NEW NEXUS PHONE: Google's plans for 2015
Nexus fans not so keen on phablets will be pleased to learn talk of a new Nexus phone is of a Nexus 5!
Google unveils a new Nexus phone every year, and a 2015 Nexus phone is already in the works. But with the names Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6 and Nexus 7 already in use, what exactly will we get in 2015? We examine the rumours surrounding what should be the new Nexus 5 2015.
In October 2014 Google announced its Nexus 6 phone. It was expected to go on sale in November, but it was actually getting on for Christmas before stock was available.
People were desperate to get their hands on the new Nexus 6, despite the fact it was possibly
Google's most unexciting phone launched yet. Sure, it had the brand-new Lollipop OS and some powerful hardware inside, but for many customers the 5.96in Quad HD display was simply too big, while the £499 price no longer offered such brilliant value as did the previous Nexus 5 and Nexus 4.
Google noticed the difference in its Q1 2015 earnings call, too. While takings were up 23 percent YOY from Google Play, revenue was down 3 percent compared to the previous quarter, and the Nexus 6 hadn't been nearly as successful as previous Nexus devices. It's possible that the 2014 Google phone was simply priced too high to garner the same kind of mass appeal as did the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5.
And those phones really were killer Google phones, with the Nexus 4 announced in 2012 with an unbelieveably low SIM-free price of £239, and in October 2013 the Nexus 5 followed that tradition with unrivalled value for money at £299.
That's the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 covered. Meanwhile, the Nexus 7, which was last refreshed way back in 2013, is still one of the bestvalue 7in tablets around (the Nexus 9 and Nexus 10 are larger tablets). Google no longer officially stocks the Nexus 7, but you can still get your hands on one online, and for not much more than £100.
What will the new Nexus phone be called?
With only the Nexus 8 model name going spare, Google's either going to have to start refreshing its existing product lines, adding the year as it did with the second-gen Nexus 7, or go down the Apple route with the addition of an 'S'. Perhaps in 2015 we'll get a new Nexus 5s, or a new Nexus 6s.
…Or both. Since early rumours circulating on the web suggest Google is in talks with both LG and Huawei for its new Nexus phone (which LG has now confirmed, saying the new Nexus phone is "under consideration at LG"). It's possible that we'll see both a new phone and a new tablet, or maybe a new phone and a new phablet, with LG making one device and Huawei the other.
LG, of course, made the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, while Motorola made the Nexus 6, Asus made the Nexus 7, HTC made the Nexus 9 and Samsung the Nexus 10. Huawei, meanwhile, has just launched
Early rumours suggest Google is in talks with both LG and Huawei for its new Nexus phone
a very interesting, very good-value phablet in the Huawei P8 max, alongside its flagship Huawei P8. It's possible, then, that we'll see a new Nexus 5 2015 from LG and a new Nexus 6 2015 from Huawei, although most sources online suggest there will simply be a new Nexus 5, and it's up in the air whether LG or Huawei will make it.
When is the new Nexus 5 coming out?
Google I/O 2015 will be held at the end of May 2015, and it's then that we'll get our first glimpse of Android M, the OS that will run on the new Nexus phone(s). Following tradition, though, the new Nexus phone(s) won't be unveiled until later in the year, and most likely October, alongside the final version of the new Android OS. We expect Google would like to get the new Nexus device(s) on sale in November.
In terms of pricing, until we know the exact specification, we can merely speculate. The Nexus line is known for its value, and we really can't see Google taking prices any higher than its £499 Nexus 6. Much more likely, given the findings of its Q1 2015 earnings call, is that it will return to its previous tack: high-end devices with mid-range prices.
The fact it's in talks with Huawei is very interesting. Huawei is a Chinese manufacturer that makes devices with specs to rival the big brands such as Apple and Samsung, but at significantly
Google might return to its previous tack: high-end devices with mid-range prices
lower prices. It's one of the better-known Chinese phone makers in the UK, and in the first quarter of this year in China itself it was second only to Xiaomi in terms of market share. Both are more popular over there than Apple and Samsung, with Xiaomi taking 14 percent of the market and Huawei 11 percent, according to IHS Technology.
If Huawei is to build the next Nexus phone, we could see the price fall right back down to around £300- to £350. However, if Huawei is in charge, we're really hoping availability won't become an issue once again: the P8 and P8 max should have gone on sale in the UK on 15 April, but in early May were still impossible to find on sale.
What to expect from the new Nexus 5
Concept images of a new Nexus 5 2015 have been posted on Google+ by designer Miqdad Halim. These feature both an LG Nexus 5 2015 and a
Samsung Nexus 5 2015. Halim lists some specs below each concept, although you should take them with a pinch of salt. Both suggest there will be a 5.2in full-HD screen, an octa-core processor and a 13Mp rear camera.
A more convincing leak is the phone used in Google's own promo video for Project Fi, from which the pictures in this article were taken. It's clearly not a Nexus 6, despite the fact that is the only available handset that works with Project Fi right now, so could it be a Huawei-made Nexus phone?
It's impossible to tell what specification a Huawei-made Nexus 5 or Nexus 6 might carry, but based on its recent P8 and P8 max launch we're going to guess that there will be a 5.2in full-HD display, 3GB of RAM, 13- and 5Mp cameras, and a Kirin- rather than Qualcomm octa-core processor. It'll be a 4G phone and, fingers crossed, since this will be a Chinese phone, potentially dual-SIM - are we about to see dual-SIM make real inroads in the UK?
Alternatively, if Google opts to work with LG once again, we could very well see another Quad HD display, as was seen on the Motorola-made Nexus 6.