The Nexus 5 is definitely one of the best Android smartphones of the year, but how do the official accessories for the device stack up against the equally intense competition? Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at the official accessories for the Nexus 5, which include the LG QuickCover case, the Nexus 5 bumper case, and the Nexus Wireless Charger. Let’s get started!
Nexus Wireless Charger
The comparisons with last year’s Nexus Wireless Charging Orb are bound to be made, and it’s safe to say that Google corrected some of the issues that were prevalent with the predecessor. While the Orb featured an ideal 45 degree angle, there was no way to hold the device in place, resulting in the phone sometimes sliding down and obviously, no longer charging. To correct that issue, the new Nexus Wireless Charging is flat, small platform. It also has a built in magnet where the charging mechanism is located. All you need to do is slide the device on it, and let the magnets do the rest.
The surface of the charging pad is a glossy plastic, while the rest of the unit has a matte finish. The bottom of the charger also has an anti-slip rubber grip that keeps it in place. It’s a sleek looking accessory and does exactly what it’s supposed to do, charge your device. While not the fastest way, charging your device for 20 minutes will get you around 15% worth of charge on the Nexus Wireless Charger.
One thing that was good about the Orb, and missing with the current version is the angle, which would have been great for watching videos while the phone was charging. Of course, it’s not impossible now, but watching a video while the phone is flat is certainly inconvenient.
The Qi-standard based charger will also work with other Qi-enabled smartphones or tablets, so this wireless charging pad is not necessarily restricted to only the Nexus 5. The overall build, feel, and construction feels well thought out and in place. The Nexus Wireless Charger is definitely not an accessory just for the sake of having one, and does seem to be worth its $50 price tag. The Nexus Wireless Charger is available from the Google Play Store.
LG QuickCover Case
With the large displays of the current crop of high-end smartphones, protection for the front has become more important than ever, leading to the rise of flip cover cases. The official flip case for the Nexus 5 is the LG QuickCover case, which is available in two color options, white and black. One of the expected features of a good flip case, which is also featured with the QuickCover, is the ability to turn your screen on and off when the flip cover is opened or closed. In this case, you also get to see your notifications without needing to unlock the device, or press the power button.
The case features a soft touch rubber build material, giving it a similar feeling to the back of the Black Nexus 5, or the Nexus 7 (2013). The inside of the case is a soft velvet material, that helps to keep the screen scratch-free. All the cut outs on the case are precise, and the case feels solid overall. Of course, with build material such as this, the case is unfortunately a fingerprint magnet. The fingerprints can be wiped off easily enough, but is certainly an inconvenience. The LG QuickCover is a very good case, but whether it’s worth the $50 investment, when there are numerous third-party options at far cheaper prices, is entirely up to you. You can pick up the LG QuickCover case from the Google Play Store.
Nexus 5 Bumper Case
If you’re looking for something more colorful than the “boring” white and black options, the Nexus 5 Bumper Case is the way to go. While not featuring a flip cover, the bumper case does its job well, and includes more color options such as red, yellow, grey, and black. The case fits very snugly around the device, leaving no gaps or room for movement, and should do a good job of protecting the smartphone overall. Even with the tight fit, the Bumper case feels more like a hard shell, then any other generic silicone case, and is definitely sturdy.
The power button and volume rocker are also protected, and this is where a slight issue creeps up. Pressing the buttons does require a breaking in period, but it does become easier after a few days.
Like with the other two Nexus 5 accessories, you’re paying a premium for the Bumper case, which is priced at $35. The Nexus branding at the back (the only case to feature this), and the color options while certainly make your device stand out and prove it’s “official-ness”, but I’m still not convinced it’s worth its high price tag. The Nexus 5 Bumper Case is currently available from the Google Play Store.
So there you have it! A quick look at the official Nexus 5 accessories. Apart from the high price points, another knock against Google is the delay with which the accessories are launched. These products became available more than a few weeks after the launch of the smartphone, allowing for third-party manufacturers to have their cases ready to go, which leads to a lot of people not waiting around to give the official cases a chance.