LG E960

A tasty surprise just hit our inbox, and we like what we're seeing. A black slab built on what looks very similar to the LG Optimus G's body, running stock Android.

According to these pictures, the device has the board name Mako, which jives with previous Nexus device internal names as they have all carried a fish theme. The version number is Android 4.1.2, running on the Linux 3.4 kernel. The device is running stock Android as we can see from the home screen, and visually what we can see is identical to the current Jelly Bean build we have now.

Outside there are some slight differences between this mystery phone and the Optimus G we looked at in Korea, namely the position of the camera mount and flash. This leads us to believe there is a different board inside. We also noticed that the LG E960 made it through the FCC with AT&T bands in tow. A little further digging and we see that this phone has been kicking around since late last month, so we're pretty confident that this is the phone everyone is talking about.

But it this the next Nexus? We've all heard rumors of an LG Nexus device, and from some very credible sources. For now, let's all look at the pictures (there's more after the break) and discuss. 

Update: Our tipster also posted these pictures publicly at XDA and failed to mention it to us, here's a link to that source.



Reader comments

Is the next Nexus phone the LG-E960?


Can someone fill me in on why we don't want an LG Nexus? Cause I've always loved their build quality. And if there is one thing I HATE about by Gnex is its build.

It may not have had the top specs of its current time, but the Galaxy Nexus is beautifully designed and is probably the best-LOOKING device out.

+1 LG Phones look like bricks. They always seem to be glossy looking too, which I don't like. I much prefer a diffused look.

and watch it cost $600+ on launch. Google spoiled everyone but slashing the price of the Galaxy Nexus over the Summer. Having owned a G2x I can see LG as a good choice however the issue I see is that LG is inconsistent in the quality of their products i.e. some are great hardware wise and others just don't hit the mark.

But it is a phone with rounded corners that makes calls. Everyone knows apple invented the first phone. Just ask their engineers!!!

...and yet another person needs to beat that dead horse. News flash - Samsung really did lose the case. It was not frivolous litigation. The only people who do not seem to see that are Android fanboys. People harp on one thing and ignore the fact that Samsung's own internal communications demonstrated they were intentionally ripping off an Apple product. Apple has not sued everyone over rounded corners. It was part of broader legal argument that demonstrated that Samsung was ripping off everything down to (and including) look and feel.

If you want to talk about frivolous litigation, take a look at the Motorola case that Google finally dropped, or the illegal effort to block Apple from access to LTE patents which is laughable since the technology has been licensed to the carriers for whom Apple makes phones. Guess what? There are fair use provisions in the patent (and related) laws and if you willfully violate them to block a competitor, you will end up on the wrong side of an anti-trust investigation.

Samsung was caught violating US patent laws - get over it. BTW, the unfair advantage Samsung received was as much at the expense of HTC, LG, etc., as any other company. Note that some of those companies, who did not take the same shortcuts, now struggle to maintain market share and profitability. Samsung did not do it to build a better phone but to rip off someone else's product so that THEY could monopolize the market instead.

OK. Provide exact details, or drop the argument. Apple has sued the crap out of everyone. And, yes, if you try and sue someone over a patent for "rectangles with rounded corners" we *are* going to make fun you. Apple has a *long* history of suing people over things they didn't invent or that were just plain silly. Look up "Apple vs Woolworth's" if you want an example.

As for the argument that "Samsung was blatantly copying Apple", you should really read the details of the case. The email that was released that everyone keeps referring to as "proof" that Samsung intentionally copied Apple was a discussion of "what is Apple doing right, and how can we expand on that?" That's an *extremely* common business practice that goes on every day. Hell, that's how Apple came up with the iPhone! Now, I will admit that I think Samsung study of iOS's merits went a little too detailed, which is what muddied the waters. That still doesn't mean Samsung copied by having "a grid of icons".

That said, if you had been following anything *since* the trial, you'd know that the verdict is about to get thrown out. The jury foreman from the trial has been making the rounds on the talk show circuit bragging about how after the first day, it seemed like the rest of the jury was siding with Samsung, but he helped change their minds. He goes on to elaborate about he instructed the other jurors *not* to read the judge's instructions and gave them false legal information about how to interpret the evidence. He's even admitting that he told the other jurors to consider evidence in ways that expressly went against the judge's instructions (which they didn't read).

And, even further down the rabbit hole, it's been discovered that he lied about his past in voir dire. That's where the lawyers and judge get to interview the potential jurors and dismiss any that they believe would be prejudicial and unable to render a fair and unbiased verdict. It's also Latin for "Speak Truth".

When he was asked if he'd ever been involved in a legal trial before, he said "No". Turns out he has: Seagate sued him back in 1996 for $25,000 that he apparently borrowed while he worked for them and he lost and had to pay the money back. Guess who now owns 70% of Seagate? If you said Samsung, you get a cookie :)

Between all of that, and the errors the jury made on the initial verdict that made them have to go back and redo it (look it up), it's obvious the jury did not do their job as instructed and that the verdict is going to be overturned.

If you're going to attack someone for making a joke, make sure you have your facts straight first.

What are you talking about? Throw on the Apple logo and move the camera/flash module a bit and you'd have an iPhone 4/4S back. You're clearly just as blind and delusional as most iSheep.

It has some sort of case around it like the iPhone 4 and Galaxy S3 did while in testing. In the front picture with the screen off you can see that the top of the device is curved like the S3

The E960 (this phone) has a triband 3G (no LTE) that is ATT capable.

Basically, if this is the next nexus, there is 0 percent chance I even bother. It'll be fast hardware, but useless to me.

I want to say it's fake, just because it has the stock browser instead of the Chrome browser that Google is pushing. But I could be wrong! The specs look pretty good, wish it was curved, though.

Yes, but that's irrelevant since this is a pre-production device with an early software build. It'll get switched to chrome once its more solid.

Exaclty, one. the LG boot screen seems odd, two. Why is it running 4.1.2. three. It not being pentaband, only having ATT bands is weird as well. Plus it looks just plain...Not buying it being a Nexus...

ATT's variant of the Optimus G perhaps..

Hmmmm interesting. But I wonder what else Google will have up their sleeves for this release. Porting JB to a newer phone isn't exactly making it worthwhile if on have GNex

That's what I'm wondering.

Releasing a new Nexus phone without a new software version feels much less 'exciting' than it typically would.

Jellybean is great, I'm sure the phone is great, and maybe it's 1st world problems kicking in, but it feels like it needs a new software version to make the phone more attractive.

Well considering what a blowout JB has been on the Gnex we may not see much here. Instead KLP may be out like JB was in the spring. I can wait. :D

Mako as in shark, or ubiquitous energy source from Final Fantasy VII? I know better, but my inner nerd is hoping for the latter.

I don't remember the GNex leaks blowing me away, but it's been a great device. I expect this will be sort of the same thing, and I'm going to want it just as much.

I'm a fan of Nexus (heck I have a Google Gnex on Tmo ATM). This looks for all accounts to be a new Nexus but more of a Keep current upgrade as opposed to a Take no prisoners Monster Phone. With as well as the Gnex is keeping up with the new stuff i'll stay pat and get 4.1.2 when they roll it out.

If this phone is running the same stock version of as the GNex, what use does it have? ? ? It would bring nothing new! The nexus is about the future/bringing the new version of Android.

uhh Have you seen the specs? quad core snapdragon s4 pro processor, 8-13 MP Camera with 1080p video, 2 gigs of ram, native google support, basically this is a a galaxy neus on steroids..which lol is all google needs to compete with other companys. I mean if jellybean made the gnexus faster/smoother, then think how great it will function on TOP OF THE LINE Hardware.

It better not be the nexus, those bezels are wayyy too huge and if it is, it better be in a dummy case.

I don't have a phone with JB, but the icons (browser, messaging, etc.) look kinda cramped to me. Is that normal on the phone version of JB?

Looks like it has a very solid build and I bet it will have stellar software experience like the Galaxy Nexus (not sure about the battery life and storage, two areas where Google flops without fail), however in terms of versatility and functionality, I don't see it holding a candle to the Note II, so Note II it is for me.

I think it might not be real - if you look at the pic that shows the homescreen, you can see the Gapps aren't installed. Look at the search bar and you see the voice icon isn't there which means some form of Gapps isn't there. The phone is most likely in a dummy case. If you look carefully, you'll see the camera is more into the middle of the phone, which to me shows that those huge bezels aren't going to be there on the final release.

I really hope these rumors are completely bogus I don't want to see anything from LG at all they're not horrible but they're not on par with Samsung, HTC, or Motorola.

He's not a Google employee. He would have been fired if he posted that, so he wouldn't post it if he were employed by Google.

This is likely a friend of an LG manufacturer or Google employee.

I don't particularly see the point in them releasing this for AT&T without LTE. While HSPA+ is a nice stopgap before LTE...I still would be very hesitant to spend 300 to 400 on a phone without it. Especially if Google is going to keep the storage at 16GB and expect me to use their cloud services for most of it. Going from my Galaxy Nexus to my Galaxy S 3 was like night and day in terms of internet speed.

My only hope is that they'll release a version for one of the Canadian carriers that uses the same bands for LTE as AT&T.

Give it a break about bashing LG. The LG 4X HD for one is actually not bad and there is also the Optimus G that is a pretty sweet looking phone actually. Well the last few phones from LG everything then bad. So give it a break. Lets see what they can do before bashing on them.

Do all of the people posting about how gross this phone is have eyes?

Because I do have eyes and with them I can see that there is a dummy case around the phone. A dummy case...Which means you can't see what the phone actually looks like.

That's the LG Nexus no doubt.. but its in a dummy case. Mostly a test unit/prototype. Do not draw any design conclusions from it.