Google, LG to unveil Nexus phone at the end of the month

CNET has confirmed that the phone will be a modified version of the Optimus G. Other handset manufacturers could also release their own Nexus phones as well.

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Roger Cheng
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LG Optimus G
The LG Optimus G is the inspiration for LG's Nexus phone. LG

LG will finally get its own Nexus smartphone based on its recently unveiled flagship Optimus G, CNET has learned.

The phone will be announced at the end of the month, according to a person briefed on the matter. While it will run some of the same specifications as the Optimus G, it will be modified to fit into the Nexus program. Google and LG haven't yet come up with a name for the product.

A Nexus phone could do wonders for LG's reputation, particularly in the U.S., where the company has struggled to make a name for itself with its smartphones. The Nexus devices are used to showcase the latest version of Android, in this case Android 4.2, and often generate buzz in the Android community for the device and handset manufacturer.

The confirmation comes amid several reports that LG is working on a Nexus phone. Modaco has listed detailed specifications for the device.

Like the Optimus G, the phone is expected to come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon quad-core processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, a 1,280x768 True-High Definition IPS display, an 8-megapixel camera, and a nonremovable battery. It will also have no microSD slot and only 8GB to 16GB of internal storage, according to Modaco.

LG, however, may not be the only company to unveil a Nexus phone, the person said. Indeed, there has been talk that multiple handset manufacturers will get their crack at building a Nexus device.

Samsung has built the last two smartphones, with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, while Asus helped build the Nexus 7 tablet. HTC made the original Nexus One, while LG has never had a chance to participate in the program.

The move could be a way to give some of the other handset players a leg up and earlier access to the latest iteration of Android. While Samsung has been tremendously successful with its Galaxy franchise, and its flagship Galaxy S3 in particular, the rest of the Android pack hasn't fared as well.

LG is among the companies that's still struggling to turn a profit on its smartphone business. The company is hoping for better this holiday season, with AT&T selling its Optimus G and keeping the Optimus franchise name intact. It hopes to emulate the success of Samsung's Galaxy line with Optimus but faces a crowded market of upcoming phones.

Indeed, Google has shown more of a willingness to work with its partners when it comes to the Nexus program.

"We challenge all our partners that want to work with us on a Nexus product to push the envelope," Patrick Brady, director of Android Partner Engineering for Google, said in a Q&A with CNET.

CNET's Marguerite Reardon contributed to this report.