By Joe Levi | May 7, 2013 7:27 AM
If recent rumors hold true, Google and LG could be working together on the next Nexus smartphone, possibly dubbed the Nexus 5. Before we dig into that rumor and what it could mean, let’s look at some history.
Google first partnered with HTC to build their “Nexus” line of smartphones. I put “Nexus” in quotation marks because I consider the T-Mobile G1 (aka the HTC Dream) to be a “Nexus” phone. It was the first commercially available Android-powered smartphone and it ran the “pure” Android experience. That sounds like a Nexus to me. Up next was another HTC phone, this time the Nexus One. That’s two “Nexus” phones in a row from the same company, just to recap.
The next in the Nexus family was the Nexus S, which was built by Samsung. It was followed by the Galaxy Nexus. Again, two Nexus phones in a row from the same company.
Tablets took a different slant, with just one device from the major manufacturers per generation: the Motorola XOOM (not named “Nexus”, but it’s gotten the Nexus treatment, just like the G1), the Asus Nexus 7, and Samsung’s Nexus 10.
Nexus 4 “Refresh”
Back to smartphones.
Some think that the next Nexus phone from LG will simply be a Nexus 4 “refresh”. I disagree for one primary reason: the Nexus 4 “refresh” is already here! We talked about it not long ago. It’s essentially the same phone on the inside, but outside it has a few “bumps” on the bottom of the shell to hold the glass back of the phone up and off of whatever surface it’s sitting on. Depending on who you ask, this was done to keep the rear speaker from being muffled, to help keep the back from being scratched, or to reduce the likelihood of the phone “walking” off the table and breaking. I think it was the latter, as my newly replaced Nexus 4 no longer has the “magic feet” issue, and stays right where I put it.
More Storage? CDMA? LTE?
Another theory is that the “next Nexus” will simply be another iteration of today’s Nexus 4 with 32 and 64GB storage options, or a CDMA version, or one that includes LTE — or all of the above.
While all of those would be welcome additions to the Nexus 4, after the backlash that Samsung has gotten over their Galaxy S4 being “just another SGS3″, I doubt Google would release “just another Nexus 4″.
LG Nexus 5
Looking at history, it’s likely that Google will select LG to make the next Nexus, just like Samsung and HTC before were selected to make two generations of Nexi before giving someone else the opportunity to make the next one.
Next, the latest and greatest in the Nexus line (on the smartphone side) is currently the Nexus 4, which is essentially a “Google-ized” LG Optimus G. Put another way, LG first made the Optimus G, then based the Nexus 4 heavily on that design. We’re now seeing hints at a new phone from LG that some think could be the Nexus 5. Again, using history as our guide, this “mystery phone” is likely the next iteration in the Optimus G line, but LG may use it as a template for the Nexus 5.
What can we expect if the Nexus 5 is made by LG? We’ll likely see an upgraded processor, very probably LTE, an even better camera, increased storage space, and its screen resolution could be upped to 1080P to match that of its closest competitors. We’d probably also keep Qi wireless charging, add Bluetooth 4.0, and get a new graphics processor that’s capable of showing off OpenGL ES 3.0 like we talked about yesterday. I think it’s also safe to say that the Nexus 5 will probably be released running Android 5.0.
What about you?
Do you think that an LG-made Nexus 5 will be good for the Nexus line? Will it be able to compete with the HTC One and Galaxy S4? Do you think my predictions are accurate, or do you have another opinion? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!