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iPhone 5S vs Nexus 5 head-to-head review


For the past few years Google has worked to steal customers from Apple by radically undercutting the price of its devices. The Nexus 5 is the latest step in this strategy, with Google intentionally selling it for close to half the price of the Apple iPhone 5S, which starts at £549.

However, with Apple having added a host of enterprise-friendly security and productivity features, including a new Touch ID fingerprint scanner, many experts have questioned whether price alone will be enough to entice corporate customers away from the ever-popular iPhone.

Design and build
Visually the iPhone 5S doesn't stray too far from the iPhone 5's design. The iPhone 5S even measures and weighs the same, at 124x59x7.6mm and 112g. This is no bad thing, though, as despite being a year old, the iPhone 5 and 5S still look great. The phones both feature a metallic chassis and Gorilla Glass front that looks and feels top end.

The larger 138x69x8.6mm, 130g Nexus 5 feels a little bit cheaper, featuring a slightly rubberised plastic chassis. That said, of the two, the Nexus 5 is more comfortable to hold. This is because, unlike the hard-edged iPhone 5S, the Nexus 5 has rounded sides that make it feel far more ergonomic in hand.broken Nexus 5

Sadly, despite being comfortable, the Nexus 5 isn't as solidly built as the iPhone 5S. While it is more scratch resistant, the Nexus 5's screen is prone to shattering. A two-foot drop onto a carpeted floor was more than the Nexus 5 could handle and its screen shattered to pieces. With further research we found our experience is a common one and numerous early buyers have reported similar issues.

Winner: The iPhone 5S

When Apple first debuted its Retina display technology it was undeniably the best available. For this reason it's unsurprising that Apple has chosen to load the 5S with the same 4in 1136x640, 326ppi Retina display originally seen on the iPhone 5.iPhone 5S vs Nexus 5 front

This isn't terrible as despite being a year old the iPhone 5S Retina display still looks great and outperforms most other smartphone screens. But one year on there are a small number of smartphones boasting better screens. Featuring a 4.95in Full HD in-plane switching (IPS) 1920x1080, 445 ppi display, the Nexus 5 is one of these smartphones.

The Nexus 5's screen is in general slightly better than the iPhone 5S's: icons appeared slightly crisper and colours popped out a little more. The added screen space also made typing and editing documents on the Nexus 5 far easier than it was on the iPhone 5S. So long as you don't drop it, the Nexus 5's screen is better than the one on the iPhone 5S.

Winner: The Nexus 5

Next: Software and security

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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