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Google's Nexus 5 running Android KitKat is finally here

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October 31, 2013

The Nexus 5 comes in black or white with 16 or 32 GB

The Nexus 5 comes in black or white with 16 or 32 GB

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After what seemed like an interminable wait for many Android and Nexus fans, Google's Nexus 5 smartphone is finally official. The LG phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is available unlocked for $349, but sadly for Verizon subscribers, the Nexus 5 will likely not be available on America's largest wireless carrier.

Much of what makes up the new Nexus was already known, thanks to months of leaks leading up to today. At its core is a leading-edge 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, the same one that powers other top-flight phones of the season like the Galaxy Note 3. Unlike its predecessor, the acclaimed Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 gets 4G/LTE as well.

Playing camera catch-up

Like its Google kin, the Moto X, a big part of the Nexus 5 marketing push has to do with its improved 8-megapixel camera with the usual list of features from better low-light and action shots to the ability to take a rapid succession of photos that can then be combined into one ideal shot.

The Nexus 5 camera also gets something novel called Photo Sphere – this software makes it possible to capture 360-degree panoramas.

On its front, there's also a 1.3 MP front-facing camera above a 4.95-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display under a sheet of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.

More power

It was once rumored that a massive 3,000+ mAH battery might be included, but instead we get a 2,300 mAH unit that Google claims will power an impressive 17 hours of talk time per charge.

Other key specs include 2 GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, as expected. The Nexus 5 also gets wireless charging, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and ceramic power and volume buttons.

In the US, Sprint and T-Mobile will begin selling the phone at a discount with a new contract in the coming weeks. AT&T hasn't confirmed that it will sell the phone directly, but it is known that the Nexus 5 will work on the second-largest American carrier's network.

KitKat treats

The Nexus 5 and Android KitKat will feature the same touchless voice control we first became familiar with in the Moto X ... almost. According to documentation on the Android home site, you'll need to be on your home screen before saying "OK, Google" will get a response. That means you'll likely have to at least get through your lock screen before your Nexus 5 will listen to you.

KitKat also brings a new phone app with caller ID, so long as the unknown caller is a business listed in Google Maps. Additionally, text messages and Hangouts have been combined into a single app and there's tons of new emoji on offer in the Google keyboard.

Not sold yet? See if the first commercial for the Nexus 5 below changes your mind.

Product page: Nexus 5

About the Author
Eric Mack Eric Mack has been covering technology and the world since the late 1990s. As well as being a Gizmag regular, he currently contributes to CNET, NPR and other outlets.   All articles by Eric Mack
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4 Comments

I'd rather say "Okay, Nexus" to it, but "Okay, Google" is fine too.

Joel Detrow
31st October, 2013 @ 09:56 pm PDT

I'm getting the 16GB version as soon as I can, hopefully it''ll be more widely available than the Nexus 4.

I think this phone would tie with the LG G2 right now, it may have fewer features but the Nexus is half the price.

Yusuf Khan
1st November, 2013 @ 07:42 am PDT

Always interested to know if the battery is user-replaceable. My present phone (Huawei 8800) has a replaceable battery, and I have a couple of JIC backups. Don't want a phone that has a battery welded in with 20 grams of hard drying planned obsolescence. Ralph L. Seifer, Long Beach, California.

rseifer
1st November, 2013 @ 09:41 am PDT

The fact that 1.3MP cameras are still being released in new products is infuriating!! Is there not one manufacturer who will cater to us narcissists!? :) Must we continue putting mirrors on the back of our devices to be able to watch and record ourselves at the same time?

By far the most hilariously aggravating is the Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41MP in the back and 1.2MP on the front. Just disgusting. Anyway...

Laszlo Ferenc Heredy
2nd November, 2013 @ 06:02 pm PDT
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