Android and iOS are the two most popular smartphone Operating Systems, and the biggest competitors, as well. So, when both of them have come up with the best device from their respective stable, it is inevitable to put them against each other. On one side, we have Apple’s latest flagship iPhone 5S which offers futuristic concepts like fingerprint sensor and 64-bit computing. While on the other side, we have Nexus 5 which along with the whole Nexus series symbolizes the pureness of Android platform backed by a powerful hardware. Price can’t be a differentiating factor between them as we know the Nexus devices carry an economical price tag, while Apple always charges a premium for its devices. So, how well they fare in other departments? Let’s find out-:
Apple follows an alternate cycle of design and hardware changes, and this time the changes happened in the inside. This means that the iPhone 5S looks and feels exactly same as its predecessor iPhone 5, but with improved hardware. Its very sturdy and looks very premium thanks to the metallic look and chamfered edges. The buttons and ports at the sides are conveniently placed with the device offering a slim form factor of just 7.6 mm. Since, Apple is not the following the route of other manufacturers by going for larger display, the iPhone 5S can be convenient held and used with one hands. However, there is one change in the design, i.e. the introduction of an all new color for the iPhone- Gold along with the Silver and Gray (formerly called Black). Another change is in the home button, which doubles up as a Touch ID fingerprint sensor now. Touch ID can be used to unlock the iPhone or authenticate payments on iTunes as well.
Nexus 5, once again has been made in partnership with LG. While device is said to be based on LG’s latest flagship G2, the externals are totally different. Nexus 5 is available in black (with matte back) and white color and also does away with fragile glass back of its predecessor. The device is made out of plastic, but gives much better look and feel thanks to slim bezels alongside the display. There are some interesting design accents in the device such as prominent circular boundary in the rear camera and the presence of the notification LED at the bottom, instead of top. In short, it can be easily considered as a smaller version of 2013’s Nexus 7 tablet.
Similar to its predecessor, iPhone 5S offers a 4 inch IPS-LCD display with the Retina Display offering resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels. This pushes the pixel density to 326 PPI. Albeit, some might feel that the iPhone’s screen is smaller when the world is increasingly opting for ‘phablets’.
Nexus 5 is fitted with the 4.95 inch IPS-LCD display with the Full HD Resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, resulting in high pixel density of 445 PPI. The display also gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches.
Apple never participates in the specs race, but the company has managed to offer something in iPhone 5S, which others haven’t even thought of yet. The iPhone 5S is powered by the Apple’s A7 chip which is a custom 64-bit chip, which means that the device is nearly twice as fast and will be able to deliver better performance in contrast with its predecessors. The A7 chip is a dual-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz. The processor is complemented by a M7 co-processor, which takes the burden off the processor for motion sensing and analyzing data through Accelerometer and Gyroscope. The device offers a 1 GB RAM and internal storage of 16/ 32/ 64 GB, which again is non-expandable.
This is where LG makes difference between the G2 and Nexus 5 non-existent. Under the hood, it features the same Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with the 2.26 GHz speed and a 450 MHz Adreno 330 Graphics processor. The processor is complemented by a 2 GB of RAM ensuring that the device offers smooth performance which does not lags while opening, closing or switching apps. For storage, the device gets a 16/ 32 GB variants and it can also not be extended with use of micro SD cards.
The device runs on latest iOS 7, which marks a huge shift in terms of UI and several features since the advent of the platform. The interface offers several animations and functionalities like Notification Center and Control Center, which some might also say are borrowed from other Operating systems. However, one might notice some visual incongruity if the apps are not updated for the new Operating System. Keyboard, for example, will look like the older iOS versions in the apps which are not updated yet.
Nexus 5 runs on the latest version of Android 4.4 KitKat, out of the box. Though, it might seem a like a minor update, it’s actually much more than that. Not only it brings useful visual redesign, but also harnesses the hardware’s capabilities better. Some of the important functionalities include Voice activated Google Now (like Moto X’s Touchless Control), transparent notification & navigation bars, SMS integration in hangouts, native printing capabilities, and much more.
Though, numerically iPhone 5S offers the same pixel count as of previous generation iPhone 5 at 8 Megapixels, it now offers larger sensor of 1/3”. This results in better light sensitivity improving its performance in low light conditions. The camera is also illuminated by a dual LED flash which offers two different colors- one warm amber color and other cold white color, which enhances the photo based on the color temperature. All new camera app in iOS 7 also makes the most of the new camera with minimal interface as well as new photo formats like square (similar to Instagram) and filters. The camera is also capable of recording videos at Full HD resolution @ 30 fps as well as slow-motion 720p video @ 120 fps. There’s also a 1.2 MP camera at the front for video calling needs.
One of the biggest negatives about the Google Nexus 4 was its poor camera quality. Its successor, Nexus 5 also offers an 8 MP sensor at the back but it gets better with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) capability. In daylight conditions, the photo quality is decent, however, it’s not comparable to other flagship devices including the iPhone 5S. In low-light conditions, the Nexus 5 is able to deliver pretty good images thanks to the LED flash. The primary camera is able to shoot the 1080p videos @ 30 fps. Unfortunately, the camera hardware is marred by the slow camera performance of camera app which takes seconds to load. A camera mode called HDR+ shoots the images really well, but to change the camera mode will also take more time and probably by then the scene you wanted to capture, might be gone. A front-facing camera of 1.3 MP is also there which will be useful for video chatting.
As stated earlier, if price remains the deciding factor, then the Nexus 5 beats not just the iPhone 5S, but every other top end device by offering almost identical hardware specs. On the other hand, if you are an Apple fan, then undoubtedly the iPhone 5S offers great performance along with the security feature of Touch ID.
However, if you simply want the best device and does not favor a particular Operating System, then the choice becomes pretty tough. If you want an all-rounder device, which is good at whatever if does, then the Apple’s latest offering iPhone 5S is the way to go. However, if you want to experience the power of customization with just about anything paired with a potent hardware, with some quibbles, then you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 5.