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Question of the Day: What are Your Impressions on the Nexus 5?

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Now that most of you who ordered a Nexus 5 on its release day have had the device in hand for a few days, it’s time we start talking about our likes and dislikes. While you wait for our full review – which will come next week – we would love to hear your initial impressions on the Nexus 5. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? For anyone on the fence about buying a Nexus 5, seeing other opinions might help them either take the plunge or hold off for something else. 

For the most part, the Nexus 5 is a fantastic device, but it has a few flaws that are impossible to ignore. For starters, the battery and camera experiences are very inconsistent in comparison to other devices on the market. For anyone that doesn’t have the ability to be near a charger throughout the day, you might be in for a really bad experience. If you fancy yourself an Instagram fiend, and love taking photos with your phone, then you might be in for a hard time.

It isn’t all bad, though. There are things about the Nexus 5 that make it a dream to use throughout the day. It has a wonderfully minimal design with a soft-touch backplate, Android 4.4 Kit Kat (an incredible version of the OS), and of course the device screams with a Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM.

So, if you have had your new Nexus 5 for a few days and want to share your impressions so far, we would love to hear them down below. In addition, if you have any questions concerning the Nexus 5, throw those down below and we will be sure to monitor and answer to the best of our abilities.

Have at it!

  • fredS

    I find it hard to believe Google would sponsor a Nexus phone which does not have the ability to easily add custom ringtones. After all the hype and many leaks prior to its release, this phone has too many technical problems: wireless connection, battery getting hot, no custom ringtones, etc. This is somewhat of a disappointment.

  • Larphraulen

    Battery I’m okay with since I have a charger at home, work and in the car, if needed. Don’t see why people are knocking the camera. This is more of a testament to the camera than my (lack of) photo skills but my pictures come quite clearer than any of my friends’ phones. Subjective but I’m not alone in that opinion.

    Coming over HTC Sense on Gingerbread, I actually miss a lot more about it than I expected. It was a very well streamlined stock experience. Will have to test out some new dialers but hey, that’s the fun of the vanilla Android experience right?

  • SirCharles

    After figuring out how to get rid of that left screen Google Now annoyance and realizing that the home button to center is not that anymore, it’s a left screen setup WTF…. How to take a step sdrowkcab Google.

    I also realized it didn’t load all my apps I’m used to using under 2 accounts (manually loaded all of them) and setup my new Nexus 5 like my Gnex of past the rest was ok.

    I miss the Market shortcut on the topright in the apps drawer ;( , and miss the link for Widgets that was there to. Making it too much like the Iphone for my taste Google.

    I’m going to hate it when my Nexus 7 ver2 gets upgraded and I’ll have to resetup all my screens and apps all over again.

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the battery, WOOOW it doesn’t seem to need a charge after 2 days and coming from my GNEX Verizon with extended battery that is very nice.

    Like the side buttons now, at first no.

    Larger icons are for Apple hope to come over to Android converts so I miss the old ones that were fine.

    Loaded everything up like I wanted it, then the next day wiped it all out and Rooted. Put my configuration back to how I like it and really liking how fast and nice it all works.

    My GNEX is an MP3 player now I guess.

  • Ralph Basile

    Very pleased indeed. Have had almost a week now.

    The Good:
    The device is significantly lighter than the last 2 Nexus phones.
    The screen is beautiful. It is brighter and, of course, higher res than the Nexus 4. The results is a significant improvement.
    Speaking of the screen, the bigger size is nice and yet, because the phone is the same width as the Nexus 4, the phone does not feel any bigger in the hand. Can still pretty much doing everything with one hand.
    Speaking of one hand, the device feels really good in the hand. The curved back is very comfortable – bit reminiscent of the Nexus S. The device also feels really solid. Not sure how to put this into words, but it just feels really well made.
    It is a beautiful looking device. I have the black one. I have to say, it is by far the nicest looking Nexus so far.
    Of course, having the latest version of the operating system, with all the latest Google enhancements, is the whole reason for owning a Nexus phone, and this one does not disappoint in that department.
    Battery life – while the phone is getting criticism from many quarters about the battery life, I think that criticism comes from comparing the phone to some of the other new top line phones, including the Galaxy Note and LG2, which have much larger batteries and by all reports, greatly improved battery life. I have no experience with those phones. What I can compare the Nexus 5 to are the previous phones I have owned, including the Nexus 4. From that perspective, Nexus 5 is a significant improvement. Have not lived with the phone long enough to put a solid estimate on that, but I would say somewhere in the 10% – 30% range. One thing for sure, the phone is really battery efficient when “idling” – like overnight.
    Another thing I have noticed, the phone seems to charge really fast – faster than any of its predecessors.

    The Bad
    The camera has been panned in some quarters. Have not used it long enough to fully evaluate its performance, but I have noticed that the shutter lag is noticeable, whether in normal mode or with HDR+ on.
    Always listening mode – does not exist on this phone. Of all the features available on other phones (stylus, stereo speakers, etc.), the one feature I really wish this phone had was the always listening feature of the Moto X. As someone who spends a not trivial amount of time driving, the ability to have your phone able to respond to voice commands without even having to touch it, is a very attractive feature indeed. I wish this phone had it. I understand technically it is possible, so hopefully with some future update?!

    The Ugly,
    Not a huge fan of the larger sized icons. I supposed it is better to have larger icons than try to crowd more on the home screen. But I think they could keep the icons the same size, and just have more space between them.

    Overall, in case you can not tell, I am very happy I bought this phone, and hardly recommend it to anyone who wants a new phone with the latest software features from Google.

  • WPR

    Overall great phone. The major issue I have so far is more with Android 4.4 than the N5. When launching a phone call from the calendar, the dialer fails to show the calendar event details. If you need to enter a conference call passcode, you need to switch back to the calendar app, remember the pass code, switch back to the dialer, and key it into the dialer. HTC Sense handles this task perfectly, hopefully Android will soon build in native support.

  • jer85008

    I got to play with one a bit today (walked into work and my coworker had one sitting on her desk). Feels great in hand, the size is near perfect.

    One issue though – she is using P-Tel prepaid and the 3G data isn’t working (voice/wi-fi OK).

    Anyone else having a similar issue?

  • Cody

    I thought the comments were supposed to be about your initial thoughts on the Nexus 5. I had hoped to come and get some great information from those that received there’s, instead all I see if a bunch of people talking about T-Mobile vs Verizon vs AT&T….

  • phynal

    It would be great if LTE actually worked on Sprint.

  • Elliot Kotis

    Contrary to critics, and the tech crowd. This phone has lack of any “short comings”, the camera is “good”, not great, but comparable. And the Speakers aren’t so good. Apart from the camera it is AN AMAZING device, and a huge step up from Nexus 4, small improvements all built up from the N4 has made it a good upgrade.
    The screen, to the battery life, to the speed, to the feel and touch of the phone are all included in these upgrades. I think everyone needs to stop comparing the phone to the best of that catergory, and judge the phones as a whole. I mean:
    Best Screen: HTC ONE
    Best Sound: HTC ONE
    Best Camera: Lumia
    Fastest Phone: Nexus 5
    Lack of bugs: Nexus 5
    best software/hardware optimisation: iPhone 5S
    Most useful innovations: Moto X
    Most feaures: SGS4
    Best Battery Life: Note 3
    Best feeling phone: Most of them
    Best UI: Nexus 5
    Fastest Updates: iPhone 5S/Nexus 5

    Over all. the Nexus may not have the best of it all, and if you compare the whole phones against each other, instead of asking which is best in this area, and judging it based of that, Nexus 5 is an amazing smartphone, and probably has the least short-comings, and the best things about it.

    So, you should judge a whole phone, instead of crying about the small things that EVERY phone will have, no matter what it is. I have not seen a review since ICS/GB days saying that “this has shortcomings, here they are, but the good outways the bad”, now days it is always “good smartphone…but”. Tech journalists used to be different, not hypebeast and then be pessimistic.

    Not you guys Droid-life. But others like AP, The Verge (unless it is Apple), and the tech audience, when did we all become pessimists?

  • paticao

    One thing i should add is that i bought the white version,
    I think the device in white is much more attractive than the black version,
    however i gave the white one to my wife and i ordered the black version for myself.
    The white version has no grip at all and since i like my phones naked this thing will fall very easily if you dont have a case/bumper on it

  • yankeesusa

    I myself don’t have the nexus 5 yet but my partner I own a tech site with has it and he loves it. He says battery life could be better but isn’t worse than the last couple phones he just had, iphone 5s,lg g2. he did d a speedtest the other day on att and got 32mbps download and 13mbps upload. So as far as smoothness and speed this phone can be really good. I’m looking to buy it for the wife on tmobile and maybe i’ll try it on sprint since it can just jump between these services.