Google Nexus 5 vs HTC One
Google uses an 8-megapixel optical image stabilized camera in an attempt to prove a Nexus phone can serve as a good camera, while HTC made a bold bet with a 4-megapixel camera with larger pixels.
Let's start with the camera experience. Firing up the camera app is definitely quicker on the HTC One whereas the Nexus 5 takes a bit more to start. Focusing and actually capturing an image is also a much speedier, almost instant process on the HTC One. The Nexus 5 in comparison has a particularly lazy auto-focus and the whole shooting process is slowed down by a tedious animation after the shot. All this adds up to make shot-to-shot time excruciatingly long on the Nexus 5.
The actual camera apps could not have been more different. The HTC One has large separate buttons for image still and video recording so you can start shooting right away, while the Nexus 5 only features a single button so if you’re in image still mode, you have to switch to video and only then shoot. We definitely prefer the One’s camera app in that regard as you won’t miss any opportunity to take a shot or capture a video. The HTC One also allows you to select 60fps recording (at 720p resolution) and slow motion videos, two things the Nexus 5 lacks. The HTC One also has more settings like ISO, face detection, a grid and others to manually adjust or enable, while the Nexus 5 lacks a lot of these finer settings in the stock camera app.
When it comes to the actual still image quality, we like the Nexus 5 much better. It’s not a perfect camera, but it does very well all around. The HTC One suffers from constant and thorough blue-ishness in images whereas the Nexus 5 has generally more natural colors and images on it look sharper, with lots of detail compared to the mediocre one on the One.
Indoors, the Nexus 5 handles itself better keeping noise in check and managing to get sharper images, while the HTC One struggles. The built in LED flash on the Nexus 5 lights up the scene much better, while the One's flash feels underpowered and cannot lighten even relatively close objects.
Both devices are also capable of shooting panoramas (the Nexus 5 can also shoot 360-degree shots) and the experience is relatively quick and hassle free. The panoramic images actually turn out better on the HTC One – although both are mediocre, the Nexus 5 has very low resolution and pale, washed out look.
There is a hugely important new setting in the Nexus 5 that improves the dynamic range. It’s HDR+. When you select it, the phone fires multiple shots and combines them into one. Usually HDR shooting is slow and often results in blurry/ghost images, but the Nexus 5 is a huge improvement as its HDR+ mode works quickly and shots are very good. Try it out - it’s so good you might leave HDR+ as the default shooting mode.
Both devices record video at up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Since the two handsets feature optical image stabilization the recordings turn out very stable. Both devices seem to fare a bit better in capturing video rather than stills. Still, both have trouble locking focus, even in well lit conditions. The Nexus 5 has the upper hand with warmer and more pleasing colors, as well as more details in video, but the HTC One stands out with very clean sound recording whereas the Nexus picks up wind noise and is not all that clean. At night, when light gets extremely low, the HTC One captures more light and records actually usable footage, while the Nexus 5 recordings are too dark.
1. Google Nexus 5 Sample Video
2. HTC One Sample Video
The HTC One features a 2-megapixel front facing whereas the Nexus 5 has a 1.3-megapixel front shooter. The HTC One is the more practical front shooter with a much wider field of view meaning that a lot more content ends up in the shot. At an arm’s length, the Nexus 5 will only capture your face and shoulders while the HTC One can easily fit more of you and your surroundings. The pure quality of the image is not great (it’s a low-res front camera after all) on both, but still better on the Nexus 5 that manages to keep noise in check and colors more or less accurate. The HTC One this time has the advantage of more fine detail, but images on it often turn a bit washed out.
Both come with a basic built-in media players that chew through most popular video formats with ease, except for Dis hardly any big downside - a quick trip to the Play Store and you can get a third-party app like the free MX Player that enables 1080p video playback for all common formats with no slowdown.
The Google Play Music app on the Nexus 5 now takes up your whole lockscreen with album art and is a pretty experience, but apart from that it is the same as on the One. We prefer listening to music on the HTC One, though. Its dual stereo speakers are powerful and very clean adding even some depth to sound and generally a notch above any other competing smartphone. There is a big difference between the tinny and quiet audio from the single speaker on the Nexus 5 and the loud and clear One. The HTC One also comes bundled with decent in-ear headphones, while the Nexus 5 does not include any headset in the box.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
HTC One 0.68
Google Nexus 5 0.36
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
HTC One 78
Google Nexus 5 71
1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9879; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Nexus 5 makes the the HTC One look bad in every single category (besides build quality).
2. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
htc one nearly 1 year old. I think this is normal...
3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 9879; Member since: 14 May 2012)
8 months old. Just a simple observation that's all.
6. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
Yes saying 1 year old is wrong because in 4 months something better than the s800 will be out.
24. chocolaking (Posts: 491; Member since: 22 May 2012)
PA says "the One features more natural, vivid colors. We'd say the Nexus 5 has a slight yellowish tint and looks very slightly washed out."
Then I saw the battery life and the audio output comparison graph.
Then PA says "Nexus, a device that is superior in almost every way"
What a brilliant comparison article and conclusion. [applaus...] :)
5. Synack (Posts: 673; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
The HTC One is surprisingly almost as good as the N5 for being 8 months old. Although the N5 price tag is nothing.
7. FiddyPence (Posts: 21; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
The conclusion doesnt match the comparison. The One won ,Build, Screen,Sound,Battery,Interface/Apps(Sense) and only lost benchmarks and camera which is debatable as the One is still king in low light and as Reviewer says f the lag on the N5 means you will probably miss photo's in real life use.
N5 is amazing for the price but not better than the One.
10. metalspy101 (Posts: 53; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)
you must be referring to marques brownlee review, where he points out the camera software lacking on camera speed/
30. niterain (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Oct 2014)
Yeah, I had to read the conclusion second time. Perhaps the price tag was a deciding factor. It rarely matters when making the decision to purchase a phone. Still loving my HTC.
13. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 382; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)
What about speakers. display, photography in low light, IR, larger storage, wide front facing camera and battery?
HTC One may not have all the bells and whistles of Snapdragon 800 and KitKat (for 30 days only btw which isn't a long time if they succeed), but, for my usage, it is a much better fit than the Nexus 5. HTC did a really good job here and all I hope for their next flagship is that they focus a lot more on the camera.
16. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
sorry look bad in which part do u mean?
in mainly part one beats nexus 5.
-build quality and designe
-bit better screen
-far better in sound / speaker and call quality
-better night shot camera and video recording
maybe u make a mistake about names of both phone;-)
before that one porchased the best phone 2013 in to many site liketeck-radar / pocket-lint / pcadvisor / t3 gadget award / phonedog and .....
23. Eclectech (Posts: 119; Member since: 01 May 2013)
Did you read the article? The HTC One edged the Nexus 5 out in a few of those categories (e.g. - battery life, display, build quality)
4. medicci37 (Posts: 1126; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)
Well I'm sticking with my HTC 1. First Android phone I had that I didn't want 2 throw in the trash
8. generalAladeen06 (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
I think Nexus 5 is the best for its price tag ! but I prefer an aluminium build with better battery and multimedia experiece plus I think htc sense looks more clean than the stock UI , but that is just my opinion . Besides , Htc one still still one of the best phones out there . Can't wait for the 4.4 update .
11. metalspy101 (Posts: 53; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)
google needs a premium phone with all the bells and whistles..
12. flynfree (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Jun 2013)
To know that my HTC One have fm radio, 32 gig of internal memory, front stereo speakers....I'm good with it! Gnote 3 is next in line.
17. .KRATOS. (Posts: 203; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)
Could you jst stop aiming at the cheap price of the nexus 5 cz its jst cheap on some specific countries not all, it'll cast more than 600$ in my country n many countries too.
18. gallitoking (Posts: 4704; Member since: 17 May 2011)
as much as I am a fan of pure Android I go with HTC here.. looks kill and HTC is One georgeous device... and goes better with my personality... put a bigger battery and is a coin flip on my iphone
19. szaboagoston (Posts: 41; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)
Well, I haven't tried the N5 yet, but the HTC One is a great phone. Here in Denmark it has been running Android 4.3 for weeks, and 4.4. was promised within a month, if I remember correctly. Then we have the price: here the N5 will be around 4000 crowns, and the One is 4200, so no big difference there. The Ones build is absolutely stunning compared to the N5, and I'm not convinced that the camera is not better. If you take boomsound and the same battery capacity into consideration, I really don't think the N5 wins. Not mentioning that you can convert the HTC One into a google play edition (if you like hacking a little) and get the 4.4. update quick. The only thing clearly in favor of the N5 is the Snapdragon 800, but just 8 months ago everyone was praising the 600 the same way.
21. Professor (Posts: 200; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)
I stop reading when I read " in terms of actual usable screen space, we’d say the two are nearly the same."
Victor H. must be blind, drunk, or in something. Maybe if he looks at a video in both phones at the same time and compares them he can see the difference in screen size...
22. DimitriTech (unregistered)
where can i get the wallpaper on the this htc one for my nexus 5?
25. urbanism (Posts: 15; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)
the conclusion you've come to is baffling. is it impossible for you here at phonearena to acknowledge that slightly older phones aren't always considered inferior? You yourself gave the One a considerable number of advantages, yet in the end it's not good enough because it's been out less than a year? I implore you to stop pandering to fanboys and actually give a fair comparison for once.
27. mqmorasch (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Nov 2013)
The conclusion and the actual review never met in the arena. This is the first review I have read that said the Nexus 5 call quality was anything other than muffled and hissing on speaker. The conclusion dealt with comparing the Nexus 5 improvements over the Nexus 4 and not the HTC One. This was poorly written and executed as a true head to head to the two phones on display in the article. Realistically the people that care about the ROM will be rooting and adding custom ROMs anyway and the CPU speed difference will only be noticeable to someone gaming on the device. The Nexus 5 right now is only beating the iPhone and Nexus 4(other than price point for everyone else).
28. mqmorasch (Posts: 12; Member since: 18 Nov 2013)
Two best phones for this holiday season are the LG G2 and still HTC One, both also have amazing carrier pricing going on. Sammy is having upgrade issues thanks to their bloatware and fat memory hogging touch wiz, along with a higher PP.
29. jeromed (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Nov 2013)
i love my htc one looks great ,£200 more to buy than the nexus 5 .
please don't put build quality down when describing the one as they are p_ss poorly put together even by htc own admission they have had big problems ,now i love the phone screen the beautifully milled body the lovely drilled top and bottom speaker grills but no quality control on these phones its a crap shoot if you get a good one.
ee have replaced 4 for me now and still waiting to get one were the screen does not sit higher than the speaker grills or visa versa ,the holes on one looked loike they had been cut out with a craft knife all of these phones have been inspected by ee and they have agreed manufacturing faults with every one.
this is my fifth htc phone (desire,sensation,wildfire for the little lady)never ever had probs before hope i get a good one.
the photos do have a purple ting and very grainy if you try to enlarge power but is fiddley so is volume button the screen and sound quality are just awsome i like the blink feed and love the camera apps zoe ,hdr and slow mo loads of settings plus google now getting so much better.
dont put build quality down as a plus put materials used are