What's right (and wrong) with the Google Nexus 5

What's right (and wrong) with the Google Nexus 5

Summary: Here's everything you need to know about the new – and long-awaited – Google Nexus 5.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Android, Google
204

Google has finally released the long-awaited follow-on to the Nexus 4 handset – the Nexus 5, and is once again ready to both put pressure not only on the iPhone and also on other players in the Android market space.

nexus-5-google-play_610x579
Nexus 5

Does the new Nexus 5 have what it takes to dominate the Android market?

What's right with the Nexus 5?

Display: The Nexus 5 sports a 5-inch (actually it's 4.95-inch to you perfectionists) 1920 by 1080 full HD IPS display with a pixel density of 445 pixels-per-inch, comfortably beating the iPhone 5s (which only manages 326 pixels-per-inch) or Samsung's S4 (which has a pixel density of 441 pixels-per-inch).

The surface of the screen is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, which offers excellent scratch-resistance.

Processor: The quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 is found in numerous handsets, and with good reason, as it is an excellent processor. Packed onto the same SoC (System-on-a-Chip) is an Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 450MHz.

Android 4.4 KitKat: Getting access to a pure version of Android 4.4 – codenamed Kitkat – will certainly be something Android enthusiasts will want.

Wireless charging: I really wish more handsets had this feature.

Decent optics: 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with image stabilization.

Storage pricing structure: If you'd rather the 32GB version then Google only charges you $50 for the storage, as opposed to the $100 that Apple charges iPhone and iPad customers.

Easy access to unlocked handset: For some, the idea of paying a few hundred dollars for a handset outright rather than being tied to an expensive contract is an attractive option. Not only can they get access to cheaper deals, it allows then to upgrade or replace then handset whenever they want to, and gives them access to cheaper roaming deals. For $349, the Nexus 5 gives you this freedom.

What's wrong with the Nexus 5?

Price: The Nexus 5 is currently available only as an unlocked, unsubsidized handset, which means that if you want the 16GB version you'll pay the full price of $349, while the 32GB versions will cost you $50 extra (Apple charges $100 for a similar storage bump).

Note that subsidized versions will become available shortly, with the handset likely priced in the $150 region. This pricing will bring the handset down to a more affordable level.

Battery life: The Nexus 5 only delivers 8.5 hours on web browsing time on Wi-Fi, which drops to 7 hours on LTE. In comparison, the iPhone 5s can deliver 10 hours on both.

No full LTE band coverage: The US version doesn't cover LTE bands 3, 7, and 20, while the EU version skips bands 2, 4, 17, 19, 25, 26 and 41. This means that neither variant offers full worldwide coverage.  

Verdict

If you want a pure, cutting-edge Android experience, and you want be free from having to rely on handset makers to push you new operating system releases, then the Nexus 5 is for you. The biggest problem I have at present with the Nexus 5 is the price. Sure, there are a lot of handsets out there that cost more, but at $349 it's more than most people will want to pay for a handset.

However, if you are willing to pay a few hundred dollars to own your handset out right, then the Nexus 5 is a very good deal indeed.

Google's new Nexus 5
(Source: Google)

 

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google

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204 comments
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  • Price of $349 compared to $549

    Looks to me that the Nexus 5 is a couple hundred bucks less than the iPhone 5c. So how is the price a negative? And the Nexus 5 has a more usable screen size compared to the smaller and narrow iPhones.
    mytake4this
    • 5C/S and N5 are not at the same category

      In fact, they are not comparable since 5C/S are premium products that have a incredible building. Hardware specs, construction and design from apple products are ahead.
      mxgms
      • Premium PRICE != Premium PRODUCT

        Try again. The 5C is a plastic iPhone and is not a whole lot better than other plastic phones out there, other than Apple's marketing hype trying to convince everyone it is somehow something else.
        DonRupertBitByte
        • I'm not exactly an fanboy but...

          the everlasting non answerable question about which set is better (platform + hardware) it's hard to deny that N5 is poorly designed with very low user satisfaction when compared to the competitor set of features.

          Samsung, Motorola (now trying to reinvent the wheel), LG and HTC, deliver less to their clients that they deserve. They seem to be lost in which direction to go. In one way or other Apple is very consistent to what people generally need, what people want.
          mxgms
          • "Low user satisfaction"?

            The phone hasn't been released, so how can you make such an absurd claim. The people who buy the N5 are probably more technologically focused than the iPhone buyer because the N5 is for the tinkerer. Everyone I know with a Nexus loves it because it is open, easy to root, not full of bloatware, not hobbled by carriers (at least the Nexus from Google--I had the Sprint Nexus S and ended up dropping Sprint over their crap).

            Maybe the hardware design isn't as "premium," but for what matters to a techie, Google has nailed this. Great price, great performance, separated from carrier crap, timely updates, unlocked bootloader, etc.
            Keltypack
          • exactly what I said

            Tech guys represents a really low percentage of population :)
            What makes changes in the market, delivers useful solutions, shows personality is achieved by Apple products.
            N5 has not a soul, has not passion. And I am talking about the whole thing. Maybe HTC's has some meaning in its products, but no other.
            Android fragmentation or the `pure android`does not produce the intense, simple and direct experience.
            mxgms
          • Personality???

            Are you serious when you claim that Apple products "shows personality"? What personality?
            crystalsoldier
          • apple show personality

            should be apple shows extreme stupidity
            broblk@...
          • Personality???

            Its the image that "Im cool", look at the pc vs mac ads with the fat dude in a suit and cool due in jeans.
            notrozer
          • PC vs Mac ads...

            LOL! those were funny ads.

            Mac - cool guy in jeans
            PC - cool business guy in suit

            Mac: I'm cool, sleek, pretty and fun to use
            PC: So am I
            Mac: I have millions of apps/programs
            PC: I have millions of apps/programs
            Mac: I'm easy to use
            PC: Yep, you are. So easy a monkey can use you, You got me there.
            Mac: (looking hurt and sad)
            PC: Sorry Mac. I play nice with others out the box and less expensive
            Mac: I can play nice, once special things are purchased extra.
            PC: Most software is designed/intended to work with me
            Mac: (looks like deer caught in headlights)
            PC: I'm in the majority of homes and businesses
            Mac: I can be once they decide to change the majority of there equipment.
            PC: (looks unsure/stunned at Mac) dunno Mac
            Mac: (shrugs shoulders)

            (Apple logo)

            LOL! (ok, maybe this was just funny to me but I couldn't resist it)
            Free Webapps
          • Oh, no

            Obama lovers love apples! lol!!
            lesdownloads
          • HTC

            The HTC One is an aluminum fashion accessory, so it's not hard to understand why the iTards like it.
            worknman
          • You sound like a

            Typical iPhone owner. Please stay in the iPhone camp.
            marque2
          • The real point is

            If you want to define me as one fanboy, OK, it's not offensive to me.

            A fanboy should attach to an idea `fan`atically, without not considering any other side of history.

            Again I think that my considerations were very clear, despite the fact that the there's no final true or absolute value for this question.

            What people did not understand about my point is that iOS integration of software and hardware, design, mkt value and satisfaction are still greater than of Android.

            I'm not considering other subjective, tough and odd issues like privacy and the patent questions that Apple claims from Google and Sumsung since nobody is a saint in this industry.

            My last consideration is that people should be less aggressive in its arguments and the fact that if you are not a really high and investor of one of these companies, you are essentially considered a product.
            mxgms
          • "Tech guys represents a really low percentage of population :)"

            BINGO - and the bone heads that respond to these blogs just don't get it. But it is soooooo darn funny to read.
            ScanBack
          • As you are

            one of the more prolific posters in these conversations, is it safe for us to assume you are the biggest boneheads of them all then??
            The Central Scrutinizer
          • You think so?

            If it was only tech guys buying Androids, do you think that Android would be killing iPhone in market share right now? There's a non technical response to you.
            (81% Android, 14% iOS)
            http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/10/idc-spins-a-tale-of-android-vs-ios-stats-in-smartphones-only.html
            meski.oz@...
          • What?

            I think you should read this aloud what you typed. It makes no sense whatsoever. Let's break it down, piece by piece.

            Android fragmentation does not produce the simple experience -

            What in the hell does that mean? What does fragmentation ( which is greatly reduced now and KitKat will be pushed to improve even further) with an "intense experience?


            What makes changes in the market, delivers useful solutions, shows personality is achieved by Apple products.

            Android has plenty of useful solutions used by individuals and businesses everyday. How can a phone "show" personality? If you mean by the whole branding/marketing/design package, Android phones, the Nexus 5 in particular shows that as well. It's a different cutting edge design, great hardware, no bloat, no contract, platform/phone. That is it's soul and personality, if you will.

            Tech guys represents a really low percentage of population :)

            True, but many are buying the Nexus 5 are not in tech, they like the phone. Nothing wrong with iPhones, but not everyone loves or likes them. Personally, I don't care for iPhones but love iMacs. It is all preference at the end of the day.

            Bottom line, why is that the Nexus 5 is compared to the iPhone 5c/s? What is that even brought up, who cares about the iPhone on a Nexus 5/Android article, forum, etc? We should be discussing the Nexus 5 and what it offers.
            bwebmasta
          • Bottom line...

            bwebmasta said "Bottom line, why is that the Nexus 5 is compared to the iPhone 5c/s? What is that even brought up, who cares about the iPhone on a Nexus 5/Android article, forum, etc? We should be discussing the Nexus 5 and what it offers."

            Exactly, It's a way to keep the words "apple", "iphone" & "android" trending. It's a big money system and crap started between the 2 imo.
            Free Webapps
          • Good God

            Mxgms,

            I'm out to buy a phone, not a "soul" or an "experience"! And given that Android phones now outsell Apple phones by a significant margin, it seems that most others -- techie or not -- feel the same way.

            Frankly, I've always thought I'd like Apple products better if it weren't for the transparently hokey religious marketing hype.
            josh442