Reviews

Coming soon (when I have the time) The 2013 Macbook Air and Mavericks

Nexus 5 Review by Imtiaz Farooq

Entering the mobile phone world to massive hype, the Nexus 5 was always going to be a big seller. That was never in question. The questions were mainly aimed its predecessor, the Nexus 4’s, weaknesses and whether they had moved up to the Nexus 5.

This blog won’t regurgitate the countless reviews that have popped up on the Nexus 5. It has been covered from head to toe and frankly, it has been covered better than I could ever do. The purpose of this blog is to highlight my favourite features of the Nexus 5, after using it as my primary device for 2 weeks. And for balance, a number of negative features will be highlighted as well. So without further ado…

The build

There have been conflicting views on the Nexus 5’s screen; some calling it crisp and beautiful to view content on whilst others have called it flat and uninspiring compared to the kings of the Android landscape. Being a consumer first and a reviewer distant second, I found the display to be brilliant. To my eye, the colours were sharp and crisp, with detail being right up there with the kings of the Android phone market such as the HTC One and Galaxy S4. The size took time to get used to, after moving up from the iPhone 5, but within minutes, I began to appreciate the extra space. The look of the phone screams professional and low-key (in a very calm and sophisticated way) which is what I like in phones before I decide to personalise them with a back-case. On this occasion, I liked the look so much, I carried the phone without a case. It deserves the honour of being able to show itself off in public, its clean lines and sharp edges and wonderful soft-touch back.

The OS

Continuing the theme of sophisticated, professional and beautiful to look at, 4.4 Kit-Kat is a big step forward for Android, more-so than it may seem at first. It is odd, trying to describe the new look because there is nothing intangible to start with. The best way I can describe 4.4 Kit-Kat is that Google has taken a teenager, brushed it up and given it a professional haircut as well as bleaching its teeth to remove coffee staining, and then put it in a sleek and well-crafted suit. It really is an OS on par with iOS in regards to usability, it makes sense to have some features now like Google Now always being to the left of the home-screen. I never would have seen it as a useful addition but it really is. Speaking of Google Now, that is where the phone and OS’ weakness lies but Il’’ save that for the next section.

Day-to-day use

Most of the negatives about the Nexus 5 came to the fore during or towards the end of my use. I really did get used to the large screen, and the full-screen mode for apps like Books and Google Play Music, as minor as it may seem, made the whole experience that much more pleasing and lovely. Aesthetically it is little things like that which made me pick up an iPhone and decide to keep it for so long. I for one am glad that feeling has come to Android, in its vanilla form at least. Going back to Google Now, I started off on a negative with it and that negative point stuck with me throughout my usage. To activate voice-based search as a UK citizen, I’d have to select ‘English (US)’… baffling. I’ll leave it at that. The second negative was Hangouts.  Like the screen, some will love the new interface and its new form as a default messaging app but again, coming from an iPhone 5 and its seamless integration with iMessage, I felt that Google was doing a beta test with Hangouts as the iMessage alternative. Not very well executed is putting it mildly. I think there is potential but with competition like WhatsApp, BBM and Viber capturing hundreds of millions of customers, competing against them might be a bad thing. Even Apple, with their might, doesn’t seem all that bothered and instead has iMessage as an exclusive to iOS devices. Final gripe with the Nexus 5 is the speaker. A view shared universally amongst the tech community, the Nexus 5 speaker isn’t bad but nowhere near good either. Playing Asphalt 8 on the phone, I easily covered the speaker with my index finger or thumb. However, I would agree with people who say that for £350, I shouldn’t be expecting BoomSound either. Final point to make before I end things, the camera is decent. I felt it was comparable with my iPhone 5. Read into that all you want but I think that’s impressive.

To conclude, the Nexus 5 is brilliant value for money. Just considering its position based on price, it is a million miles better than any mid-range Android phone and amongst higher end phones, well I would take this over a 2013 Sony Android phone and the Samsung Galaxy S4 any day of the week. It really is that good.

TekTalk rating: 8/10

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