This review will not be covering all the technical details of Nexus versus iPhone, which can be easily found on the Internet. Instead, it will cover the bits that actually matters - what is it that would appeal to normal everyday user like us to go for a Nexus or an iPhone? Here's how it stacks up!
1. Nexus does not even have gesture or multi-touch capabilities [iPhone 1, Nexus 0]
One of the primary reasons why iPhone revolutionises the mobile phone industry is the ability to perform multiple gestures, or multi-touches to zoom into webpages in browsers, or photos. And to do so smoothly, and naturally - a far cry from the prehistoric "single-touch" capability of Windows Mobile or the absurdly, physically clunky Blackberry storm "touch". As users, we want to be doing much more of multi-touches, in novel, and creative manner. Expectations was set high, aligned with those such as the 3D multi-touch patent from Apple.
2. Nexus has a much higher resolution camera than Apple [iPhone 1, Nexus 1]Nexus has 5 megapixel camera while apple only at 3 megapixel. The photo quality does look better at 5 megapixel rather than 3, and this is an area in which Apple has to improve on. However, if you are looking for a really good camera phone, go for Sony Ericsson Satio instead, which has a whopping 12.1 megapixel with high resolution shot. Beyond 3 megapixel however, one should really focus on other camera features instead as megapixel is not a good overall measure.
3. Nexus is a (heaven) gateway to its cloud services [iPhone 1, Nexus 2]Yes, we all love (or will soon learn to love) google services. From gmail to picasa and to google doc, all are hosted online, available on almost any devices. Nexus may not be a revolutionary phone, but it is closely coupled with the cloud, and enabling seamless integration with all the goodies that google has. A prime example is the option for an automated upload of photos taken on Nexus directly to Google Picasa - which means no more wires, bluetooth or even annoyingly e-mailing yourself via gprs every single photos that you have ever taken. More of these, and Nexus II might be on to something. With apps forbidden from running in the background, it is hard for iPhone to catch up on this.
4. iPhone's look and feel is still much more superior [iPhone 2, Nexus 2]Despite being Google and having a few years lead than Apple, its desperation to get a slice of the mobile phone application market shows in the Nexus design. Not only it does not support multi-touch, it has stole essentially a trackball from Blackberry, for which Blackberry themselves are abandoning in their latest range of models such as that of Blackberry 9700.
A "tri-color" trackball is like trying to cram a disco-ball of the 80s into a phone, and expect that to woo users. What happened to Google's innovation team? We used to accuse Microsoft of copying everything that Google does, but it seems that Google is the new Microsoft. The trackball is at such an awkward position at the bottom of the phone that it is not natural to use unlike a trackball at the centre of Blackberry devices. Back to the drawing board, Google!
5. iPhone has an app for everything (for now) [iPhone 3, Nexus 2]The final verdict still comes from the plethora of apps that iPhone has for now. Android apps is nowhere near, and nowhere as polished as iPhone apps. For that, I think iPhone still win hands down.
Of course, there are others that Nexus has to offer, but they are seemed to be irrelevant features for now. For example, Nexus has a second microphone for active noise cancellation - okay, perhaps improve the voice quality by 10%, but does that truly matter? All phones nowadays are not just "good enough", the voice quality is very good that it's no longer an issue. It has an OLED screen, but without multi-touch, it will not be as gorgeous looking.
Perhaps the net generation of Nexus II would be a much more worthy match, but by then, I am sure that iPhone would deliver another revolutionary killer phone that it would also be too late for Google to displace the leader. For those who wants a compromise, perhaps an Android in iPhone may be your cup of tea!