After being leaked, and teased, in just about every shape and form (even Google themselves), Google has finally taken the covers off its next edition Nexus smartphone and vanilla build of Android. While we all knew it was scheduled to be announced this week, the official announcement was released to the public without any major event attached to it. The latest Google phone, the LG Nexus 5, is now a reality, and so is the latest OS build, Android KitKat.
The Nexus 5 has a base price that is slightly higher than last year’s Nexus 4, but at $349 it is still a fantastic steal considering the specs and features thrown in. Unfortunately, there aren’t any surprises to be had in terms of hardware, most of it being previously leaked on the Web months ago. Regardless, the Nexus 5 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM, 8MP 3264x2448px rear-facing camera (1/3.2″ sensor and an f/2.4 aperture), 4.95” 1080x1920px True HD IPS Plus display at 445ppi protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, and a 2300mAh battery. The device pretty much covers all the major bases in terms of connectivity with LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac WiFi and NFC.
Viewed from the front, LG has kept a similar shape to that of the Nexus 4, but the overall design and build has changed somewhat. While the Nexus 4 was beautifully covered primarily in glass, the Nexus 5 has adopted a more plastic approach, without looking ‘cheap’ that is. The device sports a “silky texture” according to reps from Google, building on the design of the Nexus 7, which was announced earlier this year. Early hands-on reports have praised the Nexus 5’s clarity and sharpness in terms of the picture, as well as the uninterrupted, edge-to-edge glass we’ve become accustomed to with Nexus devices of late.
While the screen may be slightly larger than its predecessor, it is also thinner and lighter, at 8.6mm and 130g, respectively. The device will also be available in a variety of colours from the start, as opposed to the white Nexus 4 that was released a few months after the original. Other options include versions of 16GB and 32GB, at $349 and $399, respectively. The Nexus 5 is set to go on sale today via the Google Play Store, and a few other operators later next week. The first devices will hit the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Japan and Korea. No word yet from LG on a possible South African launch this time around.
In the same breath, Google also announced its latest build of Android 4.4 KitKat. Google has placed a lot of emphases on the scalability of the upgrade, allowing it to be installed on devices running as little as 512MB RAM. We’ll cover the full list of updates and features included with the 4.4 update coming soon.