Hands On Reviews

Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by Gary Johnson


Nexus 5 hands on review on Three

Last year’s Nexus smartphone proved to be hugely popular among Android fans so Google again went with LG for the Nexus 5, and we have been lucky enough to be able to spend some time with the device via king of data downloads Three UK.

We have spent the last couple of weeks using a 16GB Nexus 5 on the Three network, and I have been using the device alongside my Samsung Galaxy S4 that is my day to day handset. Many people love Nexus hardware for the vanilla Android experience that is provided along with the quick updates to the firmware that are provided.


One of the first things that grabs you with the Nexus 5 is its stunning display and the handset has moved away from that often criticised glass back that the Nexus 4 had. Now we have a curved matte, rubberised rear case that will remind you more of the Nexus 7, while the front of the device is only broken by the speaker at the top.

The Nexus 5 feels quite sturdy in the hand, however one thing we noticed is that the sleek design is somewhat spoiled by a rear panel which easily becomes covered in fingerprints. It is worth noting that the the volume and power controls have a nice firm satisfying click to them. The sound is loud and clear enough but nowhere near as good to what is found on the HTC One.


This year’s Nexus smartphone is slightly longer than the Nexus 4 but is no wider despite the increase in screen size, it is also slightly thinner and lighter as well. The 5-inch display provides a Full HD resolution with a pixel density of 445ppi, which results in small text and icons looking really sharp as well as HD images and videos looking nice and crisp.


The display is bright when turned up to the highest setting but it doesn’t quite match the Galaxy S4 for vibrancy, but the Nexus 5 does have a more natural colour tone along with good viewing angles. Under the hood we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM, which provides a handset with zero lag of any kind when navigating around the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.


Coupled with the responsive display it makes the handset feel extremely fast and gameplay faired just as well with Real Racing 3 providing smooth results. Now the biggest disappointment with the Nexus 5 is the 8-megapixel rear camera that produces reasonable results in good light. But it really starts to struggle in low light which results on noisy images that lack in sharpness.


The camera isn’t terrible but when compared to the likes of the Nokia Lumia 1020 the handset gets left behind somewhat. The 2,300 mAh battery provides the Nexus 5 with a reasonable amount of battery life in between charges but put under extreme pressure with lots of game play or video watching it may not last to the end of the day.

Call quality was found to be at a level you would expect from a high end smartphone and using Threes data service provided quick and responsive Internet browsing. This will only improve once Three roll out their 4G service as this handset is compliant to this upcoming network. If you do live in the UK it is worth noting that unlike other providers Three won’t charge any extra if you’re looking to upgrade from a 3G contract to 4G contract. Read more here.

To sum up the Nexus 5 is a great phone but is let down a bit by its camera. It is available from £29 per month on the Three network with all the information on price plans can be found here.




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About the Author

has a background in engineering and passion for motorcycles, gadgets, and home cinema. In his early years, his obsession for Hi-Fi technology would see him creating the perfect setup with a good ear for sound quality. He also has a love for smartphones and loves spending time with his family.

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