It's not uncommon for Google (or other hardware manufacturers) to make subtle changes to devices post-release to fix problems that went unnoticed before the device hit hundreds of thousands users. That's exactly what happened with the Nexus 4, and it looks like the Nexus 5 is getting some hardware modifications of its own, as well.

As pointed out by XDA user shinral, the updated model has more rigid power and volume buttons, the SIM tray fits flush with the body of the phone, and probably the most visually noticeable difference, the speaker grill holes are now larger. Take a look.

1 2 3

Top: new; Bottom: old

These changes are, of course, an effort to fix some of the primary complaints we've heard about the device, like "rattling" buttons, a protruding SIM tray, and quiet, muffled volume through the device's speaker. It's worth noting that not all units faced these kinds of issues, but it's pretty clear that there were enough for Google/LG to step in and make some changes.

Shinral also noted that the newer revision's display has more of a yellow tint, though it's unclear whether or not LG is using a completely different display moving forward or if the particular unit in question just happened to be slightly unbalanced compared to other models.

Either way, there's a good chance that anyone who ended up with a "defective" Nexus 5 will end up with this newer hardware revision should they choose to return the original.

XDA via PocketDroid

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Kevin Igoe

    So how would we go about getting a new one?

    • Garrett

      Buy one on Google Play and hope you get the new one.

      • aliasgar

        I am planning 2 buy n5 now shud I..? Or shud I wait for few more day...?

    • techlte

      You can try to RMA it, lots of people were sending them back for loose buttons.

  • anzensepp1987

    Will get my replacement on monday. After several Android-pages telling me that the keys are loose and shaky I was convinced...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The keys are horrible on mine. In fact, they make the whole phone rattle when I tap on the screen.

      • Danny Lewis

        I took my case off and yeah, the power button especially is a rattler!

      • techlte

        Same thing happens to me and it's really annoying. I constantly go back and forth on if I should RMA it but I just don't want to risk a yellow/warm screen. At this price I'm willing to sacrifice but nothing is more annoying then pressing the screen and hearing that cheap rattle.

      • Jason

        same here. i get a text and my buttons go nuts. i wonder if the problem remains on the new revision. It appears they slimmed down the buttons as to not have so much give

      • anzensepp1987

        I still don't like the vibration. It's still loud - too loud. And the buttons are definitely not at all perfect.

        • Ivan Martinez

          Agreed! It's SO loud, why is this? I definitely don't recall it being this bad on the N4

          • Bob

            It's a faulty device. Mine was loud and "plasticky". Felt like the motor wasn't glued completely down. Got a replacement, and it's much better -- not super loud and buzzy. But now I have the rattling power button problem. Sigh...

      • quique

        Same happens to me...Do you think I can get a replacement or after 15 days after the purchase they don't replace anymore?

  • Milton P.

    I bought one the same day it was launched as a gift for my girlfriend, now I bought one for myself this week and I can tell the difference, I have to say that I don't like the yellow(ish) whites in the screen of my phone though. Hope it can be calibrated with a custom kernel, I didn't want to root it but it seems to be necessary only for the color calibration thingy.

    • http://twitter.com/diegojdiaz Diego Josué Díaz Reyes

      It might be the glue that's not dry and not the calibration of the display.

  • Adam Truelove

    Just got my N5 yesterday. My sim card slot sits flush, and my power and volumes buttons look like the new one, but my speaker holes look like the old one (I think), but it's hard to tell without anything to compare to. I have no idea which one I have.

    • yankeesusa

      check the serial number, if it starts with 311 it is the new model. So far from what Ive read.

      • Adam Truelove

        Where is the serial number? The one on the settings/about screen is the huge sequence of numbers and letters.

        • yankeesusa

          Check the original box. In about it will be under about phone and status, after the 02c3a number you should see it. Sorry, I'm getting this info from a friend with the nexus

          • Dayle Soares

            Mine is a white 32gb serial number begins with 311 manufactured in Nov 13, sound used to be softer prior to 4.4.2 much better now.... Don't have an older device to compare it to.. But sound isn't like what my nexus 4 was... Rely on push Bullet chrome notifications most of the time.. No issues with sim tray, yellow tinge and rattling power button

          • Adam Truelove

            Mine starts with 312.

          • master94

            Anything after 311 is new.

          • Cullen Riggs

            my serial is 03ad48a1215fddcf any clue what that means? LOL

          • yankeesusa

            You have the original model if the numbers thing really is true. But i would delete your full serial from here.

          • Cullen Riggs

            Was able to do an IMEI decode and the serial number of mine begins with 311. Not sure why it's different in the about on my phone but that was from an LG site where I got the 311. It appeared to be the updated model with larger holes and smaller clearances but wasn't 100% sure. Mine was manufactured 11/23/13

          • Sebbe257

            Where can you see the manufacturing date??

    • Dennis Ulijn

      Also feel like my N5 (delivered Wednesday, Holland) has a nice flush SIM-tray, filling buttons (although a bit wobbly), but also the small speaker holes. 311K-serial number.

      • http://nvarona.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel Varona

        Same as mine I receive my Nexus 5 311k serial but still have small speaker holes, and sharp edges in volume and power buttons.

  • a.d.AM

    Who wouldnt want a tighter model with bigger holes??!?!

    • Siddharth Gupta

      I see what you did there. You sir win the internets!

      • Netwern

        internet* #grammarnazi

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      All of my upvotes to you, sir.

      • Abraham Woods

        I, and many other Nexus 5 users, would greatly appreciate it if you could bring into light the problem with the screen. Too many people, myself included, have fallen victims to shattered screens from heights less then 3 feet. It could be nothing, but having CGG 3, I hoped better protected against cracked and shattered screens. Thanks for your time.

        • GrebGoneBad

          I personally have had no prpoblems with the screen on my N5. I have dropped mine from a height of around 4 feet onto solid concrete and the only damage was a couple of dents in the plastic. I have since bought an ultra-fit case and a glass screen protector just in case of course, as I do understand that maybe I was just lucky. =)

    • Scott

      Haha exactly.

    • Adam Truelove

      Wouldn't you want smaller holes?

    • Danny365

      How is it tighter with bigger holes?

      • Ygor Vaz

        The inner part is tighter, but the entrance is bigger :P

      • Dart

        Haha. Wow.

        Wouldn't you like to know? It's a secret.

    • Rohit Trivedi

      Hahahaha...nice 1

  • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap

    I received my Nexus 5 about 18 hours after it was announced, but I don't have any of the complaints. Buttons are fine, sim card slot has no issues (I don't see any difference on the picture, so can't tell which one I have). I do have the smaller speaker holes, but don't have an issue with the sound; it's not like I was expecting to be able to use it as a boombox.

  • Severo Rivera

    I guess I got a good batch because I was an early adopter of the Nexus 5, but don't have any of issues stated above.

    • Simon Belmont

      Same here. None of those issues have affected my panda 32GB Nexus 5. :)

      We must have been on the same good batch. Haha. ;)

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

        Same here. But the speaker grills are small for me. And dunno whether it's placebo effect or not but I'm not happy with the sound output from the speakers.

  • Danny Lewis

    I really cannot tell too much of a difference, except the speaker holes are more obvious. Mine are small, but since the Kit Kat 4.4.2 update, my phone has been much louder. I'm happy with it.

  • techlte

    If someone is brave and can verify a new one they should open up the back. Check if the running glue/adhesive was remedied and if holes were added to allow the speaker to breath more like modders were doing.

    • aliasgar

      I am planning 2 buy n5 now..shud I.? Or shud I wait fr few more dayz

      • techlte

        I'd get it now, the phone has gone in and out of stock a lot since it was released. This is the newest revision, they must be sending them out since this article exists.

        • Omar Al Matar

          I bought one on 30th last month, Expected on 11th december but shipped on 3rd december, Mine's serial number starts with 311, But it's in UAE so can't check till next week.

          I'd order now if i were you.

  • Simon Belmont

    I bought my Nexus 5 on launch day and haven't experienced the issue with the clicking volume buttons. As for the speaker issue, it never seemed THAT low to me, in volume level, but Android 4.4.1/4.4.2 raised it noticeably more and it's very loud and clear now, for me.

    Haha. I never even noticed the SIM tray thing, as mine already seems flush. I must've gotten a really good, EARLY, batch. Yay.

    • Testraindrop

      same here

      • charles anderson

        Only problem I have with mine is the bottom of the Sim slot does stick out just enough to notice if you run your hand across it

  • jonathan3579

    Yep, I have the newer revision and sometimes that yellow screen on white backgrounds is extremely off-putting. The bigger speaker holes haven't made any sort of difference in volume that I can notice from the first model I had.

  • Dario Filippi

    Only thing I really can complain about with my 'launch day Nexus' is my GPS not working very good. Takes 60+ seconds to lock outdoors!! Think it is too late to RMA it (and I'll add on the loose buttons issue to RMA)...

  • DaveDeutsch

    "...slightly unbalanced compared to other models"
    Do you mean "compared to other units"?

  • spidey

    I was looking forward to see an improved model of nexus 5. Luckily i hadn't bought it.

  • qriusme

    I actually bought one on launch day, and the sound is fine, and no issues so far. Updated to 4.4.2 and camera picture quality is great!

  • Ivan Martinez

    Current issue with the nexus 5 is occasionally the screen doesn't turn on, yet sometimes I tap it and it turns on. It's a weird problem.

  • Stancu Cristian

    yea well that they change but the god damn nexus 7 touchscreen problem probably costs them too much ... that's a big fail for google ...

  • Will Cooper

    I just got an RMA on my N5 I bought more than a month ago.

  • Chris

    Now, about that battery.... :P

    • Cruxi

      This is why I didn't get the nexus5. I went and got the LG G2

      • Chris

        The G2 is great, hope you're enjoying it as much as I am mine. Can't beat the battery life, only got the Nexus 5 as a toy/MP3 player. :)

  • Stanley Chan

    Thas why I never buy a new hardware before 4 months of research and reviews. This is my tip for the rush about new things.

  • TriAxeS

    Does it also effect the thermal throttling?

  • Zoro

    My wife first got a white 16GB (shipped Nov 19) and her buttons are very tight, flush SIM drawer, the holes appear to be small and the screen is "cold" (bluish tinge). I just got mine 16BG black (shipped Dec 9) and it seems to have bigger holes, the screen is warmer (yellowish tinge), the SIM drawer is flush and the power button is tight, but the volume rocker is a bit rattly. I cant tell if there is a significant difference in the speaker volume between the two. Finally, the vibration on mine feels a bit stronger, but is also a lot louder (annoyingly so, had to turn it off for typing).

  • Zoro


  • tym0

    Wonder which one I'll get...

  • Ivan Martinez

    I DEFINITELY have the button problem. Just shaking the phone is enough to hear the button rattle. And vibration? Forget about it, it's obnoxiously loud. I just called Google and explained how the rattle has gotten worse and I can hear the buttons when I shake the phone, and this isn't conducive for my quiet office environment (all true). Thankfully they're sending out a replacement device. Here's hoping this replacement is of the new batch variety, so I can love this phone again.

  • GrebGoneBad

    If offered the chance I would probably go ahead and return my current device for one of the revised models, providing there was no charge of course. I could understand a small charge, but nothing ridiculous.

  • Jay

    Per multiple representatives I have spoken to from Google, there has been no change in any of the devices whatsoever. They had heard of this news from a few sites at most - which seems to be true - and says the rumors are totally unfounded.