Nexus 4 vs. Nexus 5 (Rumored)

The Nexus 5 will eventually arrive, and despite multiple Google events in late October we re still waiting for the new Nexus smartphone to arrive and take the top spot from the Nexus 4.

The Nexus 4 is about a year old, and showing sins of age without support for LTE, but all sings point to an Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Nexus 4 and it is possible that Google plans to sell the Nexus 4 alongside the Nexus 5 as a cheaper device.

Even if Google stops selling it, the Nexus 4 isn’t going anywhere. T-Mobile sells the Nexus 4 and the phone will survive on eBay where users look for a cheap phone to upgrade to out of contract. For the shoppers who are considering the Nexus 5 vs. the Nexus 4, this is a comparison of the two devices that buyers should read before opening their wallets.

Read: Nexus 5 vs. Moto X (Rumored)

If you own a Nexus 4 and are thinking of upgrading to the Nexus 5, this is what you can expect when you get your hands ont he new Nexus 5 smartphone, hopefully in the next week or so.

Here’s how the Nexus 5 compares to the Nexus 4, based on the multitude of rumors and leaks.

Release Date

The Nexus 4 release date is old news, arriving on the Google Play store in November 2012 as Google’s latest flagship Nexus smartphone. The Nexus 4 release came with a fast sell through of the initial stock and a long wait until users could order one for delivery in a matter of days. T-Mobile also sells the Nexus 4, offering it in store soon after the Google Play launch.

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The Nexus 5 design should be much like the Nexus 7.

The Nexus 5 design should be much like the Nexus 7.

The Nexus 5 release date is up in the air as Google uses the buzz around this phone to draw interest to several events including an hour-long Google+ event where the phone and Android 4.4 KitKat did not appear.

The most prominent leak is from @evleaks which points to a November 1st Nexus 5 release date or announcement. The tweet below shows the Nexus 5 in white and the message.

In addition to this tweet, it looks like Carphone warehouse and other retailers are ready for the release. At least one Canadian carrier allegedly has a warehouse packed with the Nexus 5 just waiting for Google to make the announcement official.

We expect the Nexus 5 release is almost here, it could arrive on November 1st or soon after. While there is no invite for a Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat event yet, Google may decide to keep the device under wraps until it offers a live stream for users and puts the Nexus 5 on the Google Play Store.

Design

The Nexus 5 is a completely new device when compared to the Nexus 4. Gone is the easy to crack glass back and in its place is a matte black finish that looks like a carbon copy of the Nexus 7 2013 back. We know what the Nexus 5 looks like because Google put the device up on the Google Play Store for several minutes last week, complete with a full press render.

The image below shows the Nexus 4 in black, with a large camera area, matte black back and slim profile. The Nexus 5 features ceramic power and volume buttons according to a leak from Wind Mobile, which also highlighted almost all the Nexus 5 details earlier this week.

Nexus 4 vs Nexus 5 design.

Nexus 4 vs Nexus 5 design.

The Nexus 5 is larger than the Nexus 4 thanks to a larger display, but as the image below shows, it should not be significantly taller or thicker — at least not enough to turn off most Android users who are comfortable with the growing size of screens. The image below shows the Nexus 4 inside a Nexus 5 case. This illustrates how close in size the two devices will be.

Nexus 4 inside a Nexus 5 case.

Nexus 4 inside a Nexus 5 case.

The photo below shows the Nexus 4 next to the Nexus 5 case in a profile photo that shows users can expect a device that is not thicker than the Nexus 4. This case from Spigen is designed to add minimal bulk to the Nexus 5 and is the best way to compare the size of the Nexus 4 vs. Nexus 5 until Google officially announces the Nexus 5.

Nexus 5 vs Nexus 4 estimated thickness.

Nexus 5 vs Nexus 4 estimated thickness.

With new soft touch matte black back in place of the glass back of the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 should be more resilient and durable for users who wish to use it without a case.

Display

When comparing the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4, the display is one of the biggest differences we expect users will notice. The Nexus 4 features a 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 768 resolution, similar to the 720P resolution found on many budget TVs last year. A 720P resolution on a display this size is not necessarily a deal breaker. The Moto X display uses similar specs and the phone still took home an Editor’s Choice Award.

That said, when you start jumping up to higher screen sizes like 5-inches, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, like the 1080P displays in most HDTVs, starts to make more sense. Leaks indicate the Nexus 5 will feature a 5-inch 1080P display, very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Expect a similar display size as the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the right when the Nexus 5 arrives.

Expect a similar display size as the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the right when the Nexus 5 arrives.

 Read: Nexus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4 (Rumored)

The image above shows the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S4, illustrating the difference in screen size. For an overall comparison, the Galaxy S4 fits inside the Nexus 5 case well, so users can expect a similar overall size difference.

Specs

Once we get past the display and design, the specs and features that those specs may unlock are a key consideration. First and foremost the Nexus 5 will support multiple LTE bands and it looks like the phone will run on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint here in the U.S.

The Nexus 4 supports HSPA+, but no LTE officially, which means a big difference in speed of using the Internet on the device. The video below highlights the Nexus 4 T-Mobile 4G vs AT&T 4G LTE.

From a spec comparison standpoint, the Nexus 5 stands out as a more powerful device. Here’s the Nexus 5 specs we expect to hear Google confirm in the near future. You can take a look at this thread on Reddit for an incredibly detailed breakdown.

  • Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 5-inch 1080P Display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB and 32GB storage options
  • 8MP camera with optical image stabilization
  • LTE support
  • Motion CoProcessor
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • 2,100mAh battery

And here’s the Nexus 4 specs direct from Google Play;

  • Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 Display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB and 16GB storage options
  • 8MP camera
  • 802.11n
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth
  • 2,100mAh battery

The Nexus 5 processor should bring faster charging, which is a feature of the Snapdragon 800 processor. We could also see some new software features come to the Nexus 5 thanks to this new processor and the motion co-processor, stealing the always listening mode for Google Now from the Moto X and possibly the Active Display feature.

Software

The Nexus 5 release date should bring the Android 4.4 release along behind it with the new Android 4.4 KitKat Update for the Nexus 4 possibly arriving before the Nexus 5 makes its way from the Google Play Store though UPS to your doorstep.

Android 4.4 KitKat is a new version of Android which a teaser page suggests will, “make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”

The Nexus 5 and the Nexus 4 should both run stock Android with no overlay like users see on Samsung and HTC devices. Both of these phones should also see fast updates to new versions of Android as Google announces them. Google usually delivers similar features to Android devices running the same version, but with the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 Google may be able to deliver a pari fo features to the Nexus 5 that won’t come to the Nexus 4.

The Snapdragon 800 processor can listen for voice commands while the phone is sleeping without using additional battery life. The video above shows this in action on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which uses the same processor. Instead of launching S Voice, uses may say, “OK Google Now,” to start a Google Now search without touching the phone.

Active Display is by far the best way to deliver notifications.

Active Display is by far the best way to deliver notifications.

Another possible feature is the Active Display that Google and Motorola show off on the Moto X. We speculated that this feature could come to the Nexus 5 while comparing the device to the Moto X, and it still feels like a possibility.

Carriers

The Nexus 4 works on T-Mobile and AT&T, with some users able to unofficially use T-Mobile LTE. This is not supported and may not deliver the best results for the average user. The Nexus 4 cannot work on AT&T LTE.

The Nexus 5 will run on AT&T LTE networks as well as T-Mobile LTE according to leaks. We also expect a Sprint Nexus 5 with LTE support. We don’t anticipate a Verizon Nexus 5 at all.

Price

The Nexus 5 price will start at $349 for the 16GB model according to the leaked Google Play store landing page, which suggests the 32GB Nexus 5 price is $399.

On T-Mobile the Nexus 5 with Jump could come in at as low as $14 a month with $0 down if the carrier offers that deal to users at launch.

What a Nexus 5 could look like in your hand.

What a Nexus 5 could look like in your hand.

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The Nexus 4 price on Google Play is currently $199 for 8GB and $249 for 16GB, though Google is not selling the Nexus 4 at this time. It’s not clear if these prices will stay on as a cheaper Nexus option when the Nexus 5 release date lands or if the Nexus 4 will disappear from Google Play.

Comments

  1. Adam J Ronning says

    I have to admit, seeing TWO spelling errors in the first paragraph made me not even finish the article. Please, please, please have someone read over and edit your articles. It is very unprofessional to have spelling errors when you’re trying to run a credible blog.

    • Jim says

      I think that Engadget article was just referring to the idea that existing Nexus 4’s might get LTE officially enabled not that there will be a new version of the Nexus 4 for sale. That would just be very unusual. No reason to sell both at the same time.

      • vperle says

        Engadet is as one will notice has poor information as all sites about the N5 . Believe in what you will, I believe in the Easter Bunny.

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