Nexus 5 appears to be shipping with physical design changes


Google and LG apear to have tweaked the physical design of the Nexus 5, according to some folks over at the XDA Developers forums. The changes appear to address a few minor issues with phone that have been bugging some users.

The most noticeable change is the presence of larger cutouts for the speaker and microphone on the bottom of the device, perhaps addressing complaints about low volume. The other changes aren’t as easy to spot, but the claim is the Nexus 5’s physical buttons now feel a bit sturdy and the SIM tray sit more flush with the phone’s body.

Subtle tweaks, yes. The new design is probably no reason to return your current Nexus 5 (unless you are having major problems), but it sounds like they make a positive difference. Anyone recently purchase Google’s flagship that can attest to these changes?

[via XDA]

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TAGS: Nexus 5

  • Kam Siu

    sounds like a DYI job for early Nexus 5 owners! :)

  • John Wentworth

    I actually have no issues with speaker volume, especially after 4.4.2. I’m happy with it and other than a power button that will shake if I shake it pretty violently everything is fine with mine.
    But I’m glad that Google listens to it’s users and is doing some small tweaks to improve the nexus 5. I agree these aren’t things to return early models unless you have a pretty major issue.

    • CarstenLorenzen

      I had big problems with the speaker, but with the 4.4.2 update it just perfect. Loud and no distortion, even with the small holes.

  • ArmageddonX

    I haven’t had any issues with my Nexus 5. The speaker is great and I thought the Camera was fine even before the update. I think some people are just looking for something to criticize.

    • techlte

      lol.. I think you haven’t looked at the rampant defect thread(s). There are a myriad of defects affecting many early adopters. IMO the loose buttons were the low hanging fruit but most noticeable. There are screen tint issues, backlight bleed, dead pixels, dust under screen, the runny speaker adhesive ie. low speaker volume, loose vibration motor, and of course the loose button rattle.

      • spicymeatball

        Any product will have a percentage of defects. All products do. The issues you mentioned are mostly manufacturing defects and not design flaws. Manufacturing defects can be fixed with replacement products and improvements in QA. The objectivity will come from knowing how many issues are really being found compared to any other products or previous new products.

        • Josh Davenport

          A percentage? I purchased 4 Nexus 5 phones. All 5 had a combination of horrible speaker, loud/weak vibrate or extremely warm screen coloring.
          Since I could compare apples to apples, I could see how the phones were supposed to perform.

          1 had a white screen, 2 were off white and 1 was downright yellow.

          1 had good vibrate, 1 was decent but a bit busy and the other 2 were loud and very weak.

          Speakers were a bit different situation. 3 were bad and the other phone was horrible.

          No I’m not an android hater. I wouldn’t have bought 4 phones if I was. Facts are facts though. The first batch of phones were not good.

          • Keith

            I’ve had one Nexus 5, no problems. lucky me!

        • Khiem Nguyen-Trong

          I’m in love with my Nexus 5 but I don’t understand how most tech sites have not mentioned anything about the faint static noise bug when recording video. All they talk about is the bad speaker or average camera. (and that bug is apparent in most video reviews of the Nexus 5 if you pay attention)

          It’s Christmas time, I want to be able to shoot clean videos with no static noise!!! Anyone can check if their videos have the noise? Based on google forums thread, LOTS of people have this issue.

          I hope it gets fixed soon. I’d rather not have to RMA if I don’t HAVE to… :/

          • steveb944

            Is it immediately noticeable on the video? I’m super worried cuz I never take videos but now idk wth it’s supposed to sound like.

          • Khiem Nguyen-Trong

            It’s not always noticeable in normal environment but it’s especially noticeable in quiet environments Try it… maybe you will be one of the lucky ones without the issue.

            Static is not heard during shooting. You can hear it during playback, especially if you have volume set on high… or you are listening thru headphones

          • Deepankar Arya

            I have the same static noise problem and it really frustrates me a LOT !! I am surprise that Google has done nothing to rectify it.
            I think it is a problem with the noise cancellation algorithm software but I’m shocked that this has not been rectified. GOOGLE PLEASE DO SOMETHING !!!!!

    • malcmilli

      Well it depends on what angle you want to look at it. Because you’re happy everyone else should be? If i was happy with 8gb of storage, does that mean anyone wanting more storage is just being ridiculous?

      It’s not really “looking for something to criticize” if you are comparing a product to its peers and it is lagging behind in a few categories. If every other flagship released this year has a better and quicker camera then that would mean its a valid criticism of the Nexus camera. It’s not the end of the world, but it is something to note to perspective buyers or a valid complain of current owners. You could just have different standards or tastes or uses of your device so its better fit for your usage, which is why you have no complaints.

  • Brandon Reese

    Interesting, I got mine fairly early (a month ago), but mine looks more like the “new” one on top with the larger holes. For reference mine is a white 32 gb.

    • J Cav the Great

      how can u tell without a new nexus 5 to side-to-side compare to?

      • Brandon Reese

        Just a eyeballing of the apparent distance between the edges of the holes. Comparing the picture above to my physical Nexus. Could be wrong, but I guess I don’t really care either since the phone I have is perfectly acceptable to me regardless.

  • GuyBorg

    I beg to differ that the speaker holes make the volume louder just because they are bigger… HTC one/HTC onex had super tiny speaker holes and neither have issues with volume. It’s most likely a different supplier providing molded parts to LG and there are small differences in suppliers. This is nothing new in the manufacturing world. Must be a slow news day…

    • SoKal26

      I’m not sure if I agree. Even if the bottom edge was injection molded, Its still possible those holes were drilled. This would have to have been precision built to the millimeter, any shortcuts can have adverse affects. Especially when talking sound quality. If I’m a manufacturer and I get CAD drawings for .3mm holes, I’m not gonna drill .5mm ones and say “close enough.” That’s not professional. Seems to me the revisions where drafted up, some head engineering manager approved them, and it rolled out into production. Simple as that.

      • GuyBorg

        I would be silly to disagree with you as most of your points I agree with. I think you missed my point though. Enlarging the holes is not going to affect sound quality in this application in my opinion. Maybe if they were “tuned” high end speakers, but that is not the case here. I think the difference in the size of the holes is just coming from manufacturing differences and the range(spec) they are allowed to be within. I just don’t see why this is really news worthy.

  • steveb944

    The hell man?! Why did I go for first release?! I hope it’s not a major difference in use. I’ll keep reading others views and decide on contacting Google.


    Nothing worth going crazy over.

  • sean76

    Mine has the bigger cutouts and still has the audio problems, loose vibrator, & loose power button. My screen is perfect and would just keep it otherwise, however the audio problem is most likely a hardware problem and awaiting my replacement.

    • Erik Henderson


  • np6s4x

    why to not be the guinea pig and buy the first run

    • Gideon Waxfarb

      Haha, I waited until January of this year to get the Nexus 4 for this very reason, and then they updated the hardware to put little nubs on the back, so it doesn’t slip off everything you put it on. So, sometimes not even waiting a few months will help :P

      • Raymond Rodgers

        I bought a N4 from Google Play at the end of August so I could test Simple Mobile before my contract ended (yeah, excessive I know) but it still went slipping and sliding off my desk on a regular basis…

        • Gideon Waxfarb

          I eventually put some Ghost Armor on the back of mine… solved that problem really nicely :) I suspect any screen protector would work.

    • Gregy T

      Who me? Yeah now it means I own the older crappier N5……… oh crap I just bitched & moaned about it!

  • mlss

    All I ever hear is people b*tch and moan about this phone!!!

    I think peoples expectations are just unrealistic.

    • Keith

      People want a $600 phone but only pay $350 for it.

      • Roaduardo

        American consumers have gotten very used to that subsidized model. It’s like crack. Hard to rehab from that.

  • Anthony Scoggins

    It’s just a phone you babies. GET OVER IT! You people that complain, probably complain about every phone that comes out. Before you rag on me, I buy my own phones, so don’t use the ” well if you paid 600 dollars for a phone you would complain too.” line.

    • Steven Lam

      “Just a phone”… What year is this?

      • Covert Hops Society

        2013…..You calender impaired?

        • Anthony Scoggins

          2013, are you trying to say something. Yeah it is just a phone, a smartphone. Is that better. :(

          • Covert Hops Society

            I’ve got chunks of people like you in my feces

          • Anthony Scoggins

            So, you eat people?, now you sound even dumber. First “2013….. You calender impaired.”, and now this. Next you’re going to call your self a big dog that also eats his own crap.

          • Anthony Scoggins

            I bought an lG g2, but I’m not complaining about it’s own problems. Not a troll either. You people are trolls.

    • lynyrd65

      Just a phone?!

      Screw you buddy!

      • Anthony Scoggins

        Yep just a phone. Crybaby

      • Erik Henderson

        Don’t, feed the the trolls.

    • Matthew Barber

      My phone volume with speakerphone on (and other apps using speaker) is about at the same volume as my Galaxy S3 is with the speaker OFF. That’s how bad the volume problem is on this phone. If you had the issue, you wouldn’t be so flippant to others having this problem. Trying to hear the GPS on speaker while driving is virtually impossible unless I hold it up to my ear. At that point I may as well turn the external speaker off and hold the phone normally, and either way I don’t have both hands on the wheel as a result.

  • Chris Chavez

    Bought on day 1 and got the first run.

    Looking at the new hardware revisions…. yup. Don’t really care. *shrugs*

    • Jerel Butler

      I wonder of yours is some how glass

  • BigCiX

    Had my Nexus for a week today. No problems here.

  • Covert Hops Society

    This is why I avoid buying a device the day it’s released. Not that this update is a bad thing, but it does indicate changes are made after the initial production run. Sometimes for the better.

  • Vaibhav Gupta

    Some people say stop cribbing about the phone . Well if people won’t crib how will manufacturers improve their product. If everyone had praised the plastic body of the Samsung S3 – we wouldn’t have the HTC One

  • BigCiX

    Just eyeballing my N5 it seems as if my speaker holes are larger. Mine was shipped on the first week of December.

  • Yo Mo

    I suspect that this is not an improvement but just another inconsistency in LG “quality control”.

    • Me

      That’s because you’re an idiot.

  • VersedNJ

    My N5 is about 3 weeks old, didn’t check, maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Otherwise it works as promised. I think its good they make improvements, this is not an uncommon occurence in electronics. To me this is a good thing, and not sweating it.

  • Rahul Conjeevaram

    please tell me if there is anything Like an
    unlocked version in the us playstore.
    I’m from India and I thought the cheapest way
    to get the phone is from a friend in us. but he
    says there is a locked and unlocked model
    which cists 100$ more..