- good: Price. Call me old-fashioned, but $350 is, in my opinion, still a lot for a phone. I have to remind myself these types of devices are more than phones.
- good: Unlocked. Nuff said? Really, this combined with the price is why I chose the phone, now as for the phone's other qualities:
- fair: Camera. It's far better than the Nexus S camera. In the right conditions (bright scenes) it's very acceptable. In the non-right conditions (non-bright scenes) it usually dissapoints. Camera controls are as poor as you've read if you've bothered reading. Focus and actuation do seem slow. For some this will be a heavy blow. I had hoped for more, but it's not a deal breaker.
- good: Speed / performance. I've seen benchmarks show 4 or 5 phones are faster, but I also don't care about "fastest", I care about "fast". This phone is fast. No lagging or stalling when switching amongst apps or scrolling web pages or doing anything else. This was a huge upgrade from the Nexus S. The speed of the Nexus 5 is completely satisfying.
- good: Battery life. Lasts me at least two days. I've seen reports that some people are experiencing battery drain. Both my and my wife's Nexus 5's will go for at least two days at our usages levels.
- good: The screen. It's lovely. It's crisp, bright enough, auto-dimming works well (much better than the Nexus S)
- ugly: The back. There's one thing that makes the back ugly, and that is the IMEI sticker. It ruins an otherwise Doric-order-esque backface.
- good: Kit-Kat. Not going to go into depth here. It feels significantly the same as stock Android ever did, but refined all over the place.
- ugly: "Photos". There is now a Photos app that shows photos on your phone and also from your Google account. This is in addition to the Gallery app. Why do I have two photo apps? It doesn't make sense.
- fair: Feel. I really liked the rounded back of the Nexus S. The squared edges of the Nexus 5 took some getting used to. I am used to it now, but I'd still like to have the back edges to have a little bit of a radius or even a chamfer.
- good: Hardware speech recognition. No network connection required. This was one of the more frustrating things about the Nexus S - speech recognition was processed remotely so if I wasn't on a fast cellular network or on a wireless network it was manual typing or nothing. Nexus 5 takes that pain away.
Overall I'm very pleased with the Nexus 5 and the only thing I wish was better is the camera situation. It's not horrible, but it's not great. It's very middle-of-the-road. And yet, I must say, in all the other important aspects - price, unlocked, speed, screen, battery - the Nexus 5 delivers solidly, in my opinion. Now, I could have paid nearly twice the money for a Google Play version of the HTC One in order to get a better camera experience, but that's not happening. I'll take the Nexus 5 camera in that case, no contest. What the Nexus 5 delivers for the price it delivers it is a very satisfying thing.
I would like to have individual volume control for notifications. Right now ring volume and notification volume are synchronized. Well, rings are longer in duration and get repeated as well. Notification sounds are short duration and once only. I've missed many notifications over the years because I didn't hear them.