Published on Jan 6, 2010
The iPhone may have ruled the roost for quite a while now, but the Google Nexus One is here to knock it off its perch. Will it though?
That’s a question only time can answer, but it’s a lot easier to check out the stats and compare them – to see which is better in theory.
When it comes to mobile phones, there are a lot of boxes to tick, from screen types to the amount of built-in memory, so we thought we’d try them, one-by-one to see which box-ticker uses the most ink.
The Google Nexus One features a 3.7-inch screen, up against the iPhone 3GS’s 3.2-inch example. As size of screen also dictates size of device, this is a subjective point to argue, but there are other factors that sway the fight in the Nexus One’s favour.
First there’s the resolution – it’s much higher on the Nexus One, 480x800 pixels against the iPhone’s 320x480. This allows for more detail on-screen with Google’s offering, and means you’ll be able to make better use of higher bitrate videos.
However, an even more important feature of the Nexus One is that it uses an AMOLED screen, offering better contrast and black levels than the TFT type used on the iPhone.
Winner – it’s a clear one. Google Nexus One
Both phones use a capacitive touchscreen, so this is a more closely fought battle than that of the screen itself. In fact, it’s one we can’t really judge until we get our fingers onto the Nexus One’s offering.
However, we do know that the iPhone offers just about the most responsive touchscreen in town, so the Nexus One needs to be quaking in its booties right about now.
Winner – Jury’s out. Odds on iPhone winning
To be honest, both the Nexus One and iPhone are pretty bad in this category. Apple has made sure you can’t upgrade the memory in your iPhone yourself, leaving it to charge whatever it likes for the different versions of the phone. There are 16GB and 32GB iterations available at the moment.
On the other hand, the Nexus One comes with a measly 512MB of onboard storage and a reported 4GB microSD card bundled in the box.
Both are nothing to write home about, unless it’s to write a furious rant, but the ever-falling price of microSD storage means you can bump it up to iPhone levels without spending too much cash. Plus, if you want to watch movies on the go, you can always carry multiple memory cards around with you – they’re around the size of the nail on your little finger!
Winner – Both lose in our book, but Nexus One by a whisper
On the face of it, the Nexus One is a more powerful device. It uses an impressive 1Ghz processor next to the iPhone 3GS’s 600Mhz ARM chip. Hold your horses though, because measuring power isn’t all that simple.
For starters, the iPhone 3GS comes with an impressive PowerVR graphics chip that’s worth more than just a few handfuls of megahertz. Plus, power’s not all that useful unless you can get developers to use it.
One of the iPhone’s key strengths is that the range is still fairly consolidated – while the 3GS is a lot more powerful than the original iPhone, developers don’t have to cater for dozens of different devices – or indeed hundreds as is the case with java apps. The state of Android isn’t too bad, but as Android developers will largely be aiming at the mainstream Android phones, which run off ~500Mhz chips.
The Snapdragon processor will still make sure the interface and Android Market apps run at a fair old pace, but we still think the future’s brighter for the 3GS in terms of making full use of its power.
Winner – With great power comes great responsibility, it’s the iPhone 3GS
This is the most superficial factor in our already-superficial examination, but it’s one of the most important of all. Yes, the iPhone still looks prettier than the Nexus One and will almost undoubtedly hold its value a lot better, but everyone, their dog and its fleas has an iPhone.
The 3GS does have the additional draw of being that bit better, but crowing about it is much like going on about how your car’s got a turbo charger – no one’s going to like you for it. We’re not saying the days of the iPhone being a cool device are over, but there’s not risk involved in buying an iPhone, apart from smashing its screen that is.
Android is currently the second favourite for the smartphone throne behind the iPhone, and there’s nothing like rooting for the underdog. Especially when it’s as slick and powerful an underdog as Android
Winner – Geek chic wins. Google Nexus One
We can’t make any full conclusions at the moment, but the Google Nexus One does offer a tempting alternative to the iPhone, just like the less advanced HTC Hero did last year. The bit we like most? That screen sounds like an absolute stunner. Not only is it massive, it also uses that AMOLED technology that we love so much. Media fans, make sure you check out the Nexus One before signing that iPhone contract.