When it comes to Android, nothing has received more praise over the years than the Nexus project, which itself began 5 years ago following the G1 with the Nexus One. So far we’ve had 4 previous Nexus devices, the Nexus One (HTC), Nexus S (Samsung), Galaxy Nexus (Samsung) and the Nexus 4 (LG), but how does the Nexus 5 compare with its predecessors, and more importantly how does it compare with the smartphones of today, well let’s find out.
In the box
Before we get to the phone itself we’ll start with the box, and we quickly see familiarity compared with our previous Nexus 4, the same blue box and practically the same internals, this also made by LG afterall. Unboxing the phone you’ll find a blue door which reveals paper work and the wall adapter and the microUSB cable. Now I do hope you don’t experience the annoying fate we did when unboxing our Nexus 5, whilst we did get the paper it should of being attached to, we did not get our SIM ejection tool for the microSIM drawer … thanks for the needle cuts LG!
The phone itself
The Nexus 5 follows a growing, pun intended, trend in Android, being the increasing in screen sizes, which goes from the 4.7″ (1280 x 768 will someone tell most tech sites the Nexus 4 does NOT have a 720p display) screen on the Nexus 4, to the awkward sized, not quite but might as well be 5 inch sized, 4.95″ (1920 x 1080) display, which might we add is absolutely beautiful. I will say this much, which I’ve kind of got used to but, the Nexus 5 does feel pretty sharp in the hand, the edges are disappointingly sharp at the bottom corners which is a shame as everything else is pretty nice with the materials.
We got the white Nexus 5, which after later seeing the black model I personally am glad I did. Whilst, yes the white model has the shiny finger print magnet sides compared to the matt finish on the black model, it just looks generally better. Everything from the white accent ear piece at the front, to the two tone black and white look of the white model, all just adds up to what we think is just a better looking phone! overall.
What’s all this about the washed out display? We’ve seen the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony Xperia Z all deliver 1080p displays and all, except maybe the Sony, have all been crystal clear and beautiful, and guess what, the Nexus 5 continues that expectation with 1080p displays. The 5, but not quite 5, 4.95″ display … yeah, is bright, vibrant, crystal clear, everything you’d want from a display, we love it.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Of course the reason to go Nexus remains with the Nexus 5, the software, and Android 4.4 KitKat really shows just how far Android has come in the last few years. So far the Motorola Moto X (US only) and the Nexus 5, at least whilst writing this, are the only devices running KitKat at the moment, so it’s definitely worth going Nexus for that. As far as features go, Android 4.4 isn’t really feature rich, everything remains from Jellybean, but if we’d to put KitKat in one word, that word would have to be refinement, and it shows, but more on that in our full review. If we had to name or favourite feature of KitKat, we’d have to say, pretty carefully and only on US English at the moment, OK Google! It’s just so simple to do, and we’re actually glad they didn’t take the Moto X approach and instead decided to limited it to the Home Screen.
Lag??? and Overall Performance
Now, whilst we love KitKat for so many reasons, who doesn’t, you know me, if there’s one thing I’ve loved about both iOS and Windows Phone it’s just how silky smooth the OS runs on all hardware on those platforms … but… even with the 2.29GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 800 and with all the new enhancements in KitKat, can someone at Google please tell me why we’re STILL experiencing lag on Android, why! It’s more annoying because it doesn’t in so many areas but why does it in others, ugh so annoying Google, more so because you’re so close! BUT, it’s another step in the right direction.
Now to performance, the Nexus 5 is easily the fastest Android phone we’ve ever used, the benchmarks and real world use agree with us on that too, so no problems with performance. And with the Adreno 320 graphics chip built in to the Snapdragon 800, you’ll have no problems with graphics performance either.
As we’ve mentioned in our Nexus 5 overview, the Nexus 5 is insane value for money at £299 (16GB) and £339 (32GB), which for what you’re getting, specs are listed below, it’s incredible value, and believe it or not it’s actually, like the Nexus 4, incredibly good too! And, as an added bonus it doesn’t fall off everything you put it on like the Nexus 4 did.
So, there you have it, the Nexus 5, and like with all our First Impressions, where possible, we’ve written this entirely on the Nexus 5, been a swipeful post I tell you!
2.29GHz Quad core Snapdragon 800
Qi Wireless Charging
Android 4.4 KitKat
8MP (just OK) Camera with OIS & LED Flash
1.3MP Front Camera