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- This Mobile runs on Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) powered with Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9.
- This Mobile has 8 MP, autofocus, LED flash and has 5 MP Secondary camera
- This Mobile has 5.0 inches, 68.9 cm2 (~69.2% screen-to-body ratio) inches display IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
- This Mobile has 8 GB, 1 GB RAM/ 16 GB, 2 GB RAM of internal memory.
- This Mobile has
- This Mobile has Micro-SIM sim
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|2G Network||GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Network||HSDPA 900 / 2100|
|4G Network||LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 41(2500)|
|Status||Available. Released 2014, June|
|Dimensions||139.5 x 71.4 x 9.2 mm (5.49 x 2.81 x 0.36 in)|
|Weight||140 g (4.94 oz)|
|Display Size||5.0 inches, 68.9 cm2 (~69.2% screen-to-body ratio)|
|AlertTypes||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|CardSlot||microSD, up to 32 GB (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||8 GB, 1 GB RAM/ 16 GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Speed||HSPA, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Blue Tooth||4.0, A2DP|
|Camera Primary||8 MP, autofocus, LED flash|
|Camera Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection|
|OS||Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|StandBy||Removable Li-Ion 2300 mAh battery|
It's often assumed that the higher the resolution we pack onto our smartphone screens, the better the product, and I've been guilty of this thinking myself. But over the past couple of days I've come to the conclusion that there's something to be said about packing a lower resolution. Before you pick up your pixelated pitchforks and form a mob, hear me out.
I've been playing around with the Huawei Ascend G7, a budget smartphone with a large 5.5-inch screen, but only a middling 720p resolution. The (far more expensive) iPhone 6 Plus and the OnePlus One come with 5.5-inch screens as well, but boost the resolution to 1080p. Does that mean they have the better screens?
Maybe not. Sure, the high pixel density (401ppi compared to the Ascend G7's 267ppi) offers gorgeous image quality but it comes at a cost, and when you factor in the compromises you need to make, getting an ultra-high resolution screen on your smartphone might not seem all that attractive after all.
The most obvious problem is price. The higher the resolution of the screen, the more expensive the phone is going to be. I think many of us could live with 720p over 1080p if it means shaving off a fair wad of cash from the asking price. You might even find the phone manufacturer allocates money it would have otherwise spent on a high resolution screen towards other parts of the phone.
Another thing to consider is that a high resolution screen puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the phone – especially the graphics side – to throw lovely looking images across the high def screen. Those of us lucky enough to have the most powerful flagship phones with the latest hardware probably couldn't care less, and are too busy diving into big piles of money like Scrooge McDuck.
But mere mortals that have mid-range, budget or just plain old phones will have to seriously consider whether or not trading smooth performance for a higher res is worth it.
I noticed a stark example of this trade off with the Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. Both phones featured pretty identical hardware (including the same CPU and GPU), but the Z3 came with a larger 1080p display, while the Z3 Compact ran a 720p screen. The smaller and cheaper Z3 Compact actually performed better when gaming with smoother frame rates, as the GPU only had to render in 720p.
A larger and higher resolution screen is also a bigger drain on your battery. Sure you can stream full HD content from Netflix, or watch that wobbly 4K home video you shot on your phone, but if the battery conks out after less than half a day was it really worth it? A screen that won't power on due to lack of battery looks the same regardless of how many pixels it features.
How about accessibility and ease of use? Even when we talk about 'large' screens on smartphones, we're really talking about screens that are often smaller than 6 inches, and packing huge numbers of pixels can make text smaller and harder to read.
OK, so Android and other mobile operating systems have settings allowing you to increase the text size, but it's not perfect. For a start it won't affect a lot of third party apps, and websites will continue to be displayed in the default font size, making it uncomfortable to read. Increasing the font and icon size too much also means you're paying for all these extra pixels without getting the benefits of more screen real estate. You're better off saving your money.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for higher resolutions when there's a good reason for them. I sulked for a week when my partner tried to put on a video tape rather than a Blu-Ray. However, when Qualcomm talked to me recently about getting 4K experiences on mobile devices, I just shrugged. I could see the pixels, but I couldn't see the point.
When the Nexus 5 launched in October 2013 it was lauded as "the best that Google has to offer", but more than a year on is that still the case or has the search giant's darling handset fallen behind the times?
The Nexus 5 has always been updated with the very latest software and it now boasts Android 5.0 Lollipop. I've updated this review to reflect this change and everything that the fantastic Lollipop update brings, as well as the increasing pressure from the new fleet of low-cost, yet highly specced competitors.
That said, the Nexus 5 is still a lean, mean Android machine, beyond the reach of OEM embellishment and carrier bloatware.
It delivers a streamlined experience that's stylish, refined and fast, and it does all this at a low price. Although, as already mentioned, that price isn't quite so jaw-dropping now.
You can snag the 16GB version of the Nexus 5 for around £239.99 or you can lay down an extra £40 and get the 32GB version for £279.99.
The price has dropped slightly since launch, but seeing as Google has discontinued the handset (it's now officially listed as "no longer available for purchase") only a handful of retailers have units left.
In terms of hardware the Nexus 5 is still just about a premium smartphone, it just doesn't have a premium price tag.
The Nexus 5 was able to hold its own with the top devices of 2013, including the iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Sony Xperia Z1, but hold it up against the flagships of 2014 and the Nexus 5 is left lagging behind.
Its 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip isn't as power efficient as the 801 or 805 models which adorn recent high-end smartphones and while we're still seeing 2GB of RAM and 1080p displays on some of them, others such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 are moving to more RAM and QHD screens.
The Nexus 5 has been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop; the biggest software jump for Android since Ice Cream Sandwich was unveiled in 2011 and proved Google could do software design well. 5.0 Lollipop completely redesigns the interface, brings in the new Material Design look and adds in many features OEMs have been including in skins for years now, a battery saver mode for example.
If you're wondering where Google cut corners on the Nexus 5 then you might point an accusatory finger at the camera and the battery life.
When compared to the very reasonably priced OnePlus One with a 5.5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 13MP camera and £229 price tag the Nexus 5 loses some of the value for money sheen.
I never expected to fall in love with the Nexus 5, but it seduced me. It certainly has its flaws, and I'll get into them in due course, but it's also a beautiful phone that sets a benchmark for Android.
While the Nexus 5 is no longer the flagship device in Google's arsenal, that honor falls to the 6-inch QHD display toting beast that is the Nexus 6, it's still for sale in some shops (though not from Google itself) and offers a pure Google experience to those who don't want a 'phablet'. You could say, it's the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 6 Plus.
As I rest it vertically on the arm of my couch it conjures visions of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. To soften it off and make it more comfortable to hold, the corners are rounded.
This black slab (which also comes in white and red) is all about the screen and the entire front of the Nexus 5 is glass. The only details that break it up are the round earpiece centre top and the front-facing camera to the left of it. There is actually an LED notification light down below the screen, but you'll only see that when it blinks into life.
Despite having a five-inch display, the Nexus 5 measures just 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6mm and the bezels are nice and thin.
With a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which translates to 445ppi, the Nexus 5 display looks crisp and accurate. It's an IPS display, and while critics will point to AMOLED's superior brightness and black levels, you'd be hard pressed to notice.
The back and sides are soft-touch, matte plastic and it only weighs 130g. Flip it over and you'll see a couple of design flourishes.
The word "Nexus" is embossed in lowercase gloss, with a tiny LG logo below it. Up top on the left you'll find the glaring round eye of the 8MP camera, which is surprisingly big. A tiny LED flash is just below.
The bottom edge has a standard microUSB port and there are two grilles either side of it - the Nexus 5 only has one speaker in there; the other hides a microphone. Up top you'll see the standard 3.5mm headphone port and a tiny hole for an extra microphone.
On the left spine there's a ceramic volume rocker, with no markings. On the right spine there's a ceramic power button and the SIM tray, which you'll need a SIM tool or a pin to pop out. The Nexus 5 does not open, so there's no microSD card support or battery switching.
The Nexus 5 is one of the most comfortable phones I've used. It is comparably slow to heat up, so there are no issues holding it while watching movies or during extended gaming sessions. The soft-touch finish contrasts perfectly with the ceramic buttons, which makes them very easy to find and use without looking.
There are negatives. The camera lens protrudes enough to make you worry about it taking the brunt of any impact when the Nexus 5 is put down on a flat surface. That glass expanse, without any protective lip or border, suggests that a drop could easily result in disaster and scratches might be easy to come by.
Unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which also boast a sizeable camera hump, the one on the Nexus doesn't have the added protection that a sapphire glass covering brings to Apple's devices.
There's also the inevitable smudging from fingerprints, which turns up on the back and the front, but that's a common problem.
It's not a flashy design, but the Nexus 5 does feel solid and well made. It may be a little big for easy one-handed operation if you don't have big hands, but the extra screen size will justify that trade-off for most people.
Ultimately it's the price of the Google Nexus 5 which makes it an attractive proposition, and while the OnePlus One and co. may be trying to encroach on its territory, Google's own-brand is still the dominant force in the high-spec, low-cost arena.
£239.99 for a premium Android smartphone that's this good is very good. Even at £279.99 for the 32GB version, the Nexus 5 is still temtping.
Apple devices are expensive. The iPhone 5S, which was released at a similar time to the Nexus 5, now starts at £459 for the 16GB version and you'll have to lay out an extra £40 to get a 32GB model for £499. While a 16GB iPhone 6 starts at £539, that's almost double the price of the Nexus 5.
While Apple is comfortable with its premium pricing strategy, the Nexus 5 has really put pressure on the competing Android flagships.
And now there's the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and HTC One M8 - all costing around £500 and a new wave of devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 launching imminently.
Whatever way you cut it, the Nexus 5 is st a lot of phone for your money, and it looks like a real attempt to drive prices down, which can only be a good thing for consumers.
However, we've since seen the OnePlus One - better specs than the Nexus 5 and coming in even cheaper - is this the phone Google should be worried about perhaps?
It would be fair to say that the camera in the Nexus 5 was a bit of a disaster on release. It's an 8MP shooter with optical image stabilization that's intended to be a good substitute for a point-and-shoot camera.
There's nothing wrong with the hardware, but the software let it down badly. The camera was far too slow to focus and could be slow to launch, which killed your chances of capturing those spontaneous moments with friends and family.
In ideal conditions the Nexus 5 camera could capture stunning shots, but how often do you get ideal conditions?
Google listened to the criticism and quickly released an update to deal with the slow focus issue by balancing speed and image quality a bit better.
Where previously it would take forever to capture a shot, as you waited for the auto-focus, especially in low light conditions, or with fast-moving subjects, after the update it's much faster.
It also enables the camera app to load a little faster, and improved the contrast to produce more vibrant colours.
Further updates to the Android camera application have also seen the UI changed a little, as well as the addition of a new feature - Lens Blur - and an easier to use settings menu. I was hoping Lollipop would help the camera too, but it hasn't.
Results are generally respectable, but it's still not the greatest shooter on the market. You can take a look for yourself in the camera section later in this review.
The Nexus 5 is really about speed and power. The snappy processor dovetails with the Android 5.0 platform beautifully.
Google did not cut any corners with the quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. It was a cutting-edge CPU at the time that had been paired with the Adreno 330 GPU.
That's the same combination you'll find in the LG G2, Xperia Z1, and some variants of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3.
While the power setup in the Nexus 5 has now been usurped by more power efficient and feature packed offerings, it's still capable of handling pretty much anything you throw at it.
Interface and performance
The display on the Nexus 5 is excellent, which makes this a great device for consuming entertainment.
LG's mature IPS LCD technology really delivers. The colours look accurate and the 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution on the 4.95-inch screen translates to a solid 445ppi (pixels per inch).
To put that in context, the iPhone 6 has 326ppi, the Galaxy S5 is on 432ppi and the HTC One M8 can only boast 441ppi. Though the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 both outmatch it with 534ppi and 515ppi screens respectively. Not to mention the 493ppi screen on the new Nexus 6.
Put it side-by-side with an iPhone 5S or Galaxy S5 and you might detect a yellow tint. The display on the Nexus 5 is also not as bright as its competitors, which has a slight impact on legibility, particularly in direct sunlight.
On the whole, Google's compelling proposition is a premium smartphone that doesn't have to feel uncomfortable in flagship company. It has achieved a winning price without compromising on quality.
The Nexus 5 shows off the latest version of Android 5.0 Lollipop beautifully. It's also set to get Android 5.1 soon and should be near the front of the queue when Android M (Malteser? M&M? Marshmallow?) comes, though as Google only promises to support Nexus devices for 18 months, that's not guaranteed.
If you're coming from an earlier version of Android, which you most likely are as few devices are running Lollipop, then there are lots of little improvements to enjoy.
The interface has been completely redesigned, with new icons, animations and colours giving it a much needed freshen up. Speaking of animations, they're beautiful. I found myself swiping around, opening up the app drawer and diving into the calculator just to see how the operating system moves.
'Material Design', Google's new design language, has impacted every corner of Lollipop. It's lighter, gone is the dark 'Holo' style settings app and everything feels fresh and vibrant. Many of Google's own apps have been redesigned to match these guidelines and they too, especially GMail and Google Maps, look stunning.
You'll find the touch sensitive trio of back, home, and multitasking at the bottom, though these now resemble a Playstation-esque threesome of the circle, triangle and square, but the functionality is the same.
The app dock sits above them with an app drawer icon in the centre which will take to you full app list. The rest of the dock is customisable so you can add your favourites and have them accessible on every home screen.
Swipe right to left and you'll access additional home screens. White dots at the bottom of the screen indicate how many home screens you have and which one you're on, although sadly you can't tap on them to shortcut to another screen.
Drag an icon to the right and you can create a new home screen. There doesn't seem to be a limit, and if you empty a home screen it simply disappears.
Long press on any home screen and you'll see your full scrollable list and get access to wallpapers, widgets, and settings. By dumping widgets from the app drawer and making the app icons bigger, there are now four across a screen instead of five, the interface is easier to navigate and clearer.
Swipe left to right on the home screen and you'll find Google Now, which can also be brought to life by the magic words "okay Google" uttered on any screen home screen (though you will need to set your language to US English in Settings > Google > Search > Voice for that to work).
Android had the best notification system around when it was on 4.4, but the jump 5.0 has pushed it further into the lead. iOS and Windows Phone 8.1 could really learn a lot about handling notifications from Lollipop.
Notifications are easily accessed by pulling down the shade from the top of the screen, keep on pulling and you'll find the new quick settings menu. Notifications now appear on the lockscreen, can be prioritised based on importance and pop-up at the top of screen when they come in.
It's a lot less obtrusive than iOS and I struggle to keep a track of notifications when I'm using any other platform apart from Android.
Part of the reason that the interface is so accessible is the speed. The Nexus 5 is a top performer. It has a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
When I ran Geekbench 3 on the Android 5.0 the multi-core average was 2307, which is actually down from the 2832 score I averaged on 4.4.4. It's still higher than last year's Galaxy S4 and HTC One and only just behind the Galaxy S5 and One M8, though.
By combining that processing power with the carefully optimized Android 5.0 platform Google has delivered a completely lag-free and highly responsive experience. The Nexus 5 is a dream to use. The only downside I have found is that with the extended animations in 5.0, opening folders and the app drawer does take marginally longer, but that's only because the movements are designed that way.
You can skip in and out of apps and games without any stuttering. Even with more than 20 entries in the new Overview menu and there's no hint of a pause.
You can snag the Nexus 5 in 16GB or 32GB versions. The actual capacity is always less; in this case you get 26.7GB on the 32GB version and around 12GB on the 16GB version. If you consider that it's not unusual for graphically impressive games to be over 1GB in size, you'll see the sense in opting for the 32GB version.
Remember that you can get an extra 15GB of free cloud storage by using Google Drive, and it's worth automatically backing up photos and videos, so you never lose them.
Battery life and the essentials
I have had to charge the Google Nexus 5 every day since I started using it. Starting out with a full battery it's generally 30% or below by the end of the day, and for really heavy usage days it needed a top-up before bedtime.
Project Volta, a new addition in Lollipop, is supposed to eke more juice from a charge and help you go longer without reaching for the charger or plonking your phone onto a Qi wireless pad.
But I haven't really found a massive improvement, if anything there's a couple of worrying incidents where my phone has simply drained itself empty overnight when it was fully charged before. There have also been a few cases where it's been at 70% and then suddenly dropped to below 20%, without any obvious reason why.
Another part of Project Volta is a battery saver mode, which automatically kicks in when your phone dips below 15%. Apart from turning the status bars a rather bright shade of orange, this mode manages to save battery by turning off background data, killing those sweeping animations and toning down performance.
In my tests I did find that when 'Battery saver' was enabled the phone would last a bit longer, but no more than an extra 20 minutes. It is nice to have, but nowhere near the feature-rich battery saver mode that Samsung added to the Galaxy S5.
Now, there isn't really any such thing as "normal" usage, but it would be fair to say that I'm a heavy user. I take my phone everywhere and use it frequently. I left Wi-Fi and mobile data on at all times, enabled location tracking with high accuracy, and opted into Google Now.
A typical day will include a cumulative hour of gaming, maybe 90 minutes worth of web browsing, a couple of photos, and a smattering of app action in Facebook, eBay, Twitter, and Flipboard, not to mention obsessive email checks (even with it set to a 15 minute refresh rate).
What this reveals, beyond my worrying smartphone addiction, is that the Nexus 5 is fairly typical.
Initially the battery life is very erratic, but this is no cause for concern, because you should find that it settles down after the first few days. Remember that downloading and installing a burst of apps tends to eat the battery life fast.
Downloading and installing an exceptionally large game, such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, which is 1.6GB, using Wi-Fi actually ate a staggering 10% of my battery.
If you use the Nexus 5 to navigate with turn-by-turn directions or play a graphically intensive game, like the aforementioned Asphalt 8 then you will really notice a major drain.
The Nexus 5 battery dropped 4% in ten minutes of playing the excellent Monument Valley. Streaming a 55 minute episode of Breaking Bad through Netflix ate 18% of the remaining battery life. A 15 minute call drained just 2% away.
The Nexus 5 battery is rated at 2,300mAh, a bit lower than the Galaxy S4's 2,600mAh battery.
Our 90 minute video NyanGareth battery test, with the screen at full brightness, knocked the Nexus 5 from fully-charged down to 74%.
Inside or outside, in a busy shop, or a deserted street, the Nexus 5 made and received calls with no problems. Callers reported my dulcet tones came through loud and clear, even with my four year-old son screaming in the background, which points to some good noise cancellation skills.
I also found callers came through with plenty of volume and clarity on my end. The speakerphone isn't as clear, but it does the job.
The phone app has been overhauled again in Android 5.0 and it's very convenient to use. The last call is listed at the top and then you get big contact spaces for your most frequently contacted friends and family.
When you do need to call a more distant contact you can just type in the search bar at the top and you'll rarely have to enter more than a couple of letters before they pop up.
You can also search for local businesses in here and call them directly, which can be very handy when you need a pizza at short notice.
I love the keyboard on the Nexus 5. Google has definitely made improvements, because for the first few days I would pause after a staccato burst of typing to go back and make corrections, only to find that the text was error-free. The swiping option has also been improved, making one-handed typing much easier.
Hangouts is no longer the default messaging app in Android 5.0 Lollipop, replaced by a new Material Design infused SMS only app.
Why Google did this, I'm not really sure. Sure, you can change your default app back to Hangouts (which still does SMS and comes pre-installed), but I had hoped Google would do away with the basic SMS app this time around.
The purity of the Google experience on offer here is unmatched anywhere else. Cast an eye over the pre-installed apps, from Maps to Hangouts, from Gmail to Google Docs, from the Chrome browser to YouTube, the strength of the Google ecosystem is impressive.
Swipe to the right on the home screen and there's Google Now, ready to serve. The Nexus 5 offers everything that's good about Google in a streamlined format.
The Nexus 5 has an 8MP main camera with a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor and an F2.4 30mm equivalent lens. The OIS (optical image stabilisation) helps you eliminate camera shake, and it's pretty easy to point-and-shoot and get good results.
You tap the shutter button to take a shot and you can tap on screen to choose a subject to focus on, but there's no tap to focus and shoot in one. You get vastly superior results if you're able to take your time, hold tap and hold on the shutter button and just lift your finger off when you're ready to capture.
Extra options are accessible via the small circle icon sporting three dots just next to the large shutter key. Here you'll find controls for flash, countdown timer, HDR+, gridlines and the ability to flip to the front snapper.
This is an easier setup to the awkward arc which adorned the camera app pre Android 4.4.4, and it makes getting to various functions much quicker.
If you fancy a few camera modes slide your finger in from the left side of the screen, where you'll be greeted with Photo Sphere, Panorama, Lens Blur, Camera and Video modes.
Lens Blur is a recently added mode, as Google jumps on the background defocus bandwagon that many manufacturers are already riding.
It takes a few seconds for the Nexus 5 to process the Lens Blur image before you can tinker with the effect.
Swipe from right to left to jump into your camera roll, and any image taken with Lens Blur will have a circle lens icon in the toolbar allowing you to adjust the level of defocus.
The more in depth settings menu also been made easier to navigate thanks to recent updates - slide to open the camera modes panel and then tap the settings cog in the corner of the screen.
From here you'll be able to tweak a number of settings including photo and video resolutions, aspect ratio and toggle manual exposure.
There's also a 1.3MP front-facing camera which is really for video calls and quick selfies.
It takes just under two seconds to launch the camera on the Nexus 5. You can swipe right to left on the lock screen or unlock and tap the camera icon.
Once open you can also use the volume rocker to take a shot, rather than the on screen shutter button. The way you'll typically hold the Nexus 5 to take a photo makes the volume rocker much easier to use than the on screen button.
Occasionally I found my fingers dropping into shot because the camera is offset to the left. When holding it in landscape the lens is at the top left, quite near the edge, but you soon get used to it.
Streaming movies or TV shows is a simple prospect on the Nexus 5. The screen quality is perfect for high definition video, and your chance of encountering stuttering is entirely based upon the strength of your internet connection.
As you'd expect audio sounds better through headphones. The speaker is fairly loud, but it can get a little crackly when there are sudden jumps in volume.
Google would prefer you to use its services, so you'll find the Play umbrella of apps in the shape of Movies & TV, Games, Books, Music, Newsstand, all offering filtered windows on the Play Store content and your own collection.
Whether you're listening to music you own and load into the device, or via Google Play Music's streaming service, it all takes place within the app. The only thing is when you want to purchase stuff, it will redirect you to the Google Play Store app. It makes the experience feel disjointed, but it's not a deal breaker.
Music quality through the speaker is not very good. As I mentioned earlier, the speaker isn't very loud, and there is only one small speaker at the base of the phone. With decent headsets on, however, it sounds great.
The nice thing about Lollipop, and KitKat before it, is that it will show your music art and music player controls from your lock screen. Other apps will do this sometimes, too, like Spotify, but it's a nice touch that just adds to the overall experience of using the device.
Whether you're bringing over your own music or using Google Play's service, or other apps like Spotify or Rdio, you won't have much to worry about when it comes to how the Nexus 5 will handle it.
Videos and multimedia are handled by a few apps depending on what you're doing. First, there is YouTube, which is an obvious one. If you're opening YouTube videos from apps like Facebook or Twitter, or from the web, they will open in the YouTube app.
Otherwise, you guessed it, it's more Google Play stuff.
If you're on the home screen, you'll see the film icon that says "Play Movies & T.." and in the app list it's shown as "Play Movies &.." It's a little ridiculous, but what you're looking at is Play Movies & TV.
If you have a Google Play account, you can download and stream movies and TV shows. The nice thing about that is if you're offline, you can still view your downloaded movies.
If this is your first Android device, or your first time using Google Play for multimedia, you should know that when you purchase something, it's yours. At least as far as playing it when you want, on any Android device you want.
This means you can play your content on your Nexus 5, and other Android tablets and phones running Android 4.0 or higher, which is pretty great.
HD movies and TV video quality and sound have been great, but we do have to reiterate that it sounds best through a headset given the Nexus 5's speaker issues.
In all, the video quality is generally good whether you're viewing streaming or downloaded content, or videos recorded with the device, and even better when viewed in HD thanks to the 1080p display.
For gamers the Nexus 5 can handle pretty much anything you throw it at it. Extensive sessions with simple games like Monument Valley presented no problems, and neither did graphically intensive titles such as Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger 2.
If you do plan on playing a lot of games, or you'd like to store an extensive music or video library on your Nexus 5 then you should definitely opt for the 32GB version.
It's worth remembering that you can upload 15GB of files to Google Drive, or use Google+ as an unlimited photo backup, as long as you store them at standard size (the longest edge must be 2048 pixels or less). You can also store up to 50,000 of your own songs in the cloud with Play Music and stream them to your Nexus 5.
It's becoming debatable whether other Android device manufacturers, building unique user interfaces, and including their own apps and content hubs, can actually improve on what Google is offering, especially as Lollipop is such a beautiful and well equipped operating system.
In the early days of Android, HTC's Sense and Samsung's TouchWiz added important features. With Android 5.0 it's tough to find areas where the platform is lacking. Let's take a look at how the Nexus 5 compares.
The biggest competitor to the Nexus 5 arrived a good six months after it launched, and it came all the way from China.
The OnePlus One beats the Nexus 5 when it comes to pricing, but also in the spec war with a meaty 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, the choice of 16GB or 64GB of storage and a 13MP rear camera.
Some may find the 5.5-inch full HD just too big to handle on the One, and there's no doubt the Nexus 5 is far more manageable in the palm - but it also lacks in power.
Battery life is another advantage the Chinese handset has over Google's offering, yet the operating system is intriguing.
The OnePlus One runs Cyanogenmod - a community developed version of Android which looks pretty similar to the stock version, but with lots of added extras.
These aren't the extras you get with over the top UIs from the likes of Samsung or HTC though, instead they are implemented in a more subtle fashion and the wealth of extra control allows you to get your phone working just how you want. You can also now optionally replace the UI with OxygenOS.
Of course there are question marks over the support for the handset if things go wrong, and it's a little tricky to get hold of, but if you're looking for ultimate power vs value for money the OnePlus One offers just that.
- Read our in depth OnePlus One review
Motorola Moto G (2014)
If you're really watching your pennies and are looking for the best value for money smartphone you can't do much better than the Motorola Moto G (2014)
It may not have quite the same levels of specs and features as the Nexus 5, but it still rocks the same vanilla Android KitKat OS, with the Lollipop update already rolling out in some areas. It is also half the price of Google's smartphone.
You get a 5-inch 720p display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front snapper and the choice of 8GB or 16GB of internal storage with the Moto G. There's also a microSD card slot too, for adding more storage.
There's no 4G on the Moto G (2014), so it's not the device for you if you're looking for super-fast data speeds.
The Moto G is great then for someone looking for a cheap, but still highly functional smartphone which isn't going to be used a great deal for high-def video gaming or movie playback.
- Read our in depth Moto G (2014) review
There are no conflicts. It is as close as you can get to Google's version of Apple's walled garden.
It also manages to feel more minimalist than the iPhone, and there's very little between them when it comes to accessibility or ease of use. The mud traditionally slung at Android from the parapets of competing platforms like iOS 8 simply can't stick to the Nexus 5.
Considering that the 16GB model of the iPhone 5S is still more than £150 more expensive than the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6 is more than double the £299 price-tag Google slapped on its 2013 flagship, there are plenty of reasons to take it seriously.
The iPhone 6 has a 720p, 4.7-inch display, still smaller than the 1080p 5-inch panel on the Nexus 5. Battery life and camera ability are easily better on the iPhone 6, but the Nexus does pack double the RAM, with 2GB.
If money is no object then the iPhone 6 might be for you, but the Nexus 5 is far better value.
- Check out our iPhone 6 review
Hands on gallery
Back when the Google Nexus 5 launched you couldn't find a better smartphone for the money. More than a year on and the Nexus 5 is still good value for money, but it now has some tough competition.
It's still satisfyingly fast and refreshingly minimalist, but the truth is that there's no real star feature on the hardware side.
Don't get me wrong, the hardware is extremely good, but it doesn't really trump other Android flagships on the market. It's also a lot harder to come by now with none of the main networks or key retailers still stocking the Nexus 5, so you'll have to search if it still takes your fancy.
A focus on the really important features means that the display and processor are still up there with the better smartphones around - the Nokia Lumia 930 sports the same Snadragon 800 chip under the hood. The display is excellent for reading, watching videos, or playing games.
The Android 5.0 Lollipop update has really given the Nexus 5 a new lease of life, it's like I'm using a completely new phone.
From the Material Design look, to the new Guest User mode, to the swathes of beautifully rendered animations and the fantastic way it handles notifications, Google's latest Android update is one of biggest changes to an operating system I can remember and Android 5.1 is set to add a few more features.
That price makes the Nexus 5 a really compelling proposition. It puts pressure on other premium smartphone manufacturers and potentially frees people from the tyranny of the contract.
Better battery life is top of most people's wish lists when it comes to mobile technology and it's easily the worst thing about the Nexus 5. It's distinctly average, even with Project Volta in Lollipop.
I'm used to a daily charging schedule already, so it's not much of a hardship, but if you're out and about for long periods then this is the only potential deal-breaker I can see. The fact that you can't remove the Nexus 5 battery will exacerbate the issue for some.
It's always nice to have the option of extra storage with a microSD card. Google doesn't gouge you like Apple does, but £40 is still a lot of money for an extra 16GB and there's no 64GB version. Not everyone wants to be forced into the cloud.
The camera is much improved after the update, but low light performance is poor and it doesn't match the 2014 flagship brigade in terms of quality.
Google has learned from the OEMs. It has learned from previous smartphones in the Nexus line; there are no obvious omissions here, like the lack of LTE in the Nexus 4.
The really important things have been nailed. What you are compromising on when comparing the Nexus 5 with the rest of the premium market is the camera, storage options and the battery life, but you get a decent processor with a wonderful display.
You also get Android 5.0 as Google intended, refined, elegant, and efficient, with a full eco-system of services.
It doesn't have it all its own way though. If you're looking for the best bang-for-your-buck high-end smartphone then there are a few, such as the OnePlus One, which trump the Nexus 5.
The Nexus 5 still represents decent value for money, and for the Android purists out there who aren't desperate about having the latest and greatest specs it still offers an excellent smartphone experience.
First reviewed: October 2013
Introduction, design and display
At the back end of February this year, as I was packing my bag for MWC 2015, Motorola delivered a surprise package to TechRadar towers.
Quite like a child abandoned on an orphanage's doorstep, there was a small box waiting and upon bringing it into the warm we found it to be Motorola's own "press conference in a box."
It's a smart idea considering inside was the Motorola Moto E (2015), and heading to a full blown press conference for this would likely have been a misstep - so it being delivered directly into my palms was great.
The second generation Motorola Moto E is an upgraded version of 2014's Moto E, one of the best affordable handsets you could pick up last year.
Motorola has packed in a bunch of new features on the refresh and given the design some major tweaking as well. The Moto E aims to offer the Moto G features to a fresh audience with a lower price.
The design is pretty similar to what we saw on the original Moto E. It's still got a plastic body with a rounded back. All the buttons remain in the same easy to reach places with the metal unlock and volume rocker on the right hand edge of the phone.
The headphone jack sits in the middle at the top and the microUSB slot continues to sit in the bottom middle of the handset.
The Motorola logo is emblazoned on the back in a small indent to body and the main camera sits above it. I always find myself placing my index finger in the Motorola logo dent, giving what feels like a little extra grip but probably isn't. The camera is a little larger now with a nice looking silver rim around the edge of the sensor.
The back panel is made of a softish plastic that picks up grease and dirt really quickly. It was less noticeable when playing with the white version of the handset but it showed up immediately when using the black model.
You've got the choice here of either black or white, I much prefer the white version but the black one still looks good when it's clean.
Motorola's biggest change to the design on the Moto E 2015 is the omission of the removable back panel – it's now a removable plastic edging.
When peeled away from the body it reveals the pure edges of the phone to insert the SIM and microSD cards.
It can be a real struggle getting the plastic edging off the phone and once I actually thought I'd broken it off. I hadn't, but it's pretty flimsy and it wouldn't be difficult to do when getting frustrated with it.
It does also mean you can replace those edges with some jazzier colour versions such as yellow and blue to give it a slightly different look but these will cost you extra directly from Motorola.
Losing the removable back panel also means the battery can't be replaced and that was a selling point of the original Moto E.
Coming round to the front of the phone you'll find 4.3-inch display. Above that sits a forward-facing snapper, a new addition to the Moto E, on the top right hand side next door to the long earpiece.
The phone isn't particularly thick considering the price range of the handset, but it isn't exactly slim either at 129.9 x 66.8 x 12.3 mm, whilst weighing in at 145g. It does fit in the hand nicely, and you can get a decent grip round the handset.
Don't expect the back of the phone to look as pristine in a couple of months' time either, I managed to be a bit of a klutz and drop it within the first day of using it and scuffed the bottom after only one drop.
I imagine dropping it a few times could do some serious damage to the outer look of the phone, so be careful out there.
The 4.3-inch display comes with a 540 x 960 pixel resolution resulting in a pixel density of 245ppi. Don't expect a high quality affair here, you're getting what you pay for but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Personally I feel 4.3 inches is a little too small, I feel the optimum for a smartphone is between 4.7-inch and 5.1-inch but that's all down to personal taste. That said, it's easy for your thumb to hit the top of the screen whilst using in one handed.
The bottom and top bezels are out of proportion here as the usual hardware buttons have been adapted into the screen this time around. It means it looks a little top heavy when using the handset.
Video content doesn't look stunning, but it doesn't look down in the pits either and considering how little you're spending it's quite impressive.
The display is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 technology to help stiffen it up a little and after a quick drop onto paving slabs, by accident I must add, the display sustained no damage.
Putting the Moto E 2015 display onto maximum brightness was a bit of a let-down. I did that whilst outside and struggled to see the display well on a sunny day, otherwise brightness seemed pretty average and didn't really cause any problems.
If you've got poor eyesight this may not be your bag - I found myself squinting to see the display whilst outside, even though I've got what I consider to be 20/20 vision.
Viewing angles have never been strong on this range and once again I struggled to see some of the screen when at the wrong angle, but considering the price of the second gen Moto E you really can't complain too much.
Performance, battery, camera and early verdict
The new Moto E comes with an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz. That comes alongside 1GB of RAM and should give it a bit of an upgrade under the hood but isn't going to blow anyone away particularly.
It is still an impressive feat to get such a good chipset into such a low price handset and in our small amount of time using the handset we didn't notice anything worrying in terms of performance.
One of the positives on the original Moto E was its strong battery life, and we're hoping things will be even better on the new Moto E as it's been upgraded from 1980mAh to 2390mAh.
Considering there isn't particularly anything different here to power we'll likely see even better battery life on the new Moto E (2015).
Check back for our full review where we'll give it a proper test and really put it through its paces.
One of the biggest benefits of the Moto E is it comes with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system on board in its purest stock form. It means all the latest features from Lollipop are here, and it's an impressive feat on a low end handset.
Arguably the biggest benefit is the addition of LTE in the new phone meaning you'll now be able to get a 4G signal and swift download speeds with the Moto E (2015).
This is a feature we felt was potentially held back from the original Moto E just for this update but it is good to see such a low end handset get what a couple of years ago was considered a top end feature.
The 5MP rear camera remains on the Moto E. We didn't get much of a chance to play around with it during our hands-on but it was one of our biggest criticisms of the handset.
It's a shame to see this hasn't been upgraded on the new phone but Motorola has seen fit to add in a front facing camera.
It's a VGA shooter so don't expect anything impressive but it's better than not being able to take selfies at all.
Motorola all new Moto E will launch at £109.99, $149 (around AU$180) making it potentially the cheapest handset on the market running Android Lollipop out of the box.
It offers an impressive amount of features considering the price tag and has upgraded on a few already strong features for adding in a bigger battery and an even more powerful processor.
The biggest benefit comes from the addition of LTE connectivity meaning it's one of – if not the cheapest phone on the market offering super-fast internet speeds at such a low price point.
Camera wise the addition of a front-facing selfie snapper is a welcome one but it would have been good to see some upgrades to the poor main camera.
But for that price, can you really judge Motorola? At such a low price point it's impressive to have half of these features and if you're looking for a low priced handset you really couldn't go wrong with the new Moto E.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is official, and it's sporting a fancy metal unibody and glass front and rear - it's quite possibly the best looking Galaxy ever, but perhaps the Galaxy S6 Edge has just stolen that title.
In terms of the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date it'll be available on April 10 in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, but pre-orders are now open.
- Read our hands on: Samsung Galaxy S6 review
You can now pre-order your Samsung Galaxy S6 online or in one of the firm's dedicated stores, but only in its 32GB capacity.
If you're in the market for the 64GB or 128GB Galaxy S6 you'll have to wait, and Samsung hasn't provided a date or price for these models just yet.
You've got the choice of four colours (black, white, gold, blue), although only the black, white and gold can currently be pre-ordered with blue "TBC".
The 32GB model is £599.99 SIM-free, with the black and white versions landing in hands on April 9, while the gold handset arrives a few days later on April 17.
Carphone has the Samsung Galaxy S6 up for pre-order too, and there's the choice of picking it up on contract or SIM free.
Available in black, white or gold the 32GB Galaxy S6 is priced at £599.99, the 64GB version will see you part with £659.99 while the 128GB comes in at a wallet trembling £739.99.
Meanwhile on contract you'll be able to choose tariffs from O2, Vodafone and EE - with the first two offering tariffs which require no upfront charge.
Pre-order the Galaxy S6 from Carphone Warehouse and you'll get a free wireless charger (worth £39.99) thrown in to sweeten the deal.
If you fancy the 64GB version the black model will be available from April 17, while the white and gold options will arrive from May 1, along with the gold 32GB Galaxy S6. Anyone looking for the 128GB model will be out of luck, as it's not available for pre-order.
The headline tariff here is a two year contract at £38 per month with a £99.99 upfront charge, unlimited texts and minutes and 2GB of data, but there are 12 different options to choose from in total.
You can also pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S6 via EE, with the 4G-centric network recommending its £43.49 per month two year deal with a £49.99 upfront cost for the 32GB handset and 4GB of data.
Only the 32GB and 64GB models are available (in black, white and gold) for pre-order here, with the former sporting a 21 day expected delivering and the latter 28 days.
There are 20 pay monthly plans to choose from in total, but there are all pretty pricey so you may want to shop around.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 are also up and running at Vodafone, and you can bag yourself a 32GB, 64GB or 128GB model - there's no restrictions here.
There's a choice of 3G and 4G contracts, as well as 12 and 24 month plans, although we'd say you're best going for a two year, 4G tariff.
Take our advice and one of your options is a free Galaxy S6 at £48.50 per month with unlimited minutes and texts, 7GB of data and your choice of a 24 month NowTV, Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile TV subscription.
Three will also be stocking the Samsung Galaxy S6 on 24 month contracts with the added benefit of being able to use your phone abroad in 16 countries with no extra cost.
Pre-orders open from March 21 for both the 32GB and 64GB versions with an upfront cost of £49.
The 32GB version is available with all you can eat data for £47 a month, 2GB of data for £42 a month or 1GB for £39 a month.
Meanwhile the 64GB version is a little extra at £43 for the 1GB, £46 for the 2GB or £51 a month for the all you can eat data package.
The community drive network will also be ranging the Galaxy S6 in its three storage variants and in gold, white and black. Sign up online to be kept up to date.
Over on Tesco Mobile you'll be able to bag yourself a free Samsung Galaxy S6 on a range of tariffs, the cheapest of which is a not too shabby price of £36 per month for two years.
You'll get 1000 minutes, 5000 texts and 2GB of data for your monthly outlay. There's no pre-order option at the moment, with Tesco only allowing you to pre-register your interest for now. You'll be able to buy the S6 from April 7.
Virgin Media has confirmed the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be available from its stores and online from April 10.
The SIM-free pre-order price for the Galaxy S6 over at MobileFun is £599 for the 32GB model - saving you a whole 99p over Samsung's retail price.
Meanwhile over on Unlocked-Mobiles the Galaxy S6 is priced slightly lower at £549.98, although you can still only register you interest for now.
Clove also has a holding page for the Galaxy S6, but again all you can do is register your interest for now.