Nexus needs an iconic industrial design
Apple have their iPhone with its unmistakeable look - the understated rectangle with rounded corners and round home button.
Nokia have their Lumia 800 and 920 phones - curved glass in a rounded but square unibody with bright colours.
Together, both have set the pace with their widely admired designs and build quality. The iPhone seems to fit iOS like a glove and Windows Phone has never looked better than on the 800 and 920 where it finally seems to have found it's natural home. Actually the new HTC Windows Phones look great too. HTC boss Peter Chou even spoke about how its team designed the phones from the inside out, taking the WP OS as its inspiration. I want the same for Android and I think it's high time it was paired up with hardware that looks as good and as it does and that looks and feels like an organic extension of the Holo themed OS.
I'm not saying that the designs of the iterations of the Nexus to date need to be thrown out. They have, particularly the Samsung ones, established a design language - the monolith faceless black front with a curved silhoutte. I actually like that a lot. The problem is that as attractive as the front may be (the bezel could be a lot slimmer), the side profile and back are... less noteworthy... and the feel in the hand doesn't scream of a highly engineered construction process.
The HTC One X in many ways comes closest to this dream of mine. You can see the shared DNA it has with the original Nexus One (HTC I see what you did there) but even so, aside from it carrying Sense (of course), the design doesn't quite do it for me. It's too HTC. I think the Nexus should have a look all it's own. The face of the Galaxy Nexus is a good start. I would build it from there.
I want to be seduced by the next Nexus by more that just it's internals. Perhaps Matias Duarte should turn his hand to hardware design as well.