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I’ve spent the better part of a week with my new #Nexus5 and I’m very much impressed with what I’ve …

[G+] I’ve spent the better part of a week with my new #Nexus5 and I’m very much impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

I opted for the red version (I only wish they had a green one). In fact, if it hadn’t been for the red version I’d probably still be sporting my #GNex as a daily driver. They aren’t lying when they call it bright red. It’s actually closer to the color of a hunting vest or the safety gear that road workers wear than it is to anything I’d call red. You definitely see this thing coming. It’s a bit overwhelming from the back, but looks perfect from the front with the red side bezel outlining the glass. By contrast, the white Nexus 5 has a black bezel, so you don’t get the outline effect. The matching speaker grill is a nice touch although it takes some getting used to. For the first few days, I frequently mistook that speaker grill for a notification light.

The very first thing I did was activate developer mode and switch from Dalvik to ART. I did the same thing on my #Nexus7 not long ago and the improvement in battery life was so dramatic that it was a no-brainer to do the same on the 5.

Speaking of battery life, I’ve been very impressed with the Nexus 5 in that respect. It may not be the best there is, but compared to my GNex it’s amazing. With the GNex I had to use radio managers and other tricks to get the battery to last through a typical day. And a typical day for me is a lot less taxing on a smartphone than I think it is for most people. With the WiFi radio always on and no special tweaks, the Nexus 5 has no problem making it through the day and usually has at least a third of a charge left when I set it down for the night.

Performance and responsiveness are like day and night. That’s to be expected when making the jump from a phone like the GNex where things would start to bog down any time I launched Play Music. But even compared to the Nexus 7 (2013), the Nexus 5 feels quite a bit smoother.

A lot of people seem to think the camera is the Nexus 5’s weak spot. I’m barely a casual photographer, so this wasn’t a big deal to me. All I use the camera for is to snap quick photos for sharing with friends and family or maybe to take a bit of video at holidays. Even so, I find the 8MP rear facing camera to be more than adequate. Definitely better than the camera on the Nexus 7.

I’m trying to keep things as stripped down as possible for as long as I can. Resisting the urge to install Tasker and start fiddling too much. I did install Trigger (http://ift.tt/GV0mvj) so that I can use NFC tags to toggle radios and have the phone automatically mute itself when I’m in meetings.

I also installed Snapdragon Batteryguru (http://ift.tt/VwkP4U) after hearing it discussed on a recent episode of AAA. Basically, it tries to eek out a bit of extra battery life by learning how you use the phone and automatically adjusting how often different apps are allowed to sync data in the background. I’m skeptical, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt since it comes from the actual company that made the processor in the phone. Unless it manages to impress, it will be banished before long.

More to come.

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