The Nexus line up has been quite unique and well successful even if there are a bunch of other strong and rather better rivals. This is due to one of the facts that it is from Google itself and you get all the latest firmware updates well ahead of all the competitors. Further, Nexus series has more prioritised on complete Google experience and undisputable performance which makes the devices more compelling and stand out in the crowd. Today we have the Nexus 5 with a great spec sheet and elegant design. Let us see how well this device performance and if it is really an iterative upgrade over predecessor or a worthy device like all the other Nexus phones.
Design & Display:
The phone looks decent but the design is nothing to boast of. The Nexus 5 looks very basic and doesn't have any style elements to attract the eye. But still there are some good elements to consider too. The phone is quite thinner at 8.6mm and almost lighter at 130 gms. The bezels are minimised which makes the phone look elegant. Most of the body is made of good plastic which feels good and even makes the build quality feel quite sturdy. The soft surface on the backpanel feels very good and offers good grip. But the backpanel isn't removable, so no access to the battery here! The phone sports a 5 inch 1080p display with 445 ppi. Considering the rivals at it's time, this is one of the best displays we have seen. Viewing angles are wider and colors look so sharp and punchy considering the 445 ppi. THere is also good amount of brightness level and sunlight legibility is decent.
Since this is a Nexus, Google's own, no doubt it gets all the latest Android version everytime. The phone is launched with Android 4.4 KitKat and is also upgradable to 4.4.4 version through software update. Because of being in Nexus family, you get the future Android versions too as early as they're released. Coming to Ui part, obviously this comes with stock Android UI targeted at users to have the best Google (and Android!!)experience. The UI looks somewhat familiar to the Jelly Bean, but Google brings a lot of refinements, tweaks and apps. The icons, widgets and layout look more cool and clean. The launcher looks more polished and Google Now is accessible just by a swipe. Of course there is an argument that custom UI from other Android smartphone makers are more cool and feature loaded. But it depends on what you like, whether to have a pure Android experience or to have more bells and whistles. Anyway the UI feels more responsive and we didn't observe any hiccups at all.
The device comes with an 8MP camera with auto focus, optical image stabilization and an LED flash at the back. At front it has a 1.3 MP cam for video calling. Camera UI is different this time with an arch type of lining with few settings icons on top of it. Focusing is not so quicker and the interface somewhat feels complex. If you consider the Nexus lineup, most of these devices have a considerable criticism about their image quality. Once again, the image quality is no where near that of the flagship phones we currently have. The OIS and few processing tweaks ofcourse help here to bring up a decent picture. Detailing is very good and colors look okay, but we still observe some noise in most of the images captured. Overall, though the image quality is quite improved from its predecessor, it's still doesn't come anywhere near the quality we see in current flagships. In case of audio quality, the loudspeaker produces a very clean output but loudness levels are not so great. But with a pair of headphones, there isn't any distortion and the experience is so awesome.
Connectivity & Additional features:
The phone comes in single sim version; supports one micro sim. Network reception is excellent and we didn't face any issues with it. Call quality is though a mixed bag. While in call voice being clear enough, it still lacks the loudness levels that are expected. The phone also supports Wifi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, NFC and A-GPS. The phone is sold in two versions in terms of internal memory - 16GB and 32GB. But the shocking part is, sadly this doesn't have a micro SD slot. So if you're expecting to store good amount of games, movies or audio, take note that you have a limited space!
Performance & Battery:
The phone has a quite powerful hardware; running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with quad core 2.3 GHZ Krait 400 processor, 2GB RAM and Adreno 330 GPU. Sure this looks great but how it performs in the actual scenario? If you are expecting the results to blow you away, sure they come as a bit of shocker. In benchmark tests, it scored around 25k in Antutu and around 8k in Quadrant. Sure there is no lag in general operation or multi tasking, but this score is lesser than most of the rivals and the ones which had the same chipset, scored much better than this. Anyhow, coming to gaming, some of the heavy games played very well and we didn't observe any frame rate drops and lags are very rare. The phone is equipped with a 2300mAh, which is quite insufficient when compared to what the flagships offer. So don't expect it to last the whole day and under moderate usage you will have to charge it at the end of the day. Moreover, sadly again, the battery is non-removable!
Gets the latest Android updates
Decent choice for the price.
Image quality leaves a lot to be desired
Performance is not really as expected from such a powerful chipset
Non removable battery
Battery life is just average
Considering all the aspects of Nexus 5, for the overall part, it neither impresses nor disappoints. The impression is a kind of mixed here. Sure the display and latest Android updates and stock experience for some might seem cool, but if you expect a great image quality, this wouldn't impress you. Moreover, there doesn't seem to be any sort of optimisation to utilise the full power of the chipset, where most of the rivals which such a chipset perform much better than this phone. Battery life again is pretty average and one more curse is, no micro SD slot. But all this impressions and disappointments, come at a sensible price. If you consider it to contend with the flagships, it would make you sad. But consider the price tag, it makes you feel more comfortable. So Nexus 5, still is a great choice in the price segment and just the brand name Nexus itself is enough to recommend.
LG Nexus 5 Rivals:
Sony Xperia Z1
HTC One M8
Samsung Galaxy S5
Oppo Find 7a
LG G Pro 2
Nokia Lumia 930
|Model||Nexus 5 Nexus 5|
|Release Date||2013, November|
|Operating System||Android v4.4 KitKat|
|Processor||2.3 GHz Quad Core Krait 400 Processor|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 800|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyrometer, proximity sensor, compass|
|+ RAM & STORAGE|
|Internal Memory||16 GB|
|+ DISPLAY & TOUCH|
|Touch Screen||Yes, Capacitive|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Pixel Density||~445 ppi|
|Screen Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Rear Camera||8 MP|
|Front Camera||1.3 MP|
|Camera Features||autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, photosphere|
|2G Network||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Network||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|4G Network||LTE 900 / 1800 / 2100|
|+ SIM OPTIONS|
|Dimensions||137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm|
|GPRS||Yes, Class 12|
|EDGE||Yes, Class 12|
|3G||HSDPA 42 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi Hotspot|
|+ MUSIC & VIDEO|
|Music Player||MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV|
|Video Player||MP4, DivX, Xvid, H.264, H.263|
|Ringtones||Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones|
|SMS||Yes, Threaded View|
|Email, Push Email|
|Battery Type||Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery|
|Talktime||Upto 17 hours|
|Standy by Time||Upto 300 hours|
|Browsing Time||Upto 8.5 hours|
|+ APPS & GAMES|
|Built-in Apps||Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Navigation, Google Places, Gmail, Youtube|
|Java||Yes, via Java MIDP emulator|
|+ Additional Features|
|SNS integration, Predictive text input, wireless Charging|