The Nexus 5 is here.
After months of leaked details (most of which were accurate), Google officially announced the Nexus 5 in a blog post today. The 5-inch Android phone is available unlocked for $349 (with 16GB of storage, $399 with 32GB) on the Google Play Store today, and it’s headed to electronics retailers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint soon.
Google also unveiled some new details on Android 4.4 KitKat, which the Nexus 5 will ship with. Confirming earlier reports, Google noted that KitKat is all about reaching the “next 1 billion users” with support for lower-end devices. KitKat will be available on the Nexus 4, 7, and 10 soon, as well as the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Galaxy S4.
The LG-built Nexus 5 sports a 5-inch screen, an 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, and a 2.3 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. Unfortunately for Google, none of these specs are a surprise at this point — but that $349 unlocked price will surely make it a hit among Android fans.
In a promotional video (below), Google focuses heavily on the Nexus 5′s camera capabilities. With optical image stabilization, something LG implemented in its latest Optimus smartphones, the Nexus 5′s camera should take better pictures in low light and shoot video without shaking as much. The megapixels may be the same as the Nexus 4, but the technology behind the Nexus 5′s camera should lead to far better pictures.
Back to KitKat, Google says it has streamlined Android’s memory footprint by killing background services, slimming down features, and reducing the amount of memory used by apps like YouTube and Chrome. The result? KitKat theoretically can run “comfortably” on a device with just 512 megabytes of RAM (which includes plenty of cheap Android phones).
Among other updates, Google has improved the Android phone app so it can search contacts, places, and Google Apps accounts and it has also integrated text messages into a new Hangouts app.