The best new phone you don’t know about

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When a new iPhone is released, you can usually tell. People line up days in advance, prices on eBay explode and we sometimes get to witness the occasional fight or two. It’s a shame — because there’s a new phone most people probably don’t know about that costs half as much and is just as good (if not better). It’s also from a little company you may not have heard of before: Google.

The Nexus 5 is essentially Google’s giant middle finger to Apple: proof that you can build a good smartphone that doesn’t require somebody to take out a second mortgage. You might be wondering at this point why we’re obsessing over this phone like it’s a cat on the Internet — there are many reasons. We know most readers have the attention spans of goldfish on crack cocaine, though, so we’ll give you the big two.

Dat Screen.

The screen on the Nexus 5.

Let’s start with the first thing you’re going to notice when you turn it on: the screen. This thing is massive — it clocks in at 5 inches. For reference, that’s the same as the massive Galaxy S4 and larger than the iPhone 5S and extremely popular HTC One and Nexus 4 (which the Nexus 5 naturally replaces). In fact, the diagonal measurement of the Nexus 5 screen is a full inch larger than that of the the iPhone 5S (and the iPhone 5C, which uses the same screen). That might not sound like much, but consider this: The Nexus 5 has almost 60 percent more screen area than the iPhone. Put the two side by side, and the iPhone begins to look more like a postage stamp than an actual phone. The screen is the most important part of a smartphone: No matter what you use your phone for, you’re going to be using the screen in some capacity.

This is especially important for students — having a phone with such a large screen means you can store novels and textbooks on it and have them actually be readable. Try to read your Math 1A book on the iPhone; it’s a little too small for comfort. You’ll have to do a lot of zooming in and out, which gets seriously annoying after a while. The Nexus 5 doesn’t give you this claustrophobia. Put your chiropractor out of business and leave those heavy textbooks at home.

So smug. Se expensive.

So smug. So expensive.

The most mind-blowing thing about the Nexus 5 isn’t the screen, though. Nor is it the awesome camera or the fact that its processor runs blazingly fast (to the point where it could probably cook bacon). What really makes the Nexus 5 an amazing deal is its price: $350 for the phone — up front with no contract. The iPhone 5S could cost about $700 if you buy it outright, and the cost only goes down if you buy it on a contract (which actually ends up costing you more in the long run). Buy a Nexus 5, and you can take it to any cell carrier you want. The result: super cheap service that can end up saving you more than $1,000 compared to an on-contract phone. And maybe that’s why UC Berkeley students should appreciate the Nexus 5 most — from CREAM to T-Shirt Orgy, we have a history of liking things that are both cheap and good. There’s no denying the Nexus 5 can sit comfortably on that list.

Image Sources: Google and Janitors under Creative Commons

Contact Sherdil Niyaz at [email protected]