Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349

It's about time. The Google-backed and LG-manufactured Nexus 5 is now really a reality, after countless rumors and leaks (a few of the...

It's about time. The Google-backed and LG-manufactured Nexus 5 is now really a reality, after countless rumors and leaks (a few of them coming from Google itself). The new device, which predictably boasts the latest and greatest version of Android known as KitKat (or 4.4, if you're so inclined), takes its place in the spotlight in place of the Nexus 4. And, despite coming out at a slightly higher price point than last year's Nexus, it still takes the cake in terms of features, components and other specs.

Now that it's ready for the public, let's take a deeper look at the Nexus 5, which will be available on the Play Store today, in both white and black, starting at $349 for AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint (sorry Verizon customers).

Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349_NewVijay



We'd like to say we have a few surprises in store for you, but we don't really. So many details about the Nexus 5 leaked ahead of time, and almost all of them have proven to be true. Under the hood is a 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of RAM, pushing pixels to a glorious 5-inch 1080p display.


LG has also seen fit to include wireless charging again, so you won't have to wear out that micro-USB port keeping the 2,300 mAh battery juiced, you can use it to power a TV over Slimport instead. You'll also find LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and NFC on board -- basically if there is a method of connecting to another device, the Nexus 5 has it.
 Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349_NewVijay

The design moves away from its predecessor's primarily glass construction and embraces plastic. But not the cheap-feeling shiny kind, instead it boasts a "silky texture" according to Sundar Pichai. In fact, it's quite reminiscent of the redesigned Nexus 7 that debuted earlier this year. The front is still sheathed in Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass 3 to be specific, and otherwise it's pretty much unadorned. Sure, if you look you can spot the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and speaker grille, but it's mostly an uninterrupted expanse of black.

In our hands-on with the device, we were incredibly impressed with the clarity and sharpness of the 1080p display. The edge-to-edge glass gives the Nexus 5 an unquestionably premium feel, even with the slivers of bezel adorning the top and bottom. One of the benefits of Gorilla Glass 3 is its thinness, which results in a relatively slim phone overall. Though it's a pretty small detail, even the buttons on the sides of the phone are made of a technical ceramic material, which certainly feels better than regular plastic buttons.


Additionally, the "silky texture" does indeed feel a lot like the soft touch matte finish we know and love from the Nexus 7. Both the white and black versions have the same silky textured backing, so all you have to worry about is color preference. There are very slight contours on the sides of the phone that contribute to a comfortable cradle in the hand, and the curved top and bottom means there's no fear of the handset digging into your palm. As far as performance goes, swiping through menus and launching apps felt snappy, and so did capturing shot after shot with the phone's 8-megapixel camera.


Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349_NewVijay

Google announces the Nexus 5 smartphone with Android 44, on sale today for $349 handson

Even though it was widely expected, and leaked, we're still pretty excited about the redesigned rear-facing camera. Sure, it's still an 8-megapixel sensor, but it now boasts optical image stabilization (OIS) for reducing blur. A small gyro and motor actuator in the lens housing move the lens on the X and Y planes to capture the clearest image possible, even if you've got the caffeine shakes.


The shutter is also quick enough to capture what Google calls HDR+ or, for the photo savvy out there, true HDR. Instead of applying algorithms to boost brightness and contrast in areas of a single photo, the Nexus 5 captures multiple images at different exposures and combines them to produce the most detail possible. It can not only fix under or over exposed images, it can even compensate for motion when trying to capture a moving target.

Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349_NewVijay

Google will be releasing two models: one for North America and Europe, and a second for Asia. Both of which will come in 16GB and 32GB flavors, which will cost $349 and $399, respectively. While you'll obviously be able to pick one up straight from Google, you'll also find the latest Nexus phone at Best Buy and Radio Shack. You can even buy one direct from compatible carriers, like Sprint which will be bringing the handset to its retail stores on November 8th, starting at $150. T-Mobile promises to have the Nexus 5 in stores before the holidays, but wouldn't get any more specific about release date or price.

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New Vijay: Leaked Online Loot and Offers : Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349
Google announces the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 KitKat, on sale today for $349
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