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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Nexus 5: Reasons to Buy Nexus 5



In just a few short weeks, the Samsung Galaxy S5 release date will arrive in countries around the world. This means that countless consumers are currently weighing the Galaxy S5 against the current cream of the crop, a list that includes Google’s current Nexus smartphone, the LG-made Nexus 5.

Last month, Samsung announced the all new Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that it hopes will successfully challenge many of the top smartphones currently on shelves. The Galaxy S5 certainly has the feature-set to do so as it includes a brand new dust and water resistant design, a large 5.1-inch full HD display, speedy processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, new TouchWiz software, and a much improved camera from the one found on the Galaxy S4.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 release date in the United States is set for April 11th. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular are currently taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 ahead of its release in April. The Verizon Galaxy S5 remains missing in action but we expect the carrier to clear things up in the near future.

What this means is that there are a ton of people who are at least thinking about buying the Samsung Galaxy S5. Many, have started weighing their options ahead of April 11th.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve heard from family, friends and readers who are interested in the Samsung Galaxy S5 but are also intrigued by other smartphones on the market. One of the names that keeps coming up time and time again is the Nexus 5, the current Nexus smartphone and one that arrived back in November.

We consider the Nexus 5 to be one of the best smartphones on the market so it’s no wonder why consumers are weighing it against the Samsung Galaxy S5.

With that in mind, we want take a look at some reasons why some consumers might want to buy the Nexus 5 over Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S5. (Tomorrow, we’ll offer the reverse and offer reasons you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy S5 over the Nexus 5.)

You Don’t Want to Spend A Lot of Money

Those who are balling on a budget are going to want to take a close look at the Nexus 5. One of the perks of the Nexus series of smartphones is its price. Google makes its Nexus products extremely affordable and it’s one of the reasons why they have started to become popular with the average consumer.

On-contract, the Galaxy S5 16GB is going to be $199.99. By comparison, the Nexus 5 on-contract is $99 at Sprint. AT&T doesn’t sell it through its website.

Off-contract is where the Nexus 5 really shines. While the Galaxy S5 is going to command an off-contract price that’s over $600, $650 in most places, the Nexus 5 starts at $400 off-contract. The 32GB version of the Nexus 5 costs $450 through the Google Play Store, an obvious discount over the price of the Galaxy S5.

While there are cheaper off-contract options, the Moto G is certainly one to look at, they don’t have the top-of-the-line specifications that the Nexus 5 has. This is a flagship smartphone and it comes with all of the spoils: full HD display, quad-core processor, solid camera, great design, and more. It’s the more that we’ll detail now.

Faster Updates

Nexus devices also come with another perk that is beloved amongst Android enthusiasts. While devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 receive their updates from specific carriers, Nexus-branded devices receive software updates directly from Google itself. This cuts down on the waiting times and means that Nexus devices are first in line to major Android updates.

For example, the Nexus 5 was among the first to the Android 4.4 KitKat update that rolled out back in November. The Galaxy S4? Its roll out started in February, months after the arrival of the Nexus 5’s update. The updates are similar and the update did not provide the Galaxy S4 any distinct advantage over the Nexus 5.

This is a trend that will continue into 2014 as Google updates its Nexus line with newer, better Android software. Something that impatient types will want to keep in mind before committing to the Galaxy S5.

Stock Android

The Nexus 5 also comes with stock Android. Stock Android is also known as vanilla Android because is comes without the usual changes that manufacturers make to Google’s software. Instead, it’s a pure Google experience, for better or for worse.

Many people prefer to the stock Google Android experience over the Samsung software experience. While Samsung’s software does provide a different feature set, which can be seen in the video below, it’s far more cluttered.

Vanilla Android on the Nexus 5 is clean, smooth and far more simple than the software found on Samsung’s Galaxy S series making it ideal for those that want a more basic software experience.

Samsung’s software also comes with a lot of bloat. What we mean by that is, it comes with software features that many users will disable or forget about after the first day. Stock Android does not.

You Really, Really Want Built-In Wireless Charging

The Nexus 5’s shares some things in common with the Galaxy S5. Both come with a 5-inch full HD displays, quad-core processors, and 2GB of RAM for high performance gaming and content consumption. There is, however, one advantage that the Nexus 5 holds over the Samsung Galaxy S5: built-in wireless charging.

Google’s device comes with wireless charging support built into the back of the device which means that users won’t have to spend extra money in order to get it to work. The Galaxy S5 does not come with built-in wireless charging which means that in order for it to work, users will have to buy a special back in addition to the wireless charger.


For most people, lack of built-in wireless charging won’t be a deal breaker. However, for those that want to save a few extra bucks and cut down on the cords, the Nexus 5 is worthy of consideration.

These reasons should be consider a push over the fence but we highly recommend going hands-on with the two devices before coming to a final decision.



  1. qwerty

    03/24/2014 at 7:03 pm

    correction: Nexus 5 is $349 (16GB) or $399 (32GB) on Play store!

  2. lol

    03/24/2014 at 7:20 pm

    Just because its stock android doesn’t mean its better than touchwiz. People may prefer TW over stock, so that’s not exactly a huge reason. If stock android is preferred by everyone then you could even say the same against the HTC one. Before you say its all bloat in the other manufactures consider that other consumers might actually use this so called “bloat”

  3. Brandon

    03/24/2014 at 7:50 pm

    I guess what I would like to know is what the big deal a out wireless charging is. I have the N5 but I didn’t opt for the charger. I get it, it’s wireless and it’s the next thing that’ll probably change the way we do things but it’s not there yet. I like the magnets on the Google charger to keep it in place but I still think it’s kind of inconvenient. I like to use my phone while it’s charging. I can be on the couch and have it charging while doing activities but this isn’t possible without being inconvenienced by the angles of the wireless charging. Can the technology get it to a point where it doesn’t have to be in contact with the charger?

  4. Seth Klein

    03/24/2014 at 7:51 pm

    The Nexus 5 released with KitKat. In fact, the Nexus 5 was the first device to have the OS. The two were released together.

  5. Allyson Burgers

    03/25/2014 at 1:58 am

    nexus 5 has outstanding perfomance

  6. chazzmatt

    03/25/2014 at 2:55 am

    Re: wireless charging.

    Someone wanted to know what the big deal about that was. I thought the same — but once trying it now I have 5 wireless chargers scattered throughout the house. :) It’s GREAT. You walk in the door, plop the phone on the small rectangular charging pad, walk away. It’s immediately charging.

    Take the phone into the bedroom to sleep, put it on the charging pad. Done.

    No pushing, pulling on USB hardware cables ALL the time. The less you do that to your phone, the better for the USB port.

    If you need to use the phone while charging — you are that low on battery — you can also plug in. No one says you can’t. But having the charging pad so handy — to put the phone on and take off immediately — I find the battery stays charged more so I don’t HAVE to plug in to keep the phone going when I want to use it. :)

  7. Elvis Ma

    03/25/2014 at 3:35 am

    Pretty much meh reasons all together in this article
    1) Yes Nexus 5 was always priced to sell.
    2) Faster Updates? Who cares. Using 4.4.2 works great and I have plenty of other tablets that still use Gingerbread and ICS and they work without a hitch.
    3) That’s subjective. Samsung made touchwiz for the everyday user while clean android is more for the power user since they tend to like clean minimal designs and no bloatware. I played with many custom roms back in the day with my note 1 and can’t couldn’t be bother to do that now with my note 3.
    4) Good feature to have, but I prefer USB 3.0 for faster charging instead with my 2amp wall charger

    5) And then you got all the traditional Samsung goodies, MicroSD, removable battery,so you can replace it after it degrades without paying an arm and a leg, the “bloatware” like touchwiz that some people actually find useful. I’m using a 10000mah zerolemon battery and don’t even under heavy use, only charge the phone every 3 days.

  8. chazzmatt

    03/25/2014 at 4:53 am

    For people who say get a USB 3.0 with 2 amp wall chargers, you don’t understand the point. You can have BOTH. It’s not either/or. But the wireless charger beats the wall charger for convenience.

  9. chazzmatt

    03/25/2014 at 4:55 am

    WRONG! “the Nexus 5 starts at $400 off-contract. The 32GB version of the Nexus 5 costs $450 through the Google Play Store, an obvious discount over the price of the Galaxy S5.”

    Try $349 (16GB) and $399 (32GB) straight from the Google store. How about some fact checking?

  10. vexorian

    03/25/2014 at 8:35 am

    Wireless charging (which overheats the battery) and non-replaceable battery.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    But anyway, the real reason I’ll probably not get the Nexus is that those simply aren’t shipped to my country, at all.

  11. Jeffery

    03/25/2014 at 10:18 am

    I have Nexus 5 from last 6 month which I consider as best Smartphone I have ever had in my entire life. I like its features such as built in wireless charging compatibility, and the best one is a chance to get a most updated android version after its release as even discussed above that Android latest version is first available on its Nexus series phone rather than android based phone of other manufacturers whether it is Samsung or HTC. So my choice is still ready to buy another Nexus 5 over Galaxy S5.

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