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    JeffDenver's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    I am posting this with the new buyer in mind. This is not intended as a comprehensive review...just the first impressions of an Android phone nerd. This review answers all the questions I would have asked a week ago. I have to preface this review by saying this phone is not revolutionary, it is evolutionary. It is far more like the Nexus 4 than the Nexus 4 was like the Galaxy Nexus. It feels more like a Nexus 4+. So you will see a lot of comparisons to the Nexus 4. But this does not take anything away from it; I really do believe this is the best smartphone released so far from any vendor.

    Build Quality and feel
    The build quality does feel first rate and is actually better than the Nexus 4, which itself was awesome. That being said, there are some trade offs that were made. Gone is the silky-smooth feel of the Nexus 4's curved display edge. You will now feel a definite sharp border. I understand why they made this decision, but I still like the physical feel of the Nexus 4's display better. On the nexus 4 you never really felt an edge.

    The buttons are likewise now flat and sharp ceramic instead of rounded metal. While the rounded metal of the nexus 4 did feel better to me, the Nexus 5 buttons are much easier to use without looking at them. I know some people have complained about the power button being loose..."loose" is not how I would describe it. Unless I was actually looking for it, I would never have even noticed. The power button is satisfyingly clicky, just as the volume rocker is, although the sharp edges are mildly unpleasant compared to the smooth buttons on the Nexus 4. The back glass of the Nexus 4 has thankfully been replaced by soft-touch plastic as on the Nexus 7...not only does it feel better, but you can actually grip the phone now and there is no longer a worry about breaking both the front AND the back if you drop it. I had this on my HTC Rezound years ago and loved it. I broke my Nexus 4's screen months ago because while vibrating during a call it slid right off a flat(!) surface. You will not need to worry about that now. It does attract fingerprint oil more than glass.

    The whole look of the device is very similar to the Nexus 4, but more minimalistic, which IMO makes it better. There is no chrome to dent and scratch. It looks more subtle and classy and high tech. The display surface feels slightly recessed, which means I feel more confident setting it face-down on a flat surface. On the Nexus 4, the display was always in direct contact with whatever you set it on. The camera lens is recessed, so you cannot easily scratch it like on the 4 (though it is not as easy to wipe off as the 4's was either). Some reviewers have commented that it feels more balanced and more solid even though it is lighter than the Nexus 4, and I agree.

    Display
    The Nexus 4's display was one of the best in the industry, and so is this one. It is everything the Nexus 4 was, but better. The overall brightness is slightly brighter, and blacks are slightly deper. It does feel bigger and roomier even though the phone does not feel bigger in your hand. The glass seems to be more "matte" than the nexus 4, so it is easier to see in bright light because of muted reflections. One thing I noticed immediately is that it lacks that weird pattern you see on the Nexus 4 when it is hit by sunlight (the touch sensors maybe?). It does seem to be more fingerprint prone, but this is invisible unless you have the phone off. The graphics look impossibly sharp. The 1080p upgrade is not as dramatic as the 720p upgrade was for me, but it is there nontheless and you can definitely see the difference.

    Performance (CPU/GPU)
    This is simply as good as it gets for Android. It is the best Android experience I have seen so far on any phone. Everything is quick and smooth. where you occasionally had issues with minor stutters on the nexus 4, those are gone here. 3D gaming has been a joy. It maxes out all the graphic benchmarks I have thrown at it. I have no complaints at all about the performance.

    Software
    Be aware that the fancy schmancy voice commands you've heard about only work in the native launcher. The Native launcher is definitely the best vanilla launcher google has produced so far. But...I ended up going back to Nova Prime though...the native launcher just feels too restrictive to me. Wrangling it so you can set uo screens can be annoying and I don't like the lack of control I have over the dock. Google seems to be going more and more in the direction of the Apple "we-know-whats-best-for-you so-we-won't-confuse-you-with-those-silly-options" school of thought. That being said, I love how open it looks now, and it is a definite improvement on all their previous launchers. I won't go into all the other software because it is stuff that will not be unique to this phone...this launcher is an exception because, for now, Google has decided not to make it available to anyone else (not even other Nexus phones). It is very good, but not better than 3rd party alternatives. The same holds true with the new keyboard. I like how easy it is to unlock and root.

    Networking
    As of this writing I have not tested bluetooth on it. Although I have heard complaints about the Wifi, this phone has noticably better wifi performance over my Nexus 4, both in range and speed. I don't know what "normal" would be, so I can only give a relative comparison. LTE is a dramatic improvement over HSPA+...here in Denver I am getting around 11mb download, and 5mb upload speeds on T-Mobile. Not that HSPA+ sucked or anything. More is always better, but unless you are downloading files larger than an MP3, you are probably not going to miss LTE much. But it is nice having apps download immediately or in a few seconds instead of half a minute.

    Call Quality and Sound
    Calls do seem clearer. It is not dramatic but is noticable. I really like how the ear speaker is now round...even if it is just a palcebo, it makes me feel like I can hear calls better. It also looks like it will be easier to clean if dust gets in it. One reviewer said the external speakers were "too loud"...I don't know about that. But they are a little louder and a lot better quality than the Nexus 4's. I have not tested calls on the other end yet. Music with headphones sounds about the same as the nexus 4 to me, although my headphone-wire controls which I thought were "broken" seem to be working now.

    Camera
    I would describe this as an incremental improvement over the Nexus 4. It is not a night and day difference, but it is definitely better in every area. The exception is the HDR+ mode, made possible by the OIS lens. Low-light shots are dramatically better than the Nexus 4. There are issues with focusing and speed, but the consensus seems to be that these are software, and thus fixable. But the focus issues are not any worse than the Nexus 4 anyway. This is not the best camera on the market (the Nokia and HTC cameras are definitely better, and the Galaxy S4's probably is a little better too), but it is in the top 5. "Better" is relative of course...the Nexus 5 is probably better than the S4 in low light.

    Battery
    Battery life has been slightly better than my Nexus 4. Which is to say, mediocre. I went from 100% to 15% in about 4 hours of heavy use. Possible that this is because the battery is not yet calibrated or whatever. That is not great, but it could be worse, and at least they upped the capacity a bit. That being said, like the Nexus 4, this phone is AWESOME at holding a charge. If you have the phone off or it is idle, the charge drains very very slowly. If it is off you can expect to lose less than 1% charge overnight. And this phone does a lot better than the Nexus 4 on light use, or stuff like call time, because the CPU uses less power.

    Things I do not like
    Of course, a removable (and thus, upgradable) battery would have made any battery issues moot. But, Google still does not get it about SD or removable batteries, and at this point I am just resigned to accept it. I still hate it, but I am finally just accepting it. If these are dealbreakers for you, you will simply have to get another phone, because Google is probably not going to budge on this. This is still the best Android phone I have used despite this, but the lack of these options is definitely not an asset, and in no way enhances the experience. Thankfully, Google threw us a bone by offering an acceptable 32-gig option finally. Better late than never. If you are going to buy a Nexus 5, I would recommend getting the 32 gig one, even if you are not sure you will need the space. It is worth the extra $50 IMO.

    Buyer's Remorse?
    HELL no. If you are in the market for a new phone and not too demanding about battery or storage, you need to buy this. Despite it's flaws, this is the best overall smartphone on the market right now IMO, at any price.
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Thanks for your quick review. One thing a few others were mentioning is worse reception than some other phones. Have you noticed any worse reception compared to other phones that your friends/family have?

    Posted from the awesome new Nexus 7
    Be sure and hit the thanks button if anything I said was helpful to you!
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    JeffDenver's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by chadthebuilder View Post
    Thanks for your quick review. One thing a few others were mentioning is worse reception than some other phones. Have you noticed any worse reception compared to other phones that your friends/family have?
    Not any worse than the Nexus 4 for sure. But I have not tested voice calls extensively yet. I can say that the reception on my end definitely seems clearer than my Nexus 4.

    I get as many or more bars in the same places and wifi reception seems better than the Nexus 4 as well. I am on T-Mobile.
  4. #4  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Awesome review, thanks!
  5. #5  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    To OP, thanks for the review, it makes people like me who are awaiting to receive our units feel better. But I would like to ask you if you have experience any problems like, muffled sound if put the volume below <50%, weird vibrator issue like sound from the haptic feedback and finally dead pixels? light bleed?. I hope you don't have any of those. Thanks once again for the review.
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by st_7 View Post
    I would like to ask you if you have experience any problems like, muffled sound if put the volume below <50%, weird vibrator issue like sound from the haptic feedback and finally dead pixels? light bleed?.
    No to all of those. No dead pixels (actually, I have never seen a dead pixel on any of the phones I have owned). Definitely no light bleed. Haptic and vibrations all seem normal to me. Everything seems to be working as intended from what I can see.

    I can hear the power button rattle people talk about, but I have to strain to do so. It is not something that is obvious. If I did not know to look for it I probably never would have noticed it. The power button feels very clicky and nice.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Another thing I would like to ask. Does the speaker make a static noise when the volume is turned down low like it does on the N7? That has always really bothered me.

    Posted from the awesome new Nexus 7
    Be sure and hit the thanks button if anything I said was helpful to you!
  8. #8  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post
    No to all of those. No dead pixels (actually, I have never seen a dead pixel on any of the phones I have owned). Definitely no light bleed. Haptic and vibrations all seem normal to me. Everything seems to be working as intended from what I can see.

    I can hear the power button rattle people talk about, but I have to strain to do so. It is not something that is obvious. If I did not know to look for it I probably never would have noticed it. The power button feels very clicky and nice.
    Power button rattling, i don't even consider it as some kind of problem that's why I did not mention it, but others especially muffled sound when volume is set to lower levels & unusual vibrator sound from haptic feedback are to be noted for. Anyway congrats & enjoy the perfect Nexus experience
  9. #9  

    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Great information, Jeff. I am in even more anticipation waiting for my N5 to arrice.
  10. #10  
    Jacques's Avatar
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Thanks for the review, JeffDenver, and like you, no buyer's remorse here.
    Nexus 10, 7, 5, Galaxy Nexus, One - Chromecast - Pebble - LG G Watch - TouchPad - MacBook Pro
  11. #11  

    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Great review man. I love my n5 as well

    Posted via Android Central App
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    I'd like to add that the display seems to be properly calibrated this time. The Nexus 4 looked washed out on stock because of bad calibration. Only by installing the Franco kernel was I able to make it look really good. The nexus 5 does not appear to have that problem.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by chadthebuilder View Post
    Thanks for your quick review. One thing a few others were mentioning is worse reception than some other phones. Have you noticed any worse reception compared to other phones that your friends/family have?
    My reception is not as good as the other phones I have on AT&T. I have been in a few places where I would barely get reception on my other phones, but would get it nonetheless. The N5 does not get anything.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by chadthebuilder View Post
    Another thing I would like to ask. Does the speaker make a static noise when the volume is turned down low like it does on the N7? That has always really bothered me.
    I have not noticed this myself, but I have not used the speaker a lot so far. Just one calls and for music to test it.

    It might be something like the "power button wobble" issue...something that is really obvious and annoying to other people, but not to me.
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    Thanks for the review, JeffDenver, and like you, no buyer's remorse here.
    Just quickly going thru this thread and I have no contribution whatsoever. But just noticed your DP and I love my BB6 oh, also excited for my N5 tomorrow!
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  16. #16  

    Default

    Good stuff thanks. My nexus arrived yesterday and is sitting on my desk at home. Can't wait to set it up late tomorrow after I get home.

    Sent from my Moto X!
    Nexus 6 (64GB), Moto X 32GB Pure, iPhone 6 Plus Unlocked, OnePlus One (64GB),Xperia Z2, LG G3, Lumia 925 8.1 Cyan, Nexus 5 (32GB), Moto X (32GB), Lumia 1020, Google Edition S4, Galaxy S4 (32GB), S4 Active, Nexus 4, Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note (ATT), Galaxy Note Intl., Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Nexus S, Atrix 2, Atrix, Galaxy S1 Captivate, Nexus 7 (32GB), iPad 4, Dell Venue Pro 8, iPad Air 2
  17. #17  

    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    I got my Nexus 5 this morning and, although Im upgrading from an S3, I do agree with all the points on build quaility, screen and software.
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    The Nexus 4 display looks washed out stock. Does the Nexus 5 have better colour saturation.
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Chetan Takyar View Post
    The Nexus 4 display looks washed out stock. Does the Nexus 5 have better colour saturation.
    It is definitely better. How much better depends on how much you like saturation. But the blacks on the stock Nexus 5 are deeper than the blacks on my Franco-Kernel optimized Nexus 4.

    My Nexus 4 also has the saturation setting maxed on that same kernel (the gamma settings adjuster app)...the Nexus 5 is not as saturated as that.
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post
    It is definitely better. How much better depends on how much you like saturation. But the blacks on the stock Nexus 5 are deeper than the blacks on my Franco-Kernel optimized Nexus 4.

    My Nexus 4 also has the saturation setting maxed on that same kernel (the gamma settings adjuster app)...the Nexus 5 is not as saturated as that.
    Ahhh. A fellow Franco kernel user, if you've ever used the Obasanity setting in the gamma settings, how does the 5 compare to that? That is beautiful to me.

    Posted via Android Central App
  21. #21  
    Jacques's Avatar
    Greetings, program!

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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by axis. View Post
    Just quickly going thru this thread and I have no contribution whatsoever. But just noticed your DP and I love my BB6 oh, also excited for my N5 tomorrow!
    You've got a BB6 too? Very cool! Post up some pics sometime...in the OT section of course.

    After a full day on my phone, my battery lasted me about 18 hours or so with 11% left. It was about an even mix of being in and out of wifi. Took a couple of pictures (can post them if anyone is interested) and I also did a Speedtest (26.87kbps up, 9.84kbps down, 68 ms ping on AT&T).
    Nexus 10, 7, 5, Galaxy Nexus, One - Chromecast - Pebble - LG G Watch - TouchPad - MacBook Pro
  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Chetan Takyar View Post
    Ahhh. A fellow Franco kernel user, if you've ever used the Obasanity setting in the gamma settings, how does the 5 compare to that? That is beautiful to me.
    I only used custom settings on it...I maxed the saturation, and increased contrast to 30% or so. To me the result looks like an iPhone. Not everyone likes saturation, but it does make the display pop.

    Once there is something similar for the Nexus 5 I will probably root and use it. While the Nexus 5 does have the best display I have seen so far, I am an AMOLED fan and do like the heavy saturation on AMOLED devices.
  23. Thread Author  Thread Author    #23  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by st_7 View Post
    Power button rattling, i don't even consider it as some kind of problem that's why I did not mention it, but others especially muffled sound when volume is set to lower levels
    I tested for this last night...it does not sound muffled to me. But I am not an audiophile...so maybe I just don't have the ear to hear it.

    The Nexus 5's speaker is not anything special like the HTC One's is. But it is definitely better than the Nexus 4's.
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDenver View Post
    I tested for this last night...it does not sound muffled to me. But I am not an audiophile...so maybe I just don't have the ear to hear it.
    I tested this too, and couldn't tell either.

    On the camera, I might have to disagree with you (partly) on comparing this one to the Galaxy S4. Thanks to OIS on the Nexus, it's a little harder to blur a static shot than on the GS4...the latter seems to lose focus from time to time, so it requires a steadier hand. Also, and after tinkering a bit with my wife's GS4, but shutter speed for auto shots is slower on the GS4 vs. the Nexus 5. The GS4 does have an advantage of having more saturation on its photos vs. the N5, but I think the latter gets you more "natural" shot unfiltered than the former. Of course, I'm no photographer, so what do I know. Do you have any sample photos to share? I can post one outdoor shot if you want me to share mine.
    Nexus 10, 7, 5, Galaxy Nexus, One - Chromecast - Pebble - LG G Watch - TouchPad - MacBook Pro
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  
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    Default Re: My 1 day review of the Nexus 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    Also, and after tinkering a bit with my wife's GS4, but shutter speed for auto shots is slower on the GS4 vs. the Nexus 5.
    Really? Using the stock app? The GS3 is even quicker than the Nexus 5 from what I have seen. I love the Nexus 5 camera but it is VERY slow compared to other top end phones I have used.

    Do you have any sample photos to share?
    Not yet. I will try to take some today. I deleted all the previous ones already.

    On the nexus 4 they had a thread dedicated to this. Maybe I will just post them there and link to it.
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