Nexus 5  screenshot

Nexus 5

The next generation of Nexus smartphones has been released, responding to user impatience and who have been anxiously waiting for the search-engine giant to finally announce its new product. With a very affordable price –the 16GB version is only $349 and the 32GB $399- Nexus 5 presents a new design with new functionalities, linked closely with the new release of Android KitKat. In this review we give you our first impressions about this latest release.

It comes with the latest Google Now feature
It comes with the latest Google Now feature

Review

The giant company has come up with a new concept for smartphones, which offers a new phone model with the benefits of the latest version of the Google operating system. With a simple design and one of the most powerful processors on the market, the LG-built class-leading smartphone has enhanced its position in the top-tier of smartphones with its latest version.

The new Nexus has a simple but sophisticated design, with a lighter weight compared to its predecessor, the Nexus 4, coming in at only 8.59mm in thickness and weighing 130g. Although it may seem a little showy for one-handed management, its dimensions make it really easy to hold, thanks to its rubber strip on the back for better grip.

The unlocked Google and LG’s flagship has a quad-core 2.3GHz processor, a Qualcomm snapdragon chipset along with 2GB of RAM storage, an Adreno 330 GPU and 1080p HD display. Anything else you ask? Nexus 5 is the most powerful Nexus phone so far, comparable in design to the Samsung Galaxy s4 and HTC One, which makes it a high-end device with an attractive price.

You can enjoy the new KitKat OS with this device
You can enjoy the new KitKat OS with this device

With a huge 4.95-inch screen and great resolution, the epic Nexus 5 has the capacity to watch videos with the brightest graphics we have ever seen in a smartphone, showing sharp detail and offering an excellent multimedia experience without being too big to carry. The device comes in two colors, black and white, and the handset is located at the bottom of the device instead of on the back. Nexus 5 also comes with LED notification in the same place as its brother, the LTE-enabled Nexus 4, and a 2300mah battery which can last up to 17 hours without charging. In our test, we needed more battery due its dimensions and there are other smaller phone models out there with longer battery life.

The camera

After what has been rumored since its release, the Nexus 5 camera, like its predecessor, is still unconvincing, since it continually underperforms. Although it has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an OIS – Optical Image Stabilization- sensor, the smartphone missed the mark and doesn’t meet expectations for taking real life photos.

Nexus 5 is the most powerful Nexus phone so far, comparable in design to the Samsung Galaxy s4 and HTC One, which makes it a high-end device with an attractive price

When we used the 8mp camera of the Nexus 5, we could adjust the settings from the touchscreen, but when we were about to snap our shot, the camera focus failed, leaving us frustrated having to retake photos. If we compare the camera with the ones from other high-end smartphones, like the Sony Xperia ZI or LG G2, it needs improvement.

Luckily, it seems that these problems are due to the software, and Google has promised it will solve the issue in the near future with an update, so it will be a matter of time until there is a solution. Until this update, we have to say Nexus 5 camera has been a disappointment.

A renewed operating system with a hands-on Google experience

Apart from the design and the hardware itself, one of the most exciting features has been the release with the Nexus 5 is that it’s the first smartphone with the new version of Android included. With Android KitKat, the manufacturer wanted to completely change your navigation experience with enhanced stability and excellent care for details.

There’s a reason for having brighter graphics and sharper details. With the new OS, icons are way bigger and cleaner than before, and we can move entire sheets and customize them as we want. Google Search bar is now at the top of the home screen, in includes the newest functionality of this new smartphone: Google Now.

Similar to “always listening” of Moto X –the new release of Motorola, Google Now will give people something to talk about. Yes, literally, but also because it will become an essential part of your smartphone. Being fully integrated in the new Android 4.4, it will be always accessible from your home screen, just like BlinkFeed from HTC.

Using this functionality is really easy; we only needed to say “OK Google” and speak directly to the phone. This feature will display similar searches and requests that may be of interest to you, and it does not let you down, as it hardly fails. We tested Google Now while driving, and it proved a useful way of calling someone, that is unless we had to unlock the phone first. Then it could be annoying.

With KitKat, you can also print documents from your phone and share files from Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail or Box, making it really simple to attach files, navigate and access your daily information. The Nexus 5 experience allows you to consult your favorite pages, it wants you to store your life on your mobile, and it wants to be part of your everyday life.

Besides the Google experience, we think the upcoming Android has a lot to offer through its accessibility, simplicity and speed. When we opened the menu and launched several apps, the phone directly answered our requests, even when we ran Google Maps –which tends to be slower at first- yet it quickly responded. With this OS, we can enjoy managing Android without worrying about loading time.

This device also comes with the new OK Google option
This device also comes with the new OK Google option

Conclusion

Google’ flagship offers a new conception of Android navigation, along with a powerful processor, Bluetooth 4.0, wireless dual-band and a 5-inch True HD IPS Plus 1920x1080 display. What can we say? We loved the new Nexus 5. In our opinion, it’s a unique smartphone which offers the best Android performance, along with most components in its hardware.

If we had to say something bad about Nexus 5, we would say it was the frustration we experienced with the camera and battery life, considering it has one of the most powerful processors nowadays. The design is quite sophisticated, elegant and easy to manage, works at high speed and it is one of the most fluid smartphone on the market today.

For $350, this high-end device’s unbelievable benefits outweigh its’ shortcomings. It’s too good to be true…but it is true! Apart from having the best performance at the moment, its price is so attractive that the phone is irresistible you’ll fall in love with it at first sight.