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October 4, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 1:11pm

5 reasons for choosing a Google Nexus device

By Ben Sullivan

I’ve been a Nexus loyalist for some years now. I dabbled in the fine arts of Apple with a Macbook back in 2008 and an iPad Touch the year after. However, when in the market for a new phone that same year I was struck by something beautiful in my search. The Google Nexus One. Running a pure and untouched version of Android, the experience was amazing and since then I’ve moved on with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I now own a fresh Nexus 7 2013. I skipped the Nexus 4 although that’s a great phone, but I’ll be getting the Nexus 5 when it launches in a few weeks. Nexus is the one.

Now, I’m not one of those preachers or Apple haters at all. Apple makes great products, and other phones and tablets running Android made by other manufacturers are also worthy, but I asure you once you try a pure Nexus device you’ll probably never want to go back.

So, listed here are 5 of the best reasons why you should get a Nexus device. Look out for a list coming next week of my favourite apps to have on a Nexus.


1. You get the stock Android OS

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Nexus devices come with a stock, pure Android experience. This means no skins over the top or buggy floatware. Perhaps when Android was in its early stages these modifications by companies like HTC and Samsung were justifiable, but by the time Android 4 came around, the OS has improved and refined itself that much that it’s running at premium quality. In my opinion, it’s the best mobile OS. Mods and skins like Touchwiz on Samsung and Sense on HTC look great at first, but after a while their cracks become obvious and you notice the small details that the software has overlooked. These small details often end up affecting the user experience and the layout design and functionality becomes a drag. For example, many smartphones running Android still don’t have Google Now or the Nexus multitasking menu, both of which from the crux of my mobile experience. Users of Android on other phones are aware of this and try to install mods and other ROMS to get back to a stock Android experience found on Nexus devices. The easy option? Get a Nexus device.


 

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2. It’s ALWAYS up-to-date

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Another plus point to using a Nexus device is the prompt software updates issued by Google. Smartphone and tablet software is constantly updated to provide new features and performance upgrades. With non-Nexus devices, you’re left hanging as the manufacturer and provider of your phone decides when to roll these out, and this can take some time, even months! This is because they have to test it across multiple devices and make sure their the software is modified to their standards.

With Google, they test and update the Nexus devices when a new version of Android comes out, meaning you’ll always have the fastest and most up-to-date software for your device.

Most of the phones or tablets on the market may become outdated the moment you leave the shop as they never receive an update and the rest won’t even receive the update for next 6 months, but rest assured with a Nexus device…you’ll always be the first with the best software.


3. Network provider unlocked

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A lot of smartphones come locked with your provider, and if you want it unlocked, expect to pay a fee. Nexus devices don’t have this problem as they’re sold factory unlocked and you can use them on any network. Another handy feature is the ability touse another provider’s SIM card when overseas, and then obviously the ease of which you can sell the phone on to someone when it’s not locked to a network. Take that, iPhone!

 

4. Nexus devices are developer friendly

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As mentioned in the second point, manufacturer and provider mods take away some of the best features and design elements on Android from the users. If you realise this and what to install a stock Android experience, that might prove difficult with some phones as the devices are shipped with locked bootloaders.

Every Android phone comes with a bootloader. A bootloader is a code that is executed before any operating system starts the phone. It’s usually locked because the manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, want you to use their modified Android OS version designed for the device. The bootloader needs to be unlocked if you want to flash a custom ROM. A custom ROM is usually created by a developer who takes out the bloatware and optimizes them to include features and options.

Furthermore, the phones that do ship with unlockable bootloaders are still not the best devices for developers because manufacturers don’t release sources that are required for the phone hardware to communicate well with the software.

For example, developers have been very angry at Samsung for not releasing sources for their Exynos processor, without the sources it is impossible to have a fully working custom ROM that runs stock Android.

Nexus devices allow for quick and simple bootloader-unlocking, which makes it possible to install custom ROMs and root the device very easily. So it is very easy for developers to come up with fully working custom ROMs as all of the sources are available for them. After all, Nexus devices are meant for development. Only this morning did I install a custom Kernel onto my Nexus 7 to improve battery life. It’s easier than you think, and there are major advantages with pretty much nil disadvantages.


5. Nexus devices are extremely competitively priced

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My new Nexus 7 16gb comes in at £199. That’s astonishing. The great thing about Nexus devices is that there’s a bunch of high-end hardware shoved in them yet still come at a friendly price. Sure, there’s always cheaper options, but getting hardware this premium costs you much more elsewhere. We’re perhaps talking more than £60 cheaper than the upcoming iPad mini. The Nexus 10 was at such an affordable price too, at around £300, with the iPad being around £350. The upcoming new Nexus 10 will also compete with the iPad at a competitive price.

 


 

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