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Nexus 5 Build Update: 3 Likely Candidates as Google’s Partner for the Nexus 4 Replacement

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By Erik Pineda | June 24, 2013 4:14 PM EST

The year 2013 is almost halfway, but the Nexus 5 branding remains a mystery. To date, it remains a guessing game which device manufacturer Google will tap to build the stock Android smartphone.

The year started with speculations that Google is taking away the Nexus project from LG following the supply glitch that marred the Nexus 4 distribution last year. The mobile phone was widely accepted but it did not develop the hit that Google had envisioned it to be.

It was unavailable most of the time and eventually, buyers lost interest and turned to rival Android-based handsets.

Understandably, Google would not want to repeat the same mistake with the Nexus 5, and so reports emerged that it is searching for a more reliable partner. The names Samsung, HTC and Sony came up, but the possibility that these companies would produce the mobile phone fizzled in the past weeks.

It turned out they'll be coming up with Google Edition of their flagships - namely the Galaxy S4, the HTC One and the Xperia Z. The attention was refocused on LG, but the firm also confirmed that it is not a Nexus 5 shoo-in, not yet anyway.

So here we listed three mobile device makers, global brands that are capable of manufacturing the handset that is in line with Google's basic standards - powerful but affordable.

Asus

The Taiwanese firm is no stranger to a Google deal. It famously delivered the Nexus 7 tablet last year and it delivered big time. In a review, CNET called the 7-inch slate the best Android tablet last year - no bloats, accessible and brimming with powerful features.

While Asus has yet to carry an honour badge in the smartphone contest, the company is not exactly a newbie in the business on the strength of its FonePad endeavours, which experts concede as attention-grabbing and powerful enough.

The main challenge for Asus is to forge the Nexus 5 to specs and feature expectations and make it affordable with decent profit margins.

Motorola Mobility

The strongest candidate so far because the iconic Motorola brand is now under Google's wings. It seem logical that the tech giant will automatically award the honours of building the Nexus 5 to one of its own, as suggested earlier by many experts.

However, the prospect disappeared into thin air when word about the X-Phone Project leaked. Talks of Nexus and the X-Phone being one persisted for months until finally the endeavour transformed into the Moto X, which Motorola is no Nexus at all.

Moto X is reportedly geared for a launch date within Q3 2013 but Motorola working on Nexus 5 cannot be discounted at the same time. Reports suggest that a new Nexus may come out November this year and who knows, Motorola's production lines may be gearing up to assemble the Nexus 5 as we speak.

Nokia

A wild card entry indeed as Nokia is presently Windows-focused. But the former market leader is also in a desperate search for a 'Hero' phone - the one product that will ring the cash register for a long time and set the stage for its recovery.

Making the Nexus 5 as part of its catalogue could prove as Nokia's second wind - its ticket for battling with Apple and Samsung on equal terms. Right now, while the Nokia Lumia lines are doing relatively well in select markets, the Finnish firm cannot brush aside the reality that the smartphone world out there is an iOS-Android duopoly.

Jumping from Windows to Android could be the elusive energy pill that would reinvigorate the ailing Nokia and for its first try, making Google's Nexus 5 could likely bring back the company's long-lost mojo.

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