Apple iPhone 3GS and HTC Nexus One: side by side

Apple iPhone 3GS and HTC Nexus One: side by side
HTC Nexus One Release Date - January 05, 2010
Apple iPhone 3GS Release Date - Jun 19, 2009

Two handsets compete with one another in attempting to overcome criticism all around to become arguably one of the best phones in the business right now. Apple’s iPhone 3GS still performs well in a market where it has seen its fair share of trials and tribulations. With a less than direct marketing approach, the HTC Nexus One has begun gearing up as the illustrious next dominant Android handset to give Apple a run for its money. Two handsets enter the arena; each seemingly carrying along their specific platforms along their shoulders – with both offering the highest level of performance to radiate among the crop of smartphones out there.


We’ve already gone extensively over the design of each handset – instead, we’ll focus on what concepts they introduce that ultimately become adopted on future phones. If you consider the Nexus One’s footprint as gigantic, then think back a couple years ago when the first generation iPhone was introduced into the market. Up until that point, you rarely saw any smartphones utilize a footprint that large; almost considered as being too big. Most people wouldn’t think anything special about the dimensions used by the Nexus One – it became all too normal nowadays to see handsets reach larger forms and not impact the minds of consumers. In the wake of other smartphones, the iPhone’s look has somewhat diminished over time – which is partly due to biases that it’s been a tried and true look for so long. What the Nexus One has an advantage over is just newer technology; the overall look can go both ways for people – either liking it or they don’t. Touch sensitive buttons undoubtedly replace the mechanical build of older handsets – still we see the implementation of physical buttons on the Nexus One. Both handsets exude a high level of workmanship thanks partly to their use of high quality materials. There’s no question that the iPhone’s build is still superior over the Nexus One – although it doesn’t boast the impressive long list of technological advances in hardware under the hood. Sure some will disagree that the iPhone still doesn’t have a removable battery, but it’s made apparent that Apple opts for simplicity in design as opposed to HTC’s concept of giving owners access to the Nexus One’s innards. 

Most people would argue that the Nexus One’s display is better than the one of the iPhone 3GS – yes, it does use an AMOLED display with better resolution (480 x 800), but the iPhone’s display (320 x 480) gives off a better feeling of durability. We’re still amazed to this day that the screen always looks brand new, without dirt or finger prints, as we take it out of our pockets – thanks to the olephobic coating. On the contrary, the bright and vivid display of the Nexus One clearly outshines the iPhone’s, but we’d question how well it would stand up against some extreme wear and tear over time. Newer technology clearly has its advantages by just looking at the Nexus One – its display is more detailed, brighter, and saturated.

Apple iPhone 3GS 360 Degrees View:

HTC Nexus One 360 Degrees View:



17. okrummbein

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

A colleague and I got permission to buy smart phones for work, and we decided to get one iPhone 3GS and one Nexus. I opted for the Nexus because I like open products where one can change the battery, SIM card, etc. Here is what we found in our direct comparison: 1) The screen of the Nexus has a better resolution and very lively colors. However, it is significantly less bright than the iPhone! Setting both phones to max brightness, the iPhone screen is legible even in bright sunlight in snow, while you can't see a thing on the Nexus under those conditions. We made the direct comparison. In fact, I took the Nexus skiing and tried to take a picture. All I could see on the screen (at max brightness) is the reflection of my own face on the screen. 2) I found the call quality of the Nexus very good while my colleague is less happy with the voice quality of the iPhone. We did not do an objective comparison, however. 3) The touch screen on the Nexus is almost as good as the one on the iPhone, except when you tap close to the margin of the Nexus. The touch buttons on the bottom row of the Nexus, however, are quite unresponsive. I often had to tap them 3 times, which I found quite irritating. 4) A lot of the features on the Nexus do not work initially. Then one has to investigate, change some setting somewhere and finally it usually works, but not always. For example: a) You need to open a gmail account. A google account with a non-gmail email address does not work. It took me a while to figure out why my Google account did not work and now I have several Google accounts and it is not obvious how to delete or merge them. b) Two POP email addresses worked fine, but when I connected to an IMAP email address, the phone displayed "downloading messages" for about 24 hours before I could use the email address. It then worked. The iphone was immediately functional with the same address. c) There is an option on the Nexus to import contacts from the SIM card. After claiming to have imported the contacts, they were not in the contact list and I had to read them with an old phone and transfer them to the gmail account and then sync them from there, which worked fine. d) When you put the Nexus phone on the dock (a cool gadget), it is supposed to provide weather info and connect to a stereo. However, both of these did not work initially. I found the switch for the music, but not for the weather. I am sure there is a simple solution. But again it takes time to find all this. e) Connecting the Nexus to an open WiFi network was easy, but I did not manage to connect to our secure WiFi at work because it never allowed me to get to the server login on the browser. This was easy with the iPhone. 5) I have been a t-mobile customer for 5 years and am really amazed how completely disorganized they are. The web site is terrible. For example, I have repeatedly tried to "send text message" logged in to the t-mobile account, but it never allowed me to, neither from work nor from home (maybe because it does not work for prepaids but does not say so). The only reason I stay with them is because they have very cheap prepaid options which are good if one needs lots of phones for family members who do not call a lot. Anyway, the automatic activation with the link from Google failed and I spent the usual hour with t-mobile support to get the phone activated. Two days later the Nexus still said that I was not subscribed to a data plan. I am sure that t-mobile would have fixed this (in another 2 hour phone session). The iPhone on the other hand was activated and worked in 10 minutes. After 3 days I had enough of the Nexus, and HTC took it back, which I very much appreciate. T-mobile also allowed me to cancel the plan without problem. However, I had to tell them my full social security number because they could not locate my phone number, and they said that they could not give me a reference number for the cancellation because they do not have reference numbers. Customer service was very friendly and cooperative. So, at least one doesn't take a risk buying the Nexus...

15. daja62

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 02, 2010

Am I missing something here in all these android comparisons against the iphone ? meaning one huge reason I switched to the android os /phone is the fact I can run multiple apps at once I run 4 apps at once most of the time and if I had to close each one and the open the other one aka iphone I would not use the phone data side anyways no where near as much . Once you have experinced running multiple apps all at the same time its like operating a pc versus what people will soon find about in thier new ipad one app at a time baby ! As far as the app stores go no question itunes is a clear winner (and should be since they have been building this for three years plus) But with 30,000 apps now available in the android store and many more being added weekly as well as most apps are being duplicated from the itunes store to android market sooner or later thats not going to be a issue . I run a gps app daily ,listen to streaming music and have a true weather map running all at the same time works fabulously try doing that with the iphone! For me this is huge some people it may not matter and thats fine then the iphone is your ticket but if you a variety of things running at the same time there is no other choice.

16. becazican unregistered

this is the first comment i agree on, yes the apple iphone was a great phone with a lousy network but its time has come and gone, i love my imac so i am a big apple supporter but they need to fix the battery on iphone , need to run more apps than one at a time , the call quality sucks on the iphone, apple needs to reinvent this phone and once again take over the lead spot, i am afraid google will trump apple this time.

14. Windsponge

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 01, 2009

I think this was a waste. I own a droid and I think the iphone interface is better looking .And There is no comparasion of app stores at least iphone apps dont mess your phone up. Nexus is not then phone they try to make it up to be...Google junk.If you find this offensive sorry but it is just my view.

13. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

ha ha ha ha not having a removable battery is "simplicity"? you guys really need to stop doing these reviews, it just grows more overwhelmingly apparent how pathetically bias these reviews are. you could prob just stop doing these and type WE HEART IPHONE acrossed your entire page. And people will "argue" Nexus has a better screen.... ummm yes higher resolution means BETTER. you guys are idiots i swear to god.

12. scorpio85

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 16, 2010

From reading this, it seems as if they are quietly saying the Nexus One won. BUT, everyone knows how phonearena is and they dont like to dis the iphone or apple in anyway. Which I can understand because like others said on here, there would be angry apple fanboys and this site could potentially lose onlookers to the site.

10. jeremymmoss

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 02, 2010

The I phone is old news, wait it isn't even news any more. Unless mac comes out with something that changes the way we look at the cell phone and PC market they are going to crash and burn, but with loads of cash for Mr. jobs to pocket at retirement. And what's up with the "I-Pad"? Mad TV had a spoof add for that years ago, it sounds like a feminine product. Dumbest product name ever, apple deserves any and all satire that the name sake receives. Come on apple step it up and show us something that we didn't see coming, and we all know that your MAC "geniuses" have the development skills to come up with something anything never seen before.

8. djmuzi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 12, 2009

Very bad Cameras.... from a high-end smartphone you can expect a good camera.. thats why I don't have an iPhone and why I have to stick with my oldfashioned Nokia N86

7. djmuzi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 12, 2009

Very bad Cameras.... from a high-end smartphone you can expect a good camera.. thats why I don't have an iPhone and why I have to stick with my oldfashioned Nokia N86

6. illallowit

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 10, 2009

"Although AT&T’s network may seem like a better candidate when it comes to coverage nationwide,..." At least until the Nexus is available on VZW...

9. Russki

Posts: 45; Member since: Dec 26, 2009

Yeah dude seriously? Im about to straight up * slap whoever wrote this review. This was obviously a biased article ( pro Iphone) At&t has a TERRIBLE network, and when the nexus one becomes available on Verizon there will be NO COMPARISON to who the clear winner in user exp will be. You CANT multi-itask on the ipoop err iphone, and heres the biggest difference. the big one... ready? here it comes... IPHONE DOES NOT HAVE FLASH ENABLED BROWSING. GG. apple fails

5. cnote678

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 26, 2009

Come on, guys. Make a decision.

3. SamTime

Posts: 253; Member since: Nov 07, 2009

"With Android seemingly always pushing the boundaries of hardware, the Nexus One ultimately packages everything required to exemplify its presentation thanks to the graphical prowess it exudes." I love Android but Android has had ONE phone so far that has pushed the boundaries of hardware: the Nexus One. Don't throw out hyperbole that isn't true. The Motorola DROID is a great phone with great hardware but I don't think it pushes the boundary at all. That TI OMAP 3430 has already been used in the Palm Pre which btw, is cocked 50mhz higher. Yes, I do realize that the Samsung Moment has an 800mhz processor and the Acer Liquid has a snapdragon downclocked to 700-800mhz (I can't remember exactly) or so, but do those phones really FEEL like they pushed the boundaries of hardware? Did they innovate in any way aside from the processor? I don't think so...

4. Jakewolford

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 26, 2010

I guess it's all just a matter of perspective. The Moment and Liquid aren't necessarily high-end devices in what we used to classify them. They are bringing the market down, using high end technology (WVGA, OLED, fast processors, capacitive multitouch) and yet are affordable. So no, the technology itself isn't new, but bringing it to the market is what's considered as "pushing the boundaries". I'm sure years ago they had a 1 GHz processor, but no one in the middle class could afford to put one into a phone; it wasn't realistic. Now we have an AMOLED Samsung phone that isn't even targeting the 'top' market. I would consider that to be pushing the boundaries of hardware. Again, all a matter of perspective.

2. Phullofphil

Posts: 1846; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

i was just gonna say that. I have said it before and it has still never changed. It was a waste of reading. I get better info just reading the review on each of them

1. Geezay

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 27, 2009

Seriously? When are you ever going to have the balls to actually call a winner on one of these showdowns of yours which seem to be getting pointless really? "Ultimately, consumers will look at the choices they are given with each device and choose among themselves blah blah blah..." Come on!

11. dustinjc

Posts: 5; Member since: May 17, 2009

Ok honestly shut up, if they said the iPhone won they would have a bunch of iPhone haters crying there eyes about about how the nexus one is better and if they said the Nexus was better they would have all the iPhone lovers crying about how the iPhone is better. Plus it's just opinion you ignorant ... They leave it to you to decide who the winner is.

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