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Google Officially Drops the Old Nexus 5: A Lament for Old Smartphones

Now that the Nexus 6 has been in the marketplace since November 2014, Google has ended the sale of its former Nexus 5 phone. Here's why I think such smartphone transitions are sad.

Nexus 5, smartphones, Nexus 6, Google

Google recently and unceremoniously ended sales of its former flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5, just four months after introducing its flashier, larger and more feature-filled replacement, the Nexus 6 last November.

The Nexus 6 is nice, for sure, with everything a busy mobile user needs. Yet some of us who make a switch from one smartphone model to a new one certainly know that there can be a bit of melancholy and nostalgia when you first make the move.

So that was my first thought when I saw on Google's Store Website that the Nexus 5 is no longer available for purchase. I actually almost shed a tear for the Nexus 5—almost. Look, honestly, I'm not a smartphone weirdo. I swear. I do see my smartphone as a tool and not as my pal.

But these devices are in our lives for at least a year or 18 months or two years if we have a contract, and they are with us at work, at play, on vacation, in the car, on the train and everywhere we go 24 hours a day. So we get used to them and we rely on them, and they arguably become a part of our lives in an electronics helper sort of way.

I have never owned a Google Nexus smartphone so far, but I certainly could see choosing one as my everyday phone.

One year ago, I made my own smartphone transition, giving up my black Apple iPhone 4S for a black Samsung Galaxy S4. The Samsung phone is fine, but sometimes I still miss the iPhone for its much better camera, its easier-to-use Siri personal assistant and for its iMessage cool factor when using it with friends who also have iPhones.

I've also had flashbacks about the places I've been to with my iPhone, compared to the places I have visited with my Samsung phone. My iPhone was with me the first time I visited Berlin, Germany, and Barcelona, Spain, for technology conferences, and it captured gorgeous photos for me on both trips when I didn't want to pull out my bulky Canon DSLR camera. Then my Samsung was with me when I first visited Asbury Park, N.J., late last summer and captured the images when I visited the spot where Bruce Springsteen started his music career at The Stone Pony.

I remember these kinds of things with my phones. Don't you?

I had similar nostalgic feelings back in October 1992, when I was visiting Cuba for 10 days on a journalism fellowship trip. I wore a pair of New Balance sneakers, and everywhere I walked I thought to myself with wonder, "These sneakers are walking in Havana, Cuba." Later, after I returned home, I was nostalgic about those sneakers for a long time.

Sure, times change. Smartphones evolve and are replaced. But to me, the fun memories we have using them are here to stay.

So good-bye, Nexus 5, but I bet that you won't be forgotten.