Google has yet to reveal if a third Nexus phone is even in the works, let alone whether it’s going to be called the Nexus Prime. However, with supposed leaks and rumours pouring in left and right, it’s inevitable that an announcement is just around the corner. uSwitch Tech delves deep into the tech rabbit hole and emerges with the most up-to-date intel available on the hotly awaited threequel.
Nexus Prime specs and features
Citing a ‘well informed source from the industry’, GSMArena reported that the Nexus Prime will be home to 4.65-inch display rather than the 4.5-inch number speculated earlier.
This was backed up by a 4chan member who reportedly managed to get his mitts on a Nexus Prime unit and confirmed it does indeed pack a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with a 720p (1280x720) HD resolution.
The 4chan source also claimed the Nexus Prime is powered by a 1.5GHz dual core processor. Although this particular individual claims it’s a Samsung Exynos SoC on board, it could actually be an OMAP 4460 by Texas Instruments, according to other sources abreast of developments.
In either case, the Nexus Prime will be a significant leap in processing capabilities over the Nexus S.
There are conflicting reports as to what camera resolution the Nexus Prime will pack. Some sources say it rocks the same five-megapixel snapper as the Nexus S, only less sucky than last time. Others claim it has been upgraded to eight megapixels and the front-facing VGA has been superseded by a two-megapixel webcam.
Rumours also claim the rear camera could support video recording in full 1080p HD, which we are inclined to think is more likely to be offered by an eight-megapixel camera.
The Nexus S came with 16GB of storage, so we anticipate the same with the Nexus Prime, with possibly a microSD slot, which was conspicuously absent last time around.
Near Field Communications (NFC), too, will certainly return, especially considering the Nexus S was the first Android smartphone to support the tech in both hardware and software.
Leaks also suggest the Nexus Prime will double the RAM of its predecessor to 1GB.
Last but certainly not least, the battery will be upgraded to 2000mAh, providing ample juice to power the new dual core processor.
Nexus Prime design
Design deets dropped by aforementioned 4chan informant suggest the Nexus Prime will be just 8.8mm in depth, making it considerably slimmer than the Nexus S and almost as thin as the Galaxy S2.
In fact, the source claims the handset looks similar to the Sprint variant of the Galaxy S2, but with rounder edges and a curved screen like the Nexus S. Better yet, the casing is apparently made of metal, which would make it feel lot sturdier and slightly heavier too.
It’s also slightly taller than both the Nexus S and the Galaxy S2, according to TheDroidGuy who managed to get sneak peak of the handset behind closed doors at a Verizon Developers conference in Las Vegas.
Other design changes mooted include the possibility that the Nexus Prime might do away with front-facing buttons to make room for extra screen real estate. To be honest, we’re not so sure this will happen or should happen, as we quite like the buttons of the Nexus S for gaining quick access to important functions.
Nexus Prime release date
A leaked email purportedly originating from US carrier Verizon suggests the Nexus Prime will land between November 17th and 24th. However, if a recent Twitter clue is to be trusted, the handset could be available as early as November 3rd.
Previously, Google chairman Eric Schmidt let slip that Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest edition of Android which is widely expected to make its debut on the Nexus Prime, will be rolled out sometime in October or November. Putting two and two together, an early November release date is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Nexus Prime manufacturer
Nearly all leaks and rumours to-date suggest that Samsung will once more be on manufacturing detail for the Nexus Prime. It did a brilliant job with the Nexus S, which in our opinion is still one of the best Android kits around, and its Galaxy range has effectively usurped HTC as the go-to brand for Google’s platform to deservedly claim dibs on Google’s next phone.
What’s more, it was allegedly a Samsung rep that offered a show and tell of the handset with the 4chan source. And the Nexus Prime has even cropped up on Samsung-owned websites more than once.
Nexus Prime to run Ice Cream Sandwich
The Nexus One was the first handset to receive an update to Android Froyo and the Nexus S was the first to launch with Android Gingerbread. For the last year or so, Google has been working hard to address fragmentation issues with its OS. The result is Ice Cream Sandwich, a new iteration of Android that merges the best features of Gingerbread with the tablet-optimised Honeycomb edition.
Along with design tweaks such as a redesigned lock screen and more futuristic icons and typography, Ice Cream will be home to a new Gmail app and a video conference application, plus a vertical multitasking interface similar to Honeycomb. It’ll also add an enhanced calendar app with an accompanying widget, a search bar always present at the top of the home screen, a new app launcher and a faster, more responsive web browser to just name a few mooted additions.
Check out Ice Cream Sandwich in action in this leaked footage, courtesy of Engadget:
Nexus Prime name
There is no guarantee that the Nexus Prime will even end up being the name for the handset when it finally arrives to market. Three is a prime number and since this is the third Nexus phone, it makes sense to call it that. Not to mention the underlying similarity the ‘Prime’ sobriquet boasts with everyone’s favourite Transformer.
There’s also the fact that a user agent profile (UAP) titled ‘nexusprime.xml’ was unearthed on the mobile version of Samsung’s website. The file revealed the model number GT- I9250, which later cropped up again on Samsung’s product support section.
However, reports have since surfaced that US carrier Verizon, which is expected to be a launch partner for the handset, will likely rebrand it as the Droid Prime as it has done with numerous Android phones in the past.
Nexus Prime networks
Other than Verizon Stateside, which has not been officially announced, we have no information at the time of writing as to which networks, if any, across The Pond, will pick up the Nexus Prime.
Google’s online-only sales model for the first two Nexus handsets failed to shift units as it hoped. The level of interest for the Nexus Prime is much higher in comparison and it would be a huge opportunity squandered if the search giant does not link up with all the major carriers to push the Nexus Prime as a genuine iPhone challenger.
Nexus Prime price
With the features it’s rumoured to bring, pricing of the Nexus Prime can be expected to be at least around £500 for the SIM- free unlocked model. This could be quite a hefty outlay to pay at once, but if networks pick it up this time around as we are hoping, this will probably be partially or entirely subsidised with contract options. At this time, there is no guarantee that this will be the case in Europe. But rest assured, we’ll let you know as soon as we do.