November 20, 2013, 10:59 AM — Google's Nexus 5, the best pure Android phone you can buy, is trying to steal market share from the big-selling iPhone 5s. If you care about productivity, which is right for you?
A better and larger smartphone screen helps boost productivity, because the quality means you'll be able to stare at it longer, and the larger size means seeing more of your work. In the Nexus 5 versus iPhone 5s showdown, that means that the Nexus 5 is the winner. It's got a 5-inch display versus the 4-incher on the IPhone 5s. And its screen has a higher pixel density as well, 445ppi compared to the iPhone 5s' 326ppi.
Nothing beats iOS for simplicity. Pick it up even for the first time and you know how to use it. Not so Android. Even though Android has improved through the years, and Android 4.4 called KitKat is simpler than its predecessors, it simply can't compete when it comes for clean design. This round goes to the iPhone 5s.
Here's where the Android-based Nexus 5 shines. Don't like the way Android or an app works? No problem, you can change it. This is a big deal for productivity-boosting, because it means that you can get individual apps and the overall OS working exactly how you want it. The same can't be said of iOS.
Apps and ecosystem
iOS and Android are app-rich ecosystems, and because of that, neither one beats the other. However, with the iPhone 5s you're buying into the Apple ecosystem, and with the Nexus 5 you're buying into Google's ecosystem. That's where the Nexus 5 comes out on top. Google's ecosystem, including Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Now and other services beats iOS hands-down for productivity. Even though many Google services are made available as iOS apps, they're better on Android, and they come to Android first. So the Nexus 5 comes out ahead here.
Finally, there's the price equation. That's not directly tied to productivity, but still, it's important when deciding which to buy. The Nexus 5 is clearly a better deal, at $349 for a contract-free phone, compared to a whopping $649 for the iPhone 5s contract free. With contract, you can get the Nexus 5 for $149 from Sprint, while the iPhone 5s sells for $199 with a contract from a variety of service providers.
I'll give the nod here to the Nexus 5. It's got a bigger screen, better support for the Google ecosystem, and is more customizable, so you can get it to work exactly the way you want. The smaller pricetag doesn't hurt, either.