It’s been leaked, teased, and practically dissected for a while now, but today Google is finally making the Nexus 4’s successor official. The Nexus 5 is finally formally announced, and it looks as though all of the initial information we had about it was indeed spot-on. Starting today, the Nexus 5 is available for purchase on Google Play for $349 (16 GB) and $399 (32 GB) in either black or white in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K., Australia, Korea and Japan, followed by offline availability (non Google Play) in Europe, Central/South Americas, Asia, CIS and the Middle East will begin in mid-November.

Let’s start with the device itself. Although Nexus 5 is the spiritual successor to the Nexus 4, its industrial design borrows a lot from the recently announced Nexus 7. The two share a similar rotated landscape “nexus” logo emblazoned on the back, and are simple plastic with soft touch finishes. The Nexus 5 also appears to eschew the shaped, rounded glass edges which were very highly praised on the Nexus 4 for a more traditional flat panel and lip approach. Although the Nexus 5 does appear to share a lot of its hardware platform with the LG G2, there’s no rear mounted buttons or emphasis on narrow bezel, rather the Nexus 5 appears to be a lot more pragmatic.

  LG Nexus 5
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974)
4x Krait 400 2.3 GHz, Adreno 330 GPU 450 MHz
Display 4.95-inch IPS-LCD 1920x1080 Full HD
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT 4.0
Storage 16/32 GB internal
I/O microUSB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone, NFC, SlimPort,
Wireless Charging (Qi)
OS Android 4.4 KitKat
Battery 2300 mAh (8.74 Whr) Internal
Size / Mass 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59mm
Camera 8 MP with OIS and Flash (Rear Facing)
2.1 MP Full HD (Front Facing)
Cellular Banding (D820) North America: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

(D821) Rest of World: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

True to its name, the Nexus 5 is topped with a 5-inch 1080p LCD display, a step up from the 4.7-inch 1280x768 display which was in the Nexus 4, and following with the ever inflating display size trend. The display also boasts in-cell touch which we’ve come to expect this generation.

Dimensions show the Nexus 5 getting roughly 4 mm taller and 0.47 mm wider, but thickness actually decreases by 0.51 mm and weight by 9 grams versus its predecessor. Platform is based on a Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) SoC running at the higher 2.3 GHz bin we’ve seen before, with Adreno 330 graphics and the same 2 GB of LPDDR3 at 800 MHz we saw in the LG G2. This isn't the 8974AB with 550 MHz Adreno 330 clocks which it still is a bit early for. On the camera side there’s an 8 MP rear facing camera (no word on optical format or pixel size quite yet), but it does include the same LG Innotek module with OIS from the G2, it just has an 8 MP CMOS behind it. There’s still photo sphere for 360 degree stitched panoramas, in addition the Nexus 5 adds a new HDR+ mode which fuses simultaneously captured images into one HDR image, though I’m not sure how this differs from existing HDR options.

Storage also moves up a notch to 16 and 32 GB options, something the Nexus 4 was criticized for skimping on with its 8 and 16 GB options, oh and there’s obviously no SD card support since this is a Nexus device. Battery is the 2300 mAh 3.8V capacity we suspected, which works out to 8.74 watt hours, although one thing the Nexus 5 has over the G2 that it seems to share a platform with is a QFE1100 envelope tracker which offers 20 percent power savings on the cellular power amplifiers.

On the LTE side we see the FCC leaks and schematics leaks were spot on. There's a considerable set of LTE band coverage for the USA, including Band 17 and 4 for AT&T, Band 4 for T-Mobile, and 25, 26, and 41 for Sprint (making this another Sprint Spark device), and of course LTE roaming band equivalency with the pentaband WCDMA we've come to expect with newer devices. The only thing that's missing on the USA variant is no Verizon (which should not be a surprise to anyone), and no Band 7 for Canada. Just like the new Nexus 7 LTE situation, there's two variants, as I speculated publicly online (LG-D820 is USA, LG-D821 is rest of world), and the rest of world variant has the obligatory Band 3, 7, 20, and so on that makes sense for most markets. This is a dramatic step up from the Nexus 4 which only included hidden Band 4 LTE with appropriate baseband software.

Of course, the Nexus 5 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat, which includes a new dialer that offers suggestions and Caller ID by Google with business matching. In addition the rumors about Hangouts were true, which now supports sending and receiving text messages directly. Similar to the Moto X there's now also the ability to search by saying "OK Google," though I'm not sure if this also is possible with the device in a screen-off mode (Update: from the home screen).

Google made the Android 4.4 platform highlights page live, and we have some details as well. On the Android 4.4 KitKat front, there's now more emphasis on optimizations for devices with smaller amounts of RAM, specifically 512 MB devices. I had heard about this rumor a while ago and there are now tools for developers to detect when they're running applications on devices with low memory and accordingly manage processes. OEMs now also have greater liberty to change things for lower-end devices with less RAM. On the NFC side, there's now support for host card emulation, allowing applications to put the NFC controller in a mode that emulates a card for purposes like transit passes or loyalty programs. Android also now adds support for a printing framework with support for PDF export, Google cloud print, and local WiFi printing services. Also new are lower power sensor batching modes which helps keep the AP in a low power state longer, and new step detector and step counter sensor support. There's also of course the new SMS provider for allowing third party applications to deliver and receive SMS messages. WebView has also changed to Chromium from WebKit finally, and includes a new version of V8 for JavaScript. 

Google will update Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices to KitKat with an OTA update in the coming weeks, signaling EOL status of the Galaxy Nexus. As an aside it would've been quite in-line with Google's stated 512 MB platform target if 4.4 had come to both Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus devices as well. 

We’re incredibly excited about the Nexus 5 and hope to have the full review as soon as possible.

Source: Google

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  • WaltFrench - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    I thought Android was all about Choice. Bad form to blast a device that aims for different [cost | slimness | screensize | batterylife | speed] just because it doesn't align to your needs.

    Unless there's some reason why Nexus buyers always needs to prove they have the biggest cojones on the planet. Go buy some other device. There's a zillion different configurations.
  • hrrmph - Friday, November 1, 2013 - link

    It's supposed to be a flagship phone. Lack of a tool-less removable back cover, Micro-SDXC storage slot, removable battery, and Dual-SIMs will immediately relegate it to upper mid-range at best, and more likely, just plain old mid-range.

    If Google is aiming for middle-of-the-pack then they just achieved it... again. The problem is that having pure Android and being the first to get updates may be interesting to some, but it's not compelling enough to help it rise out of the $250 to $300 price range (international unlocked, of course). That's a good way to get lost amongst the crowd. Even low-end competitors have more of these basic features than the new Nexus.

    I have the Nexus 7 3G [Gen 1] and I don't see what the big deal is about pure Android. The bigger issue is the lack of internally expandable storage. That drives me nuts. Who wants to connect yet another cable and dongle their storage off the device via OTG? It's nothing short of wacko.

    I want my phones and tablets (as much as possible) to eventually replace my PCs. Why do I want a device that has stunted internal storage? I don't.

    So why would I want my otherwise favorite tech site to ignore the realities of the need for storage and actively dissuade the readers from accepting the reality that expandable storage is needed by many? I don't.

    The credibility of AT is being damage repeatedly lately. I find it fascinating at times, because I wonder how people so smart can prioritize the 'jewelry' aspect of phones so much, while so aggressively being an 'apologist' for the manufacturers' shortcomings. Worse, this behavior is slowly invading the thought processes of others at AT, including the proprietor.

    AT readership wasn't built on wisps of waffle. It was built on people who are enthusiasts and who fully embrace high capability new technology for what it can enable them to do - not how much it makes them look cool to others. We deserve better than this drivel that has recently become the norm in AT's mobile reporting.

    It's clear that a strong correction in direction is needed at AT. I am hopeful that this silliness will be put to an end sooner rather than later.

    There is still a lot more that our phones and tablets can do to replace our PCs and help our computing become more mobile. Omitting expandable internal storage isn't going to help that cause. Neither is omitting user removable batteries. Dual-SIMs are very convenient and AT's silence on this issue (regarding lack of choices in the North American markets) smacks of complicity with overbearing telecoms and lazy manufacturers. Further, where is the campaigning to get the base-band frequency mess cleared up so that a phone purchased in North America will work well in the rest of the world, and vice versa?

    Let's hope for better next week. Most of the AT mobile reviews in the past few weeks fell significantly short of the mark.
  • Nuno Simões - Friday, November 1, 2013 - link

    If you want your phones and tablets to replace your PC, it's not a phone or tablet that you need. You need an ultrabook. Try a Surface Pro.

    Tablet are for consuming. Always were, still are.
  • ZeDestructor - Friday, November 1, 2013 - link

    Removable back cover: You replace your device every 12-36 months. At that rate, swapping batteries is a moot point if you have a usage like mine: my Xperia Z usage leaves me with 54% battery left at the end of a 14hour day out. With fairly hefty wifi usage too. Granted, I only have around one hour of screen on time, but with skype, steam and google services effectively blocking deep sleep, the point is moot.

    MicroSD slot: its a question of preference. I like having one, but all my stuff fits in 16GB. Including Titanium Backup backups if I'm using it. Rest of the time, I have a laptop (or two) available, which is a better platform for pretty much everything I do on the move (web browsing, media playback, some coding).

    The reason why the Nexus devices are so particularly attractive is the sheer core specs on them. They have top-tier CPUs, GPUs, RAM allocation and screens, things that to me are far more important. When comparing to closely specced devices, like the Xperia Z1/LG G2/SGS5 (when it gets released), you have to ask yourself: is the microSD slot really worth paying between 50-100% more? Besides that you also get a nice source tree you can use in your ROM-hacking and a fully unlocked bootloader. Apart from Sony, who else does that?

    "I want my phones and tablets (as much as possible) to eventually replace my PCs." I sure as hell don't. there is no way you can fit in 1000W worth of components in a phone. You simply can't argue with physics. The end. Phones simply don't have the raw computational power to compete against a slow ultrabook, let alone a high-end desktop or top-of-the-line workstation. If you only consume light content, sure, but creators need the power.

    "There is still a lot more that our phones and tablets can do to replace our PCs and help our computing become more mobile" See above.

    "Dual-SIMs are very convenient" unless you live in a third-world country where you don't have unlimited calls/flat rate calling and call a lot; or travel a LOT, its really irrelevant. for 60AUD/mo, I can get unlimited calls and texts in Australia, making my provider choice entirely up to their network quality.

    "Further, where is the campaigning to get the base-band frequency mess cleared up so that a phone purchased in North America will work well in the rest of the world, and vice versa?" You're arguing with physics again. You will lose. Eventually radio front-ends and antenna design will get there, but not yet. Remember, just 2 years ago, you had on, maybe 2 bands for LTE on an LTE device, with ridiculous battery usage if you just left LTE on idling. If you really want to help clean up the US, give T-Mo more of your money so you can get some real competition. The rest of the world has sorted their shit out and we roam cleanly and effectively with plentiful SIM-swaps.

    "AT readership wasn't built on wisps of waffle. It was built on people who are enthusiasts and who fully embrace high capability new technology for what it can enable them to do" Indeed. But I feel a lot of the readership has moved to a multi-device approach, with different gear for different scenarios. It's just something that happens as you acquire increasing amounts of disposable income. Once upon a time, I wouldn't consider buying games and software, since even a high-end PC cost pretty much all my income. These days my Steam account is worth over 3000.00 USD and I have two laptops for different use cases alongside a triple-screen, dual-GTX 670 desktop.
  • bigboxes - Sunday, November 3, 2013 - link

    Keep on crying loud enough and maybe the manufacturers will bring betamax back. You keep forgetting that it's not about you. In your neverending rant you never mentioned capitalism. You keep on mentioning what is important to you and your roomful of nerds. The realization that they build for the masses and are selling boatloads to the masses despite your objections has not quite sunk into your techno-dweebie brain. You have plenty of book smarts but no common sense. Think back to your last rant that those corporations can't take away your desktop and that the Gigahertz race must continue at all costs. That's what us techies want! I can't believe they are ignoring us!

    In the end, you'll adapt. Just like you've done before. It's just that you adapt a little slower than the rest, despite being a "techie". It seems like there are plenty of others that are responding to your rant as well. It's a cry for help.
  • abufrejoval - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Personally I agree with most everything you say.
    And I guess it's simply AT's policy to be very positive: I always enjoy semiaccurate for the opposite angle, like dinner and desert.
    But you mustn't forget that Google isn't producing these phones to make money on the device: It's trying to create a greater pull towards Google services, which is where the money is earned.
    Essentially this device is a subsidized catalyst from a Google perspective.
    Putting more storage on it means making it more independent from Google and I see why they don't want to do that.
    As painfully more expensive as it is: If you want a PC replacement device you need to go somewhere else or live with the limits of the Nexus devices.
    I actually want very much the same and there are still some very important features missing on all Androids like a really good Gbit class wireless (or optical) network connect, with a Thunderbolt like feature set (but hopefully using straight PCIe protocols and no Intel proprietary stuff), which you can use to connect the "phone" without latency or bandwidth issues to full res display, network and peripherals all by just laying the phone on some pad, where it is (silently) cooled and charged at the same time as it ramps to full power and clocks for PC operations.
  • Mr. Pedantic - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    I don't use Google Music, so...

    I'm currently using my original SGS which has 16GB, and I'm doing fine. Of course, fine is a relative term and the phone is slow as shit, so it's not like it's a great phone. But its shittiness isn't because of its storage (size).
  • Flunk - Friday, November 1, 2013 - link

    My current phone has 16GB and I've never filled it. It really depends on how frugal you are with storage. Sure you can load up 300+ hours of music and tonnes of videos all the time. But you don't NEED that and you can't even really use it all because the battery only lasts so long.
  • kyp275 - Saturday, November 2, 2013 - link

    Funny, 16GB on my N4 was more than enough, obviously I'm doing it wrong :rolleyes:
  • Tehk17 - Thursday, October 31, 2013 - link

    There's other uses to removable batteries than for just being able to last through the day.

    Same with microSD cards and internal storage. There's other reasons for using a microSD card than just to get more storage.

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