LG Nexus 5 review: Back to the future

Back to the future

GSMArena team, 13 November 2013.

Unboxing the Nexus 5

Trying to keep the price in check, the Nexus series of smartphones have never flaunted exceptional packaging bundles. Google has always included only the bare minimum of accessories and the Nexus 5 is no exception. So the box of the Nexus 5, while being quite stylish, doesn't hold much.

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The retail packaging of the LG Nexus 5

Inside it, there's just a SIM ejector pin, AC adaptor and a microUSB cable. Traditionally, headphones aren't included in the retail package, let alone some fancy accessories.

LG Nexus 5 360-degree view

The LG Nexus 5 is as compact as 5" smartphones get right now. It measures 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm, which is just a hair thinner and narrower than the LG G2 that it's based on. Compared to the Nexus 4, it's half a millimeter thinner and 9 grams lighter.

With a weight of just 130 grams it's lighter than the LG G2, as well. In fact, it weighs the same as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and has about the same footprint as the Samsung flagship. This is achieved thanks to the choice of lighter materials as well as reduction in the battery size. The LG G2 boasts a 3000mAh battery, while the Nexus 5 packs just 2300mAh one. We'll cover the battery in a greater detail later on.

Design and build quality

Now, let's focus on the design of the Nexus 5. Right off the bat, it's apparent that this is not just a copy/paste affair and the Google purebred is quite different from LG G2.

First and foremost, the Nexus 5 is built around a 5" True HD IPS display, which is responsible for the phone's smaller footprint compared to the G2. However the difference is smaller than the size difference suggests as the bezels surrounding it aren't quite as thin as they're on the G2.

Overall, the design is quite simplistic and underplayed with nice matte finish. The Nexus 5 is a decent looking bloke and even if it won't win any design contests, its looks certainly won't be held against it.

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The Nexus 5 matte plastic looks nice and feels great to touch

The whole body of the phone is made of a soft-touch plastic, quite similar to the one on the back of the Google Nexus 7 2013 slate. It's actually great to the touch and to our joy is quite resistant to fingerprints and smudges.

Despite not flaunting a metal-clad body, the Nexus 5 is very sturdy. The plastic shell didn't creak nor give in to pressure and twists. It certainly holds up better than the glass back of the Nexus 4, too.

Speaking of the back, the battery cover of the Nexus 5 isn't removable in spite of the cutout lines that separate the front and back parts of the phone. They would let you think that you can access the battery of the phone, but that's not the case.

Another notable design feature at the back is the 8MP camera sensor, which has been made a lot more prominent than on the Nexus 4. It's protected by a large glass casing, which makes the camera look enormous. Moreover, the protective glass protrudes a bit leaving it susceptible to scratches.

The front of the Nexus 5 is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, which combined with the plastic shell and give you an additional peace of mind in case of drops. We're not entirely sure how the glass in front of the rear camera is going to fare, though.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Can i use this phone in 4G

  • Dabeer Shaikb

Android 6 fast in nexus 5

  • Anonymous

Hey Guys I had 2 questions about this phone. I found one on ebay and was wondering is this the same phone as on this page? LG Nexus 5 D820 And also can anyone confirm if It plays pokemon go and uses the AR Capabilitys? I ask cause my Current Phone wh...