Nexus 5: What we know so far

On the back of the most recent Nexus 5 leak, we have a much clearer idea of what the next ‘Google-phone’ will be made up of. What we don’t know of course is when the phone will be hitting the Play Store and at what price. But we have all the specs to tide us over till the official announcement. Let’s have a look.

The biggest change design-wise is that unlike the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 won’t have a glass back. This makes the Nexus 5 look rather plain, in our opinion, but we’ll have to see how the final product looks before making any judgements. The leaked service manual shows the dimensions of the Nexus 5 to be identical to its predecessor, despite a larger display and a beefier battery pack. While we think this could be an error in the draft manual, the Nexus 5 will likely be only slightly larger than the Nexus 4.

Some leaked images also show a circular speaker grille over the display. Unlike the Nexus 4’s top-edge-hugging speaker, here it is placed in the middle of the top bezel. Besides this change, the front face of the phone seems to be identical to the Nexus 4, with less prominent rounded corners. The speakers are not on the back, but in fact sit on the bottom, a much better option, in our opinion.

No more glass

No more glass


This time, the Nexus branding on the back of the phone is in landscape orientation. Perhaps Google is suggesting that users will spend a lot of time clicking pictures and videos on this phone. The ring around the camera lens is also quite large, which is a bit deceptive, as the underlying module is not particularly sizeable.

As with most LG-made smartphones these days, the Nexus 5 is expected to have a spanking display with full HD resolution. The Nexus 5 moniker may suggest a 5-inch or larger display, but it’s actually a 4.95-inch screen. This one is an IPS TFT panel, so colours won’t be AMOLED-level saturated. Let’s hope that LG has managed to get the same calibration as on the fantastic G2 screen.

Blueprint showing all sides of the phone

Blueprint showing all sides of the phone


Continuing its streak of picking the highest-end chipset on the market, Google has decided to pack in the Snapdragon 800 SoC in the Nexus 5. That makes a whole lot of sense since the G2 also has the same processor. The quad-core CPU has a blazing clock speed of 2.2 GHz. The Nexus 5 will also have 2 GB of RAM, more than enough for most Android apps and games. The top-end SoC brings the best GPU in tow too and the Adreno 330 has performed admirably so far.

Just like last year, the Nexus 5 will have an 8-megapixel camera even though LG’s G2 has a 13-megapixel unit. The rear snapper retains the optical image stabilisation (OIS) module, so that’s great to see, despite the drop in megapixel count. Much of what Google has in store for us as far as imaging is concerned, will have to do with software and image processing. We expect to see a fully revamped camera experience in Android 4.4 Kitkat along with improved Photosphere and panorama shooting.

The front-facing camera is a modest 1.3-megapixel affair, which will most likely be able to shoot 1080p video. At the very least, it should be a decent performer for Hangouts chats and selfies.

A fan render of the Nexus 5

A fan-made render of the Nexus 5


It’s a pity that the Nexus 5 will only have a 2300 mAh battery, if the leaked service manual is to be believed. We would have loved to see Google push the envelope with a slightly meatier pack, like the one in the G2. But hopefully Android 4.4 brings with it better power management features. The Nexus 5 will also have wireless charging support, most likely based on the Qi standard.

Hallelujah! Google finally recognises the existence of 32GB flash memory modules. We got clear shots of the 32GB Hynix module in the service manual, which has now been taken down. In addition, there was mention of a 16GB version too. We don’t know if those are the only options for buyers. A 64GB version would be sweet!

Contrary to rumours, the Neuxs 5 won’t have a Nano-SIM slot. This will continue the Nexus 4’s micro-SIM standard. But one big change is that the Nexus 5 will finally bring LTE support, along with the usual assortment of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The micro USB port on the Nexus 5 is Slimport compatible for HDMI connections, like its predecessor.

Nexus over the years

Nexus over the years


The bottom line
The Nexus 5 is the LG G2 with slight changes in the specs and a new design. In that sense, it is a highly intriguing device. The G2 is a powerful beast with some of the best features in the market at the moment, but the software is definitely overbearing. Stock Android will do that hardware a world of good.

What remains to be seen is how Google will price the Nexus 5. If it sticks to last year’s pricing for the Nexus 4 ($299 for 8GB; $349 for 16GB), the new smartphone will be a sleeper hit. But we expect a slight increase, just like the 2013 Nexus 7. Even a $50 bump in last year’s pricing will make the Nexus 5 hard to ignore.

Published Date: Oct 11, 2013 13:03 PM | Updated Date: Oct 11, 2013 13:03 PM