Will there be more Google Edition phones?
The recently announced Google Edition versions of the GS4 and One are great for consumer choice and being the two phones that have grabbed the most attention this year they were a logical choice for Google to have made strategically to build the Nexus brand with these "Nexus experience" devices. I see this as Google taking on the risk the OEMs were not willing to make before of making phones with stock Android.
However, as impressive as these two phones are specs-wise, they are each compromised in their hardware design in a way that conflicts with Google's vision of the Nexus experience as iembodied in the N4. Neither the GS4 nor the One have on-screen navigation keys and both instead opt for physical and/or oddly arranged capacitive keys.
For that reason, I can think of two other phones that are great flagships in their own right that would make for a better fit as a Google Edition 'Nexus':
Sony Xperia Z
- It already uses on-screen navigation keys
- It has great camera hardware
- It has excellent build quality
- It has a micro-SD card slot, like the GS4 and unlike the One
- It would bring water and dust resistance to the GE line-up, unlike GS4 or the One
- Sony has already opened it up to AOSP
Asus Padfone Infinity
- It may use capacity keys but they have been arranged in the way Google intended
- It also has great camera hardware
- It has excellent build quality with a beautiful aluminium body, like the One but has a 5" IPS LCD panel
- It would bring a transformer into the GE mix with a "little" tweak of stock Android, if they included it with the tablet dock