Tuesday, November 5, 2013
LG Google Nexus 5 first impressions
The Nexus 5 is a clear design evolution of the Nexus 4. You will find that the same basic shape is retained but the screen has been upgraded to a 5" 16:9 1080p LCD IPS display, which bumping the pixel density up, is simply gorgeous to look at. This is one of the best displays I have ever viewed in door, and that includes the HTC One.
While the removal of the glass back plate in favour of polycarbonate made the Nexus 5 feel cheaper than the premium-feel Nexus 4, it has made the new flagship significantly lighter and thinner as well. Yes, plastic may feel cheaper in your palm compared to glass, but I am sure it will probably be able to sustain a bit more everyday abuse than the crack happy Nexus 4.
I found the power button, which is located on the left side of the device next to the micro SIM card tray, to be a tad too small and too close to the top edge of the device. A power button located in the middle of the phone, similar to those found on Lumia and Xperia devices, would have been far more comfortable. A 3.5mm headphone jack and microphone can be found on the top, while the metallic volume rocker sits on the right side. You will find a pair of iPhone 5-esque loud speaker grills on the bottom with a micro USB sync/charge port in between them.
The backside is a design in simplicity, with a 8MP camera and a single solitary weak LED flash. While the back cover looks removable, I have been told it isn't. If you went for the white version like I did, you will find that the Nexus 5 sports a two-tone colour, which I admit looks rather neat. The camera itself isn't something to write about, especially after my brief affair with a Lumia 1020, and the camera app is still annoyingly basic. With only 8MP of data, you won't be cropping pictures a lot, but OIS and a faster lens for low light photography is a welcome upgrade regardless. Only time will tell if the camera here is a good enough improvement over the Nexus 4's poor camera.
With a top of the range Snapdragon 800 and the latest Android 4.4, the Nexus 5 is mighty fast. In fact it is so quick, you wouldn't have to install a slim down launcher like Nova (though I installed it anyway as I detest the fixed Google search bar). Android 4.4 does not appear to feature any ground breaking innovations as far as the GUI is concern, though the Nexus 5 does sport a voice wake up feature first found on the Moto X.
Overall the Nexus 5 isn't the most gorgeous looking device out there, but it is very functional. Everything is where you expect to find them, and while I would have preferred the power button to be located near the middle of the device, at least it isn't on the top (glares at HTC). As far as 5 inchers goes, the Nexus 5 feels great in my palm. Android isn't exactly a one-hand use friendly OS, but it doesn't become too irritating.
The Nexus 5 is available right now from Google Play, starting from £299, making it one of the cheapest Snapdragon 800-powered smartphones around. It is also available subsidised on various wireless carriers such as Three UK.