We had high hopes for the Nexus 5's camera, and while we haven't gone so far as to call it awful, we wouldn't rush to call it much more than a general improvement over last year's offering. It tops what the Nexus 4 brought to the table, but it doesn't quite match what other manufacturers have come up with since. Yet Google doesn't like this narrative, so its moving forward with efforts to brand its latest handset as the perfect companion for capturing any moment. The company has released four new ads, three of which push the Nexus 5's camera.

The remaining ad refers to the magic Google+ performs on photos that users opt to automatically backup to the service. It highlights Auto Awesome, which can take pictures taken in rapid succession and turn them into short animations. It's a useful feature, but not one that's exclusive to any particular device.

The Nexus 5 excels in many areas, so it's a little odd to see Google emphasizing what could be considered one of the phone's weakest elements. But hey, at least the ads aren't glorifying its awful speaker.

Note: Some of the videos above originated from the ad Google released on October 31st when it unveiled the Nexus 5.

Source: YouTube

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

    So they are basically advertising the weakest link of the phone? Brilliant.

    • Darrien Glasser

      They most certainly are not advertising the battery life. That'd be the weakest feature.

      • Roemraw

        Yeah, I was surprised about the batterylife. And this coming from the Gnexus which had a smaller battery :S

        • Matthew Fry

          Bigger/denser display, bigger drain.

          • Roemraw

            I suppose you are right and that lugulake wireless charger/powerbank is starting to look better with each passing day.

      • Michael Panzer

        There are still software bugs around Wi-Fi and other things that keep the device from deep sleep. It's not the device itself, because while in deep sleep how it's supposed to, the battery life is great!

        • Darrien Glasser

          Fair enough. Still, when I was comparing my One and my GNex to a friend's N5, and both beat it, that kind of sealed the deal for me. I suppose one has to live in the future with Nexus devices.

          • Michael Panzer

            Like I said, deep sleep issues even Android police already talked about. I had days with 70% after 14h and days with 15% after 12h with 40% play services as the biggest consumer!
            I tell you, there are software issues and once they're figured out, the battery life will be very good!

          • The Motto

            We all had the Play Services drains over the last week.. it wasn't related only to the Nexus 5

          • liam

            Use greenify and lux, friend. Lux gives you, ime, a great deal more screen on time by letting you customize how the backlight responds to changing conditions.
            greenify lets you hibernate apps rather than letting them run in the background (they'll still wake on use, though). If you install the xposed framework you can then even hibernate google play services (but be careful).

          • Bojan Gutic

            A Galaxy Nexus beat it? I HIGHLY doubt that. I went from a VZW Galaxy Nexus that rarely did 1 hour of screen on time before dying, and needed to be charged DURING The workday to survive to my Nexus 5 which EASILY lasts the day and rarely even hits 30% before 9PM. I'd like to add that I tend to get 3-4 hours of screen on time with the Nexus 5.

            Both with the stock ROM, that is.

          • Darrien Glasser

            I don't know what to tell you, my Galaxy Nexus had better battery life than my Nexus 4, and sequentially, a Nexus 5 as well. As they say, YMMV.

      • nofearofimaginarymen

        I just got rid of the Evo LTE and I have to say that the battery life I am getting on the N5 is far beyond what I was getting on that. I can easily get 5 hrs of screen on time per charge. I am not sure if I get way better battery life than others but I am really happy with the battery life. My wife charges hers every other day. Maybe we just got lucky.

        • Jonathan Young

          My N5 is up there with your battery life.

      • Rob

        I've read a lot about the N5's battery issues, but I'm currently not seeing them. Compared to my GNexus that can't last 1 full day, I'm getting what appears to be great battery life. I certainly hope that doesn't change anytime soon.

        • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

          Looking at your usage, it seems you're a fair minimalist.
          You can't call that "increment".
          I see ALMOST ZERO change in amount of battery life I get on N5, over my N4, with my heavy usage.

          • Jonathan Young

            Looking at your comment, it seems you're not truthful... How can you tell whaT Rob's usage is? the picture only shows the battery life and the screen. Not to mention the only real way to tell how much a user has used their device is through logcats. But I'm guessing you don't even know what those are.

          • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

            I think, me not knowing logcats and stuff, that part of prejudiced you is an irony. You know? Guessing others don't know something, when yourself don't know what they know or don't?

            One can "guess" to the very least, the DEEP SLEEP patterns from Rob's graph. I made a guess, if it hurts you so much. This is THE internet. You don't know ONE BIT of me. Stop guessing something that doesn't have any concrete evidence to prove.

          • Rob

            The N5 is new. I've only had it about a week. My comment was more to remark how much better the battery life is than on my former phone (GNexus). I can leave the GNexus sit dormant and by the end of an 8 hour day it is almost out of juice. Not so with the N5 under the same conditions. While the N5 is not yet my daily phone, that is about to change very soon. That's all my comment and post were intended to be.

          • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

            My bad I didn't read the GNex part. I was talking w.r.t. increment of battery life from N4 to N5.

        • Jonathan Young

          I get the same battery life as you. It's great. and I'm constantly on my N5. I have to stay up til 2 and 3 in the morning playing games, watching netflix and etc trying to get the battery down to 15% because I hate plugging it in at 40+%!

        • liam

          Sure, you can get tremendous battery life...as long as you aren't using the screen!
          Given the above I'd bet your screen on time is around 2hrs.

      • Jonathan Young

        Mine lasts an average of 17 hours every day. And I'm considered a heavy user.

      • Serge Cebrian

        my older phones (including the nexus 4, but excluding the razr MAXX )barely withstanded (4%) a work day (from 9 to 6) with heavy screen use (3 hours)

        my nexus 5 fares to finish the day with some juice left (15 percent) with heavier use

        and almost five hours Screen On

        so i think the battery was greatly improved

    • Jason Rittenhouse

      If they spend enough marketing showing what it CAN do, it will devalue the reviews showing what it can't do. This is a good marketing tactic to face your product's weak point head-on and turn it into a selling point.

      • Issui

        And at long last someone who understands what's going on.

    • Matthew Fry

      That's kind of Apple-esque.

      • mrjayviper

        if apple does it, most viewers of android-focused website would be jumping up and down. but since google's doing, that's cool :)

  • bozzykid

    You would think they would spend more time fixing the camera software than making videos touting one of the worst features of the Nexus 5.

    • Michael Panzer

      Those are not the same people ;-)

      • bozzykid

        Of course they aren't the same people. But you don't produce videos touting a feature that sucks until you fix the issue first.

    • Biba Nishima

      If they don't sell some, they can't pay developers ;-)

      • Stacey Liu

        -.- 90% of Google's revenue comes from ads. Nexus devices are a drop in the bucket. Those devs are getting paid no matter what.

        • Biba Nishima

          My reply was just rhetoric, trying to gently highlight the initial statement was idiot : making ads is not linked to the time spent on fixing the product.

  • Dani

    Next are the battery ads followed by the speakers quality ads

    We are still waiting for the magical fixes. I hope it does not take months.

  • duse

    The camera is definitely weak...exposure in dark areas is awful if even part of the scene is bright, focusing is terrible. Combined with the battery life I'm not sure I can stick with this phone.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewizkid95 Jesus Otero

      Hey, If you don't like it, you could ship it to my house!
      I've been looking for a phone to replace my LG Optimus L9!

      • duse

        I am thinking about selling, just not sure what I'd replace it with.

    • Jonathan Young

      I'll agree it's not good in extreme contrasting shots, but with HDR+ on it works great in contrasting shots. The battery life is amazing. rethink your settings. switch to ART. and turn off all vibrations. also try your best not to charge it when it's over 15% and leave it charging at least an hour after reaching 100% charged. Also to start, battery cycle it 2 or 3 times. It'll last you all day easily. I leave wifi, bluetooth, nfc, and gps on at all times and I can't get the phone to die in a day. I'm at 22% at 17h 10m 9s on battery right now. That's every day with this phone. And I've been playing asphalt 7 all day, on facebook a ton, taking pictures and uploading to instagram and fb and twitter. Reading all the tech blogs and posting and commenting all day. Not to mention texting, surfing the web and googling a ton, and quite a few phone calls. Also watched a few videos on youtube and listen to pandora and google play music the majority of today while doing all this. Oh and using the gps a ton all day while driving.

      • Hpoint

        pic or didn't happen,... Please :)

      • duse

        It's tough to provide anecdotal evidence (which I admit I'm doing as well). What kind of screen time are you getting? Also there is nothing unusual about my settings - I don't have many apps installed, only one email account syncing, and I've had ART both enabled and disabled. I might be able to fix it with some investigation, but the fact is, out of the box, it's been bad.

        • Jonathan Young

          I don't have any screen shots of detailed info. I'll watch it today and tomorrow and let you. I turned all my settings back on because I can never get it to die at a decent hour of the night lol. Maybe you got a dud. Idk if mine is doing well because I battery cycled it out of the box ( I recommend always doing that with any rechargeable battery products).

  • Biba Nishima

    As a former N4 owner, used to have a mid-poor camera, I have been really pleased and surprised by the quality of the N5's.
    Btw, your take is a bit hard on it, especially because the ads play on the fuunctionality more than on the camera's quality itself.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      The camera's quality is actually pretty good - it's the functionality that needs work. I typically prefer the images I've taken with the Nexus 5 over those I get with the HTC One, but I have to stand in place longer to get them and hope the subject is doing the same.

      I think if you're going to run a series of ads pushing your smartphone's camera, it should be either its best feature or something substantially better than the competition brings to the table. The Nexus 5's camera is neither.

      • mechapathy

        Hopefully the update that's supposed to fix the camera issues comes soon...and fixes the camera issues.

      • Biba Nishima

        And I agree, ads should hype on true qualities.

        I reacted because your article sounds too much like the camera is a no-go reason to buy this phone (for people still wondering if they should or not), that I disagree :)

        • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

          That was not my intention at all. The Nexus 5 camera is a capable shooter, and while it does have drawbacks, I don't see any of them as reasons not to buy the Nexus 5. I personally am satisfied with the camera results, and I avoided saying anything negative about it other than to summarize what we said in our review (which I linked to).

          The Nexus 5's camera is an obvious upgrade over devices that are more than a year old, but if you're particularly looking to buy a new smartphone *for* its camera, it's not the one I would point customers to.

  • coolscrotie

    Well, I'm sure they're fixing it right now. There are a few things that keep me optimistic:

    1. Joshua Topolski said he had a chance to try an updated camera software 4 weeks ago and said it was not substantially better. The fact that this update is still not out means they're probably getting a better update ready.
    2. Nothing is wrong with the camera hardware. The camera is good in great light and in low light, it just doesn't seem optimised at all for the places in between. The pictures are usually too bright and the shutter speed is too long to get crisp shots out of moving objects. By fixing the latter, you're fixing a big part of the former.
    3. They're still working on that new camera api, which gives developers a lot more options to play with the camera. Not sure when we're going to see this, but it'll give developers like me quite a bit of new stuff to work with.

  • Joe

    Maybe they should spend money and push an update for it the my wife's iPhone camera embarrasses my nexus 5.

    • blueseeker

      No kiddin'... How much was that iphone unlocked?

    • Al

      But can your wife even tell the difference?

  • George Millhouse

    so the camera sucks and the speaker sucks
    yet its a great phone?
    Just throw the name "Nexus" on anything watch the fanboys cream themselves

    • navjot

      It's a great phone because those (and maybe battery) are the only negatives. And it's only $350.

    • Gabernasher

      Ever heard of headphones and dedicated cameras? It excels at everything else it does, and the camera doesn't suck.

    • Adam Truelove

      Some of us just want a fast phone with great software and fast updates for a great price. That is a Nexus.

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      The camera doesn't suck, is decent (and I firmly believe the problem is software, the camera hardware itself seems pretty good). The speakers suck, but I have never heard of anyone peaking phones based on the speakers, otherwise HTC would be drowning on dollars.

    • Jason

      Trolling troll trolls....

  • Al

    People are clueless. You can't sell them any feature they don't understand which means you have to sell stupid gimmicks such as the camera capabilities...

  • Michael Pahl

    I saw some 1080p video shot with image stabilization on the N5 and it looked very impressive.

  • Crispin Swickard

    Should have a little fine print disclaimer at the end of these that says "Camera currently fails to focus with current software". Though this seems to happen much more when its a close object. Huge amount of fail on the closeup front.

  • mat

    The problem its a developer phone. Thats why its cheap. Thats an icecream, shoted and manipulated with a n5. N5 photo.. https://www.dropbox.com/s/2095qt16s0b26eo/captured_by_snapseed_5_1.jpg

    • Garrett

      If it's a developer phone, why is Google making commercials advertising the camera? Maybe the Nexus line was for developers at some point a while ago, but not anymore.

  • mesmorino

    I have nothing but utter disdain for the AOSP camera. It is easily the thing I hate most about rooting. Possibly even the only thing I hate about rooting. I can't even say it's the CM camera, because the AOKP camera was the same shit.

    And neither of them work properly with the lockscreen camera shortcut- It'll Force Close at the worst possible moment, and then say the gallery has stopped working. ¬_¬

  • Michael Ta

    Hopefully it'll get much better when they release the new camera API

    This is what we're waiting for Google! Get it over!!

  • Brian

    Coming from a gnex I actually think the camera is good especially comparing it to my gf iPhone 5s. What needs updating is the software interface and focus issues but I cab take great shots with the n5. As for the battery I'm consistently hitting 4-5 hours screen on time which to me is awesome because NY gnex lasted 1.5 hrs daily. I understand that you get to review new phones every week but us normals don't so the camera and battery are actually big upgrades over what we had previously.

    • My name is….

      You are so wrong on so many levels.

      1) Coming from a gnexus everthing would look fine to you.
      2) Us 'normals' could be also upgrding from a nexus4 or whateva, we need to know in detail what this phone can do or cant do.
      3) Camera in Nexus5 is it's weakest spot, along with battery life. No argue with that and it certainly doesnt make it a bd phone.

      You Americans should really stop getting 2-year contracts with carriers.

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        Sour grapes? :D

        • W

          If you are referring to the carriers, then certainly not. Most of the world thinks its the most retarded system ever, many countries (Israel of the top my head) specifically ban the practice. Plus we have to hear you moan and groan about not getting updates due to a system that you yourself created.

          • Wyatt Neal

            I'm betting America thinks it's retarded too; there's just not enough money in our pockets to lobby congress into believing that what the carriers are doing is actually NOT in the best interest of consumers unlike the providers who have billions upon billions to spend. Sure, you can so "Go else where, go off contract and stick it to them." And some will ... but most won't because unlike other places in the world, if you're not on a major provider, you're not getting the best service. And don't get me wrong, it's getting better ... but it's not there yet where John Doe Citizen can just say "F*** you! I'll buy elsewhere."

          • Leonardo Farage Freitas

            So you can't have a plan on any of the major providers without a contract. This really is fucked up, what happens if u don't like it's service?

          • Wyatt Neal

            Well, you *can* have a plan on the major providers that's not contract based ... if you want to spend about 20-35% more (number based on my previous cost of VZW pre-paid vs ShareEverything for 1 person and 4gb of data on 8/01/2013). If you don't like the service, you can always go else where ... and pay an ETF if you're on contract (if your less than the 15-30 day satisfaction you only have to pay for this month window that's been prorated), return your subsidized phone, etc. So even if you're unhappy, it's expensive.

          • Leonardo Farage Freitas

            But is it worth getting a subsidized phone and lose the liberty to jump to another provider whenever you want? And another question, if u decide to change provider, do you take your phone number with you or do you need a new you?

          • NinoBr0wn

            If you sign up with T-Mobile and you "cancel" early without paying for the phone, that's the only thing you have to worry about. You don't sign any contract.

      • SickoPsycho

        I'm accepting donations from all non-americans to buy a new, unsubsidized phone...

        • Biba Nishima

          Accept my +1 for now.
          U made me laugh :)

        • GraveUypo

          what, stuff's cheapest there already and you're richer in average. don't give me that :|
          buying unsubsized is also cheaper than in contract over the course of 2 years.

          • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

            But Americans are supposed to be poor in math to comprehend your 2nd argument. So.. there's that.

      • NinoBr0wn

        I'm American, I bought the N5 from Google, and I'm not tied to a contract. Whoever you are, you probably should avoid generalizations of entire country's population.

        • My name is….

          I know what you mean but the majority is what counts.

          • NinoBr0wn

            That is embarrassingly ignorant. I really hope you don't apply that mentality to other things and people in life.

          • My name is….

            And how do you judge 'the Americans?'
            From the few that get devices without a contrct or from the majority that buys an iphone with a 2 year contract?

          • NinoBr0wn

            The point I've been trying to spell out is that I don't judge or generalize. It's ignorant and it is irrelevant. Yes, many Americans are told or influenced what to buy in the consumer market, but neither you nor I know who or how many buy what.

          • My name is….

            Not to generalize when im speaking generally about Americans.
            Tell me that you see the paradox.

        • khhhhris

          Coming from upstairs, your country sucks

    • robert wilson

      anything is going to look great if you compare it to an iphone.

      • SickoPsycho


      • Serge Cebrian

        thats not true if you compare with a... ohh wait im an android fanboy so you are absolutely right :)

        • Rango

          Please, compare HDR+ mod (which I'd default on nexus 5 camera, with any iPhone picture! Please, compare, than comment. Hdr+ is magic on phone cameras!
          Standard camera mod is same as iPhone (maybe Iphone a little better) - but HDR+, MUCH better! :)

  • TheRunner024

    Is the camera really that bad on the Nexus 5?

    • Serge Cebrian


  • Marcus

    My only real complaint of the Nexus 5's camera is how awful it is at focusing! That needs to be fixed! The so so quality I can live with as long as I can take a photo in focus in a reasonable amount of time...

    • Serge Cebrian

      i would love a manual focus. with onscreen arrows to calibrate
      because auto focus sucks big time

    • Sean

      Totally agree. Focusing is a nightmare.

  • SpoorthyVemula

    I feel like the camera quality from the n5s camera is great. Slightly better than my One is almost all scenarios. Also, the hdr+ mode is absolutely superb. However, the software is so slow and finniky it holds the whole experience back. Really hope they are bringing that magical software update with RAW and all (kinda doubt it though).

    • didibus

      CAn we be sure it's the software that slows it down and not the sensor or something part of the camera hardware?

  • modplan

    Coming from EVO 4G -> EVO 3D -> EVO 3G LTE (highly touted camera like the One X?) to the N5 I have been nothing but impressed with the N5's camera. My girlfriend with an iphone 4S now asks me for my phone to take pics, instead of the other way around, which is how it used to be.

    Will it beat the Iphone 5S or Galaxy S4? Doubtful. Is it better than anything I've owned, some of which were supposed to have revolutionary cameras? Absolutely. In every way. Is it way more than I expected and sure as hell "good enough" for a $349 phone? You betcha. If a top notch camera was my #1 priority, I'd have to spend $649 on a phone that was inferior in almost all other aspects, no thanks.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    I don't think is a hardware issue. The camera design itself seems pretty good: 1.4 microns pixels, OIS, f 2.4. The science behind it is sound. Video recording is actually really good.

    I think the responsible of all issues is the software, we know by now that Google had bigger plans for the camera, but it had to be pushed out of 4.4 because of time constrains or something else.

    Of course, that doesn't change the end result: The camera doesn't perform as well as we expect. But I think Google could fix it with an update, whether they will or not is an entire different thing though.

    • Tamadrummer94

      People said the same thing about the Nexus 4's camera and battery, that the hardware was fine and the software would eventually sort the issues out. Never really happened. I would really like to see Google stop making compromises with the Nexus line (by far the best Android experience IMO), or have the issues sorted out by release if they are indeed software-related.

      • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

        I don't know about the N4 camera, but the camera design on the N5 is truly sound, it has relatively big pixels, mixed with a relatively wide aperture (f2.4) and OIS. It should be good, and video is actually excellent (the microphone is the best I've used on a smartphone).

        The problem seems to be the camera firmware + Google's mediocre camera app. Whether they will fix it or not, well I don't know. You can get rid of Google's disgustingly bad app by using Camera ZoomFX for example, but there's no workaround the firmware.

        I really hope they fix it, they told The Verge that they would, but god knows if they will deliver on their promises. The only serious hardware compromise (in my opinion) are the speakers, which are really, really bad (but I barely use them, so I don't mind).

        • didibus

          Shouldn't we start saying AOSP's disgustingly bad app?

  • Jean-Philippe Murray

    I just switched from iPhones to the Nexus 5 and I just hate how slow the camera is. I don't know why, if it's regular or anything, but it takes about a second between me pressing the shutter for the photo to be taken. I've already "missed" a lot a good shot to this behavior... :(

    • yay

      hopefully, an update would solve this.
      I still envy quick shooting capabilities (especially from iPhones recently).

  • Guest

    A quick flicker search of pictures taken with with the Nexus 5 shoes some pretty nice results actually....but when always shooting in Auto even DSLR's can suck....my 2 cents

  • ScratchC

    A quick flickr search shows some pretty good results of pictures taken with the Nexus 5
    its all about the person taken the picture...
    AUTO always sucks...and HDR for that matter which is how most sites compare picture quality on different cell phones...my 2 cents...

  • Jason

    I'm sorry, but it kinda boggles my mind that you say that the pictures are better than the ones taken on the HTC one (which that phone touts as one of its strengths), but not good enough to make a commercial out of it. I do think there is possibly an issue with focus, but considering how long it takes to make commercials, I doubt they would wait till the patch goes out to release them. I would also just glance through the comments and find quite a few actual owners who are satisfied with the n5 picture results. Just my two cents.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Ignoring that the HTC One is significantly older, it did several things to set it apart from the crowd. At a time when everyone was cramming more megapixels, it came out with just four. In addition to that, it had (and continues to have) top-of-the-line low-light performance. These are bold, marketable features that set it apart from the crowd. I respect HTC for trying to shake things up, even if it wasn't a complete win - I would still prefer a camera with a higher megapixel count.

      But back to the main point, I never said the Nexus 5's camera was bad, and like the other "actual owners" who have commented, I am satisfied with my picture results. But the software needs work, and I find it jarring to advertise that particular aspect of the Nexus 5 when it's not the phone's best strength. Google's trying to change the mindset that "no one buys a Nexus device for its camera" without first doing enough to make the camera distinctive.

  • Emulators + Android = Win

    Hooray for ads and deceiving people.

  • Nirmal Kumar Behera

    Nexus 5 camera camera has improved a lot comparing to Nexus 4. And i think google is in process of making some update for camera fix because i think it might be a software glitch

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Ok the camera has promise, but I need to learn to use it. As for the battery, it lasts WAY longer than the battery in my HTC Amaze.

  • sweenish

    Try taking the blind camera test in the verge forums. The camera appears to stack up just fine. This appears to mostly be a case of the Internet throwing a fit because.

  • DanielS

    The camera is definitely not as good. I'm shooting almost exclusively in HDR to compensate. This mode actually produces a very well balanced images. The regular mode is too washed out IMHO. Having said that, the AutoAwesome is the best thing on a phone, like, EVA. This feature alone is a good enough reason to get an android these days. (Actually I'm not sure if it's available on other platforms, but my wife's N4 doesn't have it yet)

    • sweenish

      It's not a phone feature, it's a G+ feature.

    • Serge Cebrian

      tell your wife to activate google + and the auto backup to google
      then she will receive notifications when the backup is done and then when the auto awesomes are done

      • DanielS

        I was talking about the AuyoAwesome videos actually. My wife is googleplusing like nobody's business and also backs up the photos, she even has the new photos app , aka g+ photos, but no auto awesome videos. BTW her N7 didn't have it either until the KK update last week. I also don't see it on my CM10.2 old galaxy s. Weird. Thanks for the advice, though...

  • Jonathan Young

    I don't think the mainstream's blog/forum sites' review of the Nexus 5 camera (or any of it's other hardware or software for that matter) is fair. My nexus 5 takes much better pictures than my Galaxy s3, Note 2, HTC One, and iPhone 5, Lumia 920. It's pretty good compared to the Galaxy s4/Note 3 and LG G2 for only being 8mp vs 13mp. The low light visibility on the Nexus 5 is better than any phone I've ever used and it has very fast and accurate auto focus. HDR+ works perfectly exactly as advertised, along with all it's other features. Now I'll admit I studied photography, as well as computer programming and engineering. I also review, buy, sell, service and repair smartphones, develop, and work in IT technical support for a living. So I have a little advantage over the average consumer as far as using the device. I also haven't experienced ANY of the reported "bugs" of Android 4.4 KitKat. So I'm not sure what people's problems are, but in my line of work we have a saying: "Almost all 'glitches' and 'problems' are user error".

    • ryan

      Everyone must be making it up then huh.

      • Robb Nunya

        Everyone is hopping on the hysteria train. Happens all the time.

  • AspirinE

    Proud owner of a nexus 5, coming from a nexus 4. I don't get what all the fuss about the N5 camera is about. It seems to me that bloggers and "journalists" copy paste each others opinion about the camera app. It will never be perfect, its far above average though. The only difference it makes to an average user is that he did not have to pay 200$ extra for premium camera features on OEM phones like the S4.

    • deano

      totally agree, takes loads better pictures than my previous n4 and iphones.

  • Chris

    I am getting about sick and tired of hearing people bash on the Nexus 5's camera. Google Nexus 5 vs iphone 5s camera and see for your self. In most situations the Nexus 5 has better color saturation although sometimes lacking in exposure (barely). Then to see a comment from an AP staffer saying that the camera is actually good, its the software. Then your article should say "camera software". All this article actually ends up being is click bait.

  • JohnnyO_71

    I am shocked that Android Police, nor any other Android news-related sites, are reporting on the issue with the sound on video recordings on the N5. It seems many people aren't even aware of it, but odds are, if you have an N5, you probably have a problem and don't even realize it:


    Record in a very quiet room for 10 seconds. Play back the video. Listen. Hear it?

    It's not as noticeable when there is a lot of noise in a video, but in otherwise non-noisy vids, you'll hear it.

    Google is aware and is apparently working on a fix, but I'm of the opinion that it should not have been released with such a deficiency in the first place.

    Check the google forums. Tons of people have the problem. I'm sure it's software related and not hardware. And I'm sure you have it too, even if you didn't realize it. Go check.

    Let's put pressure to get this fixed!!! It's driving me nuts!

  • Nick V

    I do not see anything really wrong with the camera. The HDR+ mode is pretty awesome, and the non HDR+ aren't that bad. I'm not going to lie, they aren't the best, but definitely better than others I have seen.

  • Kelly Caffrey

    The Camera isn't actually bad, its more of a software problem. Luckily, Google is working releasing the new API soon!

  • Android Developer

    Will Google also allow others to install their camera app ?
    That could be nice.

    I also wonder why the manufacturers don't add the photosphere feature.
    Is it patent-protected ?

  • qriusme
  • Sean

    I think the N5 has the potential to take great shots. I am happy with the quality of the shots I get but they are not easy to achieve. You cannot just point and shoot to take a quick pic. I find it hard to believe that the pics on the video above with the old lady dancing were taken on a Nexus 5. If Google sorts out the focusing problem and the shutter delay then it could be a very capable camera phone. A software update from Google is supposed to be imminent so fingers crossed.

    As for battery life, I may be one of the lucky ones who have not had a problem. In fact I have been very happy with the the time I get on battery. This is coming from a HTC One X though which had a particularly poor battery life.

  • Chris York

    The camera is awesome. This is getting real old. Yes, it needs an update which we know is coming to help speed up the shutter but the image quality is outstanding. Turn on HDR+ and leave it on. Done. Protip: wait a sec for the OIS and white balance to do their jobs before firing. If the WB looks terrible, move the camera and reframe. Almost always forces it to recalculate.

  • liam

    I really don't get the N5 camera bashing. It's camera is as good as the new iphone's (better in low light, better with hdr enabled, slower shutter though). The main problem is the software...which you can change.
    Also, you can enable that cam mod which drastically improves the situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

    Nexus 5 camera not "insanely great" in my opinion. But usable.

  • Rango

    People - HDR+ is better then any phone camera currently available. Regular shots are not so good, but HDR+ (which is default camera mod on nexus 5)! HDR+ is magic! Sharper photos, colors reproduction is real, low light almost free of noise...

  • norx

    nexus 5 camera sucks. had a Xiaomi mi2a which has a great camera. compared the nexus 5 cam is a poor piece of shit.