If you’ve been waiting for the Nexus 5 because you were hoping the Google Experience line was finally getting a decent camera, you might as well start looking for another phone.
Google’s Nexus 4 was impressive for many reasons. The phone was affordable off contract, which is a big deal for those interested in living in a world without mobile carrier contracts. Google’s Nexus program pivoted last year to focus on affordable pricing for high end hardware, which lead many users to question the seemingly exorbitant pricing for competing hardware.
The $650 price tag on the iPhone 5S, the Galaxy S4, and the HTC One is a little hard to swallow when you can get the Nexus 4 for $300 on the Google Play Store. What a lot of the Android faithful don’t realize is exactly how much Google sacrificed to get the Nexus 4 pricing so low. Unfortunately, looking at the specs for the new Nexus 5, it looks like they are about to do it again.
The Nexus 4 was sold as cheaply as it was in the states not because of subsidization from Google, but because the expensive parts were cut from the device. No LTE radios, a less than stellar battery, and an abysmal camera. When the leaks for this year’s Nexus started coming out, it sounded like the 5 would be based on the LG G2, which gave a lot of people cause for excitement. The G2′s only real problems are with software, which would of course disappear with the Google Experience UI installed on the phone.
If it were a G2 frame with Nexus software, the Nexus 5 would be an impressive phone to compete with. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case. The first thing on the chopping block when building this new Nexus appears to have been the camera, replacing the 13MP OIS camera with an 8MP shooter.
The rest of the phone seems to be in line with the next generation of phones. There’s a Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of RAM, and a 1080p display at 442 ppi that will be enough to impress mobile gearheads and average users alike. The fact that the display resolution is exactly one ppi higher than the Galaxy S4 is amusing, especially considering the 4.97-inch screen is also imperceptibly smaller than the Samsung flagship.
There will be plenty here for specs enthusiasts to toss at one another, but the sealed 2,300 mAh battery should be cause for concern. This is the same sized battery used in the HTC One, and 700mAh less than the LG G2 that this phone is supposedly based off of. We’re seeing a lot of the same corners cut here as were cut with the Nexus 4, which suggests that price will be a focal point for the Nexus 5 as well.
Fortunately, Google knows better than to try and keep LTE off the table again this year. The Nexus 5 will not only be packing an LTE radio, but will include dual band 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and wireless charging.
Based off of the available information from leaks and logs, Nexus fans are in for a phone that is almost incredible. A blazing fast processor, more RAM than most users will know what to do with, and a brilliant display. Unfortunately, it looks like the battery won’t be all that great and the camera has taken a hit in the name of keeping costs down.
The Nexus 5 will likely be priced similarly to the Nexus 4, with a minor price hike to account for the new tech. We saw the same thing with the Nexus 7 refresh recently, so it’s not too big a stretch to imagine the Nexus 5 following suit.