I consider myself to be a Nexus supporter.  I own and use(d) Nexus One and Galaxy Nexus.  I also toke a long time to convince my wife to use Nexus 4, which I bought and imported from the US for her.  I followed all the Nexus 5 rumors closely for about 3 months and anxiously waited for its release.

Now, I can finally order it directly from Play Store of my location, without needing to import it from somewhere else.  However, my excitement quickly turned into disappointments:

  • 5 Dead Pixels.  On my unit they are located in the corners.  Dead pixels are nothing new, but the strange thing is that my coworker’s Nexus 5 unit also has some dead pixels in almost the same locations.  That makes me suspect the physical design or the assembly process of the Nexus 5 is prone to causing dead pixels at specific locations.
  • A hair or dirt beneath the LCD glass.  I guess I’m just unlucky.  I see no one else reporting a similar issue though.
  • LCD light leakage.  Again this is nothing new, but it looks like that Nexus 5 has a wide variance of light leakage, ranging from nearly perfect on some units to really serious on others.

Sample dead pixels and light leakage from HKEPC user wklie (note there are two dead pixels in each corner, i.e. 4 dead pixels in this photo):

Sample dead pixels from HKEPC user garylism:

Sample dead pixel from Google product forum user Molehill_mike:

Sample light leakage from HKEPC user zlien:

I’m ready to accept that I’m just unlucky, and willing to believe that many people are using it happily.  I don’t think I’ve come across reviews mentioning dead pixels either.  However, there are other forums threads that illustrate that there are far too many people who suffer from dead/stuck pixels, light leakage, and other problems:

My local Play Store phone support is overwhelmed by the Nexus 5 buyers reporting problems.  Multiple users reported waiting for more than 50 minutes for the call to be picked up.  HKEPC user garylism shared this as a proof:

While there are issues of dead pixel with Nexus 5 all over the world, it seems that the batch for Hong Kong is way more serious than the batches for other regions.  Units having 1-2 are quite common.  Units having 5 dead pixels are fairly common.  There are even reports of units having 8 dead pixels.  (In xda there is a report of 9 dead pixels.)  Before that, the batch for Japan (same D821 model, which was also shipped from Google Hong Kong warehouse) seems to have far less complaints about dead pixels.

[P.S. Although this article is pretty negative, as a Nexus supporter, let me report at least one good thing I’ve found – the camera.  Nexus 4 had a really awful camera that cannot take acceptable pictures in low light or the usual restaurants, even after adjusting exposure compensation.  On this basis, my brief tests with the Nexus 5 camera are very encouraging, although I understand there are many complaints about Nexus 5 camera not being good enough or too laggy.  Comparing to the Nexus 4 without OIS, the Nexus 5 OIS helps very much in taking a relatively sharp photo.]