As expected, Google officially unveiled the Nexus 5 today, bringing us an extremely powerful new Android flagship at a reasonably budget-friendly starting price of just $349.
Now that the Nexus 5 is here, you might be wondering what’s all new when compared to last year’s Nexus. The Nexus 4 was an excellent handset when first debuted, but the Nexus 5 is bigger and better in just about every way imaginable.
Let’s jump in and take a look at what’s new with the Nexus 5, shall we?
Design and build quality
When the Nexus 4 touched down last year it brought with it a unique design with a glass back. This led to a design that was quite stunning, though arguably not the most durable. In contrast, the Nexus 5 favors a plastic back and a design that is very similar to the Nexus 7, albeit in smaller form.
When it comes down to size, the Nexus 5 is a bit larger but actually weighs a little less and is even thinner! The Nexus 5 comes in at 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm with a weight of 130 grams. In contrast, the Nexus 4 is 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm and is 9 grams heavier.
Overall, the Nexus 5 is a stunning device though it’s visual design is considerably different from the Nexus 4. As a plus, it’s plastic body should make for a much more durable device.
Probably one of the most noticeable changes for the Nexus 5 is it’s 4.96-inch Full HD display. At 445ppi, the Nexus 5’s viewing experience will likely be nothing short of amazing.
The Nexus 4’s 4.7-inch 768 x 1280 resolution display wasn’t bad at the time, but we are now in an age where 1080p is the norm.
Camera and Battery
One of the biggest weaknesses for the Nexus 4 was it’s less-than-great camera and weak battery. Are things any better this time around with the Nexus 5? Yes and no.
While the camera is still just an 8MP shooter, it’s important to remember that there is more to a good picture taking experience than just the megapixels. With the inclusion of optical image stabilization, the Nexus 5’s camera will likely prove to be an improvement over the original, though it’s hard to say by how much.
As for the battery, the Nexus 5’s battery is bigger at 2300 mAh versus 2100 mAh, but the handset also has a faster processor and more demanding display. That means battery life is still likely a weakness for the Nexus line.
On the brightside, Google’s independent testing claims battery life isn’t that bad. Supposedly you should be able to get around 17 hours of talk time, 300 hours standby, and Internet use on Wifi at 8.5 hours, or 7 hours on LTE.
What else is new?
Although the camera and battery might be a little weaker than some would hope, the rest of the Nexus 5’s specs are actually very impressive.
The handset is powered by a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2GB of RAM. The storage options have also increased, with a 16 and 32GB version now available.
|Nexus 4||Nexus 5|
|Display||4.7-inch IPS LCD, 768 x 1280 resolution with 318ppi||4.96-inch IPS LCD, Full HD with 445ppi|
|Processor||1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, Adreno 320 GPU||2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Adreno 330 GPU|
|Battery||2,100 mAh non-removable battery, wireless charging||2,300 mAh non-removable battery, wireless charging|
|Cameras||8MP camera with auto focus and LED flash, 1.3MP front cam||8MP rear with OIS, autofocus and LED flash; 1.3MP front|
|Networks||3G, GSM||LTE, 3G, GSM, CDMA|
|Connectivity||NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0||NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE|
|OS||Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, upgrade to 4.4 coming soon||Android 4.4 KitKat|
|Dimensions||133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm, 139 grams||137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm, 130g|
|Price||originally $299, $349|
Price cut to: $199, $249
(no longer in stock)
The Nexus 5 also manages a few firsts for a Nexus device. Not only does it officially support LTE, it also is the only Nexus device to support OIS technology. Unlike the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 also brings back support for Sprint’s network here in the United States.
Beyond hardware and design changes, the only other difference between the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 is the OS version. Right now the Nexus 4 is still on Android 4.3, while the Nexus 5 will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat.
The good news is KitKat is expected to arrive on the Nexus 4 within the next few weeks.
The Nexus 5 is a major step forward for the Nexus line, and like the Nexus 7 2013, but that also means prices are going up a bit compared to the last-gen Nexus handset.
Pricing for the Nexus 5 will now begin at $349 for the 16GB model, or $399 for the 32GB version.
For more details on pricing and availability of the Nexus 5, you’ll want to head here.