The past few days have been interesting in the way of Nexus 5 (or Nexus 4 2013) rumors. After a few grumblings that seemed to confirm that LG would once again be responsible for the smartphone Nexus slot, there was silence, an FCC approval disclosure and then retraction, and then purported spotting of the Nexus 5 in Google's KitKat announcement video.

Today the FCC re-posted the approval documentation for ZNFD820, or the LG-D820 model, a device which is steadily gaining traction as potential candidate for the Nexus 5. Although as usual LG has requested confidentiality on the internal, external, and test setup photos, what's particularly interesting is that the wireless charging disclosure includes some shots of the device's battery cover and its inductive charging and NFC coils. In addition the back is not designed to be user replaceable, and there's no microSD card slot. The backside appearance seems to line up with the visual appearance of the Nexus device from the video as well, with similar shape and oddly oversized cover glass for the camera aperture. Keep in mind the photo is of the inside of the battery cover. 

Video appearance of purported Nexus device (above), LG-D820 rear cover rotated and scaled (below)

What's interesting about the LG-D820 approval is that it includes almost all of the bands you'd want for a North American SKU that covers LTE, CDMA, and HSPA+ for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. There's no Verizon LTE (Band 13) in this band coverage. Non inclusion of Verizon LTE banding in an upcoming Nexus isn't much of a surprise after relationship issues following Galaxy Nexus (CDMA/LTE), inclusion of Sprint is a bit of one, but not as much (Google Voice, Google Wallet).

The breakdown is LTE on bands: 2, 4, 5, 17, 25, 26, 41 (1 and 7 are probable as well, FCC only lists what's relevant inside the USA), WCDMA on bands: 2, 4, 5, and CDMA2000 1x/EVDO on band classes 0, 1, and 10 (800, 1900, 900 MHz). There's also 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (the screenshot above doesn't call out 802.11ac but it is explicitly mentioned and tested in the appropriate sections of the test reports) as well as BT 4.0 LE (Bluetooth smart ready). Inclusion of CDMA2000 1x/EVDO in and of itself is surprising, and the device includes the necessary LTE banding for Sprint, of course CDMA2000 is also relevant in a few other markets in combination with LTE. 

Update: Another thing that caught my eye was inclusion of mention that the LG-D820 uses variable antenna matching (antenna tuning) which would be necessary if it's going to accommodate a lot of different bands on just one transmit antenna. This could end up being a Qualcomm tunable frontend part. Display diagonal is also listed as 126.0mm which works out to 4.96-inches diagonal for display, enough to warrant a Nexus 5 name, and a length and width of 131.9 mm x 68.2 mm. 

Update: Brad Molen from Engadget caught a reference to MSM8974, aosp_hammerhead and KyeLimePie[sic] inside the disclosure as well. There are two references to MSM8974 (Snapdragon 800) which would to validate that as being the SoC platform and this as a Nexus device running 4.4 which was codenamed Key Lime Pie up until its recent rebranding to KitKat.

It's too early to know for sure if this is the real deal or not, but both rumblings that I've heard and external factors are starting to point in this direction, and inclusion of both AOSP, MSM8974, and Key Lime Pie (now KitKat) references make it hard to refute. S4GRU (Sprint 4G Rollout Updates) was one of the sites tracking LG-D820 on its forums for some time, I've been paying close attention to that situation as well since I heard about that device model and saw the band combinations onboard. Recent attention just intensifies suspicions. The inclusion of LTE in the next Nexus smartphone is an obvious and welcome upgrade, and Google has been indeed pushing for more impressive banding in its devices, which we saw through the Nexus 7 (3G/4G LTE) band combination. 

Source: S4GRU, Engadget

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  • piroroadkill - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Of course. Google's own products also lack choice in the same way as Apple's do.
  • Impulses - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    USB OTG's worked on all recent Nexus devices minus the 4...
  • andyo - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    That's a way overdramatic statement to make just cause there's no SD slot.

    Three words that completely negate it: "fastboot oem unlock"
  • BoneAT - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Does it really worth $300 for you? I think it's safe to expect 16/32GB choices and the 32 one should give you about 28 gigs of free space, that's plenty for all sorts of stuff especially the speed the device will offer to move files wirelessly.
  • cubanresourceful - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - link

    I am so ready for this phone, especially since the dimensions are smaller than a N4. :D If this is the next Nexus, and matches the screenshot from the video, then it will be a day one purchase for me. :)
  • psuedonymous - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    "especially since the dimensions are smaller than a N4"
    Huh, so they are! I wasn't considering moving from the Nexus 4 due to not wanting anything larger, but now the Nexus 5 is a serious candidate. I only hope Google (or whoever between LG and Google handled the redesign of the Optimus G PCB) don't screw up USB OTG this time.
  • aryonoco - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - link

    Those dimensions are interesting. It's both shorter and narrower than the Nexus 4. The N4 was too wide for my taste, the HTC One just a bit too tall. If they have indeed managed to fit a 5" screen in a 131.9 mm x 68.2 mm chassis, that's a great achievement, and it could be the perfect size.

    I suspect there will be two SKUs, a North American one and another for the rest of the world. Combined with 8974, this is one potent platform. Now I hope they just come out with 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $349 and really shake the market with this.
  • shabby - Thursday, September 5, 2013 - link

    32/64gb options would be nice, if google trolls us with 8/16gb options again i will buy one just to smash it and mail it to google.
  • 3DoubleD - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    +1 Your comment made my day! 32/64GB at a minimum. 128GB would be a nice option, but Google would rather you store your music on their cloud services, so they don't seem in a rush to provide excessive amounts of storage.
  • Gorgenapper - Monday, September 9, 2013 - link

    32gb / 64gb minimum is what I'm expecting. 8gb / 16gb is an instant no sale, Nexus device or not.

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