End User phones

Initial review of Google Nexus5

Hugo Pickering has been good enough to let us have his thoughts on the Google Nexus5. He did so in a comment on my unreview of the device but it is very much worth a post of its own so here it is. Thanks for the feedback Hugo:)

Hugo writes:

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?

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

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

3 replies on “Initial review of Google Nexus5”

Thanks Trefor. Happy to provide my views, but they are only subjective!

Having spent a couple of days using the new phone I’m finding it an easy transition, particularly now that I have replaced Hangouts with Handcent as my default SMS app – much better! Unlimited homescreens full of favourite apps and folders is a great improvement too.

Blatant plug alert: if anyone would like a 16GB Nexus 4 at a knockdown price, here you go:

subjective is more interesting than objective here. Real people use phones and I think opinions are worth at least as much as clinical analysis.

Looks like there’s still appetite for Nexus 4 phones. Mine was snapped up on eBay within about 2 hours for £175.00. Perhaps I should have put the Buy It Now price higher!

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