Google Nexus 5 Review

Design and Build

Thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the Nexus 5 measures 69.17 x 138.84 x 8.59mm, and weighs 130g. It has a polycarbonate body with a tactile finish, with a huge Nexus lettering across the back. Although you may expect a cheap phone of this price, it doesn’t really look and feel cheap, if you are willing to look beyond the plastic construction. While it’s certainly not physically stunning as compared to the likes of the HTC One and the iPhone 5s, the simplicity and comfort can be quite attractive.

Display

The 4.95-inch screen offers plenty of detail at 1920 x 1080 resolution and density of 445ppi, and perhaps one, if not the best smartphone screen in 2013. There’s lower contrast and lower color saturation, with sharp texts and pure whites. The IPS panel also offers better viewing angles compared to the Nexus 4.

Performance and Hardware

Packing a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, along with 2GB of RAM, this is certainly one powerful device, which rivals even the top 2013 phones such as the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. You can even notice that it opens apps faster than its rivals, the only downfall is that it gets warm when you push it too hard, which is not unusual of Android phones.

You can choose between 16GB and 32GB models, although only 27GB is available for the 32GB model. Unfortunately, there’s no microSD card slot, a typical disadvantage with the Nexus handsets.

Battery Life

We know that all smartphone features are useless without a powerful battery to back it up, and for a device that has a nearly 5-inch display, a 2300mAh battery might not suffice. Interestingly, it can last long enough throughout a day of light use. Unfortunately if you like pushing your phone to the limits, there’s no way to open its back and access the battery.

Camera

One of the most common reasons to put people off from buying a certain smartphone is having a weak camera, which was a typical problem in older Nexus models. Obviously, it has been paid attention with the Nexus 5’s 8-MP camera. Unfortunately, it’s still a pretty standard cam. While it does perform well in good lighting conditions, there isn’t much detail, and it’s a little slow to focus. There’s also plenty of image noise in low lighting.

Pros

  • Competitive price
  • Offers LTE
  • Good battery life
  • Solid build
  • Clear calls
  • Deep integration with Google Now

Cons

  • No room for expandable memory
  • Battery not removable
  • Not the best camera
  • Average display

The Verdict

The Nexus 5 definitely deserves a lot of merit, especially when you look at how competitively it is priced. It is powerful, has great display, and behaves just like a smartphone should. While not the best-looking phone currently, it all comes down to what a user sees as attractive. After all, the price is the device’s major selling point, and if what you’re after is a seamless Android experience, this one is definitely great value for money.