Android Phone Comparisons: Google Nexus 5 vs Apple iPhone 5s

| November 17, 2013 | 14 Replies

Collage Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5s



Here we go with two phones from totally opposite camps – pure Apple iOS 7 versus pure Android 4/4 KitKat – like comparing Apples and Oranges. I would say that these two operating systems could not be further apart, but with latest rendition of iOS, it comes closer and closer to looking like Android.  However, that is where the similarity stops, only in the “looks” department, because Android still offers much more opportunity for customization and multitasking. Apple iOS 7 does offer a simplicity that many users want – I have a neighbor that I recommended that she get an iPhone as she already had an iPad her ex-boyfriend bought her for Christmas the year before.

Other than the fact that neither one has an expansion slot, about the only similarity between the two devices would be their camera specifications. The camera has always been a sore spot with the Nexus line and and a high spot for the iPhone, but the Nexus 5′s camera with OIS has elevated itself – not to the iPhone’s stature, but the Nexus 5 can certainly hold its own against most other phones.

Google Nexus 5

Nexus 5 front

We have analyzed this phone to death these past couple of weeks, and for good reason, it is the newest pure Android 4.4 KitKat and it arrived with many improvements over the previous Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It continues to add features, optimize for better battery life and, refine the operating system so that will even run on as little as 512K – making it available to use on lower end devices, and that really shows some foresight on Google’s part.

The processor is top-notch, 2GB of RAM, finally 16GB/32GB of internal storage and then we have that beautiful Full HD 5-inch display with 445 ppi. The Nexus 5 has a larger battery, though like the iPhone, is not removable. The price of the Nexus 5 is also a real plus as the amount listed is a the full, off-contract contract price. One thing going against the Nexus 5 is no availability on Verizon.

Apple iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s Front

This September Apple released the new iPhone 5s, which physically is very much like the iPhone 5 – the two biggest differences are the built-in fingerprint sensor and the new iOS 7.  This iOS is the biggest change in the operating system since the iPhone debuted, built from the ground up it was supposed to elevated the aging iOS to a new level…but it seems as those the colors and icons changed to a “cartoonish” look, added a few features, but still is a rigid, unchangeable format.

Specification wise it is really no screamer, although Apple has planned for the future with a 64-bit processor, it does little now other than serve as an advertising ploy. The fingerprint scanner is a nice touch and within a year most flagship devices with also sport one for security purposes as online banking and “wallets” continue to become more relevant. The battery is small and price is fairly expensive and there is still no NFC chip.

…And the Winner is…Nexus 5

Nexus 5 front


These two phones probably have more of a following and hardcore fans than any other smartphones, yet have two widely separated philosophies – Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The Nexus 5 just out powers the iPhone in specs (64-bits means little at this point in the iPhone), larger, better definition screen, more memory, and more value for the money. Apple may have “redesigned” their iOS 7 from the ground up, but Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat has more features and more functions and optimized with developer friendly features and able to work on only 512K – a home run. Let us know in the comments or on Google+  what you think of these two phones.

Category: Android Phone Comparisons

About Cory McNutt ()

I am Pittsburgh born and raised except for a 21-year detour through the VA/DC area. I have loved technology and gadgets my entire life, especially mobile devices. I have loved all things Android since I purchased my Motorola Bionic on the day it was release. I now sport a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that you would have to pry out of my cold, dead hands! I love the excitement each day of what new Android devices will be released, and then I get write about those devices…does life get any better?
  • Michael

    Well I am an apple user. Honestly I tried out both but I’ll probably never go for an android. This has on the one hand the reason that an iphone fits technically perfect to my macbook retina, ipad and imac but maybe also because i think the IOS7 is more secure. In addition the design of iphones is simply unique and there is no phone that meets the design nearly. Well the HTC one is a beauty but canot compete with quality of an iphone. Also tried it. Last but not least: I like the screen size, finally it’s a phione. If i need a bigger screen i use a tablet.

    • AdamIna

      “yeah as a moron i never let the tablet go out of my hand, even to make or receive a call”

  • Ben Grooms

    The iPhone 5s most certainly does not support 802.11 ac WiFi!(Check the official Apple Tech specs) Also, KitKat runs on as little as 512MB of RAM, not 512K as you stated. Please fix these ASAP!

  • Charlie

    Cory mate, you are lucky that this is a heavily biased website otherwise this would get rejected everywhere else.

    This has got to be quite possibly the worst vs review i have read. Android Headlines please get some quality control in before you allow this onto your site.

    Even though the iPhone has lower specs it has outperformed the Nexus and 99% of all other Android phones (Galaxy Note 3 may be the 1%)

    iPhone 1-0 Nexus 5

    The Nexus 5 OIS has not put it in the same region even with other smartphones as it has been and still is pretty poor.

    iPhone 2-0 Nexus 5

    The Nexus will always beat the iPhone in Price and its a great phone for £299

    iPhone 2 – 1 Nexus 5

    iPhone has maximum storage of 64GB so it wins there.

    iPhone 3 -1 Nexus 5

    Build quality as per usual with the 5S is stunning and the only Android phone out there able to come close is the fantastic HTC One, also the iPhone weighs less.

    iPhone 4 – 1 Nexus 5

    The Nexus 5 has a higher PPI but that isn’t going to tell you if it is better. Both have gorgeous displays. The Google Nexus 5 has a 4.95 inch 1080 x 1920 True HD IPS+ display with a pixel density of 445 pixels per inch. It’s certainly very high resolution then but it’s not quite as vibrant or bright as some other phone displays, such as the one on the iPhone 5S.



    The 5S has a touch ID sensor – Nexus 5 none




    • charlie

      If you noticed in my post Cory, at the start of my comparisons i gave reasoning to why the phone won in a certain category. Where as at the end my review turned into your post.

      Android headlines if vs posts continue to be this poor on your website i will look elsewhere.

      Nexus 5, iPhone 5s owner. (before everyone starts losing their minds)

    • Minden Lu

      what a load of bull.
      Nexus 5 has better hardware, how does the iphone 5 even outperform the Nexus 5 as you claim.
      Nexus 5 has a better display too, how are you going to argue against the numbers. 445 ppi accounts for some of the most sharpest images you will ever see. Iphone 5s may just exaggerate the colors to make it seem vibrant.
      Who even really cares much about the fingerprint scanner. Its a bit of a hassle to even get it to work because you have to place your finger in the right way.
      Nexus 5 has so many feature the Iphone has no excuse for deploying such as NFC chips. Where are those, i might ask?
      Yes the Iphone is better in build, but dont argue weight, it is expected that larger phones weigh more.
      Storage isnt much of a issue. For most people 32 gigs is more than enough and the cloud comes free 2 years.
      Did I mention that the Nexus is almost HALF the price of the Iphone? this price point is really a game changer.
      I will agree that the Iphone cameras tend to outperform their android competitors with the amazing colors and well rounded shots.
      The software really favors Android. Android has so much, with widgets, their new launcher, live wallpapers, etc. While you may argue the simplicity of Apple is better, dont you want a phone that you can play with, where you can customize it to be yours?
      The number of apps in the play store is very close to that in the app store, if not more, plus developers will focus on the more popular OS android with 80% leaving apple in the dust
      Android is so buttery smooth, it works even on 512 mb devices while the IOS 7 is so laggy on the Iphone 4 and 4s
      The Iphone designs lack any originality, people i will mistake your 5s with a 5 or even a 4 given that they dont have too close of a view

      • Andrew Fuss

        Actually EVERY SINGLE test and benchmark was won buy the iPhone 5s when or against the nexus 5. Yes every benchmark . The nexus 5 does have a bigger and higher resolution screen if course. But the fact is that the iPhone 5s smoked that nexus 5 (and EVERY OTHER Android device) in benchmarking and graphic benchmarking and browser speed tests . I’m a hybrid user . I use an HTC one and I also have an iPhone 5s and though I live android the iPhone 5s in undeniably the fastest device I’ve ever touched. You can get mad and scream all you want how much better the nexus 5 is but the fact still stands , iPhone 5s smokes it like a joint at a Marley concert. I LOVE Android . But I’ve also really started loving this IPhone too. If you go look at any real benchmarking tests though they will show you that the 5s is much faster in every facet. Also I don’t see why you are bringing up the iPhone 4s ?? No one was talking about phones from two years ago. And as far as you saying the iPhone had no originality !!!????? ARE YOU INSANE ?!
        THE IPHONE WAS THE FIRST REAL SMART PHONE OF THE ENTIRE GENERATION. THAT STATEMENT DIDN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE . ANDROID WAS DESIGNED TO RIVAL IOS . LOL . ANDROID WAS SUPPOSED TO B BE THE V OPEN SOURCE CERTAIN IF A MOBILE OS. However , Google bought it and now OEM use it and it will become more closed source as it grows just like iOS . That’s why Google has the Google now COMPLETELY LOCKED into the new Android UI. Don’t get me won’t I freaking love android, but to diss Apple is just stupid . Clearly they are doing pretty well as they are one if the richest companies in America . To call say an iPhone sucks is like dissing an Porsche . Its beautiful fast and comfortable and millions if people want it , but it just ducks because you want to talk about it badly ? Lol . That’s not how the world works.

        • Darth Sidious

          Hmmm what benchmarking tests :)? and by what companies or scientific groups were they ran by?

        • Darth Sidious

          You say the Iphone beat the nexus in every category, but there is a reason we have processor speed bechmarks is there not? 2 Gh’z compared to 1 Gh’z is a big difference, sure you can take into account the OS and the applications running which can limit the speed of both. However in terms of sheer speed the Nexus processor already “smokes it like a joint at a Marley concert”. Nice try though :D

          • Andrew Fuss

            I don’t understand why you are saying 1Ghz is a speed benchmark. The iPhone 5s has 1Ghz nexus has 2 GHz they are both clocked differently. All I’m saying is that if you use that little Google search engine and search up iPhone 5s vs ALL android devices and press enter you will see that the 5s scores higher than literally every Android device , except the note 3 though . Go look at phone arena it will show toy non biased results . Don’t get me wrong I LOVE ANDROID. Seriously Android is my favorite on a good device. All in saying is that the nexus line was designed to be a device that was meant to be purchased as a budget device yet with premium elements such as screens and processors . This means that Google has to sacrifice other elements such as design materials , camera, colors , buttons . speakers , etc . The 5s is designed to be premium . The MOST premium build you can buy . I myself just bought a 5s to play with , however my DD is an HTC One . I also have a galaxy S4 that I hate . You can’t sit here and pretend that the 5s is done piece of garbage . That thing is ridiculously fast and being an Android user I don’t love saying that , but I’m not going to sit here and be ignorant. The Nexus is cool and I like a bug screen but from what I’ve read the A7 64 bit cyclone chip running iOS 7 has surpassed the nexus 5 in a vast amount of benchmarks . Just do some research.

            • Darth Sidious

              First off sir you are an idiot for just using the Google search engine which is not a peer reviewed source. Because when I actually went into peer reviewed sources who are reliable, the 5S only beat out the nexus on graphics rendering and of course that is due to the 64 bit compared to the 32 bit rendering. However it did not beat out all the Android phones, premium in what way?By who’s standards?

        • RandomDude77

          You guys are forgetting that the Nexus 5 is pushing about twice the pixels the 5s is pushing, and still matching the iPhone 5s in just most benchmarks.

      • Charlie


        The 5s has been benchmarked by all major tech websites as the pretty much the fastest phone on the planet so chill out. The human eye cannot differentiate past 300 PPI so everything higher than that is just a bonus. If you looked at two displays you wouldn’t be able to tell 400PPI vs 300PPI.

        The fingerprint scanner is no hassle to work. Please try this feature out before you slag it off. Seems like you are a little butt hurt by my comments. Flaming much my son? The iPhone weighs less yet it isn’t plastic?! What?

        Storage will always be an issue, 64GB is better than 32GB and you can scream about cloud storage all you want. having 64GB of SSD on the phone is better than 32GB. And iCloud is more integrated and seamless so thats another point for iPhone there.

        I have both phones and software wise, there are plus and minuses to both. I buy Nexus phones because i like the unskinned, untouched version of Android. Why would i customise something i like. Much like iOS 7 i like it so i don’t need to go around changing everything about it. And you say “a phone you can play with” The iPhone is the best mobile gaming platform on the planet.

        Android is “so buttery smooth” iOS is light speed fast. Cool your beans.

        This is a 5s VS Nexus post so your 4 and 4s comment is invalid. Obviously written due to rage and butt hurt.

        zzz iPhone is still praised as being a gorgeous phone even though the body is a year old. I don’t care if you mistake my 5S for an iPhone 5. I’m not trying to impress you or make you see what phone i have.

        Please get something for your raging butt hurt. I tried to describe why i think certain features are better and i described them. Once again just like the original author you are so heavily biased.

        P.S i haven’t used or know anyone that has used NFC for 2 years.

  • AdamIna

    typo 512K should be 512 MB.