August 7, 2014
There are very few phones that I've held in my lifetime that made me go "oh wow" immediately after getting my hands on it. The first of which was probably my iPhone 4, later would be the HTC One (I never owned one of these unfortunately), and now this. The LG Nexus 5 is currently the mobile device that I currently use and is by far my favorite one to date. There are pros and cons to this device and I will go over this as best as I can. So far I've had it for months so I think I can give an accurate read on what this device is capable of and why you should still consider buying it.
This phone is pretty. Yeah sure there are a lot of phones that are pretty awesome too look at, but this one has such an awesome screen that it makes my eyes gush with happiness. The front side is mostly screen, yeah sure there is a few millimeters of bezel on the sides, but its almost necessary. The top and bottom are aren't perfectly symmetrical, but the bottom of the face-plate houses an Notification LED that flashes different colors based on what app is sending the notification. The top of the face-plate house the front facing camera and speaker. Everything is either black or close to that, so the front of the phone almost seems like one sheet of glass when the screen is off. The back has the word NEXUS etched into rubber and a camera that takes up a decent amount of the upper left hand corner of the phone. The camera is raised up and has a rubber rim to prevent direct contact with table or surface you decide to place the phone on. It's very minimal and I appreciate that.
The sides and back are soft rubber, this is really important. It makes gripping this phone amazing, not only do I not drop this phone as much, but it doesn't slide around. They also created a small lip around the outside edge on the front of the phone, so if you decide to place the phone face-down on your desk, it doesn't lay flat on the table. This small detail is really helpful in that your phone doesn't go sliding all over the place. This is one of the more noticeable improvements from the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 had a glass front and backing, with no real edge. This meant when you placed your phone down, it has a tendency to move. This is probably because the glass captures air between the glass and the table and so you have this sort of Air Hockey effect. It's really subtle, but I lost count of the times my phone just suddenly slid off where I placed it or dropped to the floor when I accidentally nudged it. It seemed I had to always keep it in a case. I like that I don't need a case for this phone and I don't have to worry about it going on some adventure without my consent.
Do you hate having to put screen protectors on your phone? Paranoid of scratches? Long gone are those days. With Corning Gorilla Glass 3, this glass is so scratch resistant and feels so damn good on your fingers is almost like the glass is soft and comforting you as you play with your device. I've had this phone for months now and I haven't had a scratch on the screen and I never bought a case or screen protectors. Call reckless, but this phone was well constructed. I'm not saying to go and try and scratch it, this phone doesn't have a Sapphire screen, but it does the trick.
This is where things get tricky. This phone has a better battery life span than the Nexus 4, and definitely a lot longer than the Samsung Galaxy S3. That being said, when using this phone a lot, the battery does seem to drain pretty fast. Calls, texting don't seem to phase it that much. I find the most drain comes from playing a lot of games that require a lot of network activity, but that's normal for any device. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with it, could it be better? well of course, but given that it lasts for most part of my day, I really can't complain.
So this guy comes loaded with Android 4.4.4 (Kitkat), running the GEL loader. What the hell does that all mean? Well to put it simply, you're running the latest and greatest software for mobile devices so far. Android 5 might be around the corner later this year, but for now this is the best we got. It runs great, looks good, and works very consistently. The Nexus 5 is the first to get the latest Android updates and will run Android L when its released. I can see it running the next few generations of upcoming OS updates, so it has longevity in that regard.
This phone comes with Google Now constantly running in the background which tends to have these strange stalker-ish feeling to it. I like it though, its good for keeping up with my sports scores and other such things. I've heard that it can be tough on the battery, but I've always had it running and haven't noticed and serious battery drain, so I'm not sure how much that would improve if I decided to turn it off. I like that I just swipe left on my home screen and my Google Now is ready to give me weather and other useful information.
You can put apps on your home screens along with widgets to your liking, or keep them all off and have all your apps in the "apps drawer". It's completely up to you to customize how you like to use your Android device. It's quite nice, since iPhones force you to have all your apps disgustingly on your home screens. That has always kind of bothered me and isn't really pleasing to look at. The widgets can be really helpful or even just awesome to look at. Be warned that widgets tend to eat up RAM. You shouldn't run into any problems having a bunch of widgets, but know that some have a tendency to sync a lot which can run your data high. The widgets using copious amounts RAM also tends to have an adverse effect on battery life as well, so keep that in mind. A few widgets shouldn't be no problem, I just know some people who cover screen upon screens with them and then ask me why their batteries suck so bad. Do what you want though, I'm not your dad. Oh wait, maybe I am. Go clean your room and those damn widgets!
The cameras are 8MP (back) and 1.3MP (front). I honestly can't complain about them. Yeah sure they're not winning any contest for best mobile cameras any time soon, but they work, and they don't look too bad. I mean these are mobile pictures, I'm not expecting a whole lot. That being said, I do think that they have definitely added some key features to camera software and there are definite improvements from the Nexus 4 model. The shutter and software doesn't seem so laggy as the Nexus 4 was. I don't have as many blurry pictures with this device than I had with previous devices. I'm sure there are a lot of gripes people have with it, but I can't seem to find any. Not mind-blowing, not bad.
The reception on this device is actually pretty decent. I've had more bars in certain places than some people in the same location with different devices on the same carrier. It's really important for someone like me who tends to venture out a bit. I will admit that sometimes its not the greatest, but I think that has to be expected with any mobile device. There are dead zones and you can't expect a whole lot in terms of improvement in this area. I will say that that this device does perform leaps and bounds over the iPhone 4 in this regard. The Nexus 4 had pretty good reception but this phone seems to catch onto networks a little bit faster in my experience. This is coming from someone who has to switch up networks frequently due to the cross-country travel I have to do everyday. Overall, its really good.
This probably isn't anything new to anyone, but this phone does that and its cool that you can get to different menus with two finger swipes and whatever. It works in games and stuff.
There are two buttons on this thing (technically three but volume up and down are one piece of plastic). One is to lock the phone and the other one is the volume buttons. You can hold the sleep/volume down to take screen shots. The buttons have some good feedback and are placed in really good locations. They're flat and are pretty easy to press. I like them more than any other phone buttons to be honest, the placement is perfection. They don't stick out a whole lot and fit the minimal design really well.
For a phone that comes unlocked and on GSM. This means that you can put a SIM chip in it from literally anywhere. US? Canada? Uruguay? Who cares, you got a microSIM? slam it in this thing and its good to go. As you can imagine, this comes in handy when you're traveling. It also means that you're not bound to any lame contract and you can put a Pay-As-You-Go chip in this phone if you want. Do what you want, this is freedom. This is the most Net Neutral phone I've come across (besides the Nexus 4).
This phone costs $350 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB model. That's a steal. It seems expensive, but this is because most phones you buy with a contract that are usually around $100-200 or whatever are usually cut down in price because they make money off the contract (they also make you buy the high end contracts, what a rip off). These phones don't come with a contract, that's the beauty of them. Yeah you can go to a carrier and get them for cheap on a contract. But why? Also those phones that are cheap with a contract are usually in the $800+ club in terms of actual price. iPhones are usually around a cool $1000. In the end you're saving money with these phones. Yeah they might not be the tippity top in terms of hardware, but they're damn good.
Is a Nexus 5 still worth getting? You bet your ass it is.