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Some of you would have seen Ron Amadeo's flamebait post on Google+ just after the Apple live stream and announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It was pretty funny, comparing the iPhone 6 to a Nexus 4 and sticking one to Apple for being caught in 2012. I thought it was clever and even used it in an article about general display trends and Apple's attitude to screen sizes and pixel densities. But is there more to the story? Let's take a closer look.

AndroidPIT iPhone6 Nexus4
In a parallel universe, is the Nexus 4 jsut as good as the iPhone 6?© ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: display

This is where it all started for me: you take a late-2014 iconic smartphone like the iPhone 6 and you adorn it with a decidedly 2012 Android display. Sure, you can spruce it up by calling it a Retina HD sRGB active display, but all this really means is it's a slightly-better-than-HD LCD. You know, exactly what the Nexus 4 has. The screens sizes are exactly the same and pixel densities are near equal.

iphone6 side crop
Hmm, yes. looks nice. © Apple
AndroidPIT Z3 crop
Hmm, yes. Also looks nice. Hey, wait a minute! © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: design

The iPhone 6 certainly takes a few design cues from Android. If you look at the new Xperia Z3 from Sony or the early leaked images of the HTC One E8 you'll basically be looking at the iPhone 6 design. Apple can cry industrial espionage if it likes, but there's no denying that Apple is borrowing from Android design in their most recent offering.

The Nexus 4 is a slightly strange, but undeniably beautiful phone. The sparkling glass back may have been prone to breaking, but you'd be hard put to find anyone that didn't appreciate the unique design limb Google went out on with that choice. It instantly became one of the most identifiable Android phones around. So much so that you tended to leave it face down simply because it looked so good.

nexus 4 black
Goolge took a design risk with the Nexus 4, and came out with a winner. © AndroidPIT

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: software

I wasn't at the Apple launch (surprise, surprise), so I can't comment on speed or stability, but I can tell you that the new iPhone ''introduces'' a bunch of software features that the Nexus 4 already had back in 2012: NFC and touchless payments, third-party keyboards and typing suggestions, widgets, notification actions, cloud backup for photos and full battery statistics for the power control freaks. Sure the iPhone will be faster, but its not all just about speed, is it?

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: specs

  Apple iPhone 6 Nexus 4
System iOS 8 Android 4.4.4 
Display 4.7 inches, Retina HD LCD, 1,334 x 750, 326 ppi 4.7 inches, True HD IPS+ LCD, 1,280 x 768 pixels, 318 ppi
Processer Apple A8, dual-core 1.4 GHz, M8 motion co-processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, quad-core 1.5 GHz 
RAM 1 GB (TBC) 2 GB 
Internal Memory 32/64/128 GB 8/16 GB 
Battery Talk time: Up to 14 hours on 3G, standby up to 250 hours Talk time: Up to 15 hours on 3G, standby up to 390 hours (2,100 mAh)
Camera 8 MP iSight (rear), 2.1 MP (front) 8 MP (rear), 1.3 MP (front)
Connectivity GSM, HSDPA, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0 GSM, HSPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0
Dimensions 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
Weight 129 grams 139 grams

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: battery

Two phones, two terrible battery lives. Ok, I don't know the capacity of the iPhone 6's battery but I wasn't exactly instilled with confidence when I heard ''as good as or better than the iPhone 5.'' The Nexus 4's weak battery is the stuff of legend, but then again, so is the iPhone's. Samsung didn't come up with their ''wall hugger'' campaign out of thin air. Let's assume both suck equally.

keynote apple iphone6 4
Ok, we have to admit: Apple. Cameras. Good. © Apple

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: camera

There's no chance the Nexus 4 could survive this comparison forever. Heck, most Android phone cameras can't compete with the iPhone camera, so we shouldn't feel too bad. Apple wins this one.

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: coolness factor

The Nexus 4 became the sleeper hit of 2012 in the Android world. Nexus devices were nowhere near as popular as they are now, with the Nexus 5 sitting comfortably amongst the best phones of 2013. But the Nexus 4 was a near perfect phone (except for the terrible battery and camera, ahem!). Still, a Nexus 4 was like a badge of honor amongst Android fans, demonstrating how in-the-know you truly were.

The iPhone 6 is, well, the next iPhone. It doesn't need to be cool to be popular. Think about this though: the max price for a Nexus 4 at launch was 349 USD and the iPhone 6 is 399 USD. But the Nexus 4 was outright and the iPhone 6 is on a two-year contract...

Apple Wall Hugger Samsung Ad
Who doesn't love some smartalecs making fun of each other? © Samsung/YouTube

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 4: winner winner chicken dinner

If we had a time machine and found ourselves in a world where the iPhone 6 sat in shops alongside the Nexus 4, which would you choose? Assuming you weren't already indoctrinated into the Android Mafia or the Apple Cult, which device would catch your eye more, entice you more with its interface, show more promise than the other? Then, transport yourself back to 2014 and tell me, would you go for an iPhone 6 or a Nexus 6, because that's how far ahead Android really is...

Tell us your thoughts on the iPhone 6. Is Apple seriously that far behind, or is the iPhone 6 secretly brilliant?


Write new comment:
  • i would anytime any hour even in pure drinkness effect buy a nexus 5 over every phone on the market. It's just so damn beautifull

  • Please see above comment

  • RIght, because obviously i must be some hayseed hick that uses Waldo down the street for my market research.

    It is only in just about every market study that's been done on the subject for the last 3 years. So yes, I would say it's reliable.

    In fact, thank you for making me check again for the latest numbers because Android has taken over this year by about 8 percentage points now that Q1-2 numbers are out. iPhone 6/iOS 8 will most likely even this out for a time, but I doubt it will swing too far the other way and will not last for long.

    Further fact, in 2014 Android has lead new smartphone sales at 85%. Mentioned in the above articles and again in the one below.

  • I think it comes down to which handset sells more than iphone. It doesn't make sense to directly compare operating systems in sales because android does run on more handsets (and much cheaper handsets). I have people come in all the time for iPhones and aren't approved due to their credit so they're stuck with a piece of shit Galaxy s3 aha I have to tell them sorry you can't have what you wanted

  • Reliable source* :)

  • Can you show me the sources where you pulled that information from?

  • you asked specific questions about specific features and my experience and I answered them. Economics 101 is a different discussion, but was not the current subject of your prior post. Sorry that I stayed on topic.

    If you want that discussion, how about this, the smartphone market is an even split and has been for years 40-45% iOS, 40-45% Android. The rest is split between BB, Windows, and other smaller OS. So it is basically 50/50 at best as to what people want. iPhone will tick up a few points for a month or so and then Android will have something new and it will swing back to dead even.

  • And I've ben in wireless sales for 6 years, what's your point? Why are you discussing iOS 7 when ios 8 came out yesterday? Fact is people want iPhones. You can argue the facts all day long. You can say one is better than another but at the end of the day it honestly doesn't matter what you or I think. What people want people will buy. It's pretty straight forward. If someone walks up to me and says yes I would like 3 iPhone 5c on bells $85 1gb plan I'm not going to try and sell them Galaxy phones.. I'm going to tell them I've had then same phone for over a year and it hasn't given me any issues at all. It's pretty simple people know what they want

  • Yes, thanks, i use many phones, tablets, etc for work. My job (among many things) is testing apps on various OS versions and doing tutorials for them as well. And I know what multi-tasking and task switching is, and it is not the same as having multiple widgets on one page with all the info you're looking for.

    The point is, iOS 7 today has less functionality than Android has had since 2011. iOS 7 still cannot give you weather, time, data left on plan, upcoming calendar events, and your SMS/email inbox on one screen. Android has been doing it for 3+ years.

    The stability advantage iPhone once enjoyed doesn't even exist anymore, Android is solid. I install/uninstall apps daily, buggy apps still in development that are side loaded (which is a nightmare to do on iPhone by the way), change settings, use debug programs, intentionally try to make things crash. But yet my "normal" usage is unaffected, keeps ticking like nothing happened. No restart required. This is on multiple brands of hardware as well.

  • Well it's really simple to take things other people do, and improve on them! And you don't have to wait to open apps o iphone have you ever used one? They have multi tasking

  • There is a good reason the iPhone 5 "seems" faster, it's because it doesn't do anything.
    Compare one huge example of many...
    I don't have to open my e-mail app to read emails in my inbox because it is right there on my home screen and I can scroll the whole thing, the Android is 10x faster than iPhone because there are fewer taps to get the information I need, not waiting for an app to open, and so on. This is true for browsing photos, SMS, facebook, etc. It's called widgets. But Apple claims they just "invented" it last week along with NFC payments which have been around for 14 years now, if you had an Android that is.

  • It's as simple as this. iPhones WORK. They're the most responsive phone I've ever used and are what I prefer. I've been in wireless sales for almost 4 years now and have literally tested every handset that's been released in that time! I'm not saying android phones are shit. It's just performance wise I have never seen anything run as glitch free as my iPhone 5c. Even the way he screen responds to my touch while I'm scrolling on apps like Instagram show a huge difference in processing power. No lag when I scroll quickly and when I put my finger down on the screen to stop it from scrolling it does instantly. Vs the galaxy note 3 (which I almost switched to instead) would lag another couple of mm. Unless you're an android user who's at least tried an iphone for an extended period of time, don't mock it! They're popular for the simple reason that they WORK and keep working

  • I feel Apple has lost its way in regards to hardware and people will look back at the iPhone 6 and say it wasn't a huge improvement over the 5/5s.
    It's design isn't the issue, its the hardware inside and the advancements in iOS features that are lacking (camera excluded).

  • mangesh Sep 12, 2014 Link to comment

    even after 2 years since launched nexus 4 is still selling at almost the same price in India ...with very marginal tells you the success story

  • anees Sep 12, 2014 Link to comment

    you are underrating 6 why

    • I don't want to start a fight over here but the iphone 6 is just so similar to nexus 4 and still they will call it their own innovation. Sure the iphone 6 may be better in the overall smoothness, stability and stuff but the nexus 4 is not bad too.
      Also I would anytime prefer going for the nexus 6 over an iphone 6.

      Edit: Also he is not underrating, he is just telling the fact. If he had to underrate, he wouldn't have appreciated its camera.

      • Correct. Of course the iPhone 6 is ''better'' than a two-year old Nexus 4. I simply made the comparison because it was being made as a joke elsewhere and the irony of the comparison struck as worth looking at a little more.

        Of course the iPhone 6 will be faster and have a better camera than the Nexus 4, but as I mentioned at the end, that's a two year old phone and the Nexus 6 is right around the corner.

        Not to mention that you can buy a Nexus 5, a Nexus 7 (2013) and a Moto 360 (as other social media commentators have already noted) and still have $100 to spare for the same cost of the most expensive iPhone 6 Plus.

      • You deserve an upvote for that last paragraph. So true it is.

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