The Best Initial Hands-on With The Nexus 5

And it’s Canadian, woot!

Update: I guess I wrote a bit too soon. After going through more Nexus 5 coverage, it seems that TechCrunch has a really good initial impressions post too; let’s say it’s a close second. 

Greg Kumparak has some really good notes from his brief time with the device. Here are my favourite and most anticipated features I want to try out when I get mine:

With Android 4.4, Google Search is now automatically integrated into every single page of your homescreen launcher, and can be triggered by voice through an “Okay, Google” hot keyword. Search is always just there. It’s quite nice.

It’s smooth. Really smooth. Every transition, every fade in – it’s like butter. If it stays this smooth after a few weeks of use, it’s by far the smoothest Android experience I’ve had; alas, that rarely seems to be the case with Android.

Android 4.4 overhauls the dialer, with the main feature being a knowledge of nearby businesses. Just type a business name into the same field where you’d normally type the first few letters of your friends name, and it pulls up the details for nearby locations. In my early tests, this feature works very well. Typing “Starbucks” pulled up 8+ locations near me (hey, it’s San Francisco), broken down by their location, each offering their phone number at a click. It works in reverse, too; I had one of those Starbucks locations call me, and the phone identified the caller as such. Google says all this data is piped in from Google Maps

Update 2: I’d also like to give a small shout-out to Brian Klug over at AnandTech for his piece given its clear presentation of the technical details, without making me read a page-long spec sheet.