Every Nexus device to date — and if you haven’t been counting, there have been four — has debuted with a new Android version.
The Nexus One debuted in January 2010 with Android 2.1 Eclair. The Nexus S impressed us barely 11 months later with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Galaxy Nexus came a year after that, in December 2011, with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Finally, the Nexus 7 tablet arrived in June of this year with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The latest leaks of the upcoming Nexus 4 smartphone, presumably made by LG, indicates that the device will indeed launch with a new version of Android, 4.2, but will still be called Jelly Bean. Well, Jelly Bean Maintenance Release 1.
There is only one precedent for this in the Android world. The Motorola Droid was released in late 2009 with Android 2.0 Eclair, and when the Nexus One debuted a few months later it also ran Eclair, albeit with a few updates in Android 2.1. Google could be holding off launching a new version of Android — Key Lime Pie — because Jelly Bean hasn’t proliferated to enough devices yet, and due to its low market share very few users have been able to take advantage of its features.
Android 4.2 will look and feel identical to Android 4.1, but will come with a number of security enhancements and will coincide with a new version of the Gmail app. It may also have an updated notification bar with faster access to quick settings, but that remains to be seen.
The rest of the specs, as provided by the reliable evleaks, have already been confirmed: 4.7-inch 1280×768 True IPS display, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, 2GB RAM, 8/16GB internal storage, 8MP camera/2MP front camera, 2100mAh non-removable battery, 9.1mm thick, 139g. For comparison, the Galaxy Nexus is 8.9mm thick and 135g.
So, presumably the Nexus 4 will be announced at a Google event on October 29th. It’s unfortunate (in some ways) that we’ve seen the device leak as extensively as it has — there are no surprises — although the question of wireless charging is still up in the air.