Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s: Why Buyers Should Wait

While many people sprung to buy the new iPhone 5s earlier this month, I decided to hold off and wait for one phone in particular to make its arrival. That phone is the new Nexus smartphone, Google’s yearly release, that is currently rumored to be called the Nexus 5 and one that will likely be making its arrival in just a couple of weeks.

This year has seen a number of big time smartphone releases from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the HTC One to the Sony Xperia Z to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Earlier this month, we also saw the iPhone 5s emerge from the shadows, presenting itself as a top-notch competitor to the best of Android and Windows Phone 8.

Read: Nexus 5 Specs All But Confirmed.

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The iPhone 5s is the iPhone 5’s true successor and a device that builds upon the success of the iPhone 5 in just about every way. From its A7 processor, to its upgraded iSight camera, to its color options, to the fingerprint reader that adds extra security for those that take their phone into public, the iPhone 5s is a fantastic device and one that should be on the shopping list of most smartphone shoppers.

It’s certainly at the top of mine. While I use one smartphone as my primary device, the iPhone 5, I also have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon which acts as a secondary device for work and for traveling. I occasionally use it in my personal life though those moments are rare due to an assortment of on board issues that Verizon has decided not to fix.

In the buildup to the iPhone 5s launch, I thought about buying the iPhone 5s as either a secondary device that replaces my Galaxy Nexus or as a replacement for my iPhone 5. In the latter scenario, I’d give my iPhone 5 to my girlfriend to replace her iPhone 4S which is struggling on iOS 7.

One of these still might happen but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet because there is another smartphone that I have my eye on.

As someone who invested two years into a Galaxy Nexus that never didn’t have issues, one would think that I would have abandoned the Nexus program completely. Throw in the fact that my Nexus 7 died, randomly, about a year after I bought it, and I wasn’t surprised that some people thought I was crazy for waiting for the Nexus 4.

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Instead, I skipped buying the iPhone 5s, at least for now, and have my eyes on the Nexus 5 launch that is rumored to be taking place in October. And for those that may be on the fence, I advise waiting for the Nexus 5 launch to make a decision between these two phones or something else, and here’s why.

The more I thought about the iPhone 5s launch, the more I remembered the nonsense that I experienced with the iPhone 5 launch and the iPad 3 launch. Site issues, problems with my order, lack of details, all made launch day a headache for me and it’s something that I decided that I wanted to avoid with the iPhone 5s. So I waited. And sure enough, tons of supply issues struck the iPhone 5s.

The gold iPhone 5s is sold out until October in most places but here’s my thinking. I didn’t have to deal with buying the phone on day one. I didn’t have to line up. I don’t have to sit around waiting for details about my order. I don’t have to call into customer service. I don’t have to keep calling stores looking for a gold iPhone 5s.

Instead, I can just sit back, wait for Apple to get these issues under control. However, most important of all, while waiting for these issues to die down, I’ve set myself up for a chance to compare the iPhone 5s with the Nexus 5 before buying.

Rumors suggest the Nexus 5 will have all of the key ingredients on board:

  • High-res display.
  • Good camera.
  • LTE.
  • Vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat.
  • Cheap price tag.

I passed on the Nexus 4 because it didn’t have LTE, something that is a necessity for me and many others. And with LTE on board the new Nexus, and a cheap unlocked price tag likely attached to it, I feel like this is a phone that is worth waiting for. Particularly since it will likely be out in just a few weeks.

Rumors suggest that the Nexus 5 will be arriving in mid-October, which again is perfect timing as the iPhone 5s supply issues will likely be over by then. It allows me to compare the two devices and make an informed decision.

This could show the back of the Nexus 5.

This could show the back of the Nexus 5.

At the moment, I am leaning towards the Nexus 5. I don’t want to sign a new contract and AT&T’s LTE network, where I would take the Nexus 5, has made large enough strides where I don’t consider it at a disadvantage to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The Nexus 5 isn’t rumored for Verizon.

Shelling out $650 for an unlocked iPhone 5s is a severe price to pay and I’m hoping that Google keeps the bread and butter of the Nexus smartphone intact. Translation: Its price. $299-$399 for a top of the line, unlocked smartphone, is going to be a pretty hard deal to pass up. That isn’t set in stone but rumors suggest a mid-range price.

I realize that everyone’s situation is going to be a little bit different but what I will say is this. For those that haven’t bought the iPhone 5s yet, hold off for a few weeks.

I have a feeling the Nexus 5 is going to appeal to the average consumer more than any other Nexus smartphone has, and I think there are many people who will benefit from weighing the two together. For many, the arrival of the Nexus 5 will only reinforce the iPhone 5s as the top option. For others, the Nexus 5 will serve as a very attractive alternative to Apple’s new flagship.

As for me, I’m still undecided on which one I am going to pick up, but like many of you, I should know in just a couple of weeks.