Rumor: Google Changing Up Their Nexus Program, LG Optimus G Nexus Debuting In November, and More


I love a juicy rumor. But instead of running to the magazine rack at my local grocery store, I turn my ear to the internets in hopes of finding any information regarding Google’s upcoming Nexus device. As it turns out, our good friend Taylor Wimberly from Android and Me found himself with a wealth of “insider knowledge” that was dropped onto his lap today, and according to his unnamed sources, Google’s got some big plans for the next Nexus(es) with the first out of the gate being LG with a device they’re calling the LG Optimus G Nexus. I know, terrible name but let’s get to the rest of the gossip.

I think the most interesting part of the rumor is the talk that Google could be changing up the way the Nexus program works. Traditionally we’ve seen Google work closely with 1 specific OEM, using only 1 chipset, to build a device unlike anything the chosen manufacturer has produced. This time around, Google could be enabling strict guidelines that must be adhered to and if followed, will allow for any OEM to see one of their devices gain an illustrious “Nexus certification.”

As to be expected, one of the Nexus commandments is “thou shalt not alter the stock Android user experience.” I’m sure that sounds like a given but apparently Google could still find themselves throwing OEM’s a bone by allowing them to provide their own UI skin as part of a theme inside of an all new app dubbed “Customization Center.” This will come packed inside the next version of Android 4.2 — still being called Jelly Bean — which will debut on the LG Optimus G Nexus. Customization Center will finally allow OEM’s to include their own UI skins they feel enhance the Android experience but would be in no way forced upon the user. Other than the the Customization Center, it’s said there wont be many changes from 4.1, other than a slightly retooled “tabbed” launcher.

Another Nexus rule: your device must be future-proof. This is in reference to hardware specs in order to guarantee a future upgrade to the next version of Android when it becomes available, without the excuse of hardware limitations. I think it goes without saying Android’s biggest criticism has long been its “fragmentation” issue and, while this is simply a reality of an open source mobile OS, it’s something Google wants to make sure will never occur on their Nexus devices.

As far as dates go, rumor has it Andy Rubin will be taking the stage at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile event later this month to talk about the new certification program, with Google and LG hosting a joint event to unveil the LG Optimus G Nexus unto the world in late November. Guess we wont have to wait much longer to find out if these rumors pan out, but it seems Google could have a few tricks up their sleeves in order to give consumers the one thing Apple can’t and/or wont — options. It hasn’t been leaked or rumored but I’m holding onto my dream of a 5.5-inch Nexus Note!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. can’t wait I have 2 upgrades for me and the wife.

    1. So will you be getting a Galaxy Note II and the Nexus Note??!!

  2. Good idea. Would be nice when a new device comes out you can choose their version or the Nexus version.

  3. I’m guessing the LG Nexus will still be the only true Nexus. While the others are “Nexus certified” updates will probably still come from the OEM and not El Goog.

    1. I’m hoping it will be similar to what Sony did when they gained AOSP support for the Xperia S. This way Google can handle the updates, not OEM’s..

      1. So the OEM’s give Goog all they need basically?

      2. Should have been like that from the start, they should let Google handle the software while they make the handsets. Would solve all the problems

        1. but what samsung did with Note ll is brilliant…its best selling point will be it’s touchwiz,stuffs that Samsung put in it…So at least Samsung is doing it right,enhancing the android experience..i agree with Chris what he said that we are privileged that Google is giving us Options which apple would never give..and it’s great to have options,to be able to choose..who don’t like OEM skin,can choose Stock..

          1. “Google is giving us Options which apple would never give”

            Most importantly for OEM’s: or even Microsoft

      3. Exactly. This is Google’s chance to start updating a large line-up of phones themselves like Microsoft is doing. So I hope they didn’t totally miss this opportunity by letting the manufacturers handle the upgrades. That would really suck. They need to ask the manufacturers for the drivers.

        1. Well, this has to be different than letting OEM’s update the devices. Remember the HTC G2? That was stock Android 2.2 and it took so long to get Gingerbread, I’m not even quite sure if it ever got updated. =/

          1. Part of the Nexus certification should be that updates come directly from Google and are not subject to review by the carriers.

    2. That’s why I will be choosing my next Nexus from whatever devices are offered from the Play Store. ;-) Hopefully, one of those will be the Nexus Note for which Chris has his fingers crossed.

      1. Nexus Note!!!! Eeeee! >_<

        1. SCREAMS-n-FAINTS!!! T-Mo Samsung Galaxy Note II or Nexus Note??!! LAWD!!!!

    3. Doesn’t matter to me as long as they are supported in AOSP. I’ll build it myself if need be.

  4. This is exciting, but I really hate LG as a company. I hope an HTC Nexus turns up again. I just really want At&t LTE.

  5. LG? Ugh. I’ll pass.

    1. You won’t be missed. LG makes great hardware, combined with stock Jelly Bean it’s heaven.

  6. Let the hypebeastin’ begin! Love this time of year with the talk of a new Nexus/Nexii in the mix!

  7. I am not impressed with this phone. For a nexus, it sure looks like an LG. Oh wait, it IS an LG? What a disappointment…….

    I would have preferred even an HTC Nexus, over LG.

    1. I hear you on the LG front, but you have to admit the specs are worthy of a Nexus name. Let’s just hope there will be multiple “options” according to these sources.

      1. Yes, I hope so. Otherwise I’ll have to stick to my old ass GS3. Even though i just bought it.

        1. I’m getting antsy already with my GNex just thinking about the possibilities! LOL!

        2. Lol @old ass GS3. Yup, our addiction can get pretty expensive.

          1. Ya I know, I think many people have this problem right now…..I’m trying to switch my focus back to buying expensive computer hardware again.

    2. I hope you realize that’s just a random image because the phone is still a rumour…

      1. Maybe so… I only hope LG comes out with something much better than what’s in that photo. I can tell you right now, if they keep it that slim, the battery will be laughable in capacity.

        1. You talk about laughable battery capacity but also talk about preferring an HTC Nexus? Isn’t HTC one of the worst offenders when it comes to putting in an obnoxiously small battery?

          1. Definitely, but i stated that I’d rather have HTC over an LG. here’s my preference for Nexus: Motorola>Samsung>HTC>LG
            LG being the least favorable.

    3. I don’t understand whats has the best specs of any device of 2012…it will be a nexus phone so that means LG’s horrible software updates aren’t a problem…google will “take care of it” far as i see…this is one of THE phones to get….now..if it wasn’t a nexus..thats something entirely different.

  8. Oh happy days!

  9. Hopefully this true its kinda cool for the “tabbed” ….image HTC devices

  10. 5″ Nexus… isn’t it rumoured to be coming from HTC?

    1. There are rumors there could be up to 5 new Nexus devices this year, one from HTC, one from LG, two from Motorola, and one from Samsung. Also rumored they can/will be sold unlocked straight from Google themselves kinda like the first Nexus.

      1. Well a leaked image from NTTDocomo shows a LG Nexus, Samsung Nexus, and a Sony Nexus, I think its too early for Motorola to do a nexus after just releasing their razrs. Plus the ui on the razrs is very similar to stock, very few bloatware. So I am thinking they will make a nexus mid to late next year a motorola razr nexus. But that’s just me

    2. Did you read the article?

  11. Terrible name.

  12. Come on LG, this is your chance to turn it around and actually be a player in the game!

    1. LG has some decent flagship phones but it’s just the LG name has lost popularity like the TVs.

      1. They have some decent phones, but they haven’t caught on the way others have. Partially because the software on them is crap and they just don’t run well, even with awesome specs.

        1. Hopefully Nexus designation will take the software portion out of their hands. Otherwise, they have done a bang-up job hardware wise. I can’t see this not being future proof for the next 2 years.

    2. I’m not so much rooting for them but praying PRAYING they won’t make a weak Nexus offering if they do.

    3. This will be just as cheap and junky as the mytouch, and the thrill.

  13. LG Optimus G Nexus? ROFLMFAO Nexus devices are turning into a joke. Who names these things?

    1. Laugh at the names. Bow to the experience! O.O

    2. they should just give it a simple name like LG Nexus, but i guess thats gonna be too difficult to do, haha

    3. Who cares about the names? All I want is some Nexus goodness

  14. lets go 6 inches baby!!!

    1. That’s what she said…wait…what? O.o

    2. With flexible display so you can close it like a flip phone!

  15. Liking the new rules Google has put in place, but they should really define the base standard hardware specs to be considered a Nexus so that the “future-proof” clause would have some meaning…

  16. I’m really planning on looking into this phone. It really looks good, hope it doesn’t disappoint.

  17. I want a Motorola RAZR MAXX HD Nexus

    1. My exact thoughts while reading this. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!!

    2. I really would want this

      1. I doubt Nexus phones will show up on the Verizon network in the future.

  18. Why not just Nexus G

    1. lmao…

      That would be awesome..but how do they make a phone with pants (pulled only half way up…)?

  19. Wow, “Customization Center” sounds like a pure genius solution. There are a lot of good phones that I don’t even consider because I like stock android over manufacturer UI’s, but Customization Center could make that irrelevant.

    I wonder how powerful it will be. It would be awesome if I could switch at will between stock android, manufacturer UI, Cyanogenmod, MIUI, etc :)

    1. Agreed. And it would be nice if you had control over which Manufacturer UI parts you could turn on and off. Some of them are quite useful and more seamlessly integrated than 3rd party offerings.

    2. Ever since the Xiaomi M1 came out I’ve been hoping for a CM certified device that came with CM10 and root disabled.

    3. Google needs to market the crap out of this, using the same dbag voiceover Apple uses. “When you want the phone to look the way you want. When you want to customize features and UI on your phone without being locked out. Nexus. It’s that simple”

  20. Last year Taylor from AndroidandMe “confirmed” LG to be the Nexus manufacturer too…….. just sayin.

    1. Well, apparently all the OEM’s apply for it by submitting ideas for devices to Google. Then Google would choose just one. Taylor has it in with a lot of industry peoples, I’m not saying this will come true, but I do trust he heard it from reliable sources.

      1. Yeah, but I’m skeptical about his confirmation on rumours this time around because of the same thing last year. He didn’t say that it was submitted but actually told everyone that it was definitely going to be LG…..and we all know how that turned out. Just being cautious of his words.

  21. This is the device that can stop me from going to the iPhone 5 hopefully it will be future proof network wise also.

    1. comparing an iPhone 5 to a Nexus? Not even the same sport dude. totally different smartphone end goals there. When folks ask me should they get an iPhone or a the newest “RAZR MAXX GALAXY NEXUS S7” I already know they need an iPhone…


      Modification. 9/10 android users don’t even know how to get to the calculator, much less why their phone is that much “different” than all their friends iPhone 6’s.

      If you’re willing to suffer a learning curve in return for greater productivity and customization geared towards gear heads, nerds, business owners, and power users, then Android is perfect.

      If all you need to look up who posted that stupid puppy photo on facebook, or wanna shazam that doors song you can’t quite figure out the title to then get an iPhone.

      Most people simply cannot utilize Android to it’s full effectiveness – which is one the the main reasons OEM’s mod the sh*t out of them until there is virtually nothing left of Google’s vision but icons, a few more settings, and “better” specs.

      I used to work in a multi-carrier store, and I still make sure my friends and family pick what style smartphone is best for them.

      Bottom line:

      Want your smartphone to just work and take care of you while keeping it simple and reliable?


      Want something else?


      Go buy an iPhone 5, you won’t be dissapointed.

      1. 9/10 iPhone users won’t know where the back button is in any given app. In Android, it’s always where you expect it. iPhone, you don’t know if you have a notification. Android, it’s easy to tell by the led light.
        Gotta face up to the times. Holo forever.

      2. I find both android and IOS are the same in their everyday functions. IPhone 5 may not be powerful spec wise, and android may be more nerd friendly, but at the end of the day, ios works better.

      3. “9/10 android users don’t even know how to get to the calculator”


        You started with the outright BS *way* to early this time. You’re a better troll than that. …so disappointed.


  22. Reading the article at AndroidandMe some I don’t see the rules you are talking about. Are these coming from another source or are these assumptions?

  23. HUH??!! WHAT??!! Chris did you say a 5.5″ Nexus Note??!! LAWD!!! I am freakin out right now…T-Mo Samsung Galaxy Note II or Nexus Note with Android 4.2??!! SCREAMS-n-FAINTS!!!

    1. Woah, woah, woah.. Easy, Playboy. There haven’t been any leaks or rumors. It’s just a dream for right now. A very moist, moist dream.

    2. So I am not the only one who got overly excited about the thought of a Nexus Note. I have been debating getting the note 2 because I LOVE my GNex purley for the amazing Android experience. This would be a dream come true.

  24. I just need to say this, these Nexus rumours are confusing and frustrating. Okay so is HTC going make it? is it going to be Samsung again? is it now going to be LG? is it going to be Asus? Is it going to be Sony wth I mean good grief!

    1. Good Grief?

      Is it really you, Charlie Brown? :)

    2. The answer is yes. I remember reading months ago that Google was going to allow multiple manufacturers release Nexus phones

  25. Now this is a plan, give the manufacturer an optional add on skin that can be turned off, and let them make the device Nexus certified. I bet verizon will hate this, but hopefully they won’t block devices or attempt to get their own custom locked crap version.

    1. Verizon might not even offer them on their network. After all, most of the version stuff come with locked bootloader and jam-packed with garbage-ware… So there is a chance they will be out of this loop I guess

  26. Everyone here gets excited every Nextmas but only 2% actually end up buying a Nexus because they miss the features and they are smart enough to immediately root and install CM on top

  27. I prefer more than one manufactures for nexus flagship, since each of them has their own fans and haters. Different manufactures also could give us different screen size.

    “Customization Center” also a good concept. It’s a win-win solution for customer and manufacture; and will brings good impact for Android ecosystem.

  28. LG hardware + Google software= we got a beast!!!!!!

  29. Just call it the LGNexus, combine their name into it.
    I do look forward to the wider adoption of this, it’ll put the last stake in the problems Android has.

  30. If the past LG devices would of had been updated in a timely manner they would of never had a bad rep.

  31. with google helping LG they may be able to pull off a high end phone that can complete in areas other than the spec sheet.

  32. So all for a LG nexus!

  33. they kinda of turned me away when they said there could be a change from the traditional home screen setup to more of a “tabbed experience” anyone else feel that this could be a bad idea?

    1. Seems like the first step toward tighter integration with Chrome. My gut feeling is, Android 5.0 sees Chrome as the stock browser, and perhaps by 6.0 a complete UI overhaul

  34. I wouldn’t read too much into the tabbed interface. I simply thought they were referring to a tabbed app drawer.

  35. Am I the the only person that thinks this looks just like a Samsung S2? I wont be buying this ugly thing, Hoping there will be a phone that will be on par with the design and innovation like my Samsung Nexus or dare i say, even the iPhone5?

    No doubt the OS will be great, but please give us a good hardware option, not like the above.

  36. Am I wrong or is the biggest reason for the Nexus popularity the Vanilla Android instead of a skinned version?

  37. This sounds like a worthwhile initiative, but not a worthy replacement for the Nexus program. I still want to be able to buy phone from Google that will get updates from Google on a timeline that’s defined by Google.

    Certify and standardize, make the skins optional, that’s all great. But manufacturers have shown time and again that they simply cannot be trusted with updates. Look at the mess Samsung made with updates on its non-takju/yakju Galaxy Nexus models. They didn’t have to do anything at all, and they were still months and months behind Google.

    I won’t buy a new Android device if the updates aren’t coming from Google. And there’s a large (and growing) market that feels the same way.

  38. It’s about time. I’ve been preaching this for at least 2 years. Google needs to have the ability to stiff-arm OEMs into providing optimum hardware and a great user experience but most of all, provide TIMELY updates and long term support for the hardware they sell. I commend Sammy and Asus for developing great Nexus products which paved the way for this to happen. Now consumers know the Nexus “brand” and will have some assurances that buying one will be a good purchase.

  39. I like it. The optimus G has a nice industrial design with a more premium look than the Samsung line. I would still like to see an Xperia Nexus though. Nobody would benefit from a Nexus flagship more than Sony who has been having trouble keeping up.

    Also, they need to fix these names. I personally think it should be simple and as follows to resonate with consumers.

    – Nexus Optimus
    – Nexus Galaxy
    – Nexus Xperia
    – Nexus One Series
    – Nexus Razr
    – Nexus Tranformer

    This would keep the product families in line while giving a distinct nexus naming convention to promote the nexus family.

  40. Wasn’t this mult-vendor Nexus thing announced like six months ago?

  41. I hope this is true, this would change the game quite a bit.

  42. so have iphone and usually use both android and ios but wonder if they will be micro sim so i can just pop it in. also the price will be nice to see what they price each one at.

  43. We should all just form a mob and march on Samsung headquarters chanting and with signs saying “Nexus Note Now! Nexus Note Now!” :)

  44. so when are we going to get a QWERTY Nexus device? We had the G1, then the Droid, then …… nothing …..

  45. I had 3 LG Optimus 2x devices. All went back. Never buy LG again.

  46. So what will people call this in short? The GNex 2? Just name it the LG Nexus Optimus

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