Here are six key things you should know about Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphone.
1. It has the screen of a much pricier phone
Like its peers, the Nexus 5 has a HD screen, but these days it’s all about pixels per inch – or ‘ppi’. The greater the ppi count, the sharper and richer the images on screen appear. The Nexus 5 (designed by Google, but built by LG) matches the Apple 5S’ 445ppi screen and creeps ahead of the Galaxy S4’s 441ppi.
It doesn’t cut costs with screen size either, measuring 5” from corner to corner. Apple’s 5s has a 4” screen, while the Galaxy S4’s visage also measures 5”.
2. It’s 4G-ready
4G-ready phones have been around for a while, but were expensive and essentially useless before 4G fully launched. With the Nexus 5 you can get a 4G-ready phone (SIM-free) for £295 and benefit from superfast downloads in the UK’s many 4G towns and cities.
4G offers average download speeds of between 12 and 15Mb, allowing you to stream music and video with services like Spotify and Netflix without the need for a wifi connection.
3. Its KitKat operating system is sweet
The quirky chaps at Google name each version of their Android operating system after a sweet, in alphabetical order. After Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean comes KitKat, and with its range of improvements.
Google Now (Android’s answer to iPhone’s Siri) can now be activated without pressing any buttons. If you want to take a nap, for example, you can just say “Okay Google, wake me up in an hour” and the phone will set an alarm to wake you up. If you missed the football, say: “Okay Google, what was the Everton score?” and it’ll bring up information about the match.
If you get a call from a number you don’t recognise, the Nexus 5 will search the web to identify it – making it easier to catch important calls and ignore sales calls. Elsewhere there’s slicker multi-tasking and revamped contacts and messaging systems.
4. It’s ‘cheap’, but still smart
At £295 it’s relatively cheap when compared to its rivals (everything is relative in this market), but the Nexus 5 doesn’t sacrifice processing power for price.
Here’s the science bit: it’s powered by a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core processor with 2GB of RAM. In English, this jargon means shorter loading times when opening apps, the ability to run several apps on the fly without slow-down, and more impressive graphics.
It’s a slightly glib comparison, but the fully-fledged laptop I’m currently writing this article on has only a slightly faster processor at 2.5GHz.
The Nexus 5 is more expensive than the Nexus 4 was at launch (£199 for the 16GB version), but it may be because there’s a fair amount of new tech on board.
5. It comes with added bells and whistles
The Nexus 5 is physically larger than its predecessor, but weighs slightly less. Impressive, given the extra tricks it’s capable of.
Google’s added something called Optical Image Stabilisation to the phone’s camera, along with HDR+ technology – both of which will just mean better quality photographs. It’ll also now take ‘burst shots’ where you can pick the best version from a series of quick-fire snaps.
Add to that NFC (tap-to-pay) technology, Bluetooth 4.0, a built-in pedometer and wireless charging and it’s clear the Nexus 5 is pretty tooled-up.
6. It’s out now
Launched on November 1, the Nexus 5 is on sale right now. You can pick one up SIM-free directly from Google for £299 or from the Carphone Warehouse for £295 (at the time of writing). Alternatively, you can get one for free on a pay monthly deal.
Head over to our mobile phones channel here for more information.
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