After two months of regular use, are we still enamored with Google’s latest Nexus phone?
It feels like the Nexus 5 was a long time coming. A couple of days before the IFA conference in early September 2013, I remember being huddled over a MacBook in a hotel bar in Berlin with a handful of other journalists, squinting over this still from Google’s KitKat unveiling video and trying to make out details on the back of this mysterious new Nexus phone. The two months that followed led us down a garden path of leaks, rumors and gossip as Google’s next flagship slowly came into focus — culminating in a couple of high-profile snafus that gave us a full-size render of the phone, along with a mostly-complete spec list, days ahead of the official launch.
Yet when the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 finally arrived on Nov. 1 — having been announced a day earlier, on Halloween — it turned out there was more going on than the pre-release rumors had revealed. Sure, the Nexus 5 was a high-spec'd phone at a relatively low price point. But more important was KitKat, the biggest change to Android in two years, delivering a brighter, flatter, more Googley smartphone experience. It was a big step forward for Google’s OS, and one of the most important Android phones of the year.
Since launch we’ve had a good couple of months to get to know the Nexus 5 properly, using it both as a regular day-to-day smartphone, and as a daily driver during CES, one of the busiest trade shows of the year. The N5 is still a great phone, but the extra time with it has given us a fresh perspective. Check out our long-term thoughts after the break.