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Head to head: Google Nexus One v Apple iPhone


Google Nexus One. Photo: Bloomberg News

Google Nexus One. Photo: Bloomberg News

Google Nexus One. Photo: Bloomberg News

Google's Nexus One mobile handset is fast, has a super-sharp screen and a great camera but how does it compare to the Apple iPhone?

Google's Nexus One handset, announced last night in California, has some impressive specifications and sets Apple a clear challenge for the next version of the iPhone. Look at how they compare:

Size and weight

Nexus One: 130g, 11.5mm thick

iPhone: 135g, 12.3mm thick

The Nexus one is both thinner and lighter than the iPhone. Both differences are negligible but Google clearly have the bragging rights here.


Nexus One: 3.7” display, 480x800

iPhone: 3.5” display, 480x320

The Nexus One's screen is a little larger than the iPhone's - again, that .2" difference is unlikely to be very noticeable. However, the real difference is the screen resolution, which is much sharper on the Nexus One. The iPhone's screen resolution has remained unchanged since launch in 2007.

CPU and memory

Nexus One: Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD 8250, 1GHZ, 512MB RAM

iPhone: Samsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 600Mhz, 256MB RAM

With a faster processor and twice as much RAM, it's no wonder the Nexus One has been impressing testers with its speed. The iPhone processor was upgraded when the 3GS launched last summer but Google have undoubtedly raised the bar.


Nexus One: 512MB flash memory, up to 32GB on SD card

iPhone: 32GB flash memory

This is the one area of the specifications in which the iPhone has the advantage. The Nexus One's 512MB of on-board storage is pitifully small and just 190MB can be used to store apps. Even the bottom of the range iPhone has 8GB and the range goes up to 32GB. The Nexus One will take more storage via an SD card but users will have to buy their own if they want more than the 4GB card that the phone ships with. More importantly, apps can't be stored on the SD card, though Google has suggested that this may change soon.


Nexus One: 5MP camera, auto-focus and flash

iPhone: 3MP camera, auto-focus, no flash

Another clear win for the Nexus One: more megapixels and a flash should ensure that your pics look much better from a Nexus One than they would on an iPhone. The iPhone camera was upgraded for the 3GS model from 2MP to 3MP but, again, Google has pulled ahead.


It's a clear win for Google on the specs. However, specificationists should beware. The iPhone was far from the cutting edge spec-wise when it launched in 2007. In fact, Nokia's N95, which was launched almost five months before the iPhone, had higher specs in almost every category. The iPhone beat it with usability, attention to detail and features such as integration with iTunes. And that was before the App Store. The Google Nexus One is a worthy opponent for the iPhone at last but this battle is far from won.