Nexus 5: unboxing and quick Nexus 4 comparison [VIDEO]


Nexus 5 unboxing featured

Like many of you, Phandroid spent a good portion of their day in anticipation, eagerly awaiting the moment the Nexus 5 would land on our doorsteps. Well, earlier this evening the UPS man finally arrived and we are now in possession of the Google influenced but LG-made Nexus 5.

Rather than give you the typical boring ‘ol unboxing, we decided to boot it up, take a quick gander at Android 4.4 KitKat and quickly see how the Nexus 5 compares to it’s older brother, the Nexus 4.

Nexus 5 front back hands on

Without giving away too much, there was a 128MB day-1 update that took a few minutes to download and apply, but after that we booted into the new Google launcher which we found a tad odd, if not endearing. Google Now setup was also tricky (hint: you’ll need to actually search for something just to get it up and running on the homescreen).

Of course, we’ll be bringing you more Nexus 5 tips, tricks, comparisons, and our full review once we’ve gotten a chance to put the device through its paces. In the meantime, check out our hands-on video and find out the single biggest reason why I love this phone more than the Nexus 4. Cheers.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. See ya next time lol.

  2. “Maybe not the best image quality, that’s just nexus for ya”

    1. One day a Nexus will have a great camera. I refuse to give up hope.

      1. Whats you opinion on the front facing camera? does it have that horrible smoothing effect?

  3. Maybe not the best, but it’s a helluva lot better than my crotchety Gnex was.

  4. Chris, right now, price aside, would you say LG G2 or N5? I played with a G2 today and am in looooooove just wondering if stock kitkat would give me what the nexus 5 should have been.

    1. Don’t put this on my shoulders, man. Lol I would say G2. It’s 48 hour battery life is incredibly convenient, great camera, awesome display, there’s really not much wrong with it. If you really wanted, I’m sure you can flash CM10 or something to it as well.

      1. Ugh. Not a fan of CM. Im sure there’s a stock ROM out there for it. Thanks for your input, but now I have to decide if those features are worth $200.

        1. Really it boils down to complete hardware at least for me. The G2 has everything from beautiful screen to great battery life and exceptional camera. Im hoping since the Nexus 5 shares a lot of stuff with the G2 it will get some love from devs especially of the vanilla flavor. I would love a ROM though that offers vanilla plus some lg features like tap tap and the camera app. Maybe I might be asking for too much lol

          1. That’s exactly what I want. Vanilla, but with a few lg features. Let’s get on that shiznit.

  5. Easiest way to get Google now on the home screen is to lo g press the screen and choose setting then turn on Google now.

    1. Yeah, was surprised how weird Google was about burying it under settings. You’d think you’d simply have to open the Search app and there’d be settings, but nope.

      1. I’m pretty disappointed with KitKat. It feels more like a step back than anything. The one bright spot to me is hangouts.

        1. Yeah, it’s so….. unfinished. Like, it was rushed out the door. I’m so conflicted as I know, as an Android fan, I’m supposed to “love” stock Android. Not anymore…. I miss Jelly Bean. :/

          1. Uh freakin greed!

          2. Whoa, bold statement but definitely appreciate the honesty… I don’t see much wow in kik kat either, so maybe I’ll hold off on my purchase

          3. Oh no you di’int!

          4. Oh no you di’int!

          5. All the new under the hood functionality aside, what are some criticisms you have?

          6. Are you going to review KitKat? I’m curious on what about it feels unfinished and what the disappointments are. Additionally I’m curious to see a full performance and memory usage comparison since that’s mostly what changed under the hood.

        2. really? i heard the opposite. I read that kitkat was really nice, and that hangouts was a letdown with its half-arsed integrated messaging

          1. I dunno maybe its just me but KitKat just doesn’t live up to what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t expecting a major overhaul but I think some of the things they did were counter productive. Maybe it will grow on me but I have to say this is the first is update I wasn’t so thrilled about.

  6. I get the privilege to do this tomorrow.

  7. Sigh. I ordered 16 minutes after it opened and mine is still showing as “pending” while I see people who were told not to expect it for a few weeks are already getting their shipping information. It’s not the end of the world and I suppose as long as it ships by tomorrow as promised I can’t be too mad, but it’s pretty annoying.

    1. If it doesn’t, rage at their cs… but don’t expect to get anywhere.

      1. Yeah, because yelling and screaming at someone on the phone who is miles or maybe states away from the ware house it’s coming out of is super productive. People like you are pathetic.

        1. I don’t know if talking to a customer service rep when there’s a problem makes one “pathetic”. In a situation like this, it could result in your shipping charges being credited back to you. I don’t know if I’d use the term “rage”, but a simple call or email would usually suffice.

          If I were you, I’d make that call. I ordered my sisters Nexus 5 the night it went on sale and it’s being delivered tomorrow. Google said it would be a 3-4 week wait.

          1. Ouch, looks like the orders are backwards…

        2. Well jeez, no need to throw insults around here “brah”. Thank you for your downvotes by the way. Extremely mature.

        3. I’m sure he was being sarcastic.

      2. I wouldn’t do that. I just called them to see where it was in the process. The page hasn’t updated but it’s in the “charging” stage but still says pending.

    2. I am having the same issue. I called them today they said it should charge my card tomorrow and ship. We will see if I have a shipping e-mail notification when I wake up tomorrow.

    3. This all happened last year with the Nexus 4, though it seems mildly smoother this time. It just is what it is, sorry you’re getting the short end of the stick. Last year I ordered one 10 minutes after it opened, after 3 weeks it was still pending. I put in a 2nd order and got it in 2 weeks while the first still said pending, so I ended up cancelling the 5 week old order.

      1. I believe the reason it went “Mildly Smoother” is the fact Nobody knew it was happening. It’s the same exact thing as with the Nexus 4 except there wasn’t a huge announcement so, the fan boys are calm. It’s a psychological thing. Damn you Google! hahaha

    4. Karma, beach.

  8. I ordered on the first day and I still have not received a shipping notification. Also the black and white boxes have different pictures on them.

    1. Ordered mine 56 minutes into the hubbub and got my shipping notification yesterday(freaked out, too). Standard shipment on a black 16GB. I think each version ships at a different rate, 32GBs first, but hopefully that helps.

      Edit: after reading a subsequent post from you, I don’t think what I said helps… Sorry…..

      1. Did they state a ship date from the get go? Mine still says leaving warehouse by the 8th

        1. No, actually. Had pending and the same “leaving warehouse by 8 November”, but now says shipped and am tracking, a little too actively, on UPS.com…

          1. Thanks! I still have hope!

          2. Bah mine still says the 5th and no tracking number. Woke up this morning to some packages left outside our house by a delivery man. Thought one might be my phone but it was something else – :

  9. I like watching your unboxings, Chris. You have such energy and enthusiasm. :)

  10. As unboxings go….this was garbage! I demand and expect better from you Chris. Don’t unbox something just to unbox it. Unbox it because you really want to show us something.

  11. But Chris, I love my glass back- said no one ever.

    Umm, I think he mentioned N4 with KitKat? Or did my ears deceive me?

    Man I wish I had this already. This is what I get for working and not being able to order for 30 minutes. I should have taken a sick day (Google day).

    1. It was hard to tell, as the storm had been rumbling and lightning/leaking had been visible for a while before it was upon us.

    2. actually i did love the glass back.

    3. I love the glass back, and I never had any slippage problems with it at all. Actually made me laugh every time someone raged when they found out that glass cracks though.

    4. I don’t mind the glass back. Not a big fan of the glittery texture but so far no breaks with my N4’s glass and I have yet to put a case on it. I’m on the fence with ordering the N5 but honestly I think i’ll just wait until next year. The only complaint I have at this point is the lack of storage and the camera, and it doesn’t look like the N5 is that huge of an upgrade in terms of the camera.

  12. Should I sell my HTC one and get this?

    1. ARE YOU HIGH? ;)

      1. Hahaha. I’m gonna take that as a no. Lol

        1. No he meant HELL YES!

    2. same question here!

    3. hTC ONE in design is more beautiful plus its got that boomsound dual speaker. Although hardware is not the latest and greatest, S600 is as capable as the S800. If you feel it’s a good trade, why not? I personally would keep hTC ONE over the nexus 5.

      1. I find the camera on the HTC one to be slow to focus.. :( Thinking of a new device.. or should I wait 3mths for kitkat on the HTC One? with S5 in the Spring?

        1. if you dont like the camera on your One, i def wouldnt suggest you getting a nexus

          1. :-( ok. Whats the fastest focusing camera on an Android phone with a screen 4.7″+ ?
            Note 3?

          2. Ok, I found my answers.. sounds like the Camera is slow to focus.. Oh well..


      2. Ok! Thanks for the feedback!

    4. I was thinking that very thing. I want to, but I’m lovin’ them speakers. That’s like the main reason I have the One.

      1. Same here! Love that BoomSound!

      2. Agreed… after thing about long and hard, The Nexus 5 is not worth getting if you already have an HTC One or a GE HTC One. BUT… I will be replacing my One (screen cracked) with an LG G2

  13. @Gamercore:disqus they made it a huge circular glass camera thing so…. you could still have something to break ;)

  14. “Oh yeah, the box! It’s an unboxing!” haha

  15. Really? This is worth a video?

  16. Do the black version have soft touch plastic on sides? Is handling of the white version worse because of glossy plastic on sides?

  17. Seems a lot of reviews are contradictory to each other in regards to the camera.

    1. That’s probably because some people who review the camera are actual photographers who can tell the differences between #FFFFFE and #FFFFFF.

      I think the camera is just fine. As long as it doesn’t come up super dark when there’s plenty of light outside, then I’m fine with it.

  18. Love the Nexus 5 and KitKat design. I do think I love the Moto X a little more though.

  19. How did you get 4.4. on your N4?

  20. Is the small (very small) paper in three languages in the box the “quick start guide”? Because otherwise I didn’t get one.

  21. Chris, you refer to Kit Kat as Key Lime Pie at 2:59ish. Is that intentional?

    1. Yes, he was just testing you, I’m glad you caught it! ;-)

  22. Can anyone tell me how the speaker is? I read a review yesterday where the reviewer said it was one of the worst speakers he’s ever experienced, and that it was the worst part about the phone. He said he missed several calls because of how low the speaker was. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    1. personally I’ve had no real problems with the speaker. Even on speaker phone I was surprised how much louder it was than my galaxy nexus

  23. I actually gasped when you flipped over your Nexus 4.

  24. guys check out the entire nexus series comaprision


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