End User phones

The Google Nexus5 unreview

social network sharing on the blogThe Google Nexus5 took me a bit by surprise. I don’t anally watch the space and nobody mentioned it when I visited Google in London on Wednesday. Maybe it caught them by surprise too.

It’s getting to the point where the devices are coming too thick and fast to review them all, notwithstanding the fact that unless you are a favoured globally read media star who gets a freebie (coming clean here, I’m not) it gets to be an expensive thing to do, changing your phone every few months.

Anyway I don’t need to have a physical Nexus5 device to do a review. I can tell without even looking. It will have a few software and hardware improvements on its predecessor. I happen to know it’s a bit cheaper as well, which is good and a sign of the way forward – the point is coming where it’s difficult to add any new sexy features because they have already all been implemented (the “beam me up Scotty”  teleporter app being the exception here. That one is still at the artist impression stage although it is the ultimate app.

Having said that if anyone has a Nexus5 and wants to  do a review then feel free to drop me a line. Also I just took a look and this month amazingly has readers from 147 countries though the majority are in blighty. Check out the whole list here > Readership distribution of blog.

PS the pic is a random image selected from my library of uploads. I’m clearly feeling bullish 🙂

Ciao baby.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

4 replies on “The Google Nexus5 unreview”

Well, my order went in yesterday (I wasn’t watching for the launch date but was pleasantly surprised when it appeared on Pulse), so I’ll let you know what I think when it arrives. To correct one point above, the pricing is higher than the Nexus 4 (even before the recent price drop). Nexus 5 32GB including p&p costs £348.99 inclusive of VAT from the Google Play Store. My N4 cost £249 including VAT last year, which is now available to you for £150 (or will be once the N5 arrives).

Ta Hugo – for both the price correction (why bother looking it up when someone will do it for you?:) ) and for the offer to let us know what it’s like.

Hello all

The N5 finally arrived after the Parcelforce driver failed to read the note on the garden gate telling him to walk through to my office, entailing a trip yesterday to pick it up from the post office in Chipping Norton. Setup and transfer of all apps and data was very easy, once I had taken advice from Adrian Wooster and used the excellent app SMS Backup+, which does exactly as it says on the tin.

The familiar Android interface hasn’t changed dramatically in KitKat, but I might have preferred more icons on screen at once with a bigger screen, rather than bigger icons than before. The screen itself is fantastic, with greater colour depth and clarity – photos look sharper and the detail is stunning. The camera is a huge improvement, with much better low light shooting capability. Auto Awesome looks good, enhancing photos as you go, and then backing them up to Google+.

I’m still not sure about Hangouts hijacking SMS so that all texts have to go through it, which seems a bit draconian, but understandable as it makes everything easier to backup for future migrations. I may experiment with some SMS apps to see if anything else works better, as I guess developers will want to cash in on this.

A few apps seem to struggle with KitKat, notably Movember (yes I am going hirsute for the month –, which seems to be an issue accessing the camera or gallery – maybe the app needs updating. Those apps that have been updated and optimised for KitKat work really well, such as Ookla’s Speedtest – a hugely improved interface and UX.

Speed is another big overall improvement, with apps loading faster and swapping between them with no lag. Hardware-wise, the phone is taller than the previous model, but the same width and thickness. The change to a rubberised back is very welcome and will help to reduce breakages of the old N4 Gorilla Glass back. The phone quality is excellent and the internal speaker seems louder than most phones which is great.

So overall I’m pretty pleased. Now to sell the old N4 on eBay – anyone?

Thanks v much Hugo. The camera performance in low light sounds good as does the speed of the apps. The speed thing is definitely an issue with non Google sources of Android such as my own Samsung Galaxy S4.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.