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on November 19, 2013
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.

(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 SPIGEN Google Nexus 5 Screen Protector Clear [Crystal] [3-PACK] **Japanese PET Film** Premium Front Screen Protector for Nexus 5 (SGP10559), 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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on April 8, 2014
I've been using my Nexus 5 for about 3 months and it is awesome. Top notch hardware and a great comprehensive Google environment experience. An incredible value for one heck of an unlocked phone. A few small issues aside, this one is a no-brainer! Attempt in the video to give a brief overview of the phone without getting too technical.
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on July 3, 2015
The mobile phone I received was clearly a POORLY REFURBISHED unit when the description lists it as brand new.

Problems:
1. Missing MIMO antenna contacts. This means WiFi will never work.
2. Missing RF shield on the entire logic board underside. This means buzzing through the microphone and speaker channels and poor reception.
3. Missing rubber waveguides for both top and bottom microphones. This means poor audio quality on the receiving end.
4. Squashed GPS antenna. This means no GPS use.
5. Missing gasket around proximity sensor. This means flakey screen and buttons as you're on a call.
6. Corroded plating on ALL antenna contacts present on rear cover. This means poor operation on everything radio like Wifi, Cellular, Bluetooth, GPS, everything.
7. Inoperable vibrator motor.
8. No glue holding in battery cell.

See attached photos. To compare against a genuinely new unit, see the iFixit teardown here: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus+5+Teardown/19016

I will update my review when I receive a replacement, but for now I am very upset.
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on 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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on November 20, 2013
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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on November 10, 2013
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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on December 23, 2014
Originally I thought: "Excellent phone. Stylish and very useful even after being spoiled by the big screen on my Galaxy note II.
The only problem I'm having is with Lollipop that it shipped with. But that will fade in the next update I'm sure."

Follow up - this phone is junk. I was ripped off. It ships with a "pre release" version of lollipop that will NOT update, not the production version of lollipop that ships on the ones that were bought from Google. I've waited too long to try and find a solution but there is evidently nothing that can be done with this phone. So I'm just out the money.

DO NOT BUY FROM THESE FOLKS. THEY ARE SELLING GOOGLE NEXUS 5'S WITH PRE RELEASE VERSION OF LOLLIPOP. THEY MAY BE NEW IN THE BOX BUT THEY ARE NOT THE SAME NEXUS 5 YOU'D BUY DIRECTLY FROM LG OR GOOGLE!!!!! NOWHERE IN THE LISTING DOES IT TELL YOU ARE NOT BUYING A PHONE WITH A PRE-RELEASE VERSION OF ANDROID 5 OS!!!

IF YOU BUY ONE OF THESE AND IT COMES UP WITH THE PRE-RELEASE VERSION OF ANDROID 5, SEND IT BACK IMMEDIATELY!!!
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on December 13, 2013
I purchased this phone from the Google Play store for $350. I was one of those people who knew it was coming out and waited patiently on the day of to order it right away. I was told it would take about 11 days to show up, however, I received it about 5 days later, including weekends.

The phone is great. For the price (and I honestly think that this phrase undervalues the specs on the phone) you cannot get a better deal. This phone goes head to head with every top phone on the market today, and that's something that can't be said of others.

I switched from an iPhone to this Android phone. If you are in the same boat Apple puts you in year after year with their controlling updates and seemingly endless process of outdating perfectly good phones so you have to buy their newest one, you should highly consider this phone. Google does an excellent job getting bugs fixed and updates out to you, and they take less than 5 minutes to install. You will be running the latest and greatest Android has to offer, and you don't have to worry about being outdated anytime soon.

For $350, you can replace your current phone with the best specs on the market and opt out of renewing that awful contract. What's not to love?
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on September 30, 2015
DO NOT PURCHASE FROM THIS SELLER! I was told I purchased a new phone, but after 3 months and the phone stopped working I sent it into LG for repairs... and Guess what?! There is a work history on this phone from 1 year ago! This company lied and sent me a USED phone that already had problems! As a side note, I have another one of these phones and it died the exact same way and LG was horrible to work with and has refused to repair it even though its in the 1 year warranty period! DO NOT PURCHASE THIS HORRIBLE PRODUCT!
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on October 9, 2015
This is more an indictment of the seller, not the nexus, as I have heard great things about the phone from people who got functioning versions.

The phone I received was pretty clearly refurbished. It looked fine, but the case did not contain a SIM tray ejector key or quick start card. Those things are included from the manufacturer, so this was definitely not "brand new" as Next Gen Wireless advertised.

I go to power up the phone, and after about 2 minutes it shuts down without warning. "Must just be low battery," I thought. Charge it overnight. Next day, go to setup the phone again, dies in under a minute. Tried charging with the charger that came with it, other chargers I have that I know are functional because they work on other phones. Tried charging via USB through my computer, different outlets, everything. The phone never stayed on more than 30 seconds after that.

I file for a return from Next Gen Wireless. Thankfully they have a decent return policy, but they didn't cover return shipping and were somewhat condescending, continuing to insist it was a brand new phone, when it very clearly wasn't. They also make you put a "hazardous material" sticker on it so it can only ship back via ground. Why can they ship it to me without this but I need to put the sticker on to return it? If I didn't live on the east coast, I don't think it would have shipped back in time to keep the return policy valid. It took 24 days to make it from Connecticut to New Jersey, on a 30-day return policy (USPS was also a major factor in the return delay though).

Anyway, they get the returned phone and tell me their "technicians" found no problem with the battery, that it charged right up, ran a bunch of apps, and still has juice at the end of the day. It is possible they were able to wirelessly charge it and it was the MicroUSB port that was not functioning, but this didn't come with a wireless charger, I don't own one, and it's still a useless phone to me if it doesn't have wired charging. It is much more likely they were flat out lying to me as it wouldn't have been the first time.

Thankfully, they still gave me the option to get a refund, so I am only out the cost of return shipping (and time).
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