Android 4.4 – KitKat, Google Nexus 5 Official

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Throwing it up on Google Play by way of announcement, the new Nexus 5 is now available, straight from Google. Recent leaks and rumors had targeted a November 1st reveal date, but it looks like Google decided to reveal its next-generation of both Nexus and Android a day early.

Google Nexus 5The new phone ships with Android’s next-generation 4.4 codebase, codenamed ‘KitKat’. You won’t notice anything huge when you upgrade your phones and tablets to the new version, as 4.4 looks more and more to incorporate a number of ‘under-the-hood’ improvements.

Android 4.4 goes even further toward combating what critics of the Android OS deem as fragmentation – letting manufacturers control more and more of the operating system, resulting in different experiences both for users as well as developers. The new OS modularizes more of Android’s codebase, allowing Google to update it piecemeal through the Google Play store – regardless of what version of Android a phone might be running or what a manufacturer has done to the software.

Promising to target the ‘Next Billion Users’, Google has optimized Android to run (despite the flagship specs of the new Nexus 5) on lower-end devices with as little as 512MB of memory. It would have been nice to see the forlorn Nexus S get an update because of this, but no doubt some enterprising developer will shoehorn the update on soon enough.

Google is trying hard for a worldwide-ish rollout this time around, with immediate availability for users in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea – the company promised that India would be added to the list soon.

If you’re not up for picking it up online, Google is promising to have it in stores soon, at Best Buy, Radio Shack, T-Mobile, and Sprint (well, Amazon, too – but that’s also online).

Which brings us to another point – if you were hoping to snag one of these on Verizon, think again. Despite the presence of both CDMA and LTE radios (as well as GSM) inside of the device, the Nexus 5 won’t be coming to VZW – at least not any time soon. 

It’s not coming to AT&T, either, but with 3G and at least one of AT&T’s LTE bands supported, you can likely get the smartphone up and running.

Coming in both black and white (the white version looks especially fetching with its black faceplate), the 16GB model will retail for $349, while the 32GB model will retail for $399.

T-Mobile and Sprint support are baked in out of the box, with official carrier partnerships and everything, but if you’re a T-Mobile customer, you should make certain that the carrer’s refarmed 1900MHz is complete in your area, as it doesn’t look like the Nexus 5 supports T-Mo’s traditional 2100MHz 3G signal – a marked departure for the Nexus lineup.

Google released a charming video to show off the Nexus 5, putting specific emphasis on the camera’s quality. The LG G2 has a solid performer in terms of its camera module, and with optical image stabliization built-in, we finally have a Nexus device that can take suitable smartphone photos:

Based on the consummate LG G2 handset, the new Nexus 5 offers a largely unchanged set of specifications from its progenitor smartphone.

LG/Google Nexus 5 Specifications:

  • CPU: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.3GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 330 @ 450MHz
  • Display: 4.95 inches, 1920×1080 resolution (IPS)
  • Pixel density: 445 ppi
  • Front camera: 1.3MP
  • Rear camera: 8MP + optical image stabilization
  • Networking: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0LE, NFC
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Battery: 2,300mAH 
  • Talk time: 17 hours
  • Browsing (Wi-Fi): 8.5 hours
  • Browsing (LTE): 7 hours
  • Cellular:
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
    CDMA: Band 0/1/10
    WCDMA: Band 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
    LTE: Band 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Carriers: T-Mobile, Sprint

You can access the phones today right on Google’s Play store:

Black Nexus 5 16GB
Black Nexus 5 32GB
White Nexus 5 16GB
White Nexus 5 32GB



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