Every now and then, a gadget comes along that makes a huge impact in the mobile technology market. Apple's iPhone revolutionized what a smartphone should be in 2007, Samsung's original Galaxy Note in 2011 brought back the stylus and made big phones commonplace, and LG's Nexus 5 in 2013 offered the best Android experience the market had seen at that point in time.
The Nexus 5 launched with a starting price of $350, and for that money, you were getting a totally stock build of the all-new Android 4.4 KitKat, wonderfully practical soft-touch plastic body, 4G LTE connectivity, and all of the latest silicon that was currently available. The Nexus 5 offered a lot of what we'd come to expect from a flagship phone in 2013, but it did so at about half the price.
The Nexus 5's user experience was second-to-none.
However, talking about the Nexus 5 based solely on its spec sheet is the wrong way to handle this conversation. The phone certainly offered an impressive list of tech, but what made the Nexus 5 so special was just how much of a pleasure it was to actually use the device.
Going back to that plastic body, this was easily one of the Nexus 5's strong suits. There was some initial backlash considering that the Nexus 4 offered an arguably more premium design with its reflective glass back, but any worries or concerns immediately disappeared once people got their hands on the phone.
The Nexus 5 was available in two colors at launch (black and white), and while the white (aka panda) version was clean and attractive with a harder plastic, the black variant was soft and grippy with a crazy amount of texture. This is something you just don't see in phone design these days, but it made the Nexus 5 comfortable, durable, and even allowed for wireless charging – something the Pixel 2 doesn't even offer.
KitKat was a turning point for Android.
Google used the Nexus 5 as its showcase for Android 4.4 KitKat, and this was a huge step for the OS. Android KitKat introduced the world to the Google Now Launcher with Google Now cards on the left side of our home screen, got rid of the Tron aesthetic in favor of a cleaner and flatter design, and smoothed out a lot of the rough edges that'd been present in Android since its inception. KitKat was fast, fluid, and paved the way for the Android that we still know and love with 8.1 Oreo.
However, if Google's flavor of stock 4.4 KitKat wasn't your jam, you had no shortage of ROMs to choose from with the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 had (and still does) one of the most active development communities around, and like many others, was my first foray into the world of rooting and ROMing.
It's no secret the Nexus 5 was a great phone, and while we'd love to keep gushing over it, we also want to hear about your experiences with the phone. What did you love? What did you hate? How in the world has Google not made a sucessor to that stunning red version?
See you in the comments!