Why I’m Not Betting On Google’s Trifecta Of Nexus Devices

Now that Google has unveiled its Trifecta of Nexus devices, I can’t help but feel underwhelmed. I can’t exactly pin-point why I feel this way, but alas, I do. Perhaps my perception of what a Nexus device should represent has become misguided. I’m not sure when I began to expect more than just a Vanilla experience, but the latest batch of Nexus devices has knocked me back to the reality that “Nexus” means nothing more than having an untainted Android OS with certain end-user freedoms and timely updates.

I indubitably love stock Android and am happy to see it on more devices, however, I feel as if Google isn’t doing Android justice by backing hardware that simply does not meet the expansive demands of consumers. What exactly do I mean by this? For starters, 8GB/16GB of storage is simply not enough to meet the demands of consumers looking to experience the vast array of digital content — the very content that supports the Android ecosystem. Why you would ever limit the amount of content a user can consume is beyond me, yet that’s exactly what Android is doing with the Nexus 4.

What’s even more confusing, is it appeared that Google realized the importance of storage when they decided to scrap the 8GB Nexus 7 and introduce the larger 32GB model. If Google absolutely insists on not supporting microSD, they should at least offer users storage options that are reasonable in today’s world of 1GB+ mobile games.

How about the lack of LTE in the Nexus 4? Google’s excuse was rather pathetic, and almost seems as if it was more of a vendetta against Verizon than anything else.

“For now we’re gonna sit back and watch those networks evolve. Two radios in a device right now certainly raises the cost, and diminishes battery life.” This point seems to frustrate him. “When we did the Galaxy Nexus with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn’t a great user experience. It’s possible to do it right, but that’s not where we’ll put our resources initially. Tactically, we want to make sure the devices are available for every network on the planet.”

Since when does Google wait for something to evolve? I couldn’t think of a more anti-Google philosophy. Google doesn’t wait for things to evolve, they take risks and push the boundaries of technology, not sit and wait for technology to “evolve.” I don’t see them sitting on NFC, or Google Glasses, or driverless cars. Maybe they should simply replace Google+ with Facebook, you know… until social networks “evolve.”

The future is clearly LTE and everyone knows it. Even Apple broke down after years of riding the battery life gravy train and included LTE into the iPhone 5. Every major carrier (other than T-Mobile) is bending over backwards trying to expand their LTE networks and Google simply says the hell with it, we’d rather put our resources into something else? Why would any consumer want to waste their time and energy on this product when Google just clearly admitted that they themselves don’t want to?

Google complains about battery life and instead of simply including a larger battery (hello, you own Motorola — the company behind the RAZR MAXX) they decide to remove features? That’s something I’d expect out of Apple, not Google. What’s even better, is the LG Nexus 4 features a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 WXGA IPS display (320 ppi)!? You don’t think that’s going to suck the life out of the battery? Why not sacrifice the display to save on battery if you’re so concerned about poor battery life. What about widgets, or live wallpapers, or any of the other great features that consumers enjoy?

The one thing the LG Nexus 4 gets right is price. Not having to deal with carrier BS is alone worth the $349 price tag.

How about that Nexus 10? Amazing display, 16GB/32GB storage models, stock Android 4.2, thin, lightweight, fast, and great battery life. So what’s there to complain about? While I’m simply nitpicking on this one, this is by far one of the ugliest tablets I’ve ever seen. Granted, I haven’t held one in my hands, but from what I can see, I’m not in the least bit interested.

Of course, I’m not everyone and we all have different tastes, so I’ll try not to be too hard on its appearance (although I believe it”s too late for that). However, I will remain skeptical of the Nexus 10 selling well. $400+ Android tablets don’t generally do well, and with the new 32GB Nexus 7 at $249, it’s going to be tough to convince consumers to spend an extra $250 for the Nexus 10 simply because it has a better display.

Now, the one Nexus device I think Google actually did right. The 32GB Nexus 7 for $249 is an absolute joy (not to mention the 16GB for $199. It’s fully capable of getting the job done and won’t cost you an arm and leg. Throw in a mobile data connection for an extra $50 and the playground is open.

Is the Nexus 7 perfect? Far from it. The display is nothing to write home about, the battery life is meh, and it’d be nice if it had HDMI out. But the price… oh, that price!

We all have our opinions, and these are mine. I’m predicting the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will be major flops, however, I think the 32GB Nexus 7 will do quite well. This is one Trifecta I wouldn’t put my money on and if I were you, I’d save my money for the next race.