back to article Google RIPS aside curtain, exposes Nexus 5 phone, KitKat Android 4.4 coupling

Google has released its latest major Android build, version 4.4 codenamed KitKat, and has started selling its new Nexus 5 smartphone as the first device to run the new OS. Nexus 5 Behold, Google's shiny new mobe ... the Nexus 5 KitKat, aka Android 4.4, has faster multitasking and full voice control, according to Google, …


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  1. poopypants


    Top range specifications, extremely good value for money.

    If I wasn't happy with my Galaxy Nexus, I'd probably get one.

    1. miknik

      Re: Nice

      Just ordered one, Google Play says 8th November dispatch date.

      1. Prof Denzil Dexter

        Re: Nice

        they said the same for me, but i got a dispatch note this morning that says it has shipped and will be 1-3 business days, so could be 4th - 6th

    2. The First Dave

      Re: Nice

      No storage slot = no sale.

      1. Charles Pearmain

        Re: Nice

        Indeed. Those of us who travel outside the cosy conurbations know that mobile Cloud access is usually only viable within any given ring road so the only way to be sure we can always get at our stuff is to carry it with us.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice

      Yes the phone appears to be so, my complaint though, is that it is another round of buy a new phone if you want an OS update. If it really only has such low overheads why is it not being developed for other Android handsets.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Nice

        4.4 will be out on the Nexus 4, 7 and 10 within the next few weeks.

        You can't blame Google for the shortcomings of the other phone manufacturers if they don't get their act together. The source is freely available.

        As for some of the older Nexus models, it appears a lot of the problem comes from the chipset manufacturers, some of which have actually stopped making mobile chipsets altogether (Ti), and had supplied the previous firmware in binary blobs, which aren't compatible with the newer kernel.

  2. Darryl

    What, no complaints about it not having an SSD yet?

    Seriously - nice phone, great price

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Hmmmm, Does it. have any USB connection?

      If not, I guess you'd have to load it via wi-fi.

      Whilst probably more applicable to tablets than phones, I'd find that a major hassle - it's not so much the storage, but the ability to quickly upload stuff from the computer.

      Heck, sometines I don't even do that - just take a few pre-loaded USB sticks with me for a long journey.

      I suspect their reasoning may have somrthing to do with appeasing the music/film industry - of course, in the real world, this restriction is hardly a barrier...

      1. VagabondSteve

        Of COURSE it has USB connector!!!!

        And it doubles as hdmi as well!

        1. Hairy Spod

          Re: Of COURSE it has USB connector!!!!

          if isnt apple and it didnt have USB you would have a VERY hard time charging it up!!!!!

          1. Bob Camp

            Re: Of COURSE it has USB connector!!!!

            The Nexus 5 supports wireless charging.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Of COURSE it has USB connector!!!!

          Fair enough.

          I therefore humbly withdraw my irrelevant rant. - downvotes deserved (even though I did start my rant with "If", I didn't mean to spread FUD)

          Sorry, its the iphone with no usb/sd isn't it?

          Sigh, I'm getting senile.

          Please substitute "Google " with "Apple", and "Android" with "iOS" in my original post!


    2. Paul 135

      You mean no SD card support.

      1. Darryl

        Yeah, I meant SD

        Thanks Paul... Got carried away on the S key

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Went and ordered one

    And no, I don't need one. I just couldn't resist. It does look like a good upgrade for a bored Galaxy S3 owner though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Went and ordered one

      You'll find stock Android a bit sparse and even more boring than an S3.

      I swapped the ROM on my HTC One to stock Android and it's functional but hardly mind blowing.

      1. corestore

        Re: Went and ordered one

        Sparse and 'functional' is GOOD - it's exactly what I want from a phone!

        Plain vanilla stock Android is about the best there is; that's WHY I prefer Google devices.

        It's all the interface cruft and 'features' that networks and third parties add to Android that make the experience sub-optimal. And of course they always seem to make them so you can't delete them unless you root the phone...

        1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

          Re: Went and ordered one


        2. Steve Evans



          I've got an old HTC Desire Z/G2, which they abandoned on Gingerbread with all their Sense cruft...

          I've actually got it running a vanilla Jellybean 4.2 rom at the moment, and it's smoother than it ever was with the HTC roms!

      2. strum

        Re: Went and ordered one

        I switched from a Galaxy to a Nexus, precisely because of the Samsung cruft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Went and ordered one

      Stock Android is sparse?

      Thought the idea was to be able to personalise your phone......... Have you not heard this.

  4. stephajn

    high end hardware

    Hmmmm.....I wonder if the Galaxy Nexus has now been sidelined for any updates or if my Nexus will get the update OTA....

    1. Knieriemen

      Re: high end hardware

      The Galaxy Nexus will NOT be updated to KiKat -

      But... I think this is by design. I bought my Galaxy Nexus almost 2 years ago and contract will be up soon so I'm guessing the road map will continually end every two years to encourage upgrading. I'm jumping on the Nexus 5 just to avoid the bloatware that's more common now on high-end smartphones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: high end hardware

        Blame Texas instruments not Google

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: high end hardware

      Unfortunately the Galaxy Nexus is *not* getting the KitKat update. Disappointing as it's only 2 years old (I have one).

      1. Piro Silver badge

        Re: high end hardware

        How does that matter? TI chipsets tend to be the best in the business in terms of Open Source support, as opposed to Qualcomm, used in the newer devices.

        Someone will hopefully cook up a 4.4 update for the Nexus.

        I have a RAZR MAXX HD, and it only officially has 4.1.2.

        Thankfully, I got mine before the bootloader exploit was fixed, so mine now has an unlocked bootloader, and is running a ROM from xda-dev (that has no issues I've found so far I may add) that's 4.3.1.

        Giant battery, 32GB built in, microHDMI out, and the microSD slot? I struggle to think of anything more I could possibly need on my phone.

        Google's devices don't tickle my fancy quite the right way, as they usually lack some combination of features I want.

        1. Toothpick

          Re: high end hardware

          ' ...... as they usually lack some combination of features I want."

          I think you could say that about ANY phone on the market at the moment. Personally, I would like (slightly) bigger screen, but an SD slot is not a requirement for me.

          Now if a manufacturer allowed you to order a bespoke phone where you can specify screen size, battery size, SD slot, OS (?) etc, they may be onto a winner.

          Beer: because it's Friday

          1. Martin Budden Silver badge

            Re: high end hardware

            I love the idea of bespoke phones, but hardware components are different sizes so swappable modules are not going to happen, unfortunately.

  5. Champ


    Ordered mine too, less than an hour after launch. I hope the rumour about the 32GB version having a bigger battery is true.

    1. miknik

      Re: Ordered!

      "I hope the rumour about the 32GB version having a bigger battery is true"

      According to the specs page on Google Play it isn't

      1. MnM

        Re: Ordered!

        yes, that's quite annoying, hope it's a typo

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Ordered!

          Manufacturers are still playing the silly game of "see how small we can make it" instead of "lets have a decent battery in there, making it easier to hold at the same time."

      2. Champ

        Re: Ordered!

        Yeah, I saw that too, later on. Disappointing, cos the worst thing (actually, only bad thing) about the Nexus 4 is the battery life.

        There's some sort of recursion thing going on here, cos I ordered my Nexus 5 using my Nexus 4...

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "only Verizon isn't carrying the handset"

    Good. They suck. There's a reason Google intentionally made sure the Nexus 4 wouldn't work on their network.

  7. Blank Reg

    There must be a typo in the prices

    Only $50 extra to add 16gb, that's almost reasonable. It must be wrong.

    1. IainT

      Re: There must be a typo in the prices

      Nope, no typo. $399 for the 32GB model is a firm price.

  8. katjap

    LULZ. Now they're starting to sound like Canonical. First it will be KitKat, followed by LameLlama then MischievousMinx...

    1. poopypants

      Nah, it has to be candy/desert related

      So if they keep with the commercial tie-ins, luscious Life Saver followed by mouthwatering Mars Bar.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nah, it has to be candy/desert related

        Shirley it must the the Tartan covered Deep Fried Mars Bar (to celebrate Haggis land voting for independence)?

  9. DAN*tastik

    Well done for the plastic back

    The 4's glass one was too slippery, for no reason. Metal is just stupid and generally ends being covered in plastic.

    I wonder why they felt the need to make it thinner ( which I guess means more complicated / expensive ). Did many people complain because they wanted to be able to put an extra book mark in their pockets? Or is it a pointless selling point?

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Well done for the plastic back

      Pointless selling point. Slightly bigger with a larger battery would have been a better selling point, though. I don't think I've ever read or heard anyone saying that a modern phone is "too thick".

    2. samster

      Re: Well done for the plastic back

      Whilst I agree a larger battery option is worthwhile, I don't mind thin. my phone spends a lot of time in my front trouser pocket. Obviously anything less than 10mm is thin. 6 or 7mm at the risk of poorer battery is not for me.

      1. Snake Plissken

        Re: Well done for the plastic back

        my phone spends a lot of time in my front trouser pocket.

        Damn. I thought you were just happy to see me.

  10. CBN


    At least they got rid of the ludicrous slippery glass back by the looks of things. However, non-recessed buttons kill this for me. Isn't it about time LG made a phone that has function over form? I liked the Nexus 4 but I eventually got an HTC One X+ because it's just a nicer phone to hold and use (power button on top - where it should be).

    1. DryBones

      Re: Bahh!

      The power button also wakes the screen so you can unlock it. It is placed where you can reach it with the pad of your thumb or index finger when holding it naturally. You like making some unnatural, complicated move with a finger (in order to stab the power button with your fingernail) why, exactly?

    2. Ian Yates

      Re: Bahh!

      As a G2 owner, I'd argue that the power button only has one proper location: on the back!

  11. Mark Wilson

    The wait is nearly over

    Give it a few weeks for the initial rush to go down and I will be retiring my iPhone 4.

  12. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    With mild excitement, I went to order one. Despite not being logged in to Google, and having no cookies, it still already knew who I was.


    1. DryBones

      Aside from the fact that you likely log in from that computer with that IP address (your computer can send a surprising amount of information about itself without you being aware, you're being afraid of the instances where it's working for you?), there's this thing called location awareness.

      Once I was testing out a VPN provider with my laptop, for a giggle I told it to route me to an exit point on the other side of the country. As soon as I tried to check Gmail, I got emails and text messages about possible fraudulent access. Why? My phone was in my pocket where I really was, Google looked at where it said it was, where the IP address I was trying to get from my mail seemed to hail from, and threw the flag.

      1. sukhbaatar

        hate to burst ya bubble, but I don't think it's quite that advanced

        it just noticed a logged in location that was out of the ordinary for you

        1. DryBones

          I've traveled cross-country (with phone) before, and it didn't complain a bit when I checked mail, thus why I think it may be using the phone as a sanity check.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Lots of people use this IP address, though my particular "fingerprint" of system information presented to hosts is probably fairly uncommon.

        In the end, it looks like it was related to information stored by my browser after all. It doesn't know who I am any more! Icon for myself.

      3. JeffyPoooh

        Google is sometimes quite thick...

        We traveled to a small island in Asia for a lengthy vacation. Google responded by locking some of us out of our accounts. The false assumption here is that people don't travel, so it must be an unauthorized attack by someone with the same device, same cookies and other tracking files, same username and knowing the same password.

        Because we were on vacation on a small tropical island in a foreign country, it took several hours over several days to go through the steps to regain access. Exactly the sort of crap one doesn't like to deal with during a vacation.

        Google used to be clever. Now they're getting stupid. I'm losing respect for them.

    2. VinnyR

      Yes they must have known who you are by magic

  13. Tzfardaya

    Expandable storage

    Not needed, supposedly this one will actually have USB otg functionality...

    That said, I've got my 5 on order, should ship Nov 8th as well...

    To those with galaxy Nexus... Google has said they won't get an official update to kit kat (but nothing is said that aokp, Cyanogen and the others won't release a custom kit kat mod for it)

  14. thesykes

    Ordered... shame the black ones are due to be shipped on the 8th, white in 1-2 days. Still, better than being artificially "sold out".

    No worries about no SD card, current phone has a 4GB one in it, never filled it.

    Hopefully the otg app will work on it.

  15. AlexS

    Direct printing

    I have the earlier version of Android (4.3) and Nexus 4. I can do direct print as well. This is not new with KitKat as the reporter seems to suggest. Please correct your article.

  16. Mikel

    How to top this?

    All the power of a laptop, more dots than you can see, backed by cloud.

    I wonder how they are going to sell us the next version. It's naive, I know, but this seems to have solved the "good enough" problem.

    Yes, I'll be watching the mailbox.

  17. Andy

    no sd card=fail

    Well it does for me. I was really hoping it would have as this is one of the things that put me off the 4 and I went with galaxy 4 instead.

    1. DryBones

      Re: no sd card=fail

      If rumors are right the Nexus 5 packs USB OTG support, so you just get a little adapter cable and plug in your thumb drive. Or your terabyte external drive of anime, depending. It's on my to-try list for when mine gets here, anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no sd card=fail

        Almost all the recent SOCs being used support OTG. To make it work on devices that don't work is usually just a case of adding the USB host permission but you need root for that.. I would expect OTG to work out of the box on the nexus 5 and it does on other Nexus devices.

  18. VagabondSteve

    Not one, but TWO

    Turns out I ordered not one, but two, a 16 and a 32,both in white. Nov 8 estimated ship. ordered about an hour after release. Had some "out of stock " issues in getting the one I wanted ordered and ended up with two.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Not one, but TWO

      On the upside, now you can tell iFans that you could have bought two phones for the price of their one. And did.

  19. Prof Denzil Dexter

    any confirmation on sim size yet?

    i've ordered mine this morning but the site doesn't seem to specify the size of the sim. has anyone had it confirmed yet?

    1. thesykes

      Re: any confirmation on sim size yet?

      GSM Arena says micro sim

  20. MJA

    A new feature that isn't a gimmick?

    Ignoring the hardware for a moment - Kit Kat has a feature that will search Google Maps for a business name if a number calls you that isn't in your address book? That's actually pretty useful. I'll no longer have to reasearch a pest number and add the name to my address book :)

    1. Joe Harrison

      Re: A new feature that isn't a gimmick?

      No I don't like that. Instead of junk callers sending a junk fake number they will now send a trustworthy fake number that kitkat will look up for you and tell you it's OK to answer.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: A new feature that isn't a gimmick?

        Faking the callerID is a criminal matter in a number of countries.

        Faking the callerID of a reputable company is a civil tort (Passing off) which can lead to pretty much unlimited damages should the impuned company decide to pursue it.

        Either way, such activity is a perfect excuse to pierce the corporate veil and go after the company's prinicpals.

        XYZ Cardiff mobile scammers selling you a free upgrade are more at risk from civil proceedings than criminal ones in the UK. (USA rules allow FTC sanctions AND small claims court proceedings AND passing off proceedings). The death of 1,000,000 papercuts may be exactly what's needed to shut 'em down and make sure they STAY shut down.

        (There are some nice apps to record all incoming calls. It's hard for a scammer to argue with a recording of himself/his employee when it hits a courtroom)

        If you do get this kind of thing, I'd string them along and go see the company in question.

  21. Confuciousmobil

    Nice phone

    Nice phone for people that can't afford an iPhone......

    1. thesykes

      Re: Nice phone

      missed the troll icon.

      Very poor. Must try harder.

    2. DryBones

      Re: Nice phone

      "Nice phone for people that don't want an iPhone..."

      There, fixed it for you.

      Actually, I've suggested one to a friend with an iPhone for playing with. SIM comes out of one, into the other and away you go. It's a nice, inexpensive, no-contact way to try out what Android is really all about, without carrier and manufacturer cruft detracting from the experience.

  22. Big_Ted

    For those in the UK

    Do as I have, cancel the 16gb order with Google Play then go to Carphone Warehouse web site (For distance selling regs reason) and buy for £295 delivered or collect from store.

    Also a £50 Free experience day voucher. £13.98 cheaper than via Play and available now.

  23. Steve Graham
    Black Helicopters

    They timed the launch of KitKat to coincide with International Nestlé-free week. "Evil? We're rubbing your faces in it... bitches."

  24. JimboUK

    UK rip off ?

    Looks like a nice phone. But why would a $349 phone cost £299 in the UK ?

    With an exchange rate of 1.6, it should be £218.

    They could have got away with £250, but I think someones got greedy, and this is likely to p off a number of UK buyers ( like me ).

    This is a red rag to the Ebay entrepreneurs to import and undercut official channels.

    1. Bassey

      Re: UK rip off ?

      Not sure about that. The rate is 1.6 today but has been much closer to 1.5 over the last couple of years. You have to think about the long-term rate not a current spike. Take the FX at 1.5 and add 20% and you get £280. Add in a few quid for "localisation", etc and I don't think it is too bad. Certainly, compared to any other equivalent phone, I think you are pushing it a bit to complain about £300! Whenever a company sells overseas they are taking a bit of a gamble on FX rate fluctuations and it is pretty normal to weight the odds in their favour. It is the shipping for devices from Google play that always sticks a bit in my throat. They lure you in with the ludicrously low price and then charge £10+ to ship it.

      1. JimboUK

        Re: UK rip off ?

        I expect a difference ( even if they are made outside the US )

        But the nexus 4 retailed for $349 and was on sale for £239 and the historical fx rate was in the 1.50s

        So why not sell for £250 and leave some margin for fluctuation.

        I've got an n4 so I'm happy to sit it out :-)

        1. Gwyn Evans

          Re: UK rip off ?

          Don't forget that US prices are quoted excluding sales tax, while UK prices include VAT.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Google has also eschewed Apple and Motorola Mobility's fruity color schemes'

    Somewhere Nokia sobs in the corner.

  26. Martin
    Thumb Down

    There's one thing I want....

    ...and that's a SMALLER screen.

    The Nexus 4 is just small enough for me to use one-handed - in fact, just a fraction too big if I'm honest.

    And who needs full HD on a phone? If I want to watch movies on the go, I'll watch them on my tablet.

    If they were to produce a Nexus 3 with a similar pixel density as the Nexus 5 and a slightly smaller screen than the Nexus 4 at, say, £199 - it would fly off the shelves!

  27. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Have they actually FIXED the wireless?

    Jellybean 4.1.3 broke wireless N (max connection speed dropped to 65Mb/s on my old Nexus as wlel as a number of other devices) and Google never responded to queries about it.

    Will 4.1.4 be any better?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have they actually FIXED the wireless?

      That sounds like a kernel issue if anything.. Did you report the issue to the issue tracker that says it is only for framework issues and not device issues by any chance?

    2. Prof Denzil Dexter

      Re: Have they actually FIXED the wireless?

      i have a wireless AC router so i'm looking forward to trying to use a gig speed on my Nexus 5 :)

  28. JeffyPoooh

    "... a smarter caller ID system so that if the number dialing in isn't on your contacts list then Android will take a guess at who it is using businesses listed on Google Maps. ..."

    One step away from automatic silent call blocking based on crowd sourced databases of spam callers.

  29. cs94njw

    Interesting... perhaps the use of LG is a way to avoid the Rockstar patent spat against Motorola, halting production.

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