Following an unusually hot spring in the smartphone landscape, which saw the Galaxy S4 and HTC One battle it out for gold (though sadly it wasn’t much of a contest in the end), and a much quieter summer, the fall season got off to an explosive start courtesy of two major IFA announcements.
You can’t not love Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, what with its crazy compact body, faux leather back, 3 gigs of RAM and all, but at the same time Sony has finally stepped up to the plate, with an Xperia Z1 that probably doesn’t strike you as elegant, but compensates with inner beauty (i.e. Snapdragon 800 power and tremendous battery life), plus a top-notch 20.7 MP rear-facing camera.
It didn’t take long for Apple to join the party as well, with a somewhat underwhelming iPhone 5c, but also a 5s that, as much as we hate to admit it, is a clear and fierce contender. Yet I’m here to tell you, nay beg you to hold off for a month or so before deciding to commit to any of these beasts.
I know, the temptation is suffocating, everyone’s upgrading around you, also pressuring you to get with the times. But what if you cough up $700 tomorrow and realize in just 30 days it was all just a huge mistake?
What if the true game-changer, the big kahuna, the top cat is right around the corner? Impossibru, you say? Hardly, since Google and LG are, as we speak, putting the finishing touches on the Nexus 5. And here’s how the N5 will blow your minds away, wiping out the Z1, Note 3 and 5s competition in the process:
No more cutting corners
Big G already went all in this year with the second-gen Nexus 7, which is no longer a mid-ranger anyway you look at it, and there’s no reason to think they’ll skimp on N5 specs either. Comfortably sized, Full HD screen? You got it. The best, zippiest mobile processor around? Check.
Plenty of RAM to go around? Not a problem. Massive battery, optional 4G LTE, NFC, up-to-date, silky smooth software, high-quality camera? A resounding yes sir all around.
True, the coveted microSD card slot will likely still go missing, as will a fingerprint scanner, but on the whole you won’t be able to complain about having to make sacrifices with the Nexus. And besides, who needs fingerprint recognition anyway?
Budget is still the word of the day
It may seem a bit far-fetched, you’ll probably not buy it until you see it, but we have every reason to believe the N5’s pricing will not be considerably bloated. Sure, a slight upping compared with the N4 is probably to be expected, but not more than $50 or $100 extra.
And come on now, do you really need to hear the other three reasons if the N5 is to start at roughly $400 outright while not cutting any significant hardware or software corners? Jeez, you’re demanding.
Ramping up production
Aside from not packing LTE speeds and downsizing a little in the display or camera department, what was the number one issue with the N4? Limited availability, you got it. I’m pretty sure you all remember how fast the phone was flying off shelves, and not (just) because it was so popular.
But mostly, because Google and LG weren’t ready to handle decent demand. Well, mainly LG. So what makes me think this year will be any different? Call it a hunch. The truth of the matter is I don’t have proof the Nexus co-branders have or plan to ramp up production. Yet if Google decided once again to put its trust in LG, my guess is they did it based on more than words.
Also, with Samsung going forward with Tizen plans and HTC reportedly working on its own mobile OS, Android needs to develop a sort of independency from hardware manufacturers. And what’s the best, easiest way to do that? Make the newest “pure Google phone” a hit, bingo.
iOS? iOS who?
This is not easy to admit, but for years and years and years we Android aficionados have looked with envy at the simplicity, ease of use and smoothness of iOS. But no more. Jelly Bean has already stepped things up considerably compared with Ice Cream Sandwich and Kit Kat is bound to put Android on top of iOS in each and every possible way.
Though we’re still a little light on 4.4 details, specifics and updates, I have a hunch (another one) that all those Key Lime Pie-focused rumors were not in vain. Meaning that Kit Kat should come with improvements to multitasking, a rehashed UI, and, to shut iSheep Apple fanboys up, support for 64-bit chips.
Mind-blowing CPU and GPU performance
This actually ties with the first reason mentioned a little earlier (and in a way, with the fourth), but I feel it needs a bit of an emphasis. It’s no secret anymore, the Nexus 5 will come packing a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip and Adreno 330 graphics processing unit.
Not exactly a very special combo, since the GNote 3, Xperia Z1 and LG G2 are essentially built the same way, right? Wrong. Based on a couple of leaked benchmarks, the N5 may just top the performance of the iPhone 5s, and, for that matter, of every other high-end phone around.
How come? Well, probably because Android 4.4 will help the system take everything to the next level. And that’s not something we usually say about Nexus devices, is it?
Now do you understand why you have to wait until mid-October?