 or 2 Android phone and thats behind either the GS3, I’ve owned the 1S and 1X and now the GN and buy far the GN is better than both of those phones. The only advantage the 1X has is screen resolution but nothing else, the camera on the GN to me is better than the One Series. I have not played with a GS3 yet but I would say with JB on the GN it probably would be a very close second being that it has 42mb and a better camera. the S4 processor is clocked faster on the 1X but from actual usage the 1X still lagged but I have not once had a problem or restart or stall with my GN, like the editor, I still have my 4S because I’m an Apple fan at heart and I have a huge inestment in iOS over the years(3 years and counting). My android device will be Galaxy period and after the JB update I don’t know if I wouold even need another Android upgrade for a while. I do like some of the softwar features that the GS3 has but is it worth a 2yr contract, unknown updates, locked phone unless you pay out the ass for unlocked version. Although Samsung did build the hardware, the software is where the phone shines. Think about that for a minute, as long as you have owned an Android phone when did it give you an update without having to purchase another phone and how in the hell can a phone be less than two months old in the US One Series and GS3 and not already have a specific date for JB update?

  • davedsone

    had a mogul, touch, touch diamond, touch pro, pre, moment, g1, mt3g, vibrant, cliq, mt4g, mt4g slide, sensation, SGSII and now Htc One S.  Love the individual things HTC has always brought to their phones, and Sammy has added some nice flourishes too.  I have done a lot of Romming, and the one thing I have decided is AOSP leaves me cold.  Most of the UI advancements have come from Companies adding or changing functionality of the phone, and Google incorporating SOME of that into the next iteration of Android.  My One S seems like a perfect balance, HTC backed off on the 3D stuff and left the standard launcher in, but added their great widgets and lots of other nice touches.  No nexus for me unless I put a One flavored rom on it.  Never got the sense/tw hate, but to each his own.

  • I think Apple read this post and immediately banned Galaxy Nexus. 

  • Welcome to the club ;)

  • Lol! SD cards are banned from Nexus, but good luck :)

  • DannyAves

    Jelly Bean??? I would like to even get ICS on my Galaxy Blaze…the one with 1.5 dual core processor and 1 GB ram.

  • Ungibbed

    I’m more than happy with my Galaxy S2 and ICS :)

  • Mr_kuntri

    ((michael jackson “beat it” in background))

    root it  … just root it root it .. duh-duh-da-duh-duh root it root it  … just roooot it, just root it if you really need it neeeed it.  
    if u get a S3 and want JB!    =)

    • MT4GSlideOwner

      That sounds great, except, if your phone cannot easily get s-off even with the HTC unlocker. Or if moto has the bootloader locked. Or if samsung has propriertary drivers for their cameras and other devices. Or if there are no devs working on it at xda, modaco or rootzwiki.  The it doesn’t matter if you root it or not.  It sounds great but Rooting is not the answer for every phone.  Ask those with the mytouch 4g slide how rooting is working.  There is still no ICS beta at this point let alone a stable.   

      • Get_at_Me

        Shame for that phone.. Such promise. Advanced users who root should be savvy enough to know what devices to buy. The tmo gs3 will get mad dev support. Its a flagship phone. Although the mt4g slide is a great phone spec wise, it wasn’t one of those highly sought after devices. Trust me i know what its like to take a chance on a device that gets no support…gslate, cough cough. Dropped that like it was a bad habit after lg and the dev community pretended it didn’t exist

      • TMOTECH

        Actually there is a CM9 update for the MT4G Slide…I will post the link below…

      • TMOTECH
  • Get_at_Me

    Preach David!!!

  • HelloAmaze

    As much as I love my white Amaze 4G, I too will be jumping on the Nexus bandwagon from here on out

  • Siarhei Hushchyn

    +1 David
    it’s a shame on all manufactures to neglect their devices, which translates into neglecting their customers and so dropping value of their brand.

  • tommy

    Updated OS are not all that important! quality of HW is important, apps are important.  Are you really comparing various devices, or just saying speed of updates is the only issue?
    You are paying a price for this open source operating system. If you have to wait a few more months for updates that’s a small price to pay for a better system in the end.
    If you are unhappy go to apple. Not very smart.

  • Marcolino

    Its gonna be the same things that was with the ICS update on samsung devices 8 month waiting vs. Nexus devices update via OTA on time.

  • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

    Of course, there is no wifi calling on the Nexus phones. That is a dealbreaker for me. 

    • tommy

       thats hard to believe why do you say that? can’t you just use an app for that?

      • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

        No, because no apps exist to duplicate that function. And, no, Google Voice doesn’t do that. 

        • tommy

           look up grooveip or wifi calling on the android market (google play)

    • Kppet2000

      if you go to the dailer setting at the bottom called “Use Internet calling”. from there you can change the setting to how the call is routed, in guessing it works for wifi also.

  • Linux Rox

    Of course I got to the same decision you did, but by a different means:
    1) Tmobile chargeing $80 more for the SG3 than everyone else!
    2) Removal of the quad core cpu.
    3) Tmobile on the verge of upgrading the network to faster service.
    4) Wondering when and if the updates come.

    I wont even go into the fact that my last samsung device is running ICS just fine with XDA DEV support, but yet the devices manufacturer cant be bothered?

    yeah wont happen again!

    • Chris Blanks

      My dad got his SG3 at a T-Mobile store yesterday for $220

  • ecdy

    The NYTimes this morning pointed out that themajor contribution of Apple to the telephone business was in taking phone design (and software) out of the hands of the carriers, and making customer-oriented phones.  They could have also said the customers prefer the uniformity across carriers, lack of bloatware, etc., that comes with that.  It’s the carriers’ fault that the Android market is so fragmented and, in particular, that OS updates come out at arbitrary times.

    Your solution of using only Nexus phones is no doubt the only way to go if you want to go non-Apple (we have yet to see what M$oft might do if more carriers take on their OS).

    That said, it’s disappointing that my Nexus One, with a 1GHz single-core processor which should handle ICS, has peaked out at GB 2.3.3.   My answer is to use a G2X (almost pure Google) which works fine on 2.3.4 (although not as smoothly as an iPhone on iOS). LG and TMo will apparently top the G2X out at 2.3.4 but as long as it’s not awful, I see little point in the OS-update race.      Phone and OS improvements from generation to generation are in truth getting smaller, and even the newest phones with ICS are relatively clunky.  I’m skipping the next generation entirely.

    • jmickelonis

      How could that EVER be considered a contribution?  It might work for them, but taking possible innovation AWAY from other companies is NEVER a contribution.  By that argument, you could say that Apple’s attempts to stifle innovation through litigation is a major contribution.  Android has enjoyed exponential growth thanks to innovation and competition among the supporting manufacturers and carriers.

      Apple has not innovated much since the first iPhone was released.  They slap a few new features onto what they have and increase the version number.  They increase their hardware specs just enough to remain competitive and get more money out of their current customers.  It’s the same deal with their desktop and notebook line.

    • jmickelonis

      I’m a developer, and while it’s a pain keeping up with all the Android variants out there, I’ve never complained about the fragmentation.  I’d rather this than go with something similar to Apple’s walled garden.  People want choices, and keeping the Android variants different from one another gives them just that.  As long as the people get what they want, Android and its developers will enjoy millions of activations (and new possible app customers) each day.

  • Elpapipr

    Or you can just install latest custom firmwares and have it before everyone else..

  • Caseybea

    A year or so ago I got an International unlocked Galaxy S.   Loved it.    Recently got the Galaxy Nexus to replace it as an upgrade.   After those two experiences, I am never NEVER buying a carrier-branded (meaning, carrier-wrecked) phone again.   I love the value (non-subsidy) family plan I’m on, and as I watched the drama surrounding ICS updates (or lack therof), I am enjoying my Gnex even more.    Best phone purchase I ever made.    My future purchases will be along the same lines.   Pure – vanilla – and UPDATED – nexus devices.    

  • Perry_F

    Have a GS2 and was thinking of getting the g-nex. the lack of sdcard, slower network speed and inferior camera made me rethink the planned purchase. Now that my GS2 has ICS the only think the g-nex has going for it is a better screen and the JB update. In all other areas the GS2 is better/equal to the g-nex.

    If google really wants their nexus program to be successful then they need to make devices that are on par with the carrier flagship devices and include the same features.

    Cameras and storage are big issues for most people as they want to carry their entire digital life with them on their phone and be able to snap good photos wherever and whenever they please. A 5MP camera will not cut it, not on a so called flagship device. And while you can store stuff in the cloud nothing beats having it on an sdcard. With data limits being imposed most folks don’t have a data plan that will allow them to stream and download all they want from the cloud without using up their data plan in a few days.

    The onboard storage gets used up quickly when you start loading it up with ringtones, video, mp3s, photos etc… The OEMs need to remember that a phone nowadays is replacing several gizmos. No need to carry an mp3 player and camera if your phone can do it all.

  • just a thought

    I love all the fancy stuffs that Samsung or HTC put on their phones. Since I’m not a tech blog, I don’t have the urge or need “to be the first to use something”. If my G2x is not scheduled for ICS, then it’s fine too. When it’s contract is up in about a year, there will be plenty of more powerful ICS devices for me to choose from…and the cycle goes on :) 

  • Thanks

    I think another thing about the nexus line is the developer options. Not being a developer, but wanting the latest and greatest, I rely on those developers out there doing this kind of work for the masses on sites like xda. While I appreciate those folks who work on the other phones, there are just flat out more roms and such on the nexus line. At least more than the SGS2. 

  • Lawalty

    I was just like you totally go with straight Nexus brand, until reading that Google is caving to the whims of Apple, and is working very hard on taking certain core features AWAY from the Nexus line that i’ve gotten very accustomed to. Like global search mechanism, where you can just begin to type someone’s name in the Google search widget pulled up contacts from your phone. Now, finding out that Apple had a patent on this!?!

    These are going to fundamental changes to the OS that will put the iphone above android.

    • brimante

      I agree that it’s stupid to remove this functionality.  This global search was done on PC’s way before Apple ever dreamed of it.  Just because the “computer” is now battery powered doesn’t mean it’s any different.  Why should this be patentable anyhow?  The patent office is full of idiots!

  • Carms

    SUPER DRAMATIC DAVID lol given that only 5 minutes ago you were an Apple fan boy lol buHAHAHAHA <3 Carms