Although Google-owned Motorola seems the logical choice for manufacturing Google’s Nexus 5, a new rumor from Chinese tech blog MyDrivers hints that LG may be producing the successor to its own Nexus 4. The Android 5.0-powered Nexus 5 will likely be based on LG’s latest flagship handset, the phablet-sized G2, but with slightly scaled-down components.
The Nexus line of smartphones has been a hit for Google for three main reasons: they run a stock, un-skinned version of the Android operating system, they receive the earliest Android updates from Google, and they can be bought off-contract for a reasonable price. The basic 8GB version of the Nexus 4 can be bought from the Google Play store for a mere $299.
MyDrivers sources claim that Google intends to keep the $299 price point for the G2-based Nexus 5. This seems hard to believe, considering that the LG G2 has a retail price of 950,000 won ($852). It seems that scaling back some of the G2’s flagship-worthy specs will be necessary to make an affordable Nexus 5 modeled after it.
“There are a couple of relatively large changes that will need to be made – and are suggested by the same [South Korean] source – the first of them being the change of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor aboard the LG G2 as it stands today. This processor is said to cost a bit too much for a Nexus device with Google, therefore requiring those constructing this Nexus 5 device to replace it with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor,” explained Slash Gear.
Another component that is likely to be swapped out with something less expensive is the G2’s high-end 13MP camera. The current Nexus 4 has a rather dated 8MP shooter on the back, so making the jump all the way up to 13 seems unlikely. The Nexus 5 will supposedly be equipped with a 10MP camera instead.
The placement of the power and volume buttons on the back of the G2 may also be changed if it is to become the next Nexus.
“Google is loathe to even include a microSD card slot with their line of Nexus devices: LG would be hard pressed to convince the big G that their rather unique hardware would be best for a machine that’s supposed to be the standard for developers and pure-Android lovers alike,” Slash Gear said.
The back buttons could end up being relocated to the sides for a more conventional Nexus approach, and it may also end up being thicker than the current G2.
The screen size and full HD resolution is likely to remain the same, as is the 2GB of RAM and 3000 mAh battery. Unlike the 8 and 16GB Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 will probably come with more reasonable 16 or 32GB options. It will also be the first phone to launch with Android 5.0, nicknamed Key Lime Pie.
If LG and Google can accomplish all of this for only $299 – without a contract – a G2-based Nexus 5 could steal a lot of attention from Samsung, HTC, and even the purported iPhone 5C.