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Google Nexus 5 Review: A Fast, Affordable Phone With LTE For All

There's a new flagship smartphone in town. The LG-made Nexus 5 offers a fast Snapdragon platform, LTE for all markets, a 5” 1080p display, and Android 4.4 “KitKat”. Best of all, the 16 GB model sells for just $350 off-contract. Is it too good to be true?

Google Nexus 5 Review: A Fast, Affordable Phone With LTE For All : Read more
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  1. Nice review. I think the whole $600-700 price for an off-contract phone is pretty much theft anyway, when the phones cost <$300 to make. Kudos, Google.
  2. The Nexus 5 is extremely susceptible to thermal throttling which this article seems to gloss over or entirely miss.

    Yes PVS scores do indicate something. They indicate the efficiency of a chip at a given frequency. The lower PVS numbers will heat up faster, and thus be at the optimal 2.23Ghz frequency less often, thus giving the perceived impression of being significantly slower.

    I have a Nexus 5 myself, same PVS scoring (1). Running Antutu in my hand, and I'll score 22,000 - 23,000. However, out of curiosity, I rest the phone on an AC vent for 15 minutes, started the Antutu benchmark while leaving it there, and managed to score 29,500. All results easily and consistently repeatable. And my phone has never been unlocked/flashed. 100% Factory ROM, 4.4.2.

    The issue purely heavy thermal throttling under heavy sustained loads.

    In day to day operations though, it is absolutely flawless, and felt ever so slightly snappier then my previous HTC One (M7). Still incredibly happy with this device, and the only one I have never felt the need to unlock and flash silly. My only gripe was Camera issues, but the 4.4.2 update resolved those problems.
  3. Duplicate post. Disregard.
  4. I just bought mine wainting for it to arrive xD
  5. So a friend bought Nexus 5 and i bought his nexus 4 for me. Really happy with it even if its a last year's mobile. Economy crisis in Greece just won't give me space to buy Nexus 5 :P. Nexus phones are always on the the top list in quality and especially on price/quality mark. It is just that the way google sells them in Europe that is incompatible with the mentality of mobile buyers here. I bet my right thumb :P that if they had few actual shops inside shopping centers in Europe that they would sell like crazy. Now that i think about it, they know it, they just let other mobile companies for this, for android dominance perhaps? Just like what IBM did with PC and DoS? All were awed to see my Nexus One just when it was released few years ago, which i still have and still works fine, i doubt if an iphone or any 600+ $/euro mobile can survive that long right?
  6. Oh and to add, this heating throttling might be annoying if it is used on a warm country like Greece i guess? Can the article elaborate on that? (room temperatures vs performance)
  7. Great phone. N4 doesn't support OTG. But N5 supports. So can use Meenova MicroSD reader to add its storage: http://goo.gl/2iJ6gf
  8. I'd love to get 'USA price' on this devices... it is 450 Euro here
  9. I finally pulled the trigger on a Nexus 5 and am upgrading my trusty old GNex. The unpolluted android system is by far the most underrated aspect of the Nexus devices. Paired with a crazy enthusiastic development community, Google offers a device experience that can't be had for any price by other manufacturers. To all of this, top end quick hardware is just icing on the cake. I would take a Nexus device with half the performance of an Iphone or Galaxy 4 just for the software environment.
  10. The LG G2 does not have a microSD slot. Only the Note 3 does out of the 3 handsets mentioned in the article.
  11. Great article. One thing I would like to see is comparing the ~$350 N5 to other phones of equal price from apple and android. Like to see what a GS3 and a iP4S can do against it.
  12. The Nexus 4 was NOT the first "bleeding edge" Nexus smartphone. So, was the Galaxy Nexus (aka gen 3 Nexus), made by Samsung for Google. Released at end of 2011, had 4.65" 720p HD display, dual core 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB RAM -- and NFC. The Verizon models had LTE. It was one of the first Androids with HD display and had many of the attributes of the Galaxy SIII, released by Samsung a few months later. Yes, those were VERY much cutting edge specs at the time.
  13. Err, bit late for a review. The phone came out november
  14. I love my nexus 5, much nicer than my galaxy nexus. I like it more than my wife's S4 and the money I save from being off contract will pay for the phone in the 2 years I'll keep it.
  15. wow smartphone companies are bathing in money this is the price of a budget gaming pc why would you pay this for a phone? you could but 3 good tablets instead or a pc or laptop
  16. wow smartphone companies are bathing in money this is the price of a budget gaming pc why would you pay this for a phone? you could but 3 good tablets instead or a pc or laptop
  17. cloud based storage is all good and fine..... ON MOST OF THE 1ST WORLD NATION...but when they brought it on to the third world nation, our internet just sucks. 1mbps DL and 0.15 mbps UL (that's bit not byte). what are you gonna accomplice or store with that speed here? not to mention the price and the limited bandwidth. a micro sd card is WAY faster and WAY cheaper in the long run here.although i understand why they are doing this, it's just not really gonna work in places where the internet infrastructures are still way behind. btw, where i live, we still struggle to get 3G speed. yet korea is already 4G LTE, and so close to 5G, so they got minimum every day average 3G LTE at least right? and i believe 3G for america and england
  18. Hilarious they left out the Moto X out of this review comparo, let alone this test; given the claims of superior battery it has made.
  19. Well, Moto X is mid-tier specs, not top tier like the Androids with Snapdragon 800 and 1080p. Why should they mention phones like the Moto X?
  20. chazzmatt said:
    Well, Moto X is mid-tier specs, not top tier like the Androids with Snapdragon 800 and 1080p. Why should they mention phones like the Moto X?


    They mentioned the Nexus 4, which is right alongside spec-wise with the Moto X; also its probably to the 2 most compared phones out right now.
  21. Yet, the Nexus 4 is now mid-tier, but it was the predecessor to the Nexus 5. It's not a "current" phone offered by Google. Moto X is a different class of phone. It's not a bad phone, a lot of people like it -- but comparing specs you see it's not top tier.
  22. Yet, the Nexus 4 is now mid-tier, but it was the predecessor to the Nexus 5. It's not a "current" phone offered by Google. Moto X is a different class of phone. It's not a bad phone, a lot of people like it -- but comparing specs you see it's not top tier.
  23. I don't have a Nexus 5 myself, but have done quite a bit of regular consumer research on the phone as I was considering upgrading to it from my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Overall, the general impression that I got was, when the phone works, it is absolutely nothing short of amazing. However, the key point lies in the words "when the phone works".It seems to me that much like a lot of other LG products, quality control and build quality is a little less than perfect. There are a lot of complaints of flimsy, loose buttons, phones that randomly reboots, battery drain issues, etc. Some of them seems to originate from the Android OS itself (factory ROM or not). Others seem more like they are hardware issues.Overall, it seems to me that as good as the phone is on paper, the number of complaints over the Nexus 5 is generally higher than Nexus 4, and is significantly worse than the Galaxy Nexus. I'm beyond the point where I am actively chasing after the latest and greatest toys, and thus I continue to be hesitant to upgrade from my perfectly reliable GNex even though it is a little old.
  24. "cloud based storage is all good and fine..... ON MOST OF THE 1ST WORLD NATION...but when they brought it on to the third world nation, our internet just sucks. 1mbps DL and 0.15 mbps UL (that's bit not byte). what are you gonna accomplice or store with that speed here? not to mention the price and the limited bandwidth. a micro sd card is WAY faster and WAY cheaper in the long run here.although i understand why they are doing this, it's just not really gonna work in places where the internet infrastructures are still way behind. btw, where i live, we still struggle to get 3G speed. yet korea is already 4G LTE, and so close to 5G, so they got minimum every day average 3G LTE at least right? and i believe 3G for america and england"This on all those 3 1/2" floppies you can fit on 16GB or even 32GB
  25. How do you down load a flash for the 5 since you cannot down load adobe ? I tried photon it really does not work anysuggestions?
  26. I am new how do I go back and change my user name ?
  27. How do you down load a flash for the 5 since you cannot down load adobe ? I tried photon it really does not work anysuggestions?
  28. Nice article and whilst i do aggree that the phones specs are impressive for the price i have to say i dissagree with the statement about google now making high end devices without "glaring compromises"Shortly after (Korean) release i purchased 2 Nexus 5' - one for me and one for my girlfriend.After using the phones for around 6weeks i can confirm google has undoubtedly made GLARING COMPROMISES when putting this phone into production.We had to return one unit same day because of the vibration motor issue.Unit was replaced with another which seemed fine. The next morning the vibration motor started acting strange again.I checked my girlfriends Nexus and it also had the same problem.We had also noticed strange beeps when watching video (also apparent on all phones) and poor battery life.Other problems include very quiet speakers that actually make it quite hard to hear calls (note: we are both in our twenties and have perfect hearing etc.) And general crappy build quality. The volume and power button being such a poor fit they rattle around and make a shitty sound when the phone vibrates.I understand the phone is aggressively priced but it should still work as advertised. Lets not forget we just shelled out $700 of our hard earned!The original plan was to pickup a couple of Nexus 7' for around the office but the experience has left us searching for alternatives! What a shame!I had contacted google about my displeasure but they couldnt be bothered to reply!Great SOC but the phone is still a POS.Just to note : i am a long time daily reader of tomshardware and have never complained about a product before. The article just popped up whilst i was commuting this morning and i thought i should share my experiences too.
  29. Non user-replaceable battery is a dealbreaker. I can live without the microSD slot, but have had to eventually replace batteries in every phone I've owned, not being able to do so excludes this device from consideration.
  30. I've got a Nexus 5 and my only complaint is that my Bluetooth earpiece sometimes loses connection when I'm wearing it and the phone is in my pants pocket.
  31. MoulaZX said:
    The Nexus 5 is extremely susceptible to thermal throttling which this article seems to gloss over or entirely miss.

    Yes PVS scores do indicate something. They indicate the efficiency of a chip at a given frequency. The lower PVS numbers will heat up faster, and thus be at the optimal 2.23Ghz frequency less often, thus giving the perceived impression of being significantly slower.

    I have a Nexus 5 myself, same PVS scoring (1). Running Antutu in my hand, and I'll score 22,000 - 23,000. However, out of curiosity, I rest the phone on an AC vent for 15 minutes, started the Antutu benchmark while leaving it there, and managed to score 29,500. All results easily and consistently repeatable. And my phone has never been unlocked/flashed. 100% Factory ROM, 4.4.2.

    The issue purely heavy thermal throttling under heavy sustained loads.


    Thermal throttling definitely is the the case and I did the same tests too, only using plastic wrap and a freezer. :) Thing is @ stock the phone should be scoring MUCH higher than 22k in Antutu at room temps and much higher than 29k in the freezer (those are Snapdragon 600 range scores) but due to it being binned so low it just doesn't. With a custom kernel and the same stock OS it scores a lot higher with very minimal heat increase, which indicated to me, at least, that Google/LG are taking the PVS rating quite seriously and are downclocking the SoC aggressively to compensate. I wanted to describe the throttling in more detail but felt it was more simply illustrated with a measurement that anyone could take on a rooted device.

    You're completely correct though. What's interesting is now I'm running using Franco Francisco's kernel (R32) and OmniROM and the phone just feels smoother, runs longer on battery and didn't seem affected at all by the awful heatwave we just experienced in Australia last week. I think Google are being extremely conservative with the hardware.
  32. sinsa said:
    Nice article...The article just popped up whilst i was commuting this morning and i thought i should share my experiences too.


    Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, there were definite build quality issues for the first round devices. Not everyone experienced them, I even linked to an article we did which covered the second revision Nexus 5 which came out a little over a month later. My phone is as good as day one, but I've been reading up on issues with the buttons.
  33. Ray Stein said:
    How do you down load a flash for the 5 since you cannot down load adobe ? I tried photon it really does not work anysuggestions?


    There's a custom modded version of flash floating around XDA, it only works with Dolphin Browser.
  34. Will buy one.. never mind the next one fromother brands... this is cheaper, an that is the bottomline.
  35. Is there a way to check PVS without rooting?
  36. As someone else already stated, the article does not address the thermal throttling that obviously plagues the Nexus 5. The test is really easy: Run Antutu (or any other benchmark, for that matter) when the phone is COLD and then run Antutu again and again... With each new run you will see a few thousand points disappear. My Nexus 5 scores ~30300 points in Antutu when it's cold. Then, if I run it again, It scores ~ 27000. If I run it for a third time, the score drops to 24000, and the fourth time drops to ~ 19000. Now, believe me, in real life usage you will NEVER see this kind of performance drop. The phone is blazing fast !!! I played games such as Nova 3, NFS Most Wanted, Minion Rush for many hours straight and they ran smooth as butter and the phone was just a little warm to the touch - in a room with a temperature of ~ 24 degrees Celsius.
  37. Just checked the prices here (backwaters EU)... Nexus 5 16GB ~450€, LG G2 ~480€ if both will have LOCAL dealers handling with warranty issues... 32GB isn't even imported to this country AND google blocks purchases from Germany etc... (you can bypass those, but WTF google open up your devices play store to us too!!!)
  38. what is with the lack of an SSD card?does Google want to drive every video experience toan online streaming model/ apologies to this butmy contract has bandwidth limits and i'm not aboutto give up my local trove of highly 1080p res video tosome ISP or a cloud site solution.the S4 has a microSSD - i'll keep it.
  39. Headphone is also available in box in india
  40. Google Nexus 5 Review: A Fast, Affordable Phone With LTE For All(*)(*) Unless you are on the Verizon network. I was all primed up to buy and upgrade my plan with Verizon until I discovered this little problem.
  41. This article makes me want to ditch my RAZR Maxx and go out to buy a Nexus 5. Go Google.
  42. love my N5.. wish i would have went with nexus years ago.. my n5 is a beast and the development is bananaz!! Nexus 5 FTW!!!
  43. Great article but this comment concerning the under-performing speaker is inexplicable: "This is absolutely fine for talk radio or classical music". Have you ever even heard any classical music?
  44. "wow smartphone companies are bathing in money this is the price of a budget gaming pc why would you pay this for a phone? you could but 3 good tablets instead or a pc or laptop"Because I already have a laptop, pc, and tablet, and wanted to get the Nexus 5 for all that it has to offer at a very good price for those kinds of specs...BTW, I shudder at the thought of the 'budget gaming PC' you have in mind. Thanks, but no thanks.
  45. Quote:
    Great article but this comment concerning the under-performing speaker is inexplicable: "This is absolutely fine for talk radio or classical music". Have you ever even heard any classical music?
    Haha! Maybe he means the classical music they play on the customer service hold line.
  46. Great review. The Nexus 5 is an awesome looking device, I'd love to have one. Unfortunately, Verizon seems to have forgotten FCC rules regulating open-access to the 700MHz block.
  47. 100% rgb and 72% adobe as standard?please tell that notebook manufacture.. its getting worse.
  48. Nexus 5 owner here, I'd like to check something with other owners of this phone: I can sometimes hear "clicking" noises in the speaker during phone calls (using GSM and UMTS/WCDMA network). I assumed this could be due to lousy implementation of call handover between both network types or between two voice codecs (which is something that used to manifest on certain dumbphones almost one decade ago and the only workaround was to disable higher fidelity codecs). Is anybody else experiencing these with his Nexus 5 ?(and no, I'm not moving/traveling when hearing these, I get plenty of signal indoors so it's no a cell-to-cell handover issue)
  49. So I just looked into getting this phone and found that it will not work with Verizon, but not because it's not compatible.Verizon specifically chose to have Google *block* the frequencies for their network because they didn't want it on VZ.Looks like I'll be voluntarily paying an early termination fee and telling VZ to suck a big one.
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