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Last week in the wake of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P announcements we asked you the faithful Ausdroid readers what your ideal Nexus would be. We’re glad to say that the Build Your Own Nexus survey saw some great responses. Unsurprising really, Nexus’s are always a favourite topic. After reviewing all of your responses, we are happy to present to you the specs for the Ausdroid Nexus 2015.

  • Screen 5.5″ AMOLED FHD 1920 x 1080 (400 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 64 bit Hex-core SOC with 2 x Cortex-A57 cores and 4 x Cortex-A53 cores and Adreno 418 GPU
  • 32/64/128 GB onboard storage
  • MicroSD card
  • Cameras
    • Rear 14 – 20 mp – f/1.8 aperture with OIS, Dual Tone Flash
    • Front facing – basic sensor 5 – 8 mp
  • Stereo front facing speakers
  • On screen buttons
  • Power and volume buttons on opposite sides (think Nexus 5)
  • No stylus
  • USB Type-C with USB 3.1
  • Battery
    • Full day without need to top up
    • Non-removable
    • Quick Charging
    • Wireless Charging
  • NFC
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • Accelerometer/G-Sensor/Compass/Gyroscope/Proximity/Ambient Light Sensor/Hall Sensor
  • Android™ 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band with MIMO support, with Wi-Fi direct and hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • GPS with aGPS, GLONASS and Beidou
  • Cellular: All Australian Bands

That’s your Ausdroid Nexus by the numbers, but as always there are more than just specs to any great device.

[showhide more_text=’Show me the fine details’ less_text=’Let’s keep it high level’]

Screen size

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We agonised over this decision, hours of debates on telegram, tempers flared, opinions flew and feelings were hurt but in the end a decision must be reached. Actually none of that happened but it was a difficult data set to extrapolate. Out of the choices provided the most number of votes was for a 5 – 5.2″ device, so we could have selected that and declared victory. However over 50% of you wanted a device bigger than 5.2″ so the decision became where on the larger than 5.2 but smaller than 5.8″ size (the point at which votes dropped off) would be correct. We looked at statistical math, standard deviations, at one point a dart board was suggested in the end we settled on 5.5″ as a mid point as it is a “common size”. Hopefully not too big for the 5 – 5.2″ fans and not to small for the 5.7 – 6″ fans.

We will, of course, use the magic bezels that all smartphone manufacturers speak of that somehow turn this 5.5″ phone into a device smaller than your average 5.2″ unit.

Build Materials

Overwhelmingly respondents either just didn’t care what the device was made out of or just wanted it to be “premium”. Leather, glass and even metal all got fairly low responses, and seeing as the majority of you wanted wireless charging we decided to go with a Soft-touch polycarbonate unibody – no removable battery – similar to Google’s very own 5X. We’ve chosen Galactic Black, Hoth White, Smurf Blue and Lightsaber red as your colour options.


It seems the majority of you feel that regardless of who actually manufactures a Nexus it’s a Google phone through and through. By a safe margin “I don’t care” was the number one response with Sony, LG and Motorola all close together after that. But seeing as we are “really making this device” /s, we had to make a decision, and since Sony was the winner with a massive 16% of the vote and a whopping 0.5% lead on LG, and that Sony has never had the chance to make a Nexus, we have chosen Sony to partner with on the development of this device.

Processor Choice

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Looking at your responses we decided to go with the Snapdragon 808 over the 810. From the responses, it looked like power efficiency was more important to the majority of readers than pure speed, and let’s face it the 808 is no slouch in the speed department. Add that to the 810’s somewhat tempestuous childhood and we felt that the 808 would deliver the all round performance that you would need. Had the “top” chip from Qualcomm had a less bumpy history we might have chosen that, but 59% want power efficiency overt the “top” chip.

As a side note, we discounted the 820 as it’s not available until next year.


Unequivocally you the Ausdroid readers reject phones with less that 32 GB of internal storage. 32GB and 64GB were by far the most popular choices, we included 128GB as it is quickly becoming a common high-end option and felt that the 13% of you who need all the storage would be happy.

MicroSD cards are back, while not an overwhelming majority it’s clear many of us like the options MicroSD cards offer.


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Thinness is out, battery life is in. Providing an arbitrary battery capacity in mAh for a fictional “in development” /s device seems a little ludicrous to us, so we haven’t provided one. However the message regarding battery life is clear, you don’t want to top up during the day, the phone should last from dusk to dawn and do everything you need in between. With a 5.5″ FHD AMOLED display powered by the 808 we think somewhere in the low 300mAh range would be about right to get this device over the line, if being a little bulky.

With only 29% of respondents asking for removable batteries – and our promise of all day + battery life – we decided not to include a removable battery, this will allow us to shave a precious few mm from our thickened z-access whilst improving build quality and robustness of the device. Of course with our included wireless charging and quick charging it is also easy to top up your device if you’ve spent the better part of the day gaming or some such.


You all know the modern saying “the best camera is the one you have with you”. It’s clear that the message regarding specs not being everything as far as cameras go is something that you all understand. A great sensor and aperture is part of the equation but overwhelming we all just want good pictures out of our phones. Samsung managed it wit the S6 and Note 5 lines, LG has done it with the G4 and it’s clear it is this kind of quality the majority of you want out of your rear facing camera. OIS and raw image support were popularly supported so we’ve asked our sensor and software partners to make that happen too.

As for front facing cameras, it’s pleasing to see that the selfie movement has not significantly infiltrated our ranks – we jest. As such we went with a basic style setup on the front. That said we don’t actually begrudge people their selfie phones, to each their own.



Compromises, conflicts and cost

In the simple light hearted fun of running a simple build your own phone survey it has never been more apparent how complex it is to build the “ultimate smartphone”, and that the ultimate smartphone doesn’t really exist for a mass market. The number of individual specs that had an overwhelming majority of the votes was small, making clear decisions on many of the specs almost impossible. Our phones mean something different to all of us, we all use them slightly differently, we all have different expectations of our devices.

Apart from loving Nexus devices and wanting to extend the conversation regarding the latest Nexus devices and have a bit of fun in the process what we really wanted to do was highlight just how difficult it can be to produce one device to satisfy everyone. Not to mention the cost impact of the included choices. We hear time and time again from OEMs that cost in far more than the sum of the basic widget costs. Everything included in a smartphone increases complexity of both the physical build and software development. NFC isn’t just a few strips of copper, Qi is more that a receiver coil – unless you want your battery to over charge and explode. There is licensing, drivers, software integration, certifications the list goes on.

We all want that unicorn device, you know the one, the device that does everything, has everything and yet somehow cost about the same as a 2013 mid-range device – ah good times when the dollar was strong. Reality is the smartphone business is hard. And in an ultra competitive Android market where margins are low and there are 5 other OEMs device sitting on the shelf next to your device its easy to see why few manufacturers have the ability to just bundle everything, knowing only a small proportion of users will use many of those extras.

Now let’s not bow our heads in defeat, there are a plethora or truly great Android devices on the market, and I think we can expect to see them get better and better in the coming years, but maybe some of those great features that some of us love just might not make it in the long run.

Back to the Sony Nexus 5A – where the A is for Ausdroid -, how did we go? Is this the “ultimate Nexus phone”? Did we get it right? We’ve added a quick poll to see how our Franken Nexus stacks up to Google’s latest offering.

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seriously looking at the blackberry Priv…


The Ausdroid Nexus specs look a lot like the newest top of the line Windows Phone, apart from the OS. I’m going to buy the Sony Xperia Z5 when it finally comes to Telstra. Apart from wireless charging, it has everything I want from a phone, especially build quality which I noticed wasn’t a category in the Ausdroid spec sheet. While USB Type C is desirable, I already possess 20 micro USB cables that I can use for charging or syncing and the convenience far outweighs my need for the latest standard.

Alejandro Contreras

Saddened that the majority like a phablet…

Neil Johnston

Ok no need to go all gaga without telling battery capacity


The Nexus range used to be mid priced phones but the latest crop are price the same as the top end Apple and Samsungs. i’m not playing the premium phone game any longer.. Would love the Nexus 6P though..

Cesar Fong

Nexus 6 is still good phone at the moment so no need to over spend on the new nexus with hand full of upgrades , considering the price I’ll rather get nexus 6 for 300 bucks top tier phone

David Anderton

Would love to see the numbers


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
That’s all of them 🙂

David Anderton


Simon Kennedy

That’s a very Rational response.

Paul Russell

Interesting experiment. I agree with your statement that there is no perfect smartphone that ticks all of the boxes on the spec sheet, but I think that could hold true of almost any mass produced consumer goods, especially electronics like phones & computers. Every device from the big OEMs is always going to have something “wrong” with it be that purely technical eg expandable storage to aesthetics to just something personal eg brand


that’s the promise of Ara, but after decades of building my own PC’s I am not sure it’s an experience they will get right. either compatibility will be an issue, or they will limit choice.

Paul Russell

And there in lies the problem with the modular smartphone concept, you can only use the compatible components that they either produce themselves or licence out. Either way, I’m not really sold on the modular phone and might go the way of the nuclear planes & automobiles designs of the 1950s, technically possible but not really practical. Most people don’t swap out their battery, are their really going to swap out processors, camera or radio modules?

Simon Kennedy

What if the Ara processor module was used as a sort of Continuum like module that you could plug into various displays or maybe into a keyboard/dock. With the capabilities of the UI dependent on the display connected.

Tony Soprano

This is going to sound really negative, but when people complain about “bad battery life” on most smartphones, and in reality, most people are generally unsatisfied with the battery life on their phones, I really don’t feel as if this is any fault of the manufacturer, the hardware, or software design. On average, most flagships are getting around 4-7 hours of screen on time, depending on some small software variables, and of course battery size. What I’m really trying to say here is,Who really *needs* to be spending several hours staring at their smart phone screen? From what I know… Read more »


The most screen time my phone gets during the day is on my commute to and from work, where I read flipboard, catchup on social media and listen to podcasts. Basically, I have nothing else to do other than sit around and wait for the train to get me where I need to go. So of course, I have an entertainment media device in my pocket, I’m going to use it.

Tony Soprano

That’s a fair point of course, but why not do something else like read a book? Why do we need to be engulfed by digital media all the time?


My books are on my phones and tablets, I read quite a bit, but always on one of my devices. The words are the same 🙂

Tony Soprano

Not that I know you at all, but don’t you ever get sick of staring at your displays? I know I do.

m ross

Fair point. I write on my Nexus 6. Emails, articles, other stuff. I also do some basic SysAdmin. It’s preferable to be out and about then stuck at the desk all day. In that way my smartphone is my primary work device, use it more than desktop or laptop.

Tony Soprano

I can’t do that. I like my smartphone sure, but I couldn’t stare at such a small screen to do productive work on. Give me at least a 13 inch laptop any day and I’ll be happy.


The Nexus software experience (ie NO OEM Skins) combined with this hardware is a no-brainer purchase. Currently I can’t see myself purchasing the current 5X – mainly due to the lack of wireless charging.


I think we’re loosing that battle. What we need is for Apple to use it, then the me to trend will start

Piers McCarney

Honest question: why do people care about wireless charging? Is lying your phone down on a mat or stand really so much better than plugging in a cord, taking mere seconds more time?

I am a pretty picky phone purchaser (very happy with my new LG G4 but still whinge about underpowered GPU) but still couldn’t care less about wireless charging (especially when it rules out a replaceable battery).

Anyone have an answer for me?

m ross

The issue is wireless charging is nowhere near the speeds of quick charge. Get that up to speed and voilà.


For me it has completely changed my battery relationship with my device. It is also nice to just be able to pick up a device without unplugging it. It’s convenient and elegant. For what I use Qi for I don’t need it to be fast charging, but I am looking forward to the next generation which are because who doesn’t like extras

Piers McCarney

I can see it as useful, just surprises me when some see it as a really killer/necessary feature.


Samsung make something better than the Nexus 5A. It’s slightly bigger and you might need a battery top up if you hammer it really hard but the specs make the 5A look pretty lame.

Obviously, I’m talking about the Note 5. Why not have the best display and SoC on the market?

And the answer is that you have to use Samsung’s software and most of you won’t tolerate it. I understand and I digress… There really is no perfect phone ?

Alan Kerlin

Ingress kills batteries within a year. Must have swappable battery so it can be user replaced. And a MicroSD slot for photos, vids, music, etc. The rest is variable.


Line it up against the LG G4 and the differences are:

The G4 has a QHD screen, 32GB of storage, buttons & speakers on the back, USB 2, removable battery, no fingerprint sensor, etc. – all for under $500 online.

I’d suggest it’s the closest you are going to get to your Nexus 5A, unless you know of another real world phone?


have a look at what my daily driver is 🙂

David Anderton

Yep it’s probably my next phone

Piers McCarney

G4 has made me very happy so far and has also got many enquiries when people see the quality of its still shot camera work. LG really nailed it on this one (I’d prefer a slightly smaller screen, but nothing’s perfect).


I just bought last years Nexus 6 at discount. This year’s phones are too pricey for me, and the specs and marshmallow is enough for my needs for at least a couple of years. The camera is “good enough” for Facebook and instagram and social networking. For the better shots I usually have an actual camera with me that I prefer to use. So I’m happy.

Russell Cook

I just bought a LG G4. The 15% off ebay deal sealed it. Premium camera phone for $455AUD. Nexus can’t match that.


As a N4 owner I was looking forward to replacing it with the N5x, but found it to be a complete let down on specs for the high price. I’m now waiting for the X Play to hit retail, but really want the 32GB version. So if that doesn’t sell here I might do a complete 180 and go the full hog and get the latest windows phone, at least that has Qi charging.


Nexus 5A won’t be a 2016 flagship killer if it costs AUD$1499.
You’d have to put a bullet thru Google’s head to even get close to this no-comprimise specs.

David Anderton

Wrong it’s basically an lg g4


The Nexus 5A looks pretty sweet! I’d get it but the one thing that puts me off most is the screen size. It’s just a touch too big for my liking – but pretty much everything else is tip top!

Great idea to do this, Ausdroid.

Max Luong

Same here. It would be what I’d buy if the screen was 5″ or less.


We are in the minority unfortunately as nearly everything but the xperia z compact is above 5″ these days (unless you want to go for something that is very mid range)


I’m totally with you in the opposition of these phablets, but I would even swallow the 5.2″ of the NX. It’s basically the 32 GB storage cap that has dashed my hopes and put me off the phone entirely. 3 GB ram would be appreciated and was expected, but the paltry storage killed it.