Google Nexus 5 review

Google Nexus 5 review

T3 5
  • Check out our Google Nexus 5 review to find out whether LG's second Google phone - which could well be its last - cuts the mustard

    Google Nexus 5 review

    Love

    • Incredible display
    • Android KitKat
    • That price tag

    Hate

    • Average camera
    • OK storage

    The Google Nexus 5 might just be the most obviously leaked smartphone since the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4 and... now we think about it, most of the flagship smartphones this year.

    The difference between these is that actually we had no idea whether Google would replace the Nexus 4, and if it was going to, which company would build the replacement.

    Some said it would be Motorola, following the successful launch of the Moto X in the US it seemed more than plausible that the recently acquired company would start doing its parent’s bidding and churning out a new brand of Google-shaped smartphones.

    But that wasn’t to be, instead LG would make one last stand before it passed on the mantle. Leaked by one of Google’s own employees at the Android 4.4 KitKat launch, the Nexus 5 quickly became one of the most talked about smartphones in the lead up to the festive season.

    Well now it’s here, with almost no fanfare (was any needed?) the Nexus-branded smartphone almost immediately sold out, of course the question is, is it worth your cash?

    Google Nexus 5: Size and build

    There’s no dodging this one, the Nexus 5's design is going to instil one of two emotions, the first is quiet approval and the second is complete apathy.

    In truth this is somewthing of an achievement over the Nexus 4 which was already pushing the boundaries of minimalist design with the glass back being the only ‘bling’ in sight.

    We like the design of the Nexus 5, it’s certainly understated but the moment you hand it to someone you’ll see their face change to one of respect, it feels solidly built and despite it being all plastic it’s not plastic in the way you’d dislike.

    The matte finish keeps it from slipping out of your hands and adds a premium touch . Specs-wise, we’re talking hugely minimal changes here, the Nexus 5 is 8.59mm thin, which may not seem like much compared to the Galaxy S4 or the iPhone 5s but it still feels pretty slim.

    Weighing in at 130g this is a light phone, and you can feel it, despite all the real-estate you’ll have no problem holding it in one hand.

  • The Google Nexus 5 is now official, after months of rumours and leaks Google's next flagship is ready to go up against the iPhone 5c

    Google Nexus 5 review

    Love

    • Incredible display
    • Android KitKat
    • That price tag

    Hate

    • Average camera
    • OK storage

    Google has finally unveiled the worst kept secret in technology - the Nexus 5 smartphone, made by LG. With wireless charging, a Full-HD display and the latest version of Android KitKat on board it has been designed to take on the likes of the iPhone 5c but without the premium price tag.

    The Nexus 5 is on sale now, and T3 was invited to the exclusive launch at Google’s San Francisco office to try it out.

    Available in either black or white with the option to buy a number of different coloured cases the Nexus 5 will cost £299 for a 16GB version and 32GB for £339.

    Google Nexus 5: Size and Build

    It’s a huge step up for Google, and for the Nexus range - this is a real quality piece of hardware, with levels of craftsmanship we’d only really expect from Apple before.

    The first thing that’ll hit you is the weight - this is a REALLY light phone, weighing it at 130g, it's also pretty thing measuring in at only 8.59mm making it thinner than the iPhone 5s but still a little thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S4.

    However, Google hasn’t skimped on quality, and it feels solid, in the way a lot of rival handsets don’t - making this one of the most impressive Android handset we’ve ever tried.

    With a specially developed rubber back, the Nexus 5 has a solid, extremely well built feel to it. The front panel only shows the small circular speaker grill, with no logos or buttons when the phone is off. There are solid metal buttons, although they do have rather sharp edges.

    However, the white model is a little bit of a disappointment, with only the back cover actually being white.

    Google Nexus 5: Screen

    With a full HD 1920x980 display and a 5-inch screen, it’s a really impressive bit of kit once the screen is switched on - and KitKat has improved the Android world greatly.

    The display is surrounded by a much smaller bezel than that found on the previous generation Nexus 4, in many ways it looks (unsurprisingly) quite similar to the design found on the LG G2.

    Google Nexus 5: Features

    It’s not a radical, iOS 7 style overhaul, and more of a behind the scenes revamp with some cosmetic tweaks - but boy is it fast. It’s the most impressive Android experience we’ve had, with search popping up instantly, voice commands working well, and Google Now available with a simply left swipe from the homescreen.

    You'll also be able to ask the Nexus 5 to perform commands via Google Now straight from the Home screen without having to press a button, mimicking the features found on the Motorola Moto X.

    Google has completely re-engineered Android to run on pretty much every handset, addressing the fragmentation issue that its has faced.

    Google Nexus 5: Camera

     

    Now featuring optical image stabilisation, along with a brand new HDR+ mode, the camera on the Nexus 5 should provide greater snaps than last year’s model, even though the megapixel count still stands at eight, and on first impression that seems to be true.

    We’ll have to give it more time, and a full test at T3 towers before we can say for sure but early signs are that it's a reasonable performer - although not great in low light.. There’s also a 1.2MP camera up top, which provides nice and clear Hangout chats.

    Google Nexus 5: Performance

    Boasting a 2.3Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM and the under the hood improvements that come with Android 4.4 Kit Kat, the Nexus 5 really does scream.

    We’ve only had a short time with the device, but even from our brief hands-on it’s clear to see that scrolling through menus is snappy, web pages load quickly and everything just feels, well, down right smooth. The Google Nexus 4 was quick, but this is another level.

    Google Nexus 5: KitKat

    While Android KitKat isn't a huge overhaul, it's full of useful tweaks such as a redesigned dialler app that makes finding contacts a lot quicker.

    It also flies, with every app having been recoded for speed. Search, for instance, now starts immediately when you tap on the Google box, thanks to a new high speed animation, and everything feels slicker and more polished than any other version of Android we've seen.

    Google Now is also now even better, and accessed with a left swipe from the homescreen. Google also plans to integrate third party apps into its search results - so hunting for a recipe will show results from apps as well as web pages, while third party cloud apps are also supported, so in gallery mode you'll see Box files alongside Google Drive.

    Google Nexus 5: Verdict

    As you'll see from our Google Nexus 4 review we really liked how LG had taken a step back and allowed Android to become the main event, allowing hardware to become a window simply for the software.

    From our short time spent with the Nexus 5 it appears as though LG has lost none of that knack, creating a seamless Google experience that feels fresh even if KitKat isn't the overhaul that Apple's iOS 7 might have been. To be truly sure though we'll need to spend more time it, so stay tuned for our full Nexus 5 review.

    Google Nexus 5 release date: Out now

    Google Nexus 5 price: £299 (16GB), £339 (32GB)

    Hands-on review by Mark Prigg. Additional reporting by Tom Tamblyn and Max Parker

    • Google Nexus 5 unboxing
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-1-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-3-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-11-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-12-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-2-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-6-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-10-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-9-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-8-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-7-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-4-624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_Google-Nexus-5-5-624.jpg

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now