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Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 Get the Hands-on Treatment – UI Tweaks Galore, New Pictures of the Phone Too

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Thanks to a series of “hands-on” photos posted this morning by the folks over at Tutto Android, we now have one of the cleanest and most significant leaks of the new Nexus 5 and Android 4.4. The images just went up this morning, so you can imagine that we are still digging through them. As we stumble across bits and pieces of info, we’ll be updating this post. For now, get to looking. 

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As can be seen in the very top image, a new camera icon has been placed on the lock screen in the lower right corner. It still appears as if a swipe over from the right edge will access it, but this camera icon is also actionable. If you grab the camera icon and drag it to the left, it will open the camera as well.

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In these images, we get a first look at the UI changes to Android 4.4, which will be known as “Kit Kat.” The navigation buttons now have a transparent background, similar to what we have seen on devices like the Moto X and G2. The launcher button has been changed to a semi-transparent circle with the typical 6 dots inside of it. We’re seeing a new Dialer icon, series of dots to show which home screen you are on, and a transparent app drawer (has previously been black). The frequently leaked new notification bar with white icons is also visible and appears to be semi-transparent as well.

We’re a little confused at how you access Widgets, as they do not appear to be listed in a separate tab up top like they have been for the last few releases of Android. Maybe the long-press to add widgets is returning?

New beautiful wallpapers? I think so.

Update 1:  Where is the Messaging app? Will Hangouts finally become the full-time all-in-one messaging application? Also, Google+ Photos is now just called Google Photos, plus the Gallery app is gone. The Google Settings and Search icons are now round icons, when they used to be square.

The folks at Tutto Android mentioned in their post that you can add more than 5 home screens if you’d like, but the phone will ship with only a select few. They also mentioned that Google Now can be accessed with the swipe-up from Home, but you can get there once you are on the far left home screen, and then swipe from the left edge. I imagine this action is similar to what Motorola was doing with their quick toggles menu on devices like the RAZR HD. A source of theirs also claimed that you can launch Google Search from the home screen, simple by saying “OK, Google.”

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In this series of shots, we get a look at some of the internal settings menu which features a “Tap & pay” section that we had previously seen leaked as “Payments” button. We have a more robust location history section as well, that features different accuracy levels, recent location requests, and a better look at history.

In terms of the phone itself, it’s exactly what we have seen leaked time and time again over the last few weeks. We can see the front camera placed in the top left corner, along with the circular speaker grill in the center. You have on-screen navigation buttons, but that’s no surprise with a Nexus device.

This phone is reportedly running Android 4.4 build KRS92B.

Update 2:  We put together a comparison post of Android 4.3 vs. the 4.4 in these photos.

Via:  Tutto Android [2]

  • Dean Murray

    Nice looking device ! Get the spec rumours,looks like it doesn’t have huge bezels at the top and bottom, and I for one am hoping they are stereo speakers next to the bottom mounted USB. Google nexus devices, they make the UK autumn something to look forward to, as well as Hallowe’en. I’m not even bothered about LTE, three in the UK slams out HSDPA+ and my nexus 4 is nearly as fast as Wi-Fi, maybe I’m lucky because three used to be hit and miss. Hope we see this device soon

  • Laiba Malik

    What I guess The first change concerns the unlock menu where you can see the
    transparent bar with a slight tinge of course black and white icons in
    the notifications but this is not new. A majority of people, however,
    concerns the camera icon in the lower right. see more pictures at http://www.axnfiles.com/android-4-4-kitkat-here-are-the-first-pictures-of-the-new-home-of-nexus-5/

  • HotInEER

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not really feeling the way this looks.

    • Galileo

      Same here, but hey, I didn’t like Ice cream sandwish or Jelly bean either when those came out. Let’s give it a try before judging it.

    • Gnex

      The last few pictures (of the settings menu) look absolutely terrible. The light greenish-grey bars at the top and bottom are inconsistent and hideous. I like it other than that, though.

  • coveRAGE

    Gonna laugh when everyone who leaves Verizon regrets it. Nexus 5, it’s just another phone people, it doesn’t print money or cure diseases. How thrilled is anyone who changed carriers to get a Nexus 4 at this point? I’ll stick with my unlimited data on the only network around here that can consistently get the best speeds. And I’ll go get the G2 and have the same phone with a better camera and bigger battery.

    It’s Android. I don’t understand why everyone acts like a Nexus device is the only way to get a clean experience. That’s the entire point of Android. Customization. Every device that has ever come with a fugly manufacturer skin and tons of bloatware ends up with awesome ROMs all cleaned up and ready to go. If this customization did not exist then maybe I could understand people chasing after Nexus devices like life itself depends on it, but that’s not the case.

    You’re really, REALLY going to be happy leaving unlimited data and the best network around, say, 6 months down the road when the Nexus 5 isn’t so fancy anymore and other devices are getting 4.4? We’ll see. I’d just look around at how the large majority of Nexus 4 owners feel about their device.

    Don’t worry, Verizon will always welcome you back, just no more unlimited for ya.

    • ericdabbs

      First off, not everyone has unlimited data so people leaving Verizon should be no surprise. Second, Verizon is expensive as hell. If you weren’t on the unlimited data plan with the old standard plans and were on the new Share Everything plans you wouldn’t be saying the same thing. 2 GB of data for $60…LOL. I mind as well bend over and let Verizon ram me in the butt.

      Assuming people would leave Verizon just for the lack of a Nexus 5 is naive thinking. Everyone has different priorities and financial situations where other major carriers or even prepaid carriers can offer service for their needs for less. Also I am not envious of you paying a crap load to Verizon while I enjoy my rate plan which is $50 that includes 500 minutes, unlimited LTE data and text on another carrier.

      • skzion

        I’m grandfathered into Verizon. But I have mediocre coverage, and I have to pay $700 for a new phone. Tmobile is a better deal.

    • skzion

      With a price that will probably be around half of your phone, it can be replaced every year. Or hadn’t you thought of that? Oh, and rooting won’t break any warranties. Replaced one a year, the phone will always be under warranty.


  • scaperow

    Falt style circle all the world!

  • JagoX

    So I noticed it still shows the old “News & Weather” app with the same OLD icon. WTF? How about they get rid of that and just buy Feedly 😉

    • After shutting down the product that Feedly is designed to replace? That would be a clever move haha

  • MrWicket

    Yes! Just yes!

  • Austin2222

    My Nexus 4 is ready

  • John Fibonacci

    Did anyone notice that this is the Nexus 5?

  • ksampsondavis

    Remember how the nexus 7 (2013) released with a wallpaper that kind of looked like a ‘7’? This wallpaper looks an awful lot like a number 5…hmm

    • Larizard

      nice catch

  • MikeKorby

    Anyone else curious/excited by what mysterious treats are blocked out between Google+ and hangouts…?

    • Ray


  • RXG9

    N5 needs removable battery ;/

  • rreich49

    My vzw contract expires 12/15, at which time I retire my gnex and move to t-mobile. However, I am ordering this phone the day it comes out…just to make sure I get it by 12/15 (and play with it if it comes sooner).

  • Allen George

    WTB Verizon version. I have a Galaxy Nexus which is running like a champ, but so ready to get a new phone with tech that isn’t 2 years old.

  • Skittlez

    6 home screens now instead of 5

  • Franklin Ramsey

    Am I the only one who, if the Nexus 5 would come to Verizon, wouldn’t complain that they were a month or two behind updates like the Nexus devices on other carriers, but would rather know the update was coming and still have a Nexus on Verizon, then not have a Nexus on Verizon at all?

    • joejoe5709

      Nope. Wouldn’t complain one bit. Especially with the dev community. Half the time I forgot what version my GNex was *supposed* to be on. Lol. If Jelly Bean hadn’t taken 3 months, I probably wouldn’t have rooted/ROM’d my phone at all.

      Heck I wouldn’t complain one bit if I had to do without 4G as long as it was on Verizon.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      hell yeah. I’d complain. The Gnex doesn’t have 4.3, a minor upgrade. It just doesn’t deserve the Nexus moniker. I’d love google to make a backroad and update nexus/moto phones thru chrome.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        I would love if they would do that too, but at the same time, the Gnex still got updates faster than any other phone on the Verizon network, and at the end of the day, might not have been a nexus in name, but was still the most open and developer friendly phone on the Verizon network. I’d take an updated gnex (N5) over any other phone on Verizon’s network right now, with the G2 and moto x coming in at a second place.

  • Nexus Lifestyle

    People asking what carrier it is coming to i don’t think understand the nexus program.

  • angermeans

    I was really hoping for a little more of a visual overhaul from Android 4.4. It looks ok, but Android is looking a little stale in my opinion. This will help some. Also, once again I’m praying to the tech gods that Google does something about the horrible lag on android. It kills me that it is ever present on even phones with the Snapdragon 800 and 3GB RAM (Note 3 is horribly laggy in places). I’m starting to lose faith that it can even be done. We need some 60fps throughout the OS and something better than 2.5times slower than even the iPhone 5 on touchscreen latency. It just takes away from the experience.

    • Skittlez

      that lag is due to touchwiz and other skins. 4.3 on my Gnex didn’t lag unless i was downloading and installing app updates at the same time, due to the RAM i guess, but 4.2.2 on my Nexus 4 was the smoothest i’ve ever seen anything run. 0 lag whatsoever

    • Chris

      Yeah TouchWiz and Sense 10000% slow down Android. You will not have lag on a Stock experience. I say this from a stock S4 running Touchwiz, but I’ve had some stock Android tablets and they just FLY.

  • Guy Meatdrapes

    i pooped

    • aDROIDfreeworld

      Me too. 6.52 pounds of brown!

  • Phone icon on the far right… is it opposite day?

  • Guy Meatdrapes


    • aDROIDfreeworld

      Want some sausage bro?

  • anezarati

    the icons in the app drawer look a lot bigger than my n4 and they are only 4×5, not 5×5

  • Ej McCarty

    Idk I’m torn between waiting for this or getting the Note 3. I’m on Verizon so I know there is a very slim chance that we will even get the N5, but in the off chance that we do get it, I don’t want to have already bought another phone.

  • Chippah

    Wish it was drastically more different than ics,jb..,..
    This reminds me of jb with a rom..

    • miri

      It’s a 0.1 increment.

    • Chris

      if you want a new UI then wait till 5.0. Hopefully it wont be all white with the now like interface…

  • Omar McFarlane

    I WANT THIS!!!!

  • guitarguy23

    Yeah, I’m probably not even going to consider buying this phone because of the ugly phone icon. I won’t even use an icon pack to change it. Too much work.


  • J Dub

    I see all these people mentioning AIO, but nothing about Net10 or Straight Talk. They have came clean about when you get throttled. It’s at 2.5 GB. It’s hard to pay $60 for AIO when I can pay $45 with Net10. $85 on Net10 for my wife and me.

    • Kay

      Does Net10 have 4G access now?

    • Kay

      Oh, just checked their website out (haven’t in a while). I see they do.

  • Fox-News

    Nothing impressive or wow yet.

    • Galileo

      How about huge performance and gaming enhancements along with lower specs requirements? Not enough for you?

      • Fox-News

        Indeed, now that is a pretty good reason to jump to KitKat. I Would like to read more on that.

  • zombiewolf115

    i love the new look. but i worry about the gallery. i wouldn’t want my gallery to be tied into google plus.

    • Why not? Auto Backup works very very well, and i can’t really see a reason not to use it.

      • Piyush

        While I personally auto backup my photos to Google+, I can why see many people wouldn’t want to do that … Many people don’t want to upload their photos on any cloud service at all, especially with all these NSA revelations.

        • duke69111

          I’m not worried about the NSA, but I’m not a major fan of backing up my photos to the cloud. I prefer to keep them on my computer and home backup. I think its a mess to keep them organized at home and online.

          • zombiewolf115

            lol i simply dont like it. i have a problem enough if some1 wants to see my gallery on my phone. but to have it simply out their on the internet no thank u lol

          • You say that as if its a totally public gallery.

          • Skittlez

            i’m just worried about it accidentally uploading my pictures of my peepee

      • Chris

        I’d rather auto upload with drop box then that silly google plus service

    • Peter Mansour

      We can still download galleries from google play

    • Chris

      Google thinks its cute to shove google plus ion your face. Google plus is the new google account. Soon you can’t sign up for a google service with out a google plus account. Google plus will be the main google service

    • Galileo

      No one wants their porn to appear online on our social media web pages:P

  • Wondering why the intentional “blur” over the wifi/battery/clock in the last 3 pics but not in the first few?

  • Mark Schiller

    Maybe my opinion is a little skewed…but since I took advantage of the Verizon glitch 2 weeks ago, that allowed me to keep my unlimited data and upgrade to the LG G2(w/Verizon30) for $139, I don’t think I’m missing out on a lot here. I haven’t read thru all the post about the Nexus 5, but I’m curious…since it’s from LG, but yet a Nexus device, is it going to have the much-beloved Knock-On? With some of the things in Kit Kat similar to what the LG G2 has, I don’t feel too left out. And hopefully the Kit Kat update to the G2 will be one of the first. LG has made me happy that I finally decide to jump off the Moto bandwagon. I’m sure the Nexus 5 will be awesome, but at least with the G2, I was able to stay on Verizon w/ unlimited data!

    • Daniel Flores


    • Ryan Gullett

      The Nexus line has never really been a phone that will blow you away. Really the biggest appeal to them is stock android and their cheap off contract price. Other phones will be much more “impressive” in terms of specs and stuff like that. It’s just not what they want the Nexus to be.

      • Matthew Rebmann

        It’s not JUST stock that gets us excited over it. It’s the speed at which updates are received and the incredibly easy to unlock boot loader for development as well. I also happen to think that the N4 was freaking gorgeous (never owned one sadly) and this one isn’t too shabby looking.

        • Ryan Gullett

          There are much more things that make a Nexus a good phone (obviously), I just mentioned the two biggest. The faster updates kinda falls under the same category as stock android anyway.

          • Matthew Rebmann

            Ah, I suppose you’re right 🙂

  • Roubaix

    Will this be a global ready phone?

  • Jerry Rose

    Ok, one isuue that has not been addressed by the tech whore world – the FCC is closed because of the gubment shutdown. So did the nexus 5 get past it in time? The images where mixed up at some point so I’m curious to see if it will drop in Oct or later. If they don’t open anytime soon we could have a phone and tech shortage.

  • JohanV
  • Jerry Rose


  • joejoe5709

    I want to believe. But something about this doesn’t feel right. Can’t put my finger on it… That is definitely a Nexus 5 and it is one of our best views yet!

    • jbdan

      What doesn’t feel right?

      • joejoe5709

        Not sure exactly. Something about the icons and the transparent bars feels more like a launcher or something. It feels… half baked and not in line with Google’s typical style. It’s obviously KitKat but maybe slightly modified to throw us off or perhaps an older build.

        • jbdan

          Trickery! Ehh, I think it’s just beta/alpha/undone or as you say an older build. Indeed

  • trixnkix637

    This will be probably the phone that pushes me from Verizon to T-Mo. I just can’t deny how customer orientated they’ve become while VZW remains the dollar fiends they’ve always been known to be.

    • jbdan

      I did it after 11 years with VZ. Tmo’s service and coverage in my neck of the woods (and beyond) is equal to and better than VZ’s. That’s been my experience with a N4 and GS4 compared to families VZW GNex, GS3, and LG Lucid. You should test drive it if you have the $35 (restocking fee) and grab a new Tmo phone/number. Was worth it to me

    • mjmedstarved


      If what I hear from my Google friends is true…….

      Oh, and.. colors. 😉

      • supermiah

        and what are your Google friends saying? LTE for all? including VZW?

        • mjmedstarved

          I cannot say more, sir. 8)

          • jbdan

            Can you say if VZW will butcher the N5 like they did the GNex? 😉

          • mjmedstarved

            Hahaha…. isn’t that a given’? ; )

  • Tony Byatt

    Gallery is now Google Photos…

    • zach471

      Hope that means better G+ photo integration. Already works pretty well on my N7

  • n900mixalot

    OH, hey. What’s up, Meego?

    • Meepo

      You Called?

  • Tony Byatt

    I guess I better start looking for Nexus 4 buyers…

  • Droid Ronin

    Please take my money now.

  • shelderman

    google creates the most hideous icons imo. Chrome and News are the only decent ones

    • Jeff

      Good thing it’s extremely easy to get icon replacements, Axis in my case.

    • zach471

      I’ll admit they’re not uniform — some circle and some square. Some in between. But the first thing I do with any new phone is put Nova on it and drop on a custom icon theme.

  • DodgerDroid

    They just need to announce the damn thing already! I don’t know what to do since I’m with Verizon. Do I leave and lose my unlimited data or do I stay and have phone envy for the foreseeable future.

  • I am not sure why, but this reminds me of Facebook Home a little.

    • ChrisNacca

      the app drawer icon is the same. that was my thought as well

    • joejoe5709

      Maybe it’ll have Chatheads. Kidding. Or am I?

  • Matt

    I hope they mention something about the camera having OIS. This will be a deal breaker if it doesn’t have it.

    • Skittlez

      it does