Nexus 5 officially introduced by Google

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| Published: October 31, 2013

Nexus 5 black official

It's finally happened. After countless leaks, rumors and other miscellany, the Nexus 5 is finally official. Google just made its new Nexus smartphone officially official, confirming the device's spec list as well as the fact that LG has once again been tapped as a Nexus manufacturer. As expected, the Nexus 5 features a 4.95-inch 1920x1080 display and 1.3-megapixel camera on its face, as well as an 8-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization on its backside.

Inside of the Nexus 5's body lives a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of storage. There's also a bundle of radios in there that enable support for things like NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE. Finally, Google has included a 2300mAh battery to power the whole package, as well as support for wireless charging.

On the software side of things, the Nexus 5 comes preloaded with Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. New KitKat features include a new full-screen immersive mode that hides all of the phone's system UI, allowing the content that's on display to take up every part of the screen. While in immersive mode, performing an edge swipe from the top or bottom of the display will reveal the system UI, which will then disappear again after a few seconds.

Another big feature of Android 4.4 is a focus on low-end hardware. Google says its worked to streamline memory use in KitKat and add new APIs and other tools to make its new OS run fast and smoothly on hardware with as little as 512MB of RAM. All of the other new features named in last night's leaked report appear to have made the cut as well, including support for NFC transactions through Host Card Emulation, new step detector and step counter sensors and support for both IR blasters and Bluetooth HID over GATT. Some of the other new goodies included with Google's latest dessert include:

  • Improved Phone app that can search contacts, nearby places and Google Apps accounts
  • Wireless printing from a phone or tablet
  • Closed captioning support
  • Redesigned Downloads and Email apps
  • Ability to launch voice search just by saying "Ok Google" from the home screen or Google Now
  • Hangouts app with support for SMS and MMS
  • New translucent UI styling that extends to both the status bar and navigation bar
Google says that Android 4.4 will be made available to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and both the Google Play edition Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One in the coming weeks. Once the rollout begins, the update could take as much as two weeks to reach some users. One handset that won't be sinking its teeth into KitKat's chocolatey goodness is the Galaxy Nexus. Google says that because the Galaxy Nexus falls outside of the 18-month window in which it and other companies typically update their devices, the 2-year-old Galaxy Nexus will not be bumped up to Android 4.4.
So what about the all-important pricing and availability information? There's good news for folks that are sick of the leaks and just want to get their hands on Google's newest Nexus, as the N5 is available today for $349.99 for the 16GB version and $399.99 for the 32GB flavor. The Nexus 5 is available unlocked and comes with support for GSM, HSPA+, CDMA and LTE connectivity. As rumored, the Nexus 5 will be offered by Sprint in the U.S., with the Now Network announcing that it will sell the new device for $149.99 with a two-year contract on Nov. 8. The Nexus 5 will also be offered by T-Mobile "in the coming weeks."
In addition to launching the Nexus 5, Google has added a number of cases for its new phone to the Play Store. The first is a bumper case that features a hard outer shell as well as a soft rubber lining. Thankfully, the bumper case doesn't hinder the Nexus 5's wireless charging capabilities, meaning that owners needn't worry about removing and reapplying their case whenever they need some juice. The bumper case is priced at $34.99 and is available in black, gray, red and yellow. Images of all four colors can be found in the gallery below.
The second new Nexus 5 case is the LG QuickCover, which offers a bit more protection than the simple bumper case thanks to the addition of a front flap. The unibody case is custom-fit for the Nexus 5 and features a matte finish. Opening up the flap on a QuickCover-clad Nexus 5 will bypass the phone's swipe-to-unlock, and just like the bumper case, wireless charging will work just fine on a Nexus 5 that's sporting one of these QuickCovers. The LG QuickCover is priced at $49.99 and available in black or white. Check 'em both out in the gallery below.
Overall the Nexus 5 looks like a respectable follow-up to the Nexus 4. One of the most widespread complaints about the Nexus 4 was its lack of official LTE connectivity, and thankfully Google has opted to address that criticism by including 4G support in the Nexus 5. Other tweaks like the Snapdragon 800 processor and bump up to 16GB/32GB storage options are also welcome, and while the Nexus 4's glittery glass back sure looked pretty, I'm betting that there are quite a few folks that are happy to see a (hopefully) more durable plastic backside on the Nexus 5. So now that Google and LG's new Nexus is finally official, who's buying?

White Nexus 5 official

Via Google, Google Play: Black 16GB, black 32GB, white 16GB, white 32GB