My hopes for the next Nexus and KLP...
i wrote this as a reply to another post, but I wanted to put it out to the wider world to see and get some other opinions on.
I have been an Android user for 4 years, but I have never really got to play with Android 4.0 / 4.1 properly. The ICS ports for my phone never really worked as they should, and JB is even more unstable, so I haven't been able to get the best impression. I started looking at Windows Phone 8 and it's flagships (the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920) and I am really tempted to switch sides. I realised that Google will probably annouce a new Nexus by the end of the year, and I want it to be a phone I <em><strong>really</strong></em> want, and will be happy to keep for 2 years. I don't want to leave Android, but the hardware just isn't keeping up with the competition (I only want a Nexus pone, I hate TouchWiz with a passion and HTC are far, far to slow with updates, and I hate the way they try and replace stock features).
I'm not unrealistic, I don't have a crazy list of demands, I don't want a 5" phone with 2GHz quad core and 2GB RAM and 64GB storage and 500 hours talktime on the battery, and I am willing to sacrifice things like the microSD card & removable battery for better build quality, but there are some provisos:
<strong>Must Have Features</strong>
* <strong>Decent Screen</strong>: I know people are going to moan at me for this one, but it is one of my biggest provisos. I spend most of my time looking at my phone screen, I want a roughly 4.5" inch screen that ISN'T an overly-saturated strangely-tinted RGBG Pentile burn-in susceptible mess that is AMOLED at the moment. Super LCD 2 and IPS screens are beautiful, do the job well and don't have any of the issues AMOLED does, stop trying to fix what ain't broken.
* <strong>8MP camera sensor with quality optics</strong>: I don't want to carry a point and shoot, and I have no money for a DSLR (or the wish to carry one either). The iPhone 5 and the Lumia 920 have great cameras, and that is one killer feature I love (especially OIS).
* <strong>Dedicated camera button</strong>: Why isn't this standard on all phones with a camera?!
* <strong>Minimum 16GB onboard</strong>: I have cloud space, but I want enough space locally to run my apps and have a load of photos, and if I have to sacrfice the microSD, then I want at least 16GB.
* <strong>Decent build quality</strong>: The Galaxy Nexus & Nexus S just don't have the fit and finish of the better phones (Lumia 820, iPhone 4 /4s /5, One X /S) and I want a phone I like to look at. Call me a geek, but I like my tech to be sexy.
* <strong>Bottom mounted headphone jack</strong>: Easy to do and I can't see the regressing as the Galaxy Nexus has this, but vital.
* <strong>NFC</strong>: Again something the Nexus already has so I don't see it going anywhere, but Apples decision to leave it out of the iPhone puzzled me. This tech is going places and has tons of potential, and is a must have for me.
* <strong>High quality,<em> readily available</em> accessories</strong>: I keep getting disapointed by great promises of quality accessories, and then.. nothing. My Inc S has points for pogo pins, but not a single accessory supports it, so I have broker the USB port twice keep taking it in and out of docks. I wan't a vertical desk stand for work, I want a horizontal desk stand for my bedroom, I want a decent grip for my car so I can use it for GPS, and I don't want to have to keep resorting to cheap 3rd party solutins that look and act as crap as the price suggests (also see <strong>Wireless Charging</strong> and <strong>NFC</strong>)
* <strong>LED Notification</strong>: Why isn’t this standard on all phones?! I want to know by glancing at my phone if there is something important waiting to be read / seen.
Here are a list of nice to haves, that won't stop me from buying if they are absent, but will make my decision a lot easier if they are present:
* <strong>Wireless charging</strong>: I love the ease of it, and when coupled with NFC it becomes very powerful (JBL speaker for Lumia is a good example)
* <strong>Xenon Flash</strong>: Add's bulk, but makes night / low light shots so much nicer than the horrible LED flashes. One of my much missed features from older high end Nokia phones.
* <strong>Dedicated sound processor</strong>: the decision to place a dedicate amp in the HTC 8X was a master-stroke to draw people away from dedicated MP3 player *cough* iPod *cough* and I would love to see this in the next Nexus.
* <strong>Better loudspeakers</strong>: Loudspeakers on phones are very poor. If I am doing the washing up in the kitchen, or sitting in the garden, It would be nice to be able to use my phone as an FM radio or play some MP3s without the horrible tinny sounds of modern smart phones. the driver mentioned above would help this.
On the software side, I have high hopes for the next release of Android. Apart from the <a href="http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/09/18/ux-things-i-hate-about-android/" target="new">excellent article on Android Police about UX bugs</a> which I highly recommend you read (I agree with every point), there are a couple of things I would like to see added / improved / fixed:
* <strong>Google services <em>outside the US</em></strong>: I love Google music and Google voice, but as I am not a US resident I can't use any of them. This needs to happen, and Google need to integrate the Voice & Phone, and Chat, G+ Messenger and Messages into two apps. Seriously, how confusing is it at the moment? Nokia Music is a smart app with a nice selection, and iTunes is uncontested in content. Google really need to step up their game in this department.
* <strong>Better Holo Integration</strong>: Google set out some really nice guidelines for Android design language, they need to make sure it gets used in alot more places. Apps that have upgraded to the Holo UX get installed much quicker than ones that haven't on my phone.
* <strong>Stricter app guidelines</strong>: I know Apples walled garden is one of the things Android users hate, but surley there has to be a middle gorund? The UI on third party apps is massivly schizophrenic, and most of the implement old feature like storing data in the wrong place. This needs to be jumped on, and apps need to be made compatible with the latest version of Android.
* <strong>Cloud storage for apps</strong>: I hate the fact that games saves don't transfer between my phone and tablet. This needs to be fixed, quickly.
So that’s my list. If Google can meet most of it, then I will own the next Nexus. If they don’t, I will probably leave Android altogether… :’(
What's your must have features?