Given its specification and performance, the Nexus 5 delivers great value for money — if you can live with its (few) drawbacks. The middling-quality camera and uninspiring chassis design don't worry us, but the lack of MicroSD card storage expansion and moderate battery life are more serious minus points.
The Nexus 5 is not a particularly attractive handset. Our review sample was black, although there's also a white version that might be a bit more attractive. There's no branding on the front, so when the handset is in use nothing distracts from the screen. On the back, which is made from a rubberised, grip-friendly material, the Nexus brand is embedded as it is on the most recent Nexus 7 tablet. It catches the light, providing relief from an otherwise very sombre chassis.
The top and bottom edges are slightly curved which adds a little character to the Nexus 5's appearance. Two grilles at the bottom suggest stereo speakers, but in fact there's just a single speaker that seems only to pump audio through one of the grilles. Sound quality is not too shabby, but maximum volume is on the low side (better that than distortion).