Sep 05 AT 12:51 PM Dustin Earley 45 Comments

What are the chances the next Nexus phone is a Sony device?


When Google announced that Android 4.4, KitKat, would be coming soon, a video was posted to the company YouTube showing a Googler photographing the new KitKat statue with an unreleased Nexus device. Since then, the rumor mills have been going wild. Some have speculated that, because of the overall shape and camera placement, it could be a Sony device modeled after the just announced Xperia Z1. So what are the chances that this is true?

WARNING: This post contains a lot of speculation. If you can’t handle a bit of good ol’ fashioned rumor discussing, you may want to back away now.

Most Nexus devices have been exact copies, internally, of already manufactured phones. Google has modeled Nexus devices after already available phones for a reason. It’s price effective and easier to get manufacturer support, among other things. As such, Nexus devices will obviously share a lot of hardware similarities with their manufacturer branded counterparts. Take the Nexus 4 and Optimus G for example.

The Nexus 4 is a repackaged Optimus G. Because of this, they share the same printed circuit board, so camera placement on the two devices is exactly the same. The Nexus S is the exact same way (camera in the same spot as the original Galaxy S), because the two devices are using the same PCB. If Google were to take this approach again, and you compare the LG G2, which the Nexus 5 (what we believe is visible in the video) is supposed to be modeled after with the “leaked” Nexus 5 picture, you’ll see the two devices have to be using two different main PCBs. It also couldn’t be using the same parts as the Moto X or Moto DVX, which is a possible candidate for the next Nexus 4.

The leaked Nexus 5 could, however, be using the same internals as Sony’s newly announced Xperia Z1. That’s not as much as a surprise as you may think. Why? There are other reasons that, when we let our imaginations wander, lead us to believe it’s totally possible:

  • The timing matches up. LG Announced the Optimus G in mid-September 2012; Google announced the Nexus 4 mid-October 2012. Sony just announced the Z1 in early September; Google is rumored to announce the next Nexus sometime this October.
  • Sony has shown interest in making a Nexus device in the past. They’ve been rumored to have landed the honor several times before, with nothing ever making it to market.
  • We’ve been hearing for a long time now that the Nexus 5 would launch with a Snapdragon 800 and 5-inch 1080p display, both of which the Z1 has.
  • The Z1 and leaked Nexus 5 look identical.

We should note that while the timing of the Z1 and Nexus 5 line-up with the timing of the Optimus G and Nexus 4, it’s also totally possible the Nexus 5 is based on the Xperia Z. The camera is in a similar spot on the Z, and it has a 5-inch display, qualifying a Nexus using the same hardware to land the title of Nexus 5. The Xperia Z also uses a Qualcomm APQ8064, which is found inside the 2013 Nexus 7 as well, and Sony has released AOSP builds for the Xperia Z. Pretty convenient, eh?

If we were to stop right there, you might walk away feeling like you should anticipate a Sony manufactured Nexus 5. It makes a lot of sense. But for as many reasons as it’s possible that it is indeed the case, there’s reasons why it could also be manufactured by someone else. Namely, LG.

  • LG has been rumored to be producing the device for a long, long time. How it never leaked that it was Sony instead seems far-fetched at this point.
  • If you look closely at the leaked Nexus 5 picture, it almost, kinda, sorta looks like there is an LG logo near the bottom. More so than a Sony logo.
  • Sure, the Nexus 5 looks like a Sony Z1, but, it also looks like the 2013 Nexus 7. A lot like the 2013 Nexus 7. Which means Google could care enough about the design of the Nexus 5 to pay for different internals to maintain a common look across devices.
  • Samsung got to make two Nexus phones in a row. ASUS got to make two Nexus tablets in a row. It would make sense for LG to get to make two Nexus phones in a row.

There are four good reasons that show Sony could very well be making the Nexus 5, and four reasons that show why it could be LG like the rumors have been saying for a long time now. If you’ve been paying attention, you should have come to the conclusion by now that either scenario is possible. Just because the camera on the Z1 and leaked Nexus 5 are in the same place doesn’t necessarily mean the Nexus 5 is a Sony manufactured device.

Right now, we still don’t know for sure who’s making the next Nexus phone. We’re not putting our money on any manufacturer just yet. Feel free to check out the gallery of images below and make your own speculations in the comments below. We’re interested to know what you think.

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 12.04.11 AM xperiaz1small

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Android User 1

    First sentence: KitKat*. :)

    • JIMSTY

      For the people who dont understand that post…It originally said KITKIT and this comment pointed that out; it has since been fixed.

  • Guest

    Someone has WAY too much time on their hands

  • William Hester

    I’m still hoping for a Motorola Nexus 4, possibly Moto X based.

  • Eli Gaffke

    Which phone in the picture are you taking about? The one in focus the camera is off center, the Sony Z is dead center. How does that look alike? The logo is obviously LG.

    • jaxidian

      I agree with you almost completely. Camera is not centered and the logo seems pretty obviously LG’s.

      That said, even if that is an LG phone that says “Nexus”, it could just be a possible prototype that was turned down yet somebody is having fun using.

    • Dustin Earley

      The one with the giant Nexus logo across the back, with the camera in the top right corner when the phone’s being held in landscape. The one that has the same exact camera placement as the Xperia Z and Z1.

  • Co1e

    That “N5″ screenshot looks horrid.

    • Co1e

      I meant the quality of the screenshot. Not the phone.

  • Nickedynick

    If you count the G1 as a Nexus device, HTC got to do two Nexus phones in a row too.

    • TailsNeon556

      Actually it was 3. The ADP1 (G1/Dream). ADP2 (Magic/Sapphire/MT3G) and Nexus One

  • Nate B.

    Highly doubt it. I like rumors in his field of tech, but at the same time you have some that are just made up out of thin air. Everyone sees things differently even when it’s clear as to what it is. Idk why.

  • Vance

    Torn… the logo in the picture could only be LG, but the camera placement, as you said, raises questions. I am intrigued by the Z1; especially as my beloved One sits in a bag of rice after a slip and drop into a full bath tub yesterday :(

    • Gus

      HTC One, or Nexus One?

    • scottydroid1

      my neighbor’s mom makes $80/hr on the internet. She has been fired from work for 8 months but last month her income was $17048 just working on the internet for a few hours. Continue

  • kazahani

    If true, I will pre-order one. 10/10 wold buy! Come on Google take my money!

  • B

    I’m not to keen on it being a Sony phone but it would match up with Vic Gunduntras remark regarding the next Nexus having a amazing camera and Sonys new loose lenses being shipped with the phone.

  • chazzmatt

    The phone we saw at the KitKat unveiling has an LG logo. Not Sony. End of discussion.

  • smeghead68

    would be nice to have a sony nexus but LG will do as well.

  • mattcoz

    Why would a Sony made phone have an LG logo on it? ;-)

  • Pravas

    I agree with him^^^^

  • mo

    I think manufacturers are stupid to provide Nexus devices to Google with the same (or near same) specs as their just-announced flagship device. Sure, there is something to gain from the marketing aspect from consumers but it is not that significant compared to the loss of investment in that flagship phone and the almost non existent presence of their brand during that time. Which is about a year. It a huge loss for the company.

    • pjamies

      Dude you have it wrong..
      Creating a new device cost $$$ and also a year of time.
      Yes, they could do it, but why would they not take advantage of the
      already created device and give it 2 selling streams?
      The original stream with all of their bloat-ware and the other being
      a Developer Edition Google Nexus device.
      If you make a new unit make it a cash-cow for your company, and not a
      device with only 1 purpose/selling stream.
      Thank god you are not running my business … Tho I hear HTC is looking for people..

      • mo

        Dude… you are wrong…
        That is exactly what I was saying.
        Why would they invest millions into developing their flagship phone and give it away to Google?
        G2 isnt going to be appealing to consumers if there is an exact same device for almost half the price and free of bloatware.
        In case you didnt know, LG has varieties of other phones with lower specs that could be made into the Nexus.
        Take lesson from Samsung galaxy Nexus. Make an okay device,

    • malc_milli

      nexus devices are also good for the brand. So many people swore off of LG from their previous miss-steps. By doing the Nexus 4, LG was able to “force” those interested in a Nexus device to use LG. This helps with them some damage control of previous years and helps repair their brand image. For example, last year pre-nexus, everyone had a fit that LG was making it… 1 year later, everyone is talking about how badly they want the LG G2.

      • mo

        Just because you bought a nexus 4, doesnt mean you are gonna buy a LG for your next device. Despite their reputation in the beginning of the android world, they just need to make a good competitive device that will pull customers. And this doesnt happen with a single nexus device, or even a handful. I was saying that LG is wasting their time producing Nexus as the same spec as their flagship phone because their real profit making device wont appeal to customers that way. And who are these everyone that wants a LG nexus 5 device so badly?
        They dont really care about the manufacturer as long as it is a good looking, high spec, cheap nexus 5.

  • Renato S.

    If the next Nexus is based on the Z1, this will certainly be my next.

    For me, the main thing is the camera.

    20MP with 30fps burst in a 1/2.3″ BSI sensor is the right balance. It’s fast enough, 30fps is more than fast enough. Being a BSI, it’s more sensitive than normal and 1/2.3″ is bigger than most cameras on smartphones but not as big as the 41MP Lumia but also not as big physically too. 20MP allows you to crop and reframe as you don’t have optical zoom. The lens is also supposed to be sharp. Sony probably managed to get about the same IQ of the 41MP and possibly a better low light performance.

    And all that for Nexus price?? I wish it’s like that but it really feels like it’s gonna be a LG, who knows?

  • Jess Blanchard

    You’re all wrong. It’s actually going to be based on the Jitterbug Touch 2.

  • eighteesix

    After a close comparison, I don’t find the lens placement to be all that similar. It’s in the corner of the phone. Fine. But it’s not identical placement. Sorry. Unlikely to be a Sony PCB.

    • eighteesix

      Hey wow, I was right. Boom goes the dynamite.

  • redraider133

    I think the chances of it being a sony are only slightly better than it actually coming to verizon

    • clocinnorcal


  • redraider133

    I think it looks more like a shrunken down nexus 7 than it does a sony device. Maybe Asus is making the next nexus?!?

  • Dave

    The only reason I would say it could be by Sony is because Sony seems to really be focusing on making great camera’s, like they were working towards in the Sony Xperia Z, and now really on the Xperia Z1. I say that because it had already been said by somebody (I believe high up in Google), that they really want the upcoming Nexus devices to focus on great camera’s. In addition, Sony is even making smartphone camera lenses in this new QX line. Other than that, the picture from the video, looks more like it could be LG, even though I was kind of hoping for Motorola. Sony producing the next Nexus would be cool though, because I wanted the Sony Xperia Z, but the camera doesn’t look as great as I thought it would be.

  • PunkAssVic

    If the next Nexus phone is a Z1 variant my head will explode. That is all.

  • Walter Newbury

    Seriously i cant believe nobody noticed this. Look at the logo on the nexus 4 with the lady holding it to the right….. towards the bottom of the phone you will notice the lg logo accompanied by the typical face they use… Now look at the nexus 5 and look towards the bottom of the phone do you notice how the logos line up perfectly… its definitely LG made.

  • beano311

    Chances are 0 that it’s made by Sony, because that’s an LG phone, confirmed by FCC documents. it’s running Android 4.4, has a 4.96 inch screen and the same processor as the Note 3. It’s clear by looking at the pictures from the FCC that this is the phone from the video; look at the camera and flash position and sizes, same as in the video.

  • donger

    I would like to see Sony make the next nexus phone.

  • aasa

    saya dukung sony

  • droidguyuk

    I work for a mobile phone network and a Sony rep told me Sony are making the nexus 5.. I broke the story about the z1 having identical camera and flash placement on gplus..

  • howa

    i think that in 2014 sony will make the xperia nexus

  • M.sami

    the secret of IPhone great continuity that’s making grow specific hardware with deep I/O developing IOS with grown pure smooth compatibility that gives applications developers big space to simulate lifestyle usage with High class tastes.. For Sony trying to take the same approach but with adding more sensors buy trying to scan and train h/w I/O but over android OS and that’s make Sony , LG, Samsung etc… still competing with hard ware fore ever except if Sony make a special OS with merge PlayStation concepts with developed H/W and that is A big step through few Steps like IPhone and IPod with iTunes , or using nexus OS for ever with develop application throw the hardware ability..
    So the Main point not comparing the Smart phone hardware to Evaluation

  • Sahil

    Sony could have been much better than LG for the next Google Nexus smartphone. I hope Sony will tie up or Google tie ups with Sony for the Next nexus device.

  • kathyneil

    i think Google nexus 6 will manufactured by LG this year again. and form next years either Motorola or Samsung.

  • pradeep kumar

    it will have kit kat android os and high end processor.
    for more info visit:
    or you can simply click on