Google releases one Nexus phone each year, and there is always plenty of competition from Android vendors to compare it to. We’re going to have a look at how the new LG Nexus 5 stands up against the best of the competition, and the LG G2 seemed like the logical place to start.
A lot of folks are under the impression that the Nexus 5 is just the G2 with the buttons moved to the “normal” location. While they certainly share some of the same components, and have some of the same hardware features, they are two very different animals.
Hit the break and have a look.
There are plenty of differences on the outside of the phones. Where the G2 is soft and rounded, the Nexus 5 is hard and angular. The edges and corners look different, and give an entirely different feel to the hardware. The Nexus 5 has a soft-touch coating (which is more prominent on the black version), while the G2 has a glossy piano black finish. Another obvious difference is the earpiece, which follows the more traditional style on the G2 and is a tiny circle on the Nexus 5.
The buttons, of course, are very different. The Nexus 5 has ceramic (which has to be good even though nobody seems to know why) volume and power buttons, placed on the side of the phones where you would expect them to be. The G2 has its buttons boldly placed around the back. Some users love them there, while some just aren’t feeling it. There’s also a slight size difference, with the G2 being a hair wider, but you’ll probably not notice it.
The screens are also different, though both are excellent. The size difference of 0.25-inches isn’t very noticeable (it’s measured diagonally and the G2 is a little bigger) and the resolution is the same at 1080p. The pixel density is slightly higher on the Nexus 5 at 445ppi compared to the G2’s 424ppi, but nobody is going to notice the difference there. The one big difference is something you won’t be able to see and that is that the Nexus 5 ships with Gorilla Glass 3 instead of Gorilla Glass 2 as used on the G2. As any Star Wars fan can tell you, three is not automatically better than two, so we’ll hold any judgment here until we’ve some time under our belt. Both are pretty scratch resistant, but aren’t magic — take care of these great screens if you want them to stay looking good.
We like the look and feel of both, to be honest, but if I were forced to pick I would give the nod to the Nexus 5. Matte, soft touch finishes just feel better than glossy hard finishes. The G2’s button placement doesn’t bother me very much now that I’ve gotten used to it, and any size differences are negligible. It all comes down to the finish of the materials.
Again, there’s a lot of similarity. Chances are they share some of the same engineering and components, simply because they were developed in tandem by LG. This is a good thing, because in general these are both some kickin’ smartphones.
The same quad-core Snapdragon S800 lurks in both, and delivers blazing performance on your home screen, in your favorite apps, and in any games. Paired with 2GB of RAM and the great memory management brought to Android with Jelly Bean (and refined in KitKat), both these phones will chew through anything you throw at them.
The basics are covered on both , with dual-band ac Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE on both phones, as well as an array of useful sensors. A slight tip to the Nexus 5 here for the inclusion of a barometer, which should be more prominent in future location services.
On the hardware function side, you’ll see little difference between these devices. But the similarity we see in the hardware soon disappears when we turn the phones on.
Both phones run on the Android platform, but things are very different between them. The G2 runs Android 4.2.2, while the Nexus 5 runs the latest version — Android 4.4 KitKat. This matters more to developers who are targeting specific APIs than it does to the end user, even though the general consensus is that 4.4 is better because the number is bigger. There are a few fixes and new features, but nothing very user facing that LG hasn’t put in their version — Like BT Low Energy support.
Of course, LG — like other Android vendors — has completely changed the UI so the underlying platform is disguised. Both KitKat on the Nexus 5 and LG’s UI on the G2 have some compelling features — Q-Slide and the Google Now launcher both come to mind as powerful and compelling features. Both have their fans, and rightfully so.
It’s also worth mentioning that most of the software features we see in KitKat are really application specific features, and will be available to the G2. We’ve already had a taste with the new Google+ photo features, and if you haven’t already side-loaded the Hangouts app from the Nexus 5 to your G2, we both salute your patience and wonder what’s wrong with you. The biggest feature of the Nexus 5’s software, and Nexus devices in general, is that they are bare, bloat-free, and designed for any and all Android applications to work out of the box.
The Nexus 5 has a decent camera. It can be greater than “excellent sufficient” for any image you wish to have to publish to Fb or Google+, and it is simply one of the best Nexus digicam ever. Having mentioned that, the G2 is well the easier of the 2.
It is no longer the Mega-Pixel depend — the G2 has thirteen whereas the Nexus 5 has eight — and each have what seems to be superb optical picture stabilization. We’re beautiful happy that Google has hardware in situation to make for an important digital camera on the nexus 5, however like the whole lot else, the variations come right down to the instrument.
We do not imply simply the digital camera app UI. The KitKat digicam is apparent, boring, and as common as we’re used to from earlier variations. LG however, has put some money and time into the digital camera controls on the G2. Inclusions like Time-Capture or are living view colour results are issues that individuals appear to love, and lots of of them are in digital camera purposes that you could obtain and set up proper from Google Play. Whereas you could’t reproduction the G2 digital camera options to your Nexus 5, that you would be able to set up apps with a variety of their very own.
However we won’t exchange the instrument that creates footage from uncooked digital camera picture knowledge. Tool used to construct .jpg information from picture knowledge is sophisticated, and dear to license. It can be nearly all patent-harassed as neatly, which makes it tough so as to add to a cellphone you propose to unencumber manufacturing facility restoration pictures for. First impressions say the Nexus 5 has extra of this tool incorporated than previous Nexus telephones, however the in reality excellent stuff from avid gamers like Sony or Kodak is one thing we doubtless is not going to see in a Googlephone. That is just right and unhealthy, and we’re satisfied that Google has to maintain the headache and we do not.
The underside line is that the G2 digital camera is a a lot better shooter than the Nexus 5. If a just right digital camera is essential to you, preserve this in thoughts.
The ultimate opinion
That you would be able to’t go fallacious with both of those telephones. Actually, having them each right here facet with the aid of aspect makes for a rattling close to inconceivable option.
The Nexus 5 wins on worth — that is a given. Additionally, if model numbers or new options topic to you, you might be most definitely with a Nexus 5.
In case you like a extra full expertise, the place all of the apps and lines share the identical design language and you are no longer pressured to discuss with Google Play to spherical issues out, you can relish the G2. Likewise, there may be a superb opportunity any “new” options that come to Android within the subsequent model are already incorporated to your cellphone, or might be to be had as a separate utility from Google.
We simply cannot let you know which of those two telephones to decide on. However we will let you know that they may be each lovely rattling nice.