Can we all just agree that the 2013 Nexus 5 was the best Nexus ever?

2013 Nexus 5 (x3)

After all the Pixel-related hoopla yesterday Android Police confirmed with Google that the Nexus brand is effectively dead. I think I’ve come to terms with it; Nexus hasn’t really been the same since late 2013 anyway, when the Nexus 5โ€”codenamed hammerheadโ€”went on sale.

The Nexus 5 finished what the Nexus 4 started, offering high-end specs at an affordable price. The final pieces to this puzzle that were added by the 5 include a full HD screen, LTE radio and optically-stabilized rear camera. Battery life wasn’t spectacular, but this was offset somewhat by the convenience of inductive charging.

And, of course, being a Nexus meant that hammerhead was a modder’s dream. It was my first testbed for Xposed Modules, ran one of my all-time favourite custom ROMs, SlimKat, and was even compatible with MultiROM, allowing me to boot into Android, Sailfish and Ubuntu all on the same phone. Hammerhead continues to be useful to this day; it’s currently the only device that can run Maru OS, transforming a humble smartphone into a fully-functioning Debian-powered desktop computer.

You could go so far as to call The Nexus 5 the anti-iPhone. Where Apple’s flagship was locked down and expensive, Google’s alternative was open and affordable. It seems to have sold pretty well, too; I still see the occasional Nexus 5 when I’m out in the world. 2013 actually saw two Nexus successes: the second-gen Nexus 7 tablet was (and is) also pretty great.

But Google saw things differently, it seems… They tried to kill Nexus in 2014 with Android Silver, and have finished the job in 2016 with Pixel. Like I said, I’ve come to terms with this. I firmly believe that the spiritual successor to what Nexus once was lives on in OnePlus, and here’s proof: the current 64GB OnePlus 3 retails for the same $399 USD as the 2013 32GB Nexus 5 did.

I’m hanging on to my bright-red hammerhead all the same; ditto for my Nexus 7 tablet.

Inspiration: Android Police

26 comments:

    1. Nexus 5 was great along with Nexus 7 tablet is phenomenal, the 5 battery was bad, when Marshmallow came in to play it made the battery last longer. For me the Nexus 6 was my favorite replacement of the 5. Nexus 6 is the speaker phone ever created on the Nexus line. The best speaker phone ever created by Motorola, my daily driver is a Droid Turbo 2, which I love it, the speaker phone is not as good as the Nexus 6. Wireless capability is what I love about these phone, none of the new phones has that capability, they all chose Type C charging. Wireless should be a standard for Android.

  1. As a owner of Nexus 4, 5, 6 and 6P in my opinion the best Nexus phone is the 6.

    The 4 was the most beautiful but lacked LTE.

    The 5 although perfect in specs and has a gorgeous & accurate screen, it’s a very cheap looking phone and it’s on call connections sucks. It’s basically unable to keep a phone call connection & sometimes although I can hear the caller cannot hear me. And it’s Bluetooth is also very unreliable.

    The 6 is perfect in all respects except for its extremely inaccurate screen colors. 6″ screen, stereo speakers, dual antennas for great phone reception, wireless charging, great battery life, aceptable camera, etc.

    The 6P is the most ugly Nexus and way to big for its small 5.7″ screen (the 6 has a 6″ screen and is physically smaller or the same size). And has a useless (for me) fingerprint reader. It’s also extremely sleepery due to its aluminum construction. And it’s camera bump makes it even worse.

    I sold my 6P and continued using my 6 instead. I was hoping for a new improved Nexus but the new Pixels are even worse. Way too big for their tiny screen, no stereo speakers and not even splash resistance…

  2. Totally agree. I love my Nexus 5 and OnePlus seems now the best choice for those of us who loved what the Nexus programa meant.

  3. My 1st nexus 5’s hard drive failed after 11 months. No boot, no bios options. It just bricked in the middle of work. Luckily the warranty covered it and Google sent me a new one. 13 months later that phone bricked with the same hard drive failure.

    Other than that, I’d say it was a great phone. lol
    Since the hardware changed, I decided to stick with Google’s phones.

    I’ve had a nexus 4, I burned through 2 nexus 5’s and am now on a Nexus 6p. I love the 6p.
    My Nexus 4 is still kicking if I need a backup handheld computer for work.

  4. Nexus 5 is the best phone i used. Its in my hands since 2014 and running very good till now. No complaints. No comparison.

  5. Agreed. The Nexus 5 was my first Android phone and still is. Everything that has come out since, has left me going for the “next” Nexus.

  6. I have been using a 5 for the past couple of years and was excited about the pixel… But it’d way too expensive for me… I could always have gone to One Plus 3 but am a huge fan of Stock Android.. Just ordered a brand new 6p and am eagerly waiting for it.. nexus 5 have always been very good to me but as the age started kicking in, speakers went low, battery drains like crazy and now I have a cracked screen… But “in my personal opinion” I wouldn’t say that nexus 5 was perfect….

  7. Still using my Nexus 5 as my main phone, which I upgraded to from the Nexus 4. I was waiting for the Pixel announcement before upgrading, tho at those prices I’ve decided to go for the OnePlus 3.

    And my Nexus 7 is still in us as well, I use it on the commute to work for comics & Walking Dead NML. Tho I was also waiting to see if the Pixel announcement brought a new 7 inch tablet. I do still expect that to be announced for Christmas under the Nexus banner at an affordable price. Fingers crossed.

  8. I still use N5, now with flashed Android 7.0 ROM and it worjs great as from the first day I bought it! Google should send Nougat to N5, too. I probablly change it in a year or two, and I’m al.ost sure it won ‘t be for “Pixel” as it’s price is going to match iPhones, so Google is starting to copy Apple, so sad ๐Ÿ™ Nexus 5 for me is still the best phone.

  9. I have been using my Nexus 5 more than 3years( till today I am using it) and I don’t like to use other phone as it is very very user friendly. But I am totally disappointed as I an unable to get Android7 update. I will be greatful if Google extends its Android 7 update to Nexus 5.

  10. I’m posting this comments from my 4yr old Nexus 5. Which works and still looks fine. My friends often get confused by the looks there think it might be just 1yrs old

  11. Nexus 5 is my first Android phone. I’m using it from 2013. I never felt like I needed a replacement. But now the battery is dying fast. I’m thinking of going for one plus 3 or moto z play? What do you guys suggest?

  12. Nexus 5 ftw! But a week ago, the phone started experiencing the power button failure! ๐Ÿ™
    Almost 4 years old, now? Admittedly, i still check eBay for Nexus 5 but have come to term to switch (looking at Xperia, maybe)

  13. Still using my Nexus 5 two and a half years after purchase. It has been and still is in lots of ways a great phone. However, in just the past few weeks lots of things have started getting buggy… applications tending to crash and the Google search function taking a long time to react. Is this Google just trying to tell me to change my phone?! ๐Ÿ˜
    Yes, of course it would be a dream if the phone could be updated to Nougat. Not savvy enough to do that myself. What a pity Google doesn’t have more respect for all the early adopters that we were, who invested in Nexus 5!

  14. Have always been a fan of the Nexus 5. When Google decided not to release Nougat for it, I was quite upset, seeing that the device is a power house of sorts. Google should give the N5 a chance with Nougat. So much potential going to waste on such an amazing device.

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