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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  • hfm - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Nexus are always launched in late november.. you literally have 2 months and change to wait..
  • Alketi - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    The Nexus 4 sold on November 13, 2012 and was announced before that.

    I'd expect we should hear news on this sometime in October, possibly sooner.
  • cynosure4sure - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Is no one paying attention to the "2300 mAh" battery size......if it has a screen of 5 inch with a probable Resolution of 1080p combined with a snapdragon 800 probably clocked to 2.2GHz won't it be too little? on top its not replaceable
  • garypggg - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    I totally agree that is way too small of a battery for this phone. My Nexus 4 gets crappy battery life as it is I don't think this is going to get any better
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, September 9, 2013 - link

    Upgrade it to Android 4.3. Your battery life will increase at least 15%. Many people are reporting screen-on times over 4 hours on auto-brightness, and over 5 hours manually set to low values. Much better than the 2-2.5 hours the N4 gets on Android 4.2.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, September 9, 2013 - link

    Go read the review for the LG G2. The S800 is a heck of a lot more efficient than the S4 Pro in the Nexus4. Even if the battery is only slightly larger in the N5, it will still last several more hours than the N4.
  • dalingrin - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    2300mah battery.... while the LG G2 has 3000mah. Why must Google always screw something up? If I'm going to get a phone with such a high end SoC wouldn't it be great to make use of it beyond saving the battery for phone calls?
    When will the thinness war ever end?
  • garypggg - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    you're right Google should pay more attention to put in a good size battery this thing is destined to get crappy battery life.
  • UpSpin - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    You're free to buy the LG G2 whenever you want if you prefer it.

    I think it's less because of thinness, but because of the price, which greedy people like you always forget.
    Why do people expect a $300-$400 phone being comparable in every way with a $700-$800 phone?

    The HTC One also 'only' has a 2300mAh battery, yet it scores above average battery life numbers.
    8h constant Web Browsing is a full day of intensive usage. So two days on moderate usage. I doubt that it will be that much different with the Nexus 5 even if it has a larger screen and more powerful SoC.

    The Nexus line never was and never will be a Swiss Army knife. It's a reference smartphone using the latest common! hardware, sold for a more than affordable price.

    If you want special features like SD-Card, extended battery life, high quality camera, whatever, you better buy a normally priced high end smartphone. They also exist, but you should expect to pay a premium for premium features (just as it is everywhere), because a larger battery costs the manufacturer more, than a smaller one.

    Google could build such a device, but then they wouldn't be able to sell it for such a low price, causing greedy people like you complain again.
  • Impulses - Friday, September 6, 2013 - link

    Meh, those $700 phones are also earning theirmanufacturer (and the carrier, indirectly) much higher margins than a Nexus device does... The difference in build of materials betweena G2 and even a Nexus 4 is definitely nowhere near $400. I agree the Nexus line is a finely tuned balancing act, but a lot of it does boil down to choice and politics rather than mere economics.

    At the end of the day, I'm just glad this kind of choice exists, in stark contrast to the hardware ecosystem of iOS and even WP. Personally I couldn't care less, USB OTG solves most of my storage needs when traveling etc and I've gotten used to USB batteries to the point of even preferring it (no power cycling, removing the case, etc). I also don't need to use those on a daily basis tho, if I did I'd own Samsung phone and three spare batteries. :P

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