Google may break tradition and launch not one, but two Nexus phones this year to showcase its new mobile operating system. That strategy could help boost Nexus sales by giving buyers a choice of phone size.
The smaller of two rumored handsets allegedly broke cover this weekend, with a Google+ post showing what looks like a revised version of the Nexus 5, originally made by LG back in October, 2013.
The Verge notes that a sticker on the phone's cover shows an LG logo, suggesting a revision of the company's most recent Nexus phone.
Google typically chooses a different hardware partner for its Nexus devices each year, however, tapping LG again wouldn't be without precedent.
The company made both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, for example, and Samsung built the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.
No Nexus phone previously had a fingerprint scanner, though.
It looks like that's about to change based on the leaked image: The round circle beneath the phone's camera sensor appears to be similar to Apple's Touch ID sensor. Given the placement, I'd expect Google to rely on a scanned index finger for security and mobile payment authentication.
Little else can be gleaned from the reported Nexus 5 phone, aside from more rounded corners compared to the old Nexus 5. My hope is that Google builds in Project Fi support to expand its triple-network phone service on more handsets.
The timing of the Nexus 5 images coincide with reported renders of a larger Nexus phone to be built by Huawei. That device too is expected to have a rear, circular fingerprint scanner while offering a larger 5.7-inch display.
Debuting two Nexus phones simultaneously would broaden the appeal of Google's flagship phones, allowing for a choice of size.
That would be a markedly different approach from prior years as Nexus handsets have grown: Last year's model uses a 6-inch display which is wonderful to look at yet is too big for some.
I've often commented that I like the Nexus 6 when I use it, but I'm less a fan when not using it; it's awkward to carry in my pockets.