As if weeks of extravagantly detailed leaks hadn't told you already, Google's new Nexus 5 handset is based on LG's excellent G2. A few of the specs have been trimmed down in the transition to a lower price point — most notably the smaller 2300mAh battery and lower-resolution 8-megapixel camera — but much of what makes the G2 such a compelling device has been retained. The display remains crisp, sharp, and wonderfully accurate, with awesomely deep blacks that are shown off by the Nexus bootup animation. The processor is still the top-notch Snapdragon 800, and you still get LTE connectivity as with LG's original.
The biggest change, other than the Android KitKat heart beating within the new device, is in the aesthetics. Google's Nexus 5 opts for an austere matte cover and conventionally placed volume and power buttons on its shoulders. That's a marked departure from the glossy patterned back of the G2 and its centrally mounted physical keys. Many will consider the Nexus 5 look and feel an upgrade, though there's still enough about the G2 to attract power users to its more aggressively specced and designed chassis.
Other smaller distinctions begin to emerge as you use the two phones more extensively. The headphone jack on the Nexus 5 is at the top versus the bottom placement on the G2, while the Micro USB port, though positioned identically, is oriented differently on the two phones. That is to say, the Nexus 5's slot is upside down relative to the G2's. A personal highlight for me is the round earpiece on the Nexus 5; it doesn't make any functional difference, but it's unusual and gives the phone a bit of its own character.