Apple’s newest venture into the land of pocket computers, the iPhone 5S, has been available for about a month – but now it has some new competition in town, in the form of Google’s freshly revealed Nexus 5. So, if you’re on the fence about grabbing Apple’s latest and arguably greatest smartphone in the hopes that something better might come along, here’s how the Nexus 5 (which will be available at the end of the week) fares in comparison.
Each numerical suffix in the Nexus line doesn’t denote the amount of Nexus devices that came before it, rather it describes the size of the screen. In this case, the Nexus 5 should technically be called the Nexus 4.95, but that doesn’t have a great ring to it. The 1,920 x 1,080 display packs 445ppi underneath a protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3. That display is packed into an 8.6mm-thin body that weighs 130 grams. Apple’s iPhone 5S sports a 4in Retina display with a 1,136 x 640 resolution that packs 326 pixels into every inch. This display is set in a 7.6mm body that weighs 112 grams. The iPhone 5S will take up less room in your pocket, but of course, you’ll have to put up with a smaller screen.
As for power, the Nexus 5 packs the Snapdragon 800 under the hood clocked at 2.3GHz, while the iPhone 5S uses the new 64-bit dual-core A7 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, along with the M7 motion coprocessor. The Nexus 5 comes in 16GB and 32GB models, as does the iPhone 5S, but the Apple range reaches up to a 64GB model as well. Both smartphones sport Bluetooth 4.0, and both phones offers dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi – but the Nexus 5 also supports 802.11ac.
The Nexus 5 features 2GB of RAM, doubling the amount of RAM offered in the iPhone 5S. Both Google and Apple claim their phones will last for around 10 hours of use, but we all know that number really depends on how you use the handset. If you’re running cutting-edge mobile games that regularly connect to the Internet, your battery won’t last very long on either phone.
Both phones have an 8-megapixel camera. The Nexus 5 also has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, while the iPhone 5S has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
As for software, we know what Android and iOS give us by now, and this choice pretty much boils down to personal preference. Apple’s OS runs a little more smoothly and has more top-notch games available, but Google’s OS is more open. The Nexus 5 will be running the new chocolate-bar-branded Android 4.4 KitKat, but considering Apple recently released iOS 7, neither operating system will feel old. As we’ve said, this is all down to personal preference, really…
The last aspect that comes down to personal preference is pricing. The sim-free 16GB Nexus 5 will sell for £299, and the 32GB model will sell for £339. The 16GB iPhone 5S retails for £549, the 32GB version sells for £629, and the 64GB iPhone 5S is a hefty £709. There’s one clear winner here, certainly.
Overall, the Nexus 5 is a cheaper and arguably more powerful phone with its higher CPU clock speed and twice the RAM, plus it also has a larger screen with more pixels per inch. However, the iPhone 5S employs that M7 motion coprocessor, it has a larger storage capacity option, and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, the Nexus 5 appears to be the top dog, and the one to buy when it’s out on Friday. If you’re more into Apple’s slick operating system and wider range of apps – and letting the phone scan your fingers instead of having to type in a password – the iPhone 5S is the way to go. In the end, the two phones aren’t really different enough to make anyone jump ship, and both are a fine choice.
For more Nexus 5 spec comparisons, check out the Nexus 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S4 showdown, and our comparison of the Nexus 5 against its predecessor, the Nexus 4. And if you want to know what's coming with Android 4.4 on the Nexus 5, have a gander at11 smart new features Google is introducing with Android 4.4 KitKat.
Google Nexus 5
Apple iPhone 5S
1,920 x 1,080 pixels
1,136 x 640 pixels
Processor and battery
Claimed 3G talk time
Up to 17h
Up to 10h
Storage and memory
16GB / 32GB /64GB
1080p @ 30fps
802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
802.11 a / b / g / n
Integrated wireless charging
137.8 x 69.2 x 8.6mm
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
Android 4.4 KitKat
£299 (16GB) / £339 (32GB)
£549 (16GB) / £629 (32GB) / £709 (64GB)