Last week in the wake of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P announcements we asked you the faithful Ausdroid readers what your ideal Nexus would be. We’re glad to say that the Build Your Own Nexus survey saw some great responses. Unsurprising really, Nexus’s are always a favourite topic. After reviewing all of your responses, we are happy to present to you the specs for the Ausdroid Nexus 2015.
- Screen 5.5″ AMOLED FHD 1920 x 1080 (400 ppi)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 64 bit Hex-core SOC with 2 x Cortex-A57 cores and 4 x Cortex-A53 cores and Adreno 418 GPU
- 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 32/64/128 GB onboard storage
- MicroSD card
- Rear 14 – 20 mp – f/1.8 aperture with OIS, Dual Tone Flash
- Front facing – basic sensor 5 – 8 mp
- Stereo front facing speakers
- On screen buttons
- Power and volume buttons on opposite sides (think Nexus 5)
- No stylus
- USB Type-C with USB 3.1
- Full day without need to top up
- Quick Charging
- Wireless Charging
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Accelerometer/G-Sensor/Compass/Gyroscope/Proximity/Ambient Light Sensor/Hall Sensor
- Android™ 6.0 Marshmallow
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band with MIMO support, with Wi-Fi direct and hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth 4.1 LE
- GPS with aGPS, GLONASS and Beidou
- Cellular: All Australian Bands
That’s your Ausdroid Nexus by the numbers, but as always there are more than just specs to any great device.
[showhide more_text=’Show me the fine details’ less_text=’Let’s keep it high level’]
We agonised over this decision, hours of debates on telegram, tempers flared, opinions flew and feelings were hurt but in the end a decision must be reached. Actually none of that happened but it was a difficult data set to extrapolate. Out of the choices provided the most number of votes was for a 5 – 5.2″ device, so we could have selected that and declared victory. However over 50% of you wanted a device bigger than 5.2″ so the decision became where on the larger than 5.2 but smaller than 5.8″ size (the point at which votes dropped off) would be correct. We looked at statistical math, standard deviations, at one point a dart board was suggested in the end we settled on 5.5″ as a mid point as it is a “common size”. Hopefully not too big for the 5 – 5.2″ fans and not to small for the 5.7 – 6″ fans.
We will, of course, use the magic bezels that all smartphone manufacturers speak of that somehow turn this 5.5″ phone into a device smaller than your average 5.2″ unit.
Overwhelmingly respondents either just didn’t care what the device was made out of or just wanted it to be “premium”. Leather, glass and even metal all got fairly low responses, and seeing as the majority of you wanted wireless charging we decided to go with a Soft-touch polycarbonate unibody – no removable battery – similar to Google’s very own 5X. We’ve chosen Galactic Black, Hoth White, Smurf Blue and Lightsaber red as your colour options.
It seems the majority of you feel that regardless of who actually manufactures a Nexus it’s a Google phone through and through. By a safe margin “I don’t care” was the number one response with Sony, LG and Motorola all close together after that. But seeing as we are “really making this device” /s, we had to make a decision, and since Sony was the winner with a massive 16% of the vote and a whopping 0.5% lead on LG, and that Sony has never had the chance to make a Nexus, we have chosen Sony to partner with on the development of this device.
Looking at your responses we decided to go with the Snapdragon 808 over the 810. From the responses, it looked like power efficiency was more important to the majority of readers than pure speed, and let’s face it the 808 is no slouch in the speed department. Add that to the 810’s somewhat tempestuous childhood and we felt that the 808 would deliver the all round performance that you would need. Had the “top” chip from Qualcomm had a less bumpy history we might have chosen that, but 59% want power efficiency overt the “top” chip.
As a side note, we discounted the 820 as it’s not available until next year.
Unequivocally you the Ausdroid readers reject phones with less that 32 GB of internal storage. 32GB and 64GB were by far the most popular choices, we included 128GB as it is quickly becoming a common high-end option and felt that the 13% of you who need all the storage would be happy.
MicroSD cards are back, while not an overwhelming majority it’s clear many of us like the options MicroSD cards offer.
Thinness is out, battery life is in. Providing an arbitrary battery capacity in mAh for a
fictional “in development” /s device seems a little ludicrous to us, so we haven’t provided one. However the message regarding battery life is clear, you don’t want to top up during the day, the phone should last from dusk to dawn and do everything you need in between. With a 5.5″ FHD AMOLED display powered by the 808 we think somewhere in the low 300mAh range would be about right to get this device over the line, if being a little bulky.
With only 29% of respondents asking for removable batteries – and our promise of all day + battery life – we decided not to include a removable battery, this will allow us to shave a precious few mm from our thickened z-access whilst improving build quality and robustness of the device. Of course with our included wireless charging and quick charging it is also easy to top up your device if you’ve spent the better part of the day gaming or some such.
You all know the modern saying “the best camera is the one you have with you”. It’s clear that the message regarding specs not being everything as far as cameras go is something that you all understand. A great sensor and aperture is part of the equation but overwhelming we all just want good pictures out of our phones. Samsung managed it wit the S6 and Note 5 lines, LG has done it with the G4 and it’s clear it is this kind of quality the majority of you want out of your rear facing camera. OIS and raw image support were popularly supported so we’ve asked our sensor and software partners to make that happen too.
As for front facing cameras, it’s pleasing to see that the selfie movement has not significantly infiltrated our ranks – we jest. As such we went with a basic style setup on the front. That said we don’t actually begrudge people their selfie phones, to each their own.
Compromises, conflicts and cost
In the simple light hearted fun of running a simple build your own phone survey it has never been more apparent how complex it is to build the “ultimate smartphone”, and that the ultimate smartphone doesn’t really exist for a mass market. The number of individual specs that had an overwhelming majority of the votes was small, making clear decisions on many of the specs almost impossible. Our phones mean something different to all of us, we all use them slightly differently, we all have different expectations of our devices.
Apart from loving Nexus devices and wanting to extend the conversation regarding the latest Nexus devices and have a bit of fun in the process what we really wanted to do was highlight just how difficult it can be to produce one device to satisfy everyone. Not to mention the cost impact of the included choices. We hear time and time again from OEMs that cost in far more than the sum of the basic widget costs. Everything included in a smartphone increases complexity of both the physical build and software development. NFC isn’t just a few strips of copper, Qi is more that a receiver coil – unless you want your battery to over charge and explode. There is licensing, drivers, software integration, certifications the list goes on.
We all want that unicorn device, you know the one, the device that does everything, has everything and yet somehow cost about the same as a 2013 mid-range device – ah good times when the dollar was strong. Reality is the smartphone business is hard. And in an ultra competitive Android market where margins are low and there are 5 other OEMs device sitting on the shelf next to your device its easy to see why few manufacturers have the ability to just bundle everything, knowing only a small proportion of users will use many of those extras.
Now let’s not bow our heads in defeat, there are a plethora or truly great Android devices on the market, and I think we can expect to see them get better and better in the coming years, but maybe some of those great features that some of us love just might not make it in the long run.
Back to the Sony Nexus 5A – where the A is for Ausdroid -, how did we go? Is this the “ultimate Nexus phone”? Did we get it right? We’ve added a quick poll to see how our Franken Nexus stacks up to Google’s latest offering.