Can the New Nexus Phone Compete with the iPhone 5?

Right now, we are presumably just days away from one of Google’s biggest announcements of the year. On October 29th, Google is expected to announced its yearly Nexus smartphone, a device that will replace the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and look to not only compete with other Android smartphones and Windows Phone 8 devices, but Apple’s iPhone 5 as well.

On September 21st, Apple released its brand new iPhone 5, a device that brings a larger 4-inch display and 4G LTE data speeds, things that were once only found on Android devices. It combines those with a fantastic industrial design made of aluminum, glass and metal, two good cameras, a speedy A6 processor, and a 7.6mm design that weighs a mere 112 grams.

Read: New Nexus Phone vs. iPhone 5.

Already, Apple’s yearly smartphone has been bought by millions of people and millions more will buy it over the course of the 2012 holiday season.

In case you’ve forgotten, Google has a yearly smartphone as well and this time around, it appears that it will be LG, and not Samsung, that’s making the new Nexus smartphone. Dubbed the LG Nexus 4, the device has already leaked out ahead of schedule, numerous times, so much so, that we’ve already put up a detailed comparison pitting it between the iPhone 5 and the Nexus.

Now, it’s time to dive in even further and discuss whether the new Nexus smartphone, the LG Nexus 4, can compete with the iPhone 5 should it launch with all of its rumored features.

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Hardware

With the iPhone 5 already out and millions already sold, Google is facing an extremely uphill battle when it comes to competing with the iPhone 5. To add to that, it can longer rely on 4G LTE as a weapon as the iPhone 5 now possesses the same kind of data speeds. The iPhone 5 also features a larger display with 16:9 aspect ratio which allows for widescreen content.

In short, Apple did a fantastic job of catering to customers. It added the data speeds and it increased the screen size without increasing the width of the phone.

The company also made its best-in-class rear camera even better, added an HD front-facing camera which now works over cellular networks, an extremely fast processor that makes iOS 6 fly and again, added a design that feels both luxurious and comfortable.

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Apple’s new iPhone 5.

So what Apple did here was make the iPhone 5 appealing in areas that average users care about and that’s a problem for the new Nexus 4.

It still features a plastic design, that may or may not have a scratch resistant back. It apparently has a decent rear camera and not an amazing one. It also brings a dual-core processor which while nice, isn’t something that will lure in the average consumer. 4G LTE is there as well, but it’s not unique anymore.

Something else that is troubling is the fact that it may feature 8GB-16GB of storage space with no microSD card slot. That will keep price down but storage space is crucial these days with apps and files as big as they are. Apple’s iPhone 5 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB form. There isn’t even an 8GB option.

I bought a 32GB iPhone 5 and I still think I might run out of space.

What’s more is that this phone may feature a weak battery. The LG Nexus 4 takes some of its features from the LG Optimus G, a device that doesn’t have quality battery life, according to CNET. This does not bode well for the Nexus 4 considering the iPhone 5 touts some of the best battery life found on a 4G LTE smartphone.

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The New Nexus and the iPhone 5.

Maybe the only trump card that this Nexus 4 will have is the screen size and quality of the display. It’s supposed to be 4.7-inches with 720p resolution and 320ppi. The iPhone 5 has 1136 x 640 resolution, which isn’t HD, but apparently sports a 320ppi which means that the clarity of text and images might be similar to the Retina Display on the iPhone 5. I expect this to be an area that Google trumps up at the announcement.

The display alone can’t compete against the iPhone 5, so it’s going to need more. Much more.

Software

iOS 6 is a great piece of software with its 200+ new features from iOS 5. From new additions to Siri, to an extremely useful Do Not Disturb feature, to Facebook integration to the new Phone app, there is a lot to like here. However, iOS 6 does not blow Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google’s current version of Android, out of the water.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is Google’s best version of Android yet. It offers amazing Notifications, a useful feature called Google Now, an extremely fast user interface and more.

That being said, this is an area where Google could strike an advantage with the Nexus 4 over the iPhone 5.

Currently, rumors are swirling around about a new version of Android called Android 4.2 that may launch with the Nexus 4. Details are scarce at the moment but new features and improvements to an already stellar operating system would be welcome and in my opinion, something necessary to compete with the iPhone 5.

However, a new Nexus with a new piece of Android software with a killer feature or two isn’t going to cut it alone.

Price

The LG Nexus 4 is rumored to be coming in, at the very least, an 8GB storage format without a microSD card slot. If this is the case, then I fully expect Google to offer the device for cheap, both unlocked, and possibly, on carriers as well. However, in order for the price to matter at all, it needs to be mind-blowing.

The iPhone 5 sports a competitive price tag ranging from $199.99 on-contract for a 16GB iPhone to $399.99 for a 64GB iPhone 5. This is a price that has worked well and it’s a model that Samsung mimicked with its Samsung Galaxy S III.

If Google wants the Nexus 4 to have a chance, with that hardware, it will need to do something spectacular with the price and go lower than the $349.99 that it’s asking for the unlocked Galaxy Nexus.

$300 perhaps. Maybe even $250. And if the device arrives for individual carriers, maybe something like $150 on-contract or even lower if possible.

Marketing

With the Galaxy Nexus, Google didn’t deliver any killer advertising. Verizon didn’t help either. Seriously, I dare you to recall two memorable Galaxy Nexus advertisements from the past year. I can’t.

Google made some adjustments with the Nexus 7 and it seemingly figured out how to advertise to the common person. It needs to do something similar with the LG Nexus 4 if it hopes to sway the average consumer.

Stay simple, speak to the consumers needs, and tout the benefits of having a Nexus phone.

Can the Nexus 4 Compete?

So let’s run down the list. In the hardware department, the iPhone 5 looks like it might hold a slight edge. In the software department, in my opinion, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean can hold its own against iOS 6. Google might be able to make a strong play in pricing but details are not yet known. And finally, I get a sense that it’s made some strides in the advertising department.

With all of that in mind, can the Nexus 4 compete?

As much as I’d love to see a Nexus 4 go head-to-head with the iPhone 5, I don’t see it happening even if the device arrives with good specs, software, a competitive price tag and inspired marketing.

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The iPhone 5, again, seen with the Nexus 4.

LG isn’t a household name. Samsung is and was. This matters because average people trust brands and thus far, LG has not proved its worth here in the U.S. If the device does land on a carrier, I don’t see how it competes against devices made by Motorola, HTC and Samsung, all of which carry more weight in the U.S.

Google has not lived up to the promise of the Nexus. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus experience, which was marred by slow updates, left sour tastes in peoples mouths. The Nexus 4 might restore peoples faiths in the Nexus smartphone program but it will take time.

Google does a horrible job of touting the benefits of a Nexus. Average consumers won’t care about locked bootloaders but they should and will care about vanilla Android and fast updates to new features and bug fixes, just ask any Droid Bionic owner.

Now keep in mind, this refers to the Nexus 4 only. It’s possible that other companies may join the Nexus fold this year as HTC, Samsung and Sony are all rumored to be making Nexus smartphones.

If Google goes launch a multi-pronged attack, then maybe, the Nexus program could compete with the iPhone 5. But in its current state, with this rumored LG Nexus 4 device, it’s going to be tough and quite honestly, very unlikely.

Comments

  1. Android says

    Please…. DO NOT PROCREATE, the degenerating mental retardation you just spewed out is… baffling/amusing/epic/failness. Yes another android based OS will furtherly crush apple. Dear god do you know what hardware specs are?

  2. Haden says

    I’m not sure where you get your information from, but your some way off the leaked hardware specs for the LG Google nexus 4. LG Nexus 4 runs on 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad core Krait processor, with 2 GB of RAM, graphics are provided by an Adreno 320! I think it’s best you sick to your iPhone.

  3. sean says

    It will be Apples incredibly dated OS that will be it’s down fall. 4 years ago it was great, today it barely beats RIM’s OS. Android is by far superior today. Even my Desire HD running gingerbread is way better then iOS6. The Nexus 4 won’t kick it off it’s perch due to specs, but there seems to be a flood of devices headed this way with killer specs. Apple is at the start of the RIM death spiral. “0″ innovation anymore.

  4. Raul says

    man!! I wasted my time reading this article. In the end it turned out that the kid didn’t have the full info to write his essay. lol

  5. Linda Ma Witson says

    My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do, Be84.comCHECK IT OUT

  6. Philip G (@Zarniw0Op) says

    I’m not sure why the author has said LG is not a household name. I have LG televisions and a LG washing machine in my hose. I think that author is a all things Apple fanboy so will not allow anything in his review to best the iPhone 5, even though the camera sucks with the purple haze that can only be cured by replacing the sapphire glass. So please, spare us the platitudes and try to be objective and not clouded by your Apple bias. By the way, I do not own an Android phone, I had an iPhone for many years, it’s a great device, but the O/S is getting rather now. I now own a Windows Phone so am totally neutral in saying, having seen the iPhone 5 (my brother and his wife have a black and white one respectively) the LG is the better phone on features alone.

  7. Masterpfa says

    The Nexus brand have never been designed as an iPhone killer that task has always been left to the likes of HTC and Samsung.
    I personally cannot see the point in discussing the merits of a phone that has not even been revealed officially regardless of what Prototypes are being revealed.
    Time for this discussion will be then, if on the other hand we wish to discuss the rumours, in that case the Nexus GL with 16 core CPU will leave the iPhone 5 for dead. See we can all speculate.

    .

  8. stokes says

    whoever wrote this article is obviously retarded. check this out:

    “The iPhone 5 also features a larger display”

    it’s funny how they wrote that and then included a side by side visual comparison where you can physically see the larger screen size on the nexus. don’t even get me started on the other inconsistencies.

  9. Stan Z says

    wow, this was by far the worst tech article I’ve read in months. Not only it’s full of factual errors(best battery life among LTE phones? what planet are you living on?) but also filled with misconceptions about the nexus programs (nexus is never meant to go against iphone), right off apple.com phrasing (200+ features? where? retina display, an made up marketing concept). LG is not a household name? Really?

  10. George says

    have Apple fired some cash the way of this website, or has the author temporarily lost his mind. Either way, gave me a good laugh.

  11. Nathan Watts says

    Well there is 3 minutes of my life I will never get back. I suggest you never let this bloke write an article about anything that isn’t apple, since he seems to think apple is so far above anything else. LG not a house hold name? God damn where has he lived for the last 10 years?

  12. macr0x says

    This douchebag apparently is just another apple fan boy… your basically trying to compare a full server PC with a macbook pro… people all over the web are complaining about LG being the manufacturer for next Nexus device… but I must say that actually the optimus g is the most powerful smartphone on earth…

  13. Sam says

    Compete? Compete? Really? The current Nexus blows away the iphone 5 let alone a new Nexus. The iphone is a tiny little POS. It baffles me that a single person would prefer it over the Nexus.

  14. Nathen says

    ” Adam is an editor based in San Francisco, California who loves his iPhone 5″

    That Line says it All. What you expect ?

    He’s an ISHEEP, just another one of the HERD.

  15. Craig says

    The one year old galaxy nexus beats the iPhone 5. The new nexus phone won’t just compete, it will set the bar once again on phones. Maybe next year’s Iphone 5s will compete with this years Nexus.

  16. Lex says

    I cannot believe that someone allowed this stupid review to be posted.
    I have galaxy nexus, nexus 7, motorola Atrix HD and now Iphone 5. (You can tell i m tech gadgets fan).
    I am very impatiently waiting for the new nexus to come out, but even with my last year dual core nexus Galaxy running android 4.1 i can firmly say it beats my iphone 5 in everythubg except the GPU (Galaxy Nexus is running the TI OMAP 4460 w POWER VR 540 vs Iphone 5 A6 w POWER VR 543 GPU.
    Galaxy Nexus has 100,000 :1 contrast ratio vs iphone 800:1. It also.has better battery life running screen at 100% brightness than iphone.
    I m not sure what will be the contrast ratio on new nexus. But i m sure it will not be worth than 800:1.
    I own i phone5 and i own the nexus (both the galaxy and Quad core Nexus 7 (which by the way i love more than my fiance’s ipad 3), so i can say firmly: iphone DOES NOT STAND UP TO NEXUS GALAXY OR THE NEXUS4.
    And by the way, apple’s maps on Ios 6 sucks.

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