Could the next Nexus be based on LG's G2?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| August 8, 2013

Android, Google's mobile operating system, has made its way to plenty of devices over the last few years. Since its launch, the mobile platform has seen a ridiculous amount of adoption from some of the biggest smartphone manufacturers on the planet, and the smaller ones use the operating system as well. Android is everywhere. It's become a household name, and the evolution that it has undergone since its debut is phenomenal. A lot has changed, and a lot will continue to change as technology evolves and our smartphones continue to get better and better.

LG's latest flagship device, the G2, is a prime example of this. LG may not be as popular in the Android market as Samsung, but that doesn't stop the company from creating high-end devices that are truly worth plenty of attention. The G2, for example, is a high-end device that compares quite nicely to the competition from Samsung and HTC. For some, in fact, LG may have created a device that's perfect for them, while those other devices from those other manufacturers didn't quite sway them.

Whatever the case, there's no denying the G2 is a strong competitor, and thanks to its widespread upcoming release on all four major wireless carriers in the United States, it has a real chance of gaining some ground for LG. At the same time, though, it means that LG's proprietary user interface will get a lot more time under the spotlight, and the comparisons between it and Samsung's TouchWiz and/or HTC's Sense 5 are an inevitability.

Which is why, much like at Motorola's recent unveiling of the Moto X, many out there were expecting to hear LG announce that a Google Play Edition version of the G2 would be on the way. That didn't happen, though. Quite the opposite, actually. Ken Hong is an LG PR representative, and while he was speaking with Android Community, he confirmed that LG currently doesn't have any plans to create a Google Play Edition G2.

"As of right now," anyway. He hinted that things could change at some point in the future, but nothing is certain right now. The manufacturer wants to put the focus on the current device, and get it out there into the world, into the hands of customers. They're obviously confident in their custom software, and that's a good thing.

As long as the phone can back it up.

Without a Google Play Edition, if you want stock Android on the upcoming flagship device, you'll have to root the device and add it yourself. That's obviously not the plan of a lot of people, and having the stock Android version as an option would have been nice. Which got me thinking: Maybe LG is indeed still planning on releasing a stock version of the G2, but not in the way we're seeing it right now.

One of the more consistent rumors regarding the next Nexus-branded device, purportedly called the Nexus 5, is that LG is behind the handset, much like they were with the Nexus 4. That wouldn't be surprising in the slightest, seeing as Google isn't afraid to use a company more than once, back-to-back, to bring a new Nexus handset to market. Concrete details about the next Nexus smartphone are almost non-existent right now, though, so it's anyone's guess as to what the next handset will bring to market.

What if LG and Google are basing the next Nexus device off the hardware shoved into or onto the G2's body? The Nexus 4's display measures in at 4.7-inches, while the G2's panel comes in at 5.2-inches. That's not a big leap, but I think this is one area that may see a change in the Nexus version. I think the 4.7-inch display size is perfect, especially for the average consumer, as it's not too big and not too small. If LG can create a 1080p HD 4.7-inch panel, then the next Nexus is a shoe-in for a high-definition display.

And what about the processor? Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor is all the rage right now. You keep seeing its name pop up all over the place. People seem to want it. And, considering LG's G2 is clocked at 2.26GHz, I can see why. Should the next Nexus device have a landmark processor tucked inside it?

Truthfully, the more I flesh it out, the more doubtful I am that the next Nexus device will share a lot of commonality with the G2. I don't see the next Nexus having the interesting physical button scheme that the G2 has, for instance. If Google still plans to put the Nexus brand on their Google Play Store as a cheap, contract-free alternative for consumers and developers, then shoving high-end specs and features into it may make that impossible.

Is it possible? Sure, why not? The 1080p panel is probably the most believable, if nothing else. However, considering how expensive the Google Play Edition models are, I think Google wants to keep the Nexus brand name right where it is, and that's with great (not exceptional) hardware sold a lot cheaper than the high-end flagship models.

But, what do you think? Will Google and LG work together to make the G2 the benchmark for the next Nexus device? Or are the specs in LG's flagship just *too good* to put into a cheaper Nexus-branded device? If the Nexus 5 is indeed a slightly altered G2, would you consider it? Let me know what you think!

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