Google Nexus 5 in Black vs White: Which one should you get?

Google-nexus-5-black-or-white (5)The Nexus 5 launch in India is probably one of the quickest launches for any Google device here. With quick launches come quick and tough purchase decisions, and one of the major questions that arise if you are looking to get a Nexus 5 is, which colour? Should one go for the Nexus 5 in white or the Nexus 5 in black? Are there really any other differences between the two apart from the colour? We find out exactly that in a quick video comparing the two Nexus 5 variants, immediately after getting the black version, watch –


Check out our Unboxing of the Google Nexus 5, in case you missed it earlier.

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The major, yet immediate difference you notice is the material used for the back of the device. Using different materials for different colour variants is not new. The main reason here is White and other lighter colours attract and show off dirt while the darker ones can easily mask them. Same problem applies here. The black one is made of soft touch plastic, it feels like rubber and catches on to finger prints and grease quite easily. If the same process is applied to White, all the dirt in the world will stick on to it, and we get a dirty product. So, to tackle this problem, the White Nexus 5’s back is made of smooth matte plastic which is nice, but lacks the grip the black one has. The trade-offs are obvious and is primarily the colour to blame.

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But the Black variant has its own problems too. As you can clearly see from the image above, the back attracts fingerprints and palm-grease more than any recent phone we can remember. It’s super nice to touch and grippy but it does have the caveat of getting glossier over prolonged use of the phone. Constant wiping is deemed necessary to make the phone not look old and used up. Sweaty palms? Forget about ever having your device clean.

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But there is also another important change that comes with the colour. The sides on the white variant are made of glossy black plastic while the black version is the same soft touch one. This is a massive difference of feel between the two, and makes the black one so much more premium. The glossy sides of the White Nexus 5 attracts fingerprints and grease more than the soft touch black back, so much that it’s almost impossible to wipe it off. We also noticed a few dents on the sides of our unit, which made the device looks really cheap. So, when it comes to the sides, the black one has the upper hand and makes the device feel more premium.

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The last difference between the white Nexus 5 and the Black is the dotted ear piece on the front. The White Nexus 5 has it in white, and the black one has it in black and that’s about it. But in terms of looks, it makes a decent difference. The black one looks “stealth” while the white one looks flashy. It will end up in a personal preference debate, but if you ask us, we prefer the black one.

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Another image to help you see the differences in quality here. The Black is most definitely of higher build quality but the two-tone setup on the white one is tempting, we have to agree.

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So, in the end, which one should you get? The White Nexus 5 or the black one? Lets quickly summarize them in terms of advantages of each one over the other –

Advantages of black Nexus 5 over the white –

  • Better grip
  • Better finish on the sides
  • Stealthier look on the front
  • Overall higher build quality

Advantages of white Nexus 5 over the black –

  • Doesn’t gather finger prints or grease on its back
  • Two Tone colour setup
  • White dotted ear piece on the front

Disadvantages of the Black Nexus 5 –

  • Attracts grease and finger prints on the back, might become glossy over the period of time
  • Looks normal

Disadvantages of White Nexus 5 –

  • Smooth finish back is less grippy, sometimes slippery
  • Has potential to show off dirt and scratches
  • Glossy sides attract too much of grease and finger prints
  • Feels cheaper in terms of build quality than the black one

So, there you go, folks! The differences are right there, choose wisely.

More photos –

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Let us know what you think, in the comments section below.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!