Do you need mystery leading up to product announcements in order to pull off box-office hits in the mobile landscape? Many people would say yes, definitely, but Google is about to prove them all wrong.
Every in and out concerning Big G and LG’s Nexus 5 was known and documented well before the thing became official, yet a lot of folks tuned in to the rather unglitzy, lackluster official presentation last week. And by the looks of it, the entire world wants in on the Nexus fun.
Otherwise, how can you explain the initial Google Play stocks have been exhausted already and the earliest Nexus 5 cravers could hope to get their grubby hands on a “precious” is November 8 via Sprint? You can’t now, can you?
All that being said, let’s cut the bs and lend a helping hand to anyone looking to score an N5. Ladies and gents, here’s why, where and for how much to buy Google’s ace in the hole and why and where not to buy it:
Google Nexus 5 – Why to Buy
It’s not rocket science. People dig the N5 because, on paper, it’s everything the N4 isn’t and can take on most competing giants for a fraction of their price. Okay, so it may not be powered by a swanky 64-bit CPU, like we know what rival.
And its camera and battery look a little underwhelming (emphasis on “little”), compared to, say, the LG G2 or Sony’s Xperia Z1. But what about the Snapdragon 800 power? And 2 GB RAM, and splendid 4.95-inch Full HD screen, and skinny 8.6 mm profile, and even the 16 and 32 GB storage options?
Can you find them elsewhere? Sure you can, but you’ll either have to compromise on build quality and brand reliability going for some unknown OEM from China, or pay north of 600 bucks outright. Meanwhile, the N5 starts at $350 and runs pure vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat, with no unnecessary bells and whistles on top.
Where to Buy
The “where” of the equation is also simple… in theory, but in reality things are much more complex and complicated. As long as you have a choice, don’t even think about it and get the Nexus 5 via Google’s Play Store sans contractual obligations.
There are no strings attached, no headaches and, best of all, the 5-incher won’t cost you an arm and a leg, going in the US for $350 with 16 GB of built-in storage and $400 with double the memory and in the UK for £299/£339. Valid both in black and white.
Now, as things stand, Americans have to wait between two and four weeks for the handheld to leave Google’s warehouses, whereas in GB it’s six to 14 days. Sounds like an eternity, but the alternatives are not worth the premiums.
The number three wireless carrier stateside, Sprint, is one of those alternatives, with the Nexus 5 up for pre-orders and shipping from November 8. However, the price “leaps” to $150 with 2-year pacts or 50 bucks if you bring your number from a different network. That’s not so bad, you say? It’s actually cheaper? Think again and, this time, do the math on the long haul. Also, think long and hard. Will you be as much in love with the device two years from now as you are today? I highly doubt it.
If you’re still willing to pen a pact, know that Best Buy sells Sprint’s Nexus 5 as well, for $150 and with November 8 set as an ETA. As for carrier AT&T and “UnCarrier” T-Mobile, they’ve only confirmed they’ll be getting the beast sooner or later, mentioning nothing on exact dates and pricing, which is never a good sign.
In the UK, Carphone Warehouse currently estimates white units will next be delivered November 7, with black models following eight full days later. Both can be had with Vodafone and O2 contracts, as well as SIM-free for an incredibly low £295 ($470).
Finally, Brits can choose to take their business directly to O2, which offers the in-stock (!!!) N5 for no upfront charge on select plans and a luxurious £530 outright.
Where and Why Not to Buy
There are a number of reasons you could snub the newest member of the Nexus family or at least hold off on your purchase. The availability woes alone are bound to discourage a number of prospective buyers. Also, there are those that just can’t settle for anything less than the best and, even Google has to admit it, the Nexus 5 is not the absolute bestest smartphone.
Certainly not in the battery life department and probably not as far as its camera goes either. And don’t even get me started on the lack of external storage.
As to where not to buy it, beware primarily of eBay duds. Better yet, don’t use eBay period. Not for purchasing mobile devices. Things are at the moment not as bonkers as they were last year, when charlatans were asking as much as 1,000 bucks for unlocked N4s, but there are sellers hoping to offload some N5s for around $600 a pop.
Granted, I can’t go so far as to say the entire of eBay is rotten and there are trusted sellers that charge in the vicinity of $450, but why make your life complicated when you can make it simple? That goes for more “serious” retailers as well, including Amazon and even AT&T or Best Buy.
In other words, it’s best to just not settle for a penny north of Google’s recommended pricing. However hard it may be to wait. And trust me, your Play Store time will come at one point. Who knows, maybe LG learned a thing or two from last year’s N4 availability debacle, so things might be much smoother this time around.