Nexus 5 makes a quick appearance on Google Play

The 4.95-in. smartphone would run Android 4.4, known as KitKat, and probably launch Oct. 28

The upcoming Nexus 5 appeared briefly on the Google Play store late Thursday, indicating a $349 price for the expected Android 4.4 (KitKat) device.

Several news sites, including Engadget, reported seeing the 4.95-in. Nexus 5 briefly before the image was taken down. The Nexus 5 was described with the words: "Capture the everyday and the epic in fresh new ways. Starting at $349." It appeared next to images of the new Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

As of early Friday, Google Play replaced the Nexus 5 image with one of the Nexus 4.

As with other recent smartphone leaks, reports and rumors, most of the salient features turn out to be accurate (except in the case of the long-awaited Amazon Kindle phone), and a quick appearance on an official Web site is a pretty sure confirmation. There seems to be an unprecedented level of leaks about this particular smartphone, including still shots, videos and even a service manual with specifications.

Various reports have indicated the Nexus 5 smartphone will run Android 4.4 (KitKat) for the first time, and the appearance of the Google Hangout icon on the Nexus 5's start screen in place of the SMS icon in the Google Play images seems to confirm that. Also, the Google Play site itself indicated on a link that the $349 price was for a 16 GB version.

Reports indicate the 4.95-in. display is rated at 1080p HD, with a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor included. A 281-page booklet purporting to be a service manual for the new device was recently leaked and contained many technical specs, including LTE capability and Qi wireless charging.

From the images on Google Play on Thursday, the Nexus 5 resembles the LG G2 which went on sale in September, at least from the front view. LG Technologies made the Nexus 4 and is widely expected to make the Nexus 5.

Meanwhile there are other hints that the Nexus 5 will launch this month with the new OS called KitKat. Twitter postings from Google partner Nestle, maker of the KitKat candy bar, of an Android icon made of KitKat chocolate bars at @KitKat have fueled speculation. Last year's launches of Android 4.2 and the Nexus 4 on Oct. 29, suggest that Google will launch the Nexus 5 in late October, probably Oct. 28.

Clever observers also spied a tweet from @KitKat that showed an image of "This is It" spelled out in KitKat bars, a likely reference to the Michael Jackson movie with that title, to be released on Oct. 28, presumably the same day as the next version of Android.

This article, Nexus 5 makes a quick appearance on Google Play, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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