After many weeks of speculations, leaks, and overwhelming anticipation, Google has finally taken the wraps off their new flagship phone, the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 is, like the Nexus 4, manufactured by LG and modelled after one of their flagship phones, and comes in black and white colours. The Nexus 5 is modelled after the LG G2. Thankfully, the Nexus 5 has ditched the rear buttons on the G2 (which LG touts as innovation), for more practical button placements. The phone comes with 2 GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip (SoC), which is pretty much the best SoC from Qualcomm you can get on a smartphone at the time of release. It boasts a 4.95-inch 1080p screen with a staggering 444 pixels per inch. All of these go for a very affordable unlocked and contract-free price of £299. The Nexus 5 has clearly taken the best of the Nexus 4, and corrected some of its glaring faults. The Nexus 4 was a great device one year ago for its price. As Felix had written about it a year ago, the Nexus 4 boasted some of the best hardware you could get at that time. However, it also fell short in three areas, all of which Google has addressed in the Nexus 5. Most (in)famously, Google left out Long Term Evolution (LTE), or 4G support in the Nexus 4. This has been rectified in the Nexus 5 – it will allow you to use it on any LTE network around the world, save for North America. The Nexus 4 also came with limited storage options, namely only 8 GB and 16 GB. The Nexus 5 has also rectified this by providing 16 and 32 GB options. Finally, while the Nexus 4 suffered from horrible availability issues, and the order website promptly crashed under the weight of its own popularity, the same does not seem to be the case for the Nexus 5. Initial orders made via the Play Store has already been shipped, and should arrive within the week. Customers can also buy them from retailers like Carphone Warehouse. Alongside the debut of the Nexus 5 is a new Android version dubbed Kit Kat. Kit Kat is another minor update to the operating system (OS), with some minor visual changes by allowing applications to turn the status bar and the navigation bar transparent. Kit Kat also continues the Google-fying of the OS by turning some of the core parts of the OS into Google apps that can be update via the Play Store, as mentioned in a previous article (How Google Updated Android without Updating Android). The home screen of Kit Kat is now essentially a Google variant of the Facebook Home concept, by making Google Search power many aspects of the interface. The old Android texting app has also been removed, in favour of integration with Google Hangouts which now also handles text. There are also various under the hood changes to the OS that are more of interest to developers, such as the changing of the SELinux mode from permissive to enforcing. Google’s Nexus programme began with the Nexus One as a means of setting benchmarks for other phone manufacturers to work towards. Although the first phone wasn’t exactly a commercial success, subsequent releases have garnered a dedicated fan-base. This is quite evident when the US Play Store started reporting multiple-weeks of waiting for people who want to order the phone late for all the models. In the UK, at the time of writing, the black coloured models are all quoted as being shipped in 2-3 weeks time, while the white coloured models are still available. If you are looking for a new smartphone, and are unwilling to be tied down to a contract, the Nexus 5 is the phone for you. For the price, you can get excellent hardware that no other phones in the market can offer.
This article was imported from an earlier version of Felix Online - see the original article here.