How To Score the Cheapest Gear for Your Nexus 5

Kannon Yamada 27-11-2013

Anyone who owns a Nexus 5 should equip it with, at minimum, a screen protector and case. But Google packed a lot of gadgets into the Nexus 5, including wireless Qi charging, Miracast functionality, wireless-AC and dual-band functionality (2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz). You can get a lot more out of your Nexus 5 with a variety of relatively inexpensive peripheral devices, if you shop using discretion.


I set up a notification system which monitors several online forums, including Slickdeals and FatWallet. The system combines Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT. Whenever deals show up, it fires off notification texts or emails. I wrote a guide for how to create your own Yahoo Pipe How To Edit Existing RSS Feeds With Yahoo! Pipes Read More for monitoring deals. Or you can track Nexus 5 deals using my custom IFTTT recipe.

By using my system, I managed to score dozens of online deals. I present the following purchases for five categories: cases, screen protectors, wireless Qi chargers, dual-band AC routers and wireless display adapters.

The Essential Protectors for Your Nexus 5

The two most essential protectors for your Nexus 5 are cases and screen protectors. While the Nexus 5 includes Gorilla Glass III, something as simple as sand in your pockets (used to distress jeans) can scratch your screen with ease.


When the Nexus 5 first came out on Halloween afternoon (in the United States), very few cases showed up on Amazon. Many manufacturers offered cases before actually manufacturing them. These had actually been preorders. Other cases, such as the well-regarded Acase Superleggera, were pre-sold to customers and won’t ship until November 25th.

You can find several cases on Amazon that sell for approximately $5. Some require coupon codes, others don’t. Be sure to check reviews for signs that the case was improperly cut. In the rush to produce the very first Nexus 5 case, many manufacturers rushed production, without properly testing the designs. Unfortunately, many examples of shoddy design lurk about on Amazon. Caveat Emptor.


For cheap cases, a good place to get started is eBay. For example, you can get TPU cases for $2.99.

ebay tpu

Caseology offers a TPU/carbon fiber case for around $5. It’s currently close to a five-star rating on Amazon.



Screen Protectors

One of the best deals you can get on any screen protector comes from Xtreme Guard. Xtreme Guard protectors provide some of the best drop protection you can find, anywhere. These provide a rubbery, organic feel – some, like myself, swear by them. On the other hand, detractors complain of the “orange-peel” effect. Over time, if you occasionally scratch or dent the surface, it gains the pitted appearance (and feel) of an orange.


As of November of 2013, Xtreme Guard offers a 50% discount on all its screen protectors, with free shipping. The Nexus 5 protector released not long after the device went on sale.

To get 50% off, just use coupon code ’50OFF’. This deal won’t last forever, though. If you can’t find a code, try a bit of Honey.


You can order either, or both, the front-facing protector and/or the rear-facing protector. Remember, Xtreme Guard protectors use the “wet-apply” method – follow the directions carefully.


Other Peripheral Devices

You can use your Nexus 5 entirely without wires or boost its connectivity to your wireless network.

Wireless Charger

With the official Nexus 5 charger released at the wallet-breaking price of $49.99, cheaper alternatives are in desperate demand. The absolute cheapest Qi-charger compatible with the Nexus 5 showed up on Amazon, selling for $14.99. It uses non-proprietary microUSB ports and comes in a tiny form factor.


cheap qi charger

Another charger, selling for slightly more, sells for $18.98. It also doesn’t use proprietary ports.

less cheap qi charger

Dual-band AC Router

The Nexus 5 offers the latest in wireless connectivity: Wireless-AC. If you use the right router, you get excellent improvements in speed and connection reliability. Fortunately, wireless-AC routers dropped in price in recent months. For example, you can get a refurbished wireless-AC router for $107.99 (coupon code: EMCWWWS38), or a similar model for $129.99. Not exactly cheap, though. If the code expires, try finding another one using a coupon-code finder Automatic Coupon Finders - Do They Really Help You Save Money? Like many good things in life, coupons and promo codes are elusive. Saving money is never an easy thing, after all, and when you’re trying to find valid codes for something specific, you usually end... Read More , like Honey. They really work.

To track wireless-AC deals, I strongly suggest searching the Slickdeals forum for references to ‘802.11ac’, which is the main keyword for wireless-AC.

netgear router ac

It’s important to note that the Nexus 5 will function perfectly well with any wireless router. However, wireless-G and N routers will not allow “Beamforming”, which is exclusive to wireless-AC. I’ve written before about the advantages of upgrading your router to the latest AC or N standard How Dual-Band Routers Can Solve Your Wireless Woes Using a router that supports the dual-band standard can significantly boost your Wi-Fi speeds in many circumstances. Read More .

You may not want to upgrade your router just for getting faster smartphone WiFi speeds. However, if you have more than a few wireless AC or N devices sitting around, and an older router, upgrading may solve many of your connection woes.

Wireless Display Adapter

Like many modern Android devices, The Nexus 5 includes Miracast functionality. Miracast allows your device to output its video and audio signal Three Wireless Display Technologies That You Probably Own But Don’t Use Want to relay your smartphone's or laptop's display onto a larger screen without wires? No, it's not science fiction. You can wirelessly output video from computers and smartphones today. Wireless display technologies use WiFi to... Read More , wirelessly. While many adapters (to my knowledge, all of them), won’t output high definition video, they will output music. Some have even reported Netflix functionality.

While the price of Miracast adapters has come down in recent months, they’re still pricey, at over $50 for the NetGear Push2TV PTV3000. However, you may want to hold off on getting a wireless adapter as RockChip developed an inexpensive, Miracast dongle, which may get imported into the US and elsewhere.



Getting your Nexus 5 fully outfitted doesn’t cost much, particularly if you use some of the deals presented in this article. For those of you seeking more detailed reviews of Nexus 5 cases and screen protectors, keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming review.

Related topics: Buying Tips, Google Nexus, Save Money.

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  1. bruce
    March 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I'm betting you haven't tested your Nexus 5 with Miracast, because it does NOT work!

  2. Luis
    November 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I think I'm actually going to leave my Nexus 5 naked for now.

    I had a case on my Nexus 4 because the glass back made it slippery as heck. The N5 doesn't have that problem, and I actually LOVE the feel of it in my hand. I might get a screen protector, but I hate the sticky plastic feeling compared to the smooth bare glass.

    Also the N5 back material looks to be more wear-resistant than others.

  3. Paul Werner
    November 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Great write up, my N5 is going to be delivered by UPS today and I'm thinking I may pick up the cheapest wireless charger you listed here. I was looking at one that was slightly more on Amazon that looked exactly the same but included the AC adapter. I won't really need that so I can save a few dollars