Nexus 5 review - now with Android 5.1

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

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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, having been removed from sale on the Google Play Store earlier this year. It was a sad day, to be honest, as the Nexus 5 was, and continues to be, an excellent handset for those after a vanilla Android experience. It's not all bad news, though, as Google has just unveiled the brand-new Nexus 5X, which is also made by LG (the masters behind the old Nexus 5) and is the first handset to come with Android Marshmallow straight out of the box. 

With the Nexus 5X on the way, there's now very little reason to hunt down a Nexus 5, unless of course you're dead set against paying full price for a new Nexus 5X. The old Nexus 5 is still available via a handful of retailers, but with stocks rapidly falling, you'll need to be quick if you want to pick one up. 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.

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