The original Apple iPhone ushered in a new wave of smartphones – with every phone manufacturer competing for sales with startling displays, improved hardware and a broad range of functionality. Some are starting to falter, but many contenders are seeing increasing growth and market share. Making the biggest noise about their latest phones are two of the big hitters – Google and Apple.
The iPhone at launch was an instant classic – different to every phone before it, and instantly recognisable. The iPhone 5 continues this theme – it looks fantastic, and feels well constructed. The Nexus is not an ugly device, but there are some minor quirks which put it behind the iPhone.
The iPhone has the iconic, single face button, with additional controls located around the sides of the device. These buttons are more easily found than on the Nexus, being slightly more raised from the main body of the device.
The Nexus’s size is actually a shortcoming in part of the phones design – as operating the phone one handed can be tricky, with the far corner being difficult to reach, a problem only those with small hands will find with the iPhone.
At first glance, there is very little to distinguish the screens on each phone, even in detail there is very little difference. The major distinction is the screen size – the Nexus spots a 4.7inch screen against the iPhone 5’s 4inches – naturally making the Nexus slightly better for media and reading. The iPhone does pack better pixel density, though the difference is marginal. The iPhone also has better viewing angles, particularly useful if two people are going to be looking at the same media.
Though many are frustrated by Apples iOS operating system’s rigid structure, it is difficult to deny that it is a smooth, simple experience. All functions are navigated using on-screen commands, with the single face button exiting the application and returning to the home screen. It is easy to pick up and accessible to every user.
Apple’s app store has a broader range of Apps and games – though the Google Play store is fast catching up – both are easy to navigate and content is easy to manage.
The Nexus experience is not bad, but not quite as intuitive as the Apple device. However, the Nexus allows the user much more freedom to personalise their phone – and has a greater level of complexity. A perfect example is the comparison of email applications, with the Andoid OS allowing greater detail of setting up rules, switching between accounts and storage of emails.
The browsing experience is very similar across both devices – both easy to navigate with similar options. Call quality and battery life is also a dead heat.
For looks and ease of use, the iPhone is the clear winner. Those looking for greater functionality, with more options around personalisation and, of course, a larger screen, will want to look at the Nexus 4 which, at the moment, is also the cheaper option.