After all the Pixel-related hoopla yesterday Android Police confirmed with Google that the Nexus brand is effectively dead. I think I’ve come to terms with it; Nexus hasn’t really been the same since late 2013 anyway, when the Nexus 5—codenamed hammerhead—went on sale.
The Nexus 5 finished what the Nexus 4 started, offering high-end specs at an affordable price. The final pieces to this puzzle that were added by the 5 include a full HD screen, LTE radio and optically-stabilized rear camera. Battery life wasn’t spectacular, but this was offset somewhat by the convenience of inductive charging.
And, of course, being a Nexus meant that hammerhead was a modder’s dream. It was my first testbed for Xposed Modules, ran one of my all-time favourite custom ROMs, SlimKat, and was even compatible with MultiROM, allowing me to boot into Android, Sailfish and Ubuntu all on the same phone. Hammerhead continues to be useful to this day; it’s currently the only device that can run Maru OS, transforming a humble smartphone into a fully-functioning Debian-powered desktop computer.
You could go so far as to call The Nexus 5 the anti-iPhone. Where Apple’s flagship was locked down and expensive, Google’s alternative was open and affordable. It seems to have sold pretty well, too; I still see the occasional Nexus 5 when I’m out in the world. 2013 actually saw two Nexus successes: the second-gen Nexus 7 tablet was (and is) also pretty great.
But Google saw things differently, it seems… They tried to kill Nexus in 2014 with Android Silver, and have finished the job in 2016 with Pixel. Like I said, I’ve come to terms with this. I firmly believe that the spiritual successor to what Nexus once was lives on in OnePlus, and here’s proof: the current 64GB OnePlus 3 retails for the same $399 USD as the 2013 32GB Nexus 5 did.
I’m hanging on to my bright-red hammerhead all the same; ditto for my Nexus 7 tablet.
Inspiration: Android Police