It's been a rather agonizing last month, with all the Nexus 5 rumors playing us fools and whatnot. Well, we finally got the chance to step back and take a deep breath, if for only for a moment, before we get right back into analyzing mode, as per usual.
Now that the Nexus 5 has been out for a short while, and especially considering that a very big chunk of the rumors actually panned out, we kind of feel like we've know the Nexus 5 all along. There have been no surprises, nasty or otherwise, and whether that's a good or a bad thing is up for you to decide in your own time.
As of late, we've gotten into the habit of being critical of new products that come out, especially those with a considerable fanfare. That's not to say that the geek in us isn't equally as excited (yep), or that we think lowly of the products that get into the kind of pieces like this one, rather we feel obligated to voice our concerns and views, if only for that aforementioned geek within. LG, Google, Apple or Samsung can then decide whether they want to listen, though history has shown that they eventually do.
So, without any further ado, the 5 things that could have made the Nexus 5 an even better smartphone than it already is!
5 things that could have made the Nexus 5 better
5 things that could have made the Nexus 5 better
1. Bigger, user-replaceable battery
If there's one thing that can be said to have been the most requested and asked for improvement over the span of the Nexus 4's life, that's definitely a bigger battery. Unfortunately, the Nexus 5 is equipped with a similarly underwhelming cell with a capacity of 2300mAh, far behind the juicers on phones like the LG G2, the Nokia Lumia 1320/1520 or even the Samsung Galaxy S4. At the very least, easy access to it would've made this a far lesser issue.
Anyhow, we'd like to be fair, so we'll mention that there are some fairly persistent rumors, claiming that battery consumption has been lowered with Android 4.4 KitKat. Whether these optimizations will make a big enough difference, however, will be seen only once we get our hands on the Nexus 5 and run it through our in-house battery test.
2. Expandable storage
Another beef a noticeable portion of Nexus 4 users had with the handset is the lack of microSD card slot. These are hardly perfect, but they do the job of keeping your static media (usually the largest single category) just fine.
Alright, so a microSD card extension is not an option (probably has something to do with that sealed unibody). What about a 64GB version, then? Certainly, there are people that would pay for the extra storage gladly, if such an option existed.
3. Hardware buttons
Have you ever had the chance to put a Samsung Galaxy S3 next to a Nexus 4 and then contrast and compare the real estate that both phones have leftover to work with? If you have, you'll know that the addition of hardware buttons on the Galaxy S3 makes for a perceptibly larger and useful screen area.
It's like free space, and it's kind of paradoxical that manufacturers keep pushing the slimness of bezels to a minimum, while continuing to slap software keys on top all the same. On phones like the LG G2, these take up close to entire icon row! Unfortunately, the Nexus 5 sticks to these very software keys, meaning that your 5-inch screen isn't all that big after all.
Alright folks, we'll come right out and say that this one is purely subjective, because it always is. But there's definitely a case to be made when talking about the looks on the Nexus 5.
To start off, the rear camera and the Nexus logo are, by some accounts, too imposing. Now, the opinions at the office are actually split on this one, but one has to agree that the two are the most discernible features of the Nexus 5's design. Moreover, the signature glass back of the Nexus 4 is nowhere to be seen, and it doesn't feel like the Nexus 5 feels like paying any respects to it. And while we'll reserve a final judgment for when we actually hold the Nexus 5 in person, it does look a little bit too plastic and overall -- less stylish and elegant.
5. The little things
The Nexus 5, like the Nexus 4, is very likely coming without earphones out of the box. It won't have extras like an IR blaster, either, a seemingly mere extra that quickly creeps into your habits, however, to a point where you really miss it.
Of course, this is probably the best point in this pick to note that in conclusion, we do get why some of our feedback will ultimately fall on deaf years. After all, considering the price tag on the Nexus 5, we're talking a real bargain here, and this bargain can only be made available if Google and LG are allowed at least some headroom to make shortcuts.
In other words, the Nexus 5 is not a no-compromise device. It has its downsides, but we are ultimately very glad to see the continuation of this trend that merges hardware and price into a quality proposition.