Nexus 5 pictured in the wild, gives us a quick glimpse at Android 4.4 KitKat? [VIDEO]


Nexus 5 bar leak front back edited Phan.jpg

Seems the Nexus 5 is one hard smartphone to keep secret. Despite Google’s “best efforts” to keep their next flagship on the low-low, the Nexus 5 made a surprise appearance in their own KitKat unveiling video (where, after word got out, it was promptly taken down), also popping up in a few FCC filings a few weeks ago. Now, we’re getting another glimpse at the Nexus 5, pictured in the wild at, where else, a local bar.

It’s sounds like a lot like a joke we’ve heard before. This time, instead of an iPhone, we have a Google employee who left his Nexus 5 unattended at a bar to party it up on the dance floor. Apparently the bartender had a keen eye, and quickly recognized the device as otherworldly, snapping pictures and video before the owner returned. In the video, you’ll notice it appears to be running Android 4.4 KitKat (notice the white status icons in the notification area), doing away with some of the cyan blue introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (thank, goodness).

Nexus 5 boot animation Phan Edited

The bartender even attempts to unlock the device making several failed attempts before rebooting and taking footage of the boot animation. Spoiler: it’s the same boot animation as on the Google Play edition devices. Other than that, it doesn’t appear KitKat’s UI is vastly changed in appearance from the Jelly Bean. Of course, it’s also very possible this was running on some non-finalized test build of Jelly Bean. No real way to know for sure.

What do you guys think of the Nexus 5 so far? The bezels definitely aren’t LG G2 thin, but definitely smaller than the current Nexus 4’s and a welcome change for sure. If anyone needs me, I’ll be taking a cold shower.


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.

Google Glass no longer requires pricey data tethering plans

Previous article

Nexus 4 16GB is officially sold out on Google Play, the new Nexus 7 LTE as well

Next article

You may also like


  1. Dat screen though! That’s a massive improvement over previous Nexus phones.

    1. I think you mean many previous phones:-) Like that new nexus powering up image.

      1. Well considering this was an article relating to a Nexus device, I felt it only fair to compare it to previous generations of Nexus devices. Apples to apples instead of Apples to Oranges. The Nexus 4 is significantly smaller compared to something like, say, the Galaxy Note 2 which is considered a previous generation of phone.

    2. chillll. you really can’t make that call from watching this crappy video.

  2. O.O You’d think this happens on purpose.

    1. Exactly. There’s no way whoever is carrying such an exclusive(at the moment) device would leave it out of their care for even two seconds.

      1. Unless they needed to give it a charge while going to the loo and left it in the care of the “trustworthy” bartender:-)

    2. Totally on purpose. Otherwise, why is it on the one instance where just one person happened to leave their prototype alone, just at the right time, when leaks were getting juicy.

  3. So KitKat adopts the GPe boot animation? Cool. Seems to me like the owner came back at some point as said it was cool to take pics. Notice the boot animation picture where it’s plugged in? Pretty ballsy of a bartender to take a patron’s phone, plug it in, and reboot it just for kicks.

    1. I’m going to take a stab and say that the phone was plugged in by the “HR VIP” because it was dead, since it says 2% on the screen. What would have been ballsy was resetting the phone to get past the lock screen and find out some further details about the phone:-)

  4. I’m not sure how I feel about someone just trying to breaking into someone’s phone while they hit the head, but I appreciate a better look at the phone.

  5. Love how he tried to unlock it!

    1. The “Z” pattern must be really popular (even I use(d) it).

  6. Looks like the battery cover will not break so easily anymore…
    I’m looking at you Chris.

    1. *backflips without bending knees*

    2. They should call it the Nexus 5 Chris Chavez Edition

      1. – Hey dude. I got my Nexus 5 last week and I already dropped it…on the floor…in the car.
        – Fu*k man, did it break?
        – Nah dawg, I got CC Edition. That sh*t can withstand a nuclear blast

  7. The camera is in the middle!!!

    1. I think you’re right, with the proximity on the left.

      1. NVM a closer look at it shows thats the earpiece, camera on left and proximity on right

        1. I see the proximity on the right side as you saw, but that’s awfully big for the earpiece, if so…

          1. Weird to have a big gaping circle for an earpiece though. Somethings up. *scratches chin*

          2. Maybe one of them is a flash…..

  8. Epic, can’t wait, and cheers to the bartender!

  9. This is so F’N awesome!!! Talk about a real “leak”….I wouldn’t have just taken a picture of it I would’ve stole that freakin thing and swapped my SIM card into it instantly!!!! Finders keepers…stupid drunk Google employee weepers!!!

    1. And then the Google police would have tracked you down…

      1. No sooner than you would’ve swiped the Sim out! Like when the police rolled up on Harold and Kumar! Lol

      2. Does Google have police?

        1. Yes!!!! The same police that the government has!

          1. Why not:-)

          2. TEAM America: World Police!

  10. No LED notification when the message popped up….Are we getting Active Display for Nexus devices or something else??

    1. I wonder the same, but that would only matter if the screen is amoled.

      1. Yeah I’m not so sure it’s going to be Active Display I’m thinking something definitely similar. Considering the last Nexus was IPS I don’t see them going back to AMOLED, but that LED not flashing when the messages reappeared from the boot up definitely showed there isn’t a LED notification so I wonder what they’ll do instead.

        1. LED usually blinks when the screen is off.

          1. Yeah I figured that as well but would it not have flashed also during the boot up?

          2. No; especially for an app that does not look at a stock Android app from that notification icon. It looks like some third-party SMS app.

          3. Ah, well thanks for clearing that up for me.

    2. I think it’s at the top.

    3. No LED? Sounds like Motorola’s better.

  11. That first pic makes me want to clean the screen! Lol

    1. And add a screen protector.

  12. whew! No LED notifications? So they are going with AMOLED?!?! Also, does the screen look 5″ as rumored?

  13. That bottom bezel looks a little big.

    1. Just slightly bigger than the top, to me, maybe 20%.

    2. I’d say the top and bottom should be proportionate so the top bezel is a little big as well, no? At least in your opinion.

      Edit: Actually you’re right, the bezel does appear to be bigger on the bottom…

      1. A little bigger than the top, yeah. That bottom looks equal to, if not slightly bigger than the 4s. Hard to tell in a video of course, with no side by side. But from what I’ve seen, I don’t see how the screen can be bigger yet the device smaller. Those bezels would have to be ultra small, and they’re not. They’re average at best, not even as small as the G2.

    3. It’s not that bad, but when you factor in the navigation bar will take up another half inch…. yeah, it’s gonna have a big chin. :/

      1. Big chin, eh?

      2. Bruce Campbell. Jay Leno…let the remarks begin.

  14. I wish they keep G2 Cam and screen.

  15. Is anyone else trying to figure out what items appear in the background?

    1. I think there there is a pending system update in the background based on what I can gather from the notification icon.

      1. I thought so too, based on the icon.

  16. No Verizon LTE. Move on.

    1. Maybe Verizon customers should “move on” to a GSM carrier

      1. yup, that’s what i did.

      2. and switch to the metric system while they’re at it

      3. technically they are a GSM carrier now… they’re full members and are on the upgrade path from this point on… but still a great statement.

      4. what do you think LTE is smart guy?

    2. See yourself removed from this site.

  17. Look at the second video and you’ll see the icons are still blue/cyan…I hope this is running 4.3 cause if this is 4.4 they haven’t changed much

    1. Second video?

      1. ya, click on the source link and youll see it

    2. The signal bars did turn blue. But not the battery. Also, on the left was a system update icon. o.O ??

      1. The battery is charging, its mostly empty, yo can see that at the bottom it’s blue

  18. No one noticed the holo blue missing?

    1. In the first video, but the source has a second showing the familiar blue in the cell signal.

    2. I noticed that it’s white, but custom colors are supposed to be a 4.4 feature.

      1. Oh man that sounds awesome.

    3. I thinks that it’s just that it isn’t connected to google services, mi gnex is white when it’s booting up then turns cyan when it connects with google.

  19. Never mind lol

  20. Also, is the notification light on top?? That would be perfect

    1. Still trying to figure out where the earpiece is on this thing…

      1. Looks to me as if the earpiece is the centrally located circle in the upper bezel (it’s looks perforated to my eye). Then to the left is the front-facing camera with notification lights to the right. Just what it looks like to me.

        1. Tough to make out, but it looks like it’s underneath the glass. More than likely the LED but then……… where the heck is the earpiece!? O_O


          1. Wrong pic.

          2. Maybe that’s the led AND the earpiece. Lol not really.

          3. hmm. bone conduction like glass??

          4. That’d be sick O_O

          5. That would be awesome.

          6. I’m starting to seriously think the Nexus 5 is going to be water proof.

          7. Waterproofing brings along a lot of unwanted limitations. Bad heat dissipation, muffled sound, etc.

          8. I think its placed like the n4, right under the edge of the top

          9. But if that were the case you’d be able to see it, or an indication of it, which there is none.

          10. Yeah, once I zoomed in I seen it! Posting before looking

          11. There’s also no rear speaker.

          12. I wonder about that, as the fcc photos show some mesh in the inside back, or what resembles…

          13. That picture shows why it’s not a good idea to rely on your fingerprint as a secure password

          14. Based on this image from the FCC, I think that is the earpiece(hopefully waterproofed opening at that size). You can see that it is an opening not covered by the glass from this side.

          15. Ah, I see it. Such a weird design choice. A little hole right on the bezel? Why couldn’t they make sound come out of the aux port or something :/

          16. Because LG isn’t staffed by magical wizard people?

          17. I’ll bet the Nexus 5 is waterproof. No speaker holes.

    2. Doubtful, since the notification light on GNex isn’t visible until it flashes, but hard to say until further leaks or the reveal.

      1. But you can see the notification led area on the 4 in bright light…like say, when someone is taking a pic with flash.

        1. There are also light and proximity sensors that show up in a picture with a flash…

  21. It’s definitely an LG device, you can see the light bleed in the upper left hand corner of the display. I guess they will never figure out how to seal their displays properly :/

    1. No you can’t, you’re just reaching lol.

  22. Since they have buttons on the side they couldn’t make the bezels as thin as the G2. Still pretty darn thin.

    1. Am I the only one that thinks LG is stretching the truth just a liiiittle bitty bit when they say they couldn’t put the buttons on the side/top? I think with the way technology is advancing nowadays that somebody’d be able to develop a slim bezeled device with standard button placement.

  23. ummm Google….you forgot the speakers O_O

    1. They should be on the side. I like side speaker location, don’t take up valuable screen space on the front and not always covered on the back.

      1. The top and bottom bezels are plenty big enough to accommodate speakers similar to the HTC One’s setup without sacrificing phone size or screen real estate, although I doubt it has front speakers…which is a shame because (imo) that’s the best placement for them.

  24. only if he checked if adb was active :-/ since he worked at Google, it probably was and he could’ve gotten in maybe

    1. Since 4.2 ADB doesn’t work until you whitelist the computer, which you can’t do without unlocking the phone.

  25. Would love to see Nexus 4 look alike back cover!

    1. As long as it’s not made of glass!

  26. Nexus 5 or LG G2? I need more leaks!

    1. Is that a real question?

      Go.. *Points at door* leave..

      1. It’s alright.. someone is just as nerdy as we are lol

      2. I like stock Android infinitely more than anything LG can come up with but there are a couple reasons why I’m considering the LG G2. #1 The larger battery capacity. #2 It’s on Verizon and I currently have grandfathered unlimited 4g. #3 If I can get CyanogenMod on it it instantly becomes awesome.

        1. 1. Those cheap feeling buttons on the back aren’t too awesome. 2 Don’t be on VZW 3. Get CM regardless

          1. The buttons on all versions except Verizon are definitely better they are pretty solid to me.

  27. Why is it plugged in to something during the video?

    1. Because the story is BS

      1. That’s what I was thinking.

    2. Source says the “HR VIP” was charging it. What I’m wondering is how old this video is, since the phone says 29 august. Was it just incorrect?

  28. Here’s my only issue with the looks of the phone. If you’re going to use onscreen buttons….why so much friggen bezel? Are phone designers this oblivious when creating such great phones?

    1. Bezel is due to internal components. At least the on screen buttons disappear usually when they aren’t needed, like when watching videos.

      1. 1) The G2 and some other phones show that about 10 mm is achievable now – this is clearly way more than 10 mm

        2) I personally care way more about bezel than I do about thickness, especially on the bigger phones (I have a Note II and it is a bit too big). Are you saying there isn’t enough room behind large screen phones for all the components a phone needs? the only thing that can’t go behind a screen is a FFC (and those are darn small), LED notification (also small), top firing speakers (a great idea, can probably be done in 10 mm). Even microphones can go under the screen. If the space is so unused as in this model, it really is a shame not to have 4 capacitive buttons back – so far, I’m not impressed with the onscreen buttons at all – they are way too easily hit will navigating the screen – there needs to be easy gesture replacements and a way to disable the onscreen buttons for those satisfied with gestures.

        1. ” there needs to be easy gesture replacements and a way to disable the onscreen buttons for those satisfied with gestures.”

          There are. Paranoid Android’s PIE (via LMT) and a simple build.prop addition will do this.

          1. I know of the concept that ROM developers have come up with. I just hope this migrates back to Android’s main trunk – it needs it.

            The bezel may be thinner than the N4 (15.8 mm). My Note II is 14.1 and the new G2 is 11.7 (all of these average top and bottom). I hope phones will be dropping below 10 at some point because with a large screen, the length is more annoying than the width for a 5 to 5.5″ 16×9 phone to me. (Also, side bezels at about 3 mm have hit their limit probably).

            I realize capacitive buttons aren’t coming back to Nexus, nor do I want them to if they’d shrink up the space they took them from. If it was just because of portrait/landscape, then I don’t agree – I use the buttons on my Note II in landscape just fine.

            I’m actually most concerned with the camera. I’ve read some good things about the G2’s camera so if it is the same or a slight upgrade, that will make for some interesting reviews.

        2. Google will (thankfully) never use capacitive buttons on a Nexus phone . If for some reason you want capacitive buttons you should buy something else. As for the bezel, it looks thinner than the N4 and doesn’t have to move the volume /power keys to the back of the device to do it. We don’t even know where the speakers, ear piece and led are, for all we this is a very early development model.

  29. I like the cyan blue on the notification bar. Whenever its white it reminds me of froyo/gingerbread.

    1. stock GB was green.. not white

  30. The backlight glow briefly visible in the video confirms that the Nexus 5 will use an IPS panel rather than AMOLED.

    1. When did anyone say that they will have an AMOLED?

      1. I did not make that implication.

        1. It was worded that way though, no biggie.

          1. yeaj ptpmu// i mean tonay. drunk high me here.!! whooshoowohoo

    2. Who needed a confirmation for that?

      1. After the Moto X I had a feeling they’d go AMOLED for some kind of stock Active Notifications so it’s a fair comment.

        1. Completely different OEMs. LG is not known to use AMOLEDs and we already know what’s on the G2.

          1. By ‘they’ I meant Google, seeing as they own Motorola they could migrate these features to stock / Nexus devices if they wanted.

  31. Ok, That’s definitely an improvement over the current Model for sure. I will retract my comment from before.

    It just looks so damn comfortable to hold. I want it now! (:<

  32. For some reason, I’m upset they are still using the holo blue :(
    I really loved the blue but was hoping for a change.

    1. It doesn’t look blue in the vid.

      1. lou you sasshole +1

    2. мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      Also, is the notification light on top?? That would be perfect

    3. мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      Doubtful, since the notification light on GNex isn’t visible until it flashes, but hard to say until further leaks or the reveal.

    4. Where do you see the cyan blue?

    5. How do you know it’s blue? Personally I love the blue but in the video the guy couldn’t even get past the lock screen so no clock in the corner and signal bars looked grey bc he wasn’t syncd

    6. Take it for what it is (a rumor), but there’s word on the net that KitKat will feature the ability to adjust the overall UI color theme.

      1. I know, but I just don’t see them doing the ui color option. Hope I’m wrong…

  33. I love the grippy back like the n7

    1. Yep, I always find it funny that the iPhones are touted as good industrial design – but they are invariably in a case to protect their precious shiny glass or aluminum when I see one “in the wild”. The glass back was a mistake – something with a bit of grip that can survive a fall or two with no obvious damage is the best choice for the real world.

      1. I can’t even count how many iPhones I saw in the wild with either broken backs or broken screens. I think that helped Samsung sell more Galaxy phones than any ad thy ran against the iPhone. I mean if even non-techie consumers start noticing just how bad a device is and go for something more durable then you know it was pretty bad for Apple.

      2. That’s what I like about the Galaxy Nexus. It can even survive…oh I dunno, say…falling out of a pocket (unknown to the owner) and get gnawed on by a small dog for a bit and still look and act like new.

  34. I’ll take it. *hands left nut to Larry Page*

  35. On screen buttons, I think I’d rather use a windows phone.

    1. Go home, you’re drunk

      1. As much as your right, your comeback is an over used terrible internet “meme”.

        1. Yeah it’s pretty groan worthy now. It wasn’t very funny the first time I saw it, it was even less funny the second time, and now it’s not only cliche but really dumb as well. At least if you’re going to meme you should do one that’s actually a little funny.

          1. There’s no such thing as a funny meme. They’re all over used worn out (as you said, groan-worthy) “jokes”, that’s what makes them memes.

          2. No memes are funny, I should have clarified.

          3. I’m glad you edited with the note that some can be mildly amusing.

            I agree, most are horrible and unfunny. But I can’t say they’ve never made me laugh (even if some were guilty laughs). The problem with memes is that they wear out quickly due to over exposure, and eventual degradation into jokes out of the bottom of the barrel. Initially they can prove amusing though.

          4. Pretty much my point. Their pun-based or crude nature and the fact that they become “viral” is what makes them into memes, however it is also what causes the jokes to wear out quickly and ultimately make them the opposite of amusing. It’s a bit of a catch-22.

        2. drunk meme is drunk and needs to go home?

    2. then go to windows phone board

    3. Um, Android has had on-screen buttons since ICS and you’re just NOW deciding that it’s not for you? What technology rock have you been under for the last two years?

    4. I absolutely love the on-screen buttons and would have a hard time choosing to buy the Nexus 5 if it didn’t have them. I’m so glad Google has done that and stuck with it. Hopefully I can replace my Galaxy Nexus with the Nexus 5 very soon.

  36. Obvious leak is obvious

  37. Trolling Apple like a boss, im sure it was ‘leaked’, much like the ‘unveiled video’

  38. Nexus 5 release in Oktober?¿?

  39. this is taken in croatia.. :P on picter is glass of beer, KARLOVACKO…this is croatian beer :P

    1. Jebeš Karlovačko.

      ŽUJA JE ZAKON!!!!

    2. It’s not check other glass its the same..

  40. Yeah, next time I’m going Nexus.

  41. If the camera is good, it will be mine!

    1. ✏✏✏✏ мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…… ✈✈✈✈✈✈JA­ZZ40.C­OM

      ☺☺☺☺☺Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. –Pablo Picasso

  42. Buying Nexus 4 on release day was an exercise in frustration to say the least. What are the chances that it will actually be possible to buy Nexus 5 without pulling out some hair on day 1 I wonder – somewhere between null and nil is my estimate. Better start working on your “clicking the Buy button” skillz if you want it….

  43. dam… softkeys again :/

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets