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I have had to charge the Google Nexus 5 every day since I started using it. Starting out with a full battery it's generally 30% or below by the end of the day, and for really heavy usage days it needed a top-up before bedtime.
Project Volta, a new addition in Lollipop, is supposed to eke more juice from a charge and help you go longer without reaching for the charger or plonking your phone onto a Qi wireless pad.
But I haven't really found a massive improvement, if anything there's a couple of worrying incidents where my phone has simply drained itself empty overnight when it was fully charged before. There have also been a few cases where it's been at 70% and then suddenly dropped to below 20%, without any obvious reason why.
Another part of Project Volta is a battery saver mode, which automatically kicks in when your phone dips below 15%. Apart from turning the status bars a rather bright shade of orange, this mode manages to save battery by turning off background data, killing those sweeping animations and toning down performance.
In my tests I did find that when 'Battery saver' was enabled the phone would last a bit longer, but no more than an extra 20 minutes. It is nice to have, but nowhere near the feature-rich battery saver mode that Samsung added to the Galaxy S5.
Now, there isn't really any such thing as "normal" usage, but it would be fair to say that I'm a heavy user. I take my phone everywhere and use it frequently. I left Wi-Fi and mobile data on at all times, enabled location tracking with high accuracy, and opted into Google Now.
A typical day will include a cumulative hour of gaming, maybe 90 minutes worth of web browsing, a couple of photos, and a smattering of app action in Facebook, eBay, Twitter, and Flipboard, not to mention obsessive email checks (even with it set to a 15 minute refresh rate).
What this reveals, beyond my worrying smartphone addiction, is that the Nexus 5 is fairly typical.
Initially the battery life is very erratic, but this is no cause for concern, because you should find that it settles down after the first few days. Remember that downloading and installing a burst of apps tends to eat the battery life fast.
Downloading and installing an exceptionally large game, such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, which is 1.6GB, using Wi-Fi actually ate a staggering 10% of my battery.
If you use the Nexus 5 to navigate with turn-by-turn directions or play a graphically intensive game, like the aforementioned Asphalt 8 then you will really notice a major drain.
The Nexus 5 battery dropped 4% in ten minutes of playing the excellent Monument Valley. Streaming a 55 minute episode of Breaking Bad through Netflix ate 18% of the remaining battery life. A 15 minute call drained just 2% away.
The Nexus 5 battery is rated at 2,300mAh, a bit lower than the Galaxy S4's 2,600mAh battery.
Our 90 minute video NyanGareth battery test, with the screen at full brightness, knocked the Nexus 5 from fully-charged down to 74%.
Inside or outside, in a busy shop, or a deserted street, the Nexus 5 made and received calls with no problems. Callers reported my dulcet tones came through loud and clear, even with my four year-old son screaming in the background, which points to some good noise cancellation skills.
I also found callers came through with plenty of volume and clarity on my end. The speakerphone isn't as clear, but it does the job.
The phone app has been overhauled again in Android 5.0 and it's very convenient to use. The last call is listed at the top and then you get big contact spaces for your most frequently contacted friends and family.
When you do need to call a more distant contact you can just type in the search bar at the top and you'll rarely have to enter more than a couple of letters before they pop up.
You can also search for local businesses in here and call them directly, which can be very handy when you need a pizza at short notice.
I love the keyboard on the Nexus 5. Google has definitely made improvements, because for the first few days I would pause after a staccato burst of typing to go back and make corrections, only to find that the text was error-free. The swiping option has also been improved, making one-handed typing much easier.
Hangouts is no longer the default messaging app in Android 5.0 Lollipop, replaced by a new Material Design infused SMS only app.
Why Google did this, I'm not really sure. Sure, you can change your default app back to Hangouts (which still does SMS and comes pre-installed), but I had hoped Google would do away with the basic SMS app this time around.
The purity of the Google experience on offer here is unmatched anywhere else. Cast an eye over the pre-installed apps, from Maps to Hangouts, from Gmail to Google Docs, from the Chrome browser to YouTube, the strength of the Google ecosystem is impressive.
Swipe to the right on the home screen and there's Google Now, ready to serve. The Nexus 5 offers everything that's good about Google in a streamlined format.
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