Mobile Talk: 10 ways Nexus 4 beats iPhone 5

Features Richard Goodwin 12:13, 14 Jan 2013

Richard Goodwin just switched to a Nexus 4 after being an iPhone user. Here’s 10 ways he thinks Google’s new Nexus has Apple’s iPhone beaten

Getting bored of your iPhone? Constantly find yourself looking at other people’s Android and Windows Phone-powered devices with jealous eyes? You’re not alone. I was once like you – until I made a decision to switch sides, and become an Android user.

2011’s Galaxy Nexus piqued my attention, and the Nexus 4 won my heart. 'Why Nexus?' I hear you say – why not Samsung or HTC? Simple: Google’s Nexus handsets are the purest form of Android money can buy, being free from bloatware, and are always first in line for new versions of Android once Google makes them available.

I used to love my iPhone. But now I’m a Nexus purist. Below I’ve listed the 10 main points that finally persuaded me over to Android.   

Bigger display

The iPhone 5 may have a 4-inch display but it’s still not enough. Granted it’s still a great display, even more so if you’re upgrading from an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, but it’s still very restrictive to what’s on offer inside the Android kingdom where you can get handsets with 4-inch, 4.3-inch, 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch, and soon, 6.1-inches (thanks to Huawei).  

 

 

Having used a 4.7-inch display, first on the Galaxy Nexus and now on the Nexus 4, for the past few months, I can honestly say I’d never go back to using a handset with a 4-inch set-up. It just seems too small now both for video, browsing and gaming.

Google Maps & Other Services

This one’s pretty self-explanatory: Google’s services – Maps, YouTube, Drive, and Gmail – work better on Android. And now that Apple has removed Google Maps as iOS’s default navigation application you’re force to use Apple Maps whenever you access mapping coordinates via your iPhone’s browser or another app.

You can now get Google Maps for iOS, of course, but you cannot set it as your default navigation application, which means you’ll still have to deal with Apple Maps on a regular basis.

NFC

Not a big deal, if I’m honest. But it is nice having NFC on your handset, particularly now that more and more shops and stores are using NFC-enabled pay points. It’s also great for sharing things, connecting to wireless media players, and syncing settings in and around your house using NFC smart tags.

Google Now

Put curtly, Google Now is everything Apple wanted Siri to be and more. It’s intelligent, useful and you don’t need to talk to your phone like an idiot to make use of it. It’s always on, planning your routes to and from work, and it even tells you when the next bus/tube is.

 

I absolutely love Google Now, so much so that I don’t even care if the search-giant, as some conspiracy theorists suggest, is using it for evil 1984-style purposes. It’s literally that good. And if it always understands what you’re saying, even outside or in noisy environments.

Gesture-based typing (swiping)

Check out the video below to see what you’re missing out on. I’ll never go back to the sort of typing I used to do on my iPhone after using Android Jelly Bean 4.2’s swipe-based typing.

Not got Android 4.2? Don’t stress it– you can just download SwiftKey instead. It does exactly the same thing and is available via Google’s Play Store.

Widgets

Apple does not let you use widgets on the iPhone. That means if you want information you have to physically go into an application, which takes time and is more often than not dependent on being connected to the web.

 

Both Android and Windows Phone use systems – widgets and Live Tiles, respectively – for delivering real-time information at a glance such as news headlines, tweets, Google+ posts, and emails. Apple’s iOS does not.

iOS 7 is expected to contain some of the biggest changes ever seen inside Apple’s iOS UI, with the company’s senior vice president of industrial design, Jonny Ive, said to be heading up the re-design.

For this reason we’d expect to see some big changes inside iOS 7. And one of those big changes, we imagine, will be the introduction of some kind of glance-based information delivery system (AKA widgets/Live Tiles).    

No wireless charging

You will need to purchase a charging point to take advantage of this feature, but once you’ve done have you’ll find it very difficult going back to the old microUSB-to-plug-socket-approach. It’s just so much quicker and more convenient, especially if you have more than one around the house. 

Faster CPU & more RAM

The iPhone 5 costs a lot more than the Nexus 4. That’s a fact. What’s also a fact, though, is that the Nexus 4 has significantly beefier hardware and processing abilities, as you can see below:

Nexus 4 internals: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro CPU + 2GB of RAM
iPhone 5 internals: dual-core A6 1.3GHz chipset with 1GB of RAM

It’s so much cheaper

16GB iPhone 5 – £529
16GB Nexus 4 – £279

Jelly Bean destroys iOS6

Apple hasn’t issued a significant update to is iOS mobile platform in quite a while, preferring instead to push out incremental tweaks and add new features like Siri each time it launches a new iPhone or iPad.

Generally speaking the look and feel of iOS has remained largely unchanged for the past two years or so. With iOS7, many expect Apple to address this – although we’ve assumed this in the past only to be very disappointed with a largely visually unchanged update to the platform.

Apple prefers to add features – Siri, drop-down notifications, and Passbook – rather than mess around with the physical look and feel of its mobile platform, which is fine for a while but after years and years and years, the whole if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it line starts to get a little tired.

Between Gingerbread and Jelly Bean, Google made some major leaps forward with Android. It changed how how it performed (project butter), how it looked, and introduced new, market-defining, features like Google Now in the space of two years.

This got me thinking: why am I using iOS when all the innovation seems to be happening inside Google’s ecosystem? I made the switch around nine months ago and I haven’t looked back since.

I do still use iOS regularly, just on my iPad. And I expect that to be the case for a very long time. Apple does tablets better than Google at present. But without some serious developments within its iPhone business, I just can’t see myself using one of the company’s smartphones ever again.

So, if you’re feeling a little unsure about your shiny new iPhone 5 but don’t know why, now you know: it’s because it’s no longer top dog inside the mobile space. Android has caught up and surpassed it in practically every way.

Thankfully, iPhones are like Audis in that they hold their value, which means you can plop it on eBay, shift it for a ton of money, buy a Nexus 4, and probably have enough left over to buy yourself a tablet as well.

What are you waiting for?

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