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Google Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5 - Camera, Battery Life and Connectivity


Google Nexus 4 – 8-megapixel main camera, 1.3-megapixel front

iPhone 5 – 8-megapixel main camera, 1.2-megapixel front

If you were to simply look at the numbers, you might conclude that the Google Nexus 4 has the edge on the iPhone 5’s camera, with a slightly higher-resolution secondary sensor. However, in real-life usage, the conclusion is quite different. Google Nexus 4 pics 8

The iPhone 5 on top of the iPhone 4S

There’s more noise in the Google Nexus 4’s snaps, low light performance is much worse and ease of use isn’t quite as good – the iPhone 5 snapper performs better all-round. Its only close rivals in its field come from Samsung, with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3, and Nokia’s 920 – which offers excellent low-light performance for a smartphone.Google Nexus 4 pics 6

However, before you rule-out the Google Nexus 4 altogether, we should stress that the phone is perfectly good for all sorts of casual photography. It’s just not quite up there with the best phone cameras in the world.

iPhone 5 vs Google Nexus 4 1


Google Nexus 4 – microUSB socket

iPhone 5 – Lightning port

The iPhone 5 was among the first devices to use the Lightning port. This is a new Apple proprietary connector that takes over from the 30-pin socket that was used in iPods, iPads and iPhones for what feels like forever. It’s a much smaller, neater design that doesn’t trade in any functionality potential to lose those pins – the Lightning port has eight discrete pins.

Google Nexus 4 pics 2

Changing to the new standard is a pain for many though. Those who own lots of previous Apple devices will be saddened that their stash of old charge cables is more-or-less useless, and those who own expensive audio docks won’t be pleased either. Apple has produced a sort-of solution to the problem, though. You can get a 30-pin to Lightning port adapter for £25, and it’ll work with the majority of audio and charging docks. It doesn’t transmit video, however.

Google Nexus 4 pics 1

Here's the Apple 30-pin adapter

The Google Nexus 4 takes a plain and sensible path, using an industry-standard microUSB port. This is used to charge the battery, transfer files to the internal memory.

It uses the SlimPort standard, which can transmit HD video to a telly with the right adapter. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s because the Google Nexus 4 is one of the first devices to use SlimPort. A SlimPort-to-HDMI adapter costs around £25.

iPhone 5 vs Google Nexus 4 2


Google Nexus 4 -8GB or 16GB non-expandable

iPhone 5 – 16GB, 32GB or 64GB non-expandable

Both these phones fail to offer expandable memory. Once upon a time, almost every Android phone offered a microSD slot, but not so any more. You can get a 8GB model of the Google Nexus 4 for £239 or a 16GB edition for £279. That’s your lot.

The iPhone 5 has a higher storage ceiling, but the jump in price for the extra storage is quite daunting. A 16GB iPhone 5 costs £529, a 32GB £599 and the top-dog 64GB model is £699.

If money is no object, the iPhone 5 is the clear winner. But if you think 16GB will do you then the Google Nexus 4 wins.

If you simply have to have as much storage as possible, though, then the LG Optimus 4X HD, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note are among the best options given their 16GB built-in storage and microSD slots (that's up to 80GB total).

iPhone 5 vs Google Nexus 4

Battery Life

Google Nexus 4 – 2100mAh battery

iPhone 5 – 1440mAh battery

Another case of the figures not quite telling the full story, the Google Nexus 4’s battery is technically much larger than the iPhone 5’s – 2100mAh over 1440mAh – but performance does not blast the iPhone 5 into submission.

Google Nexus 4 pics

For an Android phone, battery stamina of the Google Nexus 4 is very good, but as power management in Android is much less effective than it is in iOS, the difference in capacity doesn’t result in mammoth improvements. This is in part down to the screen too – powering a 4.7-inch screen requires more power than a 4-inch one.

With 3G enabled, you’ll have to charge both phones once within two days, presuming mid-level use throughout the day.

iPhone 5 vs Google Nexus 4


Google Nexus 4 – From £239 SIM-free, more from non-Google stores

iPhone 5 – from £529 SIM-free

Buying an iPhone 5 is a relatively level playing field. Wherever you go, you’re going to have to pay a large wedge of cash, either in a lump sum or over the course of a couple of years on contract. Without resulting to crime, there’s no way to get an iPhone 5 on the cheap.

The Google Nexus 4 is a different story. Buy the phone direct from Google and you can snag it for £239 (16GB edition). For a top-spec Android phone, that’s an absolute bargain. However, at the time of writing stock from the Google Play devices store is scarcer than herds of unicorns.

You can get a Google Nexus 4 from elsewhere, but it’ll cost you a lot more money. O2 currently sells the device for £400 on a pre-pay deal, or you can get it for free on contracts from £36 a month. That’s a far less attractive proposition.

Get a Google Nexus 4 from Google direct and it’s much better value than an iPhone 5. Buy one from elsewhere and it’s not. The solution – don’t get a Google Nexus 4 from anywhere but Google. Until prices come down, anyway.

iPhone 5 vs Google Nexus 4 2


The Google Nexus 4 is an excellent device. It’s a top-end phone that can be bought for mid-range money if you’re lucky enough to snag one from the Google Play store. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re getting more than an iPhone 5 for half the price. The camera, build and graphical power of the latest iPhone are greater.

If you remotely care about how much money you spend, though, and are willing to wait to grab a phone from the Google Play device, it makes an excellent lower-cost alternative to the iPhone 5. However, we recommend giving Android a test drive beforehand if you’re not used to Google’s mobile OS.


December 13, 2012, 2:28 pm

Clearly Android will be the winner in the long run...


December 13, 2012, 3:10 pm

If you want a phone now, order the iPhone 5. If you want to wait an undetermined amount of time like I am, get the Nexus 4. On a side note you listed the Nexus 4 storage options as being 16/32GB when in actual fact the only options are 8/16GB. I think the iPhone wins that one.

Simon Heather

December 13, 2012, 6:38 pm

Factual error - there is no 32GB model (yet)!

"You can get a 16GB model of the Google Nexus 4 for £239 or a 32GB edition for £279."


December 13, 2012, 9:53 pm

There is no 32gb Nexus 4, the 8gb model is £239 and the 16gb £279

Alejandro Gama

December 15, 2012, 3:46 am

You get 50gb in BOX for free with the Nexus 4 and also you can upload your entire music library (up to 25000 songs) to google's cloud for free. So, bad comparison.

Also, my gf ordered her nexus 4 3 days ago and got it yesterday.


December 15, 2012, 12:17 pm

I don't think that you can compare cloud and physical storage. Sure, it's nice to have but it doesn't offer the same flexibility. Do you live in the UK? From what I've heard the only place that late orders are dispatching before early ones is in the US.


December 18, 2012, 11:22 am

Never underestimate the power of Apple. The long run might be longer than you think.


December 19, 2012, 1:14 pm

Clearly Apple brings innovation, but this looks so similar of what happened when Windows became the most popular OS due to the IBM PC clones...Apple brought innovation (although copying major concepts previously from Xerox) but then was copied by Microsoft who could grew massively!


December 19, 2012, 1:24 pm

Thanks for pointing our the error guys. I'll correct it now. Apologies for the delayed response. We're still getting used to our non-moderated comments system.


December 20, 2012, 8:27 pm

Apple don't innovate per se, they perfect innovations that have failed in the consumer sphere because of a focus on function rather than usability and design. They learned their lesson with the failure of the Newton and now consistently create exceptionally crafted hardware with excellent usability (I say hardware - Apple Maps anyone?).

I like value though and find it hard to justify the extra cost particularly with the Nexus 7 as compare to the iPad mini.


December 21, 2012, 7:06 pm

To say the iPhone wins in design is quite oppinion based. I find the Nexus 4 to look and feel better than any iPhones I have ever held. Also to say benchmarks are what really decides power is about as accurate as reading specs on paper. The Nexus 4 runs without any lag ever really. I can't say the same for the Note II GS III and all the other high end Android devices. I'ts also cheaper by a ton


December 29, 2012, 3:10 pm

If Android wins in the long run Google will become Microsoft and be perceived negatively, the same as Fandroids perceive Apple now.

For those who want a stable workhorse buy an iPhone, for those who want to customise and fiddle endlessly (and some would say needlessly) buy an Android phone.


December 30, 2012, 9:07 pm

iphone 5 ftw


February 7, 2013, 5:51 pm

This is such an interesting discussion. I have had Apple iphones since the beginning, and I have an iPhone 5 which is a great phone. I bought the Google Nexus out of curiosity, and find as with the authors that both are great products, and it just boils down to which one you like. I am inclined right now toward the Nexus because of the larger fonts that are available for mail and web browsing, but the iphone is a great product as well. Amazing that the Nexus is able to compete at about half the price though.


March 21, 2013, 5:44 pm

I have doubts... Apple became a BIG FAT ELEFANT... moving too slow...
As an Apple executive said: Google is getting better at things they were not good at faster than Apple is getting better at things they should improve.

Scott clements

April 4, 2013, 11:25 pm

mine took one day to arrive


June 23, 2013, 1:34 pm

The iPhone is made of more premium and slightly better engineering. Nexus 4 is a good quality top of the line Android OS mobile phone with unbeatable price. The Nexus 4 is the mobile phone with the best software optimisation of any Android phone. No other Android phone runs as smoothly and fast as the Nexus 4. The decision to which is the best phone comes down which OS the user prefers. Currently Android is a little more buggy and lacks slightly software optimisation then the iPhone. Android is by far more open then iOS, but this also make it more vulnerable to malware exploitation and privacy issues. iOS stock and third party apps in general tend to be better engineered with better features and quality then Android apps (with some exceptions, e.g. Google+ or Google Now). Third party iOS apps are in most cases cheaper then Android ones. iOS is more secure and better optimised and more stable then Android. Currently Android is much more customisable then iOS. iOS has a bigger number of third party apps on the App Store then Google Play store, but not by a gigantic difference though. So far Android has been receiving major and minor regular OS updates then iOS. Android changed quite a bit especially its UI over the last few years. Easy access to settings and some other productive features have been introduced to Android. Meanwhile, ever since it was created iOS changed very little or close to zero, especially its UI. Off course this is about to change when the new refreshing iOS UI and new features appears later in the year (2013). Some people like the black background prevalent all over the Android UI especially the Settings app, while others prefer the lighter and 'cleaner' tones on iOS UI. Ultimately the decision to which phone you should buy comes down to the OS, to taste.


October 14, 2013, 8:35 pm

Samsung Hardware is very bad .... Colour gets faint on sides ... im using S3 and this is happning wth me!!
Go for iphone 5 or wait for nexus 5

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