** UPDATE: 3.54PM ET - The Google Nexus 5 has been released. The Google phone features a 4.95-inch full HD 1080p display, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, an 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, either 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.
It uses Google's new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, and includes a 4G LTE radio.
As for price, Google's new hero phone starts at just $349 for the 16GB model without a service contract. In comparison, the HTC One starts at $599.99 with no service contract, Apple's iPhone 5s starts at $649 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 starts at $724.99.
Google's Nexus 5 smartphone is available for purchase from the Google Play store beginning immediately and AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will each support the new device.
The Google Nexus 5 and KitKat will have a release date event Thursday October 31, 2013 in a special launch event on Halloween, according to widespread rumors on Thursday morning.
The LG-made Nexus 5 and the Android 4.4 KitKat should be released some time later on Thursday, according to Android Police.
An embargo is officially being lifted at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) but an announcement could come earlier.
Various reports claim that the device will be available to customers from as early as tomorrow, Nov. 1, and some publications even state that some outlets will even be putting the Nexus 5 on sale later today.
Following weeks of rumors concerning the Nexus 5, it now looks increasingly likely that the company is getting ready to officially launch its newest smartphone. In addition to the Nexus 5, the Nexus 10 should also be made available, as well as the latest mobile operating system, the Android 4.4 KitKat.
Just earlier this week the search engine updated various apps such as Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, Play Magazines, Google+, Google Keep and Google Wallet, without any announcement.
The updates reportedly covered a total of 16 apps over the span of just 48 hours.
The Nexus 5 is touted to have top specs including a 5 inch screen with a high resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). It will also feature a Snapdragon 800 chip from Qualcomm which will be paired 2GB of RAM.
The device will come in 16GB and 32GB versions, with 2,300 mAh and 3,000 mAh batteries respectively.
The smartphone will boast an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, as well as a 1.3-megapizel camera on the front. It will come in black and white versions.
Although the company has not announced anything, many blog sites are claiming that there will be a live stream of the special Nexus 5 release event, and that Google fans will be able to tune in and watch the unveiling online. If a live stream is made available, a link will be posted here closer to the event time - be sure to check back later for updated information.