Google launches new flagship smartphone: the £299 Nexus 5 with Android KitKat

Google's Nexus range of smartphones have always acted as showcases for the latest version of Android, and the Nexus 5 is no exception

Google has officially launched its latest flagship Android smartphone, the Nexus 5. The 5-inch handset will be the first device to run Android 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.

(Click here to see what's new in version 4.4)

The Nexus 5 costs £295 for a 16GB SIM-free version (£339 for the 32GB) and features a fully HD 1920x1080 display, a 2.26GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. There’s Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting with various fitness gadgets and wireless charging (though you have to buy the charger separately).

As with previous handsets in the series the Nexus 5 is all about giving customers the ‘pure’ Android experience, so that means no additional UI tweaks (eg HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz) and hardware that’s more than capable of running everything smoothly.

To achieve this Google have continued their partnership with South Korean manufacturer LG for the actual hardware, and the Nexus 5 comes with essentially the same innards as the LG G2, and also has the capacity to shoot video at full 1080p resolution.

However, Google aren’t joining LG in placing their physical phone buttons on the back of the device and are instead keeping them on the side and top of the phone, as expected.

The Nexus 5 has a few obvious improvements over its predecessor, the Nexus 4, with the handset offering 4G functionality, something that was conspicuously missing before. However, as with the 4, the 5 again omits the opportunity to expand the onboard storage with a microSD card slot.

However, Google do say that they’ve improved the camera as compared to the 4. The Nexus 5 comes with an 8-megapixel lens on the back and 1.3-megapixels on the front, with Google chucking in extra OIS (optical image stabilization) to cut down on blurry photos. Finding out whether this is actually effective though will be a job for the reviewers.

The biggest feature of the Nexus 5 is undoubtedly Android 4.4 KitKat. This isn’t a total redesign in the mode of iOS 7, but the visual look has been sharpened and refreshed for a cleaner OS.

There’s also a far greater integration of Google services, with Google Now just a single swipe away from the home screen and Google Hangouts replacing the default texting app. Google also promises that there's a lot going on under the hood to improve performance on lower-specced phones with as little as 512MB of RAM.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    .Net/ C# Developer/ Analyst Programmer - West London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .NET/ C# .Pr...

    Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

    Content Manager - Central London

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Central...

    Java Developer

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: JAVA DEVELO...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz