Nexus 5 review - Now with Android 5.1

The Nexus 5 is still a great phone for the money, if you can find one

Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT
Buy it now for 

Page 1 of 3Nexus 5 review - Now with Android 5.1


Android 4.4 (KitKat), 5.0in 1,920x1,080 display

The Nexus 5 is offically over, with Google stating on the Play Store that 'The Nexus 5 is no longer available for purchase'. We're a little sad to be honest as this was, and continues to be, an excellent handset for those who want a vanilla Android experience. It's just received an update too, with Android 5.1 now available with a number of handy tweaks.

At launch almost everything about the Nexus 5's specification was top-drawer, from its Snapdragon 800 processor to its Full HD screen and the very latest version of Android. Phones with this kind of specification usually cost more than £500 SIM-free, but the Nexus 5, astonishingly, was £200 cheaper than that. 

It's held out pretty well over the last 18 months too, the offical price ended at £299 but you can find one on eBay for about £250 new or £180 second-hand. At these prices it's still a serious contender if you're looking for a SIM-free handset.

There are faster chipsets around now, but we've seen a law of dimishing returns of late, and the SnapDragon 800 used here is still impressive stuff. The Nexus 5 is available in a stunning bright red finish too, plus with Android Lollipop it continues to enjoy Google's latest OS releases. 

Google Nexus 5

It may be competitively priced, but the handset doesn’t feel cheap. It's a simple slab with rounded-off corners and a pleasing rubberised rear. While other phones have come-and-gone the Nexus 5's simple utilitarian styling has actually come into its own with time, it looks great alongside Android 5.0's material design ethos, and it won't ever clash with whatever you have onscreen. 


Android Lollipop 5.1 refines a number of rough edges that came with Android 5.0. The quick settings menu has new flashier animations and the ability to change more settings (such as switching Wi-Fi networks) without being taken through to the full settings menu. 

^ Switching networks from within the quick settings dropdown is a nice touch

The new Interruptions system has also been tweaked so you can block all but the most important interruptions (or everything if you want) until your next alarm, so you can sleep in peace. Screen pinning has also been improved with clearer instructions on how it functions.  

Device Protection isn't included on the Nexus 5, which is designed to thwart thieves who reset your phone.

Read more