Could the Nexus 5 be called Nexus 4 (2013)?

by: Chris SmithOctober 3, 2013

Nexus 5 leak

The fifth-generation Nexus smartphone may be called Nexus 4 – Nexus 4 (2013) maybe? –a publication that has further explored the earlier leaked Android 4.4 KitKat image gallery suggests.

It appears that, if real, these pictures tell a more complex story than initially believed. In what follows we’re going to show you again some of them, which reveal beyond any doubt that the handset we’re looking at isn’t the Nexus 4 – or at least not the 2012 model.

Android 4.4 KitKat

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the next Nexus handset will be called Nexus 4 (2013), but these new reports certainly make sense considering the evidence presented and the fact that older, unverified, rumors have also suggested the new Nexus smartphone will still be called Nexus 4.

This isn’t a Nexus 4 (2012)…

Tutto Android speculates that the Nexus 5 will actually be called the Nexus 4 (2013), with Google keeping a similar naming fashion to the Nexus 7 – this year’s new Nexus 7 tablet is officially referred to as Nexus 7 (2013).

While there’s no way of confirming it at this time, there are two images that, when further processed reveal a front-facing camera placement that’s not characteristic for the Nexus 4.

The Nexus 4 has the camera on the right side and the proximity sensor on the left, with the earpiece in a central position. The device in these images (Nexus 5 / Nexus 4 (2013) ) has the camera on the left side with the earpiece in the center, but in a lower position than on the Nexus 4, with the proximity sensor placed on the right.


Galaxy Nexus (left) vs Nexus 4 (right) – Both handsets have the front-facing camera on the right.

Interestingly, this particular setup is consistent with a recent Nexus 5 leak – the prototype spotted in a bar and photographed front and back. That particular unit looked very similar to the device used by a Google employee to photograph the new KitKat statue on Google’s campus (see the following sequence of images).

Android 4.4 KitKat

Original picture – front camera and earpiece not visible.

Android 4.4 KitKat

Processed picture – front camera visible on the left side, and earpiece in the middle. Also note the button on the left side.

Android 4.4 KitKat screenshot

Original picture – front camera and earpiece not visible.

Android 4.4 KitKat

Processed picture – front camera visible on the left side, and earpiece in the middle. Also note the button on the left side.

LG Nexus 5 in bar

LG Nexus 5 found in a bar – front side reveals camera placement on the left and earpiece in the middle. On the right, sensors can be spotted.

LG Nexus 5 in bar

LG Nexus 5 found in a bar – back side shows the same camera placement and Nexus logo as the handset photographed on Google’s campus.

Nexus 5 at Android 4.4 KitKat statue unveiling

New Nexus handset filmed during Google’s KitKat statue unveiling.

Therefore, it would appear that the device in today’s leaked images is not the Nexus 4 made last year, even though that’s what the software says it is.

Since we’re talking about the About phone screen, we’ll note that the Nexus 7 (2013) is identified by the software as “Nexus 7,” just like the Nexus 7 (2012) is. So before you ask, we wouldn’t expect to see “Nexus 4 (2013)” in the About phone section of this device even if it’s name would indeed be Nexus 4 (2013).

Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012) About tablet screen. | Image credit: TechnoBuffalo

Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012) About tablet screen. | Image credit: TechnoBuffalo

One piece of the puzzle that doesn’t seem to fit with the Nexus 4 or leaked Nexus 5 images is the button placed on the left side of the handset, which is smaller than you’d expect it to be – and which should be a volume rocker.

The publication also notes that the bezel of this handset doesn’t resemble the Nexus 4’s bezel, which has a chrome finish that runs around the entire display. It would also appear that the corners of the device (or at least the left corner that’s visible in the retouched images above) aren’t as round as you’d expect them to be on a Nexus 4.

But is it the fifth-gen Nexus model?

However, in addition to the front camera placement that unequivocally proves this isn’t a Nexus 4 (2012) model, there’s other evidence that indicates this could be a Nexus 5 / Nexus 4 (2013) model.

The Hammerhead codename which we have talked about earlier today was spotted in previous Nexus 5 leaks, including the leaked log file,  and it’s the name of a shark family, or a fish. Coincidentally or not, this particular handset name seems like a logical choice considering a very early 2013 rumor that said the Nexus 5 will also be an LG job, with the device having an LG Megalodon (extinct shark family) code name.

All previous Nexus smartphones had fish names as well, with Nexus 4 being known as mako, which is also a shark type.

Furthermore, Tutto Android points out the fact that considering the high quality of the pictures it should be possible to spot independent pixels on the screen of this device when zooming in. Because that doesn’t happen, that’s one more reason to believe this isn’t a Nexus 4 but a device with a higher resolution. The Nexus 5 is already rumored to have a Full HD display.

Finally, the baseband of the device is actually older than the one on the Nexus 4. The publication speculates this happened because we’re looking at a Nexus model that will have LTE support, unlike the Nexus 4 whose limited and unofficial LTE powers had to be suppressed by baseband updates.

One other element that the publication says points to a Full HD display is the icon arrangement in the app drawer. Instead of a 5 x 5 app arrangement as found on the Nexus 4, we’re looking at a 5 x 4 arrangement that could indicate a 16:9 aspect ratio of the screen, which is what a Full HD resolution will offer.

Wrap up

The easiest conclusion one can draw here is that everything is a fake. This isn’t Android 4.4 KitKat and that’s not a Nexus 4 (2012) or any other Nexus for that matter. As we said before, these images aren’t official, so there’s always a possibility that these are fakes. But in such a case, what device has been used to produce this contraption?

However, in case they’re real, we’ll point out the obvious fact: both the handset and the OS version can’t be final. The device is running a mid- to late August Android build version, one that’s still called Key Lime Pie considering that it predates the KitKat official announcement (which came in early September), so software-wise things are certainly not final.

Similarly, the device may be an older test prototype, which would explain why it’s not entirely similar to the post-KitKat announcement Nexus 5 pictures we’ve seen – in particular that button on the left side has us puzzled.

As for the name, the Nexus 4 shown in there may be a mistake, or a placeholder name for the device. After all, Google managed to full most people, including most of its own employees to believe that Key Lime Pie was going to be the next desert name of Android.

What’s clear though considering the design elements we’ve looked at is that this isn’t the “old” Nexus 4 model here – something we ourselves missed when looking through what these reported Android 4.4 screens had to show.

The Nexus 4 name, as listed on the About phone screen was easily accepted by my brain, under the assumption the images are real, of course, as a kind of the device I’d expect to see KitKat leaks on before the OS becomes official – after all, we’re used to see unreleased Android versions run on existing Nexus devices before they’re officially announced – turning me oblivious to the front camera’s placement, which was apparently hidden in plain sight.

Finally, and in light of these new details revealed by Tutto Android, it’s worth mentioning one other aspect about these photos. None of them shows the entire handset. Only pieces of the turned on screen are offered, and only after you play around with them you’ll discover the front-facing camera of the handset – something that probably wasn’t meant to be shown in the leak.

Does this detail mean we’re looking at a fake? Or is it maybe a controlled leak to further increase the buzz around KitKat and the new Nexus?

We still have unanswered questions, but we’ll certainly keep our eyes open, even wider, for more details.

  • wezi427

    Why not? Nexus 7

  • theotheruseoneishere

    why change the name anyways? it is only 1 phone that google has so, keep the name. nexus 4 2012, nexus 4 2013, and etc.

    • TechDevil

      Uh, no, there are 3 other phones in the Nexus series; Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus.

    • Rabid Rotty

      Do your research before you make an idiot of yourself, oops to late

      • TechDevil

        Your comment + your profile picture = epic win

        • Rabid Rotty

          Tech Devil that comment wasn’t meant for you, it was meant for theotheruseroneishare, damn discuss. I thought they fixed these mis-sort errors, so I guess it was an epic win for Disqus LOL

          • TechDevil

            Uh, no, Disqus worked perfectly. It says you responded to him, and my comment is below yours, not above. So it definitely shows that you responded to him, and I responded to you. I just wanted to mention how appropriate the combination of your message and profile picture was, hahaha!

          • Rabid Rotty

            Ahhh ok something went all buggy on my screen, DAMN YOU INTERNET LOL have a great weekend

      • theotheruseoneishere

        ok smartass. i meant the new one. who cares. name them whatever.

        • Rabid Rotty

          Uhm you said it only has 1 phone anyways. So how could you mean the new one? I’d rather be a smart ass than a dumb ass. Just saying.

  • TechDevil

    This only creates confusion. I hope we get the Nexus 5 name.

    • Crowd_Sorcerer

      Both the Nexus-2013 and the Nexus 2012 have screens that are close to 5 inches, but not quite.

      The Nexus-2012 was closer to 5 inches than 4 inches, yet they called it the Nexus 4. Because of that, I think the Nexus-2013 will also be called the Nexus 4.

      Yes, a bit confusing to call them ‘4’, but that’s what will happen.

      • TechDevil

        I thought the Nexus 4 was called the Nexus “4” because it was Google’s 4th smartphone?

        • Failbots

          Yup, pay no attention to the dummies behind the red curtain.

        • Chad Vincent

          But the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are based on screen size, and is the only pattern that holds. (There was no Nexus 2 or 3, they were the S and Galaxy, respectively.)

          4 just was lucky enough to fit both definitions.

          • TechDevil

            “Lucky” or planned that way? ;)

          • Chad Vincent

            Could be either. :)

            But for now, the “S” and “Galaxy” prevent me from assuming “4 = 4th Gen” as anything more than plausible.

        • martin carlosena

          Ohh yeah??? What happens when they get to the seventh edition. I THINK Ever since they started adding devices to the nexus line they stopped that. We’ll have to wait and see though

          • TechDevil

            First of all, three question marks and some words in all capitals are not needed to get your point across. And I think they could easily name the seventh edition of the Nexus smartphone something entirely different than a number. They did the “Galaxy Nexus”, they can easily call the 7th edition anything they like.

          • martin carlosena

            I can put 10 question marks if I please. Understand??? ¿??????? I have my opinion on what the phone will be called just like you have yours. Until the phone is officially announced nothing is certain. So stop trying to educate on something you don’t know for sure. Give an opinion like everyone else.

          • TechDevil

            I never said I had a problem with it. What I’m trying to say is, multiple question marks make your comment the more ridicolous, and the more question marks, the less anybody takes it seriously. Unless you were planning for everybody to take your point as childish, you might want to think about using proper, solid, decent arguments rather than a hundred question marks and WRITING LIKE THIS.

          • martin carlosena

            You clearly have a problem with it if you’re going to mention it. This is a comment section of a article. I’m pretty sure people don’t care how I choose to put my point across. You’re responding to my childish arguments, so what does that make you? Stick to the topic, and stop worrying about me ) jk. I think it’s logical for it to be called nexus 5 too. And maybe it’s model number is nexus 4 because it’s a very early build of kitkat (still named klm in the leak). I would hate having to refer to it as the nexus 4 2013 every time that’s for sure.

          • TechDevil

            Just for the sakes of responding and finishing this once and for all, people obviously care how others write and speak. Go anywhere on the Internet, and people will be correcting each other’s grammar, and it’s not to be mean, it’s to help. Even if you don’t take it as help, that’s what the intention is, so screw you for being so arrogant about it. Yes, I respond to your childish arguments, and you’re saying that makes me childish? No, that makes me rational. I know how to use decent arguments to get a point across and I don’t need to put 10 question marks after it to prove a point. The fact that you even try to make me seem like the bad guy is laughable. You are more than welcome to bring your opinion to the table, but you lose my respect by using capitals and overusing question marks, and you lose my respect even further by defending yourself this way. I would respect you if you had said “I like question marks” or anything similar, but trying to say I have a problem with it, and you can do whatever you like without giving a fuck is something I can guarauntee won’t help you in the future when talking to other people. Try being nice to people – just try – it gets you further than this attitude you have towards me.

            And to stay on the topic, leaks are leaks – they are never confirmed. I don’t trust anything on these leaks, I just think they are nice-looking. Let’s wait for the official announcement, it should be just around the corner.

          • martin carlosena

            Wow, I’m sorry you took it so personal. I’m not looking for your respect. And just because I don’t write things the way you like, doesn’t make what I’m saying any less credible. If you can’t get passed a few questions marks., than you need to learn to think outside the box because like I said this is only a comment area and many people like me don’t really care. You should focus on understanding what I’m trying to get across regarding the article and not so much in the way I do so. It seems to me you aren’t thinking logically but more emotionally. I’m done this silly convo, have a good day.

          • martin carlosena

            And the capital letters was a mistake.

          • martin carlosena

            My reason for thinking it will be called the nexus 4 is because the leak of 4.4 running on the new nexus had it named Nexus 4 under model number. And I believe that leak is legit

        • Chris Caldwell

          then you didnt pay attention.

      • jibberjabber

        Read my posting under jibberjabber. Your interpretation of the naming convention is off. To be clear…the nexus naming convention for tablets refer to size (e.g. nexus 7 is a 7 inch tablet and the nexus 10 is a 10 inch tablet whereas phones refer to generation (e.g. nexus one, s, 4, or most likely 5). Thus the reason we have the nexus 7 2012 vs 2013 and the likelihood we will have the nexus 10 2013 model.

        • Joshua Hill

          This is possible, however as Google has not officially detailed their Nexus naming scheme yours is just speculation too.

        • Crowd_Sorcerer

          That sequential naming convention would not work, as sooner or later they would need a Nexus 6 phone and then a Nexus 7 phone, which would conflict with the tablets.

          I still think the 2013 phone will be a Nexus 4.

          • TechDevil

            They don’t necessarily need to call the Nexus 7 phone Nexus 7. Just like the Galaxy Nexus, it could use a word instead of a letter.

      • newsjunkieintl

        the gen2 and gen3 were also 4″ – 4.65″ but they were not called Nexus 4. It was Nexus 4 because it was gen4.

      • TechDevil

        “but that’s what will happen” <— you seem so certain, anything you'd like to add? Because the way you wrote that it appears you know it's going to be called Nexus 4, despite no other Nexus smartphone sharing names.

    • z0mer

      Please fire the idiot that is responsible for this lame asssss article. Thank yoU!

      • TechDevil

        While I agree the article isn’t all that fascinating, isn’t firing the author a tad extreme? Either way, I don’t work for this site (unfortunately, as I’m a huge Android fan and I think I could contribute with something, but oh well), so I don’t have the power to fire anyone.

  • Tamadrummer94

    No, the Nexus 4 (2013) has always been named that. You guys invented the Nexus 5 moniker ever since you heard that was a new generation coming. If the screen size is <5 inches (which it likely will be, even at 4.96"), then is see no reason to name it anything but Nexus 4 (2013). Same scheme with the Nexus 7.

    • TechDevil

      I hate to say it (I really do, because I don’t like yearly editions of the same name), but that actually makes sense.

      • Cole Raney

        No it doesn’t. If it is 4.96 inches it will be called 5 inches. No one would call ot 4 inches.

        • TechDevil

          I think he changed his message after I originally posted a response. Reading it again, you are right, it doesn’t make sense.

    • Ben Edwards

      4.96″ will become 5″ in all promotional material, just like the Galaxy S4 went from being 4.99″ to 5″ or how a 2L engine is in reality 1996cc (for arguments sake).

      • Igotcashboy

        I think they made it 4.96″ to make a 444ppi screen that makes sense because the next version is 4.4Kitkat and will be debuted on Nexus 4 (2013 edition). Thats just my opinion.

        • Ben Edwards

          The way you’ve tied all the 4’s together is simply brilliant.

  • They can call it whatever they like, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 or something totally crazy as long as they deliver another great phone at the same price points then I’m sue many people will be happy.

  • Elvis

    I want a nexus 6 pleasure model :-)

  • too long!

  • Ørjan Baglo

    I think nexus 5 is a better name than nexus 4 (2013), but if they call it the n5 what are they calling it next year? The nexus 6? For the sake of putting in place a naming convention that can last i think the best thing to do would be to go with the nexus 4 (2013) name.

    • Ben Edwards

      Problem is they haven’t really established a cohesive naming convention for the Nexus brand anyway. The N4 is named so for being the fourth-gen phone right? But the N7 and N10 are named for their screen size.

      • Joshua Hill

        How about they do away with numbers. Have a Nexus P and a Nexus T7 and T10. I think you guys can see for yourselves what I’m trying to do here. Any improvements on this scheme or alternatives?

        • Joshua Hill

          Nexus SP or Nexus F (Asus might complain). Nexus T and XT.

          • Joshua Hill

            The smartphone could just be called the ‘Nexus’. 7 inch tablet the ‘Nexus T’. 10 inch tablet ‘Nexus XT’.

          • Ben Edwards

            I definitely think the idea of labeling the phone as just “Nexus” is a winner, along with the tablets being Nexus T7 and T10.

  • AK47ita

    Nexus 4S

    • neferpi

      just about to say the same thing :)

    • Rabid Rotty

      If it was to be called the Nexus 4s, it would be exactly like the Nexus 4 but with official LTE

    • sk7

      Nexus 4K .. gotta add kitkat somewhere right?

      • TechDevil

        Would be too confusing because of the technology surrounding 4K UHD televisions. Qualcomm has already said smartphone are not far off 4K displays, so Nexus 4K would just create an even bigger mess of confusion and names.

  • Siddharth Shukla

    It also makes sense because then they could release Android 5.0 with the Nexus 5. (Unless they pull another stunt and go with android 4.5 haha). It is a great way to attract customers with a moniker that matches something else that relates to the device.

    • TechDevil

      I was always hoping 5.0 would be the next Android version, so getting 4.4 seems like a joke to me. I was hoping it was a bad and late April Fools joke, but it doesn’t seem to be. After finding out the 5.0 would be called 4.4, I have stopped assuming anything about future versions, so at this point, they might as well give it 4.5 as well.

  • michael sanchez

    Thats just stupid

  • Ben Edwards

    There’s two glaring reasons why it couldn’t/shouldn’t be called the Nexus 4 (2013):
    1. It’s the fifth-gen Nexus.
    2. The screen is supposedly 5-inches.

    Assuming the Nexus 4 was named so due to it’s screen size (like the 7 & 10), the 5-inch screen is a problem. Assuming it was named due to being the fourth-gen Nexus phone, well that’s also a problem.

  • jibberjabber

    Interpretation of nexus naming convention is different for tablets (i.e. size screen) versus smartphones whereas the the number indicates generation. So Nexus 5 would be apropo.

  • Oli72

    That’s the nexus 4 with the key lime pie update.

  • iTriune

    Who cares what it’s called………can they announce it already?

  • Tuấn Ankh

    The Nexus 7 was definitely called Nexus 7 for the screen size.
    Now as for the new Nexus phone, it will not be named by just screen size or generation, and the least likely to be named by something not even related to the phone.
    The Nexus 4 was the 4th Nexus phone. The next is gonna be the fifth. It will also have a 4.96″ display, which most people will still say 5″ if you ask them to measure with a ruler. So what now? I think it’s better to call it Nexus 5.

  • Balraj

    Nexus 4s !!!!!!
    Only if Google is still hiding something !!

  • jonathan3579

    It has been said and damn near confirmed by numerous sites that this phone is going to be called the Nexus 5 and that the most recent pics of software is from August.

  • Wudien

    This. Is. So. Ugly… From behind

  • curiousfox

    This was a long a pointless article

  • Valtheus

    Too much trouble for just the name of the device. Personally i don’t care how its called, as long as its better than N4 and in the same cheap price. :-)

  • Blowntoaster

    as long as it has a Snapdragon 800 and 1080P screen, and hopefully a 13MPx cam with OIS, it’ll be great. Hopefully there won’t be a stock shortage as with the N4…I’d give up on a Note 3 and buy this if it’s good. can’t wait for the reveal.

    • Joshua Hill

      New info/rumours suggest it may only be 8Mpx with no OIS.

  • Salis

    It is Nexus 5 / Nexus 4 (2013) model because in the pic on the top of this post, the Baseband Version is M8974A which is the model name of Snapdragon 800 chipset. So this proves that the pic shows a Nexus 5 / Nexus 4 (2013)

  • Igotcasboy

    I think they made it 4.96″ to make a 444ppi screen that makes sense because the next version is 4.4Kitkat and will be debuted on Nexus 4 (2013 edition). But thats just my opinion.

  • Chris Moore

    I am pretty sure they go by screen sizes not by generation… like the Nexus 7, which is a 7″ tablet and the Nexus 4 because it is a 4.something ” phone and so on and so on. That way when people see Nexus 4, they know its the phone because its the smaller Nexus.

  • deepen03

    that could just be a Nexus 4 running a 4.4 test build.. this article is a load of crap

  • John

    “google managed to full most people” sorry to be the that guys but I think you meant ‘fool’ ?

    I’m not to fond of the idea of the new nexus phone being called the Nexus 4 2013. there is no point for it being called a nexus 4. it is not the 4th gen device of the nexus line nor it has a 4″ display. the only “4” I can think of is if they’ll add a ‘G’ after it.
    I much rather they’ll call it ‘Nexus 2013’ ‘New Nexus’ if it’s not going to be called ‘Nexus 5’.
    Also I always wondered how long will all these companies continue this naming theme. will we ever see an ‘iPhone 10’ ? ‘Galaxy S Note 16’? ‘HTC 2 2S XMLXL’ ? only time will tell.

  • BB BB

    well technically its the Nexus 4.97 442ppi edition :D

  • newsjunkieintl

    it’s the Nexus 5, end of story. What you are confused about it that they are also testing KitKat on older Nexus devices like the gen 4 Nexus 4, gen 3 Galaxy Nexus, etc.

    One of the main points of the Nexus devices is they automatically get the latest Android OS with no carrier interference. so, Google has to test the 4.4 KitKat on ALL prior Nexus devices, not just the Nexus 5. So, yes you will find leaked screenshots of 4.4 on the Nexus 4.

    • nvitone23

      Sorry man but I dont think it can be…the baseband version is M8974A which represents the snapdragon 800 and under the build number it has the next gen nexus codename “hammerhead” and it still has “nexus 4” as the device name…its got to be called the Nexus 4 (2013)

      • newsjunkieintl

        NO. Log leaks show over 500 instances of “Nexus 5” vs only a couple of “Nexus 4” (which may be needed temporarily for some software until updated)

        • nvitone23

          oh, yea….lol