Google are best known for their popular search engine but is also active in many other markets, including smartphones. Google is behind Android, currently most popular smartphone OS worldwide, and periodically releases Google branded smartphones.
Reasons to choose Google:
Google has released three Google branded smartphones to date, the Nexus One, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus phones have introduced some new features into the smartphone industry and most notably are always the first phone to feature the next update of Android.
The first Nexus phone, the Nexus One, was manufactured by HTC and released at the start of 2010. Both the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus were manufactured by Samsung and released in December 2010 and November 2011, respectively.
Following the news that Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, there has been some speculation that future Nexus phones might be produced by Motorola. At the time of writing, no official announcement has been made in confirmation of this.
The Android operating system is used by a wide variety of phone manufacturers. However, Google branded phones come with the most up to date version of Android at their release and an extensive range of Google services. There are many different Google products that can be used on phones, such as Google Maps, Google Talk, Gmail, Google Goggles and many others, but these are not always included on a phone as standard. Google phones on the other hand will come with virtually all these services present.
What was supposed to be one of Android´s finest characteristics is also one of the main sources of criticism it receives – its customisability. Because manufacturers and networks are able to develop their own interfaces and skins to be placed on top of the operating system, Android has become fragmented throughout the phone market. For example, an HTC phone running Android 2.2 as well as the HTC Sense interface will need to wait for HTC to release an update to Sense before the phone can use the next version of Android (2.3).
Google phones do not come with custom interfaces but with the "stock" or "vanilla" Android operating system. Because of this, Google phones can receive updates to the Android operating system as soon as they become available, without having to wait for a manufacturer or network to produce an update. So while Google phones are shipped with the latest version of Android they can also be upgraded with ease as soon as a newer version comes about.