The Nexus is a name we have come to know and love amongst the Android community. It’s the one place where we can count on the latest hardware and software meeting in a completely open environment. Powered by a completely open Android playground of the latest software, Android geeks and aficionados would often choose devices from the Nexus brand purely for development purposes because of the openness.
Every Nexus has had its flaws: the Nexus One had pretty subpar battery life, the Nexus S was just plain boring, the Galaxy Nexus had a meh camera, and now the Nexus 4 has arguably the biggest flaw yet…
I almost couldn’t believe it. How could Google release a flagship phone such as this without one of the key features of this generation? This decision could almost kill the Nexus 4’s market potential.
Google tried to defend their decision to forsake LTE, but for me, there is no excuse. After living with LTE for several months now, there is no way I could go back to boring 3G speeds, or even the sudo-4G HSPA+ speeds. I don’t care about independency from carriers or any of that, I just want to be able to access the fastest speeds available as of now. Faster network means faster phone. It doesn’t matter if you have the fancy new Snapdragon S4 quad core processor if you’re being bottlenecked at every turn by slow data.
A growing percent of the population of smartphone users have been enjoying LTE service, especially if the user happens to be a part of Verizon or AT&T. With Verizon on track to match it’s 3G service with LTE by the end of 2013, and AT&T growing their markets as well, the omission of this super fast connectivity could severely hamper customers from any of these three main service providers. Even T-mobile is gaining LTE service through their merger with MetroPCS. So with all four of the nations largest providers moving towards this new technology, this anti-LTE stance shows a severe lack of foresight from Google.
Samsung’s Galaxy S III, Galaxy Nexus, Apple’s iPhone 5, and even LG’s own Optimus G all sport LTE capabilities. Google’s decision to forsake many wireless subscribers may just hold their latest Prodigal Son from the throne that it deserves. What made Google so adamant to withhold LTE from the Nexus 4? Andy Rubin did come out and say that they chose to stick with 3G and HSPA+ in an effort to maintain “carrier independence”. That personally isn’t a good enough answer after seeing how they cooperated with Verizon to produce the LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus. To me this is based on updates only. Google fears they won’t be able to get updates out in a timely fashion. Do we really need to give Apple fanboys and fangirls ammunition to poke fun at? Hopefully Google will see the error of its ways and release a slightly updated version for us FAndroids to get a hold of, one that includes the light speed connectivity of LTE.
It’s worth mentioning that most carriers don’t have a great number of LTE service available for those outside of major cities. However, we live in a world where any small flaw can completely ruin a phone’s market potential, the lack of such capabilities could spell doom for Google’s latest Nexus.
Google has in the past been willing to cooperate with users for a solution like releasing the Nexus 7 with 32GB of storage to combat many users’ space woes. Let’s hope the hint our favorite Mobile Panda gave the other day will hold true, which could mean we will see an updated LTE version in the future after all.