Google unveiled its latest flagship smartphone of the season, the Nexus 5. The unlocked device runs Android 4.4 KitKat and costs $349 (16GB) and $399 (32GB). Sprint and T-Mobile will carry it, with the former selling it for $49.99 on contract. The device will work on AT&T's network as well, though the carrier will not sell it in stores.
Similar to the Nexus 7 tablet, the handset displays a simple vertically lined Nexus logo, and a subtle LG logo on the back. Subdued and restrained, the Nexus 5 has done away with the lustrous, tile-patterned back that we saw previously, and replaced it with a matte material.
Sporting the biggest screen yet in relation to past Nexuses, the phone has a 4.95-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display. Keeping up with its competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the Nexus 5's touch screen has a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and 445ppi.
The device measures 5.43 inches tall and 2.72 inches wide. It's thinner and lighter than the prior model, at 0.34 inches thick and 4.59 ounces. Comfortable to hold, the Nexus 5 feels sturdy and dense in the hand.
Of course, a Nexus just wouldn't be a Nexus without it running the latest edition of Android. With high hopes of limiting fragmentation and increasing the number of devices compatible with Android 4.4 KitKat, Google slimmed down the OS to a 512MB memory profile.
The camera also has HDR+. Like the HDR mode seen in many camera phones, this feature takes several shots at different exposures and combines them to make an ideal image. However, HDR+ also detects moving objects and takes a burst of photos to select the sharpest image.
Since the advent of Google Now, which has been around since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, users have been able to begin a Web search by saying, "OK, Google." But with KitKat, you can also access it by swiping left on your home screen, in addition to holding down the home button.
With Wi-Fi turned off and LTE activated, the Nexus 5's 2,300mAh nonremovable battery has a reported talk time of up to 17 hours. When both are activated, Google says, the device lasts 300 hours on standby. Internet tests reportedly yielded 8.5 hours on Wi-Fi and 7 hours on LTE.