• Google’s LG Nexus 5: First Impressions

    I managed to order a Nexus 5 about 5 minutes after they became available on the Play store. (The Nexus 4 was still listed as a device, but there was a banner advert for the Nexus 5). It has arrived this morning (I would have had it earlier had I not ordered it to work).

    The setup was typically Android, except that before it allowed me to sign in with my GMail account, I had to download a 140MB update (over 3G) before I could access any of the features of the phone. Whilst you are given an option to connect to a Wi-Fi network, the ones I use all require MAC address authentication – information which is not available immediately.

    I’ve got a lot to do in terms of transferring old data to the new device. I used SMS Backup & Restore to transfer all of my texts (of which there were over 6000) and the app has been made KitKat-compatible. I’ll do the rest of the transfers this evening though.

    The phone feels very comfortable to hold, and I would say feels and looks more of a premium product than the S3 that it is replacing. The two phones are very similar in size in all dimensions though the Nexus 5 certainly feels a lot lighter. The screen is lovely, though it does seem as though many apps have not yet created xxhdpi-ready icons, as many look a little blurred.

    There is absolutely no lag in loading apps and websites load incredibly quickly. That is more than can be said for the S3 (which I remember being blisteringly fast when I first got that).

    Something that I have found a little odd (and a bit of a shame) is that the “Ok Google” search is not available if you pick English UK as your default language. This is something that you can change after the initial setup though, you can have it as a feature though it’s a real shame that it doesn’t work out-of-the-box. If you do change the language to English US, head into the keyboard options (long-press the comma) and change the input language to English UK. This presents its own issues though as there are certain apps (such as the Amazon Android app) which rely on the system language to determine which shop to display. At the moment, my Amazon app loads in US Dollars, rather than Pounds Sterling. Update: I have found a work-around to this. (It’s also possible to change country in the Amazon app, which I have only just noticed)

    SMS in Hangouts

    In general, the combination of hangouts and SMS has gone pretty smoothly. There is one major issue though which is that when sending to more than one contact, the app automatically converts the message to MMS. I can’t imagine why it does this, and it seems incredible that anyone at Google would consider this a good idea. I don’t get free MMS messages and send a decent number of group SMS messages each week. This is an incredible frustration. There are a number of alternative SMS apps available on the market place (some of which actually work in KitKat), but I’ve not found one which does the job I want it to, the way I want it to.

    Crashes

    I’ve thus far been unable to add widgets to the home screens – I get a crash every time I tryUpdate: After opening the widgets, I swiped as quickly as possible a few times to the right. I was able to add one of the widgets and after that I never had a crash. I have a suspicion that the issue may have arisen because I hadn’t opened the Business Calendar app before heading into the widgets – though I have no way of knowing that for sure.

    There are also a great-many apps which crash on load on KitKat, including a number of games and the official Flickr app. This is really disappointing, and it’s possibly one of the most significant gaps between Google and Apple in that one would never expect that to happen with iOS updates.

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One Responseso far.

  1. simon says:

    Hi,
    I can confirm that the crashes are caused by the business calendar app.
    Just open it, walk through the setup, then there are no more crashes when adding widgets.

    Thanks form the pointer!

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