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Nexus 5 – Opinions

I’ve been using a Nexus 5 for nearly a week now. Guess that is good enough time to assess the phone more realistically. Must admit that I bought the Nexus 5 on a whim. Somehow Google has made the Nexus launches/bulild-ups attractive enough to pony up some money – every year. So this is my 3rd Nexus after the ADP1 and the Nexus 4.

I’ll try to answer some of the questions that were asked over at Twitter/in-person to me:-

Is it worth upgrading to Nexus 5 from a Nexus 4 ?

I’m tempted to say – Yes. Because the display is much more vivid, text rendering-superb and battery life is much improved over Nexus 4.  That’s some 3.5 hours of screen-on-time for above-average usage with stock kernel. Granted you are the true-blue Nexus enthusiast who tries custom-kernel-tweaks, ‘Greenifies’ apps and employs some smart radio switching – expect some impressive 5.5 hours of screen-on-time. It is definitely not ‘speedier’ than Nexus 4 on regular apps usage. At least, I could not perceive improvements in that department.

Do I like the Camera?

No. I don’t. It takes better pictures than the Galaxy S3. Sharper and much better colours in general. Low light pictures turned out surprisingly good. HDR+ mode really works – adding incredible details to scenic shots under great sunlight. Still I don’t like the camera, because, you may have already guessed it by now, the software SUCKS. This Camera needs full ~3 seconds to even start up from the cold. Add a second or two with HDR+ enabled. If you are used to burst modes and faster time between shots, be prepared to be thoroughly disappointed. Despite what Google makes you believe through their ‘moments’ oriented ads, Nexus 5 will pretty much guarantee you a lot of “missed moments”. Third party camera apps can’t do a better job either on Nexus 5. This would need a low-level tweak up by Google themselves.

How is the Design/Hardware and Feel in hand?

Nexus 5 feels solid and well-built. Feel-in-hand?.. perhaps something like holding a miniature hollow replica of a B-2 Spirit stealth airplane. ;)



The width of this phone is perfect. Weight minimal and balanced across. The ceramic buttons has sharper edges. People will begin doubting your personal hygiene once they notice the dirty back of the phone. I’ve a black Nexus 5 and it highlights fingerprints, coffee/tea stains and sweat. I should have said “magnifies” in lieu of “highlights”. I may probably be getting a d-Brand decal as a saviour. Speakers are good enough for occasional Youtube playbacks. Since the speaker is positioned at the bottom left, it is much easier to ‘cup’ it and direct the sound towards you.

How is KitKat on Nexus 5 and What are my  favourite apps?

KitKat is a refined Jellybean. But the Google Experience Launcher and Google Now improvements are not important for me. I prefer Nova launcher beta and a home screen layout that has been ‘customized and ‘learned’ to suit my needs over past many years. Google Now still need to show me strong reasons to keep it despite being a battery-drainer. Here is a list containing my current apps:-

AdAway – I like it clean without Ads ;)
Buffer – For cross posting between Facebook and Twitter
Cerberus – Thieves beware!
Changelog Droid – To keep a tab on what changed
Chrome Beta  – Has compression and is better.
Droid NAS  – Share Files
Dropbox  – My preferred Storage Cloud
Duolingo – One day I will use this App ;)
Endomondo PRO – Keeps a tab on my Walking/Running
Enhanced Email – Office Exchange email client
Facebook  – Because Friends
Flashify  – Can save a few steps
Foursquare – Interesting insights about places.
Google Play Music  – Somehow sounds better than PowerAmp on Nexus 5
Google+  – Because Google ;)
Greenify  – Force hibernate and improve battery.
Instagram – Because Hipster ;)
Lux – I’m waiting for the Nexus 5 plugin for Lux Autobrightness.
Loader Droid Download Manager.
MX Player – Plays anything.
Nova Launcher Prime – My Home.
Orbital – I like this Game.
Pocket – Silly me adds stuff here hoping I might read.. never happens.. ;)
Pushbullet  – Push stuff between desktop and phone and vice versa. Desktop notifications.
Quell Reflect+  – Zen Game.
QuickPic – My photo viewer
reddit sync – Source of news
Root Explorer  – Been serving me for long
Secure Settings  – Taker plugin that helps access GPS etc.
Snapseed – My favorite Photo editor
SolCalendar  – Nice Month View
Tasker  – I’ve a bunch of automations. Essential.
Titanium Backup  – Life Saver.
Today Settings  – Agenda Widget
TubeMate  – For downloading Youtube videos
Twitter  – Because Twitter won’t let others make decent apps.
User Dictionary Plus   – Since i prefer the stock keyboard over others.
Wallbase – Walls!
WhatsApp  – Because Friends.
Wolfram Alpha  – For quirky calculations.
Wunderlist – For ToDo lists and Simple Project Management
XDA Premium 4  – My fix!
Zedge  – Ringtones
Zite  – Relevant News source

Feel free to ask me if you have any further questions – in the comments below.


Published in Android Device Mobility


  1. tmax tmax

    How about Flipboard ?

    • Flipboard App?.. I used to use it. But not much these days.

  2. Great review mate! (I came here from the XDA thread). Also good job of listing the apps you use, and I love your comments! :D I’m going to review the N5 about a week after I get it too, and I’ve taken a few editorial tips from this, thanks for reviewing the device!

    I wonder about one thing though: ES File Explorer is a root explorer, has support for Windows Sambashare and has a built-in FTP server. But I’m sure you already know about all that, curious why you’re not using it.

    • Thank you!.
      There was no specific reason to switch from Root Explorer because I paid for it and just worked fine. I did try ES and Solid explorer. As you mentioned, they are indeed feature rich.

      • Haha, makes sense. If there’s one complaint I have with ES it’s that it’s not truly a Holo app, which can be a little unintuitive at times. And thumbnail support aint that great. But hey, it’s free and has the SMB share and FTP features, zipping and unzipping (with password support) built-in, things I can’t live without :)

        PS: Just ordered N5 on Play Store! Yay! :D

      • Good luck with your Nexus 5. Looking forward to your experiences with the device.

  3. So many phones are launching every month, it is really tough to decide which one to buy. I think every phone is having almost similar features, whichever is your favorite, go for it.

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