Increasing the market share for Android smartphones has always been important to Google (GOOG) — and that’s exactly why the new Google Nexus 5 is so important. Having as many people as possible using Google products to search while on-the-go is critical to maintaining the ad revenue GOOG stock depends on. And there’s no better way to do that than ensuring everyone uses Android smartphones.
At the same time, GOOG has struggled with manufacturers who layer their own user interface and apps overtop of Android — a practice that contributes to Android fragmentation and diverts users from Google services such as Google Play. Samsung (SSNLF) is a perfect example, with its TouchWiz UI.
Once again, GOOG has responded with its Nexus line of mobile devices, including the Google Nexus 5. They feature competitive hardware, a “pure” Android experience (with no overlays or skins and regular updates) and they’re often priced significantly below the competition.
If you pick a Nexus 5 review from virtually any publication, it will immediately confirm that Google’s latest flagship smartphone fits that Nexus model exactly: high performance, pure Android and a price that other premium smartphones can’t touch.
Let’s take a closer look at the Google Nexus 5.
Nexus 5 – Android 4.4 (KitKat) Features
Any Nexus 5 review is going to include one of this smartphone’s key selling features — at least until other manufacturers catch up. The Google Nexus 5 runs Android 4.4 (KitKat).
As Google’s showcase, all-Android phone, it only makes sense that the Nexus 5 would be the first to get the latest and greatest version of Android. That means Google Nexus 5 buyers can look forward to key new Android 4.4 features including
- “OK Google” voice control from home screen and Google Now
- Memory optimization for faster touchscreen response and higher performance multitasking
- Hangouts app displays messages from multiple sources on a single screen
- Google Cloud Print and enhanced mobile printing options
- Chromecast support
- Android Device Manager has the ability to track and remotely wipe a lost Google Nexus 5
- Low power audio playback for extended battery life while listening to music
- New open architecture NFC tap-to-pay, supporting Google Wallet
Nexus 5 – Value and Performance
At $349 unlocked, the Google Nexus 5 is priced far below competing flagship smartphones. Apple (AAPL) is charging $649 for its latest, for example. Despite the bargain-basement pricing, the Nexus 5 has impressive specs, including a quad-core Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon 800 processor and a 5-inch, 1080p display.
In its Google Nexus 5 review, Phone Arena put the Nexus 5 through various benchmark tests and reports that it’s a serious performer, despite the discount price. While topped by the Apple iPhone 5S, the Nexus 5 comes out ahead of much higher-priced Android competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony (SNE) Xperia Z1.
Google and manufacturer LG clearly did not cut corners on the horsepower of the Nexus 5 to keep prices down.
Some cost-saving was realized by going with a plastic case. The 8MP camera is also a bit underwhelming. In a Nexus 5 review that was otherwise highly positive, Tech Radar found the camera produced photos that looked washed out, describing the photo performance of the Nexus 5 as “just adequate for day-to-day use.”
Nexus 5 owners can expect call quality to be good and battery life to be average. Google claims the 2,300 mAh battery is good for up to 17 hours of 3G talk time but a sampling of Nexus 5 review results shows that 7-10 hours of mixed use is the norm. Unlike the Galaxy S4, the battery is not swappable so Nexus 5 buyers can expect to be doing what most smartphone owners do –recharging nightly.
Despite the lackluster camera performance, the Google Nexus 5 makes for an impressive value proposition.
Nexus 5- Specs
- 4.95-inch IPS display at 1080p (445 PPI)
- Corning (GLW) Gorilla Glass 3
- Quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.3 GHz with 2GB RAM
- 16/32GB internal storage (non expandable)
- 8MP rear facing camera with optical image stabilization, 1.3MP front camera
- 2,300 mAh battery (with optional wireless charging)
- WiFi a/b/c/n/ac, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0
- Matte black plastic case (available in black or white)
- Ceramic volume and power buttons
- 4.6 ounces
- Manufactured by LG (Note: in its Nexus 5 review, Mobile Syrup reports a similarity to the LG G2 the Google smartphone was based on, which sells for several hundred dollars more)
- Starts at $329, unlocked
Nexus 5 – Conclusion
If you want an Apple iPhone or a Microsoft Windows smartphone, then you’re not in Google’s target demographic –although the company would dearly love you to reconsider that iPhone or Nokia (NOK) Lumia in favor of the Nexus 5.
After reading Nexus 5 review after Nexus 5 review and comparing the new Google Android smartphone to the competition, there’s a lot to like about this device for everyone else (and by current measurements, that’s roughly 81% of buyers) .
The Google Nexus 5 repeatedly comes out at the top of the heap when it comes to performance, it’s 5-inch 1080p display is not only big but it’s bright and sharp too and it’s currently the only smartphone on the market offering the advantages of Google’s Android 4.4 features (KitKat).
If the technical prowess and head start on Android KitKat doesn’t seal the deal on the Nexus 5, the price will. At just $349, Google makes it hard for anyone shopping for a premium Android smartphone to resist this bargain. That’s if they can find one — Google has been selling out of the 16GB model.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.