Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Google Nexus 5 Quick Review

Google Nexus 5 Quick Review

Brief:  Erm, it’s a Nexus with a 5 inch screen.

Price:  £299 for 16GB or £339 for 32GB

Specification:  See here http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/5/

Accessories:  Erm a charger and cable.  You can always find plenty of cases on eBay, be warned all official accessories are insanely expensive.

Build Quality:  Rather nice I think.  The thing is sealed so that help with rigidity I guess.  It all looks very neat and tidy.  The buttons feel nice and sold.  Can’t really fault it for anything.

Aesthetics:   Erm it’s a black rectangle.  It’s not ugly but neither is it particularly pretty.  It’s a fairly bland, non-descript affair.

As a Phone:  It’s pushing the limits of what my fingers can comfortably deal with but I’ve gotten used to it.  Calls and stuff all worked fine.  It was pretty much always snappy to use.  There is the odd crash but, I am using a non-stock ROM so I’m good with that.  It’s really user friendly and tweakable.

Sound:  For a phone I think it’s pretty good.  It’s not like I would want to have to use it every day, or pretty much any day for my audio needs but if it was all I had I could survive.  As phones go it’s pretty reasonable.  The bass is a nice balance between soft expansion and punch.  Its depth and rigidity aren’t all that but it’s a phone.  Pairing it up with something warm, bassy, mainstream styled it’s a good pairing.  Mids too, they are a bit dry, open which would once more suit thick and heavy mainstream stuff.  They are a trying to take vocals in a dry direction so it does help them to come out a bit from a thick and creamy IEM.  Highs are much the same story.  The amp can’t push their extension but their overall slightly dry, open sound lends to a sense of clarity and detail.  Its edges can be a bit brittle but once more, what it’s likely to encounter they complement each other well.  For a phone it’s reasonable, these and the IE8’s make for a pretty good combo and if I didn’t know what the 8’s could do when driven better I’d be really pleased with them.  However I do know and I can’t pretend I don’t.  So yes it’s good for a phone, for a phone.  I’ll still take my HM-650 thanks.

However I find myself feeling the DAC isn’t the limiting factor, if the hp amp was better these could really stretch their legs and shine.  It feels like a missed opportunity and that niggles me.

Value:  Great.  It was top tier spec for midrange money.  It sold great and it deserved to.  A bit so so for a DAP but overall great for the money.

Pro’s:  Cheap.  Reasonable sound quality.  Nexus so well supported.

Con’s:  HP amp isn’t just quite there.  No SD card slot.  Meh battery life.

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