The price

The big USP that differentiates this phone from the crowd is the value for money it represents. £299 for a premium Android smartphone that's this good is a steal. Even at £339 for the 32GB version, the Nexus 5 is seriously undercutting the competition.

Apple devices are expensive. The iPhone 5S starts at £549 for the 16GB version and you'll have to lay out an extra £80 to get a 32GB model for £629, or pay a whopping £709 if you want the 64GB version.

While Apple is comfortable with its premium pricing strategy, you get the sense that the Nexus 5 has really put pressure on the competing Android flagships.

Google Nexus 5 review

When the Samsung Galaxy S4 was first launched, it was around £600 for a SIM-free handset. It's possible to get your hands on the SIM-free 16GB Galaxy S4 for £420 now.

It's a similar story with the HTC One, which cost around £500 on release, but can now be snapped up for as low as £430 for a SIM-free 32GB handset.

The LG G2 is significantly cheaper at £350 for the SIM-free 16GB version and around £400 for the 32GB model. The Nexus 5 was also manufactured by LG and is partly based on the G2, with very similar specs, although the G2 trumps the Nexus 5's 8MP shooter with a 13MP camera, and has a much bigger 3,000mAh rated battery compared to the 2,300mAh battery in the Nexus 5.

And now we've got the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 - both costing close to £550 or even more depending on your capacity.

Whatever way you cut it, the Nexus 5 is a lot of phone for your money, and it looks like a real attempt to drive prices down, which can only be a good thing for consumers.

However, we've since seen the OnePlus One - better specs than the Nexus 5 and coming in even cheaper - is this the phone Google should be worried about perhaps?

Google Nexus 5 review

The camera

It would be fair to say that the camera in the Nexus 5 was a bit of a disaster on release. It's an 8MP shooter with optical image stabilization that's intended to be a good substitute for a point-and-shoot camera.

There's nothing wrong with the hardware, but the software let it down badly. The camera was far too slow to focus and could be slow to launch, which killed your chances of capturing those spontaneous moments with friends and family.

Google Nexus 5 review
The camera menu

In ideal conditions the Nexus 5 camera could capture stunning shots, but how often do you get ideal conditions?

Google listened to the criticism and quickly released the Android 4.4.1 update to deal with the slow focus issue by balancing speed and image quality a bit better.

Where previously it would take forever to capture a shot, as you waited for the auto-focus, especially in low light conditions, or with fast-moving subjects, after the update it's much faster.

Google Nexus 5 review

It also enables the camera app to load a little faster, and improved the contrast to produce more vibrant colours. The HDR+, which is exclusive to the Nexus 5, gets a much-needed progress indicator.

Swipe right to left on the lock screen or tap the camera icon and you'll be ready to snap a shot within a couple of seconds. Results are generally very respectable. You can take a look for yourself in the camera section later in this review.


The Nexus 5 is really about speed and power. The snappy processor dovetails with the Android 4.4 platform beautifully.

Google Nexus 5
Frontline Commando

Google did not cut any corners with the quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. It is a cutting-edge CPU that has been paired with the Adreno 330 GPU. That's the same combination you'll find in the LG G2, the Sony Xperia Z1, and some variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Actual performance varies from device to device because sometimes the speed is throttled to prevent overheating. Suffice to say the Nexus 5 is very, very fast.