What we know so far about the LG Nexus 4

Google’s smartphone launch may not be as imminent as thought, but there’s plenty of drama surrounding the handset to keep tech watchers busy.

The Internet search leader was expected to unveil the LG Nexus 4 smartphone on Monday at an event in New York, but on Saturday it abruptly canceled the gathering because of safety concerns related to Hurricane Sandy.

Google said it would update people planning to attend the event later.

Not to worry, there’s tons of material already circulating about the new device that’s coming.

From all accounts, the LG Nexus 4 will include a 4.7-inch touchscreen, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 8GB or 16GB of storage, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, near-field communication, microUSB and a 2100 mAh battery.

And, according to a leaked photo on Twitter it’s said to look much like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, except for a shifted rear-camera placement on the back of the phone.

The Launch

At Google’s New York event, the company was expected to announce a number of new and refreshed Nexus devices running Android 4.2, which will likely keep the Jelly Bean name but add features like multiple user accounts on tablets, a Google Play widget, and support for horizontal movement in the camera’s panorama mode.

As part of the lineup, the search and advertising giant was expected to herald in the LG Nexus 4. But Google said the show has been cancelled. Word came down after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the storm. The venue where Google had scheduled the event is now an evacuation zone.

The Frenzy

Carphone Warehouse, a popular UK electronics retailer, last week was taking pre-orders for the LG Nexus 4.

Before pulling the listing from its website shortly after PCWorld wrote about it, the smartphone was looking to pretty much live up to the Nexus 4 rumors that have been circulating recently—including reports that the device mirrors the specs of the LG Optimus G.

The Leak

What would a new device launch be without a leaked photo before the launch?

Image Credit: Louis Gray / Google+Image Credit: Louis Gray / Google+

A bartender at the 500 Club in San Francisco’s Mission District found a Google-branded phone that someone had left behind. It had a “not for sale” sticker on the back, reports Wired. A tech-savvy customer identified it as the Nexus 4 and called Google to find out if they had a device that was missing.

The next day he told the bartender, “You just got a guy fired … The Google police are coming.”

Shortly thereafter a Google global investigations and intelligence manager showed up at the bar making threats about criminal charges and demanding the phone back. The bartender turned over the phone by way of a lawyer.

These things happen, and when they do drama always ensues.

Last year, Apple had a debacle of its own when one of its employees lost an iPhone prototype at a tequila bar—also in San Francisco's Mission district. Apple traced the phone to a single-family home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood and then turned up there with San Francisco police officers and searched it, to no avail.

A man at the home who gave permission for the search later said four men and two women came to his house and presented themselves as police officers. He had let the visitors search his home, his car and his computer's hard drive, and said one of the visitors offered $300 to return the device.

The man was an American-born citizen who lives with several family members, all in the United States legally, but he said one of the men threatened him.

After that story broke, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed that four plainclothes officers did, in fact, assist Apple with the incident. A police spokesperson told SFWeekly the officers stayed outside the home while Apple employees conducted a search.

In 2010, two men were charged with misdemeanors for misappropriation of lost property, and in one case, also with possession of stolen property.

The property in question was an early version of the iPhone 4 that had been left at a Redwood City, Calif., bar by an Apple engineer. One of the men sold the iPhone to Gizmodo for $5,000 and the website then published photographs and analysis of the device several months before Apple officially unveiled the smartphone.

Gizmodo later returned the smartphone to Apple.

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