My Experience with the Nexus 4 and iPhone 5

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by WindWaker, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. WindWaker, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

    WindWaker macrumors regular

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    #1
    After getting my Nexus 4 a few days ago, I've decided to post my experience to inform any people out there wavering between Android and iOS, the iPhone and Nexus 4, etc.

    Design

    Nexus 4: 8.5/10
    The Nexus 4's design is stunning-- the back of the phone's pattern is very nice in my opinion, and not as flashy as many think in the renders. The silver buttons complement the black design quite nicely, and the port layouts are practical. It has a little heft to it, but is by no means bulky. It sits in the hand very well, especially with the glass curved back at the left and right ends of the phone. The only fault is the glass back-- it's fragile, and cracks, from what I've read, quite easily. No issues yet, but an issue that some will have faults with.

    iPhone 5: 9/10
    While the Nexus 4 has a fantastic design, the iPhone has a slight edge, especially with the lack of a totally glass back. The design is very elegant and feels a bit more premium. That said, I find the iPhone 5 less nice to hold in the hand, simply because of the more rectangular design (again, a personal preference). In addition, there have been many scuffing issues reported with the phone; however, I've yet to experience this problem.

    Verdict
    The iPhone 5 barely etches out the Nexus 4 in design, due to its very nice appearance, as well as back which is less problematic with falls/ drops.

    Performance

    Nexus 4: 10/10
    The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor powering the Nexus 4 is quite the powerhouse. It easily allowed me to switch between apps efficiently, and without lag. The general OS is without lag, thanks to the efficient 2GB of RAM, as well as the four cores which keep Android 4.2 snappy. Project Butter, introduced in Android 4.1, makes Jelly Bean quite the smooth experience, and lag is hard to come by, even with homescreens loaded up with widgets.

    iPhone 5: 10/10
    Although the new iPhone only has 2 cores, it is arguably the most efficient dual core processor available in a smartphone. The A6 processor has never lagged, and iOS is smoother than ever. There really isn't anything else to say here: the phone is speedy.

    Verdict
    This one is clearly a tie. Both the Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 keep up with all tasks I can throw at them: be it gaming, web browsing, etc.

    Cellular

    Nexus 4: 7/10
    The Achilles' Heel of the Nexus 4 is obvious: an alarming lack of 4G LTE has marginalized many users from adopting the phone. Even with the lack of LTE, however, the Nexus 4 is pretty fast on HSPA+, although not at the speed of LTE on the iPhone 5. Consumers in countries other than the US, however, will have no problems with this, given a lack of LTE in many countries. Even in the US, the Nexus 4 isn't too much of a slouch. In addition, the phone is a phone that can connect to many, many global networks, so long as the network is GSM.

    iPhone 5: 10/10
    Ever since the 4S, the iPhone has been a world phone. It can connect to both CDMA, as well as GSM networks, and is quite fast. LTE is super fast, and is especially evident in web browsing. There are no downsides to the iPhone 5's networking capabilities, and it is quite impressive how fast Apple managed to make LTE.

    Verdict
    The iPhone 5 is a clear winner in this category. The Nexus 4 does have issues with LTE, but still manages to keep up, to an extent. The iPhone is the clear victor.

    Display

    Nexus 4: 9/10
    The Nexus 4's display is great. It's a HUGE step up from the Galaxy Nexus, and is quite the sight to behold. The phone features a 1280x768 pixel screen, and it's also significantly larger than the iPhone 5's-- 4.7" vs. 4.0". The only reason it gets a 9 is simply due to the incoming 1080p phones, whose screens are nothing short of amazing. However, for all intents and purposes, the Nexus 4's screen is fantastic.

    iPhone 5: 7/10
    The iPhone 5 marks Apple's departure from a 3.5" screen, up to 4. While many find this to be a great screen size, I (again, personally) find it too small to be used for web browsing, as well as other tasks such as watching videos. The iPhone 5's screen is clear and crisp, and I found color saturation to be a tad more realistic on the 5, again a personal preference.

    Verdict
    I found the Nexus 4's screen to be better than the 5's, due to more screen real estate. The Nexus 4's screen also puts that extra room to better use: widgets, shortcuts, etc, while the iPhone 5 adds another row of icons to the homescreen. Again, a personal preference.

    Operating System and Software

    Nexus 4: 10/10
    Jelly Bean 4.2 is a relatively minor step forward for Android, but polishes an already top-of-the-line mobile OS. The Nexus 4 features a keyboard in which one can swipe a finger to type, Photo Sphere, 360 degree Streetview-esque panoramas, Google Now improvements, etc. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brought many improvements to Android prior, such as a fantastic new user interface, as well as a number of other great features. Widgets, and customizability as a whole, are evident throughout the OS. In addition, apps are also more abundant in the Google Play Store, and a rivaling that of Apple's App Store. Altogether I could write a paper on how great Android is, and it is even more apparent on the Nexus 4, given its stock experience-- the way Google intended. Efficiency is abundant on the OS. In addition, Google Maps are, at this point, better than Apple's, something that many might find to be essential in their next phone. Although this isn't technically a software feature, NFC is also part of the Nexus 4, which allows for quick and easy file transfer, something absent on the iPhone 5. Android also offers a native file system, which means storing and altering files is significantly easier for certain tasks.

    iPhone 5: 7/10
    Many users have become increasingly "bored" with iOS. I too felt this way, but at the end of the day, iOS is incredibly fast, fluid, and gets things done quickly. However, in my daily tests, simply things such as turning off bluetooth or wifi are done more quickly and easily on Android, especially with Quick Settings in 4.2. Furthermore, more frequent goals are accomplished, such as checking email, calendar, etc, through widgets, something Apple has yet to adopt, with the exception of a couple in Notification Center. Speaking of notifications, overall, Android has a more intuitive way of doing things with expandable widgets and modifications that can be made to it. iOS 6 brought do not disturb, Apple Maps, and Siri improvements, among other things. Overall, however, this was a rather small upgrade, especially given Apple's yearly cycle. Those who do not wish to "mess" with a phone to get it to be very efficient will prefer iOS, and those who want to put in greater input to hopefully receive better output will prefer Android.

    Verdict
    For me, the Nexus 4 was a clear victor in software; however, many will disagree with me. It all depends on the user, and this is just my experience.

    Camera

    Nexus 4: 8/10
    The camera on the Nexus 4 is pretty good. The overall photo quality is high, although they aren't as good as the iPhone. I won't get into the details too much, other than that. That said, the Nexus 4 offers Photo Sphere, as well as very intuitive Camera interface, which some users may find desirable. I personally like Photo Sphere, and love the UI, although some won't.

    iPhone 5: 10/10
    The iPhone 5's pictures are fantastic. Again, I won't go into the nitty-gritty of cameras, as it is something that I truthfully don't know a lot about. While the iPhone has fantastic photos, it still lacks customizable features, which is remedied by third party camera applications. There really isn't a low point in the iPhone 5's camera, other than a UI which isn't as good as 4.2's.

    Verdict
    The iPhone 5 wins this one, somewhat handily. The 5's camera is unmatched by most phones on the market.

    Overall
    Nexus 4: 8.75/10
    iPhone 5: 8.83/10


    Based on those results, it's pretty clear that these two devices are neck and neck. However, for the tests that matter the absolute most to me, the Nexus wins. The screen size and OS break it for me, but either way you can't go wrong. They're both top of the line phones. Another consideration that can be taken into account is the price. The unlocked Nexus 4 goes for $299 for an 8gb model, and $349 for a 16gb model. iPhone 5 counterparts are significantly more expensive. (thanks, flopticalcube!)

    Again, these were my personal opinions on the device, and I know many of you will feel differently.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    LTE is available on the Nexus 4 via a hack. Oh yeah, and... price?
     
  3. WindWaker thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I saw that, but it still doesn't work for AT&T, and many other LTE networks, yet. Different bands of LTE. In addition I've read that it isn't as fast as other enabled LTE devices out there.
     
  4. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The Nexus 4 doe's not have the required hardware to run LTE at high speed even if you are lucky and your provider is on the frequency the N4 supports.
     
  5. WindWaker thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    I'll add that in.
     
  6. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #6
    Am I the only one that still thinks the iPhone 5 is ... not ugly per se, but not that nice looking?

    The front is what it is, the sides are the best thing and quite nice especially the chamfered edges, but the back is unpleasing to my eyes and tastes. I've seen and used both in person too. I think depending on the lighting, the black one looks okay in the back, but the white back never quite works for me...

    : shrug :

    [​IMG]
     
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #7
    So true. My girlfriends' friend needs a new phone to replace her iPhone 4. My girlfriend (who has the 4s) told her not to bother with the 5, as the 4s is "fast enough" and there's no reason to spend a few hundred when the 4s will do.

    IMO (and sorry for getting off topic) Apple's backed themselves into a corner with the iPhone/iOS where it's "good enough" and there's no reason for a consumer to purchase a new model when last years is "good enough".
     
  8. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I think Apple under stand that, but they also think that if they change things too much they will **** off their customers.
     
  9. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #9
    As an Ex iPhone user, I am completely fine with their S upgrades because I know my phone gets fully supported with new software, and since the days of the 3G/S, and 4/S it's just expected. However when the complete "redesign" is really just a longer 4/S you're going to either see people like myself switch, or see people hold off on their upgrade.
     
  10. onthecouchagain, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

    onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #10
    "Fully supported" isn't necessarily true. The 4 didn't get Siri. 4S isn't getting navigation. Correction: I meant iPhone 4 doesn't get Siri and turn by turn.


    100% agree.

    What's amazing is in their video, Ive talks about how they redesigned it from the ground up or something along the lines of going back to the drawing board. When I heard that during the keynote and during the video, I was like wut?
     
  11. YaBoiD macrumors regular

    YaBoiD

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    #11
    The 4S did get voice guided navigation via iOS 6.0 update.
     
  12. walie macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I beg to differ, the Nexus 4 is FLYING on LTE up here in Canada

    http://www.howardforums.com/content.php/1154-LTE-on-my-Google-Nexus-4-66Mbps-video
     
  13. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #13
    Right. My mistake. iPhone 4 doesn't get it. I corrected my post. Thanks.
     
  14. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

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    #14
  15. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #15
    Maybe not 100% of the features, but most of them. I just wish Apple would take chances again, and do things radically different that got them to where they are now. Upgrades from the iPad 1-2 were radical. Upgrades from 3GS-4 were radical. The upgrade from the 4S-5 was conservative.
     
  16. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #16
    Overall a good review, although I feel you placed too much merit in the LTE. Three points just for lack of LTE? Dang. I'd have done one, maybe two MAX.

    I wish you did a price point comparison. Opinions there would be interesting, because while the iPhone is much more expensive off contract, there are cheaper with contract options. The Nexus 4 is simply an off contract device but quite impressive. It's a premium device that can even be used on pay as you go network for a non-premium price.
     
  17. cnguyen0320 macrumors regular

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    #17
    I know a lot of people don't want to admit it but it's Steve Jobs. He was the guy that made sure everything was perfect. You can't release a new product... that isn't new. The "new" devices from Apple feature very little new things. They were all catch-up ideas and overall a disappointment. All that said, I do enjoy the increase in asthetics and build quality from the 4 to the 5.

    Back to the thread topic. Thanks very much for the comparison. I've been scrambling like mad to find comparisons between the N4 and i5. I'm hoping to maybe give my i5 to my dad and get the N4 if he successfully sells his phone.
     
  18. Faux Carnival macrumors 6502a

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  19. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #19
    It's one thing I don't want to admit, but you are more than likely right about Steve Jobs. I've been using Apple products for at least 10 years, and would like to hope they can continue to make great products on there own without Steve Jobs. He was simply the best, hands down.
     
  20. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #20
    I have a serious question regarding NFC. I see a lot of people tote this and rub in it that the iPhone does not have this feature. Personally I know zero people that use it IRL. Do any of you guys use it? Do you ever think it will go anywhere?
     
  21. daveathall macrumors 68000

    daveathall

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    #21
    I used it for a bit, I had a sticker (NFC Tag) in the car that when I touched it with my phone it turned bluetooth on and wifi off, when I reached my office I had a sticker on my desk that turned blue tooth off and wifi on. The sticker in the car lost its, erm, stickiness and fell off. It was a nice system and I would probably still be using it if the sticker was still in place. Apparently it is not used extensively in the USA for payments etc, but in the rest of the world it is catching on.

    Back on topic;

    I like the review and agree mostly, I picked a S3 over an iPhone 5 and are now deciding which to choose between the N4 and S3, it is proving a much more difficult decision than the one I took between the SGS3 and iP5.
     
  22. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #22
    Great read OP. Android and iOS users alike have two strong options at the upper end of the scale. :cool:

    Can't go wrong with either IMO.

    I've used it to pass on a Google Maps Navigation destination from my Galaxy Nexus to her Galaxy S III when we were both driving somewhere. It was far easier than telling her to search for the destination or emailing it to her but is in no way a dealbreaker really.

    I can see it being handy to have when syncing to wireless speakers in future though (tap and stream). Hardly a must have feature for me though.
     
  23. ChrisTX macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    #23
    I think part of the reason why NFC hasn't caught on is because there is no real standard. Google has "Google Wallet" but here in the states carriers won't embrace it but instead are trying to roll out ISIS which is just sad, because it looks like they're just doing so in order to get a cut from all NFC transactions.

    I applaud Apple, and Steve Jobs for taking a "Hands Off" approach in the beginning with the iPhone. No one has an ounce of input with the iPhone outside of Apple, and that's the way it should be. My experience with the S3 has been pleasant, but having the carrier(in my case AT&T) as a middle man to updates is a bit frustrating.
     
  24. THE JUICEMAN macrumors 68000

    THE JUICEMAN

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    #24
    Great review. Very fair. Glad you found the one that was right for you. I picked the nexus as well after much debate between several phones. :)
     
  25. cnguyen0320 macrumors regular

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    #25
    I don't have it but I know that I wouldn't use it much with my friends. I would use it a lot with my family for like showing them a news article, showing them a good app, sending them a pic/vid. I like the idea but I wouldn't nearly be using it that much for it to be my deciding factor. The samsung ads that boast the S-beam capability are cool but theyre featuring a feature that very little would actually use.
     

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