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

Test Setup And Methodology

Test System Specs

We decided that in order to give a fair and reasonable picture of performance variance, we should test with a variety of different devices. From Qualcomm, we included last year’s Nexus 4 with the Snapdragon S4 Pro along with the currently mid-range Snapdragon 600 in the HTC One. The LG G2 was also included as it carries the same high-end Snapdragon 800 chipsets as the Nexus 5. The recently reviewed EVGA Tegra Note 7 brings Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC to the table, while Apple's iPhone 5s shows off the latest iPhone’s A7 SoC.

Nexus 4 was added to show that Android 4.4 optimizations can't and won't make that older device run at the same level as these newer chipsets. It's a sanity check, if you will. The reason LG's G2 was added was to illustrate the performance deficiencies of our retail-purchased Nexus 5. As we will demonstrate, when the benchmarks aren't being hampered by the slow CPU core of this specific Nexus, its Adreno 330 can compete and in some cases even beat the best of performers.

Both Nexus devices are running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, while the Tegra Note, LG G2, and HTC are all running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Apple iPhone 5sApple A7ARM v8 (dual-core) @ 1.3 GHzPowerVR G6430 (four-cluster) @ 300 MHz1 GB DDR34" IPS @ 1136x640
EVGA Tegra Note 7Nvidia Tegra 4T114 ARM Cortex-A15 (quad-core) @ 1.7GHzGeForce ULP1 GB DDR37" IPS @ 1280x800
LG G2Qualcomm Snapdragon 800Krait 400 (quad-core) @ 2.3 GHzAdreno 330 (quad-core) @ 450 MHz2 GB DDR3L5.2" IPS @ 1920x1080
Google Nexus 5Qualcomm Snapdragon 800Krait 400 (quad-core) @ 2.3 GHzAdreno 330 (quad-core) @ 450 MHz2 GB DDR3L4.95" IPS+ @ 1920x1080
HTC OneQualcomm Snapdragon 600Krait 300 (quad-core) @ 1.7 GHzAdreno 320 (quad-core) @ 400 MHz2 GB DDR34.7" SuperLCD3 @ 1920x1080
Google Nexus 4Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ProKrait 200 (quad-core) @ 1.5 GHzAdreno 320 (quad-core) @ 400 MHz2 GB DDR34.7" IPS+ @ 1280x768

Benchmark Suite

Our gadget test suite consists of five major sections: CPU, GPU, Web, Display, And Battery.

CPU Benchmarks
AnTuTu v4
CF-Bench Pro
Primate Labs Geekbench 3
Principled Technologies MobileXPRT 2013
GPU Benchmarks
Futuremark 3DMark
Rightware Basemark GUI Free
Rightware Basemark X
Epic Citadel
Kishonti GFXBench v2.7.2
Silicon Studios Mobile GPUMark v2.0
Web Benchmarks
Rightware Browermark v2.0
Futuremark Peacekeeper v2.0
Impact HTML5 Benchmark
Principled Technologies WebXPRT 2013
Display Measurements
Brightness (Minimum and Maximum)
Calibrated Black Level
Calibrated Contrast Ratio
Calibrated Gamma
Calibrated Color Temperature
Color Gamut Volume (sRGB and AdobeRGB)
Battery Tests
Gaming (Mobile GPUMark - Loop)

Let's begin with CPU testing and see how our Nexus 5 (with its slow-rated CPU core) stacks up in computational performance.