The latest and greatest smartphone from Google is finally here. Announced and released to the Play Store this morning is the new LG Nexus 5 smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat. Delivering the thinnest and fastest Nexus smartphone to date with 4G LTE, a powerful quad-core processor, and Google’s latest mobile OS.
Now that the device is finally official, available as we speak, and shipping now (you might want to hurry and buy one) below you’ll find a list of features and options on the Nexus 5 that are specifically worth mentioning. No it isn’t the most groundbreaking phone with features we’ve never seen before, but it’s a compelling option all starting at just $349. Not only does it have KitKat, but there’s also a few other noteworthy additions.
One of the most important specs for a smartphone in this day and age is 4G LTE. Allowing users the fastest network speeds around for the best experience possible on a mobile device. From browsing the web, watching Netflix, to catching the latest TV episode from Google Play Movies & TV. The Nexus 5 is the first Nexus with 4G LTE speeds, available from basically everyone but Verizon. Shame on Verizon, but for everyone else, this is a must-have feature and one of the most important. It’s worth noting that the newest LTE band Verizon is using has support, but the older band used by all Verizon smartphones isn’t supported, we could see tweaks and hacks later on, but for now Verizon is a no go with this phone.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Obviously having the absolute latest and greatest software update to Android direct from Google is important, and the Nexus 5 is first in line. Being the first phone with KitKat the Nexus 5 already has a leg up on the competition, and will continue to get updates first. Until the Nexus 6 of course. With a brand new completely improved version of Android users can expect the fastest, most smooth and stable experience to date. With Google promising optimal performance, yet amazing battery life and an extremely efficient and low memory consuming platform.
KitKat offers a brand new Google Now experience, which we’ll talk about more below, and tons of brand new features. Users will be able to take advantage of a new screen recording function, recording anything on the display and instantly saving right on the device in an easy to playback MP4 format. Wireless cloud printing has been overhauled, and NFC has been tweaked to allow tap & pay like never before on a mobile device.
Optical Image Stabilization
One area many Nexus owners can all agree on is the camera. The Galaxy Nexus had an awful 5 megapixel lens that didn’t compare to the Galaxy S II at the time, and was no match for Apple’s iPhone. The Nexus 4 was slightly improved, but this time around Google’s pulled out all the stops. Claiming the new Nexus 5 will have one of the best cameras available. Using LG’s Optical Image Stabilization, which only a very select few smartphones currently offer, along with improvements to low light performance, not to mention KitKat software tweaks, the Nexus 5 should be the best camera we’ve ever seen on a Nexus.
Until we actually get our hands on the phone, which is any day now, we can’t fully test or vouch for the new feature. If it’s anything like the image stabilization in the LG G2, which we’re assuming it is, this will be one awesome mobile photography device.
Wireless charging is built into the Nexus 5, just like the Nexus 4, which probably takes some of that precious space needed for a bigger battery. As a result we only have a 2,300 mAh battery under the hood, which hopefully lasts longer than many expect with an efficient Snapdragon 800 processor and KitKat on board.
One area that is arguably the biggest fail when it comes to the new Nexus 5 is the battery size. Nexus devices haven’t been known to offer the best battery life, just ask any Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner, and even the Nexus 4 wasn’t all that great. The LG G2, which is a general base for the Nexus 5 design, came with a massive 3,000 mAh battery and lasts longer than almost any phone I’ve used to date. However, for some odd reason Google opted not to offer something of that size with the Nexus 5. It’s a shame really because a Nexus, even if a little thicker, had a larger battery it would make most Android users extremely happy.
Personally I’ll never use Wireless charging, and many will probably share a similar mindset, but Google’s trying to move this feature forward. As a result, they’re pushing it on all its devices. Any Qi compatible wireless charger will juice up the Nexus 5 quickly, but I’d rather have a bigger battery and the standard charging method.
Google Search and Now is a hugely important feature of Android, and has been for some time now. Google’s been improving the service with updates often, and it will be taking center stage with the Nexus 5. The new smartphone will work with a completely hands-free experience, offering voice commands like never before on a Nexus smartphone. Similar to what we saw and loved with the Moto X, simple commands like “OK, Google Now” will initiative the always-on listening mode for hands-free search and controls.
A quick OK, Google Now command will allow you to ask for weather information, find nearby stores or even launch Google Maps and navigation for directions, send a text message, or even play a song with Google Music. All of this is just a few words away, completely hands-free. Google Now is one of my favorite features of Android of late, and it’s getting even better with 4.4 KitKat and the Nexus 5.
A new feature introduced with Android 4.4 KitKat is a redesigned and smarter dialer in Android. This will be available to many, but first will arrive with the Nexus 5. Google’s added search to the dialer essentially. Letting users start typing Best Buy (instead of numbers) to instantly find and call a nearby store in seconds. Of course you could use Google Now to do this hands-free as mentioned above, but it’s also extremely quick and better than ever when you’re already using the device.
The dialer will automatically recognize who you call the most on the Nexus 5, and keep them front and center at the top of the list. It will prioritize your contacts based off who you call most, making the device smarter and the user experience better.
Should You Buy One?
The Nexus 5 is an all around awesome smartphone. Rocking a full 1080p display coming in at 5-inches, having a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor blazing at 2.3 GHz, offering 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of storage it’s the best Nexus yet. None have offered 32GB of storage, so that’s another feature users will care about, and it’s the first with optical image stabilization on the camera.
The brand new LG Nexus is a top-tier device in almost every sense of the word, comes in at an excellent price starting at $349. And last but not least, runs the latest and greatest Android 4.4 KitKat. There’s nothing not to love (aside from that small battery) and users that enjoy stock Android should jump at the opportunity to snag one. It’s available now, selling out quick, so go get it from the Play Store.