SHARE

The Galaxy S5 boasts a better camera, water and dust resistance, as well as a bright display, but the Nexus 5 has a simplified Android experience. Here is a brief comparison between two.

This battle pits two of the most popular Android devices in the world against each other. In one corner, there’s the Galaxy S5 (GS5), one of Samsung’s most marketed devices that is currently outselling Apple’s iPhone 5s, according to early estimates. In the other corner, there’s the Nexus 5, Google’s latest-generation device that has become a go-to source for those who love the pure vanilla Android experience.

Which do you think will win? Let’s get the boxing match started, shall we?

Hardware and Design

The Galaxy S5 comes with a modern glam design for its back cover, with the usual plain design on the front and the “Samsung” brand name at the top. The GS5 still retains the home button that has come to characterize its devices, but the settings capacitive touch key at the bottom left has now been replaced with a page multitasking button that allows users the opportunity to remove pages from the background of the phone without holding down the home button to do so. Some individuals consider this a step forward in the evolution of Samsung’s Galaxy line, and Samsung is certainly intent on making the Galaxy user experience easier for everyone. The company’s focus this year on useful features rather than adding numerous software features is a tribute to its reductionist philosophy.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

As for the back cover, the Galaxy S5 has the sturdiest back cover of the Galaxy S line so far. While holding the GS5 in my hands at a local Verizon Wireless retail store, I could tell that Samsung has made strides to provide a more premium feel for its Galaxy device. I didn’t remove the back cover to see whether or not it retains the flimsy feel of the GS4 back cover, but the cover certainly feels more solid when holding the phone in your hands.

The Nexus 5 comes with a soft matte plastic back cover, replacing the former glass cover of the Nexus 4. This was a smart move for Google, and it seems that many a tech analyst complained about the glass cover that looks good on the surface but means little when the glass hits the concrete and shatters. The phone, although retaining a rubbery plastic feel, has been said to be nothing short of premium by many consumers who touch the device for the first time. This just goes to show that plastic can be cool, modern, and premium without derision. As for the on-screen experience, the Nexus 5 features capacitive touch buttons (back, home, and multitasking) on-screen but, unlike the Galaxy S5, doesn’t have a hardware home button.

Nexus-5-Front-and-Back

As for the design, it comes down to the choice. Google’s capacitive buttons consume a smaller amount of space on the phone’s display than the Galaxy S5, but Google could’ve used the bottom bezel space to enlarge the screen some (perhaps a little over 5 inches). While Google’s Nexus 5 does have a more comfortable feel in the hands due to its rubber/matte plastic back cover and the N-E-X-U-S brand name that I love to run my fingers across, the Galaxy S5 is a solid device and feels sturdy in the hands, as well. I give the Nexus 5 the win in this area, although I must preface my decision with a word of caution: the “ooohhh” and “aaahhh” feeling will wear off, trust me. After a month, the on-screen experience will matter a lot more than whether or not your back cover feels sleek and soft.

Displays

Which display wins the day? The Nexus 5 features a 1920 x 1080p liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, while the Galaxy S5 features Samsung’s top-notch Super AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080p resolution. Both smartphones come with full HD screen resolution, so the Nexus 5 competes respectably here – unlike the Nexus 4 model that many said seemed to have “washed out” colors. I think that the same screen resolution on the 7-inch 2012 Nexus 7 led to the same result, unfortunately.

The Nexus 5’s screen resolution has come a long way, but Samsung’s Galaxy S5 retains the same screen resolution as last year. Rumors pointed to Samsung bringing a 2K (or 2,560 x 1600) resolution to the Galaxy S5, but Samsung pulled this in the final stage of production, it seems. It’s been said in years past that LCD screens fare better in sunlight than super AMOLED displays (or AMOLEDs of any kind), but I’ve found the opposite to be the case.

samsung_galaxy_s5_1

Samsung’s displays have improved in legibility, and the GS5 offers a better viewing experience than even my Galaxy Note 3 does. Even in cases where you’re in direct sunlight and need to access your brightness settings, Samsung’s setup is far more convenient (the drop-down window) than Google’s. The reason this is the case concerns the slide adjuster found at the top of the notification window, as opposed to the two-side drop-down notification window of the Nexus 5 that has your notifications on one side and settings on the other. When in sunlight, I don’t want to remember to perform a two-finger-swipe to find my brightness setting. Samsung gets the brightness adjustment function right here, making the reading and viewing experience a little less frustrating.

Both displays have excellent graphics, so the choice is yours.

The Nexus 5 features a 4.95-inch display (not exactly 5 inches as some may believe), but it’s close enough that you can’t tell the difference. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has increased the diagonal display 0.1 inches from the 5-inch screen of the GS4 model. The GS5 display is a little larger than the Nexus 5, although LG/Google could remove the black bottom bezel of the device by pushing the capacitive buttons down to the very bottom and reserving the small abandoned space for the screen. The company decided to place the Nexus brand on the back of the device, and this leaves room for more display at the top of the Nexus 5. The only problem for Google is how to enlarge the display at the bottom. Samsung leaves its branding on the front, but you’ll get a somewhat larger display.

nexus 5

The winner of the display category overall is based on your personal preference, but for me, it seems as though both devices are rather small. You’ll notice the difference when you touch a Galaxy Note 3 or an HTC One Max.

Cameras

The Nexus 5 boasts an 8MP rear-facing camera, considered standard, but not enough to keep up with the majority of the Android OEM competition. Samsung, Sony, LG, and others have managed to kick up the rear-facing camera experience to 13MP, with HTC being the one exception to stick to a 4UMP (or ultrapixel) experience in the HTC One M8. While megapixels aren’t everything, they’re when it comes to the Nexus 5 experience.

samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-nexus-5-camera

Colors on the Nexus 5 will appear washed out or oversaturated when you take photos. Although the same can be said for certain photos on the Galaxy S5, the case is obvious when you match photos taken on the Nexus 5 with the real-life image in front of you. I took a picture of a toy basketball goal sometime ago in a friend’s room, and the Nexus 5 made colors (even in the light) to be a bit oversaturated. The mild orange became a dark orange, and the mild pink turned into a dark pink. Colors such as a neon green shirt she was wearing turned to an even lighter green than before.

One of the reasons why I think the Nexus 5 camera does this is because it is optimized to take excellent low-light photos. In my tests with the Nexus 5, the photos, I found that there were times when the color seemed rather accurate, and times when the color seemed rather off. The same can be said with both cameras, but the Nexus 5 camera is a consistent “hit-or-miss,” often missing accurate color representation with indoor lighting. This is the case with daytime photos, as well.

When the Nexus 5 camera isn’t washing out or oversaturating colors, it’s giving certain photos a “bluish” tint. I tried to use my Nexus 5 to take pictures of my iPad screen – and colors were horrible, to say the least. The Nexus 5 couldn’t accurately capture the iPad screen (with green rolling hills and clouds for wallpaper) without permeating the “blue” sky color across the entire photo. Even the grass appeared bluish-green when the photos were taken.

The autofocus is okay, but not stellar. The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update was released to improve the autofocus; while it does to some extent, it still takes photos a while to focus. The problem with the Nexus 5 camera is that, while pictures quickly snap, they do so with a lot of motion blur in them (since the autofocus is slower than the camera’s snap capacity).

The Nexus 5 does shine in low-light photos, however, particularly at night. This is where the Nexus 5 may prove to be a contender with the Galaxy S5. The GS5 has improved in its low-light shots significantly, and the GS5 could potentially win in this area. For now, though, I will give the win over the camera to the Galaxy S5, seeing that you’re getting a 16MP camera with better zoom quality and improved low-light photos as well as a 0.3-second Fast Autofocus feature that should match the Nexus 5 experience. Some users prefer better low-light photos, but I tend to take more daytime photos than anything else. In high-light environments, the Galaxy S5 wins decisively against its Android competition and features the best smartphone camera on the market right now.

Under the Hood: Processor

What’s under the hood for the Nexus 5? You get a 2.26Ghz, Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM. The Galaxy S5 sports a 2.5Ghz, Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB RAM. With this said, you’re likely to find that both devices are zippy and fast. It may be the case that Samsung’s TouchWiz may seem to lag more than the Nexus 5, but there’s a simple explanation for this: Samsung’s Galaxy S5 provides much more of a feature-packed experience than the Nexus 5. Some individuals prefer a basic OS experience without the need for additional software, but there’re a number of photographers who like Samsung’s camera filters and multiple settings. I’ll get into the OS discussion further below.

Memory Storage

The Nexus 5 is a thing of beauty, providing you with 16GB or 32GB of on-board storage. The Galaxy S5 provides the same amount of local memory storage, but does allow you to upgrade your memory by way of its microSD card slot – a feature the Nexus 5 doesn’t have. If you’re the type of consumer who wants to store more pictures or videos on a microSD card, go right ahead with the Galaxy S5.

Where Google’s hardware storage lacks, however, the company makes up for it in its cloud storage. Google has a weapon in its arsenal called “unlimited photo storage” that allows you to take an unlimited amount of photos. I’ve taken 3 years’ worth, and have yet to be told by Google that I’ve taken too many.

Yet and still, all Android devices (and even iPhones) have access to Google’s unlimited photo storage. Thus, the choice comes down to whether or not you want to access your photos from the local storage or from the internet. If you’re in a place with poor internet connectivity, having that microSD card slot in the GS5 will be a life-saver. On the other hand, it may not matter to you – so you could care less which phone wins the competition here. Still, the Galaxy S5 offers a local memory storage bump up to 128GB, not to mention Google’s unlimited photo storage. I’m giving the win here to the Galaxy S5.
Operating Systems

The Nexus 5 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, the latest and greatest of Google’s Android. The Galaxy S5, however, also runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat. As a result, you will get excellent experiences in both, but this one also comes down to preference. Google offers you a pure vanilla Android experience, free from a lot of apps that you may never use. Android 4.4.2 KitKat will take away no more than 6GB of memory storage from your device. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, on the other hand, features not only Android 4.4.2 KitKat but also Samsung’s own camera filters, features, and software such as its WatchON, chatON, and other apps. As a result, you will likely have no more than 23GB left on a 32GB device.

As for the 16GB device, half of your memory storage may be consumed before you download one app onto the device – reducing the enjoyment you’ll get out of it. This is where it seems that many Android users prefer Google’s plain OS experience better. As for me, I like Samsung’s TouchWiz and its software features, but then and again, I’m not you. You’re the one who must decide which of these two companies you want to live with for two years (less, in prepaid customer circumstances).

Final Analysis

Both smartphones provide an excellent experience, but then and again, these two devices aren’t tailored to the same consumer base. Some individuals care little for Samsung’s software innovations and would rather have Google’s experience. Others prefer Samsung and deem Google’s plain vanilla Android a little bland for their tastes. In the end, it seems that, OS aside, the Galaxy S5 provides all that you need in a smartphone plus extra. You may not need the extra all the time, but it may prove helpful in special situations. Last but not least, the water and dust resistance gives the GS5 the win over the Nexus 5, in my opinion.

What do you think? Do you think the Nexus 5 still beats the Galaxy S5? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

35 COMMENTS

  1. I like my Nexus 5. I am not a big fan of funky UI’s such as Touchwiz or HTC’s Sense UI. Too much bloatware. It takes up valuable storage. The camera on my Nexus could be better, but then again, its a phone. But the $350 unlocked is what sealed the deal for me.

    • Well, some individuals see the price as a legitimate reason to choose the Nexus 5. I do not, however. Selecting a smartphone based on the price is the same in my opinion as choosing a phone because it’s made of metal. These may be legitimate reasons for some, but I think an array of factors combine to make the decision to either buy or stay. Keep in mind, too, that some individuals are Verizon and AT&T on-contract customers who do not have access to the Nexus 5. Unless you’re a Sprint, T-Mobile, or prepaid customer with AT&T/T-Mobile, the Nexus 5 is not even in a person’s list of top smartphones. While it is true that the Nexus 5 costs less than the GS5, Samsung’s latest will have a better trade-in price than the Nexus 5. I recently tried to trade in the GS4 Active with Best Buy and was told I would get $200 back for it. As for the Nexus 5? I was told I would get nothing back for it. Again, trade-in value matters when someone buys a smartphone. Whereas I would buy the phone regardless of price value (as I bought the Nexus 5), others would not.

      Thanks again for contacting us here at Inferse. Please feel free to check out our coverage on so many other breaking news announcements in the wonderful world of tech.

      • So the trade in price matters, but not the initial price? I’m not sure if you could be more contradictory and selective if you tried.

        I’m sorry, but when the nexus 5 is almost half the price of the G5 it is one of the largest factors and hard to justify spending so much more for so little ROI. Unless your article is directed specifically to the affluent, but I somehow doubt that.

        • First off, I think you approach the argument incorrectly. I’m not sure that I would ever tell someone they’re being contradictory. That doesn’t seem like proper etiquette — but again, since I disagree with your argument, I’ll resist the urge to say something back and get on with what I’m thinking.

          Sadly, it is your argument that’s contradictory. The Nexus 5 may be an excellent phone for an individual out-of-pocket, but what about families? Do you think that a family would be content with paying $445 for three or four 32GB smartphones, plus activation fees and the first month’s bill? When you compare that to what a family of 4 would pay for a Galaxy S5 out-of-pocket, the GS5 turns out to be a much more budget investment for a family of four. The GS5 costs $199 here with a two-year agreement, and Verizon’s BOGO deal allows a family of four to pay for 2 phones out-of-pocket ($398), while getting the other two for free. In other words, for $50 less, a family could have 4 phones for a family of 4. When you’re a family of 4, you gotta look out for your budget. The GS5 deals at American carriers offer that experience for families. What deal does Google have that allows this same price cut for families?

          If four family members buy the Nexus 5, the total price will come out to at least $1400, not counting activation fees and the monthly bill. With Verizon, for example, a family of four can take advantage of the BOGO GS5 deal and get 4 phones (32GB GS5s) for $500, and then pay activation fees and the monthly bill. Initially, $500 up front makes the GS5 deals a lot more affordable than the Nexus 5 buy.

          As you can see, you’ve likely got a definition of affluence in your mind rather than me. Tell me, what American family do you think would be willing to pay $1400 out-of-pocket when they’ve got two mouths to feed in addition to the husband and wife? Why not walk in the store, pay $500 down, and walk out with GS5s for two parents and two children? To me, at least, this is one of the deals that sets the GS5 apart from the Nexus 5. If Google were looking out for the bottom line, the phone would be available across all national carriers and would come with these same incentives plus water resistance. Even if someone pays for a Nexus 5, how is it justified when your beauty becomes a brick if it hits water?

          • “The Nexus 5 is an excellent phone for an individual out-of-pocket, but think of the children!”

            Nexus 5 is the best smartphone on the market price->feature wise. Pay for the galaxy if it’s important for you to have a 13mp camera for all those selfies.

          • So basically you’re saying you can get s5 on contract but no the nexus? Because the nexus is about half the cost of the s5, the 2yr contract price is about he same. Here I had to pay t-mobile 400 to set up an account with an s5, with deposit. My Nexus however cost me 200 to set up that account. Price most definitely should be included on this.

          • T-Mobile does not run on a two-year contract; it runs on a two-year agreement. These two are not the same.

            The traditional contract required an initial cost up-front, followed by a two-year situation where you pay for the phone service and a cost towards the phone each month. T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans do much of the same thing, but the difference is that T-Mobile’s plan allows you to upgrade twice a year to a new smartphone with no early termination fees. T-Mobile wanted to provide a familiar feeling of a two-year agreement while getting rid of some things that offend customers. In addition, a Simple Choice Plan requires a credit check with T-Mobile, which is something that traditional two-year contracts do not require. I joined Verizon six months ago, and i never had a credit check to start a two-year contract.

            This is what i mean when I refer to contracts and exempt T-Mobile from this claim. It’s not a contract agreement, though there are some similarities. When it comes to the Nexus 5, as a result, you’re paying in a two-year agreement, but there is no binding contract because you can upgrade your device twice a year — this is the JUMP plan option, similar to the Verizon EDGE plan or the AT&T Next option.

  2. In Asian countries Samsung mob hardware and accessories are making in China and nexus is completely an imported mobile in all means.so we can have a trust that the manufacturer of google nexus will maintain the quality. But in Samsung Chinese products Dont have more durability. And Samsung S5 cost $840 and nexus 5 is $560. See the difference.

    • Umm nexus devices are made in China too….
      Look on the back of the 2013 nexus 7 where it clearly says “made in China”

      I love both phones, just get your facts straight.

  3. Love the nexus line and my nexus 5. No matter how many or what Samsung will keep adding to its bloated software. I personally will always be loyal to nexus unless they shut it down then, I’ll be left with no choice but, move to Apple. In India nexus 4 still commands similar price at which it was launched last year. Here nexus resale value is good. The only thing I am disappointed with is the battery and loudspeaker quality. Camera, nah! Its good enough for Facebook or other sites, honestly I don’t think any phone camera can match my pretty dslr lol. Thanks for your insight. Cheers!

  4. The Nexus 5 is so cheap that you can buy it off-contract and then get a ‘bring your own device’ deal that’s cheaper. If you can afford $350 upfront then the Nexus 5 will be a lot cheaper for you. The camera isn’t as good, sure, and you don’t get the TouchWiz enhancements, but what you do get is the latest updates straight away from Google, without waiting months for Samsung to mess them up in their own style.

    Also, the amount a phone provider offers for your used phone is always going to be rubbish, compared to selling it on eBay or something. So you will probably lose the same/similar amount in depreciation on both the Nexus 5 and the S5 (when comparing examples of the same age).

    If you really need MicroSD storage, hate vanilla Android or need an outstanding camera then get the S5. In all other cases, go get the Nexus 5.

  5. Well… What’s the point of having a big expensive fancy phone such as the s5 and you won’t use all these features…. Now a days ppl are looking for something affordable… And there you go you have the Nexus 5.. All the things you need is there. One more advantage.. You will get all Google updates before anyone else does…..

    • Khaled,

      Thanks for writing in.

      The Nexus 5 is an excellent phone, and I’ve enjoyed my time with it in the last four months. As of the moment, I refuse to buy another smartphone simply because I can’t stand the thought of taking my Nexus 5 off of my current account and tossing it aside. This speaks of my love for the phone.

      At the same time, I am a tech writer who lives and breathes smartphones. I live in a part of the world, however, that knows very little about the Nexus 5 (even though I live in the USA) because the Nexus 5 is available on 1 of 4 major carriers: Sprint. The other carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile here do not offer the phone on-contract. Verizon’s technology clashes with the Nexus 5’s unlocked condition, and AT&T and T-Mobile allow it for prepaid customers but do not have the option for on-contract customers. The Nexus 5 costs $445 here for a 32GB device, and I paid less for my Galaxy Note 3 ($299) on-contract than buying the Nexus 5 outright. I paid the price because I believe in what Google is doing, but I know many a consumer in the US who will never– and I repeat, never — buy a device out-of-pocket for $445…even if Google updates are swift and quick.

      The Galaxy S5 may cost an arm and a leg for most Americans, but we’ll pay the price — because, no matter the carrier, no matter the contract agreement, we can see a Galaxy S5 in every carrier retail store from one ocean to another. This is why Samsung has been so successful in the US of all places. Its success hinges upon its multi-carrier availability.

      I’m not trying to convert anyone to my perspective, but I’m talking from the point of view of an American tech writer who sees consumers here longing for Samsung devices. The price hasn’t been a deterrent for any American when it comes to a Galaxy device because they realize Samsung is dependable and available. The Nexus line has never been available on multiple carriers for consumers, and subsidized contracts are still the cheaper option for many Americans here. Americans are thinking about their pockets, which is the reason why the Nexus 5 hasn’t sold very well in the States. If Google brings it to multiple carriers in the future, that’s excellent. Until the company does, however, Samsung will always win with the consumer.

      With that said, I can’t publicly endorse a product that will be purchased by less than 25% of American consumers. I have to represent the people whose country I’m from — see my reasoning?

      • Well I’m Canada and the nexus 5 is available on all major carriers and most low cost carriers. And because it’s unlocked the phone carriers have no choice. The Galaxy s5 I imagine is also on all major carriers but maybe not all low cost carriers. So in Canada, unless you need a better camera or SD slot, go Nexus 5.

        • Jared,

          Thanks so much for writing in and sharing your thoughts with us.

          That’s excellent news, that the Nexus 5 is available on all carriers there. Living in the US and outside of Canada, we tech writers rarely get this type of information on how well Google smartphones excel outside of the country. Again, you’ve been more helpful than you know.

          As for the camera and SD slot, however, your words prove what I’ve been saying here for some time. The camera is one of the most important features to consumers, seeing that it is likely the only out-of-pocket camera the individual has with him or her on a daily basis. With that said, I’ve expressed my experiences with the camera in the article to show that I’ve used the camera. For me, if I walked into a store tomorrow and had to take shots with the Nexus 5 before buying it, I wouldn’t’ve bought it four months ago. I’ve loved my experience, but my Galaxy Note 3 has been far more pleasing with its 13MP camera and zoom quality. As a tech writer, I’m always taking a picture of something — so camera quality matters to me, far more than price. I’m willing to pay great money for an excellent camera, and I happen to think that Samsung’s so-called “bloatware” is innovation.

          Let me say, too, that I’m coming from the perspective of someone who’s not only bought Galaxy S phones, but also the Nexus 5, and even Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. The Nexus 5 has its appeal, but I think that appeal must be tempered against devices like the Note 3 which provides better battery life, camera quality, and neat S-Pen functions that make it the phone to own right now.

          Yes, the review was about the S5 versus the Nexus 5; but, even between these two phones, the GS5 also has an ultra-power saving mode that really puts the Nexus 5 to shame in terms of battery life. My Nexus 5 is a beauty, but she’s not a Galaxy Note 3, a Galaxy S5, or even an HTC One M8. Even if carrier availability were better here in the US, I don’t think that I’d buy the Nexus 5 over any Samsung phone I’ve ever owned. Just sharing my thoughts with you.

          Thanks again for writing in. It is my hope that you will stay with us as we cover the latest tech and write in again.

      • I just wanted to note that your statement about the nexus 5 only being available for Sprint is false. Both they and T-Mobile offer them in stores and at&t offers the bring your own phone option. The only major company that does not offer it is Verizon. That is also on Verizon’s end. The nexus 5 is capable to run on their CDMA network but Verizon does not want their customers bringing their own phones. Many people in the US are changing to no contract options because even though the phone may be cheaper with a contract, the contract itself traps consumers into their phones they purchase. Would you still be happy with an S3 today? The real advantage of the nexus 5 is the high end hardware, minus the camera, the price, and the speed of getting updates to the software. The S5 will be obsolete in a year and people that sign contracts to “save” money will end up dishing out more money for newer phones next year.

        • I think that you haven’t read the remaining comments on the article.

          I do note that AT&T and T-Mobile do allow for it, but the problem comes in with 2-year contracts. Most American consumers are still on contracts (this is not disputed by even leading industry analysts), so most individuals only have access on a two-year contract agreement to smartphones that are sold through a contract carrier. With that being said, some would rather pay the extra money over a two-year contract than pay, say, $349 out-of-pocket at the moment they sign the new agreement. AT&T does have a bring your own option, it’s true, but there are no subsidies for the Nexus 5 with AT&T or T-Mobile. In other words, you’re forced to pay the entire price out-of-pocket for a smartphone that doesn’t compare to other smartphones in specs or features.

          As for Verizon choosing not to run the Nexus 5, regardless of the issue, it’s still Google’s job to get the carrier onboard with its phone. After all, if google cares to make a profit, then the company should go the extra mile in this regard. Verizon doesn’t have to even do business with Google. If Verizon never sells a Nexus phone, the company will still make millions because it’s got one of the most reliable networks in the States. Google’s the one that should be concerned about its smartphone making money. This is the responsibility of Google to see to it that the Nexus hits retail stores, not Verizon. If Samsung can do it, Google has no excuse.

          As far as people getting rid of the S5 next year, not true. I’ve never known a person to ditch their brand new phone in the following year when they’re still bound to pay for it. ETFs are $350 at Verizon, and the only carrier paying them right now is T-Mobile. Of course, if you’re in an area that doesn’t have reliable T-Mobile service (and lives on 2G EDGE), T-Mobile’s “generous” offer doesn’t do much. Who wants to pay for a smartphone on a network that runs 2G EDGE in their area when they could have a Galaxy S5 with Verizon, for example, and have access to 4G LTE all across the country? It’s a no-brainer in this situation, really…

  6. Bought the Nexus 5 when it came out early November last year. I currently use my Samsung Galaxy S4 mini for every day use as it’s easier to hold and put in my jeans pocket.

    I was then planning to sell on my Samsung, and then use my Nexus when my contract runs out, and go with a giff gaff bundle pay as you go, which would save me £20 a month.

    The only concern now is that many drop tests and irrate blogs make reference to the Nexus 5’s screen tendency to shatter way to easily.

    I would appreciate to hear the experiences of Nexus users on this site.

    • Adrian,

      Thanks for writing in to Inferse.

      I’ve seen the same thing in demonstrations videos across the Web, so I for one agree with you. Recent torture tests show that the GS5 survives 10-foot drops, but this hasn’t been the case for the Nexus 5. In fact, I’d dare say that the Moto X has a better chance of survival from drops than the Nexus 5 does.

      Your reference to the Nexus 5 shatter tendency is another reason why so many individuals I know would not purchase it. I’m a lover of all things Android, but, having owned an iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 in addition to my Nexus 5, Galaxy S3, GS4 Active, and Galaxy Note 3, I would recommend getting an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s over the Nexus 5 due to the iPhone’s hard-to-shatter Gorilla Glass 3. If you want a bloat-free experience with a device that’s very hard to break, the iPhone 5s is the phone to own.

      The Galaxy S5’s screen is not as hard to break as the iPhone’s, but, then and again, it is more durable than the Nexus 5’s. I don’t know of too many consumers I’ve met in my time who care about whether or not their screen shatters, but a number of them seem to buy screen protectors at the same time they buy their smartphone — and place them on the screen and go. Still, you make an excellent point about the shatter tendency. All that glitters, even in price, isn’t gold.

      Please feel free to come again and comment. We here at Inferse always welcome the interaction.

  7. Deidre,

    I bought my Nexus 5 at a T-Mobile store in Maryland. T-Mobile doesn’t do contracts or subsidies but they do finance your phone for 2 years at zero interest. So I didn’t have to pay any up front cost for my phone and if I am still using it in 2 years my monthly bill will drop $15.

    • Andrew,

      Thanks a bunch for writing in.

      It’s true that T-Mobile will finance your Nexus 5 over two years but they do so based on a credit check. Some average consumers who don’t have the best of credit could not qualify for the affordable monthly pricing because they must pass a credit check to do so.

      That method is a life saver for some customers, but it doesn’t work for all. The majority of consumers would rather go through a two-year contract with a carrier who isn’t going to investigate their credit. AT&T, for example, requires a credit check for even a prepaid agreement with the carrier (apart from AIO Wireless/Leap Wireless). Most AT&T customers will likely use AT&T’s rebranded AIO Wireless to do business in the future, but the month-to-month agreements that come via a credit check are just ridiculous.

      In any case, I’m glad that you got your Nexus 5 at an affordable price. But, in all reality, T-Mobile’s plan is still a “contract” of sorts — since you’re paying over 24 months. It’s not really as freeing as buying a phone out-of-pocket outright, since the remaining balance is due if you choose to break the agreement at any time before the two years ends. Verizon requires a $350 ETF, so, in essence, T-Mobile’s agreement is the same. Still, it requires a credit check, and most consumers would not qualify.

      Thanks for writing in to share your thoughts, though.

  8. Adrian,

    I dropped my Nexus 5 from 3 feet onto a brick surface and the screen shattered. Luckily I had insurance and was able to replace it. Now I use the official Nexus 5 bumper case from the Play store. It is a high quality case that feels like it will protect against future drops. The only problem is that it makes the lock and volume buttons a little stiff.

  9. While Both are similar, NEXUS is about $300.00 cheaper. Also, by the time you look at all the bloat ware on s5. There’s no comparison. And in my opinion my G5. Is way better than my former galaxy…. And NEXUS doesn’t have the start button issue that all Galaxy’s have…..

  10. I agree with a lot of what you say about this review. But what I can never understand in all the reviews is that in the base model on the Galaxy s5 does not come with 16 gigs of usable storage it comes with 8 because of all the bloatware. Yes you can have expandable memory but what most people do not understand is that not all apps can be added to the SD card. I think that is important to point out and with cloud storage you really don’t need to add an SD card. The Nexus 5 only uses about 2gigs for operating and that leaves almost 14gigs I think that is very important to point out to customers because in your review you make it seem they are the same but they are not and the SD card does not solve all the storage problems. Plus with pure vanilla Android you get all the updates without the wait. That is a big difference. Just something to consider

    • I’ve never seen the purpose of moving apps to the SD card. I’ve only ever used the SD card for photo storage and documents, but never for apps. I own an iPad 3, Nexus 7, and MacBook Pro — so I’ve never needed to store so much on the local memory that I’d resort to placing my apps on the SD card. Still, it’s true that there are many who utilize the SD card for this option. Unfortunately, it seems that Android 4.4 KitKat is currently putting a stop to apps in SD storage — so this won’t be a luxury for long.

      You’re right about the storage: the 16GB Galaxy S5 comes with less storage available than that of a Nexus 5, but again, that may not be a deterrent for some consumers. I, for one, have over 100GBs of cloud storage between Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, QuickOffice, Polaris 5, and other such storage services — so I don’t have a problem with 8GB of storage out of the box. Some consumers do, however, and I understand their pain. But again, that is tied to each customer. Some do not count this as a factor that prevents them from getting the GS5, while some will.

      When it comes to the contest, some prefer the GS5’s water and dust resistance to be factors that far outweigh buying a Nexus 5. For all that free memory you get, it won’t matter much if you drop your phone in water tomorrow and the Nexus 5 never resurrects. Between storage and water damage protection, which device ranks highest? I think most consumers would prefer the water protection as a better investment than the concern over how much memory Samsung takes from the GS5.

      We here at Inferse appreciate your comments. Please continue to comment in the future. Thanks again.

  11. When I bought my Samsung S3, I wasSo happy to have chosen it over iPhone. But then I had a realization which made me swear never to go back to the manufacturers who do not provide OS updates within couple of months after Google releases new updates.

    I know not everyone is not so excited about OS upgrades but for me it’s is one of the most important things while choosing a phone.

    Samsung made me wait for more than one year after which I had to upgrade it via a custom ROM and I hated Samsung for that very much.

    So I will always be a Google guy but that’s just me.

  12. Well let me chime in here. I for one don’t care about resale value..
    I don’t buy phones because based on popularity kidding me!! I love nexus phones started with the Nexus S I’m you would call a geek. I love modding my phone yes it’s mine I’ll do whatever i want with it. See the Advantage of buying off contract. No don’t give me that it voids warranty..Google gives you tools for that sdk!! Samsung phones are popular for certain people just not my cup of tea.
    Lots of these bloatware you call features you could keep em’ I’ll take my skinless Nexus phones anytime over these bloated carrier restricted ones.

    Sent From My Nexus 5

  13. I’m a proud owner of N5 for 6months. U haven’t talked about the price, N5 wins it hands down. Even a question of comparison between two products at two ends of smartphone pricing spectrum is a win for N5.

    • Auto brightness doesn’t do much in broad sunlight. That’s the issue. Whenever I’m outdoors, I always have to increase my brightness level because super AMOLED screens tend to do “black” colors very well — but struggle in bright sunlight. With the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, I never worried about reading my smartphone in sunlight. The iPhone’s LCD screens have always been excellent for reading, but the Nexus 5’s LCD screen doesn’t do it for me. I’ve yet to figure out why Apple’s smartphones have better legibility in sunlight…but this is something that I’m still researching at the moment.

      Thanks for writing in. Please feel free to return and comment in the future. We appreciate your support.

  14. I am in the business and have both. The Nexus has the ‘cool’ factor and for reasons I haven’t explored the screen on the Nexus devices is smoother or maybe slippery describes it best. So my S5 goes to a member of the family I’ll stay with my slippery cool Nexus 5

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here