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Google Nexus 5 Review

Google Nexus 5 9.5

Call Quality

Google Nexus 5 Review
Google Nexus 5 Review
It’s not the best thing we’ve used, nor is it the worst, but at the very least we’re able to get through phone calls with some ease. Taking a different approach, the Nexus 5 employs a very peculiar looking earpiece – one that’s circular and tiny in size. It could be the way it disperses audio, but we find its volume output to be lacking. Well, that’s unless we jam it against our ear tightly. Furthermore, voices have a flatter tone, but still audible enough to comprehend voices. Thankfully things are better on our callers’ end, as they’re treated to voices that are rich, distinctive, and clear. Finally, the speakerphone emits a lot of crackling at the loudest setting.


On one side, we’re absolutely thankful that 4G LTE connectivity is in tow this time, but on the other hand, it might be the culprit to its underwhelming battery performance. Stuffed with a 2300 mAh battery, its output ranges between 8 to 12 hours with our heavy usage. And that’s about it folks! Therefore, it’s something that requires constant charging if you really need to use it a lot before calling it in for the day.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
6h 48 min (Average)
5h 45 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)
View all


There’s a lot to be said about the Google Nexus 5, mostly good things quite frankly. First and foremost, we can’t help but to mention yet again the killer pricing that’s attached with this high-end smartphone – something that continues to be the trend setter. Come on people, we’re talking about a $350 no-contract priced smartphone that’s oozing from head-to-toe with many lovable qualities. And we’re not talking about an inferior spec’d smartphone here, oh no people, much like some of the crap in the prepaid space that we tend to see. Rather, the Nexus 5 shows us what’s possible in a $350 outright device!

Besides the hardware, Android 4.4 KitKat brings forth a refreshed experience that doesn’t try to overpower us with several new features, but instead, it focuses in providing user with a simplified experience that’s easy to learn, operate, and navigate. Other Android experiences try to win people over with their expansive set of features, but there is none of that redundancy here with the Google Nexus 5, as it merely places a lot of emphasis on the core experience.

Indeed, all is not 100 percent perfect with the smartphone, like its underwhelming battery and call quality performances, but the positives with this one easily outweigh the negatives. And to reiterate it again, there’s so much value seen in this handset – hands down, the best bang for the buck and an absolute bargain! Going forward, you should really think deeply what you throw your hard earned money into.

Seriously, the Nexus 5 is very much like that person at the gym who wears an oversized t-shirt to hide the results they’ve been working hard on for some time. There are other smartphones that might be bigger, badder, and better looking, but regardless of that, the Nexus 5 is a humble little fella that doesn’t feel obligated to “show off.” Instead, its modest approach and one-of-a-kind pricing is an effective combination that shows us that it’s a force to be reckoned with. Timing couldn’t have been any better for this smartphone, since it’s already a home run heading into this holiday season.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4
Build Number: KRT16M
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-g9eb14ba


  • Bargain price of $350
  • Simplified approach with the UI
  • Camera snaps sharp photos & videos


  • Modest look
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Flat sounding internal speaker
  • No LTE support with Verizon
PhoneArena rating:
9.5 Excellent
User rating:
9.4 85 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:06 7

1. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

would it be hard to give a perfect 10 for this beast or am i missing something ?

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:10 57

2. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 382; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

Battery Life should have been better

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:53 18

30. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

There's many things that could always be better.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:25 10

41. DanielBeaver (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 May 2012)

But battery life is a very big deal. I can't expect to get through a day of heavy usage, which is a dealbreaker.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:30 2

44. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

What the hell could you be doing that causes the battery to not last all day?

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:37 16

48. troutsy (Posts: 311; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)

You can do a lot more on Android phones. It's actually quite easy to run through the battery with all the extra capabilities that we enjoy.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:42 3

49. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

Just because you can do more doesn't mean you should, subtle unfunny potshot aside.

Those widgets you all love so much, they eat battery life. The dynamic live backgrounds, they eat battery life.

A lot more isn't better than just working.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:56 3

56. troutsy (Posts: 311; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)

Trying to turn it into a debate on which is better, Android vs. iOS. You must be hungry today.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:01 3

59. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

You took the potshot up above by saying Android can do more. So if anything you must be hungry.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:05 12

60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

100 Things iPhone 5S - 5C Can't do Android Phones Can:

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:10

80. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)

You can always buy a nokia 3310 with no feature at all and be very happy.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 07:44

150. DanielBeaver (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 May 2012)

I use maps and email heavily, syncs a lot during the day. Believe it or not, I actually use my phone for real work - and the Note 2 was the first android phone that was able to carry me through the entire day. I would much rather be using a stock android device than have to put up with Samsung's crapware and shoddy, plasticy hardware, but at least the phone lasts 18 hours without dying.

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 06:14

160. JC557 (Posts: 1513; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

This is just proof you don't use an Android device. My Droid Razr M can go 2 days moderate usage (2 1/2 screen use) and thats with widgets working in the background (weather, transit, data, battery, social media). Even the widget heavy HTC One can go more than a day with moderate usage and Sense is very widget heavy.

posted on 10 Nov 2013, 20:00

169. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)

2 days on a Razr M huh. so either that's not at all true or you hv the only Razr M in history that will ever go for two days before hving to recharge. based off of the battery performance i've seen on the Razr M...i'd give your claim 25% truth behind it.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 03:35

142. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

It would have scored 10/10 then insyead of 9.5

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 06:10 1

149. osaFromJava (Posts: 35; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Its not that bad.. look at the custom script battery test. Nexus 5 is slightly worse than iphone 5s (5 hours 2 mnts),, but much better than iphone 5 (4h 22min) or SGS III (4h 8min)

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:11 18

3. YuLeven (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 May 2013)

I think that 9.5 is quite generous. It's a great phone, but not a perfect one. Specially for it's battery life.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:26 9

11. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

That's the only obvious flaw i think this phone has. Score is actually right given the price of this phone. Ow i forgot expandable storage. But hey, iphone. Hahaha

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:43

50. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12941; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

iPhone doesn't need expandable storage.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:07 12

61. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

no because why have expandable storage when you can pay $100 extra for 16Gb more!!!

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 05:36

159. kanagadeepan (Posts: 922; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

Yes... Just like Nokia 3310....

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:52

72. sniper1087 (Posts: 508; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)

Only flaw? Nope, speakers are lower than those available on the Z1 is almost impossible to hear in a loud environment. And well developers still haven't updated apps to work well with kit Kat, so whatsapp, fiber and line just to name a few constantly crash, viber and line you cannot register because everytim you try it crashes, it might not be the phone but that is a deciding factor for a lot of people when they want to use certain apps and they just don't work.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:47

117. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Camera quality isn't tht good either. Many people in verge forum have also mentioned uncomfortable ergonomics.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:12 3

83. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)

PA should stop focusing on price. This site is viewed from people all around the globe, and you know that Google Play sell the nexus phone in quite a few countries. So this argument is not valid for us

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:33 6

97. boosook (Posts: 1436; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Consider the price and tell me what else you can get for $/EUR 349.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:12 2

4. Ninetysix (Posts: 2374; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Battery life.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:13 2

106. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)

Lets wait for GSM Arena to do a full test to get the battery life details. It looks no better or worse than an iPhone 5s though, but I wish it was at the front of the pack, instead of the middle!

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:12 1

5. remtothemax (Posts: 260; Member since: 02 May 2012)

I don't know, maybe underwhelming battery performance might be part of that?
there is no swappable battery and this thing performs batterywise like it's 2007. I personally think that is a pretty big flaw as enormous batteries become more and more common across the market.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:28

16. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

you know what i didnt see the last page, but with the easy ifix it or whatever their called score cant you remove the battery and swap in a beefier battery ?

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:31

45. DanielBeaver (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 May 2012)

It wouldn't be as trivial as just swapping a battery. A higher capacity battery would be physically larger, and so you would need a modified case with a new layout for the antennas (which are integrated into the bottom case).

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:35

68. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)

Battery life could have been better. On a side note. Why is the review over at verge shows the Nexus 5 as ok-ish and phonearena rates it amazing here. I rather think phonearena's is more acurate.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:11 5

81. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 805; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

Only battery life.. Other than that it is something which everyone will crave for. only $350 and you get everything great.
Apple told the world that these kinda touchscreen phones can only be purchased by rich, leaving middle class & poor only dream about any such devices.
I'm so thankful to Google that it has given people like me (who cant afford such high pricing $700) so much at such low costs. Not only the Nexus, but people can afford to have Android devices at as low as $50-$100.....
Keep it up Google... God Bless u

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:19

107. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)

+1 Buddy! Even though most in North America don't think about cost, in many parts of the world, people have to buy their phones before they can get a cell plan. So Google has done something that no other company can claim --- bring a flagship phone to all people of the world, at a honest price! Thats a champion move on there part!

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:54 1

120. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Nexus is not available in most countries. You must be new to Android, else this should be very obvious to you. Apart from handful (8-10) 1st world countries, nexus is not available through google-channel. Infact in many places its available at much higher prices. Just an example - China and India hardly gets any Nexus love. These 2 countries have 1/3rd of total world population. India stlil doesn't have N7 (2013) or N10. N5 will sell close to $500 in India with almost ZERO aftersales support.
90% of the countries doesn;t have "proper" access to Nexus devices. Some people get ot through Grey market without any warranty or useless dealer warranty.

So, you are wrong when you say google is bringing Neus to all people in the world. Google is simply selling nexus in the parts of world which is already very rich and can afford any smartphone.

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 09:42 1

162. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 805; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

You are full of negetivity. I'm not taking about Nexus only. If you read my comment, I'm thanking Google for making an open source OS which is available @$50-100-150. Isn't it good on part of Google. Can you think of Apple ever reducing their prices? Their target is rich only.
BTW I'm from India and nexus tablet is available . not the 2013 one but it has started. Soon it will be available in developing countries as well.
If Google only wanted to sell only in rich countries, it would have tried to sell it @ prices equal to iPhones coz they can afford any smartphone...!!!!

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 09:57 1

163. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 805; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

I'm just being positive about future

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 12:25

176. HordeQ (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)

A lot of those areas, like China for example, use a proprietary network system. You need a 3rd model to be designed or more per area. They already have to design one for America and one for everywhere else.

It really doesn't make any marketing sense to design a top end phone for places that (as you said) can't afford it. That'd be like opening a designer jet retailer in the middle of India... wtf would be the point?

This whole 'rich country' nonsense really bothers me. I can barely afford upgrades...thank god my service allows free/discounted upgrades every year. Not everyone in America uses $100 bills for toilet paper. Half the people (at least) that buy iPhones for $700 finance them.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 17:12

155. mrblah (Posts: 576; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)

It's called get a contract and a lower cost.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:42

98. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

It's a good review. If you don't consider the money factor would be an 8...sadly value/price is the most important thing so 9.5 is fair...if its battery was in graphite and lasted 2 days then 10.

Anyway, The Verge: awful camera; Rest of the world (6-7 sites, yt comparisons) above average/good. Oh I love that site

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 11:08 2

105. monkeytown (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

a 10 would mean that it´s the PERFECT phone, which will NEVER happen....

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:39 2

111. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

It's not even that good. 9.5 is too much for it considering what it does. Nexus 4 was also hyped by media. I got it, and now I am suffering from it.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 03:36

143. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Lost 0.5 for absence of the fruit tattoo on the back.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 17:10

154. mrblah (Posts: 576; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)

iphone 6 will have a 10.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:15 7

6. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)

whoa 9.5 so generous but fanboish. don't get me wrong. I like android. but for me nexus is not pinpoint of it. note 3 is.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:26 17

12. NexusPhan (Posts: 625; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Absolutely not. TouchWiz is atrocious. It's ugly. It's bloated. It's gimmicky. It's slow. Note 3 should score a 2 for it's software and build quality. It's amazing screen, camera and battery are the only things making it worth looking at.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:28 7

15. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Some of the S-Pen features are pretty useful, but other than, Touchwiz is hideous and horribly bloated.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:34 6

22. NexusPhan (Posts: 625; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Unfortunately the overall terrible-ness of TouchWiz overshadows any of the positives.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:36 6

25. YuLeven (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 May 2013)

Well, I quite enjoy TouchWiz. It's not perfect, but I really don't 'pure' Android being better in what matters for me: functionality.

It may look better, it may be smoother, but if I can't do more I hardly can't see it as better.

And well, multitasking is wonderful on the Note. I really miss it on other phones.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 07:46 1

28. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

I do recognize the productivity and functionality of Touchwiz (primarily the Note), but I personally can't put it ahead of stock Android just for that. Hell, even HTC managed to get Sense right after being the most heavy skin around; they optimized Sense 5 pretty much perfectly while still giving it a great new look and some very useful features. Samsung just slaps features on an ugly UI without bothering to optimize it, and they compensate by putting 3 GB of RAM in there.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:26 2

109. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)

You sound a little critical. The Note3 is the best multi-tasking phone in the market at present, and it has great hardware and features in general, so why so mean.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:58 1

121. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Optimizing it? You have no clue buddy..

How can you say google optimize the software when they have the worst batterylife among all devices? What sort of 'optimization' is that? If that is optimization, I hate it.

How can Nexus 4 suffer because of thermal throttling when all other phones using same SOC run just fine? read before you comment. Do you want me to show you proof of thermal throttling of N4?

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:13 2

84. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)

same as me. I prefer TW to other launchers because oc usability. if I wanted smoothness and no functionality I would have adopted whinpho or ios. but I want functionality and TW has things just LG can offer.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 08:26 3

43. Klamba92 (Posts: 210; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)

Have to agree I would agree with you, touchwiz is still too bloated and looks pre ICS like, note 3 is a beast of a phone and has some very cool features but many are gimmicks and are mainly half thought out, The nexus 5 is in every way as much as much as a beast too with IMO a much better software and ui experience! Plus quick updates and cheap price if you are in a Google play area. On top of that the note 3 is a phablet whereas the nexus 5 is a phone!

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 09:35 4

69. cripton805 (Posts: 1440; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

Slow???? Obviously, its going to use up a little more power, but to say its slow is a lie. It's 2013 now. None of the high end phones are slow anymore even with their skins.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:05 4

76. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

I totally disagree completely... TouchWiz UX 2.0 is beautiful, not gmicky and definitely not slow.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:19 1

90. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)

a little gimmick but not as much as everybody is complaining. is swipe to call or text on a contacts name gimmick? ofcourse not. TW is functional and is the main reason why I dont switch to sony or nexus

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 10:44

99. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


posted on 06 Nov 2013, 12:42 1

114. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

What is a phone without screen, batterylife and camera?

Is colour of UI more important to you than batterylife? One has to be a dork to give priority to UI colour than batterylife.

If Nexus is not-bloated, why does it have such pathetic batterylife?

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 13:21

123. papss (unregistered)

I disagree... Actually I find stock awful looking. I had the n4 and returned it due to my dislike of the on screen buttons and bland OS. I currently own a L1020 and a note 3.

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 00:39

158. gentleman559 (Posts: 22; Member since: 08 Aug 2013)

Nah, Note 3 is a F***ing beast. But there again so is the Nexus 5. I have both and they both are capable of giving me a phonegasm. Different strokes for different folks.

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Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5

OS: Android 6.0 5.1 5.0 4.4.4 4.4.2 4.4
view full specs
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (445 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz, Krait 400 processor
Size5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches
(137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)
Battery2300 mAh, 17 hours talk time

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