Nexus 5

After two months of regular use, are we still enamored with Google’s latest Nexus phone?

It feels like the Nexus 5 was a long time coming. A couple of days before the IFA conference in early September 2013, I remember being huddled over a MacBook in a hotel bar in Berlin with a handful of other journalists, squinting over a few frames from Google’s KitKat unveiling video and trying to make out details on the back of this mysterious new Nexus phone. The two months that followed led us down a garden path of leaks, rumors and gossip as Google’s next flagship slowly came into focus — culminating in a couple of high-profile snafus that gave us a full-size render of the phone, along with a mostly-complete spec list, days ahead of the official launch.

Yet when the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 finally arrived on Nov. 1 — having been announced a day earlier, on Halloween — it turned out there was more going on than the pre-release rumors had revealed. Sure, the Nexus 5 was a high-spec'd phone at a relatively low price point. But more important was KitKat, the biggest change to Android in two years, delivering a brighter, flatter, more Googley smartphone experience. It was a big step forward for Google’s OS, and one of the most important Android phones of the year.

Since launch we’ve had a good couple of months to get to know the Nexus 5 properly, using it both as a regular day-to-day smartphone, and as a daily driver during CES, one of the busiest trade shows of the year. The N5 is  still a great phone, but the extra time with it has given us a fresh perspective. Check out our long-term thoughts after the break.

Utilitarian design, great ergonomics

Nexus 4 + 5

The Nexus 5 is nothing fancy to look at. Even compared to last year’s Nexus 4, the design is utilitarian and unassuming — a black (or white) plastic slab with a screen on the front. As we said in our review, it’s supposed to just get out of the way and let you focus on the display.

The phone’s chassis has held up pretty well over the past couple of months. The back doesn’t get scratched up like the Nexus 4’s, and the only cosmetic damage I’ve picked up is minor — a ding on the plastic trim from an encounter with a Las Vegas tabletop (my fault, not the phone’s), and a small scratch on the screen that’s almost impossible to see. I’m more than happy with how it’s held up.

Nexus 5Nexus 5

The general consensus is that the black Nexus 5 feels better in the hand.

I’ve been using a black Nexus 5 since launch, while occasionally hopping between other phones like the Sony Xperia Z1 and HTC One. The black N5 features a softer soft-touch finish to its back and sides, whereas the white model has a smoother plastic rear and glossy black sides. The general consensus is that the black version feels nicer in the hand, and I’d have to agree with that after seeing both side-by-side at CES. The white back may also be more prone to getting gunked-up and discolored over time, though that’ll likely vary depending on how you use your phone.

The Nexus 5 is also one of the more comfortable phones I’ve used in the past year. It doesn’t match the perfect ergonomics of the Moto X, but it’s damn close, and you could even argue that the Nexus’s flat sides make it easier to grip in some situations. The black does N5 tend to pick up lint when pocketed, but that’s also true of most soft-touch-coated phones.

Still the fastest Android phone — but future-proof yourself with 32GB if you can

Nexus 5Nexus 5

For the moment there’s no Android phone that feels faster to use than the Nexus.

The speed of stock KitKat running on a Snapdragon 800 processor is tough to beat. We’re sure to see this surpassed in the months ahead, but for the moment there’s no Android phone that feels faster to use than the Nexus. That’s especially true if you decide to live (somewhat) dangerously and switch to the experimental ART runtime, which makes things feel just a little bit snappier. Importantly, the Nexus 5 also nails touch input, which was less than perfect on its predecessor. And the display, while lacking the vibrancy of some rivals, still looks great.

I’ve also found myself converted to wireless charging — the Nexus 5 supports the Qi charging standard, and I’ve been using it with a Samsung charging pad for the past couple of months. (In fact, I’ve only plugged my Nexus 5 in to charge a handful of times in total.) Phil's been using the Zens Wireless Charger. It’s a feature we’d love to see on more devices in the coming year, but one with its own set of technical challenges.

Part of the appeal of any Nexus device is getting the “pure Google” experience, and I’ve enjoyed using Android 4.4 on the Nexus 5 more than any other phone UX. (HTC Sense is probably a close second.) The main reasons are the sheer speed and fluidity of the whole UI, and the ease with which the Nexus can multitask — but KitKat’s visual style is also a welcome change from the darker, Tron-like stylings of ICS and Jelly Bean.

Nexus 5

For obvious reasons it’s also a great OS for those who’ve already fully bought into the Google ecosystem. Putting Google Now on the home screen makes a ton of sense — Android home screens in general are slowly becoming more about delivering relevant, context-sensitive info and less about a traditional grid of apps. That said, I’m not using Google Now much more on the Nexus than I am on other devices. Same deal with the new dialer app and Google Caller ID — useful additions, sure, but not necessarily features I miss when I switch phones.

When it comes to storage, I’d always recommend you stump up the extra cash for the 32GB model, for the same reason I recommended against picking up the 8GB Nexus 4 a year ago. Apps are getting bigger all the time (especially if you’re using ART), and though streaming services like Google Play Music are better than ever, you’ll still save battery power and data by playing back music from a local cache. And the N5 is still a bargain even at $399. On my 16GB model — the only one available on launch day in the UK — I’m already down to 5GB remaining of the available 12 and change. That’s not a small amount of space, but the fact that I’m already using more than half my storage without really trying is a bit unnerving.

An improved but imperfect camera experience

Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 launched with a slightly wonky camera, and it still seems slightly off-balance even after the improvements of the Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 updates. Let’s preface all of this by saying the Nexus 5 still has a pretty good camera — that was the case at launch, and the same is true today. But it’s still one of the weirder smartphone cameras I’ve used, and undoubtedly one of the less consistent. That’s mainly down to the poor autofocus — even on the latest firmware, the camera app will often inexplicably fail to focus on objects directly in front of it, and that’s especially true of night-time photography.

HDR+ remains the saving grace of the Nexus 5’s camera software.

HDR+ remains the saving grace of the Nexus 5’s camera software. It’s possible to get some stunning shots using this shooting mode, which combines multiple exposures to produce clearer image. And the difference when using HDR+ isn’t limited to dynamic range. Often HDR+ produces more accurate colors, sharper edges and less noisy shots, too. Unless you’re shooting a fast-moving subject, there’s really reason not to use HDR+.

The Android 4.4.1 update improved the camera experience to a point — images shot in auto mode are captured faster and no longer look as washed out. And HDR+ captures also complete faster, while giving you an on-screen progress wheel. But in order to take full advantage of the Nexus 5’s camera hardware it seems like more needs to be done, starting with an overhaul of the clunky stock Android camera UI.

That being said, we’ve been generally pleased with the quality of images we’re getting from the Nexus 5, and we can’t deny that it’s a huge improvement on its predecessor in this area.

The Achilles’ heel

The Nexus 5’s 2,300mAh battery is good enough — except for when it isn’t. Most of the time the non-removable battery provides enough juice to get through a full day of use, but problems arise with any kind of heavy use for extended periods of time. This became particularly apparent at the recent CES show in Las Vegas.

With heavier use, the Nexus 5 just isn’t as dependable as the competition.

At CES I used the Nexus 5 as a second phone on AT&T HSPA+ alongside my main device, a Sony Xperia Z1 on T-Mobile LTE. Now, CES is a notoriously hostile radio environment, which can take its toll on smartphone batteries. But even then I was alarmed by how quickly the Nexus’s battery depleted — often down to below 80 percent before I’d finished breakfast, and into the danger zone of 20-or-so percent before the end of the day. By comparison the Xperia Z1 held up remarkably well, usually with heavier use, thanks to its larger-capacity battery and array of power-saving features. The Z1 would usually finish a day of tradeshow duties with between 40 and 50 percent remaining, whereas it seemed the Nexus would sit in my pocket and drain its battery keeping the usual notifications ticking over.

Nexus 5Nexus 5

CES is a fringe case, and most of the time I’m not hammering my phone’s battery anywhere near as much. But for those times when I am, the Nexus just isn’t as dependable as the competition. And that makes it seem like Google and LG skimped on this crucial hardware point.

If the Nexus 5 came with a more substantial battery — say, the 3,000mAh unit used in LG’s own G2 — it’d be an easy recommendation for just about anyone. As it stands it’s a great buy, but one with weaker battery performance than we’d like.

So is it still w​orth buying?

The Nexus 5 remains excellent value for money, and a great phone in general. But there are compromises to be made.

Selling for £300 or $350 in January 2014, the Nexus 5 remains excellent value for money, and a great smartphone in general. But in return you’ll have to compromise a little more than you would buying a standard high-end Android phone from any of the big manufacturers.  You'll get an awesomely fast phone with an excellent software experience, a good (if slightly janky) camera and so-so battery life. And if you've reached the end of this article, you probably already know whether that's a fair trade-off for you.

Phones will come and go in the year ahead, but the Nexus will continue to offer a few unique value points in 2014. Firstly, "pure" Android — still something of a rarity even in a world of Google Play editions — and fast updates to Lemon Meringue Pie, or Lollipop, or whatever nickname the next version of Android goes by. For certain types of buyers, these things, together with the N5's specs and price tag, will make it irresistible. For others, a different, and perhaps more favorable set of compromises will be offered by 2014's flagship smartphones.

Nexus 5 owners, how have you been finding the phone? Let us know down in the comments!


Reader comments

Nexus 5, two months on ...


You input provided just as much to the conversation as his "Hi".

And just as much as this post I'm posting about your post... wait.

NEXUS 5! No thanks.

I used my N5 for 2 weeks before putting it down for the Nokia Lumia 1520.
Screen size and Internet Explorer Win!
The N5, though I Love it, still has the original screen protector on it and shipped OS. I never even installed the first update.
I feel bad that this Great device is collecting dust. I don't switch between devices like I thought I would. But I do use the N5 for my banking and bill paying, because it got set up there first, and WP does not have an App for my bank.
Both devices have their strong points, N5 mostly wins in functionality, but Chrome couldn't open my cable company web page to pay the bill, IE worked just fine. Which is why I bought 2 different OS devices, just to see what works and what doesn't. And the N5 will presumably always have the latest OS, and may stay relevant the longest.
Windows Phone is coming along just fine, and functions much the same as Android, which functions almost as well as Windows Mobile used to. Wish these 2 OS would become 1, and give me all the functionality I used to have on WinMo.

You are aware that that is more than likely an issue with your cable provider's web site than due to a problem with chrome, right? Some web sites were developed to support IE and nothing else and any site developed that way is broken. I like WP8 as well, but I'm just saying that is not likely a Chrome issue.

I disagree.

Chrome in general, on the phone or on the laptop, has issues with rendering and using some websites. It is not very flexible on some things.

A developer NEVER develops for just one browser anymore. You try to develop for the greatest common denominator. There are programs designed to help developers with this kind of thing.

I work for an organization with many developers that only develop for IE and so I know that unfortunately there are still developers doing this (I work for a monopoly type organization so they can get away with this). I have an N5 that is following a Lumia 920 (which was a great phone too). I never have issues with mobile chrome so long as I switch between mobile and desktop sites when needed. I had more issues on IE on WP8 than I have with Chrome. I like both mobile browsers but I prefer Chrome because it actually has the ability to sync bookmarks and to let me manage them which IE mobile absolutely lacks.

Same here. From 920 to N5. I did a video review of the two browsers and IE opened the full page every time while chrome would give me a condensed version of full desktop pages. I prefer Android over all because Google is offering a companion rather than just a phone but WP has its advantages like bing image search allowing you to save images where the Google search app doesn't.

AC App via Nexus 5

All I'm going to say is I'm not going to comment on these pro-windows phone comments. As far as I'm concerned both Microsoft and the PC are dead. Most consumers use smartphones & tablets. This is the year 2014.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

"As far as I'm concerned both Microsoft and the PC are dead."

As far as Microsoft, maybe but probably not. As far as PC... Well Steam and SteamBox are waving at you.

I don't know what these "Steam" & "Stesmbox" companies are.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

And the developers of every one of the Play store's more than 1 million apps, and the developers of every web site on the internet, and the....

Yea, it's 2014, and people sound painfully ignorant still parroting the post-PC world line. So damn tired of hearing it.

It's just so arrogant for people who apparently use only mobile content consumption devices to proclaim an entire industry that every technological economy in the world depends on, on a day-to-day basis, and the very platform which creates the very content they consume, is dead.

Steam is a multi-operating-system gaming platform. Steam OS is a Linux-based operating system designed to play games. It's open sourced, so anyone can use the playing system and make their own console.

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Even if it is Chrome, you do realize there are at least half a dozen browsers available for Android?

" A developer NEVER develops for just one browser anymore. You try to develop for the greatest common denominator. There are programs designed to help developers with this kind of thing. "

If only that were true... Plus even if it were, there's tons of legacy sites, services, and applications that live on. I do IT work for a number of small offices, including a few doctor offices. A couple of them lease an expensive heart scan rig from General Electrics that exports the scans to a CD or USB drive. It's a marvel of a system for a small physician's office.

The only catch? The way the system exports the scans it's saved in a sort of HTML/Macromedia format that only IE can open... And you can't even open it with a current version of IE, I think IE 7 was the last one that opened it correctly... The doctor that uses it the most isn't even using a PC anymore (Macbook/iPhone now).

Had to tech him how to dive thru the directories and manually extract all the scans with their obscure file names. The company that leases the rig suggested keeping an old PC around for viewing the content or viewing it on the system itself... Which is kinda ridiculous, the entire reason this cardiologist has that system is to be able to run a study and quickly send it to a surgeon who may not even be in the same state.

Just like that, there's tons and tons of examples of systems and archived that are still bogged down by all the non standards compliant crap from the IE days, even stuff that's completely offline like my example... It costs was way too much to replace the equipment or rewrite routines for older models so it soldiers on. That's the real world...

Don't even get me started on office printers (large 4 ft multifunction laser copier type printers) without 64 bit drives or proper font support on a modern OS. The real world moves at a snail's pace compared to the smartphone world where you can deprecate Flash or a menu button in 1-2 years flat.

IE is fine these days. I prefer Chrome, but IE releases since IE9 have been perfectly functional. I would take the most recent version of IE over the most recent Firefox.

I just wish they would put flash in chrome for mobile the same way they do for desktops. Today's phones have enough power to run desktop chrome if they could, so I don't see why the don't implement it inside mobile chrome or chrome beta

I almost never use Chrome, switched to Dolphin Browser. Give it a try you might end up putting your windows phone in the drawer.

I use Dolohin browser nearly exclusively.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I like windows phone for stability and smooth like butter. I love android for millions of reasons.

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Finally made the decision to leave the iPhone behind and give an Android device a try. I've had my n5 for about two weeks now and it's safe to say that this is the best mobile experience I've ever had.

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Sure is nice having that first update be released by Google and being able to update right from my phone on Sprint. I'll never use a phone that isn't updated by Google again.

I agree, still glad I got my Moto X instead of the N5. I really enjoy the extra features and battery life seems better. At the end of the day Google has 2 of the best phones.

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You're flipping kidding, right? Don't get me wrong, I love the new Moto, but they are not in any way threatening the Nexus as the King of Android updates. Don't give me the BS about the N4, it was because of a bug (aka 4.4.1/4.4.2) and a Nexus still had it weeks before.

This is worth thinking a little more about.

Sure, Motorola is never going to beat the Nexus for core OS updates. But if it only takes two weeks, is that really a "loss"?

Where as if Moto continues to add new features that are Moto exclusive (active notifications, safe bluetooth, voice activation from sleep mode, assist, twist camrea on), and then 6 months later appear in the core OS, who's really the winner at getting something first?

Depends on your definition of King. Timely? Yes, but the gs2 went from gingerbread to jelly bean, the nexus s only made it ICS yes? If the S3 gets kit kat, then it will have one upped it's nexus equal, the galaxy nexus by at least one update as well.


The GS2 was a generation ahead of the Nexus S, which was based on the original Galaxy S. The generational nexus equivalent to the GS2 is the galaxy nexus which did get Jelly Bean.

Derp, the Nexus S is older than the GS2 and still went to Jelly Bean.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

The Nexus S is based on the original Galaxy S and was updated to Android 4.1.2. Google has had a very clear upgrade cycle for their phones. Samsung is not the same. Since the snapdragon s4 processor in the s iii is still supported to my knowledge, and since it is still a popular device, they're is certainly a chance that it will get kitkat.
The main reason that stopped the Galaxy Nexus from getting kitkat was the lack of binaries for the Texas Instruments OMAP processor.

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It's killer that I can use this phone on sprint, and take it to any Gsm carrier whenever I want.

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I am definitely contemplating the Nexus 5. I think I will wait ands see what the S5 has to offer. I am very intrigued by the leaks for the S5. If that doesn't pan out then maybe I will grab a N5.

For the meantime my N4 is handling everything I throw at it still no problem.

Samsung is still going to replace almost every Google service with a version of their own. I'd wait for the next round of GPE

Posted via my Nexus 5

I haven't heard that. Anyways, there isn't any Google Service I cannot get of the Play Store.
GPE Samsung device doesn't do anything for me.

That is because it is BS. More FUD about Samsung from a hater.

When they announce a Tizen phone, then yeah, that will have Google replacements. As long as it is an Android phone, it may have alternatives, but not replacements.

I'm guessing neither if you have an s4 then. They are loaded with oem versioned Google replacement apps. Half of which are responsible for its ridiculous battery drain. Add that to the lack of support for third party accessories coming up, and you might as well accept that Sammy is going the way of the Apple. Not a hater, wife has one and she loves it. Just my user experience with it.

I have an S4 and Samsung ' s messaging and email app are better IMO. Airview and those apps is the bomb. I ran a GPE rom and the battery life was not that much better. In fact, the biggest drain other than the screen is Google services.


I've been following the S5 rumors, what rumors about the S5 have you heard that intrigue you? My first Jump with T-Mobile will be June 18.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

The ONLY way I will consider another Samsung phone is if they offer a Google Play edition with stock Android. I am getting very tired of the bloated "TouchWiz" environment. I didn't really realize HOW bad the problem was until I got my Nexus 7 tablet. Using my S3 is downright painful "Home" button, wait wait wait...oh, there it is! I am running ART on my Nexus 7 as well...very snappy, but even better, it REALLY helps with battery life! I havent run across any problems using it either, but I don't run custom launchers or other apps that mess with core functionality. Games, including PvZ 2 and Clash of Clans, run just fine under ART, as well as my banking app, Netflix, Hulu and Pandora.

1. You can make hitting "Home" a lot more responsive by disabling SVoice.
2. I came to the N5 after a GS3 and, while it's faster, I don't think the GS3 is horribly behind.

A lot of the leaks are pointing to a redesigned TW. That is a big factor. I while I like Nexus and GPE phones, I would like something with a little more flavor this time around.

I don't care about TW much, I've been using Go Launcher for over 3yrs. Have you heard if the S5 will have the Snapdragon 800, or 805? Do you think the S5 will have faster RAM than the Note 3?

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

Depends on release. No one really knows when Qualcomm will be ready with the snapdragon 805 processor. Hopefully it has it, but it depends on if the 805 is already in hands of OEMS to get it tested for next gen phones

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I have the N7 also. If my phone was as boring as the N7, It would have been retuned in the first week.

You do realize you can customize the daylights out of it right? That's the beauty of Android. I have a Note 2 and a 2013 N7 running ART. I'd take the pure Google experience over my Note 2 any day. I put Nova launcher on my both devices and have completely customized the way each of them looks and acts. My Note 2 used to be the work horse but after the recent update to 4.3, It's got serious lag issues and even more Verizon bloatware. I'm still considering a N5 and switching carriers just because I know I can make it the way I want it.

Yup, Nova Prime and SwiftKey completely change the experience. Wasn't a fan of the stock launcher or keyboard. Plus I use both on my phone, so I have the same customized experience on both.

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

I got mine in December and it has been a little over a month. I currently love my nexus. And I can see myself using this device until Google makes their next nexus phone. Or if apple decides to remake iOS 8 from the ground up and make a 4.5 inch or bigger phone I'd get that but highly unlikely lol. Nexus 5 is great. Would take this over an s4 or HTC one 10/10 times no doubt.

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Alex- Excellent article. I don't even plan on getting a Nexus 5 but I was very interested to hear your take on it after having the benefit of 2 months hindsight of everyday use. These kind of articles add value to the AC website because they aren't the same rushed hack review jobs you see everywhere else.

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Wholeheartedly agree. These type of thoughtful articles add value to Android Central.

I now believe I have a good understanding of the Nexus 5 including benefits and shortcomings.

After many expensive phones and contracts, I'm now running the Nexus 5 on AIO Wireless, the best phone for the money on the AT&T network at the best price. Nothing is perfect, but I'm happily saving money and contract free. And I will pay for my future toys with reward dollars from my new Capital One Quicksilver VISA card.

I agree, the price of the phone is just too hard to pass up. As a poor college student, I now am able to own my phone outright, have no contract, and pay only $30 a month for service through T-Mobile.

The savings amount to something like close to $1,000 over 2 years. AND you get the newest version of Android!

Dude, go to straight talk and pay less for more coverage and more data.

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Straighttalk 2.5gbs of data vs. T-Mobile 5gbs of data... No, i'd say he's making the right choice :-)

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+1! Data matters! People want to be able to USE their smartphone.

Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

People should be able to USE their phone on a good network. There are plenty of places where T-Mobile has 2G service or no service at all. AT&T has a lot better coverage nationally. For some people, 2GB is plenty.

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AT&T has better coverage. Don't get me wrong, I love T-Mobile, but I want to be able to get a signal outside an urban area. Heck, I live on an urban arts that has been scorned by T-Mobile and has not gone past 2G.

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If you're in a bad coverage zone then you're sick going to AT&T. Fortunately a great many of us do very well or better on T-Mobile. In in a country suburb dirtiness by a major mid Atlantic corridor. T-Mobile has the fastest days speeds here. I love my $30/mo "plan".

Love it. Love KitKit. Love the performance. Camera is better than my past phones.

Out of all the phones I've owned (except the Note 2) it also has the best battery performance.

It got me to stop buying into contracts. I'm now using a 32GB N5 on the $30/month T-Mobile plan and it works great.

Complaints? Why limit the new UI to the N5 only? Why doesn't my N7 get it as well with 4.4? (I installed the apk on my N7 to get it, but still.) The phone also feels quite fragile.

Also, I hope they expand voice search so I can say "Ok Google" anywhere in the OS, not only on the home screen.

Note 2 after an 8 hour work day was still around 70%, Nexus 5 is around 45%.

My previous phones (One X, One S, Xperia TL, Lumia 920) would all be below 20% by the end of the day.

How long ago did you make that comparison (just curious). My VZW Note 2 still has great battery life but the last update made it lag so badly (still stock, can't root cuz of work email restrictions).

Exactly how my battery plays out on my Nexus device, and how the battery played out on my previous phone Samsung S3.

There are reasons why the Google experience launcher is not included. They do allow you do manually download it, though.

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Love the look of the phone, but damng, I'm too attached to a few of the more niche features on my One to justify the switch.

That being said, I miss wireless charging like I never imagined. Ah, dilemmas!

I've owned every Nexus phone so far, and while this one is definitely the best overall, I feel like we have been going backwards in terms of displays each generation. The component used in the Nexus 5 was clearly chosen for cost reasons.

If you look at the screen at any angle, you get a VERY washed out picture, and the backlight shines through along the edges of the display. It make the device look cheap, which is odd when you see it next to the Nexus 7 which has one of the best display of any device on the market. And the screen in the LG G2 is much nicer.

With the improvements that Motorola is making these days, there might not be a need for a Nexus phone next year.

I would have preferred a larger battery, but I still make it through an entire day of average use with 50% life or so. It can be lower depending on the amount of usage.

For my first Android device, I couldn't be happier though! Very glad I made the purchase. I have enjoyed it so much I even went out and bought a Nexus 7 (2013) to go with it!

With Greenify, Intelli3G & Franco I easily get through a 12hr day of heavy use (all my modifications are contained within Xposed & Franco - other than that I'm completely stock, no custom ROM).
However, without those it's dead in 5hrs so I always make sure I have a portable charger.

The benefits of stock Android & everything that comes with a Nexus outweigh the need to carry a pocket-sized portable charger, for me.

I've heard good things on the Franco kernel. Maybe that will help me decide if im keeping the n5 when I get it.

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I am pretty sure that I have used Franco on other devices, he makes a great kernel. At the very least, he is an incredible developer...

I love the look if this phone, the way it feels, the smoothness of how it runs but I've never tried to use it for a full day. My friend takes it back. he he. I'm actually thinking of replacing my Note 2 with an N5 to hold me off till the lg g pro 2 but I think the battery life is what gets me every time. If I find a great price on a used 32gb model I'll give it a try before I sell my Note 2. That said, if kitkat is released on my Note 2 then that will hold me off for a little while longer. I've used kitkat roms before but I like my spen features.

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I guess I just gotta buy it and try it. If I don't like battery life the resale value on the n5 is still very good. I still think it's cheaper to get it directly from Google.

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I'd recommend that. I don't know if some petiole have bad batteries or something, but I work 10 hour days, with an hour lunch and I listen to music or podcasts all day long and I also spend a lot of time checking the internet , downloading podcasts, YouTube and email and still at the end of those 11 hours I will have some battery to make it home. The average person probably isn't using their phone like this for that extended period of time, so they shouldn't really have a problem.

Just an FYI I do keep a charger cable at work to plug into my phone if I need to (if I'm not going home after work, I'll plug it in while I'm there for a bit)

YMMV but this thing absolutely destroys the nexus 4's battery life.

I just picked up a 32GB Black Nexus 5 from Swappa for $395 with free 2 day shipping and a free cruzerlite bugdroid case. It is definitely in mint condition and I was very happy with my purchase. I previously had a MotoMaker Moto X; royal blue back, orange accents and white face. While I loved the moto x for its software and unique features I couldn't get past the smaller 4.7" 720p display. My previous phone before the moto x was a black Galaxy Note 3 so the nexus 5 is a much better compromise at 5" and 1080p. Note 3 was just to large for keeping in my pocket at work, I work at Costco stocking and driving forklifts so it always felt like it was in the way and also caused my leg to sweat when I got real active. I feel like the Nexus 5 is the perfect balance of all three phones I've owned recently. If only it had a 2700-3000mah battery it would be over the top. ;-)

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I've owned each phone over a month so a return would feel wrong to me. I resale my devices on Swappa for 80-90% of their original cost. I'm good with that and the great prices on slightly used replacements sweetens the deal.

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I just got mine on the 15th of January and so far I love it. Other than freakishly monitoring my battery life (I need help) it is great.

Loved the nexus 4 grabbed a nexus 5and love it my one and only complaint is the sound after using the HTC one I'm spoiled by having 2 speakers other than that I'm perfectly happy

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I picked the Moto X over the Nexus 5 last week. It took a whole 2 weeks of researching everyday for me to decide but I'm happy with my choice! Also, it's nice to see AC posting follow up reviews!

Funny, I'm still having this debate myself. I love the additions Moto has made to what would otherwise be a stock Android experience and they have really shown the other carriers how enhancing existing Google features means updates can happen extremely quickly. 2 weeks isn't going kill me in waiting for the latest and greatest.

The one thing holding me back is the lack of wireless charging on the Moto X. Like Alex and Phil, I have really become accustomed to wireless charging at home, the office and, as soon as my AirDock arrives, in the car. I'm not really interested in quitting that.

I'm coming from a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon that had horrible battery life and slow updates so the difference is night and day. I'm a huge fan of stock Android, but the additions here are only for the better. I love it.

However, since I had a Gnex, I never had a chance to wirelessly charge anything. Well... I suppose I could have with my N7 but I didn't think it was worth the investment for a charging pad. Definitely not a deal breaker for me though. Good luck with your decision!

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I had a Galaxy Nexus and now a black 32g Nexus 5. I am very pleased with my phone. Like Alex said the phone is very responsive, never a lag and the stock Android experience is very good. Display looks good to me. My battery performance is fine for my use. My current battery stat is 26% left with 1 day 2 hours of use, so this is all right for my requirements.

Some tech sites said the phone looks boring. I think it looks just fine. It is unassuming and with it's all black look it has class and dignity.

There is one thing I do not like that is not really about the device. It is the inclusion HP print services. I don't have an Hp printer and don't plan on getting one but here this app is on the phone. My N7 has been updated to Kitkat without the Hp print services and it works just fine. I tried to disable this service on the N5 and when I did it asked me if I wanted to use the default factory service. I don't know what this is so left things alone.

Besides the inclusion of software I don't want or need, I am very happy with the phone and feel no need for another in 2014.

I think the sleek look of it makes it stand apart. Something that would go well with knightrider, he he. I think it looks sophisticated and professional. If it had a bigger battery I would have had it by now. But with the only bad thing about it being the battery life I will be buying it soon to try it for myself. As far as the camera goes, I really don't need the best camera out there. I would be happy with the camera on my old s3. Can't wait to try it.

I have to nitpick your nitpick. I don't think that it's entirely accurate comparing battery life between two different carriers -- in a hostile radio environment, nonetheless.

Perhaps the N5 was always looking for LTE where it wasn't going to get it? You made no mention of signal strength, but that also could be a factor.

I have to say that -- coming from a GS3 on Sprint -- I'm amazed at the battery life of my N5 on T-Mobile. And I use this thing A LOT.

Battery gets me through a 12 hour day, and will float around dead till I fall asleep. My last phone the Blackberry z10 had worse battery so I've been dealing with this for over a year now. My next phone will have 2 days of battery use no matter what.

I'm getting more and more into pictures so my next phone will need to be better. I agree that the hdr+ mode is a must. I was taking pictures of some landscapes yesterday on a slight overcast day and without it the pictures were dark and dull.

I upgrade every year, if not sooner so there's something amazing come summertime I'll switch devices. Improced version of the Moto X maybe?

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The only time I've had an issue with battery was flying home from holiday vacation, especially when I found out my flight would be delayed. Other than that day, I've always been able to get between one and two days of battery life. Having a 3000 mAh battery like the G2 would be nice, but not a necessity.

Great phone, love my nexus 5. Obviously could've had better specs if I'd gone with the Note 3, but pure Android is the way to go. Only other phone that I'd consider is the moto X. My only regret is that I have the black one... The red one that leaked look sick.

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- Vibration motor is way too loud (I liked the subtle vibration of the N4)
- Display has issues turning on sometimes (I'll hit the button and it remains blacked out for about 5-10 seconds), it is the weirdest thing, and so incredibly annoying
- Lightflow STILL not working properly, it's infuriating. (not the N5's fault... I think)
- Ceramic buttons still move around too much, causing unnecessary rattle (really noticeable when it vibrates).
- OS still has hiccups, sometimes I'll have to wait about 2 seconds for the launcher to restore, a few other things. Really surprising considering the horsepower of the chipset and the 2GB RAM. Definitely didn't have these problems with the N4.
- LTE doesn't make as big a difference as I thought it would (Latest speedtest = 12.15 down / 7.29 up) , although I wonder if that's a result of me having to fix the radio schemes or else AT&T will throttle, or just coverage in general that isn't the N5's fault.
- Not as comfortable in the hand as the N4 was, but you have to make compromises when you get a bigger screen.

I thought this phone was going to be the Nexus that made my dreams come true (32GB, LTE, excellent display), but I find myself missing my N4 more than I ever thought I would. I still like the phone, but I feel like it wasn't the upgrade we were hoping for.

A lot of the things you said can be resolved very easily.
The Lightflow issue, use light manager instead.
Os having hiccups, do a a hard reset and start over. So far out of all the reviews Ive read not one mention any lag.
As far as LTE, my friend has att and he gets on regular over 25mbps with most times over 30. I think your area is not as good as some which is expected. My friend who has it on tmobile here where I live is getting same speeds as my note 2, around 25mbps on a slow day and around 32mbps on good days.
As far as comfort, that is a preference. I know many users of the nexus 4 who prefer the n5 better.

As far as the buttons and the rattling, google did a slight redesign on the body of the phone and supposedly fixed any and all those issues. That is why I'm ordering my n5 from google directly.

Ick, are you kidding me? - Definitely do not miss the annoying bedazzled glass back of the N4. Not only is it breakable, it is apparently completely frictionless. The phone will slide off a flat table if you look at it hard enough. - My display has no issues like that. - No launcher hiccups here either. - Agree about LTE, but there have been a few times I have noticed it. Not having LTE is definitely not a bonus. - N5 is waaaay more comfortable for me than the N4 was. I love the speaker placement for phone calls (fits my ear better). I love the soft touch plastic (glass gets hot and makes my hands sweat). - My ceramic buttons feel great. Very clicky in a pleasant way. Will also add: - Camera is light years superior. - Display is sharper and blacks are actually deep now without having to tweak with a new kernel. - Touch response is noticeably better. - Definitely runs cooler than the N4, even with stock kernel and stock settings. - FINALLY have a 32 gig option, so I don't have to constantly delete stuff to make room. - Battery life is almost twice as good. I loved the N4, but damn, no contest between it and the N5. The only thing I miss about the N4 was the curved edges to the display. That was pretty cool. In every other way, the N5 is better

I'd get a replacement under warranty. They updated/fixed the buttons, I don't have any delay turning on display, lightflow works perfectly for me, the launcher (I use Nova) comes up right away, LTE has to do with your carrier more than the phone (but still, get a replacement).
Comfort I can't help with.

With respect to the update on the buttons. This is a rumor that was not verified. Go to the XDA forums for more information on this.

Love it. No regrets. Came from nexus 4 definitely a great upgrade. Will keep buying the nexus line if phones and tablets.

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Since I picked up an LTE Nexus 7 2013, my Nexus 4 does little besides serve as an alarm clock and phone. The Nexus 5 looks nice, but as more of us get pocketable tablets or phablets, even phones as nice as the Nexus 5 are going to be a harder sell.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 7 2013 LTE

I've got to agree with the article's point about the camera auto-focus. It's not a deal breaker by any means, it's just something to get used to. The battery is not a problem for me as I generally get through the day easily with 35% to 40% remaining. On days that I know I'll be using it, I have a small recharging unit that I slip in my pocket that recharges it fully.

I truly appreciate this phone and am happy with my purchase. Can't say that I'd be any happier with anything else right now.

Had my N5 since launch week, and I have been thoroughly impressed. Coming from a Gnex on Verizon, I made the jump to T-mo with the N5 and haven't looked back! Of course, coming from a phone that was basically 2 years old, I should have been impressed. In a nutshell, for me, thinner and lighter body, display is beautiful, camera much improved, UI cleaner and crisper, and battery life has been impressive. (Much better than I was getting on my Gnex with the extended battery!) Oh and the price is nice!

Loved the experience and device feel but I had serious issue with the terrible batter life. Even with full signal and working data connection in most of the areas I go to, the device still drained fairly quickly.

I'm curious what so many folks do with theirs that their batteries are so bad.

I pull mine off the charger around 7:00 each morning and immediately start casting music. Sometimes I'll run a few races on NFS Most Wanted before I start getting ready for work, then I'll either stream music all the way to work through bluetooth or sometimes play a pinned playlist. During the day, I'm talking, texting, emailing, playing more NFS, occasionally using GPS, and cruising the web. (I work in some real work here and there.) Music is playing in the car on the way home (or any time I'm in the car, really). Get home and play a little more NFS, take some language lessons from duolingo. Sometimes I head out to the bike trails and turn on My Tracks (GPS) with more music. I usually make it to almost midnight before I need a charge, but definitely make it into bed, beside which is where the charger stays.

I'm using ART. I usually keep the screen set to auto. If I turn the brightness all the way up and forget about it, the battery will drain faster, but with it set to auto, I typically get a good full day of use out of my N5. Now, if I knew I had plans out in town with friends later in the evening, I might plug it in for a quick charge before I leave the house, especially if I expect to be taking many pictures or videos, but I'm generally very pleased by the battery.

After having a Galaxy Nexus for the past 2 years, I have sworn off Nexii devices. The amount of tinkering, wiping, and flashing Roms/Kernals, etc. that I have had to endure just to make the damn thing usable is just insane. Ive finally gotten a stable build of JB on the thing, and the battery life is so shitty it is embarrassing. Im lucky if i dont have 15% battery warning by lunchtime. This is the inherent issue i have with Android - all of my phones have lagged, and battery life depleted to a point where i want to throw it into oncoming traffic. I understand the new phones are better, but you cant put lipstick on a pig and make it a supermodel. My best friend has GS4, and another fried has LGG2 - both lag like crazy, and they are only a few months old. Im sick of it, I wont ever get an Iphone, I just want a phone that works (on Verizon). The Moto x was enticing, but the camera is horrible. I was tempted by the HTC One, but now its over a year old, and in tech language, that thing is already middle aged, about to stamp its AARP card. Im tempted to try out a Windows phone........Yes, i know the platform is behind in apps, features, etc......but my work friend has been toting around a Nokia 920 for almost 2 years, and the thing is just as fast as when he got the thing (cue MS haters comments below)..............all im saying, is that i am done with the rooting, and tinkering, i just want the thing to work out of the box, Nexus 5 not being on Verizon didnt even give me the option, and the other Android phones available are not doing it for me, so, im going to try something new, and see if i like it.

The experience of a Nexus phone Verizon is not really a true gauge of what can be accomplished. But if you have to stick with Verizon, then I agree with you a Nexus phone is not for you.

Listen...I feel you. Ive been tempted as well. I can see where my sgs4 gets laggy...but then there's the times when its not..and I just think of how id just appreciate a phone that all the time. If the S5 doesnt do something drastically out of the Galaxy line.

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@Alex Dobie
I dont know man, this phone speaks to everyone except power users like me. I have a sgs4 and needed a spare battery. I exchange batteries at least once a day. At least with the Z1 you have a nice chunky battery. And the next compromise is the guys try to make it seem like its tolerable now but in comparison to Samsung and Nokia its still...bad. The areas where I have to compromise are just too huge. I love what Nexus Represents...I just wouldn't be happy with it.

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What's a real triumph for Google is that I only saw one other nexus 4 in the wild apart from my own. Now there are three nexus 5 in my office alone including mine.

That's a big difference

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I will never understand the battery complaints with this phone. I've used navigation and music streaming over bluetooth for 3 hours before and lost 7% of my battery. I've never had anything but amazing battery life.

And this is the reason I'm divided on this phone. I hear from people that battery is bad and others that battery is good. That is why I have decided to try it for myself when I get the money. If it works out and I like it then I will sell my note 2, if I don't like it I can still sell the N5 and probably still make some money.

The different battery experiences users report makes me wonder about the quality of the OEM battery hardware. Users who talk and make a lot of cell calls on their N5's seem to complain that they burn through their battery pretty fast.

I think it has everything to do with the manufacturing point at the factory it came from & Battery. What I have noticed over the few years is that some of the devices that ppl get are luckily put together solidly,all connection points on its circuitry are on point and the device and its battery are packed in solidly...If something is a-miss by even a hairs width among all the components on the phone, I believe that is what then causes a heavy battery drain. Please keep in mind these factories in Asia or Indonesia are putting these phones together at fast paces and employees are being run down(Fatigue,stress).and its the human error from chip fabrication to soldering process, to even assembling the device that can aggravate the battery issues. Thats why we still here conflicting cases among ppl with the same device. If more time was taken to build the phone to specification without so much pressure we would have solid performing devices. Thousands upon thousands of these devices are shipped with performance that borders on crap. Thousands upon thousands are shipped perfectly fine. I think if phone manufacturers were to take the time and investigate why their phone on paper and test devices perform exactly as they want yet real production units vary wildly. they will have to really look at how human error in putting a device together is helping to churn out devices not behaving like they should......

I've had my N5 sitting next to me and doing nothing but casting music to my Chromecast for a few hours and only lost like 10% or so. It's the three hours of *navigation* that has me calling bullshit.

I actually don't think there are a lot of comprises on the Nexus 5. I also have and use an iPhone 5. Yes the iPhone feels like a more expensive product. But when it comes to the screen, speed/responsiveness, battery life and even the picture quality, I think the Nexus 5 holds its own. I get slightly better battery life on my N5 actually, and though the camera app is slower and a little more inconsistent, I would say picture quality is on par. Not bad for a phone that is considerably cheaper. My biggest gripe is that the phone is just too big for easy one-handed use.

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Lets see $350 for a brand new phone unlocked really at the end of the day thats what sells it to me

Ok Camera, well I did pay $350
Ok battery life, well I did pay $350 it last the day if I am using it as a phone and seaching device not as gaming or movie experience devicee

I love what the phone does and delivers, UNLOCKED being number for me, used it in US, and UK, and of course my home of Canada,

As long as NEXUS are half the price of a Apple, Moto, Samsung I will be buying and for that reason only, half the price

Yep! I buy phones off contract to use with prepaid carriers to save money over the long run. Buying a One or an S4 or an X negates $300 of the savings up front.

I would love to see nationwide commercials for the Nexus line (or Moto G, for that matter) that say "Buy this and ditch the big carriers and save $500 a year."

I liked it so much I'm on my second one! Okay I was an idiot and dropped the first one during the first week I had it (thankfully it was insured). I went from an iPhone to a Nexus 4 and loved it, so when the Nexus 5 came out it was a no-brainer for me. For me and my uses, everything just works and I get through a working day comfortably on the battery :)

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I'm loving the phone and experience so far. I've bypassed the battery issues I've had by buying a wireless charger for my desk at work and flashing custom rom and kernel. Once you're rooted, you can use some root depended apps to help with battery too. Not to mention the fun in trying different roms/Kernels/mods developed for this device. If I didn't enjoy modding and flashing roms/Kernels, then I may not feel as good about this phone as I do, but that's why I got this phone vs another companies flagship.

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"Still the fastest Android phone — but future-proof yourself with 32GB if you can" Blasphemy! I have been assured by countless Google fanboys that 8 gigs is all you should ever need. Because cloud!

Some people can get by just fine with 8 gigs, that don't make them fanboys

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

Odd how storage was such a non-issue before yet suddenly now you "need to futureproof with 32 gigs". What was different before?

"Still the fastest Android phone — but future-proof yourself with 32GB if you can" - Gee, you mean the Cloud isn't enough after all?

But Jeff, not everyone spent most of 2013 obsessing about why they didn't like the N4 and will spend Q4 of 2013 and most of 2014 obsessing about how much they like the N5. Some people actually do stuff besides the AC Nexus forums and articles ya know? Like breathing, etc. You should give it a try! At the very worst you'll save some $$ not having to supplement free daylight with Vitamin D pills.

According to your stats, you are currently averaging more posts per day than me. Just sayin. Maybe time to take your own advice?

For those of you who moved from a Nexus 4 to a Nexus 5. Is it worth it to switch or should I wait for a Nexus 6? I am really happy with my N4 and don't see many benefits to switching at this point.

That's a personal choice. If you're happy with the n4, then no need to jump ship. I did because my wife needed a new phone, so she got the n4 and I upgraded. I don't think it's light years ahead. But I do like the camera and screen a lot better, but I could probably have lasted another year on the n4 too.

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Totally worth the switch for me. See my post above for reasons why.

You will be waiting a long time for the 6. 8 or 9 months bare minimum.

For those of you who moved from a Nexus 4 to a Nexus 5. Is it worth it to switch or should I wait for a Nexus 6? I am really happy with my N4 and don't see many benefits to switching at this point.

Thx Alex, this is a suggestion I put down in the recent survey for AC. I have been wanting to see how some phones handle in the long term and this is the type of story that did it. This site is #1 for a reason.

I've had the phone since mid November, and I've got to say, it has been awesome! I came from an iPhone and this is my first Android device so I wasn't sure what to expect.

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I would have gotten one if the battery was larger. I think the 2,300mAh battery was a huge screw up, for me anyways. But it is what it is. I'm not anti Nexus or anything, but it seems as if battery life on these Nexus phones isn't what it should be. Would be nice if they added some battery saver options. I own a BLU Life Pure and I think it would be nice if Google looked at the battery saving options on this phone. Very simple and VERY effective. Almost no battery drain while on stand by. That's just my 2 cents though :P Hopefully the different color options rumor for the Nexus 5 are true :)

Posted via a device much better than yours.

I'm passing on the Nexus 5, it has last year's specs

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

Still appears to be a year ahead of the Droid Ultra (720p? S4 Pro? Only 16 gig?). Maybe you should upgrade anyway.

So much wrong with your post...i don't even know where to start

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

Meanwhile the Nexus tops the sales charts year in and year out...oh, wait, that never happened

Posted from my newly Kit Katted Droid Ultra

I don't understand the "Last Years Specs" comment. Nexus 5 Full 1080p 445ppi IPS display Droid Ultra 720p 294ppi Amoled disply Nexus 5 Snpdragon 800 quad core 2.26GHz Droid Ultra S4 Pro duel core 1.7GHz... The list goes on. The Specs on the Nexus 5 are top of the line. Mybe I m misunderstanding your comment

Thanks for the great article. I just moved from S4 to Nexus 5. I do not regret since.

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I love the nexus 4 design (easily top 3 of all time smartphone designs). But the n5 killed it. It just doesn't feel premium. Hopefully Google chooses a different manufacturer like Samsung or apple to make the next nexus.

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Your statements are usually off the wall, but passable.

This one? Not even close.

The 4 was a crack magnet, much like the iPhone but ok you liked it. The N5 feels pretty good and you do not have to worry about it breaking.

Saying that Apple should make the Nexus is just idiotic.

Got a Nexus 4 8 GB on launch day, no cracks, bought a Ballistic case, no cracks... But I do see that people have had cracks.... I must be lucky or the Ballistics case is doing its job...

Got the Nexus 5 at release and still loving it. The 16 GB model is doing well for me as I don't keep many files on the device. I definitely see myself using this device well into the next year and still being satisfied with the purchase.

Love my N5 32GB. For the price, you really can't beat it. It's my first smartphone but I've had tablets for a few years. I really notice how much zippier it is than my 2012 N7. My son is about to but a smartphone but I think he decided on the Moto X Developer Edition. He really likes the slightly smaller size,the feel of it, and some of the extras Either is a great phone for the price.

The battery life on my Nexus 5 has been absolutely phenomenal. I use it pretty heavily most days (hours of Play Music and some PSX emulation thrown in, for example), and it's still sitting between 30 and 45% by the time I go to bed. That's better than any smartphone I've owned.

Before you ask, I've had these:
- HTC VX6700
- BlackBerry Storm
- Moto Droid (the OG)
- Samsung Epic 4G
- LG Optimus G (Sprint)
- Nexus 5 (T-Mobile--a great switch)

It's not really the size of the battery that is the issue, it's the fact that there are no power optimisations for app refreshes or for low signal scenarios. The phone will try to kill itself if there is no signal and the screen auto brightness is way too bright!
Installing Lux light and Snapdragon BatteryGuru have increased my battery life a lot.
The standard Lux light settings are much better than the stock auto brightness and BatteryGuru takes control of background sync, kind of syncing it in order to save power.

Both work great and are free.

Love my Nexus 5. The only grip I have is the issues with the buttons from the first batch of devices which I got.

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Hate to say my Nexus 5 is not getting much use these days in lieu of my moto x and lumia 925 on the weekends when I take more pictures. Ever since my moto x receive kit kat and Google Wallet, I have not been using my Nexus 5.

Sent from my Moto X!

I just don't have a problem with battery life.I don't see the complaints stack up. Over 6 hours screen on time with Franco Kernel and things I don't need switched off. That is as good as any phone I have owned.

I like my Nexus 5, but the screen is slightly more yellow-ish than the Nexus 4, which I don't like but got used to. The battery is okay for me, after a normal day it's still around 40% when I go to bed, but could see it fall quicker if used more often.

bought N5 and used it for a few days before returning it. Found it not too much of an upgrade over my old galaxy s3.

the camera quality is nice but not whole lot better than s3. Some pictures are more blurry. Others just look more warm.

over I still think it's a great phone, but I really need to see a major upgrade before I keep my next phone.

Very disappointed. The placement of the speakers and the awfully bad quality of sound when playing video/audio is a huge letdown. Battery life sucks. Overall, not happy about this phone's performance.

NEXUS 5, Bought two and we are thrilled, my Apple family and friends are jealous. They spent big bills for a tiny screen that they feel compelled to protect with expensive cases. Lol learn to relax boys and get an affordable delightful phone that leaves money in your pocket every month. If you break it you won't have to skip a mortgage payment to replace it.

Posted via Android Central App

IMO the biggest fail of the N5 is the sound quality.. internally and externally. Older, cheaper budget phones are twice as loud when playing music through an aux input than my Nexus 5, which is a shame. Other than that the phone is great. It can definitely use a bigger battery but with light use it can last me a while. If I plan to be out & about for a long time I bring a little external charger.

Reading this on my Nexus 5. For me, it is the absolutely best phone I could get for the money, and heckling, I even prefer it over other flagships even if it would cost 500€ or more.

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I love my HTC One to death, but nevertheless it's collecting dust over in the corner.....

I absolutely frickin adore my Nexus 5.. the speed, stock Android, and amazing feel just beats any other phone out there ... at least for me.

I'll still get the next HTC One in March, but I don't think it will beat my Nexus 5..

In the past 4 months I've had the N4, LG OGP, Galaxy S4, and the Nexus 5. Got rid of the rest and kept the N5. Love this device

Posted via Android Central App

Wish I held out for the Nexus 5 as it looks amazing. Maybe get it on my next upgrade, unless the Nexus 6 comes out. :P

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I enjoyed the review, Alex. I'm really pleased with the N5. No negative issues with me. Everything fulfilled my expectations and wishes. Great price.

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As soon as I saw iOS 7, I knew I had to swap from my iPhone 4S before it melted my brain into a pile of mush thanks to the childish colour scheme.

Thankfully, I got my hands on a Nexus 5 on day one, and will NEVER be swapping back to the control of Apple. I'm enjoying having the ability to change anything I like, with the help of a few developers and their tweaks, but I haven't had to change anything so far - the OS just works excellently on stock.

No more being forced into liking a new 'innovation' (HA!) created by Apple! I'M FREE.

I bought my black 32GB version on Halloween, and after two months, I still like it! :-)

Posted via the awesomest of awesome Android Central App on my Nexus 5

Well all my phones have been samsung or most the Galaxy Ace, S3,S4, Mega. And now I have the Note 3 and Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 is so snappy and get now why refference to bloat kicks in. Although I still really like Samsung the experiance on vanilla is just so much smoother. Tested the camera and its very acceptable just ask phil to post my test pic lol the battery is not great but just about acceptable for moderate use l myself would of prefferd that 3000mah and google could have throw it in grrrr lol but that honestly is my only gripe.

Posted via Android Central App

Love the hardware, software, internet services, although people are right, the N4 was pretty good with Kit Kat. The FHD screen, 4G Advanced, WiFi ac, 32 GB flash, Adreno 330. The power button, is a little bit too sensitive, I'll have to get a case. Still all in all, the Googameistro has made another symphony, of hw, sw, inet, which was already pretty good, on the N4 w KK. Lets see what they come up with later this year in 7", 14nm, 64 bit, UD 4k, with 4/6 GB of GRAM and hundreds of GPU cores, loving my N7fhd.

Posted via Android Central App

Got my N5 when it came out, and I love it.

It's great in a really boring way, or boring in a really great way. A little black monolith, with no fancy anything, but it works. It just plain works.

Came from an HTC Sensation, and while I liked that phone, it was two years of trying to get to work right. From day one, Sense crashes etc. It mostly worked OK, and it could be made to work pretty well with ROMs and hacks and workarounds, and I'm a tinkerer so I didn't mind, but it got tiresome in the end.

My wife is on a GS3, and every time I pick it up, I get a headache. How could they complicate Android so hopelessly? I dread helping her with her phone.

Now the N5 has its weaknesses. Battery life is OK in my book, but it's not great. The camera is very acceptable after the update, but it could be better.

Still, a man's eye will wander. Encouraged by AC, I've developed a minor obsession with the Moto X, and now that the wood backs are available....

I've had mine since early December and agree with much of the review. This is an awesome phone that is let down by the battery. I'm at the 'light end' of the 'heavy user' brigade: I use WiFi, Bluetooth, camera, games, cloud storage, various messaging services running concurrently, email, and 2.5GB of data a month - and the battery won't last a full working day without a charge. But personally I accept that as a price to pay for such great speed and functionality, together with that wonderfully customizable 'vanilla' Android experience - which I only SoftMod (I won't root such a new device yet).

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Its fair to conclude that the Nexus 5 is just that dam goood. Mixed opinions in regards to battery and camera and speaker. I personally have no real issue with eithet ok battery life isnt brilliant by any means and google could have opted for 3000mah but hey ho.

It just glides through tasks and for that alone it privides a great experiance. And I like the camera and speaker is ok for me.

I think going by what I have read and I have not looked at every post but would 8/10 be fair?

Posted via Android Central App

I'm very pleased with the upgrade from my N4 to my N5. Now I'm just waiting for Google to start taking advantage of the awesome features they baked into Kit Kat. I'm surprised the Nexus 5 has been out for a few months and most Google Apps still don't take advantage of transparency or immersive mode. In fact, I think Google Now is the only one that does?

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I almost have had my N4 for almost 1 year I regret nothing about this phone and got only 1 crack by the speaker in the back I'm looking to upgrade to N5 soon if I can save up money while dealing with rent and other bills.

Posted via Nexus 4

I am on day 4 with a brand new 32gd black Nexus 5. Best phone I have ever owned and wish I had made the switch to AT&T earlier from Verizon. There is nothing I do not like about this phone, battery and camera are not better than a lot of what is out there but they are pretty darn good. Before this I have owned: Moto X, Moto Razxr HD Maxx, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Razr Maxx, Incredible 2, Incredible, Droid 3, Droid 2, Droid Bionic, HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Eris. So I have tried a lot of phones and the reason I always switched is because I was not satisfied. I want pure Google, no bloatware Google device, and man did Google deliver this time. This will be my daily driver until the Next Nexus phone launches. Happiness :)

I had the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon before dumping Big Red and going the AT&T Straight Talk route. The battery on the Nexus 5 last me easily three times as long, and while the camera is maybe not the best one in the world, it beats the Galaxy Nexus' by a country mile. The other ding I see against the Nexus 5 is poor speaker volume, but my GNex was worse there also. Maybe it's just because of the phone I upgraded from, but I am extremely happy with the Nexus 5, and even its most noted flaws are huge improvemnts compared to my old phone...

I ordered the N5 the moment it was available and I've used it ever since. Is it perfect, of course not but it's the best phone I've every used. But the review is correct on the battery life and camera. I have an iPhone 5s for work and it puts the battery and camera of my N5 to shame.

That said with nova launcher for home screen customisation there is no better phone for me.

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I just got an N5 two days ago. So far, LOVING the speed and pure Android experience. The camera is a bit slow, and the battery could have been better. Overall, a great device, and one I'm looking forward to using until the N6. ;-)

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Stepped up from a gnex so naturally felt like stepping into a Ferrari in comparison. Blazing fast, very reliable, exterior aesthetics aren't heartbreaking, who doesn't end up putting a cover on the phone anyways? Camera isn't terrible, speaker certainly isn't giving Apple or HTC a run for their money. Battery life is the best I've had on any phone including that piece of crap 5c I have to carry for work. (Granted I've had some lousy battery phones, this one still gets me through an entire day on Sprint's atrocious network) All in all a pretty solid phone, especially given the price.

I'm glad I didn't buy it and went for the G2. Way more battery life on a slightly bigger screen, the KnockOn feature kicks serious ass and better camera. Worth the extra money.

I have to say I love my N5, my battery life has been great and more importantly consistent. Thanks for the good read.

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Honestly, I don't think i'll use too much battery on the go. And I have the 32Gb Nexus 7 and my must conserve memory mantra recently wore off and I still only use about 1.7 gb of memory (In fact the only reason I have the 32 gb is because my mother who brought this for me could only find the 32 gb model)

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Anybody who complains about the battery life of the N5 obviously wasn't stuck on VZ for the past 2 years with the Galaxy Nexus. LOL. I couldn't even get through an 8hr shift with 2 batteries on my Gnex. Now I can get through a 10hr shift and still have about 50% battery remaining. Might not be the best battery but it's 1000x better than the Gnex.

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The Nexus 5 has been an amazing experience. I'm a fan of Google's direct version of Android, so my opinion about the phone is slightly bias. Video quality is still the best out of EVERY high end phone I've used lately. Picture quality still leaves a lot to be desired for however. The mic is very good as well. Speaker quality still lacks. I'm not sure why people have been harping on battery life. I make it a whole day the charger at 5am until 10pm with 14% left with semi-heavy use. There is better battery life out there, but I'm happy with what I get. I wouldn't consider it to be the best Android phone but it definitely contends with top 3 of 2013/Q1 2014.

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One of my favorite Android phones to date but battery life and longevity is still a bit of a weak point.

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My black 32GB N5 was delivered on 11/7, so I've had it the full 2 months. Basically, I agree with everything Alex said. It's a great phone, but I wish it had a larger battery. Before it was shipped, there was a rumour that the 32GB version would have the 3000Ma battery, but that didn't happen. My daily routine involves a lot of Wi-Fi time, so battery life is usually not an issue. But, as Alex said, it's the non-routine stuff that leaves you wanting the bigger battery. On a trip to Florida last week, my N5 was below 20% by the end of nearly every day. Made me long for the days of my Galaxy Nexus, when I always carried a spare battery.

Love my nexus 5..I've had since the 1st day it came out for sprint and its so the best phone I've had...battery last me 12hours on moderate use and that's good enough for me...used Google maps for a recent trip to DC and it was very reliable had only one moment that I needed to charge it because i got lost haha bug that's after along day (10hours)of heavy to moderate use (taking pictures,GPS,etc) I know the battery could be better but its still a great phone...

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After I heard the less than stellar battery they stuck in there, instead of going with what the G2 did, I decided I didn't want the Nexus 5. Not that it's all about MAH, but clearly it isn't to spectacular in the area.

Mixed reviews on battery I think its fair to conclude things could of been better. But for the money and the vanilla experience, the camera and sound are now not to bad at all.

My rating would be that 8/10 which is well deserved.

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So we are going to be changing carriers soon and I have to ask if you had a choice between the Nexus 5 or a Moto X which would you go with? That is where I'm standing right now. I really like the customization of the X as well as the overall design, I think the low power chip that runs all of the hands free stuff is pretty cool, but I also really like the Nexus design and the fact that it is guaranteed to get updates is a really plus.

It really comes down to something I CAN'T do, and that is live with the phones for a while to see which I would like in the long term.

So anyone who has had experience with both, please chime in and let me know which you liked better.

I currently own both a MotoMaker Moto X 16GB(Royal Blue back, Orange accents, white face) and a Nexus 5 Black 32GB. I have to say it's a very close decision.

The pro's for the Moto X are the customizations provided, such as moto assist and always on voice command. The con was the display resolution and size 720p and 4.7".

On the other hand the Nexus 5 has checked all my requirements. First being the display at 1080p and 5" the PPI is very noticeable better. The Nexus 5 has 445ppi while the Moto X is 316ppi. This is very important for me since that's the whole point of a smartphone is to consume the content your interested in. Also as a frame of reference I've owned the following phones before the current two I own above. Galaxy Note 3(AT&T), HTC One(AT&T), Galaxy Note 2 N7100 international edition, Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S(4g & GSM), and sadly Iphone's before these. If I was you if go for the Nexus 5. All things equal the improvement in screen and soft touch finish on the black model in particular have won me over. While I love the looks and awesome customizations Motorola have added on to the Moto X I decided to go for the Nexus 5 and have been very happy with my decision so far. All that to say: if anyone is in the market for a custom Moto X with the listed colors above shoot me a reply or PM. I'm going to be listing on Swappa shortly. ;-)

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I have not had experience with the moto x but from the little I have read and from comments its safe to conclude its one hell of a device.

That said so is the nexus. I can only suggest the flip of a coin lol

You won't be disappointed with either so that's my input.

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Phones with skin overlays such as the galaxy line, HTC sense, etc. You know the line up.. Anyway, they should have an option in the setting to use pure stock android or there launcher and skin. I feel that would give the devices even more of a dynamic image and could very well help sell better instead of making Google play edition devices. I mean I'm no Dev or anything but it can't be that hard to give a device a stock android option right ? Isn't that what every skin is originally based off of ??

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That's an excellent write up Alex. Very well thought out and well balanced. Pointing out the positives and negatives of it.

I had a Nexus 5 since launch, however I couldn't get over the poor battery life, mediocre camera and terrrible speaker. I tried to ignore those issues and tried to keep using it as my daily driver, but I couldn't.

I just recently bought the Xperia Z1 and it's night and day between the two. Battery life is amazing, the camera is the best I've seem in am Android phone and the speaker is a lot better in both volume and quality than the N5 was.

I do like the Nexus 5, but I couldn't get past its shortcomings. I think it's a good phone, just not a great one.

Why can't any one in the android world admit androids or googles shortcomings or mistakes. Are they scared of Google ? I had a Nexus 5 and sent it back. The camera is terrible on the N5, The Chrome browser is ok, but not even close to the usability of the Asop browser in previous versions of android. Hangouts is a pity for SMS compared to the stock messaging app. And the absolute worst is how Google broke text wrapping or reflow. I had the N5 for five minutes and this was a huge issue. You have had the N5 for two months and can't even acknowledge this problem. That is a sad sad state of affaires . Lastly, what good is having a Nexus device and pure android if Google replaces Carrier bloat ware , with google bloat ware .

Camera is OK bit its not the worse I have seen or used you do know your allowed to install another browser right ? Hangouts is fine as a SMS client again you can install something else

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Yes I installed other browsers and messaging apps while I had the phone. Overall I liked the phone but these issues were enough for me to return the N5. Kit Kat broke all other browsers functionality by removing text wrap and reflow at the system level. And if I can not remove Chrome or Hangouts unless I have a rooted phone , that is considered bloat ware .

Ultimately what I am trying to get at is, not one tech site, not one Android site, not one reviewer, not one commentator or moderator has talked about the reduced functionality of kit kat when it comes to handling text resizing, wrapping reflow. I consume most of my news media thru my phone, and without the ability to to expand and resize text in the browser or other apps without having to scroll left and right the phone becomes basically useless for media consumption .

Just switched to the Nexus 5 from an iPhone 5. I'm new to all things android. So far I've been very pleased. There are a couple of trade offs in the hardware but it's a great phone and feels good in the hand. The speakers aren't as good but I only listen to NPR through the speakers and for music it's connected to a stereo. It doesn't work in my car through the USB jack like my iPhone so I can't control it with any steering wheel or dash inputs. That alone almost made me return the phone. It does work through the aux jack though so I can live with that. I may be converted ,

I was so pissed, I just switched from Verizon (GN) to T-Mobile two days ago and finally got the Nexus 5. Had to return it yesterday for the G2 (still a great phone) because their Nexus line does not have the phone over WiFi software. I will miss my 20 hours with my Nexus 5.

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I wish I could go with straight talk, sprint or t mobile. Where I live you have to drive 5 miles to make a phone call. Its rediculious.

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Just got my n5 a few days ago. Yes battery could have been better but all in all this device is amazing and i love it!

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I'm sad that Verizon ruined their shot at the nexus. I keep hoping they will take another stab at it and do it right. I can dream lol

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Phone is just awesome... Except the battery life... It would have been great if it was bundled with 3500mah battery..

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Well the screen shattered first drop of about 2 feet. Lots of people complaining about brittle screens online so that's one shitty thing. So to replace it is 179 for a new screen via eBay. To replace in Canada from lg is 249.

The phone feels amazing and fits in the hand nice.
The speaker is very weak.
Talking to people on my nexus 5 I always have people telling me that I am muffled, quiet, and sounds like I am dropping the call. So that seems pretty poor but I am guessing that is related to the weak speaker.
The battery can be amazing and then absolutely horrid. If I use Google now ever on my phone and it stays running in the back ground my battery will be dead in hours. Every time I look at my phone and the battery is low it has been because of google services related to leaving Google now running. And with a full charge using Google now to start an alarm and leaving it running in the back ground I will have zero battery in 5 hours tops. Every time.

I have had no problem with the camera. After the update it got much better

Over all it is OK. I stopped recommending it though due to my perceived weakness's that the phone has.

Next nexus please have a good battery and camera.

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The nexus 5 makes a nice experimental/supplementary/foolaround phone for me. Like Alex, I prefer flagship phones as my main drivers though since they have more features and don't cut as many corners.

Love the Nexus 5, I'm coming from a Nexus 4. Camera improvement is significant although there are better cameras on other phones. Kitkat and overall speed is fantastic too. Battery life is only issue when using heavily or when I'm not on wifi for a large part of the day. Wish it were slightly thicker to accommodate a bigger battery, would be a good tradeoff for me.

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I've gotta say, I've been extremely impressed with my Nexus 5. All my opinions might be relative since I'm coming from an Nexus 4 but everything about this phone has exceeded my expectations. After reading all the reviews I feared I might have gotten my hopes up too high but that is not the case. And I've only grown more fond of the phone as time has passed. The display continues to impress me every day, as well as the camera. The battery life is miles better than the Nexus 4, and the phone feels much better in the hand. I've been using it without a case and I've dropped it a few times with the phone picking up no damage. This is definitely the best Android phone you can buy right now in my opinion, save for the Moto X (it's a toss up really). 2 months on and I gotta say I love this phone.

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If you're debating between the Moto X or the Nexus 5 just play "Eenie, meenie, miny, moe" and you'll be happy with whatever you picked.

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Nothing stock on a Samsung device is usable because they're either ugly, perform weaker than what Google offers or both. I don't understand how consumers fall for those broken gimmicks Samsung uses as selling points either. To each their own I guess.

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How does an N5 feel in the hand? I love how solid and non-Fisher-Price my HTC One feels.

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I guess we just have to console ourselves with a faster CPU and better camera and better support with faster updates.

Think the One will get one last update before HTC officially loses interest?

Camera and battery continue to be the Nexus' Achilles heel. Don't be surprised next year when every other smartphone offers more than adequate camera and battery performance, while the Nexus 6 does just enough to get by.

I don't own one because I don't see it as a big enough upgrade from my Nexus 4.

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All these comments, and no mention of the bug that's biting me (and many others on the Nexus 5 Google group "Nexus 5 sometimes doesn't ring when people are calling it") -- Inbound phone calls go straight to voicemail -- It seems that the LTE to 3G switching my cause a problem where the antenna drops connection to ANY tower.

It's bad enough that I've disabled WiFi and mobile Data, and dropped to a preferred 3G connection so the call will ring through. Endured too many days of "Hey I tried to call you, but you didn't pick up"

And while a Google engineer has acknowledged (in the group) that _something_ is amiss, no official confirmation from the carriers (in my case, Sprint) or Google, despite trouble tickets being logged.

Why not follow that one up, AC? Seems to be a story there...


This issue only occurs on T-Mobile and Sprint, because they use high frequency LTE. My girlfriend has the same issue on T-Mobile. You can use your WiFi if you have LTE disabled.

I own a Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe, and Bluetooth is completely broken with Android 4.4.2. This has also been plaguing Nexus devices including the Nexus 5.

I love my Nexus 5 and don't see myself leaving the program in the near future. It's simple, smart, powerful and timely updates never hurt.

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Went from the htc one on att to nexus 5 on T-Mobile (thank you T-Mobile for covering my etfs)

Love the phone and find the battery life an improvement over the htc. One thing about the battery I love is the speedy way it charges. I'm running around all day hopping in my car and putting the phone into the charger for 10 - 30 mins at a time. The htc one would hardly charge at all with those quick drives, but the nexus seems to fill right back up to near 100% in no time.

Also while using the phone plugged in, navigating, and the screen on bright, the htc one would actually loose battery life, so on long drives I'd need to turn the screen off so the phone wouldn't die. The nexus can navigate with the screen on plugged in and stay right at 100% so it's ready to go when arriving at my destination.

I've been super happy with this phone so far and would go as far as saying this is the best phone I've ever owned.

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I bought mine on launch day and received it about ten days later, and I'm still really loving it. I agree about the 32 GB part, too--I had a 16GB Nexus 4 and while I'm a big fan of the cloud and it never really let me down space-wise, I did have to keep an eye on it and physically remove old downloads and stuff every once in a while. I never worry now. It's worth the extra money IMO just to not have to fuss with it. I have no battery issues as I keep it topped off during the day, as I have always done in the past. I want to get a couple of wireless chargers, though.

I was at the hairstylist on Saturday and placed the phone on the reception desk while I was getting money out of my wallet. The receptionist noticed it and asked if it was an iPhone 5. I said, "No, it's a Nexus 5." She seemed confused and clearly had never heard of it, but said, "I like the thinness of it." I do think this phone would be attractive to the larger public if they were more exposed to it via advertising. The greater, non-tech-geek world thinks the only mobile phones available are the iPhone and the Galaxy. And the Galaxy is a "Droid."

Oh, another story--I was at Best Buy and used the Wallet app to display my loyalty card. This was right before Thanksgiving, so the phone had just come out. For some reason it wouldn't scan and I had to hand the phone to the cashier so he could type the numbers in. He handed it back to me and asked what phone it was--but at least he knew what I was talking about, and said it was "really nice."

I could wish for a Nexus phablet (6 inch screen) because I am also really enjoying the larger screen on the Nexus 7, but would prefer to only have one device. But I wouldn't want it to replace the Nexus 5, for those who prefer smaller devices. Love Nexus devices and the whole approach but I could wish for better camera software!

Beware if you are a Tmobile customer. The phone lacks support for Tmobile's version of HSPA+ so you fall back to EDGE if LTE is not available for whatever reason.

Other than that, this is a great phone and great value. I I had figured this out, I might have bought the Samsung 4g instead, but then again, I like the unadulterated Google experience, knowing I will not have to wait for upgrades indefinately!

I ordered my Nexus 5 as soon as it was announced and have been using it since I got it. I am running Cataclysm, Faux Kernel and Greenify on it and this has made my battery life very decent. It's better than stock, and better than any other Android phone I've had (but I'm sure not as good as other phones with bigger batteries).

I have had no major issues with my phone, other than a not-so-accurate GPS. This is apparently an ongoing issue, but it hasn't been too annoying to warrant getting an RMA. I've been using my phone on T-Mobile and have had no issues with calls going to VM.

I use HDR+ on almost all my pictures, and they turn out much better than any of my other Android phones. A little touchup in Snapseed is all that is sometimes needed to make them great.

I would definitely buy this phone again

I've been using the Nexus 5 for a few months now, and I'm less than impressed. I switched over from the Galaxy S4, and while it wasn't without it's issues, I'm sorry I switched. I haven't noticed a huge difference in usability compared to the S4. While it's certainly faster, I find myself missing that beautiful screen and all of the silly toys that came with it. My biggest complaint, however, is the battery life on the N5. I rarely make it through a full day without needing to charge. I'll most likely be ditching the N5 as soon as the S5 comes available.

I sold my Nexus 5 after less than two months use.I have now a Galaxy Note 3 but I was a long time iPhone user.
I think the N5 in general is a good phone but the pure google android is disappointing,at least I think the samsung version is much better.For example the weather app is much easier on the samsung.The music app can not show other languages like chinese properly which is really unbelievable.Similar problem also happens on the keyboard settings,as the "ball" button must be turned on if you want to change between latin language and non-latin language,which took me a lot of time to sort it out.For people who use an android phone for the first time,it is just hard to know that the SMS funktion is replaced by the Hangout.It really took me a while to realize that.I didnt have a single moment look for the user guide with my iPhones,but I did spend a lot of time figure out how to set up the N5,which led me to sell the phone.

I have a feeling that between IOS and Android,people always avoid to use the same solution or layout even when the other's is better.They try to differ themselves from each other which make the custmers life much difficult.

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Tried the SG4 and just come from the SG3 to the N5, such a brilliant phone without all the bloatware. Camera is a little bit iffy, but I'm taking random snaps every now and then and they still look great. Never going to be the ultimate phone, but for the price I'd say its the best smartphone out there as of now.

Since my first Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) 2 years ago, nothing suits me as well as the pure android experience. Its clean, simple and pleasant to unnecessary distractions (functions ,skins) and all sort of colors in the UI.
So , since my daughter threw that Galaxy through the balcony (I guess I was bad cop to many times till then ;)) I patiently waited, and on 23rd of January I became the proud owner of a brand new black screamingly fast Nexus 5!!!

Now, 45 days with it and am more then pleased .
Performance is extraordinary and there is simply nothing that can slow it down...nothing ;)
Beautiful crisp and sharp screen with perfect size in my case.
For my needs camera is pretty good and the battery is always around 12 hours, except when am killing it with games, movies and too much browsing, when it only gets around 8h.

All in all, Nexus line is definitely my favorite with "all" (battery) imperfections that goes with it.