Google Nexus 5
The Google Nexus 5 is the follow-up to the Nexus 4. Like that phone, it's out to offer an attractive alternative to the kings of the Android world – phones like the Galaxy S4, the Xperia Z1 and HTC One. It lures us in with a low price: At £300, the Nexus 5 is significantly cheaper than the competition, without appearing to make many compromises along the way. On paper, it sounds like a winner - is this the Android bargain of the year, or has Google dropped the ball? Find out in our Google Nexus 5 review.
They may be brothers, but the Google Nexus 5 looks and feels quite different from the Nexus 4. The glass-topped shiny back has been traded-in for matt plastic. It may sound sound too impressive, but its soft finish feels great on your fingers. The Nexus 5 is pretty slim and light too. At 8.6mm thick and 130g, the phone is exactly the same weight as a Galaxy S4, and only slightly thicker. With a super-thin bezel, the Nexus 5 isn't much wider than its screen either.
It's a pretty impressive screen too. The Nexus 5 has a 5-inch display with the same full HD 1080p resolution as the HTC One and Galaxy S4. This is an incredibly sharp screen that makes games, movies and web pages look fantastic. Image quality is great - the Nexus 5 screen can really compete with big-name rivals like the Galaxy S4.
Unlike those phones however, the Nexus 5 uses a completely pure version of Android. It's the first phone to launch with Android 4.4 KitKat. This version of Android makes the software look friendlier than ever, making it about as good-looking as Windows Phone or iOS 7. It's blazingly fast as well – zipping between menus at high speed is no problem for this phone.
The phone has loads of power on tap. The Nexus 5 uses the same Snapdragon 800 processor as the Sony Xperia Z1, making it even more powerful than the HTC One and Galaxy S4. High-end 3D games run like a dream. The Nexus 5 is also one of just a few phones to have optical image stabilisation in its camera. This makes video less juddery, and significantly improves what photos taken in poor lighting look like – they're less noisy than an iPhone's, and a refreshing feature given that most Nexus cameras have been utter bobbins until now.
Easily the best bit, though, is the price. You get an awful lot of phone hardware for £300 with a Nexus 5, making it better value than the competition by several hundred pounds - and this time, it comes with support for 4G, so no corners have been cut.
The Google Nexus 5 is well-made, but it's not quite as impressive in-hand as the unibody aluminium HTC One. There's a seam around the phone's edge too, making it look less pristine than Nokia's plastic Lumia phones also. And though manufacturer LG has made the frame as narrow as possible for a five inch display, you should also try out a phone this size if you're used to much smaller mobiles: reaching to the top of the screen with a thumb is a bit of a stretch.
The Google Nexus 5 camera is also not the most reliable one out there. It often produces slightly dim-looking or overexposed photos, and it's nowhere near as fast as an iPhone camera. You can produce good shots with the thing, but it requires a bit of patience.
Like the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 doesn't have a memory card slot, so you have to choose carefully between the 16GB and 32GB models. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Nexus 5 is its battery. Its 2,300mAh unit is smaller than that of the Galaxy S4 or Xperia Z1. You will have to charge this phone every day unless you're a light user.