With all this buzz created around the high-end smartphones that will be unveiled in the coming months by the big players of the smartphone market, the public seems to forgot about the imminent debut of the next-gen Google flagship smartphone. Even though there are no official details about the Nexus 5 release date it’s not that hard to guess when Google will launch the Nexus 4 follow up.
There’s no doubt that the Nexus 4 was the most successful member of the Nexus family, a terminal that was co-developed by the Mountain View giant and LG on Optimus G’s hardware platform. The price was definitely one of the major selling points of the Nexus 4, as the smartphone had was priced $299 with 8GB of internal storage and $349 with 16 GB of storage. Of course, we are talking about a contract-free smartphone, and even though its price was ridiculously low he was outmatching most of last year’s smartphones in terms of technical specs, coming with 8 megapixel camera, HD display, and a Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset which was at that date the most powerful processor on the market.
As you probably know, the Nexus 4 was launched synchronized with the debut of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Google was supposed to hold a press event in October 2012 to unveil the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Android 4.2, but Hurricane Sandy ruined their plans, thus the smartphone didn’t receive the launch it deserved.
The Nexus 4 became the best-selling Nexus smartphone even though it was almost impossible to find in Google Play Store in the first months after the launch because of limited supplies. In fact there were some rumors saying that for this particular reason Google and LG will no longer team up to develop a Nexus smartphone.
Moreover, one of LG’s officials said that the South Korean phone maker will not develop the Nexus 5, as it aims to focus on its own user interface. This statement ignited a lot of rumors and HTC, Samsung, and Sony were given as certain candidates to develop the Nexus 5.
Since HTC and Samsung already launched their Nexus-like version of their flagships, the Galaxy S4 and One Google Edition, the media’s attention has turned to Sony. Well, the Japanese company released AOSP project for Xperia Z and it is rumored that an Xperia Z Google Edition will be launched late July.
After all these stories, LG decided to dismiss the rumors saying that they will no longer collaborate with Google for the Nexus 5 and this is how the Optimus G successor will probably serve as a growndwork for the next-gen Google flagship smartphone.
Talking about the Optimus G follow up, the rumor mill speculates that it will called LG G2 and that it will be one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. I am sure that the history will repeat itself and that the Nexus 5 will be based on G2’s hardware platform.
The latest leaks say that the LG G2 and thus the Nexus 5 will be powered by Qualcomm’s mighty Snapdragon 800 chipset. In case you didn’t know the Snapdragon 800 was officially introduced at CES 2013 back in January and is currently the most powerful mobile chipset on the market.
The Snapdragon 800 SoC is based on a quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Hexagon v5 DSP, and support for the fastest networks in the world, courtesy of the 4G LTE chip. Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro was the chipset powering the Nexus 5 predecessor and Qualcomm announced that the Snapdragon 800 is providing with up to 75% more processing power that it.
Because the Nexus 5 will be a high-end smartphone of 2013 expect it to come with at least 2 GB of RAM? Why am I saying “at least”? Because it was reported that the G2 and the Note 3 will be world’s first smartphones to come with 3 GB of RAM and since the Nexus 5 will be based on the first one you shouldn’t be surprised by its amount of RAM.
We’ve also heard that the next-gen LG flagship will borrow its camera from the Optimus G Pro phablet, therefore the Nexus 5 will most likely have a 13 megapixel sensor mounted on its back. Of course, you will get image stabilization, HDR, face detection, panorama, full HD video recording and maybe some exclusive features like last year’s Photo Sphere, the 360 degree panorama mode.
Of course all the connectivity options worthy of a high-end smartphone circa 2013 will be there: HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, chip, microUSB 2.0, and probably IR blaster as I’ve seen it’s cool lately to use your smartphone as a TV remote control.
Since the Nexus 5 will be powered by the Snapdragon 800 chipset which carries LTE Advanced support, I am wondering whether Google will enable it. If you don’t know it already, Nexus 4’s Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset contains an LTE chip, but, for some reason, Google and LG decided to disable it. Well, there was a workaround in Android 4.2.1 that allowed the users to enable LTE, but Google took care of it and “fixed” it with the release of Android 4.2.2.
Talking about Android releases, I am pretty confident that the Nexus 5 will be world’s first smartphone to come pre-loaded with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Why? I’m glad you’ve asked, as the Nexus 5 release date is related with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie release date.
Google will celebrate Android’s 5th birthday this October and as I know the Mountain View-based giant it would want to celebrate it with some important launches: Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie and Nexus 5. Are those “5s” related to Android’s 5th birthday? My guess is that they are.
In fact the stars are aligning for a late fall Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie and Nexus 5 release date. Rumor has it that Android 4.3 will be launched late July and that it will be just a minor upgrade for Android 4.2.2, which can be skipped when upgrading to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. This move will give the phone makers more time to update their smartphones to the latest Android versions which will lead to less fragmentation.
On the other hand LG has sent in the press invitations for a press event on August 7th. Guess what? The invitation is about the launch of the aforementioned LG G2. Sounds familiar? Of course it is. The Optimus G was announced in August, then three months later the Nexus 4 was launched. With the LG G2 launching early August, the Google and LG engineers will have enough time until October to optimize the Nexus 5.
We’ve seen the LG G2 is some leaked pictures already and I have to admit it’s a good looking smartphone. It has a glossy finishing on the back and some design lines that remind of the Galaxy Nexus. It’s pretty thin, too and it has an almost edge-to-edge display. Talking about display, rumor has it that it’s sized 5.2 inches diagonally.
Since the Nexus 5 will have to compete against other high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Sony Xperia Z, the 5.2-inch display will be paired with full HD resolution. LG has used a True Full HD IPS Plus LCD panel for the Optimus G Pro and we should expect a similar one fitted on the Nexus 5.
The leaked photos have revealed that the LG G2 doesn’t come with physical or capacitive buttons below the display, which would be a first for LG’s flagships. In fact Google recommends on-screen software buttons for the best Android experience and it seems that LG is conforming.
By far the most striking aspect of the LG G2 (and most likely of the Nexus 5) are the Volume Up/Down buttons that are placed on the back, right below the camera. Sources say that LG used this trick in order to be able to make it thinner, but are they easy to use? Well, at first they probably don’t come in handy, as all of us are used to having the volume rocker on one side, but I am 100% sure that after a couple of days with the smartphone you will find them quite easy to use. I wonder if the back volume rocker is are prone to pressing while holding the smartphone in landscape mode, especially while playing video games.
We haven’t talked about Nexus 5’s internal storage options. Yet. Last year, a lot of customers complained that the 8 GB Nexus 4 model doesn’t have enough storage and that a microSD would have been great. Well I guess that this year, even though we won’t get microSD support, there will be 16 and 32 GB Nexus 5 models.
The price point of the Nexus 5 will most likely remain unchanged: $299 for the 16 GB model and $349 for the 32 GB model.
What are your expectations for the Nexus 5? Any guesses on its technical specifications? How about some Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie-specific features? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.