KitKat Phone: Nexus 5 Specs Great, But Android Kit Kat 4.4 Runs On Older Phones

The KitKat phone called the Google Nexus 5 will be the first smartphone to run Android Kit Kat 4.4. Let’s hope no one leaves their Nexus 5 in a bar this time

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Google Android Kit Kat was announced almost two months ago.

Google has taken to naming major updates to its Android operating system after food. For example, we have Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Android Jelly Bean, and now the KitKat phone lineup based upon Android 4.4.

And it’s not like Google named their KitKat phones after the famous candy bar without permission. The candy maker jumped at the chance to cross-promote their products and the official KitKat candy bars will feature mention of the KitKat phones, as well.

The Google Nexus brand is a lineup of unlocked smartphones intended to serve as a sterling example of what a Android KitKat phone could do. The latest example, the Google Nexus 5 has a five-inch 1080p screen and a quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. Without contract, the Google Nexus 5 16GB starts at $350 and the 32GB starts at $400, which is far cheaper than the iPhone 5S.

The biggest jump that the KitKat phone specs bring to the table is how limited they are. Google has massaged the internal workings of Android 4.4 KitKat, reducing necessary system resources, optimizing Google apps, and reworking the memory management. In a nutshell, this means your old smartphone could become a KitKat phone with an upgrade since the minimum requirement is only 512MB of system memory. Before Android Kit Kat, only the Gingerbread version could run on 512MB.

Android chief Sundar Pichai explained how this will help the KitKat phone launch:

“People generally launch new versions of operating systems and they need more memory. Not with KitKat. We’ve taken it and made it run all the way back on entry level phones. We have one version of the OS that’ll run across all Android smartphones in 2014.”

But besides the billions of smartphone users in North America and Europe who’d enjoy more speed and memory optimization, Google hopes to get a KitKat phone into the hands of developing countries like Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Mexico, which the Android market share is growing at three times the rate of developed countries. This means that cheaper KitKat phones can more easily be released into those markets.