Rumor: Verizon to carry the Nexus 6


nexus 6 shamu render leak

After the rodeo that was the Galaxy Nexus and the controversy behind the LTE version of the Nexus 7 not being “officially” supported on Verizon’s airwaves until well after its launch, we’d forgive you if you thought they’d never get another crack at a Nexus device. But it appears the company could be ready to give it another go.

According to a source of PocketNow’s, Verizon is ready to go all in on the next Nexus handset. They described Verizon’s attitude as “really ready to embrace” it, which we hope means they’ll let Google have their way with handling software upgrades and device features.

The Galaxy Nexus was a really bad black eye on Verizon’s Nexus history. The device was loaded up with a few of Verizon’s apps out of the box, and it took ages for the device to receive the latest upgrades compared to other handsets in the series. It didn’t help that the underwhelming, battery-guzzling TI OMAP processor inside made it one of the most miserable Nexus devices to use for its time.

Following that debacle, the LTE version of the 2012 Nexus 7 had support for Verizon’s LTE network and was supposed to be approved for use by Verizon, but the company was actively blocking activations of the device for a long time. They cited critical software issues that could affect their network as part of the reason it took so long for them to finally begin accepting activations again. Regardless of motive, intent or reason, it turned a lot of people off and we thought it might spell the end for Nexus on Verizon.

Should this rumor pan out then you can bet we’ll be watching closely to see if the company is truly ready to embrace Nexus and treat it the way it was meant to be treated. Would you give another Nexus device a shot if it makes its way to Verizon?


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Verizon handled GNexus so poorly it resulted in losing a customer to AT&T (love N5) with the intention of NEVER returning to them again.

    1. True but it would still be great if they carried a Nexus again so Google has full US coverage of the only Android phone worth buying other than Moto X. Verizon has showed they can push out quick updates if you look at the Moto X.

  2. With VoLTE, maybe all the CDMA binary stuff won’t be an issue any more… though VoLTE is in its infancy, so I’d be hesitant to use any phone that didn’t have CDMA to fall back on.

  3. Remember Google bidding up the 700MHz spectrum enough to trigger the open-handset clause?

    Would be interesting if this ended up being a VoLTE device operating on Verizon’s 700MHz band…

  4. Great to hear, now just make it 4.95″ like the Nexus 5 and all will be right in the world.

    1. Why do phablet not deserve a chance at the nexus experience?

      1. They do, but for the average person who has no want or need of one like me, I want a 4.95″ Nexus. They should just follow Apple and make two devices, it’s the right way to do it.

        1. Get a Moto X or one of these Droids thats about to come out. They are basically Nexus phones without the branding.

        2. If it wasn’t for the other ‘phablets’ and larger screen devices that others have made, you will still be stuck on your 3.5-4″ screen that Apple provides. You can’t tell others to follow Apple when Apple is following everyone else to play catch up.

          But hey, lack of knowledge and the pitiful attempt to troll is really paying off for you right?

    2. Awww someone’s gonna be mad.

  5. I left Verizon over both the Galaxy Nexus and another “google experience device” that they totally botched – the Motorola Xoom. I had sworn off both motorola and verizon since that “oh its 4G LTE capable but not really” crap.

    1. The Xoom wasn’t their fault, it was simply rushed to market. Honeycomb wasn’t ready yet for primetime, and the Tegra 2 was wrought with problems.

      1. my complaints had nothing to do with that. It had to do with the clunky process through which we owners had to fedex our tablets back to Moto to get “updated” 9 months after we bought the tablet that was marketed as the “First 4G LTE enabled tablet”. Between the time when the Xoom came out and it was upgraded, two or three more android tablets came out that had 4G baked in.

        I guess I was one of the few that didn’t have issues with HC.

        1. Yeah I see how that could have been an issue. But that was the old Motorola. Now that they are part of Google, I think you should give Motorola another shot.

  6. I hope this is not an exclusive at launch…

  7. This is great news and cant wait to check it out…and also see the price!
    Aany of you readers get the new moto x and have anything to say about it? im curious with small battery…(ive read all the reviews, but want consumer thoughts!)

  8. Don’t tease me bruh!!!

  9. Please let this be true. I’m due for a new phone.

  10. snowballs chance in hell

  11. I remember reading an article online a while back when the Nexus 5 was released, saying why it wasn’t on the Verizon Network. It also had a statement by Google, saying that they had something planned and worked out a deal with Verizon for their upcoming/future device. Well, I think this is it.

  12. New Nexus on Verizon AND I get to keep my unlimited unthrottled!? Sounds good to me. Hopefully it won’t be a 700-800 dollar phone..

    1. They are talking around 450-600. You should be good.

  13. if this thing is compatible with Verizon, ATT, and T-mobile I’m SOOOO in. I got sims for 2 out of the 3. :)

  14. Not a phone… this is a phablet size according to rumors. To big.

    1. So, a phone? Since, y’know, that’s what a “phablet” is?

    2. Too

    3. Apple did it right – 4.7″ and 5.5″. That’s what Google Nexus should be too.

      1. I think you won ‘dumbest comment of the week’ for a) comparing Apple products to a Nexus, and B) saying Apple did it right when they had to play catchup to screen sizes.


    4. Everything that’s called a “Phablet” is really just a phone.

      “Phablet” is a nonsense term made up by (not nearly as clever as they think) bloggers to represent phones with larger screens (never mind that the first phones to get have that stupid label applied had screens that are typical today).

      You’ll note that no phone manufacturers use that term to describe their products (closest I’ve seen is the recent Samsung commercial that quotes a bloggers twitter post)

      1. No, a “phablet” is a (fabulous) phone big enough to also be used as a tablet for a lot of people. I sold my Nexus 7 once I upgraded to the Note, since the size diff wasn’t appreciable, and I don’t have much desire to use a 10″ tablet (vs my PC/laptop) for even larger-screen stuff.

        1. I ditched my Galaxy Note when I got a 7″ tablet.

          The original Galaxy Note was the first phone that had that stupid label applied to it (even though the Dell Streak was first with a >/= 5″ screen) and it has basically the same size screen (slightly different aspect ratio) as the Galaxy S5 yet nobody would call the S5 a “phablet”

          From this point forward you will see practically every “flagship” phone come with a screen size bigger than 5″, are the bloggers going to call every phone a “phablet”?

      2. Just a simple term to indicate this IS bigger than a general phone size and smaller than a tablet. The term makes total sense & makes a point when applied and not over thought.

        1. At best it’s a pointless term, there are different phones with different screen sizes. There’s no need and no value to create a new term to apply to phones that are bigger than average today but will be average size in 1-2 years.

      3. We could have called it a ‘Tablone’, but that sounded ridiculous

  15. I left Verizon because of their shenanigans with the GNEX, but hopefully they play nice this time for the people who stuck with them…

  16. I’ll be happy for all of you Verizonians if this is an option for you, but there’s no way I’m going back. Very happy to buy this phone and plug it in to Cricket without another thought of Big Red.

  17. I really hope this ends up being true. Nexus on Verizon, Motorola, larger screen, etc. This could be my favorite phone of all time…

  18. I’m thinking it’s going to have unannounced software features that’s going to compliment the extra screen room that way other phablet makers have a consistent UI on big phones

  19. They actively block nfc with google wallet so i wonder how thats gonna work

    1. There are carrier specific overlays that tweak parameters like that. Whatever concessions have to be made can be done without messing with the AOSP base.

    2. I have a first gen Moto X DE on VZW and Google wallet seems to work for me. Maybe I’m just lucky?

    3. They don’t really anymore, not that they wouldn’t like to.

      Verizons stated objection to Google Wallet (that access to the secure element on the phone somehow threatened their network) was always BS but for whatever reason Google always went along with it and complied with VZW, AT&T & TMO demands to block Wallet.

      With Android 4.4 (KitKat) Google did away with the secure element which effectively sidestepped the carriers only stated objection.

      As I understand it if you have an Android 4.4 phone with NFC you can use Google Wallet today without issue regardless of your carrier.

      1. unless you have a Note 3. Because stupid NXP hasn’t published their fuc*ing binaries to AOSP to get built into the OS….

        1. Yep. I haven’t been able to use NFC once since putting CM11 on my Note3 in January. BUT… I never really ran into a situation where I would have, had it been working. :)

          I don’t actually use my gimmicky NFC tags (leftover from S3) for anything, and even in NYC there’s still too few places to use tap-2-pay (besides mcdonalds and walgreens)

          1. And Duane Reade, Home Depot (except at self checkout) & Jamba Juice as well as probably a bunch of places you don’t even know about. Most new transaction terminals (PIN pads) are capable of accepting contactless payments and unless it’s been disabled by the store (which does happen) it will frequently work.

            I use Google Wallet wherever it’s available, I try to use it wherever I see a terminal that looks like it supports contactless payments. Way beyond the cool factor it much more secure leaving you less vulnerable to the data breaches like we’ve been seeing everywhere lately since your real credit card number is never sent to the company.

          2. Walgreens & Duane Reade are really one in the same (Walgreens bought them a few years ago), but yeah, I know there are a few other places that do tap2pay, but we need a whole lot more before I can leave my wallet at home on purpose (or forget it, like I did TODAY after dropping the kid off at school so I couldn’t buy fresh bagels at the local grocery with old POS)

          3. Oh I know, I can’t leave my wallet behind either, but every time I can avoid swiping my credit card I’m reducing my risk of having my CC info exposed in the next data breach.

    4. No, Verizon blocked it because of the excuse that the “secure element” was insecure, but NFC still worked. In reality they were just stalling for their own ISIS payment crap to get the middleman cut.

      The new Google Wallet doesn’t rely on a built-in secure element anymore so it’s a non-issue.

      1. Haha! I think your explanation makes the most sense.

  20. The galaxy nexus was one of the reasons (and a big one) why I switched away from Verizon. Not going back…..

    1. Same here.

    2. Ditto. I had the Galaxy Nexus and it made me realize what I was missing. I bought a Nexus 4 when they were dirt cheap before the N5 came out and switched to T-Mobile. They paid my ETF long before T-Mobile brought ETF payments to the masses just because they knew that was the only thing holding me back.

      1. I did the same thing except I paid the ETF. I did the calculations and I was actually saving money paying the ETF because of the savings I was getting from using T-Mobile (with more data too).

        I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon so I could get the Galaxy Nexus (please no more exclusives Google). It was a big mistake and one I won’t make again. Google Wallet was being illegally blocked by Verizon so they could shove ISIS (isn’t it ironic that a terrorist group used the same name) down their customers’ throats without any competition.

  21. Yes, Love the Nexus line, always have. I had the Galaxy Nexus, and was very disappointed that the Nexus 4 and 5, were not available. I almost left Verizon, if it was not for the Moto X.

  22. Any Verizon fanboy who thinks they will get anything close to a real Nexus experience with this thing is deluding themselves.

    1. Yeah, these guys are crazy. I’m pretty sure that Verizon is getting the Moto S and at this point most sources are mixing up the Moto S and the Nexus because of their similarities. Verizon does not deserve a Nexus, and they will do anything in their power to take as much control from Google as possible. Not that Verizon needs the Nexus to be profitable anyways.

      1. Moto S? The device that TK tech news made up?

    2. Don’t care. I just want a huge phone that doesn’t have physical buttons, timely updates and good battery life…it looks like it will fit the bill.

    3. Some of us on vzw don’t care about the “real nexus experience”. We just want a stock android device with an unlockable boot loader and leave the updates to developers. Most consumers don’t care about nexus devices but the ones on vzw who do are (I’m guessing) more concerned with a device that we don’t have to pay bounties for to get the boot loader unlocked

  23. I guess the next question is of this is true will it be available on the Google play store?

    1. Of course it will! Its a GOOGLE Nexus phone. All Nexus phones were/are some through the Google Play Store.

  24. Verizon should never have another nexus device ever, they’re going to find a way to screw it up one way or another they always do.

  25. I’m on a Verizon family plan I can’t really get out of. So, for me, this pipe dream would be really nice – the only modern Phablet that is able to tempt me away from the Note 4.

  26. “Critical software issues that could affect their network” = inability to foist boatloads of rancid bloatware down our throats.

  27. This is purely anecdotal, but a customer told me he bought an LTE Nexus 7 at launch and was refused activation by a Verizon store employee. He asked to buy just a SIM card to activate and they said no. Then he asked to buy a wifi hotspot and they kicked him out (I suppose realizing he’d just use the SIM in the Nexus and sell the hotspot). Though they refused to activate it, plenty of blogs showed how putting an activated SIM in the Nexus 7 worked flawlessly.

    1. The Verizon store employee couldn’t activate the LTE Nexus 7’s at launch. Why didn’t the kid just get another Verizon device add it to his account and swap SIMs?

  28. my next phone will be a verizon phablet and i don’t care whose.

    GOOGLE, LENOVO, or SAMSUNG, just a waiting game now.

    i’ll buy it during the february price drop season.

  29. my first nexus was the galaxy nexus, what a dissapointment that was. Horrid battery life and non existent software updates. The point of the nexus was no bloatware, pure android, first to get updates; this was the opposite of what I got. Never again.

    1. Never say never

  30. No, I wouldn’t go back to Verizon, even if this is true. They want way too much control of your smartphone experience for me (and hopefully Google) to ever trust them with the Nexus line again.

    1. They had absolutely no hold over the Nexus-type features of the GNex. The only thing they did was install 2 apps (which were easily removable/disablable), and the updates, which didn’t matter if you unlocked and rooted. Everything else about the form was true to Google’s Nexus philosophy.

      1. I bought my GNex for Google Wallet which I couldn’t use. Turns out that it was being blocked by Verizon. Oddly enough, ISIS/Softcard could be used. Well… it could’ve been used if it was enabled for my “specific device”. Catch-22.

  31. I hope it’ll still be sold by Google Play and not a Verizon exclusive. If so that’s a terrible move by Google. I’ll just have to keep my N5 until 2016. WTF!!!

    1. I agree with you. If this is a Verizon exclusive, I will skip it and get the second generation Moto X. Verizon has a great service, but they have the worst support (not a reference to their employees but their culture). I came to the conclusion that Verizon just doesn’t like their customers.

      1. While I agree with most of what you said, there’s no indication that it’s a Verizon exclusive, only that Verizon may be carrying it. Normally that wouldn’t be news except for the fact that Verizon never carries Nexus devices (so far only the Gnex and N7LTE).

        1. I’m hoping. I have the money ready like right now!

    2. Could the fact that there is no developer edition of the new moto x be an indication that vzw will get the next nexus?

  32. Wasn’t the big plus of GNex that you could easily install stuff yourself? There were plenty of stock ROMs rolling out almost as quickly as updates were published. I was never behind on that phone, and probably ended up farther ahead of where they left to die.

    1. For people like me (thoes who rooted and installed roms pretty much immediately) the way Verizon handled the Galaxy Nexus wasn’t an issue. However, for people who like having a Nexus phone for the fast updates straight from Google it was a nightmare. I was just happy that there was a Nexus phone with an unlocked bootloader available on Big Red’s network, but not everyone saw it that way.

      1. And yet the Galaxy Nexus updates were faster than other phones on Verizon at the time – which wasn’t bad.

    2. It was less of an issue than with a non-Nexus device, but it was still a big issue. Though there was an active developer team, something even they couldn’t generate were the necessary radios and other drivers that were exclusive to the CDMA variant (Verizon). New updates from the GSM versions could be modified to work, but it was always using old drivers and radios until the official update was released to Verizon. Some of the big issues with the GNex were LTE/3G handoffs and cell signal, so not having updated drivers meant minimal gain was had by updating to a new version of android with a ROM.

  33. So we should expect the Nexus 6 to work on Verizon’s network by November….. of 2015?

  34. I’ve been predicting this for a few months now. Verizon has had at least a temporary exclusivity period on the launch device for all of the whole number versions of Android since 2.0 (OG Droid for 2.0, Xoom for 3.0, Galaxy Nexus for 4.0). Here’s to hoping that this rumor comes true!

    1. That’s…not really correlating since the major Android releases haven’t all been on whole numbers (Eclair, Jelly Bean, KitKat)

      1. I get what you are saying, but he is saying all of the whole number verisons, not all major Android releases. And 5.0 is a whole number so yeah

      2. Sure, not all major updates are whole numbers, but that in no way relates to what I said. Chris hit the nail on the head with his comment.

  35. i wonder if the moto x is the “rumored” 5.2 inch “nexus” that was going to be “released” and since the nexus 6 is based off of the moto x, then that would be the larger nexus that would complement the “rumored” 5.2 inch “nexus.” i know there isnt a smaller nexus that is going to be released. just a thought that i had that i found interesting. would be nice to see the nexus 6 have the same features as the moto x, but with the better battery life and camera.

  36. Yes, as long as I get to keep my unlimited data. I love my LG but another Nexus makes me drool like Homer Simpson thinking about donuts.

    1. Hmm, forbidden Nexus…

  37. Don’t toy with my emotions

  38. Too late. Already left big red. Sticking with ATT and Nexus (or maybe motox if nexus6 too big)

  39. Umm… as someone who actually worked at TI on the OMAP processors, I have to take an exception with rather ignorant comment calling the 4460 processor inside the Galaxy Nexus “underwhelming and battery-guzzling.” It suggests that the author has no clue what he’s talking about. While the PowerVR SGX540 GPU in this processor wasn’t exactly bleeding edge, it was more than adequate for anything that Android could throw at it, and the CPU itself was actually one of the most power efficient designs in the ARM space at the time. The fact that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus was a battery hog had nothing to do with OMAP, but rather the inefficient LTE chipset that was used in the i515 version of the phone. The GSM variant of the Galaxy Nexus (i9250) did not suffer any of these battery issues. I could easily reach day and a half of battery life on a single charge with it. It was a good phone, and still is. My wife is still using it right now, and while it’s not as fast as the current generation flagship phones, it’s still a good user experience.

    1. Thank you for your work on getting that curved mess to work on Verizon. :P

    2. The GSM only variant was a better phone for sure. I hated that phone on Verizon. Having to have a CDMA radio in there messed everything up. Constantly switching back and forth between the radios made that particular version a total peice of junk. Great phone otherwise.

    3. My wife is also using Toro as her daily driver and I use mine to test new Paranoid Android builds since they still support it, as does AOKP

    4. Thank you. I second that statement. My friends with T Mo’s G Nex had a far better experience in the long term with that phone, than I did on my Verizon edition.

    5. Is that why my droid and droid4 had terrible battery life? I always thought it was the Omap

    6. Spot on. On another note why did TI get out of what many consider a pretty lucrative business?

      1. I can’t say for sure, but the mobile processor is a very cut-throat business to be in, and unless you can get your processors into majority of the products out there, it’s not very profitable. I think that the TI management decided that they could make more money elsewhere. As far as I know, the basic architecture still lives on in embedded and automotive applications (car infotainment systems), they just got out of the mobile market.

    7. While I agree LTE killed the battery, the gnex could NOT handle anything android had to offer. I had a launch day gnex and it could not handle live wallpapers from day one and still can’t. It could do phase beam and that’s about it. Almost all live wallpapers are insanely choppy when scrolling home screens. I remember there being a Christmas tree live wallpaper that ran awful on the gnex but just fine on an S2 with full graphics settings

  40. Hopefully if this is true, the phone will not only come in a size that is larger than my head.

    1. As long as you have an average size cranium, ~22 inches, you’ll be fine.

      1. Other head.

    2. That was a good troll, Steve. On a more serious note I honestly won’t buy late middle-age man pants just to actually be able to fit my 6″ screen device in my pocket. The LG G3 or something very close is essentially the biggest device I want in my pocket.

  41. Hell yes, seeing how its the only way I could get a Nexus device AND (see the “and”?) AND get a reception at work.

  42. I’ll definitely look into this. Gonna be Moto X or Nexus 6 on Verizon for me.

    1. Don’t forget droid turbo! Moto x on steroids. I know the looks aren’t there and there’s no on screen nav keys but definitely sounds like it will be worth checking out!

      1. True. I did forget it, but I will definitely give that one a look too.

  43. There are other sites saying this is a moto s and nit s nexus. I’m not sure what to think it is anymore. That being said if it is a moto s could the s stand for silver as all renderings show what could be stock android (could be blur I think). And if this isn’t a nexus what are the chances that the boot loader is unlockable?

  44. I’ve had Verizon for years, so hopefully this is true and hopefully it’s not like the GNex. I was just about to switch to T-Mobile so now I’m going to wait and see what happens with this.

  45. I was at TMo today. The rep (ya I know…) told me they don’t get ‘normal release’ Motorola phones but they always get the Nexuses, even the Motorola one. His answers were quick and confident, even when I challenged him.
    TMo has come up big in fast So Ca LTE towers. I’m thinking ’bout movin’ from Vz.

    1. I’m still a fan of TMO but I’d be cautious, I’m in SoCal and I had to ditch TMO because their coverage was too spotty and I couldn’t even find an EDGE connection too much of the time.

  46. Vzw: We’re really ready to embrace the new nexus on our blazing fast network. :)
    *what about timely updates*
    Vzw: Huh?

    1. Nexus updates come directly from Google, not the carrier.

      1. Unless you have a Verizon device, then Verizon still gets to decide when & if you get an update.

  47. This would be fabulous news, but VZW blows when it comes to updates and even worse, if the Nexus 6 doesn’t have an SD card slot then it’s of no use to me.

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