Thursday, January 3, 2013

I want a Nexus 4

I realize the irony of writing this post so soon after defending smaller phones, but don't care. I'm ready to throw in the towel with all the other phone options out there and get a Nexus device. After years of owning phones more capable in some way than the then-current Nexus, I'm ready to let some features go simply to have the latest software.

Let me give you some quick back-story: I have been in the Android world since the G1. I got it on launch day and was using it before most people even knew what Android was. The G1 launched with Android 1.0 and got three updates: 1.1, 1.5 Donut and 1.6 Cupcake. I then rooted it to continue unofficial updates to 2.0 and 2.2. The sad part is that the G1 got more official updates than any other phone I've owned.


My next phone was, appropriately, the G2. It only got one update, from 2.2 Froyo to 2.3 Gingerbread. After that, I moved to the terribly named MyTouch 4G Slide. It never received an official update and was still being sold with extremely outdated software up until this past summer. I rooted the Slide to unofficially update it to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

And finally, my latest phone is the Sony Xperia S. This device received one update from 2.3 to 4.0 and Sony says an update to 4.1 is coming in April 2013. Yes, 4 months away. I have already rooted it to unofficially run 4.1 now. Meanwhile, 4.2 has already been out for Nexus phones since November.

All of this brings me to the entire point: I am tired of doing this. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy tinkering, hacking phones, and learning how it all works. I enjoy the root community, the CyanogenMOD community, and the amazing work they've done. I enjoy the extra features that rooting a phone brings.

But I'm exhausted. I'm tired of manufacturer update delays. I'm tired of always being a version behind. I'm tired of having to root to get the features I want. I'm tired of there always being features I can't have because they're not supported in the particular hacked ROM I'm using. Frankly, I'm tired of not having a Nexus.

The Nexus 4 is not the perfect phone for me, hardware wise. It's too big, has a lesser camera, has a breakable glass back, and frankly doesn't look as visually striking as the Xperia S. But hardware is starting to become less important. I've spent the last 4 years buying a phone based on hardware, then hacking the software to where I want it to be...and that's exhausting. It's time for a break.

It's time to get the software I want, software that will always be updated, and let hardware come second. Because while I may like the appearance of the Xperia S more, the Nexus 4 is already two versions ahead, and will likely get a big update in May, while the Xperia will wait 4 more months for one update, and will probably never be updated again.

I want a Nexus 4. Now if only I could actually buy one...