Google Nexus 5, first take: Latest specs and Android OS at a low price

Google Nexus 5, first take: Latest specs and Android OS at a low price

Summary: I spent this weekend with the Google Nexus 5 and am impressed by the hardware and Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.


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  • Top showing the openings in the case

  • Nexus 5 and Nexus 7

  • Nexus 7 over the Nexus 5

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Reviews, Smartphones

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  • slideshow

    liked the fact that you put the summary on one page...I am not plowin through 68 pages, at least from my point of view, you wasted a bunch of time and effort
    • Thanks, I try to do what I can

      I understand your frustration with the ZDNet gallery setup and I have expressed that to our editors since I personally don't enjoy going through each image as a separate page either. I try to get all the content written on the first image to give the reader the choice to go through each image or not.

      At least you can look through the thumbnail filmstrip at the bottom and find an image or two to view individually, right?
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Impressions, Impressions

        Money, Money
  • slideshow

    liked the fact that you put the summary on one page...I am not plowin through 68 pages, at least from my point of view, you wasted a bunch of time and effort
  • Remember that old Star Trek "Trouble with Tribbles" ep?

    I have this vision of your house being overrun by mobile devices - you open a closet door, like Kirk opening a storage hatch, and they just come tumbling out, burying you.

    Appreciate the even-handedness, especially while pointing out the hardware on this phone rocks for the price. And not just "for the price". Many, many other "$600" off contract Androids don't have Snapdragon 800 and OIS cameras. So, this phone could be price $200 higher and would still win.

    Thank for the picture comparisons between the Nexus 5, Nokia, and HTC One.

    Speaking of the HTC One, while I know you admire their build, look at how compact the Nexus 5 is with a 5" (ok, 4.95") 1080p display, while HTC went with "last year" specs of 4.7" display. HTC should have gone with 5" in the practically the same sized phone.

    Nexus 5: 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm
    HTC One: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm

    I really, really think that earlier this year (six months ago) when the HTC One and Galaxy S4 came out, that HTC would have WON the battle if the displays were equal. S4 had 5" 1080p while HTC only had 4.7" 1080p. People felt they were getting more value with the S4 for the same price. IF HTC had done a 5" 1080p as EVERY OTHER 2013 TOP TIER ANDROID has (Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, G2 with 5.2"), it would have evened the playing field. People could then focus on the strengths of the HTC One vs the S4.
    • My Nexus 5

      arrives Tuesday. I have two gen3 Galaxy Nexus, so looking forward to using the new hardware.
  • photos

    Thanks for all the sample photos, but I think you have pics 63 & 66 reversed
    • AGREED

      Since in the "Nexus 5 with no flash" I clearly see a reflected FLASH on the mantel art picture frame. :)
  • Spam!

    Sbob Pants
  • Speaker Volume/Clarity ?

    I listen to lots of podcasts using the phone's speaker (not headphones) ... and I sold my Nexus 4 because the sound even @ max volume was far lower than other smart phones and barely audible in many places.

    Has the Nexus 5 speaker increased in both volume and ???

    Thanks ... enjoy your reviews and the MobileTechRoundup podcasts!
  • Thanks for the article

    I'm really wanting to upgrade my old android phone for a higher end unit. Nexus 5 looks pretty much unbeatable for what I need.
  • You say it has all hardware wise? Is there IR?

    I need IR like on S4.
  • Important to consider KitKat and Android OS upgrades (maybe not)

    The Google Nexus brand is supposed to be the best Android experience available. Yet, Google has completely isolated and abandoned the Google Galaxy Nexus phone owners. The phone was released with much fanfare touting its Android free of carrier limitations just two years ago. People are still buying them today. But Google announced that this Nexus will not receive the 4.4 Android KitKat (and presumably) future Android updates, thereby making the Nexus phone obsolete. Over 15,000 frustrated Nexus phone owners have sent a petition to Google.
    I share this information as it is pertinent to any prospective Google phone buyer. Warning: your phone may become obsolete faster than you expect. With Google's Android OS fragmentation... maybe planned obsolescence is their strategy? Seems evil to me (against their credo).
    • Carrier problems

      The reason why they had to discontinue the Galaxy Nexus is because of Verizon and Sprint basically ruining the two main benefits of having a Nexus phone: The speed of the software update and no bloatware. Google had to discontinue the product because the carriers would delay software updates for months on end.
  • Didn't answer the two most important questions:

    OK - well, really just one of these is a dealbreaker, provided there is sufficient onboard storage to compensate me for the loss of interchangeable 64gb micro SD cards I have now, but I look for these features in a phone:

    1) User-swappable battery
    2) Micro SD storage expansion

    The first is a dealbreaker for a professional, flat out. I'm not going to be using my phone to navigate to "what is the name of the hotel they put me up in this time?" after a 9pm dinner after a) forgetting to put my phone in airplane mode, or b) making more calls than usual, or c) using my phone and Lync app constantly at a remote office, and getting in the rental car to see my battery about to die.
    I want to pull a charged battery out of my pocket and plug it in. You can buy a pair of them and an external charger (travel bonus) for $25 on amazon.
    I don't want to pull out a cigarette-box sized "extra battery" Rube-Goldberg dongle to try to manipulate plugged into my phone, emergency or not.

    The Micro SD card is also somewhat work related... usually, I have music filling my card. When I travel, I swap that one out for one that has movies and work documents I may need to access. Much nicer and faster and easier than having to plug the phone into a computer that has both sets of data, and copying/pasting things around.

    High-end phones NEED these things. Otherwise, it's a low-end phone.
    • i agree they are nice features but..

      it doesn't make it a low end phone. can you get a snow
      plow on a bmw?
      • rubbish

        get a real analogy.

        What is wrong, you didn't think "Can you get a safety deposit box in a septic tank" was valid?
  • OK Miller... come clean...

    ... exactly how much of ZDNets scarce financial resources did you spend on hiring the supermodel on page 66?