Today, Google announced the next name of its Android operating system – version 4.4, or “KitKat” – without showing off a new phone. The last several Android releases have seen some sort of hardware launch, whether it’s Google-branded hardware, in the case of the Nexus program, or with a third party, as in the case of the Motorola Xoom. But today, nada.
Or was there?
In a video of the new Android KitKat statue (for the uninitiated, Google installs an Android statue on campus with every named Android release) posted to YouTube, there was a special surprise around the 39-second mark.
The Google employee on the right holds a Nexus 4, while the employee on the left is clearly holding some sort of unreleased Nexus device. The only logical conclusion is that it’s the successor to the Nexus 4 – the new horizontal Nexus branding on the rear of the device follows the design theme started by the 2013 Nexus 7, showing that it’s a pretty new product.
But I think we can get a little more information from this picture, can’t we?
Using the new quantum upsampling data restoration algorithms…
Well, okay, it doesn’t give us much. But the various blobs at the bottom of the Nexus 5 are strongly reminiscent of the LG logo at the bottom of the Nexus 4. It’s been widely rumored that LG, who built the Nexus 4 for Google on the former’s Optimus G platform, would be doing the same for the new Nexus phone, building upon the new LG G2 handset.
In the screengrab above, the Nexus 5 is proportionally larger than the Nexus 4, which makes sense if it’s a G2 in Nexus clothing, as the G2 has a larger, 5.2-inch screen.
Other specifications are likely to include a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB of storage space. Google was burned by the CDMA carriers for the Galaxy Nexus, and as a result, the Nexus 4 was never made available to customers on Verizon or Sprint. The Nexus 5 may be the phone to bring Google’s developer line back to those carriers, as high-speed LTE has become that much more important since last year.
There’s still no word as to when we can expect an official Nexus 5 launch, but the first day of IFA is in just two days – which is the same day that the KitKat blitz is scheduled to take off. Could we see a new Google phone, too?
Still, it’s clear that Google wasn’t quite ready to show the Nexus 5 off to the world. The video, which was shot, edited, and uploaded just yesterday, has already been taken down.