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The Battle:

(click to enlarge) (Image Source)

The smartphone wars are heating up now more than ever. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is back up to bat with its latest Nexus 5 smartphone that is aligned to compete with the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5s. Both smartphones target the premium market, and the specifications are interesting.

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Google is not slacking in its mobile phone efforts. Coming in at a lower unsubsidized cost, the Nexus 5 has a larger display that packs a much higher resolution and pixel density than the iPhone 5s. At 1080x1920 with a 445 ppi rating the Nexus 5 kills the iPhone 5s' 640x1136 resolution with 326ppi. The Nexus 5 is a larger phone though, as the iPhone is perfectly sized in my opinion.


Apple's iPhone 5s comes with the incredible A7 chip and an M7 co-processor to conserve power usage off of the main processor. The A7 provides incredible performance, as detailed in my article The iPhone 5s' Graphics Are Insane. Google's Nexus 5 overtakes the iPhone 5s in overall due to its leaner Kit Kat OS and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 800 chip. Below is a quick summary of the tests and winners for the tech gurus.

  1. 3DMark Ice Storm Winner (Scores: total of all three): Nexus 5
  2. 3DMark Ice Storm (FPS): iPhone 5s
  3. GLBenchmark Egypt HD Frames Per Second Winner: Nexus 5
  4. GLBenchmark Filrate (On-Screen) Winner: iPhone 5s
  5. BasemarkX Winner: iPhone 5s
  6. Javascript Benchmark Winner: Nexus 5
  7. Rightware BrowerMark Winner: Nexus 5

All in all under this test, the Nexus 5 is ahead of the iPhone 5s due to its total Ice Storm score, due to better physics handling. Although the iPhone's A7 shows slightly faster overall graphics performance. (Data and chart source)


The iPhone 5s wins hands down in construction, having an aluminum and glass build over the Nexus 5's plastic body.

Front Camera:

The Nexus 5 wins on the cover having 0.1 megapixels more than the iPhone 5s. Although more megapixels is not always a good decision guide and a camera test is the best way to demonstrate the differences.

Rear Camera:

Both devices have an 8 megapixel rear facing camera although the Nexus 5 has optical image stabilization and HDR+. Although the iPhone 5s takes the crown here as it offers Slo-Mo video at 120 frames per second, live effects while shooting and true tone dual-led flash for the perfect combination of lighting.


The Nexus 5 wins here with an extra gig of ram over the iPhone 5s.


Near field communications is a growing and future technology that will allow our smartphones to interact with the world around us. Google's Nexus 5 offers this capability and the iPhone 5s does not, so the Nexus 5 wins here.


The iPhone 5s offers the popular fingerprint scanner and M7 motion co-processor to retain battery life and boost cell phone performance. On the other side of this, Google's Nexus 5 allows for wireless charging, and the capability of 4G LTE-Advanced since it packs the Snapdragon 800 chip that makes it compatible with the upcoming standard. 4G LTE-Advanced is the new standard in wireless communications that will allow 150-300 Mbps download rates. The iPhone 5s also comes with a slightly updated version of Bluetooth.


The new Nexus 5 comes in at a lower unsubsidized price tag than the iPhone 5s. Interestingly, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) do not carry the smartphone. Although the latter stated that though it will not be selling the device, it will still run on its network. The Nexus 5 not being on the shelves of two of the largest mobile phone providers could serious hurt device sales moving forward. The Nexus 5 will be sold through Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS).

Conclusion and Analysis:

Google's Nexus 5 keeps up and beats the iPhone 5s in some areas of the game, although the iPhone 5s is still my favorite device that is available today. Owning an iPhone 5s (I do) offers the Apple ecosystem of its simple and easy to user interface that also packs iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud. Graphics performance and measurements are one concept, but user experience is another. The iPhone 5s' A7 chip does little to change the basic user interface (outside of great games), so the Nexus winning on a performance basis is subject to the user's experience. I value the user experience, simplistic and ease of use on the iPhone 5s as higher than the Nexus 5, the main reason why I purchased one.

Keep in mind that Android still makes up the largest portion of the smartphone market at 81.3% in this past quarter, while Apple declined to 13.4%.

For more product comparisons be sure to check out my other product based articles:

  1. iPad Mini Retina vs. iPad Air
  2. iPad Air Vs. 2014 Galazy Note Vs. Surface 2
  3. The iPhone 5s' Graphics Are Insane

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Always do your own research and contact a financial professional before executing any trades. This article is informational and in my own personal opinion.