You know, I owned the Motorola Moto X, which Google collaborated on. Much of the phone flipping gestures and always-on display features have originally debuted on the Moto X.
It was a great device software wise and that made up for the rather unimpressive hardware. I also know someone that owned the Nexus 5 which came right after the Moto X. Also a very impressive device.
I don't know what happened, but Google used to make(in collaboration) good phones.