Nexus 5 release date, rumours and everything you need to know

With the Nexus 4 now being the oldest device in the Nexus stable, it's time to turn our attention to the Nexus 5. When will the Nexus 5 launch? What will be different? How will it compare to the Nexus 4?

There's a swirl of rumour and speculation circulating on the internet, with the expected release date perhaps even being sooner than we think, so we're pulling together all the details and trying to separate the wheat from the chaff and build a picture of Google's next Nexus smartphone.

We'll update the feature as and when new details become known.

Nexus 5 release date

The Nexus 4 was launched on 29 October 2012, replacing the Galaxy Nexus, launched before that on 19 October 2011. The pattern suggests a late-October launch date for the Nexus 5, with stock landing in the Google Play store soon after, most likely within two weeks.

However, a Pocket-lint trusted source has sent us some pictures taken in a Carphone Warehouse storeroom, claiming that stock arrived on 31 October and hinting that a possible Google announcement could come the very same day. With the stock already with the UK retailer, that also suggests it won't be too long afterwards that you'll be able to get your hands on one.

Nexus 5 manufacturer

The Nexus devices have skipped from one manufacturer to another - with HTC, Samsung, LG and Asus having all been involved so far - so there's always speculation over who will actually build the handset.

There were reports suggesting LG, Motorola and Asus were all in with a chance at one point, but the current and continuing thinking is that it will be LG, with the D820 passing through the FCC being the device in question.

LG was the manufacturer for the Nexus 4; the Nexus 5 will likely take much of the hardware from the LG G2 and again some of the FCC details tally with specs found on the LG G2, suggesting similarities.

The past couple of weeks has seen more and more details coming from the FCC, including much better images of the device commonly thought to be the Nexus 5 made by LG. A recent manual leak also confirms LG, with plenty of details revealed about the forthcoming LG Nexus device.

Nexus 5 display

Rumours have put the Nexus 5 display at 5.2-inches, with that rumour coming from Vietnamese site Tinhte. That would fit with the LG G2, which is thought to be the device that will evolve into the Nexus 5, so that's a plausable size.

But, an FCC document points at closer to 5-inches. That figure sounds about right as it matches with the size of most of the flagship devices currently on the market: the SGS4, HTC One and LG G2 all come in around that size.

We'd expect to see a 1080p display in place, with a recent "leak" purporting to show the Nexus 5 in a bar revealing little of the actual specifications, but showing the device being unlocked.

A recent manual leak settles the display rumours on 4.95-inches. The size would most likely be referred to as 5-inches. It's said to be an IPS display, so giving great viewing angles, as well as having that 1920 x 1080 resolution. Another leak from Canadian carrier Wind, which also revealed a swathe of other specifications, confirms that size too.

There was also a seven minute video leaked supporting the suggestions of a 4.95-inch IPS display, large camera on the back, and dual speakers found on the bottom, although the video has sinced been removed.

Nexus 5 software

The introduction of a new Nexus device usually debuts a new version of Android. Again, Google's recent announcement of Android 4.4 KitKat suggests that the timings are set for an announcement soon.

Android 4.4 KitKat, obviously, is wrapped up in a promotional campaign with Nestlé, but the erection of a KitKat Android figure outside the Mountain View HQ suggests that there's going to be a fair number of changes in this new version.

Those changes are yet to be revealed officially, but Google has already set up the Android page for KitKat, telling us it will be sweet - pun absolutely intended.

For a long time the next iteration of Android was thought to be Key Lime Pie. Revealing the story behind the Google and Nestle tie-up on Android 4.4 KitKat, the BBC revealed that Key Lime Pie was being used as a codename, right up until the KitKat reveal.

The FCC details point to a software version running on Key Lime Pie: the name may have taken a recent change, but there's evidence to suggest that the device in question does have a new Android software version on board.

There have been a few Android 4.4 KitKat screenshots revealed since the initial rumours. So far we've seen the boot and pattern unlock screen as seen in the video above, but more recently we've had a glance at the messages and dialler apps. There's little real detail to get to grips with here, as there's no mention of new Android KitKat features.

More recently, a number of Android 4.4 mentions have appeared in log files - corroborating some of the Nexus 5 hardware information - as well as early Android KitKat leaks showing off some new features expected to come to Android. It looks like the camera will be getting some more attention, native printing from Android, as well as options to better control your call plan straight from the OS.

Website Tutto Android posted some pictures of the new software showing the Tap to Pay mode in the settings, suggesting a more overt push for NFC connectivity, as well as a move away from black for the top bar and on-screen button section. It is also surmised that the main homescreen will be clean on first boot, with just a camera and phone icon present at the bottom and a Google search bar at the top, as well as more emphasis on battery and power management.

The features seen in the Tutto Android pictures have also been supported by ZDnet, who published a gallery with a number of screenshots featuring a clean main homescreen with just a camera and phone icon present, as well as a Google search bar, integrated NFC payments and power and battery emphasis.

In addition, press renders have also been leaked, showing a clear view of Android 4.4 KitKat's launcher packing a clear design. The images also show Hangouts replacing Messenger as the default messaging app on the four-icon dock, which makes sense given Google's recent API announcement. Of course, you'd be able to shift things around as these are only app shortcuts.

Nexus 5 design

The first glimpse that pointed to the Nexus 5 design came from a frame of a video that showed a device in the hands of a Google employee at the unveiling of the giant Android KitKat.

It certainly looks like a device large enough to accomodate a 5-inch display and there's prominent Nexus lettering across the back and possibly the LG logo towards the bottom.

There have a been a number of leaks, of the normal blurrycam style, showing what's thought to be the Nexus 5. The most distinctive feature at the moment appears to be the camera lens surround, which matches the video frame above to the device pictured at the FCC as well as being shown off in a bar.

This was also supported by "weespeed", a member of the MacRumors forum who claims to physically have had his hands on the Nexus-branded handset. The photo that accompanies the forum post shows a handset we've seen before: a black back, vertical Nexus logo and large camera surround.

Weespeed claims to have held the Nexus 5, and notes that it feels smaller than the LG G2 and closer to the Nexus 7.

A manual leak added flesh to these bones, showing off line drawings of the device, as well as showing more detailed shots, although we note that the source was asked to remove the images, so we're guessing they're bang on the money.

More recently, the Nexus 5 has appeared as a listing on the Google Play Store, along with a full press photo of the Nexus 5 straight off Google's servers confirming everything we've seen so far: a 5-inch display encased inside of a matte black shell, a large camera on the back and Android 4.4 KitKat, detailing the transparent app launcher at the bottom and a redesigned Gmail and Camera icon, as well as Hangouts replacing SMS on the home screen, too.


Nexus 5 hardware specs

There are several rumours pointing to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 as the chipset that will sit at the core of the Nexus 5. It's Qualcomm's latest, found in the newest devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z1. It fits with the Nexus past too, offering power for developers, but without all the other specs that consumers might call for.

The FCC doc again makes this suggestion. We'd imagine a pairing with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, although this is just speculation on our part, there's no evidence to support this detail yet. Google typically avoids microSD card expansion on Nexus devices and we'd expect this to continue.

More recently, there has been a leak of a benchmark test, with the results of the GFXBench T-Res HD Off-screen test showing the Nexus 5 scoring above every other smartphone, except the iPhone 5S which it was on a par with. 

The FCC filing covers wireless connections, with a wide listing of network bands from various flavours of LTE downwards. This is line with that we'd expect: one of the notable exclusions from the Nexus 4 was LTE support, we'd expect that to be high on the agenda for the Nexus 5.

NFC and wireless charging are a given, so you can expect to see both in place when the Nexus 5 is launched.

A recent manual leak has again stated the specs of the Nexus 5, confirming the 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB storage options, as well the display we mentioned earlier. The battery is said to be 2,300mAh, which doesn't sound huge. The previously mentioned slip-up by Wind also confirms these specs.

Nexus 5 camera

There's little information on the Nexus 5 camera yet. The camera is often a relative weakness of the Nexus devices, with Google using it to showcase Android features, rather than pushing claims of high quality, like the mainstream devices do.

As we'd suspected, the leaked manual confirms an 8-megapixel sensor for the Nexus 5. That sounds fair - it's pretty much an industry average - but the exciting detail is the optical image stabilisation. We've seen a number of verisons of OIS in smartphones so far and it's interesting to see that the camera unit being used by Google will include this. We're guessing it uses the same stabilisation system that LG used in the G2. 

We'd also expect to a range of improvements to the native camera app, with recent leaks suggesting there will be more options in the camera to add consumer excitement.

Leaked packaging that has since been removed shows there could not only be a white Nexus coming but the packaging also draws attention to that large camera lens, right on the front, suggesting we can expect some impressive camera offerings. If the packaging is genuine, that is, as it looks a lot like a Photoshopped Nokia box.

Nexus 5 price

We'd expect the Nexus 5 to be aggressively priced as it has been in the past. We'd expect good processor and display specs, but with a number of limitations to keep the price down: limiting the internal storage and the camera are most likely to be where Google economises.

Phone Arena recently published that it had received a tip from a source explaining that there would be two models with different storage capacity as well as a different-sized battery. The site said that, if its source is to be believed, the 16GB Nexus 5 will come with a 2300mAh battery and will cost $299 (£186) SIM-free on launch. The 32GB Nexus 5 will have a 3000mAh battery and cost $399 SIM-free.

However more recently, the Nexus 5 was listed on the Google Play Store and although it available to buy the price listed was $349 (£215), which we suspect will be for the 16GB model if past models are anything to go by.