Share this Story

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

nexus 5 google

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!

  • Simone

    I had iPhones for 4 years so I sold my iPhone 5 and bought the Nexus 5.

    It is an incredible device and battery life for me (used to the iphone) is absolutely stunning, even with intense use I go back home and I still have a good 30%. Android is now getting very solid and the experience is very good while iOS 7 lost a lot of “magic”.

    About the camera, yes, it is not incredible, but absolutely fine to me. In certain light conditions photos are a bit noisy but come on…which phone takes always perfect pictures? No one.

    I am so happy I bought this device.

  • John Hopper

    It’s this thread about the Nexus 5 or the difference in coverage between two companies? Should I get the Nexus 5 or wait for something else? Seems like something better should come out before Christmas.

  • This is getting old

    I believe the question was…”What are your impressions of the Nexus 5?”
    However, I could be wrong…It could have been “what service provider do you think is better?”

  • Vetal

    i like everything but the camera sticking out a little. It would have been much nicer if the camera was flush with the back of the phone.

    A buddy of mine held it and fell in love. He was holding his GS4 with disgust when comparing how solid the Nexus 5 felt compared to his GS4.

  • Micah

    I bought the LG G2 the beginning of Oct and sold it. Got this phone and love it. There is no better phone for the money. Although, for me personally, having pure Android and immediate updates trumps everything the LG G2 does better than the Nexus which isn’t much… (just battery and camera)

  • A Black UI is the best UI

    Its alright, can’t complain much about it since it offers good hardware for the price it comes at.

  • J Dub

    Phone feels great in the hand I think. The buttons I have nice solid feel and stick out well so you know you are touching the buttons. The battery life is just fine. Power users might want to stay away, but for the normal everyday Joe I think it’s fine. Standby battery drain is pretty awesome. I think the camera is just fine. Look at some comparison shots with other phones. In low light, the N5 looks great. There isn’t a perfect smartphone camera. I like my shots way more than I did with the N4. They are also on par with my S3 and I would say better. The HDR+ mode means amazing land scape and stills. I haven’t got to try taking photos of things like live sports so I can’t comment. I like the low light capability as it allows you to capture more natural looking photos inside. Using a flash tends to wash everything out. Pictures at the bar or at a party somewhere will look great. I think the N5 actually feels smaller than the N4. Not sure why. I haven’t found myself straining to reach the top corner of the screen.

  • Skittlez

    Anyone in the Chicago area have this on T-mobile? experiences?

  • parkler

    Loving my N5 so far. My only grovel with it is that the text and app icons are too big for my liking. Any idea why they made everything so large?

  • Louis85331

    Understand that the Google Play Nexus 5 does not work off of WIFI?

  • AndrewScottRox

    After reading some of the initial reviews, this phone went from a “definite must have” to “now I’m not so sure”. The only things that worry me are the camera and battery life. Now I know that there are folks out there that are working on the camera and maybe Google will put out an official fix, but it’s still worrisome. The battery life…..after using a GNex for the past two years, I’m used to a phone that won’t make it through the whole day. The thing is, I’m of the opinion that a phone that’s two years newer shouldn’t suffer the same battery problems as a phone two generations ago.

    With all of that being said, it’s a Nexus and developer support will be phenomenal for at least a year and a half. But with those two key disappointments, I’m not so sure if I want to give up my unlimited data on Verizon for this device anymore. I may just hold out a little while longer and see what comes down the pike.

    • Morbid138

      These are my results after a couple of days. This is with heavy usage. I turned of app syncing, WiFi, and Bluetooth. I set the screen brightness to about 35%. I have an app that turns off data when screen is off. Location is set to battery saving mode. I also enabled ART. I went to developer options and I set it to have no background processing. 4 hours of on screen time with heavy usage doesn’t sound that bad, but then again I should have to disable and tweak a bunch of crap to get these results. It should be that way straight out of the box.

    • Vetal

      13+ hour days on my nexus 5 with about 4 hours of total screen time. Today I am at 58% and I am at 9h 3m. But today is a low usage kind of day. I have been quite happy with the battery thus far. Pictures with hdr+ look really good other wise not so much. From what I understand its all software with the camera hopefully google takes care of us, if not the developers are awesome.

      • Vetal

        screen shot

    • yankeesusa

      From what I have read most reviews are good on the battery life. On the camera not so good. But if your buying a phone for the camera then that is a personal issue. I believe the camera is a bonus if it works good. The specs and battery life are first on my book, and from the reviews on the nexus 5 from various sites it is a “must buy” if you need an off contract phone at a great price. If you currently love the company your with and have an on contract deal available then I would probably go with the note 3 since I love my note 2. But since I’m not renewing my contract with sprint anytime soon I will probably buy the nexus 5 and see how it does. If I don’t like it, the resale value on it is great so I can then just buy myself the note 3

  • edoggy

    Got the 32 gig white version. Unfortunately is has a faulty vibrate motor so I am sending it back. Rather then get a replacement I opted for a refund. After holding it in hand I decided I wanted a smaller phone. I also didn’t quite like the feel. Completely subjective, but to me the plastic body felt cheap. I like the feel of a denser phone. Right now I am leaning towards getting the MotoX.

  • w

    the battery life is only marginally better then the n4. the camera is Meh. It gets the job done but don’t expect professional level photos. kit Kat as expected is great. and fast. the screen pops. although it is a little darker then its g2 brethen. all the flaws are forgiven tho as soon as u remember, its a 5 inch smart phone, unlocked for $400.

  • Amit

    The Nexus 5 is in a league of its own. It may not have the longest
    battery life or fancy build materials, but it does have high-powered
    internals, a beautiful display, and, of course, a stock version of the
    fantastic Android 4.4 KitKat operating systemIs the new Nexus 5 the best
    phone on the market? Absolutely not, nor should you expect it to be.
    But in its price range, there is nothing that can even remotely compete
    with the latest from Google and LG. If you’re concerned about how much
    your next smartphone will cost or if you’d rather not commit to another
    contract with your wireless provider, there is no better option.


  • niuguy

    I MUCH prefer the Nexus 5 over the HTC One. I actually prefer the simple clean design of the N5. Its much lighter and easier to hold. Oh, and I friggin hate Sense and really like the Google Experience launcher.

    Not a fan of the speaker, camera is serviceable.

  • CensoredByU

    A lesser lord to greater kings.. A hail the Nexus One..

  • Much lighter than expected. Despite its size, it’s not particularly uncomfortable to hold. Screen seems nice. Similar to the Nexus 4, but slightly more vibrant.

    MicroUSB port is upside down. Pet peeve.

    Launcher looks really good, but I miss having a Play Store shortcut in the top right. Might go back to Apex or Nova.

    Had it less than a day, so no idea about battery life.

    Look forward to trying Wallet.

    Fewer stock ringtones than I expected. Will have to copy some over from my previous Nexus.

    Speaker is at the bottom left. A little worried I might accidentally cover it up while holding it, but being right handed, I don’t think it’ll actually be a problem.

  • Mallahet

    I switched from the Vz Gnex to a Nexus 5 on prepaid Tmo, and this thing flies. Vz data speeds in my area are awful, and I’ve done a lot of side-by-side speedtests that confirm that. (Or it’s possible that the Samsung radios in the Gnex are actually just that terrible. Since I can actually make phone calls indoors and not have people ask to repeat myself 4 times, I think it’s the radios were actually that terrible.)

    It’ll be great for me travelling overseas next year. 400 for a badass unlocked phone that I can use anywhere is perfectly fine by me. 600-700 just didn’t seem to be worth it. Yeah, I wish the battery were bigger, but honestly I’ve not had nearly the issues I had with my Gnex. Sure, I sit and play games on the bus, surf the web, listen to music, etc, and have had no issues. When the phone is off, it doesn’t drain as if I’m running 5 apps! Amazing! It acts like my n7 (2013) in that regards. My Gnex was a piece..

    Can’t wait to get off contract when my Vz plan is up in December! Excited that the device will work wherever I go! Hello local prepaid sim cards, how you doin’?

  • p0k3y

    Love it so far – battery lasts a whole day, which is enough for me. It charges quickly though in about 1.5 hours from 10% to full. Camera is not great, but hopefully it will be fixed via future updates. Just switched from VZW to Straight Talk AT&T. Data speed is a little slower in my area (Beaverton, OR), but still plenty fast for me. So far so good…

  • Daniel Flores

    Only good thing about the N5 is the price. The G2 and Moto X are going down in price which will make that argument invalid. G2 is clearly a better phone as well as the Moto X. But if you’re looking at G2 vs N5. G2 is obvioulsy the better choice. I.M.O. Better battery life, better camera, better sound, larger screen size, better build quality. And, despite what people think, the Knock On feature with buttons on back are ALOT BETTER than given credit for. Being a Lefty myself, I found this to be a great selling point of the G2. After playing with the N5 for 3 days, I was screaming to get back on the G2. Getting the Moto X for the wife on MotoMaker once available on Verizon. Unlimited Data on Verizon is the best, and I have never had any issues with them that people always complain about. Verizon is really the best carrier in my eyes. N5 on T-mobile was fun, but nothing compared to G2 on the best network.

  • Daniel McKenzie J.

    Love my N5 but Google Now won’t respond when I say ‘O.k, Google’ any ideas how to get this working?

    • LionStone

      Is G Now enabled?

    • niuguy

      Need to be on US english and screen on. It can be finicky.

  • Iziris

    Damn, I dont know if I should get the white or black version, help me!
    I don’t like the white earspeaker but like the two-tone colour.
    Moving from the Galaxy S2 to the Nexus 5

    • yankeesusa

      It’s all about preference. But one thing I have noticed, the black version sells higher on ebay. So maybe you should think about resale value when making your decision.

  • Marcus

    I am with Sprint and I didn’t know Sprint network could go this fast!! I am getting 15mbps in Atlanta. The best Android phone by far!!! Great job Google and LG!!

    • yankeesusa

      That is good to know. I was getting really close to dropping sprint but I decided to give them a month or 2. Maybe I’ll try the n5 or note 3 and see if it makes a difference.

  • Steve

    expensive… in 3 months it will be worth less than 2/3 what was paid for it.

  • Phil Hyde

    I really love the phone. I like the weight and how it feels in your hand. I like the revised launcher, and KitKat is smooth as ever. Dislikes are camera app (fixable) and speaker. You cannot beat the value for $400 (32GB).

  • jim

    after past experiences with a Nexus, never again will I buy one , I’ve learned my lesson , cant believe people are still buying in on them, fool and their money are soon parted

    • niuguy

      I’ve owned many an android phone. N5 is a great device.

      • jim

        Ive had many droids also but a Nexus phone is a joke, all hype. Everyone you have to buy and make it work yourself, fools purchase

  • And why the hell on every article commented someone has to bring up Verizon. I wanted to actual read what other ppl thought about the 5, not “oh I can’t wait to jump ship” or “screw you Verizon” ahhhhhh drives me crazy.

  • Came from the Moto X to the Nexus 5…(72 hours later)… Sold the N5 and went back to a Moto X. The battery life on the 5 in unusable. I will not go back to two-a-day charges. Also the phone was very unpleasant to hold. Not very ergonomic. And the speaker, I’ve had flip phones that produced better sound quality. KitKat is nice, and it’s gonna be nicer on my Moto X.

    • niuguy

      Just curious, how much time a day do you spend on WiFi vs on LTE?

    • seryozha

      I’m worried this is going to be me. I want to love the N5 but i really miss my X. Problem is I ported to T-Mo and i cant get my X unlocked.

      • yankeesusa

        Sell it on swappa. you’ll get the most money for it. There’s always craigslist but then you have to deal with lowballers and lowlifes

    • yankeesusa

      I think the reason is the bigger screen and more things working in background. But battery life is definitely a reason not to get a phone. That is why I can’t get any other phone other than a note.

    • decidedtochangename

      This is why I’ve managed to hold onto my X. I need at least a full day battery however I want to use it (outside of gaming) and decent pics. Though the camera on the X is its weak spot too.

  • Tim Eddy

    I love everything except the mono speaker. Screen is amazing, camera is perfect for me, vanilla android is still the best, just the damned speaker gah!

    • niuguy

      I love the phone too but that speaker is right where my hand sits when I play a game. Speaker gets muted from my hand. Ah well.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    love this phone but then i start to realize how much more i love my note 3…i’ve been spoiled by a massive/all day battery..huge screen and an extremely solid camera..other than that i give the nexus 5 an 8.5/10

  • needa

    in comparison to the n4… does the n5 get as hot when wireless charging. when polaying games? as in… is the battery going to get exponentially worse because of the heat?

    • niuguy

      I’ve had much warmer phones when playing games. N5 doesn’t get too hot, imo.

  • Chandra

    Nexus 5 feels good in hand, it feel so light, weightless and the silky smooth surface is good. The display is really amazing and I personally like it.
    Android 4.4 feels much better, however, I would like it be enhanced further wherein it is much more smoother, navigating from one screen to other the icons can just glide thru’ rather than feeling they are attached to a screen/page.

    The phone speaker is terrible and feels cheap. I wish if it can be improved with the software update, not sure if it is the hardware or software issue.

    I would loved the phone, and considered it a game changer if Google had integrated the “always listening” in stand by mode like in Moto X and included active notifications. Also, include few more TD-LTE bands like, 38,39 & 40. Not sure if Google plans to enable them in coming months, as it would launch the phone in India. The TD-LTE band 40 is being used in India and China, definitely, this would make this phone a truly global LTE capable phone.

    Battery life is not good, I would expect it be improved. With an amazing high-end hardware and most advanced android 4.4, can’t believe the battery life of phone is so bad and not optimized.

    I wish Google makes it a truly game changer…..

  • Dan Whalen

    Switched from a note 2 on Verizon.. Now on T-Mobile with the n5. I have to say I love everything about it besides the battery life. Although I’ve found it charges really quickly!

    • niuguy

      Aw man, having had the N2 myself, any phone you go to is going to have disappointing battery life. Maybe my favorite thing about the Note!

  • Feels better than the Nexus 4 – lighter, thinner and the smooth back makes a big difference. Bigger, bolder screen and FAST. And wireless charging works – I could never get it to work on the N4.

  • BCoils

    Considering my previous phone was the galaxy nexus I feel like the nexus 5 battery is actually pretty “OK”. I’m happy the battery life as it stands right now. Camera does need help. MY biggest issue is with how slippery the phone feels. I have the white version which apparently has less of the soft touch feel to it? I also have larger hands than most (I’m 6’4″) which might be a factor.

  • John T. Wildman

    leave Verizon. . You’ve lost your mind! You want the best be willing to pay for it. A camry may be reliable and will get you where your going, but it will never be as fast or look as good as a corvette. Both cars, but really no comparison.

    • yankeesusa

      That is not good comparison. I think you meant to compare a camry with a ford. Verizon being the camry which is a little more expensive and ford being a little cheaper but not as reliable. But in the end if where you live tmobile or att give you great coverage, why spend 3 times as much for verizon? Unless you travel or verizon is the only company that works for you there are other options.

  • After reading all the reviews, I am glad I got the LG G2 and preserved my unlimited data…

  • Sean Bello

    Obviously everyone coming over from a Gnex will be floored. I’d like to hear from somebody that’s had a more recent device such as an N4, S4, Moto X, etc.

    • randpost

      I had a note 2, LG G2, Note 3, and finally settled on the Nexus 5 as my daily driver. The phone is just smoother than the rest, both in software and hardware. I will be happy for the next year. I get through my average days with battery to spare. thats all I ask for.

  • Phill_S

    Battery is way better than people assume it would be. Screen is awesome. Its super fast. Camera is decent enough, its no dedicated camera but its good enough for posting to social media. Only issues I have had is the speaker is often really quiet and I had to install a different app and plugin to get USB OTG to access a flash drive because it doesnt mount them for some reason.

  • Morbid138

    Alright guys this the absolute best I can do on battery life. This is with disabling WiFi, bluetooth, Google now and 30% screen brightness. I also installed an app to turn off data when screen is off.

    • needa

      that is amazingly bad for a 2013/2014 phone. at least last year there were competitors for worst battery life.
      just sayin.

      • Skittlez

        3 and a half hours on screen time is what i usually get on my G2 running CM. sounds ok to me. it just depends on how you use it

      • LionStone

        Cannot say that… So much info missing… Signal strength looks solid but what network? How many widgets? How many accounts syncing? Also he had Wi-Fi turned off, yet it still used 5% battery. In Advanced wifi Settings, if it’s checked ‘Scanning even when Wi-Fi turned off’, is going to use some battery.

    • Peter Sommerfeld

      Not the phone’s fault in this case. I’m very sure of it. Turn off tilt scrolling in Google Chrome. That google chrome is using battery life as screen is dead give away. Known bug with Chrome. Tilt scrolling is turned off in developer’s menu. Same bug killed my GS3 battery. (ps. Why doesn’t google fix their own bugs? crazy)

  • Md Zakir Hossain

    really very exclusive post thanks for share.zakir

  • RGiskard

    I’m very impressed so far (coming from a Verizon GNex). The screen is great, the phone flies, and wireless charging is very convenient. I am happy with my choice and feel this is the best fit for me. I tried out a G2 in a Verizon store today and couldn’t stand the glossy case, odd buttons, and crazy, cluttered UI.

    • Skittlez

      did you switch carriers? who did you go with? how do you like them?

      • Someone

        Yes, please share! I am *THIS* close to leaving verizon and buying 2 N5’s, hopping on the TMo wagon.

        • get the G2. at least try it out

        • needa

          get on straighttalk with at&t sim.

  • Ogami Itto

    Loving mine so far. Went from the N4 to N5 and the difference is night and day. It’s a combination of Kit Kat and that awesome new 1080 screen.

  • Lunkman

    Reading the mixed reviews makes me feel good about sticking with Verizon and ordering the Moto X via Motomaker come Monday…and for those of you who have the Nexus 5 and love it- enjoy!

    • needa

      considering the x is only 130 more (at&t), i assume verizon will do the same… maybe not, it should be an easy decision for most anyone.

      wise decision lunkman.

  • Michael Contreras

    I wish I can get the Nexus 5, but the Nexus 4 does the job just fine and the coverage is enough for me on tmobile.

  • Keith0606

    Random question. Anyone else have the chromecast share icon getting stuck in the center of the video in the YouTube app during playback? It jeeps happening to me repetedly.

  • AndrewSchuster

    Wanted to just throw in my 2c. I came from a Motorola Droid Bionic (sad I know).. So everything about this phone to me is amazing.. I cannot complain about the battery life or the pictures the phone takes. I do have one problem though and that is with “google now”… Randomly I will be on my homescreen and try to do the “ok google” and the function won’t even react to my voice. I even go as far as clicking the voice icon and try to speak and it still won’t pick up ANY noise. The only way to re-enable the function is by powering down my device and restarting. Anyone else having this problem or know why?

    • needa

      try going to apps and clearing cache for search. just a shot in the dark.

  • ezpotato

    i’ll stick to the g2, but i also used my wife’s upgrade, and it wasnt 350$ out right.

  • etche

    It might have better battery life than the GNex.. the problem is that the battery isn’t removable. I bought the extended battery life for my Gnex so I swap batteries and can get to the end of the day. One Nexus 5 battery can’t beat two crappy Gnex batteries.

    Is it so hard to have decent battery life instead of being measuring how long it suffers till it dies? I would definitely pay $50 more for a decent battery! Damn google, I will still buy the N5 but damn you!

    • Skittlez

      i upvoted cause you said you would still buy the phone, but seriously, i’ve heard more people say that the battery life gets them through the day than not. and of course, thats subjective to use

      • etche

        Ok, but my point is that we shouldn’t even be having this conversation. If they kept the G2’s battery it wouldn’t be a matter of subjectivity. I know they need to keep costs down but its the same story over and over again and it makes me mad cause I know I will be buying this phone and praying to reach the end of the day with some juice left.

        • Joe Mihalich

          Just gunna throw this out there, cuz it worked for me. I got myself two of these for the family to grab if they need one, and i no longer worry about battery life. Whether i’m in the car, on a trip, in the airport. I know it’s something else you have to lug around, but for me, it’s a solution that works. Works it a standard USB/Micro USB cable.


      • Jon

        People saying they make it through the day never means anything to me. I’m the power user type that needs two batteries on a Note 2 to get through the day sometimes. I’m on an S4 now, and I can get through 2/3 of the days some days. Other days I only get through half. Swapping batteries is a necessity that I don’t mind at all. But having a fixed battery that won’t make it beyond 10 hrs, 3.5 hours of screen on time, is just not going to cut it for me on even a light use day.

        • Skittlez

          i guess for me being an android enthusiast, i’m a pretty light user. i LOVE android and i LOVE cell phone technology, but i dont use my phone so much. mainly texting and social media checking, and some video. i’m sure the nexus 5 will be great. i’m gonna actually use it for a month on a prepaid sim before i make the decision to switch fully and sell the verizon G2

  • Joe

    Its a good device if you’re into specs, otherwise I think the moto x wins overall. The only thing really better about the nexus5 is the hardware and screen size/resolution. Otherwise, personally the moto x offers a near stock experience with many more benefits.

    • HarvesterX

      You honestly think the X is better than say, the G2? If we aren’t going by specs then the 5s’s A7 smokes every android out there with a cpu clocked a GHz lower than the SD800. Too bad it’s on a crippled iOS7 5s instead of an android phone.

      • ⓂMarikel Lika

        If you’re going by experience, then yes the Moto X is 100 times better than the G2. It runs smooth at ALL times, and has an almost completely stock Android experience out of the box. That seems like a pretty huge advantage to me.