We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Android smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S comparison review: Google and Apple flagship smartphone meet

£299 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Google

Google takes on Apple's iPhone 5S with the Nexus 5. Read our comparison review to find out more.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S review

Google has finally launched the Nexus 5 smartphone so how does it match up to Apple's flagship iPhone 5S? Find out in our Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S comparison review.

The iPhone 5S and Nexus 5 are two of the biggest smartphone releases of this year. It's Apple vs Google and iOS vd Android here – things could get messy. See also: The 14 best smartphones of 2013.

Google has freshly launched the Nexus 5 and as such we haven't had our hands on it so this is a comparison of specifications and known details. We'll be bringing you a full Nexus 5 review soon, though.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Price

Price is by far the biggest different between the Nexus 5 and iPhone 5S. Both firms have increase the price of their smartphone compared to the previous generation but there is a big gap between them. See also: Nexus 5: Where to buy.

The Nexus 5 starts at just £299 while the iPhone 5S costs a comparatively huge £549 – both with 16 GB of storage. That's the kind of value for money which is hard to argue with but there could well be things that make you pay the extra for the iPhone so we'll look at design, hardware and software.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Design and build

With a screen that's an inch bigger than its rival, it's no surprise that the Nexus 5 is a bigger smartphone than the iPhone 5S. Most smartphones are larger than the iPhone these days.

Both devices are slender and light but it's the iPhone 5S which wins on measurements. It's 7.6 mm and 112 g which means it's thinner and lighter than the Nexus 5 which is 8.6 mm and 130 g.

Made from aluminium and glass, the iPhone 5S is more fragile than the Nexus 5 and demands some kind of protective case. Google has ditched the glass rear cover which it used on the Nexus 4 so this need is far less apparent for the Nexus 5.

iPhone 5S colours

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so we can't tell you which phone looks definitively nicer. What might help you decide is that the Nexus 5 comes in black and white, while the iPhone 5S comes in silver, space grey and gold.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Screen

As we mentioned in the previous section, the Nexus 5 has a screen which is an inch larger than the iPhone 5S'. It's 4.95 in compared to 4 in, so that extra real estate will come in handy for web browsing, gaming and watching video content – especially with Android 4.4 KitKat's new full-screen Immersive Mode.

If you're more interested in resolution then the iPhone 5S sticks to the previous 640 x 1136 Retina quality display while the Nexus 5 is higher res at Full HD 1080 x 1920 – typical for a top-end Android handset. This means the Nexus 5 has a pixel density of 445ppi against the iPhone's 326ppi.

Nexus 5

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Processor    

Both of these smartphones are impressive on the hardware side of things. Under the bonnet of the iPhone 5S is Apple's A7 chip which is the first 64-bit processor to be put into a smartphone. It also has the M7 motion coprocessor.

Google and LG have opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor which in other phones has given us record benchmark results.

The reality is that, although the components are different, is phone is more than capable of running the tasks asked of it. If you're trying to choose between these two then you're best off doing it based on things other than the chip.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Storage

Storage is important if you're going to keep lots of music, apps, games and videos on your smartphone. Neither the iPhone 5S nor the Nexus 5 has a microSD card slot for a memory card so it's paramount you pick the right amount of storage.

Google has double the capacity of the Nexus 5 compared to the Nexus 4 so there is 16 GB and 32 GB options. Apple also has these available on the iPhone 5S but has a larger 64 GB model, too.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Cameras

Smartphones are great for taking casual snaps and videos when you're out and about. The main camera on the Nexus 5 and iPhone 5S is 8Mp but they have different features.

The iPhone 5S offers a 'True Tone' flash and backside illumination (BSI) sensor while the Nexus 5 provides optical image stabilisation and an HDR+ mode. Both shoot video at 1080p but the iPhone 5S has a Slo-mo mode. You'll need to choose which ones will be more beneficial to you.

At the front the Nexus 5 has a slight edge with 1080p video from its 1.3 Mp webcam compared to the iPhone 5S' 1.2 Mp camera which is limited to 720p.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Connectivity

The Nexus 5 and iPhone 5S are similar but different when it comes to connectivity. The iPhone 5S has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS combined with Apple's Lightning connector and the new Touch IS fingerprint scanner.

Meanwhile, the Nexus 5 has dual-band Wi-Fi with the latest 11.ac standard, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS and NFC with a microUSB port (SlimPort enabled) and wireless charging.

As you would expect from a recently released smartphone, both support 4G LTE mobile networks.

Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5S: Software

If money is no object then software is a real fork in the road in your decision here. It's a choice of Android 4.4 KitKat or iOS 7 and there's no obvious winner. These are the two most popular and best mobile operating systems around so it's about picking which one is right for you.

See also: Android 4.4 KitKat release date, new features and device upgrades.

Android 4.4 KitKat brings some great features such as a full screen mode and many improvements across calling, messaging, search, audio playback and more. iOS 7 has the handy Control Center, better multi-tasking and an overhaul in terms of look and feel.

Google Nexus 5 Expert Verdict »
Google Nexus 5 16GB Scores 8.9 out of 10 based on 142 reviews
Android 4.4 KitKat OS
5in IPS display (1080x1920), 445 ppi
2.26GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU
Adreno 330 GPU
2GB RAM
16/32GB internal storage
8Mp rear camera, AF with LED Flash
1.6Mp front camera
Video recording at up to 1080p
dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
NFC
A-GPS
Micro-USB (SlimPort)
HSDPA, 42 Mbps
HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
4G LTE (Cat3)
Micro-SIM
8.5Wh (2300mAh) battery
69x139x8.6mm
130g

The Nexus 5 represents unbeatable value for money but the iPhone 5S could persuade you to spend the extra for Touch ID and camera features.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£260
£269
£278
£278

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 release date, new features and compatibility: Free to download from 6pm

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

Colour-depth not resolution is what will make 4K a success or failure

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which new iPhone 6 model should I buy?