The holiday season is upon us and the search has commenced for gadget shoppers to pick out the best Christmas out there. For many the leading contenders are in the Android realm - the Nexus 5 from Google and Samsung's Galaxy S4.

The latter is nearly eight-month old and counts tens of millions as users - it is a hugely popular phone and hotly in demand for its looks and sheer power. The former is fresh out of Google's garage and it definitely is a muscle-car by any measure.

The numbers suggest that Samsung enjoys a tight grip on Android users thanks to its Galaxy handsets. The GS4 is fast approaching the 40 million sales mark, a testament to the Sammy smartphone juggernaut that started with the Galaxy S3.

So for most of holiday device hunters, the choice is obvious when it comes to Android handset - the Galaxy S4. Yet the Nexus 5 could prove as the better option and the reasons cited below should be solid arguments for buyers to take a second look, or better yet grab it over the GS4.

A mighty powerhouse

The year 2014 ushered in the era of quad-core devices and most top-notch Android device brands sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chip that is paired with 2GB of RAM and very capable graphic engines. The result is power, speed and killer features that users can only imagine of in the previous years.

LG and Google served up all this ingredients via the Nexus 5, prompting early reviewers to declare that the phone should occupy a top spot on shoppers' list come the Black Friday rush and well into the yuletide festivities.

KitKat 4.4-powered out of the box

KitKat, the Android 4.4 build, was unveiled at the start of November and its global is now underway. Android devices should be getting the new Google mobile operating system in the weeks and months ahead. The waiting time varies, for some it could be quick but for the great majority, the wait could stretch into a drag as the software needs to clear reconfiguration works from device makers then network providers.

Good for the Nexus 5, it runs on native Android - no bloats and just pure Google-authored mobile OS that display its wares as soon as the device is unwrapped. The best part: the handset is tapped directly to Google for firmware support so all updates are chewed in as soon as they are fired off, ensuring that its operation is in top-form.

Open for modifications

The Nexus 5 is a solid device but Nexus fans love it most for its openness. Google encourages users to tinker and experiment with the phone - it is a delight for power-users and developers alike. Mod it, customise it and play with it to the hilt and no issues will be raised, which is not in the case of the GS4. Loss of warranty is always a pressing issue.

Toying around with the Nexus 5, experts said, will never be a problem because it is an open device that enjoys wide support from around the world. Any concerns about the device is swiftly addressed, if not coming from Google then from the thousands of developers all ready to offer their two-cents. In short, it has an excellent support system that is accessible free of charge.

Irresistible price point

No debate needed, the Nexus 5's biggest selling point is its price tag. In the unlocked world, which is the case for most markets, the Google hero phone beats out its rivals with ease. Its starting price of $350 will surely merit attention from buyers who have been planning to score the GS4 but are thinking twice on the cash damage - around $600+. Same case with the iPhone 5S, which retails for more than $700 off-contract

And when the specs are factored in, which are in the upscale class, the Nexus 5 simply becomes a deal-clincher - promising to equal or even exceed its rivals' capabilities without inflicting too much money setbacks.

The Nexus 5 is now on Google Play Store and availability is expected to be widespread shortly. Telstra is reportedly offering the KitKat mobile phone beginning on Nov 26.