After what seemed like an interminable wait for many Android and Nexus fans, Google's Nexus 5 smartphone is finally official. The LG phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is available unlocked for $349, but sadly for Verizon subscribers, the Nexus 5 will likely not be available on America's largest wireless carrier.

Much of what makes up the new Nexus was already known, thanks to months of leaks leading up to today. At its core is a leading-edge 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, the same one that powers other top-flight phones of the season like the Galaxy Note 3. Unlike its predecessor, the acclaimed Nexus 4, the Nexus 5 gets 4G/LTE as well.

Playing camera catch-up

Like its Google kin, the Moto X, a big part of the Nexus 5 marketing push has to do with its improved 8-megapixel camera with the usual list of features from better low-light and action shots to the ability to take a rapid succession of photos that can then be combined into one ideal shot.

The Nexus 5 camera also gets something novel called Photo Sphere – this software makes it possible to capture 360-degree panoramas.

On its front, there's also a 1.3 MP front-facing camera above a 4.95-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display under a sheet of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.

More power

It was once rumored that a massive 3,000+ mAH battery might be included, but instead we get a 2,300 mAH unit that Google claims will power an impressive 17 hours of talk time per charge.

Other key specs include 2 GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, as expected. The Nexus 5 also gets wireless charging, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and ceramic power and volume buttons.

In the US, Sprint and T-Mobile will begin selling the phone at a discount with a new contract in the coming weeks. AT&T hasn't confirmed that it will sell the phone directly, but it is known that the Nexus 5 will work on the second-largest American carrier's network.

KitKat treats

The Nexus 5 and Android KitKat will feature the same touchless voice control we first became familiar with in the Moto X ... almost. According to documentation on the Android home site, you'll need to be on your home screen before saying "OK, Google" will get a response. That means you'll likely have to at least get through your lock screen before your Nexus 5 will listen to you.

KitKat also brings a new phone app with caller ID, so long as the unknown caller is a business listed in Google Maps. Additionally, text messages and Hangouts have been combined into a single app and there's tons of new emoji on offer in the Google keyboard.

Not sold yet? See if the first commercial for the Nexus 5 below changes your mind.

Product page: Nexus 5

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