Recently a small fruit company out of Cupertino made some headlines with the news of the impending release of their new mobile phone. These days, there are enough users of the Android platform that any news regarding all “i-things” should set in to motion a very pointed and thorough critique of why Android is superior and iOS is quickly becoming obsolete. And seeing as it is so stylish to criticize the incumbent king of mobile devices, it comes as no surprise that comments like “it took you long enough” were fast and furiously arriving on the coattails of the announcements of specs, and release dates.
There is one complaint that has raised an eyebrow or two (or in my case, my carefully groomed monobrow…) when it started to appear. So since when are 4.7” or 5+” considered to be too big? Probably when iOS users realized that they should be careful of what they ask for. The argument that the new “i-thingy” is “too big” is not completely baseless. It is founded in the idea that the current form factor is just right, and that all of the Android mega-screens and phablets just don’t fit in the palms of any normal hands, let alone those of us who are more hand-size-challenged, or manually dainty.
For those of you who are Android users, but secretly envious of smaller, more economical builds, I think your savior has arrived. The Nexus 5 (by LG) is by no means a “small” phone, but in comparison to the 5.5” and 6+” monsters that take the helm for most Android OEM’s, this is a “small 5”” by comparison. But I think that also goes with the whole notion of the Nexus, which is a stripped down, “pure Android” device that is only meant to blow you away with its simplicity, utility, and no frills approach to the user experience.
I can only rant so much about the size and feel of the phone without eventually telling you to go get one in your hands and see for yourself. You’ll see that it really doesn’t feel as big as the G3 or the S5 or the One, but it’s still big enough to serve as a small 2nd screen for Netflix, YouTube, or mid-ranged gaming. For me though, the big hit was the stock email reader.
Other OEM’s do a fine enough job of creating an email reader which allows the user to manage email, but none ever seem to reach the level of utility of the Gmail app. Is that personal preference? Maybe… actually… probably yes, it is. But I also will say this – that Gmail is consistently the ONLY email reader which seems to integrate the features and functions of Android in a consistent manner. Features like “swipe to delete”, the folder GUI, and while in a message, swipe to advance to next or previous message. The swipe to delete and folder menu GUI are admittedly personal preferences that I could make an argument for being the ideal way that email readers should function, but the swipe to advance is something that is indispensable, and is painfully absent on devices that don’t use it.
Is it reason enough to purchase the Nexus 5? Nahhh. It’s a benefit. HOWEVER, it’s a prime example of what makes this device so sweet. To me, Nexus is shoe-horning its way into the form and function mold. It’s not HUGE, and it doesn’t have all sorts of bells and whistles, but it provides you a spectacular, well designed, thoughtful platform to create your own mobile device experience from something that is as close to a clean slate as it can get in the mobile arena.
Because the Nexus brand doesn’t promote itself except in the niche market it occupies, I don’t think it will ever get a title shot at being the pound-for-pound champ in the mobile tech arena. But definitely worth a look, especially if you are looking for something economical in cost, efficient in performance, and concise in delivered product and experience that it imparts to the user.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. sprintemployee.