I’ve been jumping from device to device within the past few months and I finally stumbled on to a Nexus 5. To be honest I’ve never been a fan of vanilla Android and really didn’t care too much about Google’s Nexus line of smartphones. Earlier in December, I finally decided to take a chance on the Nexus 5 and just play around with it since I was pretty much dead set on using the Note 3. Fast forward to today, I’ve sold my Note 3, Xperia Z1 and now have the Nexus 5 as my main phone of choice.
Instead of going too far into detail about specs, benchmarks, and Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat since they have all been discussed to death on several review sites, I’m just going to do a quick write up…
- Snapgragon 800 2.26Ghz processor with 2GB RAM
- 4.95″ 1920×1080 display 445ppi HD IPS Display
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Screen
- 69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59mm weighing 130g
- 4G/LTE / Dualband Wifi / Bluetooth 4.0
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- Wireless Qi Charging built in
- 8MP rear facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization and LED Flash
- 1.3MP Front Facing camera
- 16/32GB Internal Storage
Since this is my first Nexus device ever, it deserves the honor of an Unboxing Moment! It is simply packaged like most smartphones and comes with the standard MicroUSB cable and charger. I’m not too crazy about the box design but it does standout and Google is trying to be consistent with their Nexus products. But let’s not focus too much on this, it’s what’s inside that counts!
Nexus 5 is 3rd in terms of device footprint size! Still bigger than the iPhone 5S but not as intimidating as the Note 3 and roughly the same size as the Xperia Z1!
The Nexus 5 is pretty light at 130g while the iPhone 5S weighs 1112g but of course you have to factor in the larger 5-inch screen size vs the 4-inch which is a very welcome tradeoff between the two devices.
The 5-inch IPS HD Display with 445ppi is nothing less of amazing. Videos, text, pictures and games look very sharp and these photos don’t do it any justice. You have to see for yourself.
I used to think that wireless charging was a gimmick but now I can’t live without it. It’s brilliant, convenient and more efficient than fumbling around with a cord and plugging and unplugging the USB cable. I liked it so much that I picked up two of these Nokia chargers (work perfectly fine with the Nexus 5) at an AT&T store for about half off at the time.
In case you’re wondering, yes wireless charging does with with most cases. The one on the photo is Google’s official Bumper Case which you can get for $40. I’m wasn’t too crazy about it because it added a bit of bulk to the device which made it somewhat uncomfortable to hold. I picked up a Ditztronic TPU case for $10 which you can get from Amazon which is very well built, looks fantastic and makes the Nexus 5 more comfortable to use.
Performance and Battery Life
Much like the Xperia Z1 and the Galaxy Note 3, the Nexus 5 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 800 processor so you know you are getting top of the line hardware. But unlike the other Snapdragon 800 devices, the Nexus 5’s starting cost is only $349 contract free. Games and applications run just as good and the Nexus 5 was able to handle everything I threw at it including Asphalt 8, Zen Pinball, and Dead Effect. With the 2GB of RAM, the Nexus 5 can run multiple apps without any lag and busts every myth about Android not being as smooth as iOS.
KitKat is definitely Android at it’s best and it is really good to see that Google has made a lot of progress with their mobile operating system. Navigating through KitKat is snappy and the flexibility of the OS being able to change keyboards, set your default apps, and having widgets is greatly appreciated. The best part of any Nexus device is that you get the purest Android experience without the bloatware added in by the OEM or carrier. There are a few features that I wished the Nexus had which is built in call reject and a “Blocking Mode” which the Samsung Galaxy devices have without having to download any additional apps.
The Nexus 5 comes with a 2300Mah battery which is a little bit baffling because it’s sister device, the LG G2 comes with a 3000Mah battery. The Nexus 5 battery will last you through an 8-10 hour workday with moderate to somewhat heavy use but that’s just mediocre at best. Also, the battery can be inconsistent at times where one day you’ll get about 12 hours of battery life, next you’ll get 15, or then you can go down as low as 7 hours of use which gets irritating especially when you depend on your smartphone a lot for work. Downloading a custom kernel such as Franco Kernel makes a pretty big difference but although it’s easy to flash, the average user won’t feel comfortable in doing so.
Which the Nexus 5 was first launched there were quite a bit of issues with the camera performance which was disappointing from the start, but Google has significantly improved it with the Android 4.4.2 update. The camera now is now on an above satisfactory level and takes excellent photos. Although not at the level of the iPhone 5s, it is a contender on being one of the better camera phones out in the market, and you also have to consider the jaw dropping price for it’s capabilities. Here are some camera shots:
It has also been reported that Google will continue to improve the camera on further updates in the future!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
- Amazing price and value for top of the line hardware
- Excellent performance
- Gorgeous display
- KitKat is Android OS at its best to date
- Surprisingly good camera after 4.4.2 firmware update
- Thin lightweight design
- Mediocre battery life
- A few minor annoyances in KitKat