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Google Nexus 5 Vs. Apple iPhone 5s Vs. Nokia Lumia 1520 - War of the Worlds

The Google Nexus 5, Apple iPhone 5s, and Nokia Lumia 1520 are amongst the biggest releases of the year. This Buzzle article gives you the best seat in the house as the mighty battle of the Google Nexus 5 Vs. iPhone 5s Vs. Nokia Lumia 1520 unleashes.
Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s vs. Lumia 1520 - GPU
Did You Know?
According to popular market research firm, IDC, Android occupies 81%, iOS 12.9%, and Windows Phone about 3.6% of the smartphone market share in Q3 of 2013.
2013 has been the year of the smartphones. All major platforms have released phones that they can really be proud of. Even the ailing Canadian giant of the yesteryears, BlackBerry released some really nice phones, the Z10 and Z30. This, however, is a battle of the biggest platforms of the smartphone industry―Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Each of these kings of the industry have a noble steed by their side. Android's charge is led by the Google Nexus 5, iOS has the iPhone 5s to lead them on, while Windows Phone turns to its trusted ally, Nokia, who have put their best foot forward in the form of the Lumia 1520. This promises to be a clash of epic proportions, with each of these contenders packing in a lot of might. Here's plunging right into a three-way battle to attain ultimate smartphone glory.

Image Source:
  • google.com/nexus/5/
  • apple.com/pr/
  • press.nokia.com

GOOGLE
Nexus 5
google nexus 5
Operating System
Android OS, v4.4
KitKat
Chipset
Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16/32 GB
Screen
4.95"
True HD IPS LCD
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~445 ppi)
Primary Camera
8 MP
Secondary Camera
1.3 MP
Battery
Li-Po 2,300 mAh
Official Site
Nexus 5
APPLE
iPhone 5s
iphone 5s
Operating System

iOS 7
Chipset
Apple A7
CPU
Dual-core
1.3 GHz Cyclone
GPU
PowerVR G6430
Memory
1 GB DDR3 RAM
Storage
16/32/64 GB
Screen
4"
Retina Display
Resolution
1136 x 640 pixels
(~326 ppi)
Primary Camera
8 MP
Secondary Camera
1.2 MP
Battery
Li-ion 1,560 mAh
Official Site
iPhone 5s
NOKIA
Lumia 1520
Nokia Lumia 1520
Operating System
Windows Phone 8
Update 3
Chipset
Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.2 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
32 GB
Screen
6"
IPS ClearBlack LCD
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~368 ppi)
Primary Camera
20 MP
Secondary Camera
1.2 MP
Battery
Li-ion 3,400 mAh
Official Site
Lumia 1520


Design and Construction

Google Nexus 5

The Google Nexus 5 has a fairly minimalistic design and has a soft-touch plastic finish to it. It has dimensions of 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm, and weighs just 130 g, making it very pocketable and easy to hold. The screen takes up most of the front of the phone, thanks to the thin bezels all round it. The power button and volume rocker to the side are made of ceramic and have a very good tactile feedback.

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Apple iPhone 5s

The 5s follows the very same design language as that of its predecessor, the iPhone 5. Its dimensions and weight also are the same (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, 112 g) as that of its older sibling. There's premium aluminum all around the device. The only physical difference between the 5 and 5s is the metal accent around the home button which now has the fingerprint sensor underneath it.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

The 1520 has a unibody construction. It uses glossy or matte-finish polycarbonate depending on the color of the device. The phone features a dedicated two-step camera shutter key along with the usual power key and volume rocker. The camera at the back has a distinct bulge, with the LED flash and 4 HAAC mics just above it. With dimensions of 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm, and weighing in at 209 g, this surely is not the most convenient phone to use one handed.

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Editor's Take
All the phones feel solid and have a great build quality. We wouldn't expect any lesser from devices that are the face of their respective platforms. The iPhone 5s, however, stands out with its premium build quality and in-hand feel. The phone might look identical to its predecessor, but that isn't such a bad thing considering the incredible popularity of the 5.


Hardware and Storage

Google Nexus 5

The phone has what is arguably the most powerful hardware on a mobile phone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a quad-core Krait 400 processor clocked in at 2.26 GHz almost seems like an overkill. The phone has 2 GB of RAM for handling complex multitasking. The Nexus 5 comes in 16/32 GB variants, and does not have a Micro SD card slot.

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Apple iPhone 5s

Armed with an Apple A7 chipset with a dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone processor, the 5s makes short work of handling all the tasks assigned to it. There's also Apple's M7 motion coprocessor, which helps store data even when the phone is asleep. It works in a low-power state and helps save on battery. Multitasking is handled by 1 GB of DDR3 RAM. The phone comes with 16/32/64 GB storage options, and does not support Micro SD cards.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia pulled all the stops to power its latest flagship device with the very best hardware available in the market. The phone has a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 processor. For multitasking, it has on board 2 GB of RAM. The 1520 also comes with a rather generous 32 GB of internal storage which can further be complemented by a Micro SD card (up to 64 GB).

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Editor's Take
Each of these phones pack the most advanced hardware to ever have featured on a mobile phone. The Nokia Lumia 1520 walks away with the cake for its incredibly powerful processor backed by 32 gigs of internal storage and a Micro SD card slot. Micro SD card slots are a rarity these days, and we are very pleasantly surprised to see Nokia heed to the demand of the users with this inclusion.


Graphics

Google Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 has a gorgeous 4.95-inch True HD IPS LCD decorating its front. The pixel-rich (445 ppi) display has great contrast levels and decent sunlight legibility. The Adreno 330 GPU does a great job of churning out high-quality images and videos. The display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top.

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Apple iPhone 5s

Ever since the very first iPhone, the screens on the 'i' devices have been nothing short of spectacular. The screen on the 5s takes this legacy forward with a stunning 4-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with a pixel density of 326 ppi. The real hero here is the PowerVR G6430 (quad-core graphics) GPU that sits inside the 5s. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and an oleophobic coating that keeps fingerprints away.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

The crown jewel of the 1520 is the dazzling 6-inch Full HD ClearBlack IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 367 ppi. The deep blacks on the screen are second to none and make for a great contrast ratio. What makes it even more special is the Assertive Display technology used on the device that greatly enhances sunlight legibility. The screen itself is extremely touch sensitive and detects glove and nail input as well. To top it all, the screen is guarded by Corning Gorilla Glass 2.

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Editor's Take
These are some of the most beautiful screens in the market today. The Lumia 1520 once again impresses us with its large and beautiful screen. What really tilts the balance in its favor are the ClearBlack Display and amazing Assertive Display technology.


Camera

Google Nexus 5

The camera on board Google's latest baby has been largely criticized for its inconsistencies in taking pictures, and the painfully slow camera interface. Google recently rolled out an update to fix these bugs with the camera, and things look a lot better since. The 8 MP camera shoots some real nice and crisp images and photography in low light too is fairly good thanks mainly to the OIS on board. The camera app is just about average and can do with some changes. Videos look incredible when shot at 1080p@30fps thanks to OIS. There is also a 1.3 MP secondary camera for video calling.

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Apple iPhone 5s

iPhone cameras, along the years, have been known for their amazing quality, and the one on the 5s is no slouch either. The 8 MP shooter captures great details and does a fabulous job of color reproduction. It also has dual-LED flashes (True Tone) which help capture images without losing out on the color and details of the subject. The camera app is real easy to use and offers a lot of options.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

The 1520 has one of the most powerful cameras found on a mobile phone. The 20 MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss lens is assisted by OIS. This makes for some superb images that capture an incredible amount of detail and the color reproduction too is top-notch. It allows for 2x lossless zoom at a resolution of 5 MP. What makes this camera stand out from the crowd is the impressive camera app, which gives you access to a wide range of settings and lets you capture images in the RAW format. Videos are recorded at 1080p@30fp, and you can zoom up to 3x without losing out on quality.

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Editor's Take
Although the cameras on all these devices are extremely good, the Lumia 1520 emerges victorious thanks to an amazing camera and an equally impressive camera app. That, in no way, means that the others are bad whatsoever; just that the 1520 is in a league of its own.


Software

Google Nexus 5

The phone runs on the latest version of Android, v4.4 KitKat and brings in tons of features. The OS itself is extremely light and runs very smoothly on the device. Deeper Google Now integration can be seen in the device.

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Apple iPhone 5s

Much like the Nexus 5, the iPhone 5s too runs the latest version of iOS 7. iOS has got a complete overhaul and boasts of a lot of performance improvements. Apart from being smooth and fast, the OS also handles multitasking a lot better. Also, Siri supports a lot more commands.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

Microsoft was always playing catch up with Android and iOS, and that is still very much the case with Windows Phone 8 Black that powers the 1520. The OS itself is very fast and fluid, and the Live Tiles look better than ever. Although it boasts of some cool custom apps, the Nokia HERE Maps is perhaps the only standout feature on the platform.

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Editor's Take
This is another Android Vs. iOS wars, and one that we definitely want to steer well clear of. Both platforms are extremely capable and have just recently received an update (Android V4.4, iOS 7). The two share the honors in this department, with Windows Phone lagging behind at the second spot.


Battery

Google Nexus 5

Powered by a 2,300 mAh Li-Po battery, the phone can just about make it through a day of moderate use on a single charge. The battery, however, is non removable. The good news though is that the phone supports wireless charging.

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Apple iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s would easily make it through a day before you look around for a charging point. The 1,560 mAh Li-Po battery is non removable.

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Nokia Lumia 1520

A massive 3,400 mAh battery powers the Lumia 1520. Although the battery is non removable, it has enough juice to make it through a day of heavy use on a single charge.

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Editor's Take
No contest here, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the ultimate marathoner for the battery. It has a massive 3,400 mAh battery, that is almost twice the size of the one on the 5s, and about 1,000 mAh more than that on the Nexus 5.


We're glad to be faced with a problem of plenty, and for once, it's not a case of choosing the lesser of the evils here. Each of these phones carry the weight of their platforms on their shoulders, and come up trumps with stunning hardware ably supported by great software implementation.


Final Words

The Nexus 5 is a real impressive performer and comes at a fantastic price point. The iPhone 5s may not be a huge upgrade on the 5, but it brings in some real nice features. The Nokia Lumia 1520 is one of the most promising phones we've come across in a very long time, and one that could prove to be instrumental in turning the tide around for Microsoft's mobile venture.

It is a two-way tie between the iPhone 5s and the Nexus 5. We are immensely impressed by the iPhone 5s and the many new features it brings to the table. The phone essentially is new wine in an old bottle. Mind you though, with fantastic build quality, premium looks, great ergonomic design, unique fingerprint sensor, and a very capable camera, this surely is one heck of a bottle. iOS has received a fresh breath of life and looks beautiful in its all-new avatar. On the downside though, Apple products are insanely expensive, but then again, these were never meant for the masses.

The Google Nexus 5 is undoubtedly gonna be the most popular phone out of the lot. This is mainly because of the sheer size of the Android community and the amazing value for money this device offers. The low price tag does not mean that we have an average phone on our hands. In fact, this is probably one of the most powerful phones in the market today. You would either love or hate the minimalistic approach of the phone both with its conventional looks and Vanilla Android experience. The latest iteration of Android v4.4 KitKat is amazing and brings support for even the most basic of phones that have just 512 MB of RAM. Such an OS on an incredibly powerful device, makes for one of the most explosive mixes ever.

The last, but by no means the least, on this list is the Nokia Lumia 1520. The phone is an absolute powerhouse and is very much at par with, and in many cases outshines, the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 5s in terms of hardware. There really is no competition for Nokia when it comes to making great camera phones, and the Lumia 1520 would probably feature high in the list of the most amazing camera phones of all time. The camera app too, is beautifully designed with loads of options and has a very intuitive layout. The only fact that weighs down heavily on the 1520 is the Windows Phone OS. WP8 Black is a massive upgrade compared to its older versions. The OS has some wonderful sparks here and there, but just isn't built to take on the big guns of the industry. The OS is after all the very soul of a phone, and this is the only reason why this amazing phone loses out to the other two contenders.

For the past couple of years now, it has only been a war between Android and iOS for supremacy, but this year has seen a slight shift in the dynamics, with Windows Phone proving to be quite a formidable opponent. The battle might be over for now, but with even better phones lined up for the coming year, this war is far from over. Cheers.
Which is your favorite phone?
Google Nexus 5
Apple iPhone 5s
Nokia Lumia 1520
Other (Leave us a comment about your choice)
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Published: December 13, 2013
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Comments
I agree with you on that one, Kuahmel. The Nokia Lumia 1520 is undoubtedly the best Windows phone out there and brings a lot of promise for the platform. - Alex Mathew [December 22, 2013]
I own a Lumia 1520. Beautiful, powerful, future-proof, and shows Windows Phone will be in the dance contest for a while. Just needs the masses and the duopoly-oriented devs to get on board. - Kuahmel [December 22, 2013]