Phones Nexus 5/KitKat Reviews/Likes/Dislikes/Notes

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by jsw, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #1
    I'd continue this in the epic Nexus 5 thread, but it's just getting too long.

    For those who have an N5, what are you particularly enjoying, not liking at all, and amused by?

    Personally, I love the N5/KK combo as a whole. I'm not sure how much is pure N5, how much is pure KK, and how much is the way they work together, but I'm very happy with the purchase.

    I just realized the screen responds to magnets, which is why the $50 official covers will sleep/wake the device when you open/close them. With a cheap wallet case and a tiny magnet, you could probably replicate the effect for under $15. I've had a fair bit of fun playing with it just now (I'm easily amused).

    Anyway, yes, the speaker is, at best, adequate, and the camera is vastly better than the N4's but still has some issues, hopefully to be resolved via software, but in general, it is a very solid product, well put-together. The screen is gorgeous - especially for $350-$400 but in general as well - and nothing seems problematic at all to me. It's very, very fast. And rooting is trivial now, even more so than before (not really an N5-specific thing, but just something to note).

    The swipe-right-for-Now is very useful and seems to me to be less awkward than swiping up from the bottom.

    Generally, to me, this just seems to be a much nicer iteration of the N4, with all that was good about the N4, but improved, and most of the N4 issues resolved partially or completely.
     
  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #2
    It's a GREAT phone. Any complaints I have would be tempered by the pretty incredible price of $349 versus the specs it carries under the hood. I think my complaints are the same as everyone elses, the speaker kind of sucks in volume, the camera takes good pics, even good low light ones, but it takes a long time to focus and that makes taking pictures of my kid near impossible. It's also cheap but expensive feeling at the same time. The screen is beautiful, with the smaller bezels it looks super premium, but then you feel the all plastic back which while solid, just feels a bit cheapie. I haven't had it long enough to gauge the battery life so am not sure this will be a concern, but I think anything is better than the iphone 5s which is my other option.

    ----------

    As far as performance, it's a beast. I had a LG G2 before, which is probably the top phone to beat in terms of performace. The N5 had no issues with all the games I threw at it. webpages are smooth and lag free. Video is perfect. The screen has less saturation than the G2, which is good IMO.

    Games were loud on the speaker for some odd reason, which gives me hope that software can fix the low speaker volume when on a phone call.
     
  3. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #3
    I am borrowing a Nexus 5 to try it out and see how I like it compared to my 5c.

    So far, I really like it! The screen to me is one of the stand out features, I'm not a fan of very saturated screens, so that may be why. The phone runs just as smooth as my 5c, I haven't noticed any lag or anything. Actually the N5 has a little less lag. While playing Minion Rush on my 5c the game occasionally stutters, didn't experience that on the N5.

    My biggest "fear" of moving from iOS to Android was the lack of some of my games not being in the Google Play store. So far 99% of my most played games have been available for me to download onto my N5 so that's awesome!

    I also feel like Google voice commands is a bit better than Siri. I tested it last night when I asked for directions to Freebirds (burrito place) it gave me directions to the closest one. Siri requires you to pick one and then provides the directions. Just a minor nuisance in my book.

    I hope I can stick it out this time around, I really want to give Android a chance. I do have an iPad Air which I think will be great for getting the iOS experience when I want it and of course the apps I want that aren't yet available on the Google Play store.

    So far my only complaint would be I don't think the battery is as good as the 5c. I seem to be running through battery a little quicker?

    Oh, and you can't beat the price. My 5c off contract + tax was $700. This will save me $300 if I decide to return the 5c. :)
     
  4. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #4
    What's up with the camera? The viewfinder is in 16:9, but the pics are 4:3?!?! It just kind of throws me off a bit.
     
  5. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816

    ipodlover77

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #5
    Its a good phone. Complaints are speaker, washed out display, battery life, slow auto focus, speaker. Camera is pretty good. I guess all the previous Nexus had my expectations super low. When I tried the camera on the Nexus 5, I remember (not that hard to remember. I got the phone two days ago) telling myself "wow. This camera isn't half bad." The size still gets me. Its a bit too big for my taste. Also the soft touch finish, while it provides good grip, its a chore taking it out of my pocket. It def does not slide in and out as easily as a phone thats made of metal. The overall design of the phone is a bit plain. And lastly, for a phone that has quick charge 2.0 (i mean i was waiting for this the most) the charging time is still pretty slow. I assumed that because other phones that have the 800 have great charging tmies (the note takes like 2.5 hours for a full 3000+ charge, which is great) the N5 is just mediocre. The front facing cam is also meh in my opinion. Okay some pros. Phone is fast. Screen resolution is gerrrrrrrrate. Phone is light. Bad part 2: there is no "Due" and "Day One" for android. With all that being said, Im selling my personal Nexus 5 and going back to my 5S. It was a fun 24 hours. GOODBYE MY BEAUTIFUL NEXUS MISTRESS, YOU AND YOUR FINE TEFLON COATED ASS.
     
  6. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #6
    Can't you just return it and get a refund?
     
  7. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #7
    Kit Kat is fantastic - except for the weirdness that is Hangouts. I love it, it's honestly more of a joy to use in many ways than iOS 7.

    The phone itself is lovely, it's blazing fast, the screen is brilliant (not glaring like the S4) and the form factor is perfect.

    It's just the slow camera (hopefully a software patch can fix this) and the dodgy quiet/LOUD/quiet/LOUD speaker that are frustrating me.

    I'm giving it a few more days I guess, but I'm starting to think regardless that the end is nigh for my iPhone. I can't see Apple changing iOS 8 that much now, and they'd have to play catch up for an amazing iPhone 6 anyway.
     
  8. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #8
    I completely agree with everything you said. I noticed a post a few down from you mentioned poor battery life. I am really shocked by that. I went to bed last night with 43% battery left, which was impossible with the n4 even if I charged the phone mid day. Currently I am at 80% battery with 7h 38m on battery. Personally, this is easily the best phone I have owned aside from maybe the iphone 5, but I think it is unfair to compare a phone that cost 2x the price unlocked.

    edit: Then again that same person mentioned a washed out display...mine is anything but that.
     
  9. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    One of the other things I've noted about this whole process is that I'm suddenly using Google+. I've been on it for two and a half years - essentially since the very beginning - but I've never used it. Sure, once I got the N4, I noticed that my photos were backed up there, but I'd never shared one. I put a few people in circles a year or two ago and then forgot about it.

    Now, though? I'm starting to actually use it, slowly but surely. I was on a Hangout waiting for the N5 to drop. I've made some comments. I've shared a few photos with family. And so on. I'm not sure what, exactly, prompted me to suddenly start, but I think it's a combo of Hangouts (which, while it sucks that it doesn't truly merge SMS with chats, at least combines them under one roof), the new photo capabilities, and maybe the smoothness of the whole thing on the N5.

    I'll eventually posts things publicly, I'm sure.

    If anyone wants to follow me/be followed back, I'm here.

    ----------

    Agreed - battery is stellar for me, and I love the display. I do not like it to be too saturated, so this fits me very well.

    ----------

    Consider loading SpeakerBoost, but if you do, keep the boost low (say, 10-15%).

    It does make things louder, but it doesn't make the sound any better.
     
  10. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816

    ipodlover77

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #10
    One of the biggest disappointments I had with the software was that. Hangouts implementation was very clunky. When it was announced, I assumed it would be as seamless as iMessage. Cross my fingers it gets cleaned up as it matures.
     
  11. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    Hmm, been using the phone heavily today and have some impressions.

    Battery life: Not great, it's actually worse than my ip5 but maybe it needs to be conditioned once or twice. Once thing I noticed is it doesn't charge anywhere near as fast as my ip5, and yeah it's a full power charger, same one that charges my ip5. Usually if my ip5 is low I can put it on the charger while I drive back to work and just 20 minutes gives me a lot of juice. The N5 only went up about 10% today.

    Speaker: Not as bad as I imagined. Having it on my vent in the car I could clearly hear speakers on the other line. Not solid sounding, there is some distortion at higher volumes, and it's not too loud, but it's doable.

    Bluetooth stereo earphones: I use Jaybird Bluebuds X and they sound phenomenal with the N5. They sounded very good with the G2, but with my ip5 they have no bass and sounded kind of treble heavy. But with the N5 I was very impressed with the superb sound.

    ----------

    The dialer seems very clunky IMO. Is there a tab for favorites? I only see most frequently called, which is nowhere as useful as a favorites tab. I also can't figure out how to edit a contact, but haven't played with it much.

    Also I wonder why they did the very nice dark theme dialer, but then did the rest of the dialer app in an awful white scheme.

    On that same note the earpiece of the N5 is awesome. No directional loss if I move my ear like the G2 and the S4 had. Sound was loud and clear, very nice. proximity sensor functioned properly but a tiny bit slower than I would have liked.
     
  12. kevinof macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Dublin/London
    #12
    Good review. Nice to get real world feedback.


     
  13. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #13
    After a couple days use now and have cycled the battery twice. Currently giving it a real world battery test doing everything I would normally. And I turn nothing off, except BT when not using it.
    I am currently at 6 hours of use, 2.5 hours of onscreen time and my battery is at 68%. Screen brightness is at 50%, since I have been inside the majority of the day. I will be using GPS, BT handsfree calling and Pandora for a 1 hour drive later to see how bad that kills the battery. Results and photos will be posted later tonight.

    I do not have any issues with my speaker or my display, but since I am coming from a Nexus 4, that may be why? Although comparing the Nexus 5 to the HTC One, the Nexus 5's screen is brighter and whites look better. My display does not have any lightbleed or dead pixels. In fact, it is flawless.

    Maybe I got a high quality Nexus 5 off the assembly line, cause I gotta say, I am really impressed. I am not big into photography, so for me the camera is fine. As long as I can take pictures and they come out clear, that's all I really care about.

    Only issue (which I have corrected with my Spigen Ultra Hybrid case cover) was with a wiggly power button. With this case cover, the power button will not be able to move and I won't have to worry about it getting any looser. I plan to keep a case cover and screen protector on it the entirety of its life. Some phones I kept naked (like my SGS3) cause I didn't care about them very much, and some phones I pampered and protected (all my iPhones), but this Nexus 5 is my baby. She will be extremely well taken care of. :D
     
  14. Stooby Mcdoobie, Nov 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

    Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #14
    Battery life is great compared to N4 and my GPe HTC One (though this may have been due to a bug with stock 4.3 as the ATT ROM gave better battery life). Heavy use on LTE with 4.5 hours screen time. Could probably squeeze out a couple more hours screen time if I had WiFi at work.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. appledes7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #15
    I actually love the camera. The OIS is amazing. In the camera app, if you digitally zoom in all the way, it looks so smooth! Plus if you watch closely, you can see the lens move, I think thats awesome. And in the exact same lighting, the pictures it takes are brighter, sharper, and have less noise than that of the Nexus 4. Sure, it could see some improvements, but I have a feeling I will be using the camera on this phone more than I have with any other phone.

    The battery isn't much of an improvement over the Nexus 4. Sure, it has a more efficient CPU and bigger battery, but the larger screen cancels those out. I got 4 hours SOT yesterday on my Nexus 5. I could get the same on my Nexus 4.

    The feel of the phone is amazing. Makes me not want to use a case. But I will just to be safe.

    The biggest problems I have are software related:

    • Camera taking too long to focus (could be hardware, but someone has mentioned this could be fixed via a software update)
    • Lack of tap to focus in video mode
    • Hangouts notifications don't always go away even after I respond
    • "OK Google" only work on the home screen, and only on the Google home screen
    • Stock email app still doesn't support push (come on Google, we are 2 months away from being in 2014 and you still don't support this?)
    • No "clear all" button in your recent apps list despite a "clear all" button in notifications list
    • Lock screen widgets, when in focus, require you to swipe up before swiping to unlock
    • Can't set different areas on the lock screen circle to open to different apps without going 3rd party
    • Still can't show the battery percentage in the menu bar next to the battery icon
    • Transparent menu bar and nav bar are only in stock launcher
    • Chrome no longer lets you swipe between tabs on the edge, now you can only do it from the very top of the screen. With larger phones you now have to stretch your thumb to do this (I know this is from a previous Chrome update, but the larger screen on the Nexus 5 makes this more of an issue)


    I am sure there are a few others. Those are just the ones off the top of my head.

    ----------

    Great way to sum up the Nexus 5. Nice iterative update from the Nexus 4. It isn't perfect, it still has its problems, but overall it is a pretty decent upgrade :)
     
  16. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #16
    You might want to try the included charger. While the details escape me (this Kickstarter write-up might help explain it), I know that Android devices and iDevices often don't charge in the same way on a given charger/cable combo, and so maybe what worked with the iPhone won't work as well with the N5, and vice versa.
     
  17. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #17
    I'm using it on a 2.1a cigarette lighter usb charger. It's on a cable where I modified it to provide the full charge, I forget what I did but I had to open it and connect 2 wires to provide full power.

    I'll do some more testing at home with the stock charger.
     
  18. thecurryman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    #18
    You must have a magical N5, because my N5 on the lowest brightness setting (I have BBM and exchange running), no WIFI, No NFC, Bluetooth, Gmail sync is off. This is the first day I am using the phone from the morning. Im at 60% with 1h 33m screen time. I also used slackr radio for like 30 min. Im sure itll make it through the day, but so far not impressed. Although I think letting it run for a few days to settle in will help out
     
  19. JH- macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #19
    Everything you said here I agree with. I would also add that I prefer the feel of the Nexus in my hands versus my old iPhone 4S. The back feels much nicer.
     
  20. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #20
    Day 4 of my Nexus 5.

    I LOVE IT.

    The camera, I'm getting used to. The speaker ain't as bad as I thought - it's still variable but it's fine.

    You know what? I think I'm gonna sell my iPhone 5 and keep the Nexus 5.

    There's yer review right there - getting ME to jump ship from :apple: basically says it all.
     
  21. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816

    ipodlover77

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    #21
    Haha you flip flop more than pancakes! :p

    One day you love it, another day you put it up for sale, then you go back to loving it. WHATS THE VERDICT?
     
  22. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #22
    I know, I know... It's my missus I feel sorry for!! :D

    Yep, love it. Am actually going to commit and sell my iPhone 5. Have even changed networks to Three so will get 4G speeds in about a month from now.

    I'm definitely happy. It's not 100% like for like and have to change my habits/workflow - but I'm not afraid of change.
     
  23. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #23
    Speaking of KitKat, it's a week now and there is still no update for the Nexus 7 (or any other Nexus device).

    There's no excuse of carriers getting in the way either, and we are only talking about like 4 devices that need updates. Windows 8.1 updated thousands of different devices and configurations in one day. Apple pushed out Mavericks on a few dozen devices in one day. iOS 7 was pushed out to about 10 devices in one day.

    Google can't be bothered to update 4 devices?! Their own branded devices at that. I remember when I had a Nexus S 4G it was the same BS; updates still took too long, and there was always a gamble if an update was coming at all. I understand why Samsung might have a problem with updates but Google...

    I have a new Nexus 7 2013 and I really like it, but if an update is not provided by tomorrow I'm returning it and waiting for the iPad Mini Retina.
     
  24. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #24
    They are making it exclusive to the the Nexus 5 for a bit to try to get some sales. If you are going to return your N7 because the update doesn't happen tomorrow, then it sounds like you never really wanted it to begin with. I'm sure it will happen in the next few weeks. What's the rush?

    ----------

    I think the only issue with the camera for me is the software. It is slow to open and slow to focus before taking a picture. If they could just optimize the camera app, then I would be perfectly happy. Like you, the pictures look really good to me but there are times where it is hard to get a good shot because of the crappy camera app. Hopefully they push out an update for it to fix these issues.
     
  25. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #25
    Yes it does, what do you mean?
     

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