There were many reports before Google I/O about the Nexus 5, the next generation of flagship device, being released to replace the Nexus 4 and introduce LTE to the popular phone.
Is that the Nexus 5?
However, Google just pulled out a Samsung Galaxy S4 on stage at Google I/O, but this Galaxy S4 isn’t like any other. This one runs stock Android, is completely unlocked, and has an unlocked bootloader.
The device runs on T-Mobile and AT&T’s LTE network, coming in with 16GB of on-board storage, with Google promising prompt system updates, going on sale for $649 on June 26th.
So it turns out the Nexus 5 was in fact a pure Android Samsung Galaxy S4, and while not officially branded as a Nexus device, Google were very insistant on selling the pure Nexus experience that comes with the phone.
The problem is the price. With the Nexus 4 retailing for $299 fully unlocked, is the Galaxy S4 with stock Android really worth the price tag?
Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been reviewed as one of the best phones currently on the market, second to probably only the HTC One, Google’s decision to effectively outsource the Nexus brand is surprising. Previous Nexus phones have been designed and built by 3rd party companies, but to outsource the entire concept of Nexus and portray it as an experience as opposed to a device is very interesting.
Whilst an unlocked bootloader, stock Android, and carrier unlocking is very tempting, you have to wonder what the difference, or appeal, is from buying this dubbed Nexus 5 direct from Google, or simply getting a Samsung Galaxy S4 and rooting it yourself.
I have a feeling a lot of users will stick with their Nexus 4 device, and even new customers may opt for a Nexus 4 instead of the ‘new’ Nexus 5, but you have to wonder what Google were thinking when they came up with this idea.
Are we seeing the death of Nexus as a brand of phones, and the birth of Nexus as an experience to describe stock Android? Let us know in the comments below.