As I wrote in my review of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it is the best Android hardware in the market today. The problems with the device are the inferior Samsung software, plus the way it's sold (SIM-locked). I wrote that if you could just pair this industry-best hardware together with Nexus software, you would have the ideal Android smartphone imaginable. In other words, Samsung and Google listened and decided to make it! The only remaining question is this: The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a hardware button, flanked by two software buttons: a menu button (on the left) and a back button (on the right). This arrangement is, per definition, inconsistent with Nexus software. Nexus software has three software buttons -- a home button in the middle, a back button on the left, and a multitasking button on the right.
- Samsung could re-spin the hardware, simply removing its buttons and allowing the Nexus software to work on the screen, just like any other Nexus. Samsung could keep the hardware but "double up" with the three Nexus buttons on the screen. Would look a bit inelegant and goofy, but it would work. Samsung could alter the Nexus software so as to fit with its existing three buttons. This would "work" but would it really be a 100% Nexus at that point?
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus is $649, versus the $349 for the 16-gig version of the LG Nexus 4. How is the $300 -- nearly 100% premium -- price difference justified? The Samsung Nexus has, compared to the LG Nexus:
- Expandable storage (MicroSD card) Removable backside (removable battery) Bigger battery (2600 vs 2100 mAh) Functioning LTE, although that could change -- in part -- on the LG, with a potential future software upgrade that is far from a given, and if so, only on T-Mobile, not AT&T. Bigger and better display: 5 inches, 1080p vs. 4.7 inches, 720p Faster CPU/GPU: Qualcomm ( QCOM) 600 vs. previous-gen Qualcomm processor Better camera: 13 megapixel vs. 8