Nikhil SubramaniamNov 22, 2013 14:44:21 IST
Still on the fence when it comes to the new Nexus 5? We won’t hold you at fault, after all, there is a lot of talk about the slow camera and the battery life issues. But one thing that does work in the Nexus 5’s favour is the price and it does offer very good value for money. We don’t think that’s necessarily true and one only has to look at the previous gen Nexus 4 to realise this. So the question is which Nexus should you plump for?
Which Nexus to rule them all?
The 32GB Nexus 5 is great value for money and easily beats out the Nexus 4 with the larger display, bigger internal storage and a faster, more power efficient Snapdragon 800 SoC. And it will perform just as well a year or so down the line, considering the future-proof hardware inside. However, if you have been eyeing a new Nexus and don't want to fork upwards of Rs 30,000 for it, then the 16GB Nexus 4 is a better choice than its Nexus 5 counterpart. It's considerably less expensive at around Rs 20,000 to Rs 22,000. It still has a very good S4 Pro chipset, the same amount of RAM and the battery life is likely to be higher, despite the smaller 2100 mAh unit, thanks to the smaller, lower-resolution (albeit 720p) display. It's also about to get Android 4.4 KitKat within the next few weeks, so brand new models are likely to have that version of the OS out-of-the-box. As for the camera, it has an older 8-megapixel sensor, but since the Nexus 5’s camera issues are known, this might not be too bad a trade-off, when you consider the savings in the region of Rs 8,000.
If you're looking at it from a pure value-for-money perspective, then yes, the 16GB Nexus 4 is still a great proposition at its current price of Rs 22,000. You'll still enjoy all official updates for another year and even after that, there are custom ROMs to dabble with. Having said that, I still think it's better to cough up a bit more cash and get the 16GB Nexus 5. The reason behind this is that it's based on a more efficient chipset, has a much better display as well as better connectivity features such as ‘ac’ Wi-Fi. Sure, the Nexus 5 has some camera issues currently and the battery isn't too great but then, neither of these things have ever been the Nexus's forte. The camera problem sounds like a pure software issue and no doubt, Google will be rolling out a fix for that. For the average Indian buyer shopping in that price range, I'd suggest neither and instead go for a Galaxy S3 or the Sony Xperia ZL. However, if you want a pure Android experience, then I'd suggest save up and buy the Nexus 5.
Let us turn our gaze away from the almost 5-inch, full HD, cheeky new entrant that is the Nexus 5 and think about this question for a minute. Is the Nexus 4 a better buy than its successor? It has a great HD display, runs on KitKat and is assured to receive at least the next update from Google, has an impressive spec list (processor, GPU, RAM, and such), faces the same camera and battery issues as the Nexus 5, with the latter being significantly more reliable than the one in the Nexus 5, and it comes for Rs 22,000 or less depending on which side of the railway line you do your gadget shopping at. Throw in the svelte glass back with the hypnotic chequered pattern and the fetching curves of the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5, which until now was the showman who everyone wanted a piece of, begins to fade away ever so slightly. Adages that vouch for the benefits of age and the tried and tested flood the brain and you realise that by picking up the Nexus 4 over the Nexus 5 you aren't just saving a few thousand bucks but also probably making the wiser choice. After all any monkey can load up on specs, but to exude elegance even as the world gambols around the 'Next Big Thing' is something you can write stories about.
I would like to believe that the Nexus 4 still offers a better value for money, although the specs on the Nexus 5 look so good - Snapdragon 800 SoC, 5-inch full HD screen and so on. Although the official pricing on the Nexus 4 is Rs 22,000, I am sure if you look at the right places, you can get a deal under 20k. That is a great price point for a year old Google phone. Battery life woes are what worry me the most about the Nexus 5. Although the reactions regarding the battery life are mixed online, the fears were confirmed by a Nexus 5 user I know. The 5-inch full HD panel may look great, but that is sucking out the most battery life. Considering a regular day's usage would involve surfing the web, making and receiving a few calls, updating social networks, watching videos, playing games and so on, you expect a phone to easily be able to handle that without feeling the need to charge it. Nexus 5's international reviews point otherwise. With the KitKat 4.4 update already being rolled out for the Nexus 4, I really don't see any immediate benefits I will reap if I opt for a Nexus 5 - apart from of course a full HD screen and a newer SoC. But for a 16GB model, I save close to Rs 6,000-8,000 when buying the Nexus 4, which is quite an incentive.
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