Reputed leaker of phones @evleaks is talking about the Nexus 5 again today, and this time we're hearing that the device will be available on the Sprint network. An image of the Nexus 5 was included in the Twitter posting, but it doesn't appear to be any different than the other renders of the Nexus 5. So how's this going to work?

Sprint support has been on the table since the radio listings leaked, so this isn't a complete surprise. However, it isn't clear if there will be a Sprint variant of the device, or if one SKU will have all the GSM, CDMA, and LTE radios needed. Either way, this is great news for Sprint customers who didn't get a Nexus last generation. All they had was the old Galaxy Nexus, which arrived 6 months late anyway.

There's still nothing solid on a release date, but @evleaks previously claimed November 1st was the big day. I guess we'll know soon.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Greyhame

    Good for you Sprint users! (Flippin' Verizon....)

    • Jadephyre

      Verizon botched this up themselves as far as I heard, they want complete control over what their customers get, which leads to less than timely updates, if they appear at all. It still sucks that Verizon is the network with probably the biggest network coverage in the US. I know, most of the others aren't cheap either, but at least with AT&T or T-Mobile you can use any phone you like (for example).

      • GTIguy

        You are correct. I was on the phone last week trying to get a few iPads activated on our corporate account and started a conversation with the VZW tech. They guy I talked to had a Galaxy Nexus running CM. He said Google will not allow Verizon to have the Nexus 5 because Verizon will not agree to leave out their bloat. I don't understand why VZW will allow iOS devices without bloat but not Android devices. I will be leaving Verizon when my contract is up for this device on T-Mobile or AT&T.

        • Jadephyre

          Heck, I don't even understand how Verizon gets every manufacturer to build them a custom phone. If I was HTC, Samsung, Motorola or what have you, i'd make the devices usable on all Networks and then say to Verizon "This is what I have to offer, take it or leave it".
          If everyone would be doing that, very soon Verizon would only sell feature phones.

          • master94

            When your the biggest network in America, OEMS will bend backwards for you. Apple is so large that it can get away with saying no. Samsung in getting there which is why the S4 was able to get updates quick.

    • master94

      It supports VZW bands so if you already have a sim it might work. VZW just wont give you a new sim. I was able to use the Nexus 7 on VZW by cutting my sim card.

      • Greyhame

        Incorrect. Does not support LTE band 13. Supports only Sprint CDMA bands.

        • master94

          Actually if you look at the FCC docs it does support it just not active. Nothing a custom rom doesnt take care of. Works on the Nexus 7 that way anyway

  • Joseph

    Hopefully, this time around, they will make it a true nexus (i.e... timely updates from google - instead of having to wait for Sprint to hopefully update it, after several months of GSM counterparts getting the updates)

    • Ben Napper

      Exactly. It isn't full Nexus without the 'front-of-the-line' updates.

  • Otto Prime

    this is news? :/

    • meijin3

      Yes, when something that was previously rumored is made fact or given new support, news is made.

      • Otto Prime

        It's been made fact weeks ago... T-Mobile is also selling it. It seems it can only be official news if evleaks says so.

        • NinoBr0wn

          Where was it confirmed T-Mobile is selling it?

          • Wyatt Neal

            The Google Play store ... I mean, that's where I'd buy it and take it to T-Mo.

          • NinoBr0wn

            Are you talking about compatible with T-Mobile, or T-Mobile selling the phone? And when you say the Google Play Store, are you talking about when the phone page was published and taken down?

          • Wyatt Neal

            1. So far the only "confirmed" sellers of the phone that we've seen are the Google Play Store (taken down) and WIND mobile (taken down).

            2. Based on the specifications leaked, it will be compatible with ALL major carriers (in the US at least) EXCEPT Verzion (for now, but let's not get our hopes up on something we know isn't going to happen).

          • NinoBr0wn

            Yea that's why I asked, because he said T-Mobile is selling it, which to my knowledge has not been spoken of, seeing as the Nexus 5 doesn't even officially exist yet.

  • Johnzm

    i have been patiently waiting to see if the launch will include sprint devices, or if sprint will be selling it through their website after the launch (unavailable through play store). i agree to one of the previous posters that it has been well known for awhile that the nexus5 had tri band capabilities

  • Mike

    I'm still rocking the Sprint Galaxy Nexus so this is great news for me. Definitely gonna get it

    • From DR to PR

      wow! really??

      • h4rr4r

        Why is that surprising the device is not even two years old yet. Sprint got it pretty late.

    • Peter Oliver

      Same here. I imagine there are a lot of people that have followed the route of the HTC EVO 4G Wimax > Galaxy Nexus > Nexus 5 (soon)

  • John Smith

    i learned my lesson with the Sprint and Verizon Galaxy Nexus. if it is a special Sprint variant - it is not a true Nexus. AT&T GSM GoPhone here i come!

  • conspiracy


    • John Smith

      nice job. Sprint should hire you!

      • BaconEater

        Better than half the shit Sprint puts out these days.

  • VyktorJonas

    I hope there aren't variants for Nexus 5s, flashaholics will be greatful

  • Bill

    From what I've seen (hands on with the device) it will be one phone with multiple radios in it to cover CDMA as well as GSM.

    • MrTreehorn

      I think most people thought this would be the case. The problem of course is whether or not the Play Store version can be activated through Sprint (and if Sprint users get the same up front and fast updates that GSM users do), or if there's going to be another Galaxy Nexus type deal where you get it through Sprint, and it's a Nexus in name only.

    • turdbogls

      since you have hands on...maybe you can answer this for me. is the front speaker covered by the glass or not? from the multiple renders i have seen, some make it look like it is behind glass, others do not.

  • kamiller42

    Hoping it's tri-band, i.e. supports Sprint's newest LTE band.

    • Otto Prime

      it is.

  • Mike M

    Sprint completely bumblef#!ked the Nexus program with the current "Nexus" in their lineup. 4.3 had been out how long and Sprint Galaxy Nexus devices still don't have it? I forone not excited about them getting another Nexus to screw up.

    • Tim Norris

      Don't blame Sprint as much as CDMA patents/technologies (owned by Qualcomm I believe). Blame Sprint for using CDMA, but the patents and tech on CDMA make it a nightmare to develop for without having signed license agreements, that for one thing make most of the code that you could use be functional be closed source and prevent you from properly releasing it to the wild, allowing developers to add it to their repositories and have AOSP compliant apps. That has been what has held back most of the phones I have used. Devs find work arounds, but most are sort of cludgy if not fully functional. (Look at the Samsung Moment, to get it to work properly you needed to get the modem from the Samsung Transform [same general hardware, but different GPS components, so had to be reverse engineered to work]. As a Moment owner, to switch to 2.1, you had to choose between Android 2.1 (with apps2SD support as opposed to 2GB usable space on 1.6 after bloat), or having a fully functional data/voice connection since 2.1 would knock you into airplane mode with no way to leave without reboot, or with 2.2 use the Transform with no GPS. I mention this only to say that the issues result because the devs couldn't look at the modem source to fix it on the Moment, like they could have on a GSM device since that has at least loads of documentation to start from for reverse engineering as opposed to none.

  • techlte

    Fingers crossed for a single SKU! I'm currently migrating from Sprint to the MVNO Ting and then we're off to T-Mobile! It'd be nice if we could buy a few N5 and keep them through our whole journey.

  • Todd

    be still my heart, yay!

  • Tim Norris

    Please be true... Especially if they are smart enough to do just ONE radio for all of the devices, that way you only need to have one code base. (Didn't Apple do this with their last few generations of phones, so it can't be too hard.)

    • someone755

      Google did that with the N4. No carrier BS, so there was only one variant. Nexus on any US carrier = a gazillion variations.
      Is it really so hard for you US people to just buy the phone unlocked and put in a carrier SIM? If you can't, ditch your carrier.

      • Tylerstravis

        Sprint and Verizon use CDMA... we could not use the N4 with either network.

        • someone755

          I never said that. And I think El Goog did the right thing there. It stood up to all of your carriers and said, "We won't do it the way you want us to!" And, seeing as how less the N4 irritated developers over the millions of SKUs of Gnex-s, I'd say it was a good tactic.

          • Tylerstravis

            I wasn't claiming you said that, just letting you know in case you didn't :)

          • someone755

            Sorry if that came out rude or hostile, wasn't meant as such. :3

      • Tim Norris

        Besides being CDMA, they don't use SIM at all, and the Galaxy Nexus has LTE, but to do so they needed to use separate radios. Which was why the Nexus 4 didn't have LTE (except for band 4 and it is unamplified so next to useless, and was coded out in later versions), just HSPA+. They didn't want the hassle of dealing with 2 radios in one device, so that leads more credence for the idea of only using one radio for all of the network technologies (unless Apple has some patent on that common sense idea).

        Also, until recently there has not been any real reason to switch to a better system (like they have internationally) where you have a large upfront cost for an unlocked phone, and a cheaper and/or better plan that has no contract. We had the option to buy an unsubsidised device that is unlocked, and still pay the same rates for service (or maybe even save $5/month, with no ETF, which is still next to nothing since that is less than what they would save you buying the subsidised version and be locked in).

        I think most Americans will agree that we have a screwed up system for all Telcos/Network providers. The only thing that would really make sense is to force net neutrality, and require common carrier laws on all networks that are public facing so you can have some real competition nation wide, not the government encouraged monopolies/cartels that we have.

        • someone755

          Wow, really? You don't even get SIM cards? That's cheap, seeing as how you pay 60$+ a month.
          Google actually had a 4G radio in the N4, and somebody got it unlocked and working, but a software update disabled it completely.
          The system here in Europe is that you can:
          a)Purchase the phone outright and then pay anything from 5 to 60€ per month (it all depends on how much mobile data you have in your plan).
          b)Pay less for the phone (anywhere from 10-99%), but you'll need to add a special packet to your data plan that both increases your monthly fees and your monthly amount of internet (monthly fees are anywhere from 5 to 120€).

          OR, for instance, I got my Sony Xperia S for 370€ back in October 2012 (originaly was around 700€), and I only have to pay 12€ per month (which is the default for my plan).
          In conclusion, your system is F'd.

          Fingers crossed for a single SKU! (Also, each CDMA version of the GNex had its' own software. Was not cross-flashable.)

          • Tim Norris

            Yep, the US system is screwed up major, I don't think any informed consumer will disagree with you.

            The reason why they GNex had diff CDMA software vs GSM is all of the documentation for CDMA is tied to license agreements that keep it closed source, so Google couldn't release all of their code public via AOSP, (from what I can tell the carriers and Google are both tied in some convoluted agreements that limit what they can do with the source code also, so they can distribute binaries, but not a lot of documented code).

            As far as the N4 having LTE, it did, but only on one band since the amplifiers weren't built into the Radios for any other bands, and I believe the reason why Google ended up removing it is because it barely worked as far as range/strength due to not having an amp (different for each band for optimization purposes from LG, and would require different software per band), and they didn't want other people to sell someone a phone that had 'LTE' that didn't really work, then get Google a black eye for not supporting it when they complained.

            Also, from what I have been told by Sprint Reps back in the day, you want to know what is also screwed up, the LG Rant was originally designed to use SIM for Sprint (their first phone to do so, with the rest to follow), but Sprint changed their mind last minute, so they soldered it onto the board instead.

  • someone755

    The downfall of the Nexus has begun.
    I wonder how F'd up this one's bootloader will be... Will it just be locked forever or will it be like "We put in S-ON, a locked bootloader and software that makes the thing explode and go out of warranty if the user even thinks about root."

    • MrTreehorn

      Ok, so, what could possibly make you say that? Nexus devices have traditionally been easy to modify, and there's been exactly zero rumblings that that's changing.

      • someone755

        The GNex-s gazillion SKUs. That's what.

        • MrTreehorn

          Seriously? You're citing a two generation old (soon to be 3) model as the reason that the downfall of the nexus starting now? Not to mention all that stuff about bootloaders and everything when I'm honestly not sure if any variant other than Verizon was locked down at all, and that was, again, 2 generations ago.

          • someone755

            First: Doesn't matter if I'm citing a 1999 model. History repeats itself, and that has been proven many times in the last three years. Especially when it comes to US carriers BS-ting a phone's unlockability.
            Second: See, the thing is, because of carriers in the US, people worldwide get a worse release, and that's exactly what happened with the GNex, even if only the Verizon version was locked down. There's a gazillion SKUs, which is a pain for every developer, and users in the end. The number one cause for developers leaving Samsung phones; dozens of models and SKUs of what is essentially the same phone.
            I'm not here to complain about the average user's issues, I'm here to tell you what carriers do from a developer's point of view.

    • guest

      Sprint is actually very root friendly.

      Walk into any Sprint corporate store with a rooted phone and they won't flinch when you tell them its rooted.

      They don't lock down the bootloaders....

      This isn't Verizon we're talking about here.

      • someone755

        Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mo. Carrier + phone = different SKU for each carrier (or mostly so). More SKUs = more pain for the developers, and more headaches for everyday users (just like the gazillion versions of the GS3 there were, try finding your device amongst the dozen if you're a complete Android noob).

  • Abraham

    I hope they have only one SKU. Like this, if I was to ever change providers, I would simply take my Nexus 5 there. No need to buy another phone.

  • Eric Jones

    I hope it gets the same pricing and updates. I'll buy at least one if it does, maybe two.

  • Cherokee4Life

    The day I am leaving Sprint for Boost I hear this crap.. maybe I can port it to Boost?

  • Jonathan Stelzer

    Not on Verizon?! COLOR ME SURPRISED.

  • DJ_suMo8

    Please tell me that's an aluminum band around the phone cause it needs it

  • Cesar

    It's times like this I hate being a Verizon customer.