Google Nexus 5 vs iPhone 5C: What's the difference?

Comparing an Android phone and an iOS one is always tough. But with Google and Apple as the two biggest names in tech it would be a crime to ignore the head-to-head that is the Nexus 5 versus the iPhone 5C. Especially as the iPhone 5C is Apple's affordable mobile and the Nexus 5 is fantastically priced.

So can Google's limited number of years dealing with hardware already be enough to challenge the well established iPhone 5C? Has Google undercut the price while offering as many, even more, specs? And will Android's popularity continue to outsell the iPhone's?

Read: Apple iPhone 5C review

Design and display

In true smartphone fashion the Nexus 5 is larger than its predecessor, but not by much. The Nexus 5 comes in at 4.95-inches in screen size and the resolution has been given a bump to 1920×1080 display (445ppi). The iPhone 5C, by comparison, has a 4-inch, 1136 x 640 pixel (326ppi) Retina display. When you hear the specs side by side like that you have to ask what Retina even stands for anymore.

The iPhone 5C measures in at 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97mm and 132g. The Nexus 5 is a larger, but slimmer, 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59mm and a lighter 130g. Considering the Nexus is larger yet thinner and weighs less but is also cheaper it's hard to consider the iPhone 5C in this comparison. Of course the iPhone 5C is available in a selection of colours whereas you'd need to buy Bumper Cases for variation in the Nexus 5.

Power show-down

As expected, the latest Google smartphone is packing much more power than the last. It's shipping with the very fashionable Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor running at a hand-melting 2.3GHz. That's backed by a healthy 2GB RAM to keep everything zipping along. While Apple isn't about specs so much it's still pulling no punches in this area with its A6 processor. In benchmark tests the Snapdragon 800 wipes the floor with the A6.

Thanks to the Snapdragon 800, the Nexus 5 is future-proofed for outputting 4K video, something the iPhone 5C wouldn't be able to manage.

Battery powers

When it comes to literal power the new Nexus 5 will come with a 2300mAh battery which, with a larger, higher-resolution screen but more efficient processor than its predecessor, should eke about some more life. This should deliver around 10 hours of battery life, the same amount Apple claims the iPhone 5C can manage.

This is a very subjective area, though and really depends on how a person uses the phone.

Camera abilities

The Nexus 5 comes with OIS 8-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras.

The iPhone 5C has a larger sensor and wider aperture than the iPhone 5 at f/2.4 for better low light shots. The front-facing camera can now shoot in 720p.

Software stand-off

The problem with Android is that less than half of Android devices where running the Jelly Bean OS in 2012 while two thirds of Apple devices are already on iOS 7. KitKat aims to address that by working across the board on all devices - even more affordable handsets. Also this makes it perfect for wearable tech too. Just saying.

KitKit offers new features such as NFC support, NFC services assistance, and being able to use your phone as a remote control for your TV.

iOS 7 provides an entirely new looks, an improved notifications centre, a quick settings panel, new camera options, more sounds and ringtones, and universal search.

So while both operating systems have been improved it feels like iOS 7 was more aesthetic whereas Android 4.4 KitKat was a big play by Google to help bring its entire market up to speed.

Verdict

The last consideration has to be price.

The Google Nexus 5 with 16GB will cost you £299.

The iPhone 5C with 16GB will cost you £469.