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Google Nexus 5 review Q&A: we answer your questions

Google Nexus 5 review Q&A: we answer your questions

Last week, we asked from you to ask us anything you wanted to know about the newly-launched Google Nexus 5 smartphone, and now, the time has come for us to provide you with some answers. Here we go:


The Google Nexus 5, as all Nexus smartphones before it, represents Android in its purest, most up-to-date form. Its purpose isn't to show off Google's OS as a whole, not to stand out with one or two specific software features. Besides, if a feature isn't part of stock Android, then it doesn't belong on a Nexus device. Of course, you might be able to get the functionality with the help of an app made for the purpose.


The main camera on the Google Nexus 5 performs well when it comes to image quality. It isn't the best out there, of course, but chances are it will beat most smartphones priced similarly, around the $350 mark. The camera UI leaves room for improvement, however. A software update is said to be in the works, meant to improve the Nexus 5 camera to certain extent. As for the battery life, the phone is an average performer at best and heavy users will need to recharge daily. You might want to check our Nexus 5 battery benchmark results for more details. The single speaker on the Nexus 5 is kind of disappointing and it sounds pretty bad on the loudest setting.


We measured the screen on the Google Nexus 5 and it reached 485 nits, which is quite good. In comparison, the LG G2 and the iPhone 5s got us 438 and 587 nits respectively. Our benchmarks page might be worth checking if you want to learn more on the matter.


Don't expect much out of its 2300mAh battery. With moderate use, a Google Nexus 5 will last through a day. It likely won't make it through the second day, however. 


We have not experienced any Wi-Fi issues with any of our Nexus 5 units. 


They are okay. Not as good as the viewing angles on the iPhone 5s or the Galaxy S4, for example, but still more than acceptable.


Same banana. Technically, there could be some improvement, but we don't notice any increase in responsiveness. Not that they are bad. Quite the opposite: the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 are both very responsive to touchscreen input. 


USB on-the-go is supported on the Google Nexus 5. MHL is not available. Instead, the Nexus 5 uses SlimPort for connecting to an HDTV.


Not really. If you take a look at our extensive article on the Google Nexus 5 and its benchmark results, you'll see that it beats the Samsung Galaxy S4 in every category.


We will be testing its charge time in the near future. Keep an eye on our benchmarks page for more information.


No, the home button always takes you to the first home screen – the home screen on the very left. (In stock Android 4.3, the middle screen used to be your home.) Even if there's a 4 by 4 widget on screen, occupying all available space, there is still enough room right under the bottom edge of the widget for one to long press and access the settings menu. And no, you cannot make folders in your app drawer.


Yes, a 32GB Google Nexus 5 model sold via Google Play can be activated on Sprint.


Depends on what one's priorities are. The Google Nexus 5 is the best value-for-money smartphone you can find off contract. Also, timely updates are always guaranteed with a Nexus device. The LG G2 is slightly superior from a technical standpoint, on the other hand, since it has a larger screen, bigger battery, camera with more resolution, and some neat software tweaks. Perhaps you can check out our comparison between the Google Nexus 5 and the LG G2.


Yes, just put in your SIM card and you're good to go.


You will still get your software updates on time even if you're not using the Nexus 5 within the US. HSPA+ connectivity will work, but LTE availability depends on what LTE band is being used by your carrier, and whether the Nexus 5 supports it. The US Google Nexus 5 (model D820) supports LTE bands 1,2,4,5,17,19,25,26, and 41.


Model LG D821: 0.486W/kg at the ear and 0.476W/kg when worn at the body. Model LG D820: 0.810W/kg at the ear and 0.998W/kg when worn at the body.


Google does not like microSD cards and that's nothing new. Just like the Nexus 5, the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus didn't have a slot for microSD cards, and neither do the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. According to Google itself, it is easier for the average user as the experience is less confusing. Also, it is more efficient to have apps and media stored on an internal piece of memory, not on a removable storage card. There's a number of technical reasons as well, ensuring that less things with the OS can go wrong if no microSD card is used for apps and stuff. Sadly, that does make it more expensive to own a smartphone with extra storage. As for your other question, 16GB are enough for some users, and producing such Nexus 5 model is a few bucks cheaper. But yeah, it might have been nice having a 64GB Nexus 5 model as well for those who just can't live without having the Pink Floyd disography available with them at all times.


Yup, lots of questions. Let's start with audio: we'd say it sounds okay, but it depends on what headphones you're using. The Nexus 5 might have troubles shaking a pair of cans effectively. Technically, every phone has a built-in audio amplifier – some are good, others are better. The Nexus 5, in particular, uses a Qualcomm WCD9320 audio codec. As for your other question, it is up to Google to decide what features go into every new Android release. If a Multi Window (or any other) feature would benefit just a negligible number of users, then there's little point in investing time and resources into developing it.


No issues yet. The battery sensor reads 35.9 degrees Celsius after 10 minutes of Asphalt 8 with the charger plugged in. The phone feels a little warm. Not a biggie.


Hardware specifications aren't everything. Software has a key role as well. If a phone's OS is light-weight and runs effectively, then the phone will perform great overall. The iPhone 5s, for example, blows everything away when it comes to browser benchmarks – its software is simply super efficient. Then there's graphics performance. With its 1136 by 640 pixel screen, the GPU on the iPhone 5s has much less pixels to drive than, let's say, the GPU on the Nexus 5, which has to handle more than twice as many pixels. Another factor you have to consider is that the benchmarks don't care how much storage or RAM a smartphone has. They take into account how fast data can be read from and written onto that memory. Ultimately, it is better to pay less attention to benchmarks as they can be misleading. 


Google is selling the Nexus 5 at a low price because it can afford it and because doing so has its benefits in the long run. You see, the smartphone itself is generating little profit. But at the same time, Google is making it easier for anyone, consumers and developers alike, to get their hands on an affordable Android smartphone that is actually really, really good. Note that outside of the US and out of the Play Store, the Nexus 5 is not so cheap. Of course, the fact that the Nexus 5 is made of plastic also helps.


It will resume. We tested it. 


No, the Google Nexus 5 does not have an infra-red emitter (aka IR blaster) so it can't control your TV, air conditioner, or stereo via infrared. 

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