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133 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best High End Phone Deal In America?
I've been a long time Nexus brand user, owning the first generation Nexus 7 and Nexus 4. I also have an iPad 3 and an iPod Touch 4th generation. I wrote a lengthy Nexus 7 review before; here is my lengthy Nexus 5 review updated after over a month of straight usage. It should cover the vast majority of topics on the device. Let's get started on what possibly is the best...
Published 12 months ago by D.L.C

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid: Two flaws, one fatal, can render this phone unusable and there is no recourse
I purchased this phone directly from Google when it first came out and have absolutely loved it. It worked very well the first few months I owned it. Unfortunately, two flaws have emerged that completely disable the phone, and one cannot be fixed.

First issue was that the upgrade to Android version 4.4.2 introduced an error for certain popular applications that...
Published 7 months ago by super-elastic


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133 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best High End Phone Deal In America?, November 20, 2013
By 
D.L.C (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
I've been a long time Nexus brand user, owning the first generation Nexus 7 and Nexus 4. I also have an iPad 3 and an iPod Touch 4th generation. I wrote a lengthy Nexus 7 review before; here is my lengthy Nexus 5 review updated after over a month of straight usage. It should cover the vast majority of topics on the device. Let's get started on what possibly is the best high end phone deal in America.

(0.5 EDIT) Lollipop Update!

Google released the Lollipop 5.0 update in mass for the Nexus 5. The new look called "material design" works relatively well on the device, but there are some noticeable changes:

Widgets cannot be placed on the lock screen anymore which I feel reduces the efficiency and utility of a smartphone.
My battery appears to be lasting longer than it did on Kitkat 4.4.
Screen is a tad bit more responsive, especially on unlocking.
Device seems to be opening programs faster suggesting that Lollipop is even more light weight than Kikkat 4.4 was, which is a big plus if you plan on keeping your devices longer as it looks like Google has committed to making their OS updates need less hardware to work well.
Image gallery is now officially replaced with Photos.
Camera focus speed appears to have improved.
Overall the update has made the Nexus 5 better.

(1) Hardware:

Personally, in my opinion, high to medium end devices from reputable brands have reached the point where most people won't be able to tell the difference or the difference won't be something they regularly use. That said, I'm still going to cover it, if you're not interested in the nerd talk about hardware, then all you need to know is that the phone is capable hardware wise for demanding users and honestly overkill for average users. Skip this section of my review and head on down to the camera portion.

The device is built on a Qualcomm S800 Pro processor. Clocked at 2.2 GHz quadcore processor, the phone screams on speed. I'm not a fan of mobile benchmarks due to their inherent problems of actually measuring what they claim, but benchmarks all put the Nexus 5 at the moment in the top end of performance. Compared to my Nexus 7's Tegra 3, the Nexus 5 has a fighter jet engine compared to the first generation Nexus 7's turboprop engine.
There's also a Hynix 2 GB RAM chip running at DDR3 1600 Mhz, and either a 16 GB or 32 GB Sandisk NAND memory chip depending which model you bought. Google is charging $50 more for the 32 GB device. That's about a 625% markup over wholesale NAND prices. Take that as you will.

There are Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and unlike the Nexus 4, a slim-port compatibility, thus letting you connect the phone to a monitor or television screen. LG/Google kept the wireless charging from the Nexus 4, to which the wireless charger has to be purchased separately.

The phone comes with an Adreno 330 graphics chip. I'm not a big mobile gamer, but this per the professional reviews and FPS benchmarks will handle every game out for Android. For non-gamers, the Adreno 330 is overkill.

Microphone and talk clarity are on par with Nexus 4, meaning fine. Speaker seems to have more noise at higher volumes. Also, speaker is mono despite there being two grills at the bottom. One grill is for the microphone.

Connects via standard USB, where the device itself has a microUSB connection. Plugging the device into your computer brings it up as another removable storage device where you can simply drop and drag files into folders. Easy file movement plus standard USB makes the device very simple to use and standard charging conventions make it easy to find chargers around your house and office. Sometimes the device goes wonky on USB connection (was a Nexus 4 issue as well), so just go into settings and storage, click on the settings (3 vertical boxes) and change the connection to PTP or MPT and the phone will reappear properly.

Like all recent Nexus devices, no MicroSD slot and no removable battery. MicroSD slot is partially alleviated now that USB OTG works. See my "other" section for more details.

You can find these specific parts on iFixit's tear down which gave it a solid 8/10 for user repair. For the low price of $349/$399, there is no other phone with this quality hardware that for the price.

Right now, due to shortages in supply, many people are scalping the phones for profit. If you can wait, the phone will ship between 2 and 4 weeks and if the Nexus 4 timeline tells us anything, quickly reach the point where it's under a week. My phone took a little under 3 weeks to deliver from ordering it on the 1st of November.

(2) Camera:

The back camera is still an 8 megapixel and front is 1.3 megapixel, same as the Nexus 4. Low light has improved considerable and HDR+ alleviates many of lighting problems. HDR is a software/hardware combination that takes three photos, one underexposed, one overexposed and one regular and the software combines them to even out the lighting issues to produce the best possible shot. Graininess has been reduced as well. Google keeps the same minimal interface for the camera with the select and drag method for changing options.

Image stabilization is so-so and the camera can be slow to focus at times. The Nexus 5 camera is an improvement over the Nexus 4, but a Lumia this is not. Google released updates to the Android OS that had specific Nexus 5 camera fixes. The camera's improved, but it's still relatively slow at focusing. However, image quality has improved considerably as have night shots. The only real criticism now is that the camera is slow to focus.

(3) Android 4.4 - Operating System:

Google's latest and greatest is on display here. Android 4.4, otherwise known as Kitkat comes pre-installed on the phone. There are some changes from Android 4.3 Jelly bean. Like all Nexus devices, operating system updates are done over the air via Google. No waiting on device manufacturers or carriers.
The launcher has changed and on the Nexus 5 (and it's exclusive to the Nexus 5), and widgets are now removed from the app screen and are accessed by pressing and holding down on a home screen.

Icon sizes have been enlarged in the app library, and formatting has been tweaked.
Android Run Time (ART) is now available as opposed to the stock Google Dalvik compiler. Allegedly, ART nets a handful more hours out of the device per some reviews, but I haven't noticed any difference. In theory, ART should speed up the device, but with the S800 Pro already blazing fast, it's questionable if anyone will notice, your mileage will vary. Also, some apps are broken under ART.

Google has prominently placed Google search on the top of the phone and included the new function of simply talking to your phone to have it fulfill requests. Simply say "Ok Google" and the Google Now function loads up where you can ask questions or request information simply by talking to it. Phone has to be unlocked for it to work as opposed to the Moto X which I believe will work without unlocking.

Hangouts has merged with text messaging for a combined app. As with all Android phones, you can download another app and make it your default over Hangouts. Currently the Hangouts change in my opinion was a mistake. Group texting via SMS has problems with sending, the app prioritizes sending to Gmail accounts over SMS and you can't mix SMS and Gmail group chats together. The separation in 4.3 was a better system.

Google kept the Sywpe like typing option on its default keyboard (drag your fingers between keys rather than typing) and notification center appears to be the same from 4.3. Colors however for notification went from blue to white. Also the notification flashing light is still there from the Nexus 4. It's sort of like the Blackberry's red flashing LED, but at the bottom.

Outside of the changes from 4.3, stock Android 4.3, stock meaning there's no "skin" over it such as Touchwiz or HTC's Sensation, runs extremely fast. Apps load instantly, everything is extremely responsive. This is not Android Honeycomb that was an unresponsive lag filled mess. It is however, less intuitive than iOS 6/7. Android verse Apple has always been like this and its personal preference. That said, if you're in to nearly complete customization, widgets, lock screen information and generally busting out of a walled garden to have your phone do what you want it to do, this is your cup of tea.

(4) Battery Life:

The battery life on the Nexus 5 is better than the Nexus 4. A slight boost of 200 mAh to 2,300 from 2,100 mAh is minor and it appears the gains are from the operating system primarily. Some user are reporting with ART, they can last a full day as opposed to 16 to 17 hours on Dalvik, some users are reporting the same battery life.

After more than a month of the usage on the device, I find that battery life is generally superior to the Nexus 4 and going a whole day is not a problem. This isn't a Note 3 that will last all day gaming. Mileage will vary depending on your behavior.

The biggest killer of battery aside from constant gaming is using LTE in an area with weak LTE signal. The phone (like all phones) will eat up huge amounts of battery trying to maintain the bad signal. Sometimes it will drain 20% of my battery in an hour or two on standby. Switching to 3G as the primary network reduces standby usage to a few percent over two or three hours.

(5) Build & Looks:

The phone comes in two colors, black and white. Note that the white version does not extend the white to the front; it's just the back panel.
The phone is fairly light and considerably lighter than the Nexus 4. It is still a black rectangle like most smartphones. LG/Google have forgone the glass backing from the Nexus 4. This should significantly reduce real damage as the soft plastic backing is far less susceptible to shattering like glass. The phone is a bit thinner than the Nexus 4.

Screen is 4.95 inches, with confirmed Gorilla Glass 3. The phone is using IPS which gives better clarity and color than the Nexus 4. Resolution is set at 1,920-by-1,080 pixel for a 445 pixel density (PPI). I'd still use a screen guard as the face drop test reveals that Gorilla Glass 3 is good for preventing scratches, but so-so to horrendously bad on impact resistance.

Side bezels are very minimal, but the top and bottom bezels are still large. Overall, it's not going to wow people upon first look, but most of us are here for performance and pure Android, what excites us is now how a phone looks, but what we can do with it.

(6) LTE & Carrier Support:

Google is selling these phones completely unlocked, meaning that you can go to any carrier that supports its bands and it should work.
Unlike the Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 is LTE enabled. This was a huge reason for me to get the Nexus 5 as I'm paying for T-Mobile's LTE on the simple plan but I wasn't able to access it. My local HSPA+ was topping out around 11 Mbp/s in the heart of Honolulu to a paltry 4 Mbp/s in my house away from the heart of the city. LTE has pushed urban speed to over 30 Mbp/s (per my last test) and my house to over 9 Mbp/s. Your mileage will of course vary.

Nexus 5's LTE will work with bands on T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T. Verizon has some LTE bands that the Nexus 5 doesn't support and Verizon and Google have some ideological issues that are preventing them from working together on the Nexus line. T-Mobile is selling the device non-subsidized at a $100 markup financed over 24 months at 0%. Sprint is selling the phone subsidized at $49 but you'll pay it all back and more through subsidy recovery fees built into the monthly bill. AT&T isn't selling the device but will support BOYD Nexus 5. Be aware though, unless you're on AT&T's prepaid Aio service, you're still going to be paying for subsidy recovery fees even though you didn't get a subsidy from AT&T.

A lot of people don't seem to understand that the amount they pay for the phone on day one, usually $199 is not the total price they pay for the phone. That's the down payment. AT&T/Sprint/Verizon and previously T-Mobile recover their subsidy via the fees they charge in their monthly. T-Mobile and other non-contract carriers have broken out of this model and give a dosage of transparency to monthly billings as to what is service fee and what is subsidy recovery. If you buy an unlocked phone from Google and take it to T-Mobile, you will not be charged a device fee. If you take it to Verizon/AT&T/Sprint outside of their prepaid options, you will be charged a device fee even though you did not get a subsidy. This will vastly increase the total price you pay for your phone. Keep that in mind.

The best deal for this phone if you don't talk much is T-Mobile's $30 a month plan for 100 minutes, unlimited text and 5 GB of LTE, unlimited 3G. Download Google Voice for data calling if you need more talk time. For two years of service, that's $1,069 in total monthly and phone bills. That's less than the cost of 10 months of Verizon.

If you're looking at other plans, Apple has done an extremely fantastic job of comparing AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile's myriad plans into a single nice webpage. Google "iPhone Plans Comparison" for the best simple comparison of American big carrier plans. Apple labels these "iPhone Plans" but they are generic smartphone plans that anyone on any compatible device can purchase.

(7) Other:

Unlike the Nexus 4, USB Hosting OTG works. I personally don't find this that important, considering that OTG is a hassle on a device that's constantly on the move, but it is a big change from the Nexus 4 which didn't apply sufficient voltage to power USB Hosting. If you're wondering what USB Hosting/OTG is, USB Hosting and "On The Go" lets a phone or tablet to plug in a USB device in and let the device via the right program access the storage on the USB device. I'm currently using the Nexus Media Importer (as I previously bought that for the Nexus 7) as it lets me do this without rooting. I was never a big memory user on my Nexus 4, but I know some people are. Google "Meenova" for a more compact design that will let you access MicroSD cards on your Nexus 5. See my picture in the photo gallery.

When I first started the phone up, Google play strangely tried to download and install every app I'd previous bought. What gives? I had to manually stop the install of certain apps.

Sound quality via headphones is solid, but depends also on the quality of your headphones/earphones. Sound on the speaker is relatively low.

Rooting is available now and there are a few ROMs for the Nexus 5 if you wish to play around.

Accessories are flooding Amazon as well as eBay for relatively affordable prices. I'm using the [AIR CUSHION] Spigen Google Nexus 5 Case ULTRA HYBRID [Black] [1 FREE Premium Japanese Screen Protector + 2 FREE Graphics] Anti-Scratch Bumper Case with Clear Back Panel for Nexus 5 - ECO-Friendly Package - Black (SGP10609), but I'm not entirely happy as the flush buttons make it hard to use one handed as opposed to my RINGKE FUSION for Google Nexus 4 Best Selling Shock Absorption Bumper + Anti Scratch Clear Back Premium Hybrid Case [Eco/DIY Pkg.][BLACK].

Personally, I do love Android. I can simply turn my phone on, look at my lock screen at the Dashclock Widget and see how many texts I have, emails, weather notifications Facebook notifications and so on without having to unlock my phone. I can also turn on GPS, silence my phone, the flash light on and other functions from my lock screen too. The Nexus 5 gives me a great affordable option.

(8) Conclusion:

The Nexus 5 has some drawbacks, adequate camera, no MicroSD slot, no removable battery and lacking some of Verizon's LTE bands. It does provide a blazing fast processor, roaring graphics chip, an extremely stock version of Android, thin and light design for a very affordable unlocked price. And it's Sprint capable. Android does take some time to learn, but it offers nearly complete customization. For $349 and a dose of willingness to learn, you can't go wrong here.

TLDR: Blazing fast smartphone, okay camera, no bloatware, no Verizon, unlocked and just $349~399.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nexus 5 and Its Success, November 8, 2013
Upgraded from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus by Google to this beast.

Hardware:
Screen - 1080p screen. Beautiful, sometimes feels a little "washed out", but is quite sharp while playing videos.

Battery - 2300 mAh, only lasts me 6-7 hours of screen-on time. Lasts the entire day if I stay off the phone and pay attention in class... standby time lasts me all day.

Camera - Wish the shutter speed was faster, but I'm not a heavy camera user unless I'm sight-seeing or at a concert. Optical Image Stabilizing makes a huge difference. GREAT video recording!!! The mic picks up all the audio perfectly at a concert.

Speakers - Probably the worst part of the phone if you're watching a YouTube video with a friend. Located at the very bottom of the phone, the real speaker is located behind the left holes, and the right holes are "fake speakers". If you cover the left holes, the sound will be muted. However, 95% of the time I'm using my earbuds to listen to my own music, so it's not a big deal.

Design - Feels great in the hands, and the soft-touch back just feels sturdy and easy to grip. Goes to show you don't need an aluminum metal casing around the phone for it to feel like a quality phone. The ceramic power and volume buttons are nice and add to the solid experience. However, I prefer to have the volume jack on the bottom of the phone, but it is easy to get used to.

Processor - Snapdragon 800 is extremely buttery. Everything runs fine with all my apps and data imported (Galaxy Nexus got laggy). Google Now is quick to use.

Software:
Android Kit Kat 4.4 - Best experience of the phone. It's the real reason anybody would purchase an Android phone, especially from Google. Google Now and the Google Experience makes everything so efficient and is very user friendly. It syncs everything within your Google account, taking your contacts, locations, sports teams, bookmarks, Chrome searches, etc. and keeps everything up to date. A pure Google experience that anyone would love.

The always-on Google search feature delivers fast & accurate searches that beat our household iPhone Siri every time.

Overall:
Easily the best Android phone on the market, and you really cannot contend with a $350/$400 Google phone. The very small shortcomings of the speaker, and itty bitty detail of the camera is almost negligible. This pure Android experience is for everyone.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Device But buy from Play Store, November 10, 2013
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
12/21/13 Update:
So about 2 weeks ago Nexus 5 users received the 4.4.2 update, it brought many small improvements but the greatest being improving the camera. It shoots very clear shots now, the camera app opens quicker and the camera takes a lot less time to focus. If the camera was something that turned you away from the Nexus 5, then come back because the issue has been fixed. Google says they will keep working on the camera to make it even better.(Stay tuned for any other updates)

Original Review:
I sold my S3 to get this phone on the Google Play Store and I recommend you do as well (It costs less on the Google Play Store)
[...] The total ends up being less than $400 for a smart phone that is priced way to low for what it has to offer.
Pricing:
$350- 16 GB
$400- 32 GB

A Snapdragon 800 Quad-Core Processor clocked at 2.3 Ghz? A Adreno 330 GPU, all these sound to good to be true! Such great specifications at such a low price? But, nothing matters if there is no applicable real world performance, and I'm glad to say that you will be zipping through games and apps!
Here are some Pros and Cons:
Pros:
-Phone feels great in the hand, not to big or not to small
-Great Build Quality, better than phones that use plastic like the LG-G2 or S4 (It uses the grippy plastic found on the 2013 Nexus 5)
-Buttery Smooth and Fast as Lightning, this phone is that fastest phone I have ever used, hands down
-Pure Stock Android (Kit-Kat 4.4)
-You get updates as soon as they roll out! No waiting for months to get the next version of android

Cons:
-Because it only packs a 2300 mh battery, it does ok for daily use, but don't expect to get any crazy battery life, (Standby time is amazing though, it sipped through only a 1% of battery through the whole night!)
-Camera is decent, but video quality is great! The mic is the best I have seen on any smart phone, (A software update may improve camera)
-Availability, I love this phone, but getting your hands on one can take a bit, but please believe me, it is worth the wait!
-Speaker is just all right, it sounds OK but not great

Total Scores:
Build Quality: 9/10
User Experience: 10/10
Android Kit-Kat (Nexus 5 Experience): 10/10
Camera (Photos): 7/10
Camera (Video): 9/10
Speaker: 7/10

Summery:
If you looking for a phone that delivers the best Android Experience, a cheap off contract phone, a phone with great specifications, or just a phone in general, This is the best phone currently on the market. While it has some minor flaws, there is no other phone that offers this much for this little.

Total Score:
9/10
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid: Two flaws, one fatal, can render this phone unusable and there is no recourse, April 30, 2014
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
I purchased this phone directly from Google when it first came out and have absolutely loved it. It worked very well the first few months I owned it. Unfortunately, two flaws have emerged that completely disable the phone, and one cannot be fixed.

First issue was that the upgrade to Android version 4.4.2 introduced an error for certain popular applications that use the camera, such as Skype, causing the phone to heat up and the battery to drain in about an hour. Look up "mm-qcamera-daemon"; that's the name of the application that will run constantly, even when you aren't using any camera-related apps or even using the phone at all, and that will completely deplete the battery within two hours. The solution is to uninstall these apps, which is inconvenient and reduces the functionality of the phone. Google's evidently known about this problem since the introduction of the latest version of Android and has yet to fix it.

The second issue, the fatal one, is the "SIM Card Added - please reboot" message. Although it may not affect all that many phones, you will find thousands of posts on this problem. Moreover, at least based on my experience, is that you never know when this problem will rear its ugly head. No one seems to know the source of this problem, whether it's hardware, software, or network related. My guess is it's some unique combination of all three, but the fact of the matter is that it seems to affect primarily the Nexus 5 and not other devices and will render your phone completely unusable. My phone worked nearly perfectly from when I received it in November, 2013 until late April, 2014. Then I took it with me to a new city and as soon as I got off the plane and turned it on, I got this message, and the phone would not connect to the network until I rebooted. Everything was fine after that--for about maybe 5 minutes, or sometime 70 minutes or sometimes 10 minutes, then the message would appear again and the phone would require another reboot to connect to the network again. It doesn't matter if I'm using it or if it's just sitting on a table. Unfortunately, the problem has persisted even after returning home.

I've contacted Google twice about the second problem, once by phone and once by chat. They said I had to go through a series of trouble-shooting steps (all of which I tried, by the way, including testing a different SIM) that they promised to email to me and that are required to be performed before sending out a replacement under warranty. Guess what, I never received the email and, so far, after two attempts, there is no way to get Google to honor the warranty.

If you want this phone, my advice is to purchase it from a place where the warranty will be honored, because Google has not been responsive to my warranty claim. Of course, that's if you're willing to take the risk of having a phone that for unknown reasons can suddenly become completely unusable as a phone.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite phone, November 10, 2013
The Nexus 5 is the best Nexus yet and one of the best phones at that. I've had mine for approximately a week and couldn't be happier. I got the white one and think it looks fantastic. With that note, let's get into a review and we'll start on build quality:

The build - the phone is solidly built and light too - I personally like a heaver phone being a man with larger hands. So, if you like lighter phones and find others too bulky, this may be refreshing for you. Some professional reviews state the phone is good or mediocre build at best which is patently false. Yes, there's a seam on this phone, especially owning a white version but it isn't some huge gap that's ugly or a place where you can push the two pieces together more. The phone has no creaks at all and the glass is flush on all sides. I mention the glass because I've owned Motorola, HTC, and even iPhones where the glass at the edge isn't even across the whole device and it drives me nuts. The new buttons are ceramic - ohhh! They are nice and work well. The sim card tray is next to the power button but I haven't noticed it at all searching for the button as it's very flush with the phone. There isn't an SD card slot on this phone - get over it. 32GB is enough for MOST users. If you are truly a power user who needs to swap out 64GB cards frequently for whatever reasons (I know some of you do exist) this isn't the phone for you. I'm sorry, the Nexus devices haven't had one in a long time and it's a cost saving measure too.

Next is connectivity and calling - the main point of a phone, right? I won't discuss specific networks as that opens up a whole different debate that entire forums can't solve! LTE works screaming fast on the phone and it holds onto the signal well. HSPA+ is a beast on this phone too if your area doesn't have it. Calls connect well and nothing has dropped so far. The call quality is decent, which is a bummer as I'm one who still talks a lot on their phone. I haven't tried any HD voice features yet so that may help the issue. Wifi works well on the phone too both with 5ghz and 2.4ghz - my older router doesn't have all the latest standards but the phone supports any wifi you'll encounter. I'll point out that my house is an old one with huge blocks that love to cancel out any cell signals. This phone holds onto them and keeps them unlike other phones I've used on the same network.

Screen - The best I've used. I have grown tired of the Samsung AMOLED screens and favor the route Apple and HTC and now LG have taken, for the most part. It's super crystal clear and even being a near-sighted blind person, I can't pick out pixels for the first time. Colors are pretty accurate and everything is great looking. The touch portion of the screen is great too with no issues. It works as well as any other top tier phone. Now 'for the most part' means I do notice this screen, as any LCD, cannot do true black unlike AMOLED. It's a feature left to that technology alone but it doesn't detract here as the screen is great and you don't notice unless you have a competing phone next to it.

Battery - It's average on this phone. It isn't a beast like I've had on some Moto phones but it isn't a junker like some Samsung devices I've used too. After the first couple days, it evened out and with moderate use I can make it to 10pm bed-time. It isn't going to blow you away but it isn't the worst out there either. I'd have liked an option to use a removable battery as I don't mind a heavier device or battery - but clearly we are going to wafer light and thin devices.

Camera - It's a good camera to me and leaps and bounds better than any past phone I've owned including other Nexus devices. Pictures come out clear and the HDR+ feature is pretty good as well. Pictures come out sharper and it even works well trying to take a picture of my moving baby. I can still tell it was taken with a phone vs. a stand-alone camera, but it's way more sufficient for my wants than I need. The wife takes the serious pictures, I just take pictures of things to make sure I bought the right item. So, if you aren't a budding photographer, this thing works well and even captures moving people well enough.

Software - The new KitKat 4.4 is here and overall I love it more than the last version, just like I do with every android release. I won't give a comprehensive review of the OS here, but I'll touch on some things. Google added some developer options on this phone that you can enable as an option that make it scream. It moves faster than I can use it now and this is a great step for any phone OS. I've used Windows Phone 8 and many flavors of iOS and many versions of Android. This is by far my favorite OS now, hands down. MS has done well with 8, but this blows that out of the water now. iOS 7 has veered off to me and I personally don't like it. Anyway, this thing is fast! Google now is better than ever, but I had to turn it off as it sucked battery down. I hope Google addresses this as the service is awesome. Hangouts is cool that everything is in one spot, but it's clunky to use for SMS and everything. I wish google would have waited until everything in hangouts was totally done before merging, but they at least give you the option to download another SMS program and set it as the default now. You have got to love choices. Default email is better now and Gmail and calendar are excellent as ever. Overall it's a pleasant step forward and hardly anything I don't like.

That's a basic review of the phone and I'll end with the overall value and point of the phone. Here on this great online retailer, the phone appears to cost more. You can easily go to the source, if available in your country, and purchase it for an incredibly great price. It is completely unlocked so you don't have to fiddle with buying an unlock code, which in the USA is now shady anyway, and waste more time and money. This phone also will get updates quickly without hassles or being left in the dust instantly. It's also priced at a mid-tier value, for almost all top tier specs and experiences. I think many pro-reviewers have worried that things like the camera or battery aren't toe to toe with other phones, but those do cost more. The bigger issue they miss is Android on this phone is unlike it on any other phone. That's worth something too and what I stress is the most important thing about this phone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right kind of Android phone at the right time, December 18, 2013
By 
J.S. "road runner" (St. Charles, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
In a year filled with all kinds of top-tier phones (Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, LG G2, Moto X, Sony Xperia Z1, Oppo N1), it's a nice problem to have for any Android consumer or tech enthusiast. My first Android device was an HTC/Google Nexus One, and maybe it's because of that phone that got me sold on Android. I've tried various iterations of the Android OS (with Sense, with TouchWiz, Blur, etc.), but I would keep gravitating to the pure, stock Android experience that I got with my Nexus One. Even flashing a custom ROM on my last phone (Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket) still left me wanting. So, I then looked at the landscape, and after going back and forth on what I want out of a phone, I ended going with the Nexus 5.

Why do you ask? It has all the features I expect out of the phone, and on top of it, getting (and receiving updates straight from Google) the latest Android OS. Sure, other phones may be better than the Nexus 5 at one aspect or another, but for one reason or another, each of the other phones are missing something that's a deal-breaker for me. This phone has all the aspects I want, and it does it either good enough or better. Newest OS? Check. Seamless Google Now? Check. Blazingly fast UI? Check. Beautiful, more "natural" display? Check. Solid (it doesn't have to be spectacular) camera for photos and videos? Check. Battery life (again, at least 3/4 to a full day's worth)? Check. Understated, clean design? Check. Easily modifiable (unlocking, rooting, etc.) for the tinkerer in me? Ditto. Unique, as in you won't see this all over the place (I've had strangers ask me about this phone)? Ditto.

There's been detractors out there, but I feel that alot of it is being too nit-picky about what to expect out of a phone. In the end of the day, you want a phone to work solidly all-around, and this one does it in spades.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BUY FROM GOOGLE PLAY AND DONT BE OVERCHARGED, January 9, 2014
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
Not sure why people are buying from Amazon when this phone is much cheaper buying it directly from Google Play Store. The 32gb version is only $399 if you buy it from Google (349 for the 16gb version). So if you want to pay more, buy it here. Otherwise, why put money into someone else's pocket?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good device but is the upgrade really worth it?, March 21, 2014
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
Good device but is the upgrade really worth it?

I got a Nexus 5 to replace my previous phone which was a Samsung Galaxy S3. For those thinking about doing the same upgrade, I made a video reviewing the two devices, here's the link: http://goo.gl/Kn2Kdy

In terms of specs, processing power, etc., the Nexus 5 is obviously top-notch. So to test that in practice, I decided to run a couple Vellamo Benchmarks to compare the performance of my old and new phone on different tasks --- all trying to figure out if the upgrade is worth or not.

A few conclusions came out of my analysis:
- The benchmark results showed that the Nexus 5 is really great if you do a lot of gaming, heavy apps or reading.
- If mostly you do internet browsing, however, the difference is almost non-existent -- in which case you can stick with your old device
- Nexus 5 is bigger but lighter
- Screen resolution and hardware are incomparably better
- The Galaxy's only advantage is on the front-camera's higher resolution

Of note, recently my brother's Nexus has been showing problems with unresponsive buttons. It seems this is a quite common issue, so beware of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No complaints, absolute gem of a phone., December 1, 2013
By 
D. Jackson (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
I have a complaint about every single phone I've ever owned; iPhones, Nexus, and most of the flip phone bricks before that.

This thing is awesome; it just gets it right.

The battery life is terrific; it goes well more than a day with my normal use. I also picked up the LG Qi Charger, and that's great as well; it doesn't heat up the phone very much, and lets me dump it back on a charger midday for days where I'm really, really leaning on the phone a lot.

Been using the Wallet functionality as well to pay at Rite Aid and Whole Foods; I keep forgetting my wallet, but this doubles as a credit card, and keeps the receipts for me. (And still gives me points on my credit card.)

Being able to talk to it is a nice touch as well. "OK Google" on the home screen pops open voice recognition, and asking it "who did the Steelers lose to this weekend?" gave me a correct (and still polite) answer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nexus 5- An amazing phone for an amazing price., December 6, 2013
By 
This review is from: Google Nexus 5 D820 Unlocked GSM Phone, 32Gb (Black) (Unlocked Phone)
Updates to Review:
12/9/13- Camera and Speaker section
12/31/13- Camera
4/17/14- Camera

Review based on Google Nexus 5, Black, 32Gb. Using ATT LTE. Bought in the Google Play Store for $399.

This phone produced by LG and designed for Google is their flagship phone for Android at half the cost of most the flagship phones from other companies such as Samsung, Sony and HTC and almost 2/3 less in cost than an unlocked 32 Gb iPhone 5s.

Pros
- Performance- As of December 2013 this is the fastest Android phone second only to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Everything is ridiculously smooth. Watch videos, browse the web and play games smoother than any Android phone currently on the market. The iPhone has always been the standard for smooth performance and I would go as far to say that the gap has closed enough between the latest iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5 that the difference is either imagined or a non-issue.

- Screen- 1080p in your palm on a 5 inch screen is glorious. I have a 7 inch tablet that I really don't even use anymore because viewing things on my phone is such a pleasure that there is no need to switch to a tablet. Compared to an amoled the blacks are not as black and the colors are cooler (or less vibrant as some would say). A lot of people prefer this more vibrant look of the amoled and at first glance I would have to agree. But upon further inspection, the lcd produces much more realistic images. Most of us like more vibrant colors, but this is at the expense of realistic colors. It is a matter of preference, but I like realistic images better.

-Battery Life- I get around 4 hours of screen time a charge (100% to 0% battery) using the Nexus 5 for browsing the web, texting, music and light apps such as Facebook and Instagram. I would say I am definitely not a power user, but my usage is probably more than the average person and this is an all day phone for me. I can leave early in the morning and plug in my phone late evening and still be at 1/4 power or even more. This is without turning off wifi or gps, which would increase my battery life even more. The phone also barely sips power while the phone is not in use.

-Build Quality- This phone looks sharp. I've read in many reviews that this phone looks plain. Well I agree. This phone looks plain in a classy subdued refined way. Nothing flashy. The build quality is great. It obviously does not feel as high end as an iPhone or HTC One, but other than those 2 phones there really isn't a mainstream phone that feels as high end as the Nexus 5 with its silky texture. Ergonomically the Nexus also feels very good in the hand with only the Moto X with its curved back and the iPhone's smaller size feeling better. The Gorilla Glass III is supposedly very scratch resistant and the glass does glide beneath my fingers very nicely. The ceramic buttons are a nice touch that look and feel good, although they do have a little wobble to them.

Microphone/call quality- the mic is great for calls and recording. Although only in mono, the sound that is recorded is clear and crisp. Calls are clear both ways.

Android- the perks of a Nexus is getting the newest OS first at least until next November when the Nexus 6 comes out and even after that you can expect maybe a year of the newest OS coming to your phone much faster than other phones. Kit Kat is a game changer. Google Now is now central to Android. I personally can't even imagine using an Android phone without Google Now. The voice recognition is much more than just a cool gimmick, it is the fastest and easiest way to use your phone. From any of the home screens all you need to do is say "okay google" and then you can command your phone to do an abundant amount of actions the extent of which is beyond the scope of this review.

-Cost- This is a flagship phone at midrange prices. If you are looking for best value per dollar... well you have found what you are looking for.

Neutral:
-Camera (4/17/14)- Originally I had put the camera in the "Cons" section because of the horrible camera UI and the slow focus on the original iteration of the Nexus 5 camera but since 4.4.2 and the new Google Camera App the Nexus 5 camera is an all around solid performer. In the right conditions this camera with its optical image stabilization takes pictures that can rival almost any phone camera on the market today. The HDR+ mode lives up to the extra arithmetic symbol. In fact HDR+ mode is my default picture taking mode with the Nexus 5. The camera can take decent low light shots and beautiful macro shots and the 1080p video is awesome. 8 megapixels isn't as large a number as some other competitors are using nowadays (but still equal to the venerable iPhone 5s), but it offers up more than enough detail for social network sharing and small prints. The new UI is very simplified with little control over how pictures are taken, instead it concentrates on streamlining quick snapshots which is what most people use their camera phones for anyways. The new Lens Blur mode is pretty amazing, adding bokeh to pictures for a dslr like effect. Although for now the highest resolution is around 3.1 megapixels for this mode.

Cons:
-Speaker- the speaker is mono and is rather low on volume. The sound that comes out of the speaker is not bad, but not that great either. I personally don't need my speaker to have awesome quality sound since if I want to listen to something that requires high fidelity I'll just plug in my earphones. But the low volume can be troublesome for catching calls and texts in a timely manner. Kit Kat 4.4.1 is supposed to be fixing this problem.
EDIT (12/9/13): 4.4.2 has increased the speaker volume to a much more satisfactory level.

-Size- A large and beautiful 5 inch display has its downfalls. I have average to above average sized hands and one handed use on this phone is still pretty hard to almost impossible with certain apps. With Android phones getting larger and larger I predict app designers will start making apps with most of the ui towards the bottom of the screen. But as it stands right now most apps have a lot of ui elements at the top of the screen and that is a problem since your hand naturally sits more towards the bottom of the phone where the keyboard and Android keys are. There is no way I can position my right hand so that my thumb can hit the "Home" key and hit any button on the upper left hand corner. If an app has a ui element in that corner (and most apps do) then I have to use 2 hands to operate the phone. It is obvious with the growing popularity of phablets that people don't mind using 2 hands to operate their phone and maybe I'm too old school, but I would rather my phone be one handed.

Conclusion-
If this phone had the same pricetag as a Samsung Galaxy s4 or an HTC One or almost any other flagship, this phone would still be worth it. But at half the price? This phone is by far the best deal among the current generation of smartphones. I would recommend this phone to anybody looking for an unlocked smartphone. Most of my cons will be addressed in future updates (see edits above 12/9/13, 12/31/13, 4/17/14), so the only real hesitation I would have would be recommending this phone to a person with smallish hands. Otherwise the Nexus 5 is the best deal in high end smartphones right now.
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