KitKat phone, Nexus 5, packs powerhouse specs

KitKat phone: The first of its kind, the Nexus 5, went on sale Thursday. With top-of-the-line smart phone specs and a smooth, simple KitKat operating system, this pair makes a sweet deal.

Google
The new Google smart phone, Nexus 5, offers dependable Google hardware with the new Android KitKat 4.4 operating system.

It finally isn’t a fluke.

After months of accidental leaks, Google officially released the Nexus 5 Wednesday, the latest model of Google smart phones. The phone offers the same Google-quality specs and hardware, but combined with the new Android KitKat 4.4 operating system and availability on more carriers than ever before, the search-engine giant’s smart phone could make a splash.

On the hardware side, the Nexus 5 builds on the solid foundation Google’s phones have set before. Built by LG, the Nexus 5 has a five-inch, 1080p HD screen, a 2.26 GHz Snapdragon processor, all encased in a matte plastic back. The Google smart phone has an 8-megapixel camera, along with nifty features that correct small hand movements to make a less blurry photo, and better picture quality in low-light situations with fast-moving subjects. These camera updates could work well with Google’s recent additions to Google+ that focus on making, creating, and editing photo projects easier for its social networkers.

Android KitKat 4.4, the newest operating system from Android, was also debuted on the Nexus 5, and the results seem to speak to the future of operating systems. The interface is smooth and a bit translucent, with a lighter font and more visual space between apps, not unlike the new iteration of iOS 7. The Google specifications also add an extra sense of usability. Each device comes with Google Now, a search system that gathers data from your location and preferences to give you better search results, and Hangouts is now the default text messaging, calling, and video-calling app. Overall KitKat also uses less memory, which translates to faster performance, even on less-capable phones.

This new model of the Nexus is the first to be offered on three US networks: AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Previous models either only ran on a specific network or had limited capabilities between carriers, so this move could open up the Nexus 5 to a wider audience. Another key feature is the price. Without contract, the Nexus 5 16GB starts at $350 and the 32GB starts at $400, which is far cheaper than other top off-contract smart phones on the market, like the iPhone.

Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of Google’s Android service, told USA Today that Google’s goal is to get Android into a billion peoples’ hand in 2014. This means tapping into developing markets. Google is targeting Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Mexico, where Android use is growing at three times the rate of developed countries, he says.

KitKat, which uses far less memory, could be the key to bringing Android even into entry-level phones, and combined with the cheap unlocked price, this could be a key seller in rising economies. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.