Both Google and Apple have newly released smartphones – Google’s Nexus 4 being announced today, Apple’s iPhone 5 being announced in September.
The Nexus 4 is unavoidably slightly bigger in size (by about 0.5″ length and width, but only by a twentieth of an inch in depth) due to having a much larger screen size – a 4.7″ diagonal screen compared to the 4.0″ on the iPhone, and with a corresponding increase in pixels too (35% more pixels). It also weighs 0.7 oz more than the iPhone, not that you’d really notice the difference in your pocket.
We feel most people would happily accept the moderate extra size and weight in return for the massive increase in screen size, and the much greater ease of viewing everything on its screen that comes as a result.
As for other features and measurements, the biggest difference that is immediately apparent is the iPhone 5 has better support for fast wireless data from phone companies, with some limited LTE support as well as similar 3G support. The iPhone will only work with North American LTE frequencies, not with those in any other countries.
On the other hand, the Nexus 4 also supports the prime 3G frequency used by T-mobile, whereas the iPhone does not.
The Nexus 4 has three extra features the iPhone 5 lacks – inductive charging of its battery, near-field communications, and a barometer sensor. These are probably of limited value to most people, but add to its technological appeal to people who wish state of the art.
Amazingly, the Nexus 4 is currently showing as being available sooner than the iPhone. The Nexus 4 can be used with your choice of either AT&T or T-mobile, and is being sold directly by Google without any carrier subsidies (and therefore also without the need for any lengthy contracts, either) and is unlocked to be used with most GSM type wireless carriers around the world.
The unlocked price of the Nexus 4 is comparable to the locked/subsidized price of an iPhone. The iPhone has to be purchased in a carrier specific model for either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.
Which should you buy? We like the LTE capabilities of the iPhone 5, but we love the bigger screen and extra resolution of the Nexus 4, and if we had to choose between ‘bigger screen with fast enough data’ compared to ‘smaller screen with faster data’ we’d probably choose the former.
Here are the raw specifications about both phones to help you make your choice based on the features of most relevance to you.
|Apple iPhone 5||Google Nexus 4|
|Size||4.9″ x 2.3″ x 0.30″||5.3″ x 2.7″ x 0.36″|
|Weight||4 oz||4.9 oz|
|Screen Resolution||1136 x 640 326 ppi||1280 x 768 320 ppi|
|Rear camera||8 MP||8 MP|
|Front camera||1.2 MP||1.3 MP|
|GSM||Quad band||Quad band|
|3G||850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz||850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz|
|4G||UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
LTE bands 4 & 17
|Battery life||Up to 8 hrs talk or internet||2100 mAh LiPo|
|Processor||A6 dual core 1.3 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core 1.5 GHz|
|Storage||16GB or 32GB or 64GB||8GB or 16GB|
|Connectors||Lightning, 3.5mm headphone||Micro USB, SlimPort HDMI, 3.5mm headphone|
|Wi-Fi||802.11 a/b/g/n||802.11 b/g/n|
|Price||$299 locked, 2 yr contract, 16GB
$399 locked, 2 yr contract, 32GB
$499 locked, 2 yr contract, 64GB
|$299 unlocked, no contract, 8GB
$349 unlocked, no contract, 16GB
$199, T-mobile 2 yr contract, 16GB
|Availability||3 – 4 weeks to ship||Ships on 13 Nov|