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Nexus 5 review

Google Nexus 5 V3

The Nexus 5 offers the top-end performance traditionally only seen on phones nearly twice its price. This and latest KitKat version of Google's OS make it one of the best Android smartphone currently available.


Affordable, great design, good screen, top-end performance


Camera autofocus can be flaky

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £300

Manufacturer: Google

For the past couple of years, Google has been working to beat iPhone sales by undercutting Apple on price. As a part of this strategy Google has released a number of affordable devices with a specification not typically seen on devices under £400.

The Google Nexus 5 is the latest step in this strategy. It features components on a par with £500 smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but is priced from as low as £300.

However, with Apple having released its own semi-affordable iPhone 5C smartphone, some have questioned if the Nexus 5's value alone will be enough to win over buyers.

Design and build
The Nexus 7 has a minimalist design and is available in black and white colour options, both of which come with a single-piece, slightly rubberised back. The Nexus 5 is wonderfully free of unecessary design touches, with its front featuring no logos or physical buttons. The only detail is on its back, which has the Nexus and LG logos etched into it.

We found the Nexus 5 comfortable to hold, partly because of its slightly rubberised finish, which made it easier to get a solid grip on the phone. However, the chief reason for this is its slim 138x69x8.6mm dimensions and reasonable 130g weight.

This combination made the Nexus 5 feel very ergonomic and every bit as high end as it more costly competitors, such as the Galaxy S4 and  iPhone 5C.Google Nexus 5 back

Our one disappointment regarding the Nexus 5's design was its traditional button placement. Unlike the LG G2, which has volume and power buttons on the back of the phone, the Nexus 5 has a more traditional placement, with the power button lying  to the top right and volume controls at top left.

While this isn't a serious issue, we're really big fans of the G2's button placement and agree with LG's argument that putting the volume and power controls on the back of a phone makes them easier and more intuitive to reach. But this largely comes down to personal preference and we're fully aware many people have found the opposite to be true.

We're also very impressed with the Nexus 5's build quality. Despite costing just £300, the Nexus 5 is very sturdily built. Its non-removable back offered no give when pushed and, thanks to therubberised finish, is much more resilient to marks and scratches than we expected.

Next: Display, operating system and software

Processor: 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Display: 5in 1080x1920 IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen
Storage: 16GB or 32GB, 2GB RAM 
Camera: 8MP rear with autofocus and LED flash, 2MP front
Connectivity: 2G/3G/4G LTE, GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/6/8, LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20
Operating system: Android 4.4 KitKat
Dimensions: 138x69x8.6mm
Weight: 130g

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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