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Nexus 4 - 3

Google’s Nexus smartphone lineup has been a dream for developers and software geeks, but it has consistently lagged behind the iPhone when it comes to camera quality. That’s about to change, according to Google’s vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra.

“We are committed to making Nexus phones insanely great cameras,” Gundotra wrote in a Google+ thread last night, responding to someone who hoped that future Nexus phones could replace DSLR camers. “Just you wait and see,” he added.

Google’s most recent Nexus phone, the LG-made Nexus 4, has a nice camera, but it pales in comparison to the iPhone 5. As Apple, Nokia, and HTC have consistently improved their smartphone camera technology, it’s something the Nexus line seems to have ignored. Given the popularity of mobile photo apps like Instagram, having a strong camera on-board will be increasingly important for consumers.

Gundotra sparked the camera discussion by saying he was considering bringing a DSLR camera to his mountain vacation trip (alongside his Android phone and Google Glass headset). “Tonight, the DSLR won out,” he wrote. “I care about shallow depth of field and want to capture photos like the one I’ve included in this post. I need my Canon 5d with me.”

The main takeaway: Vic Gundotra deals with the same mundane gadget choices that we all do. He’s one of us!

Google originally focused on making its Nexus smartphone line a strong example of what’s possible with Android hardware, but now the Nexus line is typically one-upped fairly quickly by other Android manufacturers. The big draw with the Nexus now is its ability to get Android updates instantly — other Android phone owners are beholden to their carriers and manufacturers for updates.

In addition to the Nexus line, Google is rumored to be working on an “X phone” project with its new subsidiary Motorola. If that project ever sees the light of day, you can bet camera quality will be a big focus as well.

Via CNet; Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

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