While we weren't invited to Google's little event this morning. That hasn't stopped us from telling you all about the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4. Now it's time for a bit Hands on wrap up. Here we'll have quotes from different sites that were at the shin dig this morning to see what they thought about the device.
The TL;DR version is that this is a very nice phone, and is a bargain at $399 CDN for the 32GB LTE version. This is the device that many Nexus 4 owners were waiting for, and should be a fantastic addition to any pocket.
The Nexus 5 is as surprisingly inexpensive as its predecessor. Unlike its predecessor, though, it manages to actually support LTE, a complete necessity in this day and age. But releasing a flagship-caliber phone at that price comes with trade-offs, and Google had to pick carefully what it could and couldn't compromise with the new Nexus.
- For a phone with 5-inch display, the Nexus 5 is very light.
- The backing has a similar feel to the Nexus 7 tablet, which is slightly rubberized.
- The display is brilliant: Very bright and colorful, easy to see from all angles.
- Google Now, if enabled, is now a dedicated screen. Swipe your home screen to the right and there's Google Now.
- I'm happy to see an "always listening" feature as I use it on my Moto X many times a day.
JR Raphael from ComputerWorld had a lot to say, so I'll just give you the TL;DR here. He seemed to like the UI tweaks that Google added in KitKat, he also liked how Google Now had become an even bigger part of the OS (as being one of your home screens now), along with the "Okay Google" touchless controls coming to Google. JR Raphael had a lot of good things to say about the Nexus 5.
- It's quite nice looking, though not in a particularly unique way. Look at it from more than a few feet away, and most folks probably wouldn't have any idea what phone they were looking at. It's a big glass screen with a matte black back; I'm... not sure how you could get any more standard.
- The soft touch backside gets fingerprint-tastic, and fast. I had to wipe it almost constantly for our hands on photos. For reference, I'm using the black device and don't have particularly oily hands.
- As you'd expect of a device with a nearly 5-inch (4.95 inches, to be specific) screen, it's big. Real big. Any bigger, in fact, and I'd say it's too big. And yet, Google and LG managed to keep it just within the realm of sanity. It's not a strictly two-hand device, but unless you've got hulk hands, expect to need a second hand more often than not.
Crucially, the hardware is a big step forward for Google and LG, its manufacturing partner, sporting specs that many Android smartphones would go to the refurb store just to even get a chance of upgrading too.
So far it looks like everyone has relatively positive things to say about the Nexus 5. But I will end this post by saying this. The Nexus 5 is not for everyone. I know this will anger both Nexus fans and Samsung/HTC/LG/Sony fans as well. The Nexus 5 may not be for you, but as I've said many times, that's the beauty of Android. So many choices are available. Right now you can choose from the HTC One, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Optimus G Pro, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, LG G2, Moto X, or the Nexus 5. Lots of choices there.