Share this Story

LG Nexus 5 Round-up: A Beautiful Render, Plus Everything We Know

LG Nexus 5 mockup

Of course, as I’m on a plane back from New York, the LG Nexus 5 floodgates open with fury thanks to an FCC filing that outed more details than I think Google would have liked them to. So now that I’m all caught up on everything, it’s time for a recap, since there seems to be some confusion, especially around whether or not this bad boy will work on Verizon. This is what we’re pretty sure we know thus far. 

First, a huge thanks to @epicrivas for the render at the top of the post. While that’s not official, we know that the device does look similar, thanks to a quickly pulled Google Kit Kat unveiling video. For now, this is about as clean as it gets in terms of a look at the new Nexus. While it may be another mega-black slab, it does look minimal and sexy. Mmhmm.

LG Nexus 5

Ok, so we first reported that the codename for the device was going to be “hammerhead” last week. That report is now confirmed to have been spot on, as the FCC filing revealed the name in a software build that also referenced the name Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie was likely an early build of Android 4.4 before the name change to Kit Kat, so don’t look into that much. If anything, it just proves that the move to Kit Kat was fairly recent and that KLP was in line to be the name for some time.

Sources of ours had previously indicated that this launch would be more of a new “Nexus 4″ than a Nexus 5. But with a 5” display, that could obviously change.

We know that the model number is D820. For reference, the LG G2, which is said to be the base for this new Nexus, carries model number D802. Seems like a natural step in model number progression.


  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (M8974A)
  • 4.96″ display
  • 2300mAh battery
  • NFC
  • Wireless charging
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.42.22 AM

In terms of connectivity (the important stuff to Verizon customers), we are looking at a GSM/CDMA device that can also connect to a variety of LTE bands. Unfortunately, this does not look like a Verizon-compatible device, as much as we all hope that it will be, the chances are pretty slim. The FCC filing shows GSM and WCDMA, meaning it should work fine on both T-Mobile and AT&T in terms of 3G. Verizon, as you know, runs its 3G network on CDMA, which is also present here in bands 0, 1, and 10. Now, the tests show CDMA frequencies in the 800MHz and 1900MHz ranges, but those could be for Sprint. Verizon does run its CDMA network in those ranges, so yes, there is a bit of hope.

In terms of LTE, we’re looking at bands 2, 4, 5, 17, 25, 26, and 41. Notice anything missing? That would be band 13, the LTE frequency that Verizon currently runs its entire LTE network on. Now, you will notice a band 4 in there, which will eventually host Verizon’s AWS LTE spectrum, and should rollout later this year. Problem is, Verizon only plans to launch 5,000 sites with AWS connectivity by the end of the year, which is not exactly covering much of the country. So even if Verizon decides to allow the new Nexus access to its CDMA network, the phone wouldn’t even have full LTE coverage throughout the country. Can you really envision a situation where Verizon, who is as anal as it gets about experience on its network, is going to allow a phone to barely work on only a portion of its network?

I hate to squash dreams, but no band 13 is not a good sign. Remember, with CDMA, Verizon gets to decide who connects to their network – this could be a case where they said, “No thanks, and please don’t use our LTE either.”

“But what if it’s an LTE-only device?” you ask? Could be, but again, Verizon is only deploying 5,000 AWS sites by the end of this year. They will continue to rollout more next year of course, and will also include the AWS frequency in phones by the end of the year, I just don’t think this Nexus is making the cut. After all, it’s still a phone that needs to make calls, something it wouldn’t be able to do if it couldn’t also connect to Verizon’s CDMA network.

The phone will work just fine on Sprint (bands 25 and 26), T-Mobile (band 4), and AT&T (band 17) LTE networks.

Exciting stuff (if you aren’t a Verizon customer). We are hearing from sources that late October could be the big reveal.

Update:  The FCC screwed up and posted a handful of pictures of the device to an LG G2 filing. While the device pictured is clearly an early prototype, it gives us a clear shot of what we can expect in terms of styling for the next Nexus.

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 7.24.13 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 7.24.27 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 7.46.17 AM

  • Icehunter

    Once this phone comes out I’m either going Sprint or T-Mobile

  • buildakicker

    I almost pulled the trigger on the HTC One, but waited for the Moto X. Now I like the Moto X more and will get one off contract, but wait! The Nexus 5! I still have a VZW unlimited plan with the gnex, I don’t want to loose it. $600 phone is worth not leaving the unlimited deal… So if this Nexus 5 isn’t on VZW, I’ll be getting the MotoX. Maybe.

  • Aaron Rissler

    I have N4 on T-Mobile $30 unlimited and I get coverage as long as I am not in small towns and I actually get better service than Verizon in some places. However I can never seem to get HSPA+ where I am at. I don’t know if this is the service (says first 5GB at upto 4G speeds) or just coverage.

    • marque2

      I have the same plan, and was hoping to get a Nexus 5 for da wife – but she talks more so the Virgin $35 plan seems like a better fit. Was hoping this phone would work on Sprint. On T-Mobile they seem to have raised prices and cut back data on all the plans except the $30 plan, so their other plans are no longer a bargain.

  • soccerburn55

    What about if when they launch AWS band 4 if we just wanted to use google voice on LTE and wifi and just deal with areas where we may not have coverage. Think its possible to do something like that if you are willing to deal with having Tmobile coverage?

    • marque2

      Problem is that the phone goes to fall back mode all the time. It tries to get the best service possible but in many areas only GSM or CDMA are available. Shoot I was driving between El Paso and Midland TX and there wasn’t any AT&T / T-Mobile (GSM/LTE) service for the 300 stretch and this is a major freeway! My credit cards were cancelled and I would have been stranded without gas – but I was able to use WiFi from a hotel to make a Google voice call via the Second Phone app.

      Driving large parts of the country, I am surprised how little cell phone coverage there actually is. So anyway, If you expect to use LTE exclusively without dropping into CDMA frequently and have half way decent phone experience fagetaboutit.

  • Sirx

    BWAHAHAHAHHAAAAHAHAHAAAA! No thanks, Google. F*ck no thanks.

    • duckmanbill

      Don’t worry, it has wireless charging. So just have a 10000mAh wireless charger in your pocket. It will charge your phone on the go. And keep your balls warm!

  • newsjunkieintl

    There’s a Nexus 5 variant sighted for Bluetooth certification, LG-D821. That might be the Verzon phone. If you remember for the gen3 Galaxy Nexus, Verizon got a different model number.

    • marque2

      I don’t understand this, wouldn’t all Nexus 5’s need Bluetooth to accommodate NFC, as well Bluetooth headsets and such?

  • There is a way to get unlimited data on Verizon right now. I just need to find out the proper steps.

    • duckmanbill

      No way unless you have it grandfathered.

  • MrWicket

    “..as the FCC filing revealed the name in a software build that also referenced the name Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie was likely an early build of Android 4.4 before the name change to Kit Kat, so don’t look into that much. If anything, it just proves that the move to Kit Kat was fairly recent and that KLP was in line to be the name for some time.”

    Not entirely true, yes they were calling it KLP but the decision was made end of 2012, Google just kept it real quite and continued to use the KLP name to keep everyone off the trail.

  • Ian Wilson

    Verizon doesn’t deserve the Nexus 5! I just left them after over 6 years of service to go with T-Mobile instead. I had unlimited data and was sick of paying so much for not even that great LTE and not being able to upgrade. I had to have them send me a Galaxy SIII after my Galaxy Nexus got destroyed by the 4.2.2 update. They’re overrated and you have to pay attention to your bill with those assholes! Can’t even count all the times I’ve had credits applied to my account, not to mention a breach of contract on their part!

  • Stephen

    Just got the Moto x (late, but at least I’ve got it), a surprising lte coverage in my area, and unlimited data. And now the possibility of the Nexus 5, I’m becoming more and more glad that I decided to stay with Sprint.

  • Gasaraki

    2300mAh battery? That’s it? They want this to run for 6 hours or something?

  • Alan Paone

    I am still holding out hope for a bottom headphone jack.

  • duckmanbill

    “They will continue to rollout more next year of course, and will also include the AWS frequency in phones by the end of the year” FYI Galaxy S4 can run on AWS frequencies. It will just require a software update when it’s rolled out.

  • jimv1983

    I was excited about the Nexus 5 until I saw that it will only have a 2,300mAh battery. That is just sad and pathetic. I sure hope it doesn’t have a 1080p screen or the battery life will be even worse.

  • Michael Aston

    KEWL, Google have single fingered saluted Verizon! Sell now!

    • duckmanbill

      more likely the other way round

  • duckmanbill

    Another likely reason Verizon are not on board is that they have a number of customers grandfathered into unlimited data that they want to get rid of (without pissing off too much). An affordable out-of-contract brand new LTE phone would enable these customers to stay grandfathered even longer.

  • Robert Landrum

    I really hope they offer a white version from the start. Even though most people hated the white N4, I prefer the panda look instead of all white.

  • kevin mccutcheon

    Finally we are getting to the point where the entire front of the phone is screen… Take my money.

  • ThinkingItover

    For me it is a combination of factors. 1) I pay about 106 per month for unlimited data, texting, and 450 min plus 5 fave friends, and that is getting old. 2) I really am over the bloatware and slowed down updates. 3) I use about 3.5 gbs of data outside of wifi and that is not worth paying subsidized rates and full off contract price for a phone. 4) I want the Nexus 5. If the Nexus 5 is priced as nicely as the Nexus 4 was I think I will switch. I just want to know the best pre-paid service for AT&T.

    Lately I have been thinking about getting a Nexus 5 on straight talk, and then a tablet on VZW LTE. In the end monthly I should still come in below what I pay now.

  • jimv1983

    With a pathetically sad battery of only 2,300mAh I’m surprised anyone is even considering this phone.

  • Ken

    with the bad taste of the galaxy nexus, i won’t be going with a nexus again until it has a battery 3000 mah or over. it probably won’t even be on verizon. here’s hoping nexus 6 will be a motorola nexus maxx.

  • ChuckG73

    God could you imagine what would happen if AT&T would give me an incentive to make the switch. I am out of contract with VZW and month to month, but am grandfathered with unlimited data. My wife and I use @ 8GB of data a month so I need enough data and a better price. I tried T_Mobile but their network coverage does not meet our needs. I am paying 180+ a month for 2 phones, 1400 shared minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data. Nothing would make me happier than to say c’est la vie to VZW.

    • czaplin

      Check att’s prepaid AIO. Everything unlimited, 7GB of high speed data for $70/mo.

  • htowngtr

    I would go with T-MO if their coverage wasn’t complete ass outside a major city.

  • Jess B

    I really hope they make a car dock.

  • Geekout

    Dear Verizon,
    You never fail to PISS ME OFF. The only reason i’m still with you is for your 4G network coverage.