Nexus 5 has arrived! Google finally unveils its handset and takes the wrapper off the new KitKat Android operating system
- Google's new Nexus 5 handset goes on sale from 1 November
- It will be the first product to run the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system
- The phone has a 4.95-inch screen and will be available in black or white
- Prices start at £299 ($349) for 16GB and £339 ($399) for 32GB
It was one of the worst kept secrets in tech history thanks to a steady stream of leaked images and countless reports, but tonight Google finally unveiled its Nexus 5 handset.
It is the first device to run the new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and comes with a 4.95-inch screen, an 8MP camera on the back coupled with a 1.3MP camera on the front.
The 4G-ready handset, made by LG, goes on sale on Google's official Play store from tomorrow and prices start at £299 ($349) for 16GB or £339 ($399) for 32GB.
Carphone Warehouse is additionally offering the handset for £295 SIM free.
The Google Nexus 5, pictured, is the first device to run the new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. The 4G-ready handset goes on sale on Google's official Play store from tomorrow and prices start at £299 for 16GB or £339 for 32GB
GOOGLE NEXUS 5 SPECIFICATIONS
Screen: 4.95-inch screen
Operating system: Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera: 8MP front-facing, 1.3MP rear-facing
Storage: 16GB and 32GB
Memory: 2GB RAM
Price: £299 ($349) for 16GB and £339 ($399) for 32GB
It will go up against Apple's iPhone 5S and Samsung's Galaxy S4, and is described as a 'high end' handset by the search giant.
'Five years ago we launched the first Android, now the system is healthier than ever and very vibrant,' said Sundar Pichai, Google's Android boss.
The new handset will be available in black and white, and can be woken up simply by saying 'OK Google'.
The firm says its new Android software, called KitKat, has been redesigned to allow it to run on far more handsets that previous versions.
KitKat is also designed to unify the different versions of Android available.
The announcement comes almost a year to the day since Google unveiled its hugely popular Nexus 4 device.
The Nexus 4 sold out within hours of hitting the store, and again when the stocks were replenished, and it is expected the new handset will be just as popular.
Google's Nexus 5 comes with an ultra-high resolution screen that contains 1920 x 1080 pixels, giving the device a pixel-per-inch (PPI) rating of 445.
This sits between Apple's 4-inch iPhone 5S screen with a PPI of 326, and the 469 PPI screen of the 4.7-inch HTC One.
The Nexus 5, pictured, is powered by the latest high-speed, power-saving Snapdragon 800 chip from Qualcomm also seen in the Samsung Note III and Nokia's new Lumia 1520. According to tech journalist Mark Prigg, the handset 'feels like a truly high-end phone'
GOOGLE NEXUS 5 - MAILONLINE'S FIRST IMPRESSION
Taking a leaf from Apple's book, the Nexus 5 has undergone a dramatic weight loss since its last version - and is thinner, lighter and faster than any other Nexus.
It feels like a truly high-end phone, and Google has spent a lot of time perfect not just how it works, but crucially how it feels.
The touchscreen, buttons and casing are all a significant improvement, and at 130g, it's incredibly light.
Android has also got a big boost, and KitKat, the version running here, is excellent.
It's been tweaked, polished and improved far more than previous versions, and feel extremely snappy in use - with searches beginning instantly, and Google Now available with a simple left swipe.
Overall, this is arguably the best Android handset on the market - and should see Google making inroads in the high end smartphone market where Apple has traditionally dominated.
It's not enough to persuade Apple owners to switch, but with the Nexus 5 Google has shown that it can keep Android owners wanting a true quality handset on board.
Review by Mark Prigg in San Francisco
The Nexus 5 is powered by the latest high-speed, power-saving Snapdragon 800 chip from Qualcomm also seen in the Samsung Note III and Nokia's new Lumia 1520.
It has 2GB of RAM and will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage.
'How do we get Android to work for the next billion people - that's our goal for the 2014,' said Pichai.
'We also wanted a more beautiful, immersive experience,' he said.
'How do we change form a grid of applications to a smart experience.'
The firm will integrate popular apps such as IMDB and OpenTable into Android to allow users to use apps in search results.
'At the moment you have a grid of applications, and click on what you want.
'Our vision is that every time you pick up your phone and glance at it, you have the right information - and we're taking our first steps in that direction.'
David Phelan, Mobile Technology Advisor at Carphone Warehouse said: 'Google's own-brand phones are always a talking point.'
'The Nexus 5 has been hotly anticipated and Google fans like Nexus because it shows Android at its purest and most advanced: the latest Kit-Kat software will be on this phone first.
This phone is for early adopters, Google fans and 'power users' who want a high-end phone at a keen price.
'Now Android is such a powerful force in mobile, we can expect the Nexus 5 with its cutting-edge specs to beat even the success of the Nexus 4.'
In August, Google slashed the price of its Nexus 4 from £239 for the 8GB down to £159, adding fuel to the predictions a new handset was on its way.
Leaked shots of the new handset made a brief appearance on the firm's Play store earlier this month, pictured left, shown alongside Google's current Nexus 7, centre, and Nexus 10, right. It had a price tag of $349, which matched what the Nexus 4 was sold at from launch
GOOGLE'S ANDROID 4.4 KITKAT OPERATING SYSTEM
Google teamed up with Nestle last month to launch the next version of its Android operating system, called Android 4.4 KitKat.
There had been speculation that the latest version would be named Android Key Lime Pie because each release begins with the letter of the alphabet that follows the previous.
To mark the announcement, the KitKat homepage was redesigned as a parody of Google software releases.
It is the successor to Android Jelly Bean that launched on the new Nexus 7 in July.
Google then updated all of the core apps that ship automatically with its Android software, including Gmail, Google+ and YouTube, earlier this week.
The Nexus 5 forms part of Google's existing Nexus range that also includes the new Nexus 7 tablet, built by Asus.
It launched in July and has a 7-inch, 1980 x 1200 display. It also has a 5MP rear-facing camera and a faster 1.5Ghz processor compared to the first-generation Nexus 7 device.
It was the first gadget to be shipped on Google's Jelly Bean operating system, Android 4.3.
Leaked shots of a new handset made a brief appearance on the firm's Play store earlier this month, shown alongside Google's current Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 models. It had a price tag of $349.
The handset is the first to take advantage of the KitKat 4.4 operating system, which allows users to print documents and photos remotely (pictured left) and prioritise contacts (right) as well as using a smarter caller ID system, which sources numbers of businesses from Google Maps
This price matched what the Nexus 4 was sold at from launch.
Carphone Warehouse is offering the device for £295 without a SIM, or free from £32 per month.
The first 1,000 customers to order the Nexus 5 on a 4G contract via the Carphone Warehouse website will also get a free Google Nexus 7 Wi-Fi 16GB tablet worth £139
KITKAT 4.4 FEATURES
- An app called 'the future is calling' automatically prioritises contacts based on the people you talk to the most.
- A smarter caller ID looks for matches in Google Maps for unknown business numbers
- Users can print photos and documents on-the-go using Google Cloud print and HP eprint printers
- Open and save files on Google Drive and other cloud storage services
- The Hangouts app, puts all SMS and MMS messages plus video calls together in the same app
- When using fitness apps on Nexus 5, the phone acts as a pedometer to count steps
- Faster multitasking is achieved by optimising memory usage so switching between apps is quicker
- An immersive mode automatically hides everything except what you really want to see, such as games and films
Hiten A. Raja