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5 Ways the Nexus 5 Beats the iPhone 5s



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.


Larger Display

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.

Read: Nexus 5 Hands-on: White vs Black Through Google Glass

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 Wireless

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.



  1. Joker

    11/14/2013 at 3:06 am

    “Performance Specs” wise the nexus 5 wins by a landslide? Have you even seen any of the benchmark scores? iPhone 5s comes up above the Nexus 5 in most tests. In real world tests it trounces the Nexus 5 completely.

    • Neill

      11/16/2013 at 12:59 am

      Probably due to the 64 bit chip they neglected to mention?

      • CaptCrunch11

        11/18/2013 at 12:13 pm

        Really? 64 bit allows the OS to use more than 4GB of RAM. It doesn’t speed up the phone in any way and the Nexus 5 is just as fast as the iPhone 5 for day to day tasks

        • Farhad

          11/25/2013 at 12:15 am

          32 bit architecture has 32 bit registers (for storage). A 64 bit architecture has twice that storage. That means, to add 2 64-bit numbers, you need 2 operations in a 32-bit arch whereas in a 64 bit arch, you’d need just one.
          That does not account for speed to you?

          • mr

            11/25/2013 at 1:31 pm

            How often do you need 64-bit integers? I.e. Larger than 2^31-1 with signed integers. Very rarely.

            But dont get me wrong. When you do need them, 64-bit system can process the operations much more efficiently. In addition 64-bit system can use a lot of more ram than 32-bit system. Due to the latter reason mentioned, i am quite sure that the other mobile OSes will support 64-bit sooner or later, and that is a good thing.

            But does it affect the everyday performance? No, it does not

          • VJGoh

            12/14/2013 at 3:01 pm

            Actually, in day-to-day performance, it can make a big deal. You can pack data into those 64-bit ints and the performance benefit can be substantial. Go to anandtech and read the review and explanation of why the A7 is such a good processor. It’s not a knockout punch or anything, but it’s not just for more addressing space. (I’m a game console programmer; we already use these tricks all the time.)

          • Jonathan oQo

            12/15/2013 at 8:05 pm

            It would if you could actually multitask, but nitty just one task at a time, also battery life gets sucked out of the battery for no reason & & unless you actually use a 64 bit architecture with more more ram it’s just a gimmick, again especially without multitasking. The snapdragon 805 coming in 2 months will actually use a 64 bit CPU with ran to support the data speed optimally & it’ll actually use the power for its multitasking abilities. Sorry but apples 64 bit CPU is as gimmicky as when iPhone 4g was thought to be a 4G data phone & even more than Samsung’s software bundles.;)

    • joe

      12/15/2013 at 5:20 pm

      I smell fanboy…

  2. Guest

    11/14/2013 at 3:31 am

    Wait wait waitttttttttttt!!! I agree with everything except for faster performance i saw the benchmarks and it is not that much faster in terms of cpu and gpu in fact its really close i saw the comparison and the iphone 5s is still less laggy and in some test faster. sure it has quad core blah blah blah but each core of the A7 chip is faster than the snapdragon 800 its like 4 kids vs 2 adults there are other reason why the nexus 5 is better than the iphone 5s like how you could costumize the os as much as you want
    How you can say ok google from the home screen

    • Sidney Atta-Ekanan

      11/14/2013 at 12:03 pm

      Hell, I bet those benchmark aren’t even optimized for Kitkat yet. Wait and see cuz I still see some graph that have S4 beat the Nexus 5, that show how reliable those benchmark are….

  3. Nicoli

    11/16/2013 at 11:14 pm

    I have the 5S and S4, there’s quite a few areas where my 5S stomps the S4 but you can def tell when the extra RAM and cores comes in handy. I do believe Apple lost their overall OS speed advantage with iOS 7 though considering they’ve tacked on more than a few originally android only features and with that the bugs of old Android versions. The S4 is still my go to phone for web browsing and movie watching the 5S is a gaming beast and of course the music player. Either are still superior to any Windows phone I’ve used.

  4. Nick

    11/27/2013 at 1:16 pm

    This article is a joke.
    – Spelling mistakes
    – Extreme hyperbole e.g. “it’s certainly more future-proof than the iPhone 5s’s archaic 802.11n tech”. Please.. its like you’re saying that the iPhone is the only device left in the world that runs n type wireless.

    Dont get me wrong I’m an Android fan which is what attracted me to the article and I knew it was going to be biased from the get go, but this is Nexus 5 circle jerk is cringe worthy.

  5. Anonymous

    11/29/2013 at 2:16 pm

    ITT: Butthurt Apple sheep

  6. Jonathan oQo

    12/15/2013 at 7:49 pm

    You say bump as if it works like the app “bump”, is much faster & uses direct Wi-Fi to transfer LARGER files at crazy speeds. Bump is a useless Bluetooth app that has to be set up to be used with slower Bluetooth speeds + when you mention bump & quote it, it’s simply showing hey it’s the same thing that iPhone has had for years… But low & behold my friend forit is

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