Google Nexus 5 review

  • £295
  • $349

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

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It's becoming debatable whether other Android device manufacturers, building unique user interfaces, and including their own apps and content hubs, can actually improve on what Google is offering, especially as Lollipop is such a beautiful and well equipped operating system.

In the early days of Android, HTC's Sense and Samsung's TouchWiz added important features. With Android 5.0 it's tough to find areas where the platform is lacking. Let's take a look at how the Nexus 5 compares.

OnePlus One

The biggest competitor to the Nexus 5 arrived a good six months after it launched, and it came all the way from China.

The OnePlus One beats the Nexus 5 when it comes to pricing, but also in the spec war with a meaty 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, the choice of 16GB or 64GB of storage and a 13MP rear camera.

Some may find the 5.5-inch full HD just too big to handle on the One, and there's no doubt the Nexus 5 is far more manageable in the palm - but it also lacks in power.

OnePlus One

Battery life is another advantage the Chinese handset has over Google's offering, yet the operating system is intriguing.

The OnePlus One runs Cyanogenmod - a community developed version of Android which looks pretty similar to the stock version, but with lots of added extras.

These aren't the extras you get with over the top UIs from the likes of Samsung or HTC though, instead they are implemented in a more subtle fashion and the wealth of extra control allows you to get your phone working just how you want. You can also now optionally replace the UI with OxygenOS.

Of course there are question marks over the support for the handset if things go wrong, and it's a little tricky to get hold of, but if you're looking for ultimate power vs value for money the OnePlus One offers just that.

Motorola Moto G (2014)

If you're really watching your pennies and are looking for the best value for money smartphone you can't do much better than the Motorola Moto G (2014)

It may not have quite the same levels of specs and features as the Nexus 5, but it still rocks the same vanilla Android KitKat OS, with the Lollipop update already rolling out in some areas. It is also half the price of Google's smartphone.

You get a 5-inch 720p display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front snapper and the choice of 8GB or 16GB of internal storage with the Moto G. There's also a microSD card slot too, for adding more storage.

Motorola Moto G 2014

There's no 4G on the Moto G (2014), so it's not the device for you if you're looking for super-fast data speeds.

The Moto G is great then for someone looking for a cheap, but still highly functional smartphone which isn't going to be used a great deal for high-def video gaming or movie playback.

iPhone 6

You could argue that the Nexus 5 is the device Google hopes will try and entice iPhone 5S users from upgrading to the iPhone 6. While the Nexus 6 is meant to go up against the iPhone 6 Plus.

There are no conflicts. It is as close as you can get to Google's version of Apple's walled garden.

It also manages to feel more minimalist than the iPhone, and there's very little between them when it comes to accessibility or ease of use. The mud traditionally slung at Android from the parapets of competing platforms like iOS 8 simply can't stick to the Nexus 5.

Considering that the 16GB model of the iPhone 5S is still more than £150 more expensive than the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6 is more than double the £299 price-tag Google slapped on its 2013 flagship, there are plenty of reasons to take it seriously.

iPhone 5S

The iPhone 6 has a 720p, 4.7-inch display, still smaller than the 1080p 5-inch panel on the Nexus 5. Battery life and camera ability are easily better on the iPhone 6, but the Nexus does pack double the RAM, with 2GB.

If money is no object then the iPhone 6 might be for you, but the Nexus 5 is far better value.

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