Google Nexus 5 Review, Premium Android Experience

The Wrap-Up

Performance and Experiential Analysis:

Working with the Nexus 5 over the past few weeks has been a pleasure. Performance with Google's new Android showpiece always felt speedy and responsive.  Google's Kit Kat UI tweaks also offered a cleaner representation more often than not, though we did have to fumble for speech-to-text input in the Language and Input Settings menu, since Google disables Voice Typing in Kit Kat by default. Regardless, all told, the Nexus 5 scored top marks for us in the benchmarks as well as in quality of general usage and experience.
Google Nexus 5
Google's Nexus 5 Is A Solid Option Amongst Android Superphones
$350 Unlocked, as low as $49 on contract

The shortfalls we experienced with the Nexus 5 were in minor areas, some of which can likely be resolved with future firmware and OS updates.  The Nexus 5's camera performance was just so-so, out of the box battery life performance was also mediocre, and we'd love to have those translucent on-screen menu buttons throughout the entire OS and in any app that's running.  Again, these quips feel relatively minor when you consider all that the Nexus 5 offers in terms of performance and capability for its price tag.

The Google Nexus 5 is a very powerful 5-inch device that offers a premium Android experience from just about every angle, especially if you're a power user that wants a more performance for gaming, HD video and multitasking. The Nexus 5's build quality is also top-shelf and its display is one of the nicest among the 5-inch devices currently on the market. For the money, you get a lot of value in the Nexus 5 and its price/performance ratio is sound. Which leads us to that all important buying decision question. 

In short, if you're looking for a solid, well-equipped and powerful Android phone, the Google Nexus 5 hits all the major selling points for the most part and does so with a highly polished version of Google's latest mobile OS.  It's also one of the fastest smartphones money can buy right now. The only significant downside is that Verizon customers can't currently get in on the Nexus 5, unless you're willing to move to AT&T or another network.  Beyond that, with the Nexus 5 on contract for as low as $49, if you're adding a line, $119 or so for an upgrade, or direct from Google unlocked for $350 (16GB version, 32GB version is $399), this is easily the best Nexus smartphone yet and one of the best devices on the market now among premium, full-featured smartphones.

  • Super fast
  • Gorgeous display
  • Excellent build quality
  • Kit Kat refinements a nice touch
  • Adreno 330 graphics are beastly good
  • Menu buttons encroach on display
  • Modest battery life
  • So-so camera

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