I have held off from buying the new Nexus 5 for now, having only bought the Nexus 4 earlier in the year it seems a little extravagant to replace it so soon.
Thankfully the nice people at MobilePhones.com have stepped in to offer purenxs.com a review. So sit back and enjoy…
Hands of view of the Nexus 5 Mobile Phone
Last year’s Nexus 4 device, which was also a collaboration between Google and LG, caused a storm with its impressive specs and low price tag, so excitement is high for the Nexus 5.
But will it blow us away as much as the Nexus 4 did?
Design and build
Google has decided to jump on the large-screen phone bandwagon by giving the Nexus 5 a 5-inch screen packed with an incredible 1080 x 1920 pixels.
However, despite the device being that bit larger than the Nexus 4, it is actually Google’s slimmest and lightest Nexus smartphone yet. Weighing just 130g (versus 139g of the Nexus 4) and measuring just 8.9mm thick, the phone is really easy and comfortable to hold in one hand, and doesn’t make you feel like you’re carrying a 5-inch device at all.
The Nexus 5 is available in both black and white, though, tired of the sea of black mobile phones, we opted for the white version. Compared to the glitzy rear casing of the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 offers a much cleaner, softer design, with a smooth back which dons the Nexus branding we’re all familiar with.
An accustomed Nexus 4 user might also notice that the rear-facing camera takes up a much larger area on the Nexus 5 compared to its predecessor, suggesting that the camera is a more prominent feature on the Nexus 5.
In terms of specs, the Nexus 5 features a mighty 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, making it perfect for running multiple apps at any one time. The device is also available with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, though there’s no SD card to bump it up to 64GB like on most other Android devices which is a little disappointing.
The most notable feature of the Nexus 5 has got to be its operating system. All Nexus devices run stock Android, and the Nexus 5 is no exception. However, what marks this smartphone as different is that it is preloaded with Android 4.4 (KitKat), Google’s latest OS update, never seen before.
Although you’d be disappointed if you expected to see a total overhaul of Android on the Nexus 5, there are a whole host of really cool features that make KitKat the best version of Android yet.
The main new feature of KitKat is that is it centred around Google Now, which you will notice if you scroll all the way to the left-hand home screen on the Nexus 5. Google Now is a handy hub where you can check the weather forecast at any pre-set location, the traffic on your usual commute, and even your local football team’s most recent score, all at a glance.
The one thing that I really like about Nexus 5, which is quite a subtle change, is the fact that apps, movies and books extend to cover the entire screen, making the most of the 5-inch display. That means that if you’re reading a book and don’t want to get distracted by notifications or the control buttons, or likewise, if you’re watching a film and don’t want to look at those thick black strips encompassing the action, then the Nexus 5-and Android KitKat- is brilliant. Google has also transferred this feature to the home screens of the Nexus 5; instead of housing the navigation buttons and settings in a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen, these controls now sit in front of a transparent strip, giving the illusion that the screen is even longer than it is.
Although the Nexus 5 only features an 8MP rear facing camera (unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4 or LG G2 which have 13MP lenses), the device can still take a pretty decent photo, as you can see from the images below.
The Nexus 5 also offers the same range of camera features as the Nexus 4 -and Android v4.3.3- does. These include Auto, Panoramic, the video camera and Photo Sphere. Photo Sphere is a great feature which allows you to take a panoramic photo, and then review it in a 360° fashion by scrolling up and down and back and forth.
If you enjoy getting creative with your photos, then the Nexus 5 is ideal for you. With a substantial editing suite packed with filters already built in, there’s no need to launch your trusted Instagram app to jazz up your shots as you’ve got all you’ll ever need right there built into the smartphone.
Although the Nexus 4 proved to be somewhat disappointing in the battery department, the Nexus 5 offers a little glimmer of hope when it comes to battery life. With an ever so slightly larger battery than its predecessor, the Nexus 5 performs averagely with typical use everyday use.
You will find that with sending the odd text, making a couple of calls and catching up with the latest goings on via Facebook, you’ll probably be ready to top up your battery at the end of the day, which is true for most smartphones even these days.
So did the Nexus 5 match up to my expectations in the end? In large, yes, it did; the device offers a smooth, high quality look and feel, and is the first phone to really make the most of having such a large screen.
The camera and battery life certainly didn’t disappoint, and when the phone is compared to other similar smartphones, there’s one huge draw for the Nexus 5, and that’s the price. From just £295, the Nexus 5 is around half the price of top of the range Androids like the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and HTC One.
So when you take a look at everything that the Nexus 5 comes packed with, it really is one of the best Androids of the moment, and is certainly the best Nexus device yet.