So after numerous leaks, some of which may have been planned and some not, the Nexus 5 has officially arrived and is on sale (though we’re hearing the 16GB is already sold out in what seems like less than a few hours).
So what’s the story with the Nexus 5? For starters, it’s a Nexus device, which is to say it’s devoid of manufacturer bloatware or skins. I’m a big fan of the Nexus layout, and while HTC Sense and Samsung’s Wiz platforms offer some conveniences, they’re marginal at best and leave something to be desired in terms of simplicity and use.
As for hardware, the Nexus 5 is sporting Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful chip, a 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of RAM. It supports a full HD 5-inch (4.95″) IPS display – that’s 445ppi for all of you comparing it to the iPhone 5s – covered in Gorilla Glass 3. The 2,300mAh battery is wireless charging compatible, much like it’s predecessor, the Nexus 4. There is of course the latest in connectivity, which includes support for LTE and dual-band 802.11 AC. There is also Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a whole host of sensors, which includes pressure, gyroscope and even something called “hall effect”.
But the biggest performance leap should be reflected in the Nexus 5′s camera. That said, the Nexus 4‘s camera was tired and subpar at best, especially given the phone’s all together awesome performance. The Nexus 5′s camera brings OIS (optical image stabilization). And while the sensor’s megapixel count isn’t above and beyond, it’s likely ideal, since more isn’t always,well, more – it has 8-megapixels. Google says that it can snap true HDR photos – two photos combined each at a different exposure level. There is of course full HD video and more.
Another performance gain will also be reflected in the updated OS, Android 4.4, otherwise known as the sugary sweet KitKat (get it, KitKat on Halloween). Aside from a smaller memory footprint – this will make it suitable for phones with just 512MB of memory – Android 4.4 should add speed and performance to numerous applications, especially inside of the Nexus 5 thanks to the next gen hardware. Let’s just hope they update the camera’s interface and speed. I believe Apple really nailed this in iOS 7.
So will I be ordering the Nexus 5? I already did. At $349 it’s a steal, especially compared to any on contract phone. And yes, the Nexus 5 is off contract at $349. Or $399 if you opt for the 32GB version, which doubles the handset’s storage capacity. Sprint has already said they’ll be bring the phone to market next Friday (11/8), on contract, for $150 (you can preorder the device from Sprint starting tomorrow). T-Mobile will follow shortly, likely later in the month to capture holiday sales.