Google Nexus 5 review

You can't beat the Nexus 5 at this price point

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With the Nexus 5, you're getting a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 with an Adreno 330 GPU. Moreover, you don't have a heavy UI with system-resource-hogging apps like you'd find on the Galaxy S4, for example.

How well does the Nexus 5 perform in real life? Great. Apps and games run like champs, and switching from home screens to apps and back is smooth.

In short, we found no performance issues with the device whatsoever, not counting gripes with the camera. But for what you're going to be doing with the phone, there was never any lag or hiccups in the overall experience.

Nexus 5 review

Even graphic intensive games performed surprisingly well, with no perceivable lag or slowing. They did a number on battery life, but that's a whole other story.

We might attribute this performance to Android 4.4 KitKat, too. Google says that it designed KitKat with backwards compatibility in mind, never mind the more recent Nexus devices that won't get the update.

One would imagine that if KitKat is supposed to perform well on older hardware, it will stay brilliant on a device that is packing a lot of punch when it comes to specs.

Nexus 5 review

We'll be sure to update this section once our benchmark tests are complete, but for now they look very promising. We're also going to update this review in a month's time when our phone is filled with more apps, photos and videos. That's when you really want to know how a device holds up.

Nexus 5 Battery life

Strangely, battery life has been a mixed bag. We've had the device for a week now, and some days are much better than others. In our first day, the phone lasted about five hours, which is expected because you're loading it with apps and customising the device to your liking.

On our second day, we got six hours with mixed use. In our typical day, we make a phone call or two, send plenty of text messages, and we check our email and social networks with regularity.

Nexus 5 review

Our third day took us by surprise as the phone lasted 11.5 hours before hitting the critical 20% mark. We used the phone quite a bit that day, including one straight hour of checking Facebook, Twitter and reading the news over breakfast.

Because battery life is a little unpredictable, it would be wise to charge it as much as you can when you can. Or you can buy external battery packs or take a charger with you where you go.

Factors that affect battery life include your usage and also your signal strength. If you're in an area with weak cell coverage, your battery may suffer. The day we got 11.5 hours of life was spent mostly on Wi-Fi, which might've helped given our data-intensive usage that day.

Nexus 5 review

We do wish that the rumors about the 3,000mAh battery life were true. One thing we love about the Nexus 5's distant cousin - the LG G2 - is that big battery and long life.

If we had to give the battery life some kind of rating on its own, it would be a 7/10, which is ever so slightly sub-par by our standards.

Again, your experience will vary, but expect to need a charge by the end of your work day.

Nexus 5 call quality

We'll keep this section brief, because this has more to do with your carrier than the device itself. Most smartphones these days sound great when you're on the phone, and the Nexus 5 is no exception.

We used T-Mobile's network in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for the most part call quality sounded excellent. Our friends reported that we sounded loud and clear, and we can say the same for them.

Nexus 5 review

We're confident that you'll find similar results with all the Australian networks, and we'll update the review once we've managed to test it out more thoroughly locally.

Speakerphone calls, however, were weak. That's largely due to the fact that the single speaker on the bottom-left portion of the phone is weak. Whether you're using it for a call or listening to music, you'll find that it lacks power.

Moreover, if you're in a moderately noisy place, you may not hear your ringer or notification tones where other phones might get through to you.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyNexus 5
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time17 Hour
Product ModelD821
Screen Size12.6 cm (5")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.4 KitKat
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density445 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.3 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height137.8 mm
Width69.2 mm
Depth8.6 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time300 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameNexus 5 D821 Smartphone
Processor Speed2.26 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 800
Product LineNexus 5
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Barometer
Manufacturer Part NumberLGD821.AGBRBK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

More Light, Less Shake

Nexus 5's 8 MP OIS camera incorporates advanced technology to shoot vivid imagery with a wide range of colour and light intake. And while you're holding the camera, Optical Image Stabilization will steady the shot even with shaky hands, so your photos and videos will come out sharp and clear.

Capture Extraordinary Moments

Life is remarkable. Take home the best of it with help from imaging features like HDR+, combining multiple exposures for one perfect shot with vivid daytime and sharp nighttime images-or Photo Sphere, which creates unmatched, immersive 360° views so you can capture and share the full story.

Standard Memory2 GB