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Google Nexus 5 is the BEST new phone you must buy!

Last updated on: November 01, 2013 17:11 IST

Google Nexus 5 is the BEST new phone you must buy!

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Move over, iPhone. Google releases its finest phone yet

Whether you’ve been keeping track of it or not, the Nexus 5 has been a hotly discussed topic in recent weeks. What will it look like? Will it feature Android KitKat (Version 4.4)? What is Android 4.4 and how will it improve the experience? After a leak on its Play Store which revealed its look for the first time, anticipation grew even more. Rumours suggested that Google would launch the device on November 1, and as if to swerve us further, Google actually launched it a bit earlier.

Nonetheless, it’s finally here and the pricing of the device and accessories finally revealed to us. Considering that LG was hired once again to create the next iteration of the Nexus, it was a little easy to predict just what the Nexus 5 would feature.

After, Google Nexus 4 was based on LG’s own Optimus G it was widely known that the Nexus 5 would take after the recently released G2. However, along with a few differences in specifications and design, the Nexus 5 has the advantage of being the first device to feature Android 4.4 KitKat.

What else has changed with the newest generation of Nexus? How does it compare to the G2 and even the previously released Nexus 4? Does it outdo competitors like the Sony Xperia Z1, another Snapdragon 800-toting smartphone? We find out.

Purchase Google Nexus 5 here


Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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Design

The Google Nexus 5 takes some inspiration from the recently refreshed Nexus 7 in terms of build quality. Whereas the first generation of Nexus 7 features a rubberised back, the 2013 refresh opted for a hard plastic back made of polycarbonate.

In the same way, the Nexus 4 featured a glassy back with a subtle glittering diamond pattern, giving it that premium feel but always being at risk of cracking or attracting its fair share of scars. With the Nexus 5, Google has opted for what appears to be a hard plastic back panel.

There’s a chance it could be rubberised rather than polycarbonate but either way, it provides a stronger degree of stability to the device. The addition of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the screen ensures that the beautiful 1080p display avoids any scratches.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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The dimensions of the Nexus 5 aren’t radically different from the LG G2 as it measures 0.339 inches thick and weighs 130 grams.

The G2 on the other hand measures 0.35 inches thick and weighs 143 grams, which we’ll attribute to the slightly bigger screen and battery size.

Regardless, it looks like it’ll be easier to handle the Nexus 5. And yes, it is slimmer and lighter than the Nexus 4, which measures 0.359 inches thick and weighs 139 grams.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/
Tags: BEST , LG

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Specs

A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3 GHz with an Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB of RAM and 16 internal storage for less than Rs 30,000 are all the indication you need that Christmas has come early.

The Nexus 5 is the first mobile device which contains arguably the most powerful SoC in its category at a mid-tier price, bar none.

It also features a 4.95-inch, 1920x1080 IPS display with a pixel density of 445 pixels per inch. 

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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The smaller screen size in comparison to the G2 means you’ll be getting slightly more pixels per inch thus ensuring a sharper picture. Looking at it, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any inferiority to the LG G2 or other major manufacturers at all.

The Nexus 5 features dual band Wi-Fi support, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE for all your connectivity needs.

Bluetooth 4.0 LE is especially interesting since this allows at once to connect to devices such as wrist-mounted heart-rate monitors for jogging.

Google also released a new wireless charging pad for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, thus allowing you to charge your phone without needing a plug-point.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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Camera and battery Life

There have been some sacrifices made though. Instead of the G2’s 13 megapixel sensor, the Nexus 5 features an 8 megapixel sensor with optical image stabilisation.

The front facing camera has also been slightly downgraded, from the G2’s 2.1 megapixel sensor to a 1.3 megapixel sensor on the Nexus 5. Google does promise a better sensor however and we’re curious to see how the optical image stabilisation works given that the LG G2 is only above average in that department.

You’ll also have the new HDR+ mode for combining multiple pictures into the best possible snapshot. Since neither device will be beating the Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel PureView sensor any time soon, the reduction in optical resolution doesn’t bug us so much.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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The battery life, however, does.

The LG G2 featured a 3000 mAh battery which ensured more than 20 hours of heavy usage depending on your needs. At the very least, even with average usage, you could go for a couple of days off a single charge.

The Nexus 5 features a 2300 mAh battery with Google promising up to 17 hours of talk time and up to 8.5 hours of Wi-Fi usage.

We’ll wait till the unit actually comes out before believing those numbers, but one way or another you’re still looking at reduced battery life. The number might eventually end up resting around 10 hours with heavy usage, thanks to the less intensive Android 4.4, but you won’t be marathoning it like the LG G2.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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Android 4.4 KitKat

Though other devices will be seeing updates after the Nexus 5’s release, this will still be the first smartphone to feature Android 4.4 KitKat when it launches. The key purpose of Android 4.4 according to Google is memory optimisation, with KitKat only requiring a minimum 512 MB of RAM to run.

The other big improvement has been in Google Search.

You can now operate your device using Voice Search without needing to use your hands. Wake up the device using the words “Okay Google” and you can start issuing commands.

Interestingly, the Nexus 5 will ask you questions back when it seeks further clarification such as when looking for contacts with the same name. This requires better speech recognition and thankfully, Google has improved the same by 25 per cent on KitKat.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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You also have far better access to Google Now -- swipe to the left of the screen rather than from the bottom and you’ll have access to a wide screen of cards full of relevant information.

Android 4.4 will work to show you information based on your usage updates so don’t be surprised if it gives you updates about movies, books, TV shows and other searches you may have recently conducted. There will also be context-sensitive cards for the interface.

This only scratches the surface of new features which include screen recording, wireless printing, third party  Cloud storage, IR control, a “full-screen Immersive Mode” for reading eBooks, watching movies and playing games, closed captioning and tools for checking the memory load for each app (and the maximum memory utilised) along with the amount of time it’s been running in the background.

If you’ve been clamouring for a bigger step-up over what Android 4.3 offered in terms of features, then this is it. We’ll detail more features of the interface in the coming weeks along with its effect on battery life.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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Verdict

The Google Nexus 5 will be available in two configurations, with the 16GB storage option costing Rs 28,999 and the 32 GB storage option retailing for Rs 32,999.

Google has also taken it upon itself to release some fairly expensive covers. Bumper Cases act as outer shells for the Nexus 5, that retail for Rs 2,499 each and come in red, black, yellow and grey colours. You also have the QuickCover, which protects both the front and back of the device.

These come in black and grey colours and retail for Rs 3,299.

Even with the improved build quality and Corning Gorilla Glass 3, we’d recommend picking up some kind of protection for your device. Hopefully there will be better third party options in the coming months however.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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In comparison to the Nexus 5, the LG G2 retails for Rs 37,999 for 16 GB and Rs 40,490 for 32 GB with the Sony Xperia Z1 costing Rs 42,990.

Granted, the Z1 does feature a 20 megapixel sensor, a tougher design which is dust-proof and water-resistant and a microSD slot for 64 GB more space (which both the Nexus 5 and G2 lack). However, the Nexus 5 represents the most cost-effective option for great all-round performance that you can possibly buy.

We’ll be hard-pressed to find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 device that retails in this range any time soon.

You also won’t find one that features the core Android experience right off the bat, much less Android 4.4 KitKat. With a combination of amazing features, Nexus 5-specific features, premium technology, new design aesthetics and a brand new approach to efficiency in memory and battery life, the Google Nexus 5 has already cemented itself as a must-have device. Though already available in the United States, it will be arriving soon in India in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more details.

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Photographs: google.com/nexus/5/

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