A few notes after spending some time with the N5

After spending a few days with the N5, I came to a few conclusions. I'll keep these short and easy for you guys.

The good:

  • The display looks fantastic, though maybe a tad washed out. Definitely better than the N4 and 1020, and worlds better than the Galaxy Nexus' screen, but a bit behind the Note 3 for sure. Things appear to be right on the surface of the glass.
  • Very easy to hold and use for a 5" display. It's very light and the slim bezels make a huge difference. Narrower than the Gnex or 1020, yet much larger display.
  • Google Now is extremely fast, and the voice recognition is superb. Finding nearby places in the dialer works perfectly, and is also very quick.
  • After reading about how terrible the camera is, I was pleasantly surprised. It's no competitor to my 1020, or even 925, but it takes pretty decent shots. Focusing is a tad slow, but overall it's at least par for the course.
  • Fit and finish are great. It's very solidly put together, though the plastics don't feel as premium as Nokia's or Apple's. The ceramic buttons have a satisfying click to them.
  • Navigation is very fluid. Even The Verge's desktop site in chrome is very fast. I'm not sure where these complaints come from, because I can flick from the top to the bottom and back without any stuttering. The rendering maybe be a tad behind at first, but scrolling and zooming remains smooth.

The bad:

  • All the speakers just plain suck. The bottom speaker distorts at full volume and is not loud enough for use outside or anywhere there is even a moderate amount of background noise. Seriously, it must be half as loud as my 1020 or Note 3. Call volume is also lacking, but serviceable.
  • Battery life has been fairly "meh." I was of course using it much more than usual, and downloaded all my apps, but I was at maybe 11% by the end of the night. So far today with pretty moderate usage, it's sitting at 55% (took it off the charger at 5am). My 1020 on the other hand would typically be at about 75% right now. Still, I have been using it much more than usual (as we do with new toys).
  • Google Now is not "always on" like it is on the Moto X. I thought it was until I got it out of the box and tried it. That would have been awesome, but certainly isn't a deal breaker.
  • Somehow, this thing really is a fingerprint magnet. It's not nearly as bad as say the Droid Mini, but much more than you'd expect from the matte material.
  • Despite what I said up top about how fluid the browser and most of the UI is, there is still a teeny amount of stutter found in places. It's never consistent, but every once in a while it will stutter a bit. This is the best Android has ever been in that regard, but it's definitely noticeable coming from WP or IOS.
  • They put the headphone jack on the top. This may be pretty standard practice, but I hate it! Also, I hate that the ports are on opposite sides. This is a complaint that, sadly, I have against most devices.

Bonus:

  • Due to the slight camera bump, it only sits mostly flat. Touching the upper left corner will make it wobble.
  • WiFi hotspot works with no carrier consent, no third party app needed (only tested with AT&T).
  • Hitting the volume up or down used to have a settings icon to adjust all the volumes, they removed that for some reason in Kit Kat the phone version of Android (it's there on my N7).

That's all I can think of right now, but like I said, these are just some initial thoughts. Many of these things might change after more use.