Google finally announced its yearly Nexus smartphone in the Nexus 4 by LG, a device that will replace the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and do battle with a host of other smartphones this holiday season.
While the Nexus 4 will certainly face stiff competition from the likes of Windows Phone 8 and an assortment of Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S III, it will also be facing off against the iPhone 5, Apple’s latest generation smartphone. Here, we take a final look at how the iPhone 5 matches up against the newly announced Nexus 4.
The Nexus 4 was rumored for weeks and while Google’s Android event today was cancelled altogether due to Hurricane Sandy, the company decided to announce a host of new devices today including its new Nexus smartphone which will be arriving soon to compete with Apple’s iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 is Apple’s latest smartphone and it replaces the wildly popular iPhone 4S, and brings 4G LTE data speeds and a larger screen to the table for the first time. Needless to say, it’s an attractive option and one that customers will be weighing against the Nexus 4.
Here, we take a look at how the final version of the Nexus 4 stacks up against the iPhone 5 in terms of its release date, its carriers, it price and the hardware and software that power them both.
While Google announced the Nexus 4 today, it isn’t quite available yet. The Nexus 4 will be heading to the Google Play Store starting on November 13th. At that point, customers in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada will be able to pick up an unlocked version of the Nexus 4, which comes in both 8GB and 16GB form.
A day later, T-Mobile will release the Nexus 4 here in the United States for use with its HSPA+ network. It will be the same Nexus 4 smartphone as the unlocked model, only, it will be attached to T-Mobile’s network.
Of course, the iPhone 5 is already out in many markets around the world including the United States. On September 21st, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon released the device and it’s also been available on C-Spire Wireless and Cricket. It will also be available on Virgin Mobile but we still don’t know exactly when.
The iPhone 5 is still hard to get though. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and the Apple Store are all offering lengthy shipping times for the iPhone 5 and those that wish to get it in November will want to place a pre-order as soon as possible.
The Nexus 4 is going to feature a design that closely mirrors that of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. From the curves to the plastic, it’s a lot like the last version of the Nexus smartphone.
As for the specifics, the Nexus 4 weighs 139 grams, which is lighter than the Galaxy Nexus LTE, but heavier than the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus which weighed 135 grams. The difference probably won’t be too noticeable but yes, the Nexus 4 will be a bit heavier.
The Nexus 4 is 9.1mm thin which is thinner than the Galaxy Nexus LTE but again, thicker than the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus which was a mere 8.9mm thin. Keep in mind that the Nexus 4 does not have the same hump as the Galaxy Nexus, instead, it features a flush back. The front of the device features no physical buttons and on the back we have a large Nexus logo with an LG logo at the bottom.
Apple’s iPhone 5 is much lighter and slimmer than the Nexus 4. It also features an industrial design that is formed out of aluminum, glass and metal, not plastic.
The iPhone 5 is also both lighter and slimmer than the iPhone 4S. It weighs 112 grams which is much lighter than the 140 grams of the iPhone 4S. It’s a big and noticeable difference.
It’s also much slimmer than the iPhone 4S which was 9.3mm thin. The iPhone 5 is 7.6mm thin which makes it one of the slimmest big name smartphones on the market right now.
Google’s Nexus 4, like many Android phones, possesses a massive display checking in at 4.7-inches. It’s a True IPS display featuring 1280 x 768 pixel resolution which means that content will be in HD. It also features 320ppi, or pixels-per-inch, which means that it will offer clear text and crisp images.
That ppi count is on par with the iPhone 5′s Retina Display and means that this phone will pack a high quality screen, perfect for those that consume a lot of photo and video content on their phone.
It also offers Gorilla Glass 2, which will protect the phone from scratches and cracks.
The iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to feature a display larger than 3.5-inches.
The iPhone 5 has a screen that measures 4-inches with a resolution of 1136 x 640 resolution which is not full HD resolution. However, it does offer a ppi of 326 and that, combined with the resolution, make it one of the best in the business.
Further breaking down the devices, let’s take a closer look at the specifications that will be coming on board each device starting with the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 will sport some specifications that are found on many of the top-end Android devices.
Here are its key specifications:
- 1.5GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 8GB/16GB models
- 4.7-inch IPS Display 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
- Rear – 8MP camera
- Front – 1.9MP camera
- 2100 mAh battery
And here are the iPhone 5 specs:
- Apple A6 Dual Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB/32GB /64GB models
- 4-inch Retina Display 1136 x 640 (326 ppi)
- Rear – 8-megapixel iSight camera
- Front - FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p)
Key specifications here include the fact that neither device possesses expandable storage and that the Nexus 4 possesses more RAM than the iPhone 5. It’s unclear how their battery life will match up but the iPhone 5 is a 4G LTE device and non-4G LTE devices, especially ones with big batteries like the Nexus 4, tend to last longer.
Google didn’t go above and beyond with the Nexus 4 camera, opting to stick with cameras typical of a high-end Android smartphone. On the front, there is a 1.9MP camera that can shoot 720p video and is perfect for video chatting.
Then, on the back, there is an 8MP camera which shoots 1080p video. A sample taken with the Nexus 4′s camera can be seen below.
As for the iPhone 5, it possesses two of the best cameras in the business including a front-facing FaceTime HD camera and an iSight camera in the rear that takes beautiful photos and video.
A shot taken with the iPhone 5 camera can be seen below.
The Nexus 4 will be graced with a new version of Android called Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. While not an overly expansive update, it does bring some nice new features to the table over the previous version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.1.
Android 4.2 will feature a new feature called Photo Sphere which will allow users to take Google Street View type photos, a new Quick Settings menu from the Notifications bar, widgets accessible from the lock screen, gestures for the keyboard, and more Google Now functionality.
All of that comes with the features already in place with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which can be see in the video below.
The iPhone 5 of course runs iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system and one that brings more than 200 new features to the table from iOS 5. Many of the new features can be seen in the video below but it offers more Siri features, a useful Do Not Disturb function, Facebook integration, Apple’s new controversial new Maps application and a lot more.
iPhone 5 owners can still access Google Maps, but only through a web app for now and while the native YouTube is gone, it can be replaced by an official YouTube app on the App Store.
Additionally, the iPhone 5 is home to five rows of icons on the home screen, and not four, due to its larger display as well as a calendar application that works in conjunction with its larger screen as well.
In the United States, there will only be one official carrier of the Nexus 4 with T-Mobile getting dibs on the LG-made device. The phone will run on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network when it arrives on November.
However, there are other options as well. The unlocked model will be GSM unlocked and will run on both AT&T and T-Mobile without the need for a contract. So those that don’t want to get tied up with a contract will have that option as well.
The iPhone 5 offers a multitude of options as well. The device is available on the three largest 4G LTE providers in the United States, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. LTE is faster than HSPA+, the network that the LG Nexus 4 will run on and an example of those speeds can be seen in the video below.
Apple’s iPhone 5 is also available on smaller regional carriers as well, but their networks are much more limited than AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
Something else to keep in mind is that Verizon’s LTE network is bigger than AT&T’s and Sprint’s. AT&T boasts 77 4G LTE markets while Sprint has under 50. Verizon, as of now, has more than 400 in the United States.
The Nexus 4 is going to be coming with an assortment of pricing options that should appeal to those looking to get a solid smartphone for a little amount of money.
The unlocked versions of the Nexus 4 are going to feature some of the most attractive pricing out there for unlocked smartphones and while we don’t know for sure just yet, Google will likely be losing money on each one it sells due to their low prices.
Here is how it breaks down:
- Unlocked 8GB Nexus 4: $299
- Unlocked 16GB Nexus 4: $349
Again, those prices are for the model that comes unlocked without a contract. Those looking to pick up an unlocked iPhone 5 will have to shell out $649 for a 16GB iPhone 5, a much steeper price.
T-Mobile will be selling the Nexus 4 16GB for $199.99 on-contract, a fairly cheap price for T-Mobile’s standards. The carrier generally charges a premium for high-end smartphones though it elected not to do so with the Nexus 4.
As for the iPhone 5, here is how Apple’s iPhone 5 pricing breaks down.
- iPhone 16GB – $199.99 on-contract
- iPhone 32GB – $299.99 on-contract
- iPhone 64GB – $399.99 on-contract
The company will also sell the iPhone 5 off-contract though we still don’t know when it will do so. The pricing of the unlocked iPhone 5 will be as follows though:
- iPhone 16GB – $649.99 off-contract
- iPhone 32GB – $749.99 off-contract
- iPhone 64GB – $849.99 off-contract
So, quite clearly, the iPhone 5 is a much more expensive purchase but unlike the Nexus 4, it offers three storage options with 32GB and 64GB of storage space being two unique options.