TechSpot

Google Nexus 5 Review

By Julio Franco
Nov 20, 2013
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  1. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,551   +97

    Listed as 5" screen in specs, but 4.95" later on. It is 4.95", not much short of 5 but should be precise in the specs list. All in all I'm loving mines. Not a huge real world upgrade for me from the Nexus 4 but the bluetooth power savings are good, and the slightly bigger screen (4.75 to 4.95) makes more of a difference than I thought it would.
  2. First, thank you for a thorough and extremely fair review. Other reviewers seem to be miffed that Google has put out such a good phone for such a low price. They seem to have a chip on their shoulders to PROVE it can't be THAT good, compared to their favorite iPhone/Galaxy S4 (since they didn't wait for THIS phone everyone knew was coming at end of the year). Rather than admit they were stupid for paying much more for less, they passively agressively take it out in the reviews of the Nexus 5.

    Second, almost any deficiencies with the camera can be addressed by turning on the HDR+ mode. In my opnion it should be the default.
    I bought a Nexus 5 for myself, and now have bought a 2nd for my wife (for Christmas). Both 32GB. It's worth the upgrade for the extra storage. Using a pre-paid AT&T-owned company with uncapped 2GB LTE/unlimited talk/unlimited text for only $60 per month (officially), but I can get refills online from dealers for only $50 per month. Compare that to the $90 - $110 per month you pay for the same with "regular" AT&T. THAT is where this phone shines. Off contract means you can take it anywhere you want. No contract slavery and you do not have to overpay for the phone through excessive monthly service charges.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 3,034   +738

    I'm always disdainful of high end phones due to their behemoth size and generally silly price tags. Although I'd never seriously consider buying this phone, I'm really impressed with it and judging from what I've seen and read, I think it's worth every penny.
    I also like the fact that it has a magnetic border around the camera, now you can simply stick it to the fridge instead of carrying it uncomfortably in your pocket. :)
    Pity about the non expandable memory though. :(
  4. People do not realize that when you pay a carrier "$200" for a phone and sign a contract, that over the next two years you really pay a THOUSAND dollars more than you need to in the monthly service charges. Some of it is to reimburse the carrier for the real cost of the phone; the rest is just pure profit. Over the course of 2 years you pay about $1,200 EXTRA in service charges, compared to a pre-paid service using the exact same network. So, that "$200" contract phone REALLY costs $1400. A 32GB Nexus 5 only costs $400. YOu then own it and can take it to any pre-paid carrier, including AT&T GoPhone or T-mobile's pre-paid plans, if you don't like MNVOs like Ting, Straight Talk, Net10, etc.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 3,034   +738

    I have to agree with you on that. Personally I wouldn't touch any carriers contracts no matter what savings they promise. It's pre-paid for me all the way. With the money I save I can easily afford to replace my device annually if I desire.
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Booster Posts: 321   +46

    The older I get the larger the screen is for my liking (and eyes!)

    My current device, Note1, 5.3", no screen real estate taken up by buttons. I almost went with a Nexus, but after calculating 4.95, minus the screen "loss" with the on screen buttons, puts it to around 4.5-4.6", so I would be giving up over 1/2" of screen. I'll pay the extra, for an international something that has 5.5 to 6", since the on screen buttons cut the usable screen down. Prefer a hard home button, but hard buttons appear to be going away.
  7. Why no SD card slot or at least a 64 GB model? The question I want to ask everyone, Is it a downgrade going to this from Note2 which is (16+64) GB?
  8. Amazing phone for the price. Simply cannot be beaten.
  9. Nice phone, 2011 camera.
  10. I'd keep the Note 2 personally, for the big beautiful screen and the SD card slot. The Nexus 5 is slightly faster but your Note 2 is still a very fast device.

    If you install a custom ROM on your Note 2 and get rid of Android/Touchwiz, you get the great Android 4.3 (and soon 4.4) experience.
     
  11. This phone has great battery life. Compared to the HTC One (which has a smaller screen, the Snapdragon 600, Sense 5 "power savings mode", and the same size battery), this N5 beats the One under the same use case scenario. I can easily get 2 days+ out of it with almost 3 hours of screen on time with full auto-sync, Bluetooth (including music streaming in car and calls), GPS, and LTE.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    To the writer, I'm wondering if you could comment specifically on the snappiness of the nexus 5 running Android 4.4.
    Like does the menu screen animations stutter or skip frames, is there sporadic lag/latency, smooth scrolling all the time or occasional stutters... etc.
    Thanks.
  13. I can assure you that there is no screen lag and even my typing skills are better. Coming from a huawei vision to this beauty is 342% better. Everything is better, but the messaging app.Still looking for some good apps to really stretch it. evernote possibly plus a version of sid Meier's civ would be real nice.And a medium quality photo Editor.
  14. 1. Having uploaded all my music to Google Play the 16GB isn't a huge issue. Alright you need an all you can eat data package but I have been out running in the woods and never had a problem with music.

    2. You can plug a USB drive into it, I use Total Commander with the USB plugin and it works - not great but it works.

    3. Battery life seems to be quite good so far, long runs with GPS and streaming seem ok and you can always buy a little battery backup pack for £13 - I have one just in case.

    Overall it's a great phone, video is very poor so you would not like that but otherwise its great.
  15. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 6,532   +315

    (I'm not the review author...) but I thought Android lag was already gone since last generation flagship devices, so I don't see how the Nexus 5 with KitKat could be any worse unless Google had royally screwed up but from Tim's take I don't think so.
  16. Don't tell me this, I am perfectly happy with my Nexus 4 but like drawn to the new and shiny!
  17. KTAKE

    KTAKE TS Rookie

    Not many talk about it but iPhone 5S is a UE Category 3 phone, while Nexus 5 is Category 4 with a faster network processing speed. N5 wins.
  18. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Posts: 605   +72 Staff Member

    Like Julio said, every Android phone I've used since, and including last year's flagships (such as the Galaxy S3 and HTC One X) have been lag free. Android lag really isn't a thing anymore
  19. OwL

    OwL TS Rookie

    In the beginning of the review there's a link on the price $349-399 to the Negri site, but for me the price is $549-594... That's a $200 difference... Is it a typo??
  20. My Nexus 5 has the power button on the right side.
  21. "Negri will provide you unlocked smartphones and tablets first and for the lowest prices - and they have plenty of Nexus 5s in stock!"

    I'm sorry, but since when is a $100 markup the lowest price?
  22. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 6,946   +900

    Great phone. Great value. Too bad its battery life sucks.
  23. Tis a shame about the camera and battery life because the ips screen is better than the xperia z1's display.

    Oh and there's no hardware camera button. Still waiting for sony to release a phone with a better display with better viewing angles that doesn't scratch so easily.


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