Nexus 5: Premium phone at half the price

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Nexus 5: Premium phone at half the price
File photo of national swimmer Nick Tan with his Google Nexus 5 smartphone.

If there's one thing that really annoys me, it's paying so much money for a smartphone that has all the best and most complete features. This has always been the business model of smartphones. With $300 in your budget you're only limited to the entry-level phones, stripped from the beautiful design, build quality, power and other cool features of their premium counterparts.

If you want a flagship phone, such as the iPhone 5s or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5, you're going to have to cough up more.

That's all going to change this year. As more people are reluctant to replace their high-end smartphones so quickly (many are hanging on to their phones for at least a couple more years), phone makers are looking at potential growth in the lower-end market.

Phone makers like Alcatel and Huawei are reaping the rewards in these markets, offering premium class smartphones at affordable prices. The Moto G, which I've reviewed earlier this year, is a great example. For just under $300, you're getting a mid-range to almost high-end level of smartphone quality.

There's another smartphone that can truly offer more bang for your buck. If you want an alternative to the already excellent Moto G, consider the Google Nexus 5.

Developed in partnership with LG, the Nexus 5 boasts all the specs of a high-end phone: Snapdragon 800 quad core chip, full HD five-inch LCD (1,920x1,080) screen, a "soft-touch" polycarbonate body and an overall sleek minimalist design.

But buying a Nexus phone isn't like buying a Galaxy or an Xperia; the Nexus line is mainly a boutique phone for Google to showcase its latest Android operating system (OS), and for the Nexus 5, it's the Android 4.4, otherwise known as KitKat.

This is why many Samsung users have no idea what a true Android experience feels like. They may have the latest version of Android installed on their Galaxy, but it's overlayed completely by Samsung's own custom Touchwiz UI (user interface), which Samsung forces onto its users through its entire Galaxy line.

The pure Google Android experience is exactly what buyers want from a Nexus. Because of this, the Nexus phones have been popular among developers and hardcore Android tweakers over the years.

KitKat has really shown how far Google has come since it ignited the smartphone war with Apple in 2008.

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