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Nexus 5 review

Google's Android 4.4 Kitkat smartphone is the best that £300 can buy
Thu Nov 07 2013, 13:52

Product Google Nexus 5
Specifications 5in 1920x1080 IPS display, quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage, 8MP rear-facing camera with optical image stablisation and LED flash, 1.3MP front-facing camera, HSDPA and 4G LTE support, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2,300mAh battery, microUSB port, headphone jack, Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system, 138x69x8.6mm, 130g
Price From £299

INTERNET GIANT Google's Nexus 5 was well hyped ahead of its unveiling, and customers quickly flocked to pick up the £300 smartphone following its hasty release.

The firm has stuck to the same strategy it used with last year's Nexus 4 smartphone - offer the same top-end specifications as competing smartphones, but slap a mid-range price on it.

So, for £300, the Nexus 5 offers a 5in HD 1080p display, a quad-core processor, and the latest version of Google's Android mobile operating system, the same specifications as found on smartphones that cost double its price. However, the Nexus 5 is by no means perfect, so we'll see whether it really is the best Android smartphone on the market.

The design of the Nexus 5 is nothing to shout about. The plain, matte finish back is even more conservative than the textured rear of last year's Nexus 4, and Google clearly opted not to add any flashy elements to the phone, no doubt to keep the handset's price low.

Google Nexus 5 design

This is not a bad thing, however. While it's unlikely to turn heads, the design of the Nexus 5 is ergonomically great. The phone measures 8.6mm thick and tips the scales at 130g, meaning it feels especially light. While it's only two grams lighter than the iPhone 5C, for example, we found that the LG-built handset felt more pleasant in the hand and was more comfortable to use over long periods.

Although we were soon irked by how quickly the plastic casing picked up fingerprints, the Nexus 5's silky polycarbonate feels great, and it retains a high-end feel despite lacking the aluminium flourishes of other top-end Android smartphones.

Another nice touch on the Nexus 5 is the barely-there bezel around the screen of the handset, and it's quite hard to believe that LG has managed to squeeze a 5in display into the slim frame.

Perhaps also interestingly for those eyeing the Nexus 5, the handset is also apparently very easy to repair. Luckily, we haven't had to repair ours yet, but the phone does feel like it could take a fair amount of battering.

The Nexus 5 matches its more expensive rivals with its display, as it has a 5in 1080x1920 resolution IPS touchscreen with a pixel density of 445ppi.

Google Nexus 5 has a 5in HD display

This display is just as impressive as it sounds on paper, and we found that it stacked up well against the Retina display on the iPhone 5S. The screen is particularly impressive in terms of brightness, and we found that text was crisp and viewing angles good during our time with the phone. We also found that the handset's outdoor visibility was good, despite the displays of handsets costing £200 more struggling in sunlight.

Due to the size of the screen, however, we often found the Nexus 5 somewhat difficult to operate one-handedly, although thanks to the small bezel surrounding the display it wasn't as awkward as the Samsung Galaxy S4, for example.

Next: Operating system, performance.


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