Nexus 5 design tweaked with bigger speaker grill and stiffer buttons

by: Bogdan PetrovanDecember 13, 2013

nexus 5 speaker grill buttons (3)

The LG-made Nexus 5 received a few subtle, but important changes in the design department. Newly manufactured units come with larger speaker grills and a stiffer power button and volume rocker. The changes were spotted by XDA-Developers user shinral.

Besides the software problems with the camera, which Google mostly fixed in Android 4.4.1, the quality of the sound emitted by the Nexus 5’s speaker was a problem that many reviewers and users have raised. The sound was muffled by the tiny orifices of the speaker grill, resulting in buzzy, hardly discernable audio.

The newest version of the Nexus 5 comes with a slightly larger speaker grill, as you can see in the image above. Note that many users have reported an improvement in audio volume following the Android 4.4.1 update, so the design of the speaker grill was likely just one factor causing the problem.

The new revision also seems to have tighter fitting buttons, that are stiffer and less likely to wobble when you shake the device. The change is clearly visible in the images below. According to shinral, the SIM card tray is now flush with the side of the phone.

 nexus 5 speaker grill buttons (1) nexus 5 speaker grill buttons (2)

For now, we don’t have information on the code of the revision to help you distinguish between versions, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Google and LG have a track record of making changes like this: following complaints about the Nexus 4’s glass back being prone to slipping and cracking, the two companies added tiny rubber nubs to the design to act as bumpers.

  • Luka Mlinar

    So they messed up the only two things you could mess up on the external design part of the phone? I remember the Nexus 4 needed tweaking as well.

    • NeedName

      it’s pretty bad that google can’t put out a phone that’s made properly. seems every nexus has some major flaws with the hardware such as terrible speakers. . .guess they don’t understand quality control.

      • MrMagoo

        I’m sure if they started charging prices near where apple does, the quality control dept. would be more involved. Despite some of the issues you all have mentioned. It’s still a kick ass phone for the money!

        • Sir Charles

          99% right, unless you record videos ;)

        • NeedName

          we are talking about some pretty basic “quality control” that wouldn’t really cost anything.

          e.g. the gNex had a terrible speaker. No one could tell that the speaker was crap before shipping? The N5’s issues are clearly poor assembly — don’t they have someone at the end of the assembly line ensuring things are fitting properly? These “quality control” issues don’t cost anything to head off.

  • Tom Clowes-Whitby

    so if i buy one tomorrow night will i get the most recent design?

    • Luka Mlinar

      Might be good to wait a few days.

      • Tom Clowes-Whitby


  • I’m in love with my Nexus 5 but I don’t understand how most tech sites have not mentioned anything about the faint static noise bug when recording video. All they talk about is the bad speaker or camera issues. I’m still annoyed by it and hope it gets fixed soon… it’s Christmas time!!! I wanna record good videos without static noise!

    • Dana Munn

      i just recorded a video to see what was going on, it’s there and it’s super annoying

    • Ryster1

      Lol Some of you guys obviously got the green wiener because I have no static noise when recording video, no loose buttons and my speaker is nice & loud. My only gripe with the phone is the battery life. The screen is mostly to blame as it very bright but very nice to look at!

    • Junaid Ansari

      They fixed the speaker and Camera with the 4.4.2 update. The speaker now is amazing!

    • Sir Charles

      Didn’t try video recording yet until your post and mine has it to, updated to 4.4.2 already, and this only shows up in playback nothing while actually recording.

  • blairh

    “Our speakers suck…….let’s make the holes a bit bigger.”


  • NeedName

    It’s also reported that the newly designed unites are showing up with a yellow hue to the screen.

  • ItAintYouItsMe

    My Nexus 5 is flawless. Apple has released bad devices before as well so lets not say that Apple does a better job at quality control. Antennagate, Blue Screen of Death, crappy signal on the first iPhone.

    • Androidway

      Yeah, I agree but, I had a problem as well when I bought my Galaxy Nexus. It has horizontal lines all over the screen at regular brightness. I still have it and now it’s worse! Also, there is a big fat green horizontal line at the very top…
      I’m a huge Android fan, but I hate it when I spend $400 on an unlocked Nexus phone and get that bullshit.

    • Mozaik

      Blue screen of death is software issue thats already fixed , not defending apple but after iphone 4s there quality control is much improved but whereas every nexus devices has various flaws which are still there , like galaxy nexus camera , nexus 4 washout screen and now nexus 5 speaker.

  • Felipe Imperio

    When the new version will be available in stores?

  • David Mueller

    Best time to update the device – thx

  • Androidway

    I feel sorry for those who bought the previous version…
    Why did Google do this? Didn’t they have enough time to make it perfect then launch it? WTF.
    Anyways, getting mine soon so it better not have ANY bugs. I bought a Galaxy Nexus before and I had a huge bug when I updated to Jelly Bean where there were horizontal that could be seen on the screen. I still have it and it’s filled with those lines from the top to bottom. Also, there is a huge green line at the very top of device. I’m sick of this and hope my Nexus 5 isn’t that way!

  • Balraj

    What the F
    CHANGING DESIGN, what about ppl who bought the first set of devices
    Everybody can do that….
    The relaunch the phone…

  • Arturo Raygoza

    but can I sideload it?

  • Timmy

    While this sucks for the early adopters, it makes me glad I got the G2. Of course I won’t have KK until summer next year (if ever) but I could root and load CM.

  • MadCowOnAStick


  • silv

    just a question will this be available in the phils cuz nexus 4 wasnt

  • chuck

    Wow, I can’t believe these comments. How dare Google improve their device!

  • Kevin Fonrose

    How to return my nexus in exchange for the newer 1??

  • Nino Mercado

    does the updated Nexus 5 have a new model number?

  • againsthemainstream .

    its there in here got nexus 5 with power button as stiff as volume button?