Google Nexus 4 vs Apple iPhone 5

In the smartphone universe, Google’s Nexus device is widely argued as the premier handset for the entire platform – especially more when it’s running the vanilla Android experience. And normally, it’s usually quite often that it’s pitted against the very best from Apple’s camp, which as we all know, should be none other than the latest model of the iPhone. Soaking that all in, we’re seeking to find out exactly how the Google Nexus 4 and Apple iPhone 5 stack up against one another. Going into this crucial holiday period, there’s no arguing that the two are highly sought commodities at the moment, but as with all comparisons, we’ll put our two cents after we compare how they perform in all categories.


Even from a cursory glance, we still can’t help be attracted to the iPhone 5’s iconic design and its premium construction. Not only is it lighter and thinner than its rival, but it’s also easier to hold in the hand because of its more form fitting size. And with its premium choice of materials, like its brushed aluminum casing and chamfered beveled trim, it adds a solid sense of sturdiness to its overall construction. Well, there are still some attractive elements with the Nexus 4, like its glass surfaces and the neat optical illusion design of its rear, but as a whole, its appearance from the front seems all too conventional. In addition, it’s super slippery and prone to such unwanted distractions like smudges and fingerprints.

Although the physical buttons around the trim of both handsets are springy in response, our fingers are better able to distinguish the iPhone 5’s set – mainly because they’re raised more. As for some of the common items the two share around their edges, they include the 3.5mm headset jack, standard mic, and noise-cancellation microphone.

Obviously, it’s nice to find the Nexus 4 opting to employ a microUSB port for charging/data connectivity – whereas the iPhone 5 relies on Apple’s new proprietary Lightning docking port. Sure, it’s just a pain trying to get video-out functionality with Nexus 4, as its SlimPort socket requires an optional adapter, but it’s nice that a wired connection is available for it. Conversely, there’s no wired option available for the iPhone 5 yet, and instead, the only way is to go the wireless route via AirPlay.

Snapping self-portraits is an easy task with both smartphones, as the Nexus 4 sports a higher 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, versus the 1.2-megapixel one on the iPhone 5 – with both having the ability to shoot video in 720p. In the rear, however, they’re both featuring 8-megapixel auto-focus cameras with LED flashes – while being able to shoot video in good ol’ 1080p. However, it’s worth mentioning that Apple’s beauty is packing an f2.4 lens and backside illuminated sensor.


Considering these high-end smartphones we’re dealing with, it’s only natural to see them being accompanied with stunning displays. On the Nexus 4, it’s donning a larger 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with WXGA 768 x 1280 resolution, which produces a high pixel density of 318 ppi. In contrast, the iPhone 5 packs a smaller 4-inch Retina Display, which is mighty large for an iPhone of course, but equally so, its 640 x 1136 resolution manages to inch out a higher pixel density of 326 ppi. Certainly, it’s the iPhone 5 getting the mark on paper for delivering the better numbers, but in practical usage, there isn’t a drastic difference between the sharpness of both – as our eyes take a liking to their detailed looks from a normal viewing distance.

Meanwhile, they share some other similar qualities, as their IPS LCD based displays deliver warmer color tones that light up our eyes with their vibrancy, strong brightness output, and superb outdoor visibility. However, we notice that viewing angles are better on the iPhone 5 at extreme angles – since there’s some noticeable distortion on the Nexus 4. Hardly a recognizable thing at the beginning, we notice that the Nexus 4 ‘s touch sensitivity isn’t as good as its rival, seeing that it requires firmer presses for it to register.

Google Nexus 4 360-degrees View:

Apple iPhone 5 360-degrees View:



1. AmitMajumder

Posts: 178; Member since: May 21, 2012

Nexus 4 won? How is that possible? :P

4. Kuherrn

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

Why are you suprised??? A better, all-rounded phone definitely wins... and that phone is the Nexus 4.

7. MeoCao unregistered

I'm very impressed with iP5 camera, they managed to make one of the top camera and still kept the phone very thin. Other than the camera, it's Nexus 4 all the way.

13. wendygarett unregistered

I'm very impress that you don't mention about the purple tint on the iPhone 5 camera... Thank you :) +1

21. MeoCao unregistered

LOL, I wanted to talk about that, but unfortunately N4 has it too. :((

48. nwright94 unregistered

Pretty much any digital camera has the chance of getting a purple flare, I even get it sometimes on my dslr.

56. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Lens flare is not a function of a digital camera. Even film cameras suffered from lens flare. There is a reason that lens hoods are sold for lenses. What I am wondering is why the iP5 has lens flare while the 4S does not (at least nowhere near what the iP5 has).

57. nwright94 unregistered

Could be the sapphire lens, since sapphire is blue it will turn glare purple easier. My iP4 had lens flare a good bit, I actually don't get much of it on my 5 unless I'm really trying. My atrix even got the flare to a point.

58. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I finally got lens flare. I had to point the damn thing directly at the sun on a cloud free day to get some purple to show up. Anything other than that and its non existent. here... isnt it a perty day out.. this was thanksgiving day btw, heres that DSLR fire effect I mentioned a few days ago since im in my G+ [img] [/img]

60. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"I had to point the damn thing directly at the sun on a cloud free day to get some purple to show up." In such conditions it is normal. In iPhone 5 case you don't have to search for special conditions to get Purple Halo.

61. nwright94 unregistered

I have to search too. It's not as prevalent as other android fanatics would have you believe. I rarely get it, even in super sunny conditions. Non of my photos in my photo gallery has this purple flare. Enough with the blatant trolling, you don't look cool.

70. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

"Enough with the blatant trolling, you don't look cool." It is officially admited by Apple that there is such problem like a "Purple Halo" so keep your propositions about trolling away... (Or maybe Apple is also trolling?) Also Google and look how much you will find complaints about Nexus 4 "Purple Halo" and how much iPhone 5 "Purple Halo" complains...

71. nwright94 unregistered

Yes, apple did admit the iPhone 5 was prone to the purple halo, I will give you that, but you can't assume all iPhone 5 models have that much of an issue with it just like not all nexus 4s will have the problems. You seem to excuse any issues any android phone has even if the iPhone may run into the same issue. And spare me the whole "apple fans preach about how perfect their products are" because I've heard it over and over and they're just as bad as those who make it a point to bash on Apple.

72. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

First of all I have never praised Nexus 4 camera's quality! I just say that it is much easier to get "Purple Halo" on iPhone 5 than on Nexus 4.

77. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

It was probably just a first shipment problem. Nearly every phone has those. The HTC One S had it with its ceramic coating chipping off, the Galaxy S3 had it with the polycarbonate cracking along the camera and sides, the iPhone 4 had antenna-gate, now the iPhone 5 has the purple halo (among other things). I'm sure once Apple noticed there was a problem they made a change in the manufacturing process that helped reduce the purple halo effect. It's mostly early adopters that get the problem.

8. AmitMajumder

Posts: 178; Member since: May 21, 2012

I mean, PA never lets anything other than iPhone win.

38. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Then it comes to the point that N4 killed the iP5!! Nexus 4 FTW!!

46. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Well there was the Galaxy S3. It actually beat the iPhone here

43. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I wonder how long before Apple gets a clue and updates the iOS UI?

44. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I'm very impressed with the "premium quality of iphone 5", as they posted yesterday a 2 months old iphone totally scratched.. Premium quality has my Nexus S, with 2 years old and only a few scratchs.


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

PA enough with the iPone 'iconic' design mumbo jumbo. Unless by iconic you mean 3 years old, tired and the same but weirdly taller! We get it, you like how the taller iP4 from 2010 looks, GOT IT! NOW GET OVER IT, it isn't anything special 3 years later except NOW it doesn't work with all your accessories lol

73. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Apple spends money on feeding the press to call it ICONIC (notsure if it is trademarked by apple coz it starts with "I") ...just ignore it if you donlt like. It's reviewers personal opinion and not necessarily to be used for making a buying decision :)

10. wendygarett unregistered

I remember you guys keep say iphone sucks because has no 4g lte... And now it's PAYBACK TIME!!! >:D

14. Kuherrn

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

And that's why we have phones like the Note 2, Droid DNA, S3, One X+ and Optimus G. It's something called choice, something that Apple is reluctant to give to consumers, and something that you will not be able to payback... Payback all you want, but I have the comfort of knowing MOST of the people know which phone is better :)

17. wendygarett unregistered

Yeah your right, how can I laugh when android is so light year ahead from ios... I'm sayin this so that I hope you guy stop critics Apple for the sick of critics lol

41. FranksGT

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

To bad a Iphone 5 holds it value and will always hold its value better then any of those phones!!!!!

52. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Problem is iPhone 5 16gig is $650 while the Nexus 4 16gig is $350. That's a $300 difference right off the bat if your paying straight up. Your going to lose more money on iPhone 5 after 2 years. The only way iPhone 5 makes sense is if you lock into a 2 year contract at the subsidized price of $200. Got to go. My Note 2 just showed up.

16. Lawliet

Posts: 160; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

They said you can activate Nexus 4 LTE somewhere iirc Doesn't matter anyway, there's no LTE where I'm living

26. SleepingOz unregistered

When you buy a smartphone at $700+, LTE is the minimum you'd expect. The nexus 4, which is a better smartphone according to this review btw, is another story. I have no complaints whatsoever since it's priced at $300.

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the Nexus4 has LTE. Its just not activated.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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