Both Apple’s and Google’s flagship smartphones are officially out on the market, and the battle between the two devices will be just one of the many gadget rivalries that we’ll see going into the holiday shopping season. The iPhone 5s is Apple’s flagship phone for 2013, and the Nexus 5 is Google’s own Android phone for the year. While there’s also the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the Nexus 5 is a true Android device, considering that it’s the only device that comes with the full and raw Android experience.
This begs the question: Which smartphone is better? The iPhone 5s or the Nexus 5? Of course, the answer is completely subjective, and both devices have their pros and cons. However, we decided to take a look at the pros of the Nexus 5 and see what features it has that the iPhone 5s can’t match.
The Nexus 5 comes with a 5-inch display that’s a big larger than the iPhone 5s’s 4-inch screen. The Nexus 5 also has a much higher pixel density than the iPhone 5s, coming in at 440 pixels per inch, compared to the iPhone 5s’s 326 pixels per inch. Of course, screen size isn’t everything, and pixel density isn’t a huge deal once you get over 300 pixels per inch, but a lot of users seem to prefer the larger displays for movies, games and general power userness.
Read: Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s
However, the iPhone 5s’s smaller display still serves a need for folks with smaller hands, where a Nexus 5 just isn’t comfortable enough to hold with one hand. Even then, though, a larger display can be a great trade-off if you’re willing to carry around a larger device.
NFC isn’t too mainstream yet, and there are still very limited uses for it, but the short list of features that NFC does offer is quite impressive. You can pay with your phone with just a tap at many stores, and that list of eligible stores is longer than you think. Plus, you can use NFC to automate certain tasks, like hovering your Nexus 5 over an NFC tag that you have in your car, which can automatically launch navigation and turn on the music for you.
NFC can also be used to share photos and other files with nearby users. This is one of the original features of NFC and it was most popular when it was introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S III, where users could “bump” their phones together to quickly share a playlist, photo, video or just a simple document.
Faster Processor & More RAM
Okay, okay; so specs aren’t everything, but you have to admit that the Nexus 5 comes packing. It sports a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM, while the iPhone 5s comes with a dual-core Apple A7 processor clocked at 1.3GHz with only 1GB of RAM. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the iPhone 5s is eons slower than the Nexus 5. In fact, the iPhone 5s can be just as fast thanks to how well it handles iOS 7 processes.
However, if you’re someone that lives off of performance specs and has to have the fastest phone on the market (you know, so you can brag to your friends), the Nexus 5 is the clear winner by a landslide; no contest.
802.11ac is still in its early stages, and it’s just getting started for the most part, but routers are already out on the market that support the new wireless standard, and even the new MacBooks come with 802.11ac. This new technology allows for much faster speeds than 802.11n, as well as the ability to reach longer distances.
The Nexus 5 comes with 802.11ac wireless capabilities, allowing for faster network speeds and better range, and while the technology isn’t the norm just yet, it’s certainly more future-proof than the iPhone 5s’s archaic 802.11n tech.
Lower Off-Contract Price
This is where everything gets thrown out the window and the price is left standing to decide it all. The Nexus 5 starts at $349 off-contract for the 16GB, while the iPhone 5s starts at $649 off-contract for its 16GB model. Furthermore, if you wanted to bump that up to 32GB, you’d have to pay $100 more for the 32GB iPhone 5s, while it’s only $50 more for the 32GB Nexus 5.
This means that you’d pay $399 for a 32GB Nexus 5 and $749 for a 32GB iPhone 5s; you’d have to pay $350 more if you decided to get the iPhone 5s over the Nexus 5. Essentially, you could buy two Nexus 5 units for the price of one iPhone 5s; that’s crazy to think about.