Nexus 5 – one year later

Image of Nexus 5 with Android 5.0 sofitware

Nexus 5 is still a great device although his 1st birthday already passed. We all know about his smooth lag-free performance, still great hardware and bargain-deal price. However this article is not to praise the Nexus 5 device itself, but to check what has changed during this year. Since the phone came out, there were several different Android updates with lots of improvements (although some updates were just fixes). It’s possible that you (our reader) have seen different Nexus 5 benchmarks trying to show how good exactly the phone’s performance is. But almost all benchmarks are let’s say old. They have been made after the release of Nexus 5, which means that the device was running Android 4.4.2 back then. Now the current version is 5.0.1. Does this make a difference? The device is still lag-free and there is almost no performance difference for the everyday user (although the battery improvements are more noticeable). Let’s see what the numbers will say.

Please note that the device we used is with its stock Android ROM and is not rooted.

Antutu 5

First let’s start with probably one of the most popular benchmarks – Antutu (current version 5). Nexus 5 with Android Lollipop 5.0.1 scores impressive result, compared to the one year ago. You can check more details in the screenshots below.


It’s about 40% improvement compared to the same handset running Android 4.4.2. Seems that Google did very impressive job in a short period of time.

Geekbench 3

Let’s check next the Geekbench 3 results. This benchmark measures the CPU single and multi-core performance.

Screenshot of Nexus 5 Geekbench3 score

What is interesting here is that the phone managed to surpass other handsets, which pack better hardware compared to Nexus 5. The result is very good and the phone holds one of the top positions.


Quadrant is CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark. Here Nexus 5 again shows improvement compared to its KitKat version with almost 50% better score.

Screenshot of Nexus 5 Quadrant benchmark score



We made some graphic tests as well, however we didn’t expect any surprises here. Since the graphics rendering relies on the GPU power and this is the same GPU as one year ago, there was no difference in the results. Check the screenshot for graphic tests made by GFXBench.

Screenshot of Nexus 5 GFXBench benchmark score


Now let’s look at Vellamo’s benchmark. It includes 3 different benchmarks – browser, multi-core performance and ‘metal’ benchmark. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. The third one – Vellamo Metal – measures raw CPU, RAM and storage memory performance. Let’s take a closer look.

First you can see the multi-core performance. Nexus 5 with Android 5.0.1 is as good as Samsung 5 (although the records for Sammy are with Android 4.4.2), which packs better chipset. On the second screenshot you can see detailed result from the different tests, which were performed. Vellamo Metal (3rd screenshot) puts again Nexus 5 behind Samsung Galaxy S5 (although this time there’s more gap in the results). The third one is the browser benchmark, which puts Google’s handset at the very top with noticeable better score.

Browser benchmarks

We tested the phone with 2 more browser benchmarks – Kraken 1.1 and Browsermark 2. The results here are a little bit controversial gathered with the Vellamo browser mark. There’s no difference in Kraken 1.1 (compared to the Nexus 5 results one year ago). However it performed worse with Browsermark 2. Compared with the great result in Vellamo’s browser mark we have one browser benchmark with greater result, one with the same result and one with worse result. We can’t really determine, which benchmark works correctly and what should be the correct result



The last benchmark we performed was a little battery test. We used GFXBench battery test, which loops one and the same short animated video for about 30 minutes. And the end we get a result of how much is our phone endurance, if this video continue to run until the phone die (losses all battery charge). The result is pretty disappointing. For 30 minutes the phone went from 100% to 80% scoring 140 minutes. This means that the phone can handle this video for only 2 hours and 20 minutes, before you need to plug in and charge. This is a graphic-intensive video and it sucks lots of power from the CPU and the GPU, however it’s still a disappointing result. But we can say that the phone is going to lose so much battery only, if you play games with really high graphic demand.

Screenshot of Nexus 5 GFXBench_Battery benchmark score


Most of the numbers show that Android 5 brought great improvements in Nexus 5. It shows improved I/O and RAM performance. Although the battery test was disappointing, we can say that this is not how actually the phone is performing in every day usage. The benchmarks might be good for comparing devices, but they can measure the actual performance in real life. Nexus 5 works smoothly, no matter what you do with the phone. The battery management is really improved. We left our device for 10 hours with wifi, gps, data and bluetooth turned off. After 10 hours the phone had absolutely the same level of its battery charge. The battery level didn’t drop with a single percentage for 10 hours of standby. A standby with wifi turned on also drain insignificant amount of charge.

So one year later Nexus 5 has become even a better device compared to what was the previous year. If you are looking some absolutely stellar performance without spending too much, then this is phone you are looking at. Although it’s one year behind the current flagships in terms of hardware specifications, the phone doesn’t make any compromises and delivers great experience in every day usage. And it gets better and better with every software update.


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