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Google Nexus 5: specifications and features explained

The anticipation build up has been incredible, but finally we have the official Nexus 5 specs and features straight from Google. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Nexus 5 official info.

Published onOctober 31, 2013

Nexus 5 press image

And just like that, the Nexus 5 is official. Google just took the veil off its highly anticipated pure Android smartphone, confirming most of the leaks and rumors that have circulated in the past month.

With the new Nexus 5, comes KitKat, the refreshed version of Android that we’ve all been craving ever since Google announced it officially in early September. We’re poring through the official information to give you the lowdown on all the new features and tweaks in Android 4.4 KitKat. 

The anticipation build up for the Nexus 5 has been incredible, but finally we have the official lowdown straight from Google. Without further ado, let’s dive in the Nexus 5 official specs info.

Display4.96-inch IPS LCD, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 444 ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, quad-core Krait 400 @ 2.3GHz, Adreno 330 GPU
2300 mAh non-removable, wireless charging
8 MP rear, OIS, autofocus, LED flash, 1.3 MP front
LTE (2, 4, 5, 17, 25, 26, 41)
3G (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100)
GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900)
NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, microUSB, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Android 4.4 KitKat
137.84 x69.17 x 8.59mm, 130g

Nexus 5 specs and features explained

The Nexus 5 spec sheet doesn’t bring major surprises, at least for those who have been following the leaks over the past couple of months. Google and LG utilized the basic hardware platform of the LG G2, but operated several important changes. Chiefly, the display is slightly smaller at 4.95-inch, the battery is just 2300 mAh, and the rear camera features an 8MP sensor, though we’re happy to see optical image stabilization included.

Processor, RAM, and storage

The processing package is excellent: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 processor running at up to 2.3GHz should ensure a competitive level of performance well into the Nexus 5’s life. The 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU complete the image of a powerful, no-compromise device. Google has worked hard to make Android 4.4 less resource demanding, a move primarily aimed at low-end smartphones with as little as 512MB of RAM. The beneficial side effect of this optimization should be smoother functioning on high-end devices like the Nexus 5.

It’s good to see Google opting for 16GB for the base version of the Nexus 5, with 32GB offered in the more expensive model. As with all Nexus devices, there’s no microSD card slot. Last year’s Nexus 4’s 8GB base model turned out to be scant for many users, even with the wide availability of cloud storage services, including Google’s own Drive.


One potentially weak point of the new Nexus 5 may be its 2300 mAh battery, which is slightly better than the 2100 mAh unit on the Nexus 4, but still lags behind some other high-end Android devices like the LG G2 and the Xperia Z1. But the capacity of the battery alone isn’t enough to make an idea of a device’s battery life, so we’ll wait for a hands-on test before issuing any definitive judgments. Google has reportedly baked some new battery saving features into Android 4.4, though we’re not sure how significant their effect is. These include, according to a report from Amir Efrati, sensor batching and WiFi batching, which are techniques of saving battery by transferring info from sensors and WiFi in batches instead of individually signals. Like its predecessor, the Nexus 5 is capable of wireless charging, using the Qi standard.


The Nexus 5 features an 8MP camera fitted with optical image stabilization (OIS). Nexus smartphones have been historically mediocre in the camera department, though there’s hope the Nexus 5 will buck the trend. OIS in particular seems to be positioning the Nexus 5 ahead of the curve, at a time when Galaxy Note 3, Xperia Z1, and other flagship Android phones still don’t feature the technology. OIS cameras compensate for small movements of the device, such as those caused by shaking hands, by slightly tilting the lens, reducing blur and noise, especially in low-light conditions. The camera is also capable of HDR+ and its sensor is supposedly capturing 56 percent more light than the Nexus 4. The Sony-made 8MP sensor is relatively small, but most users won’t benefit that much from a larger sensor anyway. We’re looking forward to the first sample images taken with the Nexus, but, for now, signs are encouraging.


In terms of connectivity, KitKat now supports new types of Bluetooth tech, allowing the Nexus 5 to connect to a wide variety of devices, like keyboards and joysticks. The Nexus 5 lacks a secure element, but thanks to the updated KitKat, it will be able to use Google’s Wallet payment service. In terms of cellular connectivity, the Nexus 5 supports GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, and LTE, which should make it compatible with the networks of numerous carriers. In the US, that means everyone but Verizon.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat.


Android for all and the new Nexus 5

Just in time for Halloween, we have two new treats for Android fans. First, we’re excited to unwrap our latest platform release, KitKat, which delivers a smarter, more immersive Android experience to even more people. And second, we’re introducing Nexus 5-a new Nexus phone developed with LG.

The first thing you’ll notice about KitKat is we’ve made the experience much more engaging: the book you’re reading, the game you’re playing, or the movie you’re watching-now all of these take center stage with the new immersive mode, which automatically hides everything except what you really want to see.

Bringing more Google smarts to Android

Behind the polish on the screen is the power under the hood. Take the Phone app, which for most people hasn’t really changed since the days of flip phones. Now, we’re making calling easier than ever, by helping you search across your contacts, nearby places, or even Google Apps accounts (like your company’s directory), directly from within the app. And with the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same place, alongside your other conversations and video calls, so you’ll never miss a message no matter how your friends send it. This is just a small taste of KitKat-learn more on our site.

Google has always focused on helping users get immediate access to the information they need, and we want to bring this same convenience and power to users on Android. With the new Nexus 5 launcher, Google smarts are deeply integrated into the phone you carry around with you, so getting to the information you need is simple, easy and fast. Swipe once from the home screen to get Google Now literally at your fingertips. Put Google to work for you by saying “OK, Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song you want to hear. And in the coming weeks, we’re enhancing Now with important new card types that bring you information about contextual topics that interest you such as updates from a favorite website or blog.

Reaching the next 1 billion users

Building a platform that makes mobile phones accessible for everyone has always been at the heart of Android. Until now, some lower-end Android phones couldn’t benefit from more recent Android releases due to memory constraints. With KitKat, we’ve slimmed down Android’s memory footprint by doing things like removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that you use all the time. We did this not only within Android but across Google services like Chrome and YouTube. RAM (or memory) is one of the most expensive parts of a phone, and now Android can run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of the world, bringing the latest goodies in Android 4.4 within reach for the next billion smartphone users.

Introducing Nexus 5

Along with our sweet naming tradition, we also introduce a new device with each platform release to showcase the latest Android innovations. For KitKat, we partnered with LG to develop Nexus 5 — the slimmest and fastest Nexus phone ever made. Its design is simple and refined to showcase the 5″ Full HD display. Nexus 5 also keeps you connected at blazing speeds with 4G/LTE and ultra fast wifi. The advanced new lens on Nexus 5 captures more light for brighter night and sharper action shots. And with optical image stabilization, you no longer have to worry about shaky hands and blurry pictures. A new HDR+ mode automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos and combines them to give you the best possible single shot. Learn more on our site.

Nexus 5 is available today, unlocked and without a contract, on Google Play in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea (and coming soon to India), starting at $349. Just in the time for the holidays, Nexus 5 will be available soon at the following retailers: Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack.

Android 4.4, KitKat, which comes on Nexus 5, will also soon be available on Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTCOne Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

How’s that for a treat?


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