Nexus 5: The seven things you can expect from Google's next smartphone

Summary:With a constant stream of leaks about Google's LG-made Nexus 5, there might not be many surprises when it is officially launched.

Nearly a year on from the launch of Google's first Nexus 4 smartphone, fans are eager for a refresh. It's successor is expected to come in the form of the Nexus 5, which would be a welcome sibling to Google's newly-updated Nexus 7 tablet range. 

It's not yet known exactly when Google will launch the Nexus 5, but leaked images of what's thought to be the device, including one from Google itself, are whetting the appetites of Nexus fans — who hopefully won't be disappointed by supply shortages this time around

Now with a purported Nexus 5 service manual from LG floating around the internet, there really isn't that much that's now not known about the Nexus 5 smartphone except (except a few minor matters — the launch date, price and availability).

1. LG is still Google's Nexus smartphone partner 

LG, the maker of the Nexus 4, will be the hardware company charged with making the Nexus 5. Documents filed with the FCC and a leaked internal repair manual that appears to be for the new device, have unearthed most of the hardware specs for the device. 

2013-10-07 12.07.04 pm
A glimpse of what's thought to be the Nexus 5, as shown in an FCC filing. Image: FCC via CNET

The device thought to be the Nexus 5 that surfaced in an LG filing with the FCC looks a lot like LG's G2 , continuing a pattern established with the Nexus 4, which was itself a modified version of the LG's Optimus G. 

2. Nexus 5 will address the Nexus 4's lack of LTE support 

The Nexus 5 looks set to have LTE support. FCC filings and the service manual indicate Google will remedy the lack of LTE connectivity that hampered the Nexus 4 in its successor. With 4G networks lighting up across the world, a bringing out a new smartphone in 2013 without LTE support would be a major omission, and Google has recently brought out an LTE-equipped variant of the Nexus 7 .

3. The specs suggest an evolution of the Nexus 4

The Nexus 5 is tipped to sport a 4.95-inch 1080p display, and come with 2GB RAM and a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, NFC support and wireless charging.

4. More storage in the Nexus 5

Specs-wise, the Nexus 5 doesn't look to be a major leap from the Nexus 4, though the 32GB storage would be a welcome addition to the Nexus 4's 8GB and 16GB options. It's not known yet whether Google will launch two variants with different storage sizes, though such a move would be in keeping with Google's traditional pattern for hardware.

The Nexus 5 also looks set to come without expandable storage, similar to the Nexus 4. 

5. Like LG's G2, but not exactly the same

While the leaks point to a Nexus 5 that's similar to the LG G2, Google has pared back the camera specs, instead opting for eight-megapixel rear camera with a 1.3-megapixel front camera. (The G2 has a 2.1-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel snapper on the rear.)

If the service manual details are correct, the Nexus 5 will offer up to 690 minutes talk time on CDMA networks, 405 mins on GSM, 530 mins on WCDMA and 230 minutes on LTE. The device should come with a 2,300 mAh battery.

6. Different colours?

The Nexus 5 may come in different colours. Last month Google inadvertently gave a sneak peek at what could be the the Nexus 5 in a promotional YouTube video for its forthcoming Android 4.4 KitKat OS . The video revealed a sleek, matte finished smartphone bearing the similar Nexus markings as seen on the new Nexus 7 tablet , along with LG's logo. A very similar looking device, minus the Nexus logo, was contained in LG's FCC filing. However, the service manual shows a device with a matte mauve finish.

7. Kit Kat or Jelly Bean?

Though it's not been confirmed what version of Android the Nexus 5 will run, Android 4.4 KitKat, which was announced in early October, is a likely candidate. The Nexus 7 was the first piece of hardware that shipped with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean onboard, and given the Nexus 4 was launched in October last year , the Nexus refresh would be well-placed to launch with KitKat.

Further reading

Topics: Smartphones, 4G, Android, Google, Mobility

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.