Nexus 5 makes appearance on Google Play store

Google’s Nexus 5 smartphone briefly appeared on the Play store yesterday. The listing has since been removed, but not before Engadget grabbed a few details about the upcoming handset. The big news is the price—$349 for the 16GB version—which matches the initial launch price of the Nexus 4. The old Nexus handset was introduced with a cheaper 8GB variant at $299, but it doesn’t look like there’s a lower-capacity version of the Nexus 5. (Those are off-contract prices, by the way.)

According to a leaked service manual, there will be a 32GB model. Other specifications mentioned in that document include a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 4.95" IPS display with a 1080p display resolution. Reportedly, the battery has a 2300-mAh capacity, and the integrated cameras offer 1.3 megapixels up front and eight at the rear. NFC and LTE connectivity are supposed to be in the cards, as well, along with support for inductive charging.

Unfortunately, there’s no mention of a microSD slot. Google’s Nexus devices are frustratingly devoid of expandable storage, and it looks like the Nexus 5 will be no different. Everyone’s supposed to pull data from the cloud, I guess.

The Nexus 5 is expected to debut with Android 4.4, otherwise known as KitKat. This OS update is supposed to be optimized for older handsets, and it’s apparently loaded with minimalist UI tweaks. Android 4.4 should start trickling out to other Nexus devices after the new model makes its formal debut. The Nexus 5’s brief appearance on the Google Play store suggests that the official unveiling will happen soon.

Comments closed
    • NovusBogus
    • 9 years ago

    I might pick one up if it’s shown to be less prone to breaking than the N4 (which I have and duly broke). As far as the battery goes, if it’s anything like the N4 there will be DIY aftermarket upgrades for those who care about it. No expansion card is unfortunate but I’m not a hardcore smartphone junkie so I’d much rather pay $350 for something that does what I need than $600+ for a bunch of unnecessary features.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]LiPo batteries are often claimed as >1000 cycles before they only hold 80% [/quote<] It's actually worse than you think. Laptops and some tablets claim 1000 cycles to 80%, but smaller devices lack that circuitry. Apple claims 1000 on Macbooks and iPads, but only 400 for iPhones iirc. Most phones will be around there, 300-400 in a lab.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    It’s 300mAH less than the GS4, and the GS4 gets some of the best battery life excluding phones like the Max whose main feature is a bigger battery. So I don’t think the N5 will be horrible. And this site of all should known a battery rating isn’t a battery life rating, panel and radio and chip efficiency all play a role.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 9 years ago

    There seems to be a lot of posts decrying the “small” battery, but how many phones out there come with significantly *more* than 2300mAh? The only one I’ve come across is my Galaxy Note 2 with a 3100 beast. I seem to recall when screen sizes were commonly 4″ or less, the average battery tended to be around the 1500 mark, so 2300 seems like a fair size for this phone.
    Sure, it’s nothing special, but it doesn’t strike me as lacking either.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    I guess it’s a trend in Android, but it’s more like there is a range of products available although it would be nice if more high-end phones had at least a microSD slot and at least a reasonably user-replaceable battery for when the battery life starts to fade. But it’s definitely not a trend in consumer smartphones, iPhones have never had either.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    Yep. 11GB of DRM-free music on my SD card.

    • ET3D
    • 9 years ago

    As I said, most Android device manufacturers already pay a Microsoft tax, so I imagine they’d have no problem including the feature. The VFAT patents themselves seem to be pretty low cost ($0.25 per device, according to a googled web page), haven’t searched for the exFAT price, but it’s obvious that some device manufacturers are choosing not to pay and stick to 32GB max.

    And sure, it’s possible to use an SD card by using another file system and making it incompatible with other devices, but I imagine that will cause a problem for most non-techies.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<] Reportedly, the battery has a 2300-mAh capacity[/quote<] I'm thinking you could have squeezed a 'purportedly' in there.... Seriously though, 2300-mAh battery when new? I use my phones for 2-3 years and after 1000 charge/discharge cycles that 2300-mAh will be more like 1000mAh. LiPo batteries are often claimed as >1000 cycles before they only hold 80% but I am getting the impression that the >1000 figure is derived from theoretical and labratory testing under ideal circumstances. In the RC world, LiPo is used heavily and the average RC addict will tell you that you need to replace your LiPo batteries after 300-400 flights/runs. To confirm this, my SGSII battery [b<]needed[/b<] changing after 18 months (~500 cycles) because the runtime was down to less than a waking day. I typically played MP3's on it for a few hours a day, read/replied to maybe two dozen emails, and maybe spent 30 minutes facebook/gaming on it. The one thing I barely ever do is make calls. When it was new, the battery would usually be on about 40% when I went to bed and plugged it in. Obviously it varied a bit depending on usage, but after 18 months it was more often dead before I went to sleep, rather than comfortably making it through the day. I bought a new battery, a genuine samsung replacement with the same rated capacity, and guess what? 40% left at bedtime. One thousand cycles? Yeah, right....

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 9 years ago

    Minority of users? Last time I checked, about half the Android phones being sold were made by Samsung. Who puts removable batteries & SD card slots on (nearly) every phone they sell. You think more Android phone makers would copy Samsung, since they are raking in the lion’s share of profits when it comes to selling Android phones.

    And it is not just technical users who benefit from these features. I have know a few former iPhone users, the sort who call all Android phones “Galaxies or Droids”, switch to Galaxy phones because their iPhone battery crapped out part-way through their contract, and after either paying someone to replace it or dealing with a phone they could barely use until their contract was over, they decided they didn’t want to deal with that crap again. Or they got tired of fiddling with what songs are on their device, and which are not, and just wanted to be able to dump all their songs on a big SD card.

    And my Mother-in-law was very lucky she had a phone with a SD card (Razor M). She recently deleted all her pictures by accident, and was quite panicked about it. I had her mail me the SD card, stuck it into my computer & ran a file recovery program. And I got all but one of her pictures back. Sure, there are some apps that can do that, but they require root access, and she is not up to rooting her phone, to say the least.

    PS – Android could really use a built in Trash Can/Recycling Bin feature.

    • dmjifn
    • 9 years ago

    Eh, wut?

    Not to be overly critical of your comment because you do have a good point if what you’re saying is some form of “isn’t the offering limited and insufficient for the wider audience?” But I’m not sure you’re speaking from the standpoint of having lived in and experienced this exact platform.

    First – this “American” stuff? Google Play media [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Play#Availability<]is available in several European countries, along with Australia and New Zealand[/url<]. And even if it wasn't yet, America and the UK are still plenty large markets, and you could guess expansion into other markets was coming, right? Second, I don't know about your media space needs, but my Nexus 4's 12.92GB user-available space goes fairly far. That's enough for the entire first season of Pioneer One. The "high quality" 256kbps MP3s I bought off Amazon (never again!) are about 75-150MB per album. That's easily 120 albums. Even my own FLAC collection is about 7MB/min... which is admittedly just a paltry 35 albums on the Nexus 4. I also have a 40GB Sansa Clip for work and honestly I rotate through about 5 albums at a time max. I'm sure a casual listener can deal with having a "mere" 200 albums of middle-of-the-road encoding on their music device. And then there's the 32GB Nexus 5 coming. Third, the other way to skin that cat is to upload your MP3s to Google Drive then pull them over the internet like a mobile network filesystem. You're still in the Google cloud then without Play. And I'd argue that's more the point because, while an iTunes-style revenue source would be great for any company, Google's (informal?) mission to be the steward of all your data is being satisfied here. When I say the pressure to join is significant, I mean everywhere you turn your files are in Drive/Docs, photos in Picasa, email in Gmail, money in Wallet, telephony in Voice (OK, bad example), texts & chats in Hangouts, music & movies in Play - basically the Google ecosystem as a whole rather than just one service. I really don't think the point of no-SD-card is to limit how much you can put on your device. I think the point is to encourage you to use Google as your broker.

    • TO11MTM
    • 9 years ago

    There’s plenty of free file systems out there that work fine with removable devices. Besides; I’m fairly certain that if the main FS is mountable by windows the device is using some FAT derivative anyway.

    In other words, the lack of an SD card has little to do with File System patents as they’re typically being (Theoretically) violated by having an accessible main partition in the first place. Hell, there’s nothing stopping a manufacturer from putting a tiny partition in an unencumbered FAT derivative and then having some FS level drivers installable from there. And even if THEY were too lazy google themselves can sign the damn drivers and provide them as a middle finger to Microsoft.

    It’s primarily an issue of planned obsolescence and a few cents off the BOM.

    // As far as OP goes, Plenty of ‘lesser’ smartphones have SD Card slots that work lovely. Tossing a 64GB micro SDXC in my Lumia 521 was one of the better things I’ve done to it… And although it ain’t a bad phone it certainly isn’t even a Buick. Heck, most of the cheaper smartphones DO have Micro SD slots so they can cheap out on the onboard.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    At double the price for nearly the same phone :/

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    The GS4 may not last for you but it tests among the best in objective benchmarks of battery life. That’s with a “mere” 2600mah battery. The N5 will be 300 less, or if rumors are to be believed 400 more in the higher capacity version. I dont’ think that will make a huge difference. It won’t have the BEST battery life, I don’t expect that, but firmly middling at least.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, we have to bear in mind this thing is 85% as good/feature packed as the flagships for half the price – and many like the iPhone don’t offer expandable storage either. I’m excited for the N5 and will probably get it if there aren’t any horrible flaws. I’ll deal with the mere 32GB storage (just as an aside, eight times higher storage then my computer 15 years ago 😛 )

    • squeeb
    • 9 years ago

    I will happily take the lack of SD slot at this price point + no bloat / guaranteed OS updates (gsm models ofc). My gnex has served me well.

    • mesyn191
    • 9 years ago

    “people do not need extra complexity (and associated price increase) of these removable parts”

    Not your original point though which I think has been shown to not make much sense even if we don’t have the exact cost of a micro SD slot/removable battery.

    Also its not just Chinese no-name companies that produce cheap smartphones that have such features (micro SD slot, removable battery, dual SIM). There are Chinese brands that are nearly comparable in build quality to some of the mid range and top end phones too. This is not so outrageous to say either. After all its all made in China anyways right?

    • ET3D
    • 9 years ago

    Microsoft holds patents on standard file systems used by SD cards. I’m sure that has an effect on Google’s decision. Most Android phone manufacturer pay Microsoft a pretty hefty tax, and Android is one of the most profitable OS’s for Microsoft. I’m sure Google keeps that in mind when designing its devices.

    • The Wanderer
    • 9 years ago

    A friend of mine has a Galaxy S4 (or was it S3?), and he literally carries around two or more spare fully-charged batteries in his pocket; when the phone gets low, he shuts it down and swaps batteries, and is back up and going within a minute.

    Being technically user-serviceable does not remotely compare to that type of convenience.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    Well, then such device is not for you. You are free to select Samsung GS4 or any similar device which will satisfy your own preferences (and the preferences of other minority of users) better than Google’s own devices do.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    I can make the same exact reply to you and it will be just as valid, simply based on the fact that any Android user is always free to chose any third-party cloud media storage provider (same goes for email or streaming videos/music), regardless of what Google wants to do with their own devices and their own services.

    • calyth
    • 9 years ago

    If that’s the case, it’s just so damn shortsighted.

    e.g. don’t give you enough storage for music – well you can’t use Google Music unless you’re “American”, which apparently Nexus 4 is sold in countries that aren’t the USA.

    • calyth
    • 9 years ago

    Perhaps you got lucky.

    I’ve replaced the MacBook battery twice. It just stop holding a good charge over time.

    My Nexus 4 goes deep into the red line by 10pm or so (unplugging at 8am). I’ve resorting to leaving it charge on a qi charger at work to avoid it dying on me.

    I’ve on many occasions carried spare batteries for my work phone, and just swap it out when it’s out. They’re generally flat, and very pocketable, compared to the external batteries that you could get, but a total PITA to charge while trying to carry both in a pocket.

    I frown upon this whole integrate everything approach. Most phones with integrated battery just don’t have enough juice to reliably get through the day.

    I don’t want to pay through the noise for storage when SD card prices falls consistently.

    • The Wanderer
    • 9 years ago

    One difference there is that there is, so far as I can tell, no product available that offers both the advantages of the Nexus line (fully unlocked in every respect, clean Android without provider cruft) and those missing features.

    I have zero problem with there being a fully-unlocked Nexus-style smartphone model without expandable storage and replaceable batteries and the like. I have no problem with it being the main model of its brand, and being specifically inexpensive, intended for the mass market.

    I do have a problem with there not being a higher-end, more niche-market model which [i<]does[/i<] include those features. I'd gladly pay more for it, possibly considerably more, but I'm not being given the option. The only smartphones available with those features seem to come without the fully-unlocked, clean-configuration guarantee which I insist on - and I would be surprised if most of them weren't also inferior in terms of other specs. I'm almost certainly going to buy the 32GB Nexus 5 anyway, as my first ever smartphone purchase; I might have bought a Nexus 4 if I'd had the money at the time, and the Nexus 5 appears to improve on it in several respects. That doesn't leave me any less displeased by the lack of those options.

    • calyth
    • 9 years ago

    The lack of SD card is just complete insanity.

    I like to put my music on the phone, but with apps and other things on there, I just can’t.

    And before you say use the cloud, they don’t let you, cause I’m Canadian, or cause I’m Hong Kong Chinese, etc etc…

    I already have a SDXC 64GB card with all the music on there, and I just want to put it in, let the app scan for it, and be done with it. Somehow this is extremely difficult for Google and other android manufacturers to understand.

    • slowriot
    • 9 years ago

    The entire world revolves around JohnC. Honestly, I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to reply to someone who can’t see past their own nose.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    This is why I will buy an S4 and wait run SuperNexus (Kitkat) on it whenever that comes out.

    – Google Nexus firmware
    – SD Card slot
    – Replaceable battery.

    TBH this is how Android should be. Buy the hardware you like and run the stock Google OS on it.
    Why companies have to much around with the interface, at great cost, delay (and annoyance to the users) is a total mystery.

    • C-A_99
    • 9 years ago

    I’d be fine with the lack of expandable storage if they didn’t price gouge on the NAND like Apple does, although that still leaves the device unable to go more than 64 GB. (Which I personally don’t need more than, but others might.)

    Alternatively, if they don’t want two storage systems on the same OS, then they could also just use a MicroSD card to replace the NAND that’s built-in. Include a 16 GB, and people can pack in even 128 GB if they so have to. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to price gouge on a commodity this way or try to force you to use cloud services that are useless with bad data coverage, caps, and/or speeds.

    But apparently, having large storage on a portable device is only for “niche markets” now, even though that somehow wasn’t the case for the iPod.

    • uni-mitation
    • 9 years ago

    True, most people don’t need that extra complexity, until they find themselves in that spot where they need it.

    It is about covering all your bases. I don’t use my phone’s storage capacity to even a third of it, yet i rest easy knowing that i have the flexibility if i so desire to expand my local storage. I don’t trust the cloud with important things which is why i always have a local copy of it. In today’s age we take internet access as granted, but anytime you might find yourself unable to access your precious data in the cloud. Not to mention this is what companies like google want you to use: their walled garden. Telecoms don’t mind you using their date for cloud storage, in fact, they encourage. What company wouldn’t like people consume more of their stuff?

    • uni-mitation
    • 9 years ago

    Can’t deny the advantage that you have of swapping one battery for another.

    You forget that we are posting on a enthusiast site. But ask yourself, do you think a regular ignorant consumer have the guts to buy a kit and do the replacement itself on its expensive smartphone? Even three hundred dollars is expensive for a phone.

    So, by the time you have to pull that kit, i have a back-up battery up and running. Giving up such a feature is simply not justified for what is gained. There are people that rely on their phones to work, and they don’t expect to do any of the grunt work of using a kit and taking whatnot risks on it.

    I am just saddened that the regular consumer doesn’t realize what they are giving up. For those that visit such sites as this one i take it for granted that they know what they are doing, so if you are making an informed decision, the more power to you.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    Well, duh! All manufacturers must “cut corners” somewhere, that was my point. No-name Chinese manufacturers prefer to sacrifice build quality, image quality, performance, device-specific ROM development time and other things, whereas Google prefers to “cut corners” on items such as removable batteries and removable storage, based on its intended target market.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    I do not believe in that. I use Dropbox (non-Google service) as multimedia/document storage and most of the Android users I know also use various non-Google services for cloud storage (Dropbox, 4Sync, SkyDrive and others), same goes for music (most of my music is sourced from Amazon/iTunes/Pandora) and e-mail – I use Gmail only for purchases from Google Play, my other accounts are non-Google because Google does not recycle inactive accounts fast enough and most of the e-mail account names that I wanted were already taken. And I am not planning on switching any time soon.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    The snapdragon 800 does seem to be quite a bit more efficient than the previous generation. Scale back the G2’s battery size to 2300, add a little bit of improvement you will probably get from android 4.4 and the lack of extra crap that comes with most phones that arent Nexus and this phone could well outlast phones with noticeably bigger batteries.

    • slowriot
    • 9 years ago

    So, these Chinese manufacturers will sacrifice all the qualities you say matter to the mass market but will implement the features the small enthusiast market wants? That makes no sense.

    I believe it has very little to do with the costs of implementing the hardware, but rather that Google hopes to make money from services which become increasingly necessary if your phone lacks sufficient internal storage (or a method to expand that storage). The Nexus devices are designed to steer you towards becoming more reliant on Google’s services.

    • mesyn191
    • 9 years ago

    Some have those issues but not all and if they do its because the manufacturer cut corners and not because the addition of a SD slot or removable battery is so difficult and expensive to do.

    • dmjifn
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve had a Nexus device of some kind since December 2012 and have been an active Google services user for years. My experience with it and my cynicism suggests that this is more about pushing people into joining Google’s cloud collective over price gouging on hardware or market segmentation. Subjectively, I’d say the pressure to do this is significant once you’re a fledgling Google user. I’m not commenting on whether this is right or wrong, or even done well or poorly – just that I would guess it’s more about the company’s integration agenda than product stratification.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    These “cheapest models” implement removable batteries, SD slots and other gimmicks by sacrificing something else (performance, stability, build quality, image quality, warranty support, etc.).

    • GeneS
    • 9 years ago

    You ruin all my fun!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    The 32GB phone with a 3000mAh battery is called a “G2” 😉

    • mesyn191
    • 9 years ago

    Some of the cheapest phones around have removable batteries, SD slots, and dual SIM slots.

    Just google “chinese smartphone for sale” and you’ll find tons of them. Usually you’re stuck with using T Mobile or ATT or one of their MVNO’s to make them work in the US and most only support 3G too. Any Chinese smartphone that uses a MediaTek chipset will have that limitation.

    There are some that use Qualcomm chipsets though that are compatible with other US carriers but you have to do your research before buying.

    • mesyn191
    • 9 years ago

    MicroSD is pretty common place and cheap though, doesn’t seem too niche at all.

    My WAG is the phone vendors dislike adding MicroSD slots to many US phones because then they’d no longer be able to price gouge for phones with extra storage capacity.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Well Apple hasn’t done it yet so I assume Samsung didn’t think they needed to yet.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]frustratingly devoid of expandable storage[/quote<] I'd like a microSD slot too, but I'm resigning myself to the fact that these are mass-market, consumer-oriented devices, not micro-market enthusiast-oriented. I'm in the market for a new sedan. I like the new Chevy Impala, but I lust after the Cadillac XTS with the twin-turbo V6 - but I can't justify the near-doubling of the price. Since they're basically the same car, I know that the twin-turbo engine would drop right into the Chevy, so why can't I have it? Different markets, of course - exactly the same reasoning as behind the Nexus. And no, I'm not going to say "I want a smartphone with 64 GBytes" - it'd just be [s<]fodder[/s<] a total gift for the Usual Gang of Critics 😛

    • Firestarter
    • 9 years ago

    The Nexus 4 battery is user-serviceable, just not easily swapped like with Samsung phones.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    Because most people do not need extra complexity (and associated price increase) of these removable parts and Google understands this fact. I never had the need of removable battery with any of my smartphones, tablets or even laptops (my current MacBook Pro works perfectly for my portable needs), same goes for SD cards (I have no use for them in any of these devices) and I personally do not know a single person who constantly swaps batteries or SD cards on these devices.

    Of course, the few people who do actually need these still have a choice of buying other brand’s products with removable batteries/cards.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    Well, Samsung is usually late with copying useful features from other companies 😉 But they are currently working on doing that for future devices:
    [url<]http://connect.dpreview.com/post/5978951149/samsung-announces-13mp-camera[/url<]

    • uni-mitation
    • 9 years ago

    These two trends: non-user serviceable battery and non-expandable storage. Why do people buy phones that are planned with such non-serviceable parts?

    Tell me they got rid of the glass back because i will start to think they are doing it in purpose.

    Now people seem to buy tablets for phones and they are discovering that all that screen real state comes at a price. Not to mention the unwieldiness. It is supposed to be a phone before anything else, and that means be durable, and at least have user-serviceable batteries that last you through the day, and not make you carry it like a brick just like the old days with brick phones.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    That’s one thing I wish the Galaxy S4 had. I’ve taken way too many blurry shots. My wife with her S4 is the same way.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    According to “leaked” service manual it supposed to include OIS with its camera… Which is awesome if true – it makes huge difference when taking videos. Too bad that not a lot of companies embrace this feature even on their “flagship” devices…

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I guess it does remain to be seen. The G2 uses some extra RAM for panel self refresh (one of the things Anandtech uses to credit the handset’s battery life), which I’m sure costs money. While we don’t know for sure just how much Google subsidizes the cost of the handset, that seems like a prime cost-cutting move.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    I get plenty of battery life with my HTC One, which has same battery capacity. It all depends on your personal needs.

    • nico1982
    • 9 years ago

    LG’s G2 battery life, whose hardware the Nexus 5 seems to be based on, is excellent. Actual hardware might end up to be worse, but if you dial the G2 results back 25% to account for the smaller battery the runtimes are still at the top of the charts.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t think the manual mentioned a 16GB version. It also said Bluetooth 3.0.

    Let’s just wait for them to announce folks.

    edit: bah, for some reason my reply ended up here. Was meant for your other comment. Sorry :/

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    Which is why, assuming the Nexus 5’s battery life really is as bad as people are claiming, I’ll be saving up for an LG G2 and then flash it with an AOSP build once it becomes available.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    It isn’t. Inspection of the leaked instruction manual of the phone gives absolutely no reference to a 3000mAh battery (the 2300 one is referenced however). In general there is no evidence to suggest such a model exists.

    • Beelzebubba9
    • 9 years ago

    Woo gonna buy one!

    I hope the rumor of a 32GB model with a larger 3000mAh battery for more money is true. I’d pay $450 for that.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    With a display that big and a battery that small I can’t imagine you’ll get a whole lot of screen-on time. Galaxy S4 won’t make it a 16-ish hour day with a larger battery.

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