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Re: S4 to nexus 5
I have both the GS4 and the N5 (and also an LG G2) and will be returning the N5. The N5 has a good feel (size, weight, feel in hand), has a faster processor than the GS4 (not the G2), is generally faster than the GS4 (due to lighter UI), is less expensive and you will get updates faster. Everything else is in favor of the GS4 and G2. The G2 really has the best overall package, but I use the GS4 --it just fits me the best. The camera on the N5 is bad and the battery is way too small for normal use. You can make it work, but then you are not using the phone to its potential. The battery is also not removable. The screen is good on the N5, but not as good as the screens on the GS4 and G2. The speaker is horrible on the N5. There also is no SD card slot. Finally, the radio on the N5 is not good. I could not get any signal in several places where I always get a signal with the GS4 and G2 (AT&T).
My primary issues with the N5 were with stock android (even Kit Kat). Stock android may work for some, but it is so basic and there are a number of things that are just not optimized for use as a business phone, which is the most important thing to me. The email, calendar, contacts, dialer and similar apps are terrible in stock android. They are the ones I use and rely upon the most in my daily life. It is hard to believe that they were updated for Kit Kat because they are so lacking in features that they pale in comparison to what Samsung and LG offer with their stock apps. I kept looking for additional menus and menu items to try to do what I needed or wanted to do. They were not there. There are other apps out there that can compensate somewhat for the shortcomings in stock android, but when you need the phone to work with Exchange, there are only a few that are available and they are very bad (Touchdown, etc.). With stock android, I just feel like I have to work way too hard to try to get what the others offer out of the box. That includes things that I tend to take for granted like widgets.
Kit Kat is really all about making everything revolve around Google Now and Google Search (as well as Google's other apps like Hangouts (which is awful)). While Google Now is okay, I do not find it that useful and it really takes a toll on battery life. Otherwise, Kit Kat is not much of an upgrade from JB. I think Kit Kat will speed up the custom UIs, as well, but it will be interesting to see what the other manufacturers do with the pervasive Google and Google Now integration. Just not being able to remove the Google search bar from the top of every home screen drove me nuts. I don't mind having it on one home screen, but I do not want it taking up space on every screen.
People complain about Touchwiz and LG's UI, and they are heavy and filled with things that may be unnecessary, but they also have a lot of really good things that people take for granted. While many of the touted features may not be that important for everyday use, they do come in handy occasionally. It is nice to have them when you need them. Overall, I feel like the GS4 and G2 make my life easier and more enjoyable and I just had to work too hard to like the N5 and Kit Kat and make them work. For the price and for someone who hasn't upgraded in awhile, the N5 would be attractive and probably a good step up. It seemed like a step backwards from the GS4 and G2. The only reason I can see taking that step is if you just really feel that you want stock android.
Sorry for the long post.