Google debuts new Nexus 5

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After months of leaks and rumors, it was starting to feel like this day would never come. But it did. The Nexus 5 is real. And it’s awesome. And it’s an absolutely ridiculous value compared to rival smartphones. Google on Thursday finally made the Nexus 5 official and we think just about every Android enthusiast out there will agree that it was worth the wait. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, of course, considering we’ve seen the Nexus 5 pictured about a dozen times and the specs have leaked a dozen more. But all that is behind us now, Android fans… the Nexus 5 is finally here.

Precisely in line with the latest round of leaks, the new Nexus 5 smartphone is an absolute beast. The latest pure Google phone features a 4.95-inch full HD 1080p display, a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, an 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, either 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.

It also sports Google’s new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, of course, and unlike its predecessor the Nexus 4, it includes a 4G LTE radio.

Beyond the cutting-edge specs and the sleek styling, there’s a third star in this already impressive show: the price. Google’s new hero phone starts at just $349 for the 16GB model without a service contract of any kind. To put that in perspective, the HTC One starts at $599.99 with no service contract, Apple’s iPhone 5s starts at $649 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 starts at $724.99.

Google’s Nexus 5 smartphone is available for purchase from the Google Play store beginning immediately and AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will each support the new device. Now, we can only hope that the company learned from last year’s Nexus 4 launch and built enough units to meet the inevitable rush of demand.