Nexus 5 was announced a week back and we already have the first set of reviews pouring in from bloggers who managed to get their hands on the newest Android flagship device much before others. As always, the reviews are mixed, but there’s one thing common in most of the reviews so far – Nexus 5 is NOT the best Android phone to buy right now. Everyone agrees it’s priced well (really well in fact), but still, it isn’t perfect.
So what ails the Nexus 5? To start with, the camera. Josh Topolsky, in his review at The Verge, had this to say:
Rumors swirled that the Nexus 5 camera was going to be different. The truth is, it’s a lot more of the same, at least right now. In a word: disappointing.
Google chose to retain the 8-megapixel shooter on the rear of Nexus 5, with little enhancements to the sensor. There were rumors about Nexus 5 coming with Lytro like MEMS camera, but not to be. It’s not that the expectations were too high, but just that Google decided to stay put with a good enough camera. Sadly, these days when so much onus is being given to the smartphone cameras, as Topolsky says, “having a good enough camera isn’t good enough.”
The camera isn’t exactly terrible, but it falls short of what you can find on some of the other top-end smart phones.
Sadly it isn’t the camera alone which is mediocre on the Nexus 5. For some reason, Google and LG decided to go with a 2300mAh battery pack. Though we knew this from the earlier leaks, some of us were hoping Google will optimize the software (Android 4.4) to provide that day-long battery usage which we have come to love on flagship devices like Galaxy Note 3, Xperia Z1 and others these days. Sadly, the initial reviews point towards inconsistent battery performance. Considering Nexus 5 is based on LG’s own G2, it’s sad that Google chose to go with a smaller battery to power the 4.95-inch Full HD display. Quoting Topolsky again:
One day, it lasts less than eight hours of only moderate use. The next, more than 16. It lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes on the Verge Battery Test, which is among the lowest scores we’ve seen on a high-end phone in some time, but it would occasionally surprise with its longevity.
That’s the worst thing I want to have in my smartphone. Currently, I’m testing LG G2 and it lasts over a day with my heavy usage. It’s a pity that Google didn’t beef up the battery a little more.
But then, I’m not surprised. Having been a Nexus owner, I was actually expecting this. There hasn’t been a perfect Nexus phone till now. Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 have all had a crappy camera and dismal battery. Unlike before, Google hasn’t compromised on most other hardware specs in Nexus 5. It comes with a gorgeous 4.95-inch 1080p display, 2.23GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2GB of RAM, which matches the best Android smartphones in the market, but misses out on things like microSD slot and IR-blaster.
Coming to think of it, there has been a pattern with all Nexus phones. They aren’t meant to be perfect. That’s probably because Google doesn’t want to eat into the sales of other flagship phones. I can’t think of any other reason really. Google could’ve put a 13MP sensor and a bigger battery if they wanted to, but history is proof enough, that they didn’t want to do that. At $349, Nexus 5 is extremely competitive, but it comes with some bad compromises.