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Nexus 5 (play.google.com)
450 points by sonier on Oct 31, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 385 comments

As an African/Nigerian I am not even allowed to see what it looks like. Talk less of trying to make a purchase [1].

Last Night, I had to lie that I am in the US so I would be allowed to by Remote by 37Signals on my kindle.

Quite ridiculous and annoying.


Google really loves their geolocation. It's a bit absurd that when I'm signed in to Google, they still try to give me sites in German, Czech or Swedish based on my location when I've expressed my preference for English in my account settings (not to mention the browser's Accept-Language header).

I'm guessing here, but I think there might be some correlation between people who travel internationally a lot and people who buy high-end smartphones. Making it difficult for people traveling internationally to buy apps or to buy devices and have them shipped to their homes isn't exactly smart. I used X11 forwarding over SSH to run a browser on my VPS to make sure they let me order my Nexus 5 in the US while I'm in Germany.

I'm regularly amazed at how poor Google are at getting this right. Both of the following have occurred to me in the last week alone:

1) Friend and I both have nexus devices, both setup in English with Google accounts signed in, both residing in Hong Kong. Friend creates calendar event and sends invite to to me. I get the invite in GMail entirely in Chinese with no translation links in English.

2) Install app that requires access to Google account services. App opens browser and attempts to get account permission. Google.com shows permission granting page entirely in Chinese with no English links to change language. To make things worse, the Yes / No buttons are both blue, preventing even inferring which one is which.

This last case is especially ridiculous. A nexus device, setup in English language, logged into English language Google account, browser on the device logged into Google account, and yet Google.com page displays permissions page in Chinese.

Google's services seem to have disconnected language settings or something on their side is just broken. I live in Sweden, have everything set to Swedish but I've also lived in Germany and I have a second Google account (Google Apps work account) which is set to English.

Every time I open a page it's like Google randomly picks one (or more) languages out of Swedish, English, German (it /really/ likes German though - also always places me in the middle of Germany when I go to Google Maps) and displays them to me. The worst case I've seen was when they launched the new Google Maps preview and that page header was in Swedish, the body in English and just the button in the middle in German.

I used X11 forwarding over SSH to run a browser on my VPS

Running a browser remotely in that way can be quite painful. Running Firefox locally you can tell it to use a socks proxy on localhost:1080 after connecting to your VPS with "ssh -D 1080". You may also want to set the about:config setting network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to true.

Or you could use VPN software, but that's more to setup, and you already have ssh access.

Yes, it's a little laggy. I tried Firefox, which was extremely slow, Chromium, which wouldn't run on VZ and finally Arora, which was tolerable. Yours is probably a better way, which I'll keep in mind for the future. The remote browser wouldn't work at all for a highly interactive app or multimedia.

Well that is the wrong thing to do in that situation.

Just use ssh -D to set up a socks proxy and use your local browser via your remote VPS. I fail to see how that isn't obvious

I fail to see how that isn't obvious

ssh -D sounds like a good solution to the problem. ssh is a powerful tool with a lot of options that are well worth learning. Many of these options are not, however, "obvious". If you doing anything with UI, I hope you aren't in the mindset that every every feature is obvious.

Google has always done this, if really always felt like they're so smug they know better than you. I've been complaining about it for well over a decade, and the reason is I travel a lot for business and hit exactly the problems you describe. It was the main impetus to move beyond Google's garden.

There is the "ncr" workaround for some of their idiotness but it doesn't always work. I was sad to see Bing copy this cancer "feature" as well a few years ago.

It's not even geolocation, I am in the UK and I still get the message that "google play devices is not available in your country". I need to go into incognito mode to see it.

I don't understand why would that be, I've got my google account in English, I've got a UK-based address added to it,as well as a UK-based billing address. I don't understand.

That's my biggest gripe with Google. I'm Spanish, but for most of the subjects I typically search for (programming, research, etc.) I prefer to get results in English. I have everything in my Google preferences set to English, but Google insists on prioritizing pages in Spanish. So often I search for an API documentation, for example, and I have to skip through a bunch of incomplete or outdated translations before I find the original English page I was looking for.

Some years ago, I used the workaround of going to www.google.co.uk (google.com would still prioritize Spanish, but other regional versions, like co.uk, would show results in their language), but now it no longer works. No matter if I go to the Swedish, German or Chinese versions, and no matter my Google preferences, I still get results in Spanish.

Sometimes I even use inferior search engines due to this.

Have you tried https://google.com/ncr ?

Ignoring the browser language pref (Accept-Language) to get you to make an account - this annoyance has been there since they started offering different language versions.

It also ignores the fact that I'm signed in to my account. There's a separate preference cookie that remembers the language, but it has to be set for each country-specific domain. There's http://google.com/ncr but that doesn't solve the problem across all google services. Buying things is especially problematic.

It's not just Nigeria.

And I agree. The way Google does this with an error page for non serviced locations feels really off. It's not how the web is supposed to work. Not shipping to other countries is bad enough. This is rude.

Google should just put these things on Amazon.

Amazon is annoying in the opposite way. Even if you're logged in, they give no indication at all that they won't ship something to you until you actually try to buy it. Very irritating when comparing several options to have to add every one to the cart to check that you can actually buy it before wasting the time of considering it too carefully.

When I'm logged in on Amazon I get a warning next to the product price that I can't ship it to my default location.

Hmm, I just double-checked and I don't get that. I'm in Canada. Have two addresses registered, both Canadian. For example, [1] is appears to be available, and also claims to have free shipping (as do many items listed on amazon.com eve though the free shipping is US only). When I add it to my cart, proceed to checkout, and choose an address though, it lets me know about the "slight problem" with my order... the fact that I can't get it.

Maybe it's only Amazon Fulfillment items that do this?

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009ENG6TI/ref=ox_sc_sfl_ti...

It doesn't work if you aren't logged in and haven't set a default shipping address.

e.g. I see "We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address."

But I am logged in and have set a default shipping address. So either it's different depending on country, or it's because this item is a fulfillment item, or if you're also in Canada and looking at the same item... I don't know, I guess Amazon just doesn't like me?

It's not just you. I get the same behavior. Logged in with default shipping address (Hong Kong), but only find out on proceeding to checkout as you described.

try activating 1 click checkout..

Tried that already. No change.

There is that, but it only applies if you're an existing, and logged in customer.

Well how could they possibly fix that?

List shipping restrictions up front?


GeoIP isn't really a good solution. I work on a large ecommerce site and this comes up from time to time. GeoIP databases are unreliable at best, especially for areas where IPs tend to jump borders (e.g., Toronto and Detroit)

But they wouldn't need to use it for anything critical. Just for a message like, "It appears that we can't ship this to your current location: Calgary, AB, Canada. Please _log in_ to check availability to your shipping address," or something along those lines.

And if it thinks I'm in Montana? I don't get that message, and assume since in the past it knew I was in Calgary so I must be safe to add it to my cart.

At least I know right now that I have to log in all the time to be sure I can safely add items to my cart

But the worst case then is that you add something to your cart and then find out later that you can't buy it, just like now. It's not going to make the cart self-destruct. ;)

If it thinks you're in Montana once, it's probably going to every time. So you'll see exactly what you see now. Heck, maybe this is exactly what they DO do, and it thinks I'm in Washington so I never get a message. :) But for the majority of cases where it can geolocate the country properly, at least to the resolution of US vs not-US, it would be helpful.

one could also be traveling abroad for business/pleasure yet living in the US. I sometimes order things while traveling....

> The way Google does this with an error page for non serviced locations feels really off.

And hypocritical, given they are quick enough to penalise sites which present different content to there crawler than everyone else. Presenting different information by way of adding a warning ("we can not currently supply thsi item to the location you seem to be calling from, please come back later and in the meantime let's have a look at what you could have won...") would be fine, but an error feels like "you can't have one and we don't care".

They do put them on Amazon. Then you get to the checkout, and Amazon tells you you're not allowed to ship it to where you live if you're outside of Google's allowed territories.

That's why I had to send my sister in the UK money to get my hands on my Nexus 4... annoying, and stupid.

> It's not just Nigeria.

It's not just Africa, either.

Amazon sometimes also refuses to ship to certain countries. I remember when I tried to order something but couldn't find it on amazon.de or amazon.co.uk. I could find it on amazon.com, but they refused to ship. Very annoying.

I'd like to get rid of these stupid borders.

That works. Thank you, I've been waiting for this phone forever.

I'm on a business trip to Singapore (I live in Redwood City ,CA)- apparently Google isn't interested in selling me a Nexus 5 either.

Oh well. Apple seems to have no issue with me going to their US store and purchasing for my US address.

I live in the country that their EU Headquarters is based. They won't sell any hardware to me either.

Luxembourg? Switzerland?

I think it's Ireland, in Luxembourg we have Amazon, Skype, eBay & Paypal (Paypal has a bank license that's why they moved to Luxembourg according to [1]). In Switzerland they have a research center but it's not their main EU HQ

[1] http://ict.investinluxembourg.lu/ict/paypal

pretty sure it's ireland for tax purposes.

Given that they have at least 3,000 people working in Ireland, I think it's disingenuous dismiss it entirely as for tax purposes.

As well as sales and purchase, employees incur tax too.

My standard joke is that Google's idea of a worldwide rollout is "Now including Oakland!"

You can use a proxy http://6.hidemyass.com/ip-1/encoded/czovL3BsYXkuZ29vZ2xlLmNv.... I'm in south america and they also disallow it here

Wow, and it's sold out already.

Not surprising. Nexus 4 sales totaled somewhere between 3-4 million.

I wonder why they don't/can't order enough.

Man after what happened with the N4 I thought google would get its shit together this time.

Guess the store not crashing counts as an improvement...

Icelander here. Apparently Google doesn't like our kind either.

What's also annoying is how many mobile apps which otherwise would be great especially for travelers are forbidden for downloads from other countries. Yelp and Hailo are 2 great examples, both do not allow visitors coming to the US from other countries to use them. So people choose Uber and Google Maps/4sq and the losers are Hailo and Yelp.

Not just for Africans/Nigerians. As a European/Dutchman I don't get to see it either. Sounds like a US-only party.

On first sight, this seems to be available in Japan though, which is an improvement over the Nexus 4. Small steps I guess...

Same thing in Paraguay. I managed to get a Nexus 4 from Amazon before, but I can't even buy apps from the Play Store.

you can see it in: www.google.com/nexus

This is the first Nexus phone model available in Italy

That's how it looks for everyone outside the US.

Works in UK, showing local pricing.

Works for me in Australia, shows our currency also...

Unfortunately it shows the 32gb version as $150 more expensive than the US version (at 449AUD or 426.51USD at today's rate). Plus they charge more for postage.

I think your maths is wrong. I just paid $399 + $34.91 sales tax for the 32 GB model here in California. $426.51 means you get it for about $7 less. Enjoy it!

I think I should have clarified that this was for Australia. Yes, I can buy the US version and I probably will but the fact that Google is using dodgy regional pricing irks me.

Works in Canada.

Strangely it works for me while it shouldn't (doesn't work for any of my friends).

You can buy it in Italy too

Same for Georgia.

could be a legal snafu involving the govt in your country trying to tax all sales or something similar.

Couldn't they just hide buy button? Can we at least see it :)

Same in Sri Lanka!

I'd be a lot more interested in this if Google didn't just shutter everyone's trust in the Nexus program by obsoleting the Galaxy Nexus, a phone less than two years old.

It only got one major OS upgrade since launch, which is less than most regular Samsung phones (which typically receive two).

Basically, Google's flagship phone wtih 1GB RAM just got dumped on. By Google. As they launch Android 4.4 which "should run great on devices with just 512MB ram".

That's just outright offensive. Buying whatever Nexus is out there when I needed a new phone has always been a no-brainer. Not so anymore.

I doubt anyone at Google was thrilled about dropping support but I suspect this was an unavoidable conclusion they came to based on the loss of support from the supplier of the CPU for the Galaxy Nexus.

The Galaxy Nexus uses a TI OMAP CPU and last September(2012) TI announced it was stopping development of OMAP solutions and shifting it's focus to embedded processors. In November it then laid off 1700 people in the OMAP division and moved everyone remaining into their embedded division.

This was around the time Jelly Bean was released and probably before development on KitKat started. Considering how tumultuous layoffs and reorganizations are, it wouldn't surprise me if any engineering support Google needed from TI fell on deaf ears. This leaves Google in a very awkward position.

While TI did restructure on the OMAP side, the parts are still active, not EOL'd: http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/omap-applications-processors/omap-...

The OMAP dev kernel is also quite active: http://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/tmlind/linux-oma... Look at the checkins in just the past few days.

Here's what it looks like on the Google side as a contrast: https://android.googlesource.com/kernel/omap

While TI announced they wouldn't be pursuing new smartphone/tablet clients, they also announced they'd continue supporting existing customers. It's worth noting that Google is an active client - the Google Glasses they released this year are running w/ OMAP 4430s (and you can see the glass kernel branches are active on the Android side).

Not to put too fine a point on it, but your post is completely unsupported by the (easily discoverable - it only took like 2min of searching to dig the above up) facts.

I doubt that anyone from Google is going to step forward with their reasoning (although, in the spirit of things, I'd be happy to be proven wrong), but I'd assume it was a pretty straight forward cost/benefit analysis. There aren't going to be new OMAP-based phones/tablets, and the number of active GNex's running stock is probably miniscule (tens of thousands?), so it just wasn't worth doing.

Considering how tumultuous layoffs and reorganizations are, it wouldn't surprise me if any engineering support Google needed from TI fell on deaf ears. This leaves Google in a very awkward position.

Sure that's a reason, but it's not an excuse.

Had something like this happened to for instance Microsoft or Apple, they would have footed the bill, engineered a solution, and lived up to what they promised their customers in the first place.

That's why you have a profit-margin after all: To foot the bill when (and not if) something unexpected happens and doesn't go according to plan.

Here Google is just cascading their own problems with their own sub-contractors directly on to their customers and saying, "Hey! Sorry. You're screwed. And btw we'll keep the money you paid us".

That's totally unprofessional and completely uncool.

I was simply providing you with a technical reason for why support for newer operating systems might have been dropped. I think you're being complete unrealistic with your expectations or that your understanding of what being a Nexus device means. Google has not announced that it is discontinuing support for the Galaxy Nexus, just that it won't receive the latest and greatest OS.

Had something like this happened to for instance Microsoft or Apple, they would have footed the bill, engineered a solution, and lived up to what they promised their customers in the first place.

Are you really citing Apple as a credible reference for an upstanding company?

I'm going to cite 1st Generation iPad which was released in 2010, discontinued in 2011 and received one iOS upgrade as proof you're full of it. On top of, that numerous Apple devices have only had 2 years of software updates (e.g. iPod Touch 4th Gen) before being discontinued.

Furthermore Apple has settle numerous lawsuits and class action suits filed against it for failure to repair devices under warranty, claiming such bizarre things as being a smoker creates a hazardous operating environment in violation of the warranty. They've had numerous lawsuits against them for manufacturing defects on devices that resulted in high numbers of failures outside of warranty periods (e.g. iBook power-on issue).

Microsoft ships a baseline package of drivers but it's up to vendors and device manufacturers to maintain driver support for Microsoft's Operating Systems so that's not even a valid comparison.

That's why you have a profit-margin after all

No, that's not why you have profit-margins. But even if it were, Google is selling the devices at or near cost so there isn't much margin to work with. So using your own logic against you, getting an OS update this summer on a device that's 2 years old that never made a profit is pretty crazy.

That's totally unprofessional and completely uncool.

You're completely unreasonable.

> Buying whatever Nexus is out there when I needed a new phone has always been a no-brainer. Not so anymore.

Interesting, I would not have expected so much importance to be placed on unspecified rolling updates.

My current phone is the only Nexus device I've ever had, but it was easily my best unlocked option at $250-300 US. I think that holds whether it's running 4.2 or the latest.

> Interesting, I would not have expected so much importance to be placed on unspecified rolling updates.

The Galaxy Nexus was sold on software and on software alone. It's hardware was if not underwhelming, certainly not best of breed available in the market when it was launched. And it was launched with a price to match high-end phones from other Android OEMs.

If you bought this phone, you bought it because you wanted software updates.

And when you consider today's smart-phone market, phones have enough RAM, CPU cores and god knows what. New hardware is not really that interesting. All the good, new and exciting stuff happens in software.

From that point of view, Google just shit on the only thing which made the Galaxy Nexus worth buying in the first place. They just outright told the market: Not even a recent Nexus is guaranteed Android updates.

That's a severe breach of trust.

Nexus One and Nexus S buyer here. Had a terrible experience with both these devices. The way I see it, customer service isn't a priority on these devices. But the devices are pretty open so the community finds solutions.

I'll give you a shocking example. There was a bug on one of the Nexus devices I owned where if you were in a deadzone for more than a few minutes, the radio would crash. I kid you not! The stupid radio would crash whenever my train went into the deadzone of the Grand Central approach. No fix, no official word. Then, some programmer released a free app where if your radio was out for more than 1-2 mins, it would automatically shutoff your radio. Got me going. This is why I would not suggest my wife or any non-tech person to get a nexus device. If you are a tech person, it is probably okay. I'm considering a Nexus 5 myself.

While I can sympathize, the Nexus line's promise has always been shifting... Vanilla Android and timely updates were what Google were pushing for the GNex, but these days it seems to mostly be serving as vague mid-range price pressure? The only real common thread for the phones seem to be that they were primarily Google dev devices.

And while it might have been an implicit promise, sadly, I don't think long-term support (or any customer support, really) was ever much in the cards.

FWIW my Google devices (from G1 on) have all eventually migrated to CyanogenMod, where they've run better than they ever did on stock. While CM isn't rushing to 4.4 (the plan is to land 10.2/4.3 before starting work on 10.3/4.4), updates have always lasted longer than I've wanted to keep using the devices. (if you have a GNex, give CM10.2 a try. It blew my hair back. Felt like a brand new phone.)

To me, having unlocked bootloaders is a bigger selling point than stock updates...

I won't be upgrading to the Nexus 5 mainly because I don't really see much improvement over my Nexus 4 w/ CM 10.2 - I have unlocked LTE that works great w/ T-Mobile where I am, it runs quick/smoothly enough, and well, the camera apparently is still bad on the Nexus 5... (that's what the 5s is for)

Fair enough, I'd be reacting similarly I'm sure. I get that two years is too short, but how long do you expect a device like this to be supported? I think I recall three major updates for my original iPhone, but by the last update it was almost unusably slow.

Google changed versioning schema when rolling out Jelly Bean. On Gingerbread, the various minor updates was versioned 2.3.3, 2.3.4, etc. On Jelly Bean, they were version 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3, but they were all still minor updates.

When you look at it that way, the Galaxy Nexus received one major update and that was it. That's less than most "flagship" consumer devices sold, which typically receive at least two.

As for what I expect from a Nexus, I demand a minimum of two, but find it reasonable to expect three. From this, it seems clear that Google has completely lost its commitment to the Nexus-brand, and to me that makes the Nexus-brand completely uninteresting.

As for what I expect from a Nexus

What you expect and what is promised are not the same, in this case they are very different.

I demand a minimum of two, but find it reasonable to expect three.

So now it's an unrealistic demand you're making, and not their failure to keep a promise (they never actually made)?

From this, it seems clear that Google has completely lost its commitment to the Nexus-brand

Regardless of the circumstances, this is an absurd claim.

It's not the amount as much as the lifetime.

I live in that ancient belief that you should be able to keep your phone functioning happily for 3 years, which is exactly what happened with my iPhone 4, by iOS 6 it became slow and kind of crashy but usable and it did everything I wanted it to (even if it didn't get all the new features like the new navigation or Siri).

But the main point is that it kept going for more than 3 years, and the Galaxy Nexus, a phone that was really expensive at the time does not get the new update just a year and a half after release. That's half of the lifetime I expect of a phone.

I LOVE my Nexus 4 (running on Straight Talk) and can't wait to upgrade to the Nexus 5. The Nexus 4 has been my single favorite Android smartphone EVER. And I've previously owned a host of Android smartphones. Most of them just didn't work as well as advertised. The Nexus 4 does. Previously I had a Galaxy Note, for example, which I absolutely hated. It had all kinds of lag and performance issues, and I really hated getting updates so slowly. It's camera was crappy, its keyboard worse. The only thing I liked about it was the big beautiful screen. However, the Nexus 4 has a beautiful (if smaller) screen, too, and WAY better performance. I will NEVER purchase a non-Nexus Android phone (unless they let me down sometime in the future). I've been tempted by some of the HTC's but ultimately dissuaded by the fact that they still take a while to get the latest and greatest Android updates.

LG and Nexus FTW.

If you're happy with your Nexus 4 why would you waste money on a 5?

Because he will be happier with the 5.

Not everything in this world has to be the most pragmatic, practical, logical, reasonable decision. You have money. You like gadgets. Fuck it why not? It's fun.

Also, these things are priced pretty cheaply for what you get. Even if you buy a new one every year, you're still coming in cheaper than buying most high end smartphones.

That's exactly how I feel. I'm absolutely overjoyed that I can buy a phenomenal phone--every bit the equal of an iPhone 5S (in my opinion)--for a fraction of the price. And my wife goes through phones so quickly that she's always in need of a new one. But since she's so hard on her phones, she always gets my hand-me-downs. It's a great system. I get the latest and greatest (like the Nexus 5) because I take good care of my electronics, and she still gets a darn good phone (in this case my Nexus 4)...which she'll beat to death in the next 12 months...just in time for me to get the Nexus 6 and pass along my lightly-used Nexus 5. Perfect!

It annoys me that people can't keep their phones in working order, you have paid hundreds of dollars on this piece of equipment and you treat it like a piece of shit and in 6 months you complain that it doesn't work?? Maybe if you had treated it like the delicate piece of machinery that it is it wouldn't have broken.

It's a blatant disregard for money and it annoys me deeply when I see someone throwing their 5 inches of glass on the table without a thought.

I'm sure the phones feelings were taken into consideration though.

I use this exact same system, although it sort of hurts to see my old phones get slowly crippled by my girlfriend. She is currently just bringing my old Galaxy Nexus to the end of its life.

Galaxy S4 with Cyanogenmod is pretty awesome. The camera is much better and you can setup everything exactly as you want.

Actual link: http://www.google.com/nexus/5/ (the current one can't be visited by countries outside US)

Strangely it's working here in India, but don't have the option to buy yet.

US and Canada.

US and Canada and France at least.

And probably a few more countries.

Germany too, but the 16GB is sold out

...and Australia.

Any chance of a Nexus 3 for people who don't want a tablet in their pocket?

I'd really love it if there were a 4" or 4.3" phone that still featured high-end specs. Unfortunately most of the "mini" devices seem to be intentionally bad in comparison to the flagships.

If they weren't so expensive, I'd rather have the much smaller iPhone 5S than a Nexus 5, but the price is so cheap I can't really justify going with Apple.

There was a time when I was on-board with the large-screen phone trend, but now that I have a tablet that I take pretty much everywhere, I don't really need a gigantic smartphone in addition to it.

I had a play with a whole bunch of small to mid-size Android phones and concluded that the S4 mini is quite nice. It isn't as anemic relative to the S4 as the S3 mini was to the S3, and it looks and feels good. It's about the size of a Galaxy S2 for reference (seems weird that that's now a small to medium size phone, when I owned one I hated how big it was).

Look at the Sony Z1f.

That actually looks close to perfect. Unfortunately early price estimates put it not too far from the iPhone 5S.

It's a high-end phone, just like iPhone 5S. If you want a mid-range phone, you can look at cheaper ones.

The Nexus 5 is also a high-end phone that's spec-comparable to the iPhone 5S. For me, and I think a lot of other people, the Nexus brand has come to mean high specs, stock software, future upgrades and low price. Those asking for an iPhone-size Nexus are asking for a device under $400.

I think apple, google and amazon are in a unique position because they can sell hardware at or below cost. These companies have other ways in which to make money off the userbase. Its hard to expect hardware companies to be able to cope with this. What this means in the long term I dont know, but I think its going to become increasingly harder for pure hardware companies to beat ecosystem companies on cost.

In a way, it's kind of a relief that they're taking the bloat road.

With many tech products, I find myself lusting after stuff I really don't need, but with phones these days, it's more like "OMG! That looks so cool! I gotta ... oh wait it's the size of a kitchen table."

What I'm going to do when my current phone dies, though, I dunno... TT

Haha, I had the same conclusion when I upgraded this past January. I was looking at the top-end phones, and every single one was at least 4.7 inches, and most of them larger. I ended up with a mid-spec HTC Incredible 4G which is 4 inches, and I refuse to go larger than that.

In the end, it saved me about a hundred bucks!

That's what I was thinking when I was rather sorely disappointed by the measurements. I still use a Nexus One (AMOLED) and am generally very happy with it, though I would like to get Android 4.* (which I can't without repartitioning my already rooted phone and then running a system that was never meant to support this hardware). I like the older 3.7" form factor. The Nexus 5 is about 1cm wider and 2cm longer, which is a lot... Guess I will skip yet another generation of modern Android device and just keep on rocking an ancient CM7 "nightly".

Honestly, I recommend the HTC First. I have one, it's the perfect size, 720p screen, solid specs. You can get one for a song these days and FB home turns off with a couple taps. You probably won't get 4.4, though...

The HTC First was discontinued, and mostly repackaged into the 'HTC One mini'. You'd be better to look at the Moto X

Seriously the best deal on the used market right now. I got one about a month ago for $140 shipped from gazelle through their ebay store.

From what I have read, the radios in the HTC First lock you into AT&T. On T-Mobile, you will only get 2G speeds.

Nope, I get 4G. On the old bands, that would have been true, but not any more.

My first foray into Android was with a Motorola Defy. It was actually a really good little phone. 3.7" with a x800 resolution.

Unfortunately it bricked and I fell back to my spare Nokia N95 which is taped together. Having a taped-together phone (with water damage which affects call quality) isn't really where I want to be but I refuse to purchase any of these huge new phones. I just want something that fits in my pocket, has a >= x800 resolution and can act as a wifi hotspot. My tablet can take care of the rest.

The Nexus 5 is actually physically smaller in all dimensions than the Nexus 4.

Nexus 5: 69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59 mm [1]

Nexus 4: 68.7 x 133.9 x 9.1mm [2]

It's wider, taller but half a mm thinner.

[1] http://www.google.com.au/nexus/5/ [2] http://www.google.com.au/nexus/4/

I'd convinced myself that it was significantly bigger to avoid being tempted by it, and maintaining this disillusionment through sheer laziness. Seeing those numbers has me checking my bank account. You are a very bad man.

Thanks for posting this. I was worried about the phone growing too large; I think it's safe to say I won't notice the extra half-millimeter of width (for something I hold in one hand, width is the "usability" dimension).

4.95" 1920x1080 display (445 ppi), it reads. Does those specs make this phone the one with highest DPI ever? It is certainly above retina display, right?

The ppi race is the new megapixel race.

Who needs pixel perfection 200 ppi beyond what the human eye can perceive? No one. But the show must go on.

245 ppi is nowhere near what the human eye can perceive. You can make all kinds of assumptions about view distance and so on, but higher resolution is almost always a better thing when rendering text, rich content, and so on. You kind of sound like the people of the past who said "we'll never need a terabyte of storage" or "256 MB of RAM is enough for anyone" and so on.

Just because you can't perceive individual pixels doesn't mean you can't perceive higher quality. Imagine if you wanted to draw a human hair to scale, you would need some small pixels to make that look good.

However in most smartphone use cases, that's probably not an issue.

In that particular use case, what stops you from laying an actual human hair onto your screen? I just had to take one of it, so they go there out of their own volition.

There is definitely a need for high ppi screens as new VR devices like the Oculus Rift come out.

Its quite funny how the smartphone revolution will finally make VR devices viable.

Oculus Rift style VR devices need screens with even higher density. I'm glad the show is continuing.

Well 1080p is nice in that it is quite widespread standard and as such eg display cloning from your phone to a desktop monitor/tv/projector should be trivial. Also you can play media content without needing to downscale (albeit this is fairly minor advantage).

What the human eye can perceive is dependent on the distance between the eye and the screen. Perhaps some people like to hold the screen very close.

Indeed - I'd rather have more battery life.

It has come really far when my new phone has a higher pixel ratio than my two-year-old 15 inch laptop

It's insane that this phone has a better screen than a great deal of laptops for sale these days. The laptop manufacturers need to get with the program :-/

Forget laptops; this is where most desktop displays top out! It's ridiculous that some manufacturers literally sell 27" displays with the same number of pixels as this phone's 5" screen.

You can thank marketing, again, for that. "High Definition" came along and it seems the only resolutions people could now think of were 720 and 1080. I had a CRT monitor in 1999 that was doing 1600x1200. I also have a 16:10 monitor right now, which they seem to be moving away from and going to 16:9. Desktops are now caught between the forces of TV and mobile devices.

I was monitor shopping recently and finally decided simply not to upgrade for now after becoming fed up with seeing the "full HD" moniker used all over as if it were the end of display history.

4K, 24", reasonably affordable. When it happens, I won't mind if the desktop display market gets stuck in that rut for awhile.

HTC One, 468 ppi

Unlike the S4, it's IPS. Better colors, not as high contrast ratio.

Much preferred. Glad they're following HTC in making an iPhone-class display.

That's almost identical to the Galaxy S4, 441ppi

Nope. My HTC One, which I love, has a higher DPI. I'm not sure what it matters at that level though. Great will look great.

my friend working at Samsung, tells me internal joke, that there must be a very well paid guy at Google HQ whos sole responsibility is to figure out how to cripple Nexus devices (micro SD slot, battery) and distribution (limited rollout to only bunch of countries) in order to NOT alienate other Android manufacturers.

The HTC One and LG G2 (which is closely related to the Nexus 5 by all accounts) also lack removable storage and batteries, as do all Apple phones and tablets ever.

Most people don't seem to care. I care, but I still bought a Nexus 5 because it's barely over half the price of most anything comparable.

It's also $200-$300 cheaper than other manufacturer's top offerings, so...

> limited rollout to only bunch of countries

Nokia used the same trick with their N9 phone.

In order to not alienate Microsoft... Luckily, I got one anyway.

If Nexus 4 is any indication, they will be available in other countries pretty soon as well, just not directly from Google, and they will be sold as LG Nexus 5, not Google Nexus 5.

In lost and forgotten European countries like Latvia, it will arrive much later, hopefully before Xmas

"Sorry! Devices on Google Play is not available in your country yet. We're working to bring devices to more countries as quickly as possible. Please check back again soon."

I still don't understand why they only sell this in some EU countries and not others. Friends in the know tell me it's something to do with certification which seems strange inside the EU.

But even if that's the case surely they could just show me the damn page and then tell me they can't ship to my address. That's what Amazon does for some things anyway. At least that way I could look at the damn thing and potentially have it shipped somewhere else.

I think it's just simple economics- they would have weighed up the Google Play income they get from various markets and the benefits they get from subsidising the device in relation to that. I live in New Zealand which is just too small a market for them to worry about, even though it would be simple to ship here from Australia. We'll still get the device, like any other, but through LG's distributor's rather than from Google.

Maybe EU should fine google like they do microsoft. But the countries tat actually make those decisions don't get that message. So much for the EU equality.

It seems like they are "metering" the sales by making them available at a certain rate.

When I first went to the play store site, it showed "sold out". Later on, I refreshed the page randomly and it showed the price tag button which lets you order. I tried to order it, but by the time I got to the checkout page it showed my shopping cart as empty. Going back to the front page showed "sold out again".

I waited a while, reloaded once in a while until I saw the price button again, and clicked through really fast to the checkout screen and I was able to purchase one.

Your mileage may vary.

Are there any reviews out yet on the echo cancellation? The Nexus 4 suffers from a bug that makes most VOIP apps useless. [1] Even though this should have been fixed by now, I would upgrade to the Nexus 5 if it only fixes this.

1. https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=41626

The underlying problem of that bug (missing audiofx support) was fixed with the Android 4.3 update. It's up to app developers to make use of the APIs now. See comment #20 on the page you linked in your post, where I describe the issue in more detail.

Thank you, I didn't know it was fixed. I did see your comment before and thought that those APIs still were not accessible. But I've seen good reviews of CSipSimple on Nexus 4 recently, suggesting that the problem may have been fixed.

The sensor list has an interesting addition (Hall Effect). I'd be curious to see how it's implemented and how to interface with it. Possibly connected with the wireless charging support?

Sensors: Accelerometer GPS Compass Proximity/Ambient Light Gyroscope Pressure Hall Effect

I suspect it is for covers, like the one for SGS3[1], and allow automatic sleep when cover is closed, like what Kindle does.

[1] http://www.samsung.com/us/system/consumer/accessory/ef/c1/g6...

Likely for the smart case you see linked on the bottom of the page - likely when a magnet is brought near it goes to sleep, and wakes when it's moved away.

I just ordered one, but I'm currently on Verizon. What does everyone think is the best way to go in terms of non-contract carriers for the N5? Heard some good things about Straight Talk, but also read that their customer service is horrible.

T-Mobile has non-contract plans.


Scroll alllll the way down to the bottom, look for the $30/month plans. They include 5 GB of data per month at 4G speeds, after that you're throttled. I've never come anywhere near to hitting that limit, so I don't know what the throttle is.

You can order a SIM card online, or pick one up in a store.


Once the SIM is in your hand, then you can go into one of their stores or online to get one of the $30/month options.

What size sim does the Nexus 5 take?

By the way T-Mobile sims are temporarily free instead of $10 http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phone/T-Mobile-Na... http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phone/T-Mobile-Mi...

Do you know if T-Mobile has improved in the Phoenix area? The website shows 'excellent' coverage around here, but all I read online is horror stories of not having any signal in buildings etc. Apparently they wanted to work on that in the last 6-10 months, but I haven't heard anything about it since.

T-Mobile is great in the east valley for me - the only place I can't get a signal is in my home office in my house, but that seems to be some kind of odd wireless signal black hole in general. Most of the time I have a 4G signal with quite decent speeds.

I travel all around the valley, and rarely ever have any signal issues with T-Mobile, in the places I do have issues Verizon phones are the only ones with signals.

Where I live(Sun Dance) Verizon phones have little to no signal while I have 3-4 bars.

I am currently on this plan (on a Nexus 4), and it works quite well for me. There's also a 100 minutes talk time limit on the plan, with 10C per minute for extra talk time.

Hmm looking at my recent statements, I'm always between like 150 and 375 minutes, so even with the 10c per minute extra, I'd never be looking at more than $60/month at worst. I'm assuming nights and weekends still don't count as minutes on this plan?

There are no free nights and weekends with this plan.

Everything counts, but you can be strategic about usage - dialing via Google Voice from a laptop keeps me well under 100.

Never assume. Always read the contract language carefully.

Sorry, I used confusing language there. It was meant as a question for people who have the plan. There are scant details about the plan on the website.

"This plan is only available for devices purchased from Wal-Mart or devices activated on T-Mobile.com"

What is a device activated on t-mobile.com? And how do you select it?

Buy a sim card from their website and activate at home. Only way to not get that deal is to go to a T-Mobile store.

Order a sim card from T-Mobile, put in the phone, and follow the online activation steps. Make sure you get the right size sim card (regular vs. mini). I originally got the wrong one for my nexus 4.

I checked out the page, but it looks to me that the $30/month plans are just data. Am I looking at it wrong, or does that include voice and text as well?

They have one that's $30/month for 100 minutes talk + unlimited text and web (first 5GB at 4G speeds) which I think is what he was talking about. It's just below the "pay by the day" section.

I'm on Straight Talk and love it. But I've never had to deal with support. It's really easy to set up, the price is awesome (less than $50 for pseudo-unlimited everything including taxes), and it just works. And that's on the auto-renew plan. I'm not sure if I'll ever need support (can't see why at this point), but I do know that Tracphone has in the past provided poor customer service (when I used to use a cheap pre-paid phone through them). I do believe they put more into providing better customer service to their Straight Talk customers though. Anyway, I definitely recommend it. Far cheaper than AT&T and Verizon pre-paid/non-contract options and, for my usage patterns, every bit as good.

Keep in mind that my data usage is predominantly for Google Maps about town (in the Greater San Diego area), internet browsing, and occasionally streaming Pandora. I can't speak to how it would work to do much streaming video over Straight Talk. But for my needs, I'm very happy. I get what I want at a price (finally!) that I'm willing to pay. Versus how we used to pay AT&T something like $140/month (for two phones) for very few minutes (the smallest anytime minutes plan we could get), unlimited texting, and a couple hundred megabytes of data (as I recall).

T-mobile has a $30 prepaid plan that looks pretty good (100 minutes talk, unlimited text and "unlimited" [throttled after 5gb] data).

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans, click "Which plan is right for you?"

100 minutes of talk is pretty meagre I would rather opt for MetroPCS starting from $40 a month with unlimited talk, data and text.


The "unlimited" data on that plan is only 500MB of HSPA speeds. The 30-dollar T-mobile plan only starts throttling after 5 GB of data.

Once you go over 100 minutes, it simply starts charging from whatever balance you have on your account. You'll get a recorded message warning you, then I think it's $0.10/minute thereafter.

I usually stay under 100 minutes or go just up to the edge. If I'm at home and expect to be on hold or talk for a long time, I'll just use Google Voice from my computer, which is better than holding a phone anyway.

I look at it this way:

Plan #1: $30 for 100 minutes, with $0.10 a minute afterwards.

Plan #2: $40 for unlimited minutes with MetroPCS.

So, if I manage to talk less than 100min + ($50 - $40)/$0.10 = 200 minutes per month, then I end up spending less than I would on the MetroPCS plan.

I talk well over 300 minutes a month but I get your point

I ordered mine today as well (also a current verizon customer). No T-Mobile coverage here, but AT&T has some reasonably new Go Phone plans. I'm doing the $60/m unlimited talk/text w/2gigs 3g/4g data and options to buy more (you won't get mysteriously throttled). You'll also get access to ATT support rather than deal with something like Straight Talk. I would love to use Straight Talk but I can't risk my phone/sim being messed up for any long periods dealing with poor support. Even with the AT&T plan I'll save about $15/m (compared to Verizon) which will nearly cover my phone purchase over 2 years.

I've had Straight Talk for a year. I setup auto-pay, got my SIM cards, and have never needed support. My data usage is always under 2GB and I'm aware of using WiFi where possible. It's been a dream.

I've also never had a good customer experience with AT&T, Verizon, etc.

I've been on Straight Talk since I got a Galaxy Nexus over a year ago. Their customer service isn't great, but I never really have to deal with them. Just drop in the SIM, set up auto-pay, and blacklist their spammy reminder texts, and it's fine.

I think their data cap is around 2GB, but I've never come near that. What are you guys who are breaking 5GB caps doing with your phones anyways? The plan is unlimited voice, which is nice, since TMobile's 100min voice can be a little limiting sometimes.

I'm on Straight Talk and got flagged by their system.

Went 1 day without data access, a few days with limited connection (very slow) and a few weeks later they disabled my hotspotting ability.

I was using my phone as a wifi hotspot since I don't have internet at home.

That would be what their flagging is set up to catch...

Yep. They're very explicit in their literature about not using your device running on Straight Talk as a hotspot (tethering). It's clear enough that you don't even have to read the fine print to know it is the case. I think they print it in large letters somewhere but I can't remember.

I had straight talk for a bit. If I used more than 2GB of data in a month they would threaten to cancel my service. I'm not sure how much you use but that's something to be wary of. Otherwise, my service was fine. They didn't do LTE at the time so I was stuck with 3G.

There is widespread LTE on Straight Talk on both T-Mobile and AT&T in my area (Austin).

Did they threaten you about not using online media streaming?

They just said that I shouldn't do it much. They were fairly polite about it. I seem to recall there being a line in their user agreement that mentions prohibition of audio and video streaming, though I suppose it's not really enforced unless you exceed the limit consistently.

I'm in a major city (so coverage is good on most networks), but T-Mobile has a $30/mo, pay-as-you-go plan for unlimited text/data and 100 minutes of talk (which isn't a problem if you use something like Google Voice).

I'm on this plan and the biggest issue I've run into is that while the data is "unlimited", after 5GB it's throttled to frustratingly slow 2G speeds.

I was under the impression it was 5GB 4G then 3G from there, but it is not so.

That's right. "High speed" is 3G and "4g"

Google Voice by itself uses minutes. It's not a real VOIP app[1], but more like a hack that uses google as a phone proxy.

[1] Like https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snrblabs.g... or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.moplus.gvp...

Google Hangouts on iPhone is voip, and there are plenty of other voip apps you could use instead so you don't have to use the cellular minutes.

Whats the preferred way to get google voice working on android ?

I am regretting the GV port I did when I moved to the Nexus line. All my friends like to MMS/ group text and I've had to revert to the base number of my sim card to communicate with my close friends.

With regards to one of the up the stream comments, I love the T-Mobile $30/mo 100min, unlimited text, 5gb 4g plan on my Nexus 4.

The GrooveIP app allows VoIP calling through Google Voice on Android.


You can install it from Play. It's straightforward.


It's not so straightforward if Google thinks you are not in the US.

Right, if Google doesn't think you are in the US, you won't be able to download Voice from Play. Which is really annoying if you actually are in the US...

I had to deal with this problem earlier this month, and the answer here fixed the issue for me: http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/44677/how-to-chan...

That has always been the case, but is not so today. Google Play knows where I am as it offered the Nexus5 in Japanese Yen. Nevertheless I successsfully installed Google Voice just now.

Can you set it up? I've always been able to install the APK, but if you don't already have a GV number, it wants to send an SMS to a real phone number as part of the setup, and that number needed to be American.

As you say, cannot set it up. I guess nothing has changed.

Straight Talk is the way I would go. They have Unlimited Data, Text, and Voice all for 45 bucks.. If my wife didn't upgrade her iPhone a couple of months ago, we'd be switching to that. Save us a ton of money a month.

I'd do GoPhone if you need more coverage than T-Mobile will give you. $60 for 2 gigs isn't bad. And you're on the same APN as post-paid AT&T, so you get full access to LTE, etc.

Aio looks pretty good. I'm not sure how long they'll last, given that ATT is trying to merge them with Cricket, if their buyout goes through.

Aio Wireless is owned by AT&T

that's what he said...

It's disappointing that they're already sold out, less than an hour after this link was posted. After last year's debacle, I was expecting Google to prepare appropriately for the release.

It's quite depressing that a 350$ phone will probably translate to 460€ in Belgium and the Netherlands. That's 626$ if you use the official exchange course between euro's and dollars.

We don't have phones on Google Play.

EDIT: Strike that, it's dropped to 399€, that's still 543$.

$349/$399 isn't the price before taxes?

I'm not American so I'm not sure, but I think prices in America are always listed before taxes, while they're listed after taxes in Europe.

This makes it still cheaper in the USA than in Europe, but the margin is way smaller.

You are of course right, but I'm not sure if people in the US ordering over the internet actually pay sales tax on devices ordered from the google play store. It might depend on what state they're in though.

The 32GB came out to about $445 after taxes and shipping in WA, a state with a relatively higher sales tax but no income tax. Since used 16GB iPhone 5/5c models are going for around $400 on Craigslist in the Seattle area, I think this phone is something of a bargain.

I'm getting 349€ from France.

In France it's 349€ for 16GB, 399€ for 32GB (+ 9.99€ shipping). Currently will ship by Nov 8th. (The VAT (tax) is included in the price).

On the Play store probably, which doesn't sell physical devices here.

I can't be the only one thinking $350 for a phone you'll get rid of or hopefully trade-in in two years, is still a lot of money. Firefox, get your ass in gear and improve your OS!

Why would a new OS lower the price of the phones? Its the hardware that is expensive. In addition, in case of Nexus smartphones, it looks more like Google subsidised them, lowering the price.

US price (San Francisco):

$349 + 8.75% tax = $380

French price (without tax for companies):

349E - 19.6% tax = 292E = $403

Does that price include VAT? Many americans will pay an additional 5-10% over the list price due to local sales tax laws.

How much is the iphone 5s for comparision?

700€ for the 5S and 600€ for the 5C.

Nearly ordered one. Last minute I though "Is this phone going to anything my nexus 4 can't?" And the answer was nope for me

The Nexus 4 camera is the worst camera to ever grace the Nexus line.

My Nexus 4 camera is better than my Nexus One and my Nexus S. Did the Galaxy Nexus have an amazing camera or something? All I heard was people complaining about that one too.

It seems your comment doesn't fit with reality. ;)

I have a G1, does that count? :)

aiaf is likely talking from a relative perspective, and the G1, Nexus One, Galaxy Nexus S...they all were somewhat in line with contemporaries. The Nexus 4 was a massive regression compared to its kin.

It was said in jest.

I don't think it is your case..But I just want to tell you my personal story about why my dad kept on complaining that the camera is bad on Nexus 4. It turns out that there is a screen protector on his Nexus 4's back that actually COVERS the camera. The other two Nexus 4 I bought for myself and my bf also had screen protectors on its back but it was not covering the cameras.... So yeah..

Even worse than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus?

What's it got that the Nexus 4 doesn't have? I'm pretty happy with my 4, which I just got a few months ago. I suppose I'll wait for the 6. After that they're going to have to think of a new name because there's already a Nexus 7...

I don't think they're making a 6 inch version. I can see the case for a 5inch and a 7inch. In the future they'll probably just keep making 5 7 and 10.

It has LTE, which might not be worth an upgrade from the Nexus 4 if you already have it, but now the Nexus line is worth buying... for me anyway.

This actually has LTE?

So does a rooted Nexus 4. It's got an LTE chip, and the N4 just got an FCC certification for LTE, so there might even be an official firmware update in the works to turn it on without rooting.

AFAIK the Nexus 4 only does two LTE bands, and only works with T-Mobile (and even then not all their bands)

Weird links on Play store. The default link takes you to the 16gb black version but doesnt show the other options.

This link shows me both colors as well as 16/32 gb options. https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_5_whi...

So the device is unavailable in Canada. Is this going to be another Nexus 4 debacle, with nowhere near enough stock to meet demand? If so, how long until we get another "email me when there's more in stock" app?

The device was available for about 20 minutes before running out. Sounds identical to the Nexus 4 so far...

No. The 16GB black sold out temporarily.

All models are currently available (72 minutes after launch), but with a "leaves warehouse by 11/8" instead of 11/5 ship date.

Just saw this, just tried and nothing available in Canada, not even on pre-order :(

The 32gb version is still available.

I thought Canada was still in love with blackberry. It makes me wonder if this is some sort of marketing ploy microsoft tried with the surface having lines and being sold out.

Was the Canadian populace ever in love with Blackberry?

No more than any other country.

The Canadian media was in love with Blackberry.

Obviously, but does the Canadian media alone cause a Nexus cellphone to sell out within an hour? :P

I haven't seen a blackberry in the wild in 3 or 4 years.

I see a lot of bb10s in the financial district in Toronto. A few friends hav them and love them, too. shrug

The Surface lines weren't marketing ploys. They just happened to consist mainly of excited MSFT employees.

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