This year has seen the gap between Google’s Nexus handsets and Apple’s iPhone shrink, with each new iteration of the handsets. Google’s Android OS is now offering consumers a real choice between the two operating systems and choice, ultimately, drives innovation, lowers prices and gives consumer an all-important choice. The biggest decision for many smartphone users this Christmas is: which should I buy, the Nexus 4 or iPhone 5? Well we’re going to find out with a Gaj-it face-off.
Size and weight
Both the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are stunningly slender handsets – but Apple’s iPhone 5 is slightly thinner and lighter, but that’s not to say the Nexus 4 is big, but against Apple’s design efforts there can only be one winner. The iPhone measures a svelte 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and weighs just 112 grams. Google’s LG Nexus 4 is slightly bigger: it weighs 139 grams and measures 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm.
The iPhone 5 comes with Apple’s much lauded Retina display, with a resolution of 1,136 x 640, achieving a ppi of 326, on a 4-inch display. The Nexus 4 comes with a bigger screen, measuring 4.7-inches, with a pixel resolution of 1,280 x 768, but that only equates to a slightly inferior density of 318 ppi.
Storage and memory
If you download a lot on content, whether it’s music, videos or apps – then Apple’s iPhone 5 is the handset for you. It comes in three storage options: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. In contrast the Nexus 4’s maximum storage option is only 16GB, while the cheaper version only features a rather stingy 8GB. More concerning for the Nexus 4, is the lack of microSD slot – so you will need to choose wisely as you won’t be able to supplement your storage on either handset. With regards to RAM memory, the Nexus 4 come with 2GB and the iPhone 5 comes with 1GB – but that says more about the efficiency of the OS than the actual power of the phone.
Apple’s iPhone 5 comes with their latest custom-designed A6 processor and according to the Cupertino Company it’s the “most powerful and efficient smartphone processor set-up to date”. The chip is made by Arm and features a dual-core CPU clocked at 1.3GHz, and is paired with PowerVR’s SGX 543MP3 graphics. The Nexus 4 features Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and is packing a quad-core setup clocked at 1.5GHz, featuring a Adreno 320 GPU.
Software is a difficult thing to compare when it come to these handsets, what is good, though, is both handsets are running the very latest versions of their respective OS’. Apple’s iPhone 5 is running the latest version of its iOS 6 and the Nexus 4 is a packing Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Google latest version of their Android OS comes with some clever additions, including gesture keyboard and photo sphere. While iOS 6 offers new functionality including Passbook, but has lost the excellent Google maps.
iOS 6 still offers a smooth and easy-to-use experience, with Siri’s responsiveness in particular being a noticeable improvement. But ultimately there very little to choose between the two operating systems, they’re both mature and feature-packed operating systems with an excellent selections of apps on each system.
On paper both handsets camera’s seem to be almost identical; they both feature a 8-megapixel snapper and both can record full 1080p video with their f/2.4 lenses. The Nexus 4 does, however, have a slightly better front-facing camera offering 1.3-megapixels compared to Apple’s 1.2-megapixels.
Google claims the Nexus 4 battery is the best they’ve ever included in a Nexus handset. They claim you’ll get 15 hours of 3G talk time courtesy of its 2,100 mAh battery. Apple’s handset, by contrast, sports a less impressive 1,440 mAh battery and claim it’ll last 8 hours. One the face of it, the Nexus 4 should last longer, but that isn’t always that case, depending on what apps you have running in the background and how much data and bluetooth you use.
Connectivity and wireless
The iPhone 5 can connect to EE’s new 4G LTE network, while the Nexus 4 is limited to the rather old-hat 3G networks. Though the Nexus does support HSPA+ 42 standard, which is offered by a lot more UK carries. But the Nexus 4 does come with NFC, something Apple hasn’t put on any of its devices. Elsewhere the Nexus 4 also has support for wireless inductive charging, something the iPhone 5 lacks.
Price, availability, and conclusion
If you decide to get the iPhone 5, expect to pay a small fortune, if you go for the 16GB model it will set you back £529 sim-free, if you go for the top-of-the-range 64GB version the price jumps to an eye-watering £700. But as with anything Apple; you’re paying for the name and it’s award winning design and build quality.
On the other hand the Nexus 4 will set you back a mere £229 for the 8GB version and £269 for the 16GB version – which is substantially cheaper. It’s difficult decision and with regards to storage and connectivity the iPhone is a better phone – but you can’t argue with fact that the Nexus 4 is over £300 cheaper – which in today’s current climate of austerity is a lot of money.