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February 1, 2016

5 features I’d like to see in the next Nexus phone

by John_A

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Rumors suggest that new Nexus devices are on the way, following in the footsteps of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Although it’s a tad early, we have a list of features we want to see Google include with whatever comes later this year.

Our imagination is running wild as more and more Nexus rumors hit the web, with one of the most recent ‘leaks’ pointing to two new versions of the Nexus being made by HTC. According to chatter originating from Weibo, HTC’s smaller 2016 Nexus will feature a 5-inch screen, whilst the larger model’s display will be closer to 5.5 inches.

Elsewhere, news of the apparent codenames of the new HTC-made Nexus devices have popped up, said to be named the T50 and T55.

All this recent Nexus talk has got us thinking about what we’d like to see when the new devices do eventually arrive.

Nexus 6P-inspired design, but smaller

I think that the Nexus 6P is a stunning phone and most people agree, so it’s a shame that it is slightly too big for some to handle.

Ideally, I’d like to see a new Nexus smartphone boast a glorious design similar to the Nexus 6P, but arrive in a size slightly closer to that of the Nexus 5X. With these changes in place, we’d be left with a great-looking smartphone that could easily be used with one hand. With the other mitt, we could stroke the edges of the 2016 Nexus and marvel at its beauty.

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Although bigger phones now seem to be more popular than ever before, the idea of not being able to use a phone with one hand still doesn’t have everybody convinced. A smaller 2016 Nexus taking design inspiration from the Nexus 6P couldn’t go far wrong in our minds, especially when you consider the Nexus 5X felt slightly cheap in the hand.

If I were being picky, I’d also request some smaller bezels so we could make more of the phone’s screen.

Bring back wireless charging

Wireless charging isn’t a game-changer, but it’s nice knowing you don’t need a cable every time you need to charge your smartphone. Late last year, Android’s Vice President of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer took to Reddit during a Q&A. The Nexus man was faced with a couple of questions about wireless charging and the answers were interesting to say the least.

According to Lockheimer, wireless charging was left out of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P because USB Type-C is present, which apparently means Nexus owners don’t ‘waste time’ trying to work out which way to plug their micro-USB cord in. We don’t think Lockheimer’s answer is too convincing considering turning over a micro-USB cord after realizing you’re holding it the wrong way takes less than a second.

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In most instances, convenience is valued over speed, and with that philosophy in mind we think wireless charging would be a nice, welcome addition to the next Nexus phone.

We’ll be the first to admit that wireless charging has its disadvantages and isn’t as fast as standard charging methods, but it would be nice to have the feature bundled with a future Nexus.

Battery boost

The battery life of the Nexus 5X is good enough to prevent bi-daily charges most of the time, but it isn’t out of this world. Naturally, we’re hoping for an upgrade in this area for the future Nexus phones.

Although the Nexus 5X’s 2700 mAh battery charges quickly via USB Type-C, heavy users may find that they eat their way through that fairly quickly. The Nexus 6P brings a bigger and better 3,450 mAh battery to the table, which copes particularly well with demanding work and plenty of screen-on time.

If we’re seeing two new Nexus phones this year, buyers on a budget would certainly appreciate improved battery life in the smaller model. Whilst it makes sense to have a bigger battery in the phone with the larger screen, improved performance in the affordable model would convince more people to part with their cash.

Fair international pricing

The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P caused quite a stir when they arrived, with reviews of both smartphones dishing out compliments on design, build quality and user experience. Sadly, some Android fans were left disappointed after learning of the difference in international pricing for the two gadgets.

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Whilst the 16GB Nexus 5X cost around $380 (at launch) in the United States, the same handset was costing Australian buyers the equivalent of $463. A top-of-the-line 128GB Nexus 6P cost around $649, whilst the same mobile was on sale in Italy for a whopping $948. Ouch.

Our fingers are crossed that the new additions to the Nexus family are fairly priced for international buyers.

No more 16GB option

We can’t point the finger at the Nexus 6P here considering the base model offers 32GB of internal storage, but the Nexus 5X should bow its head in shame.

Yes, the cheapest Nexus 5X arrives with just 16GB of internal storage, which won’t get you too far nowadays. If there are two new versions of the Nexus right around the corner, we’re hoping that the smaller option starts at 32GB. If that’s not possible, how about the option of expandable storage?

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What features would you like to see in the next Nexus phones? There’s plenty more to mention, from camera improvements to waterproofing, software changes and screen size tweaks. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Come comment on this article: 5 features I’d like to see in the next Nexus phone

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