A Nexus 5 Running Android 5.2?

February 20, 2015 •

nexus-5-android-5.2

While most Android users are still waiting to download the first version of Lollipop, Android 5.0, a Nexus 5 phone has been spotted running Android 5.2. Meanwhile, Google has been quiet about the overseas release of version 5.1 a few weeks ago. Could Google be pressing forward and leapfrogging 5.1 for Android 5.2?

A Nexus 5 Running Android 5.2

The phone in question was a Nexus 5 used by Geekbench to run some benchmark tests. The published test results showed typical figures and listed the phone’s hardware. The unexpected find was listed under “System Information,” where the operating system was identified as “Android 5.2.”

geekbench-nexus-5-android-5.2

On the one hand, seeing Android 5.2 this early is surprising. It takes time for device manufacturers to adjust any Android update for their devices. Even today, months after the release of Android 5.0, only a small percentage of phones and tablets are running 5.0.

On the other hand, a Nexus phone might have Android 5.2 loaded on it. Nexus devices are usually the first ones to receive updates. Also, this could be a single phone that Google was using for testing. With the recent release of 5.1, Google may already be working on 5.2.

Leapfrogging Android 5.1

At this point in time, nothing is officially known about Android 5.2. It does raise questions about Android 5.1, though. Why would Google be working on another Android update so soon after the release of 5.1? There are three main answers to this question.

  • First, the finding could be an error. The unit that returned Android 5.2 as the operating system was being used for tests. Perhaps something was altered that caused the software to report an incorrect operating system.
  • Second, Google may have already found a major bug in Android 5.1 (even though it addresses a number of issues with 5.0). If the bug is big enough, it would justify a new update from 5.1 to 5.2, and that update would need to be released quickly.
  • Third, and most intriguing, is the theory that Android 5.1 is a relatively minor update for basic devices that are most popular overseas. This would explain both the quiet release of 5.1 and the quick move to 5.2. If 5.1 is primarily meant to address issues in entry-level phones used in developing countries, there would be little reason to market it in the United States. A different update would be needed for the more advanced phones and tablets used in the U.S. Perhaps that update is 5.2. If it is, we will probably hear more about it in the future.

Only Google knows which, if any, of these theories is correct. Until we hear from them, we’ll be left to speculate.