With the rumored Nexus 6 or Moto Nexus X or whatever its being called these days on the horizon, I thought we’d take a look back at the Nexus 5 which for the great specs it presented was pretty affordable. While doing that we’d pit it up against another smartphone that is high in specs with a cheaper price as well which is the OnePlus One. In a land of expensive smartphones pushing the retail pricing of $800+ such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, there are still some out there that can’t afford these devices but still want something superior and can take them through everyday use. Which is able to give a great Android experience and not break the wallet?
Like the OnePlus One vs. HTC One M8 battle before, the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One greatly differ in design. The OnePlus One has 5.5″ 1080p display with 401ppi while the Nexus 5 is at 5″ with a 1080p screen and 441ppi. The Nexus 5 seemed to produce a brighter screen while the OnePlus One was slightly sharper.
Interesting tidbit about the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One is their different color models have been created with different materials. The white Nexus 5 has more of a smooth plastic feel while the black version is a rubbery plastic. The gray or sandstone version of the OnePlus One has a feel like its name of sandstone which feels rough but provides some grip on the device. The silk white version is a smooth plastic like the white Nexus 5. My favorite design would be the Sandstone of the OnePlus One. While some may consider a gimmick, the look and feel is just something you don’t normally feel on a smartphone or any device in general.
In the hardware department OnePlus One being a newer device has a One-up on its competition. While they both have Adreno 330 GPUs, the Nexus 5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip whereas the OnePlus One is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset. RAM is higher on the OnePlus One with it going with 3GB while the Nexus 5 sits at 2GB. Storage wars are vastly different with the Nexus 5 having options of 16/32GB and the OnePlus going with the small 16GB to the high 64GB. Neither one has options for expandable memory and the OnePlus’s higher 64GB runs for $349.99 trumping the Nexus’ highest 32GB capacity by $50(32GB is $399.99).
There isn’t too many bad things to say about the Nexus 5 but one thing you wont like is one of its most important. That would be its battery life which uses a 2300mAh battery. It’s weird as the battery will fluctuate from having life ranging from 4 hours to up to 8 hours. No matter what you try to do it’s just bad. I have had some colleagues state the Android L leaks have helped the battery life some. The OnePlus One on the other hand comes in with a 3000mAh battery. This battery is a beast by all means. I rarely keep it attempted to the charger as I’m able to go well over a day with it and when it does need juice it charges back up fast within an hour or two.
Great thing about both devices is they are both unlocked and can be used with just about any GSM carrier or if you are in the US they would be AT&T and T-Mobile. I have tested both the OnePlus One and Nexus 5 on both carriers here in the US and have gotten the advertised speeds and network coverage without any issue.
Best thing going both of these devices is they aren’t being held down by any 3rd party skins. Which means no Sense from HTC or god awful heavy TouchWiz by Samsung. Not saying they are the worst things in the world and they definitely work for those that don’t like to customize their devices but I always been a fan of stock. With the Nexus 5 its running pure Android stock while the OnePlus One is using a modified version of CyanogenMod 11S. The OnePlus One has some great modifications from CyanogenMod 11S as it has taken the best from different Android OSes and combined it into one. OnePlus One even has its own themer so you can add icons and such without needing any launcher. The Nexus 5 on the other hand is just stock out the box but it runs the smoothest out of any Android device including the OnePlus One up to this day even a year later after its release. Either way you can’t go one and if you like to customize your smartphones to your liking these are both good options to use.
Since the Nexus 5 is from the Nexus line, it is always the first to get the latest versions of Android before others. OnePlus One has been good at keeping tabs on this as well and making sure modified updates of the latest Android OS hits their OnePlus One in a timely manner as well. Both right now are up to date with Android 4.4.4 and both will most likely be some of the first devices to get Android L when it is released any day now.
While I had mentioned the battery is the worst thing on the Nexus 5, the camera is a close 2nd. It has a 8MP camera and while that isn’t all that high it just takes really crap shots. Using the Nexus 5 camera I always opted to use HDR to even get an impressive picture. Software updates have improved it slightly but don’t expect much out of it. The OnePlus One on the other hand has a 13MP shooter which takes some great shots and gives you various camera modes and options out the box. Even better it has a 5MP front facing camera just like the HTC One. OnePlus One pretty much destroys the Nexus 5 in this department. Now not saying the Nexus 5 is the worst camera on the face of the earth but there is better out there. Check the galleries below and I have some more Nexus 5 shots if you check the Flickr link as well.
Nexus 5 Gallery
OnePlus One Gallery
Both the OnePlus One are great at helping you some money if you are looking for a smartphone with high specs but don’t want to break the bank. Each have great processors, run smooth as hell and have nice displays. The OnePlus One wins over the Nexus 5 with battery life and camera while the Nexus 5 may be more suitable for those that don’t want a huge screen and its Android OS runs slightly smoother. Also pricepoints are better on the OnePlus One with options of $299.99 for 16GB or $349.99 for 64GB which are $50 cheaper than the Nexus 5’s 16GB at $349.99 or 32GB at $399.99 comparisons.
Sadly the real problem with OnePlus is availability. To get a OnePlus One you have to get an invite which isn’t fairly easy to obtain. While the Nexus 5 you can go to their website and purchase one or even get one through T-Mobile’s website if still available.
If you can get your hands on a OnePlus One you wont regret and as said the Nexus 5 is a great device in itself. Both are priced cheap and either one can leave you a winner in the wallet.
Original published on G Style Magazine