Google’s Nexus 4 endured quite a few bumps in the road but it remains one of the stop Android smartphones on the market. And with its one year anniversary fast approaching, consumer attention has started to shift from LG’s Nexus 4 to the Nexus 5, Google’s rumored Nexus 4 successor.
In November of last year, Google finally replaced the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a device that certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of many owners who picked it up. The 2012 Nexus smartphone, was the first Nexus smartphone to be produced by LG and it offered a number of improvements over the Galaxy Nexus including a better processor, larger display, improved design and an extremely cheap unlocked price tag. It did not, however, arrive with 4G LTE data speeds.
The lack of LTE did not slow the Nexus 4 down. The device emerged as one of the most popular smartphones of the holiday shopping season, so popular, that it was completely sold out in December and January. Only in February did LG and Google get the device back on track in the Google Play Store. Since then, the device has remained in stock, tempting smartphone buyers with its Android 4.3 software, cheap price, and hardware that will still work out well for most buyers.
Like the iPhone 5, like the Galaxy S4, like any smartphone, the Nexus 4’s days in the limelight will come to an end and it will be replaced by something or somethings that Google and company declare to be better. With the fall fast approaching, rumors about a new Nexus smartphone, a Nexus 5, have started to gain a little bit of steam.
Whereas rumors from earlier this year seemed a bit wild, Nexus 5 rumors that have emerged in recent weeks are far more tame, far more believable. While there is still a bit to go before we know for certain what Google has up its sleeve for 2013, it’s now time to take a look at all of the early Nexus 5 release date and feature rumors.
The last two Nexus smartphones, the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy Nexus, arrived at the end of the year. Specifically, the Galaxy Nexus was released in December while the Nexus 4 hit shelves in November. This doesn’t guarantee a Nexus 5 release at the end of the year but it does make one extremely likely.
It also helps that Korean outlet Daum, citing industry sources, claims that the Nexus 5 will be making its debut sometime in October, the same month that Google showed off the Nexus 4.
Taylor Wimberly, who was dead on about the Moto X, claims that a Nexus smartphone, made by Motorola, will be out sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, backing up that October window. The fourth quarter spans from October to December making one of those months a prime candidate for a Nexus 5 release.
Google likely hasn’t decided on a specific date yet so consumers shouldn’t expect to hear about any specifics until much closer to the launch event itself.
Nexus 5 rumors have suggested that LG could be the maker of at least one variant of the new Nexus with the recently announced LG G2 serving as the device’s blueprint. That same report from Daum suggests that LG has been developing the new Nexus alongside the LG G2, its new flagship that will hit shelves later on this year.
Today, a report from MyDrivers suggested the same thing. That the Nexus 5 will be made by LG and that it will borrow heavily from the new flagship G2. If that’s true, the Nexus 5 may have a lot of the same hardware, however, it likely won’t have the same design.
Last year’s Nexus 4 took from the LG Optimus G, but it did not share a design with its counterpart. Instead, the device was made of plastic and featured a glass back, something that the Optimus G did not have.
Rumors haven’t suggested anything about the Nexus 5’s looks but MyDrivers suggests that the device will be 5.5 inches tall by 2.8 inches wide with an unknown thickness. The LG G2 is 5.45 x 2.79. So it could be that the dimensions are close but based on history, the designs won’t be.
The past two Nexus smartphones have followed a popular Android trend. Flagship Android devices these days all have massive, high-resolution displays and with the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4, we saw 4.5+-inch displays. With 2013 ushering in even larger displays, like the 5-inch Galaxy S4, rumors suggest that the Nexus 5 could follow suit.
All along, rumors have pointed to a display that is larger than 5-inches, possibly the same 5.2-inches as the LG G2. In fact, rumors that suggest that LG is making the phone have aligned on that 5.2-inch screen size, something that would work out nicely with the Nexus 5 name.
Resolution is thought to be 1080p rather than 720p like the Nexus 4, which would obviously be a huge boost for those that enjoy watching content on their smartphone display.
No word on the pixel-per-inch count but the Nexus 4 had a high ppi so it’s possible that the Nexus 5 will as well.
Initially, there were rumors that suggested that the Nexus 5 would have a big time camera, possibly one coming from Nikon. At the time, those rumors seemed plausible given that Google’s Vic Gundotra has promised better cameras on Google’s Nexus devices.
While it’s still possible, recent rumors suggest something that is less ground-breaking. The device is rumored to have a 13MP camera sensor on board, same as the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy S4, and could also come with the same optical image stabilization technology that arrived with the LG G2 and is rumored for the Galaxy Note 3.
Cameras are typically one of the features that manufacturers upgrade year after year so the Nexus 5 is unlikely to have the same 8MP sensor that is found in the Nexus 4.
The Nexus 4 utilized a powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor. However, rumors suggest that the Nexus 5 will up the ante with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core SoC. The Snapdragon 600 is Qualcomm’s latest processor and if it is indeed on board the Nexus 5, it should mean better all-around performance and enhanced battery life.
The processor will apparently be backed by 2GB of RAM.
Google, in the past, has released new Nexus hardware with new Android software. Most recently, we saw the new Nexus 7 tablet arrive with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Rumors, and Google’s track record suggest that the Nexus 5 will come with Android 5.0 Key Lie Pie, a replacement for Android 4.3, and the first major update to Android since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Not much is known about Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie but more and more it’s looking like it’s going to be arriving later this year. In fact, we’ve already seen a Key Lime Pie build emerge in a Chromium bug list that showed off build KRS36B running on a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. The ‘K’ is thought to stand for Key Lime Pie, much in the same way that current builds use the letter ‘J’ to stand for Jelly Bean.
Even with the discovery, details about Key Lime Pie are scarce and they aren’t likely to make themselves known until much closer to Google’s second big Nexus launch of the year.
Android head Sundar Pichai left the door open for a Nexus smartphone with the same Qualcomm multi-mode carrier support as the new Nexus 7. And thankfully, rumors suggest that Google may be including this type of support with the Nexus 5.
If true, it could mean that the Nexus 5 will be available for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, just like the Nexus 7. And while there is no mention of 4G LTE data speeds but it’s likely if this type of support is on board.
One of the biggest drawbacks to the Nexus 4 was that it was only available on AT&T and T-Mobile and on HSPA+ not 4G LTE.
The Nexus 5 is rumored to have a $299 starting price, same as the Nexus 4, which would again make it one of the most affordable unlocked smartphones on the market. This price would not only help it challenge the likes of the iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but also take on Apple’s rumored cheap iPhone model, the iPhone 5C, which is expected to be aimed at budget Android devices.
Google also sells a 16GB Nexus 4 which costs $350, a price that still undercuts the unlocked price of the iPhone 5 16GB by $300.
Many manufacturers have been interested in the Nexus program but we’ve only seen a trio of companies produce a Nexus smartphone. To date, HTC, Samsung and LG have been the only companies to make a Nexus smartphone. And rumor has it, that might change in 2013.
Nexus 5 rumors have and continue to center around LG as a manufacturer of the new Nexus. However, Motorola has also been rumored to be making a Nexus that is unlike its Moto X flagship which was announced earlier this month.
It’s unclear if LG and Motorola are competing for the new Nexus or if Google is planning on releasing several different Nexus models this year. Rumors in the past have suggested multiple Nexus smartphones but ultimately, those rumors were proven false at launch.
With sources pointing to LG and Motorola though, it’s possible that we could see a major shake up with the Nexus program in 2013.