Over the last couple weeks, the Nexus 5 has been the White Whale of phones. I’ve seen a couple seemingly credible release dates show up just to have nothing announced. Quite frankly, until it actually showed up in my RSS feed, I had assumed that today was just another rumor. Turns out that instead of another trick, Google gave us a double helping of treat for Halloween. With that, let’s take a look at the newest phone to have Google’s full experience and the OS that it runs on.
The Nexus 5 is the follow up to last year’s Nexus 4. It’s not just the 5th Nexus device, it’s also built around a 4.95” display that rounds up to 5. It’s a 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display with a PPI of 445. That’s as good as it gets. For durability, it has Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. The CPU is a Snapdragon 800 with a 2.3GHz Quad Core Krait 400 CPU and 450MHz Adreno 330 graphics processor. That’s as fast as any Android smartphone out there. All this is in a package that’s 69.17mm wide, 137.83mm high, and 8.59mm in thickness. That’s ever so slightly larger than the Galaxy S4 with similar specs. The Nexus 5 is a large screen flagship phone without a doubt.
The other specs are similarly impressive. The rear camera is 8mp and has optical image stabilization built in. The front is a bit disappointing at 1.3mp. The battery is 2300mAh, good for 7 hours on LTE and includes wireless charging as standard. I couldn’t found out if it is Qi or a competing standard. From there you get dual band 802.11AC wireless, Google Beam NFC, and Bluetooth LE 4.0. You get LTE for wireless data, but I couldn’t find which bands exactly. Seeing as the phone is sold unlocked, this is rather important data to have, Google.
The Nexus 5 is sold unlocked at Google Play for $349 for 16GB or $399 or 32GB at the Google Play Store in Black or White. They will also sell it at Amazon, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and your local Sprint or T-Mobile Store. This could be a great deal compared to similar phones.
Android 4.4 KitKat
KitKat is a bit of a retooling of what Android is at the system level. That’s a bit akin to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on the Mac where there were very few GUI changes but a lot changing under the hood. KitKat’s main goal there is to fight fragmentation of Android by making itself more compatible with lower end phones. Google has gone in and made the OS much less resource intensive to the point where it can run on phones with just 512mb of system RAM. I would assume Google hopes that this will bring budget phones that were running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or even 2.3 Gingerbread into the newest version of the operating system.
It also has some new features as well. They have overhauled the phone app for the first time in… well, forever, to prioritize frequent contact. The Caller ID now uses Google’s services to find information on a person or business calling you. All messaging functions, including SMS/MMS are now included in the Hangouts app. For photographers there’s an HDR+ capability. Printing capability is now included up to the level enjoyed by iOS. There’s also system level Chromecast and IR blaster support and built-in device management. There’s a few more features along the way too. This looks like a much more mature and complete version of Android.
KitKat ships on the Nexus 5 and will be available soon on the Nexus 4, 7, and 10 as well as the Google editions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. For all the talk about bringing less powerful devices devices into the fold, its ironic that the Galaxy Nexus and earlier are seemingly left out of the fold. For skinned devices, it’s up to your manufacturer and carrier.
The Nexus 5 and KitKat look like outstanding follow-ons to the Google Experience. But the question is, what do you think? Leave a comment below or on our social media sites.
Thanks to Mogelijk in the comments for information on the Cellular connectivity:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41