Nexus 5 replacement for October 2016



I want a “pure Google” replacement for my Nexus 5, but the Pixel, although ideal, is too expensive at £599.  I never bough the 5X because of the poor battery life – which is a priority for me.

My shortlist just now is just a Oneplus 3 (£329).  But are there others I’m missing?

I feel like Google is taking a step backwards in terms of getting their pure Google message out there.  I got a new Samsung A5 2016 phone at work recently.  Its a beautiful phone, but the customisations to Android are awful, confusing and unncecessary.  I installed Google Now Launcher which helped a bit though.

I dont think this is just me asking, there must be lots of others feeling the same today.

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  1. 1 | Reply
    jaylesh27 Alpha Member #1586 - 3 months ago

    The OnePlus 3 is probably a great choice.  There are others (made by other Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Huawei) with pretty good hardware at a decent price but I think you would be disappointed with the software.  If you don't mind the 5.5 inch sized screen of the OP3, then go for it.  It is a solid choice.  One side note though, I don't know how committed OnePlus is to software/security updates for their phones.

    1. 0 | Reply
      lightbody Alpha Member #2190 - 3 months ago
      In reply to jaylesh27:

      My stand-in phone just now is a Sony Z2 which I find too big and clunky (although its mostly been great).  It has a 5.2" screen.  The OP3 is flatter and lighter with rounded corners so I'm hoping I can cope with the size...

    2. 0 | Reply
      jaylesh27 Alpha Member #1586 - 3 months ago
      In reply to lightbody:

      The OP3 is only 0.05 inches wider than the Sony Xperia Z2 so I don't think it will be too much of a difference on the width side...and yeah the OP3 is definitely lighter and thinner than the Z2.  The OP3 is definitely taller but that shouldn't too big of a deal.  It's not like the phone runs iOS so that you'd have to reach all the way to the top to go back in an app lol

  2. 1 | Reply
    ctataru - 3 months ago

    I am currently using the OnePlus2 with a custom ROM and I am happy with it.  I warmly recommend the OnePlus 3 model. With a custom launcher you can get a clean and easy to use interface. 

    1. 0 | Reply
      lightbody Alpha Member #2190 - 3 months ago
      In reply to ctataru:

      Thanks.  I was going to install the "Google Now" launcher on it... is there anything better you recommend?

  3. 1 | Reply
    KPRROK Alpha Member #302 - 3 months ago

    After yesterday's announcement, I ordered a Motorola X Pure (Style/Play) to replace my Nexus 5.  That was supposed to be a pure Android experience, but probably won't get updates as quickly.  Also not sure if it's available in the UK still.

  4. 0 | Reply
    lightbody Alpha Member #2190 - 1 month ago

    Belated reply.  

    I did get a OP3, and have been using it for about 5 weeks.  It is a delightful phone, and I've had no problems at all with it.  I do find it slightly too big for my hand, however, which increases the risk of me dropping it, and when its out of its case it is incredibly slippery.  Battery life is OK, certainly no worse than the Sony xperia Z2 it replaced.  Screen is great.  Recommended highly.  I think its a shame the 3T has had a 20% price increase, but it still looks good.

    I installed the Google Now Launcher to make it more Nexus-like, and got a brilliant car holder called the Spigen Steath Universal Car holder.  That combined with Android Auto is a pretty slick solution in an older car.

  5. 0 | Reply
    johnh3 - 1 month ago

    OnePlus 3 (Now OnePlus 3T) are a good option. But I think also Vernee is a interesting option. A relativly new Chinese brand that using "stock android" with basicly no modifications. They have been good on software updates and I think most of their models will get android 7.0 in december.

    They have just released a flagship Vernee Apollo for $299. I suppose we will see some real review of it soon.

  6. Paul Thurrott
    0 | Reply
    Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 month ago

    I wasn't aware of battery life issues with the 5X, but I would have said that was a great upgrade ... a year or six months ago.

    Today, the Pixel is SO expensive compared to what you would have paid for the 5 or 5X. It's a bit depressing. 

    I'd look at Motorola's phones. Or OnePlus. I guess. I wish there was a clearer choice.

    1. 0 | Reply
      offTheRecord - 1 month ago
      In reply to Paul Thurrott:

      Yeah, I've got no complaints about battery life on my 5X. It easily gets me through a full day, from wake up to bedtime. The only time I've had "serious" battery issues (like, I'd be at 50% in less than 2 hours) was app-related, or sometimes "Android OS" related. Removing the offending app and/or re-booting clears it right up. And with fast charging, you can go from 30% to well over 50% in no time.

  7. 0 | Reply
    ben55124 Alpha Member #1468 - 3 months ago

    OP3 for me.  Purchased at launch a few months ago and happy with choice.  They have been pushing updates every few weeks, but no news about Nougat if that is important to you.

    Honor 8 and ZTE Axon 7 are in the same price range.  Check androidcentral or other sites for comparisons. If you want basic android, OP3 is likely your choice.  OP focuses their development efforts on supporting features unique to hardware -- like the notification Off - Priority - On switch.

  8. 0 | Reply
    ghostrider - 3 months ago

    I'm in exactly the same position as you. I love my N5, but it's nearly 3 years old, and 16GB storage is getting very tight. Pixel is also too expensive for me (and too 'Iphone looking' as well if I'm honest), so I'm also looking at the OnePlus 3 which is near stock Android, or at a push, picking up a Nexus 6P before it goes eol, but this might just be too big (I haven't seen one in the flesh yet). The Moto's are good phones too, with a near stock experience, so I might look there too. Not too interested in Huawei though, although they get pretty good reviews. I did briefly consider the 5X earlier in the year, but it's not really much of an upgrade technically from the N5.

  9. 0 | Reply
    ozaz - 3 months ago

    OnePlus 3 seems to be the standard suggestion to this type of question.

    But what's the best option if you want a 5" phone instead of 5.5"?

    1. 0 | Reply
      TechnologyTemperance - 1 month ago
      In reply to ozaz:

      A bit underpowered, but maybe a Moto G?