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Google Nexus 5 review

Still a solid smartphone, but it's no longer king of the price point

The Nexus 5 has an 8MP main camera with a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor and an F2.4 30mm equivalent lens. The OIS (optical image stabilisation) helps you eliminate camera shake, and it's pretty easy to point-and-shoot and get good results.

You tap the shutter button to take a shot and you can tap on screen to choose a subject to focus on, but there's no tap to focus and shoot in one. You get vastly superior results if you're able to take your time, hold tap and hold on the shutter button and just lift your finger off when you're ready to capture.

Extra options are accessible via the small circle icon sporting three dots just next to the large shutter key. Here you'll find controls for flash, countdown timer, HDR+, gridlines and the ability to flip to the front snapper.

Google Nexus 5 review

This is an easier setup to the awkward arc which adorned the camera app pre Android 4.4.4, and it makes getting to various functions much quicker.

If you fancy a few camera modes slide your finger in from the left side of the screen, where you'll be greeted with Photo Sphere, Panorama, Lens Blur, Camera and Video modes.

Lens Blur is a recently added mode, as Google jumps on the background defocus bandwagon that many manufacturers are already riding.

Google Nexus 5 review

It takes a few seconds for the Nexus 5 to process the Lens Blur image before you can tinker with the effect.

Swipe from right to left to jump into your camera roll, and any image taken with Lens Blur will have a circle lens icon in the toolbar allowing you to adjust the level of defocus.

It works reasonably well, but it doesn't match the accuracy of the HTC One M8 or Xperia Z3.

Google Nexus 5 review

The more in depth settings menu also been made easier to navigate thanks to recent updates - slide to open the camera modes panel and then tap the settings cog in the corner of the screen.

From here you'll be able to tweak a number of settings including photo and video resolutions, aspect ratio and toggle manual exposure.

There's also a 1.3MP front-facing camera which is really for video calls and quick selfies.

Google Nexus 5 review

It takes just under two seconds to launch the camera on the Nexus 5. You can swipe right to left on the lock screen or unlock and tap the camera icon.

Once open you can also use the volume rocker to take a shot, rather than the on screen shutter button. The way you'll typically hold the Nexus 5 to take a photo makes the volume rocker much easier to use than the on screen button.

Occasionally I found my fingers dropping into shot because the camera is offset to the left. When holding it in landscape the lens is at the top left, quite near the edge, but you soon get used to it.

Google Nexus 5 review
The autofocus works pretty well for close-up shots and I didn't have to refocus this one

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see a decent level of detail on the default top quality 8MP setting

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Google Nexus 5 review
It takes a couple of seconds to process HDR+ shots, but the level of detail is excellent

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Google Nexus 5 review
Even on a dull day, given some time, the camera makes the best of the conditions

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Google Nexus 5 review
The flash is powerful and illuminating for confined spaces

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see the difference without it, there's lots of low-light noise and it doesn't know where to focus

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Google Nexus 5 review
This panoramic shot of the bay came out nicely. You just have to take your time and pan the camera slowly for good results

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Google Nexus 5 review
Here's a partial photo sphere in the same location. A slow, steady hand is needed, but it works quite well

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Google Nexus 5 review
Action mode was able to capture this gull in flight, but the camera is struggling with the dour day as it pans from brightness to dark

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see the noise creeping in when there isn't enough light

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourBlack
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 Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
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