Samsung S3 vs Google LG Nexus 4The galaxy S3 has been one of the most popular Android phones in the market for some time now. It has a beautiful screen, amazing specs and overall is a pretty good phone. The newest contender to the S3s throne is the recently launched Google LG Nexus 4. The newest Android flagship phone launched by Google and manufactured by LG has mind-boggling specs for a really cheap price. Does it have what it takes to replace Samsungs S3 as the popular choice?
DisplayThe first thing we notice about a phone is its size. When Samsung launched the S3 it was mocked for having a huge 4.8 inch screen. Most of the Android fans felt it was too large, however people soon got comfortable with its size and its now actually a major selling factor for the phone. The LG Nexus 4 sports a similar 4.7 inch screen. The Nexus 4 however has a slightly higher resolution and pixel density than the S3 (302 for S3 and 320 for S3) The Displays use separate technologies with S3 using its Super AMOLED and Nexus 4 using the IPS Plus LCD display. Both have Gorilla Glass 2 protection but the S3 will be slightly better in sunlight whereas the Nexus 4 will be sharper.
Processor and MemoryBoth the Nexus 4 and the S3 devices have quad-core processors. The Galaxy S3 sports a 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 and the Nexus 4 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz. The Nexus 4 offers 2GB of RAM, which outperforms the 1GB of RAM in the European and international versions of the S3. The U.S. version of the Galaxy S3 matches the Nexus 4's 2GB of RAM however it has a dual-core instead of a quad core processor.
The Nexus 4 comes in 8GB and 16GB versions and has a huge disadvantage in the fact that it has no microSD slot and sports a Uni-body design which even though adds class takes away the removable battery. The Galaxy S3 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB varieties and you can expand by a further 64GB using the microSD slot which you can get to by removing the back cover. The Nexus 4 might have a lot going for it but lags behind in the storage department.
When it comes to comparing the main camera of the phones, both devices have 8-megapixel cameras that can record high definition 1080p video at 30 fps. They both have the usual LED flash, face detection, and loads of other features. Android 4.2 brings the new Photo Sphere feature for panoramas to the Nexus 4, but the Galaxy S3 camera app has some added features thanks to Samsungs bloatware. It’s easier to differentiate between the two phones on the front-facing camera because the Galaxy S3 has a 1.9-megapixel camera and the Nexus 4 has a 1.3-megapixel camera.
Both the S3 and the Nexus 4 phones have batteries rated at 2,100mAh. The Galaxy S3 battery is removable while the Nexus 4 battery isn’t which might be a big deal for some and might not for some. People who have the habit of carrying a spare battery for their phone will hate the Nexus 4 for that. We’ll need to wait for more extensive hands-on testing to see if there’s any difference in the consumption and use of the batteries but one novel feature the Nexus 4 has is that it supports wireless charging and has a nifty Wireless Charging Orb accessory, even you do have to buy it separately.
Both the phones have NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA, and everything else you would expect to find on the latest Android phone. The widely criticized flaw is that the Nexus 4 doesn’t support 4G LTE. Im unsure how much that matters, since LTE is fully functional only in the US and probably only a couple more countries but also because HSPA+ can be very fast. But if you're buying a Nexus 4 as a long term phone, by two years LTE will have entered every major market and will be a coveted feature.
User InterfaceAs a Google release the Nexus 4 has a stock Android and it offers version 4.2 which contains lots of refinements over 4.1, but is still named as Jelly Bean. There’s a new Quick Settings screen, widgets on the lock screen, improvements in Google Now, Voice Search, among a few other refinements in the version 4.2. The Galaxy S3 launched with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), but the Jelly Bean 4.1 update has rolled out devices already. It also has Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, which has already added some features such as a Quick Settings menu in the Notifications bar. There isn’t a huge difference in usability and the UI looks the same, but the latest version of Android is always the best as it has refinement, bug fixes etc. The 4.1 update for the Galaxy S3 brought a very noticeable improvement in speed and performance, as well as expanded Notifications and Google Now.
- While the Nexus 4 has a faster CPU it's GPU is lacking and thus games will work better on the GS3. Even though the GS3 only has 1GB or RAM it doesn't seem to have a problem storing/retrieving from memory. That may change in the future as apps begin to use more memory space.
- The biggest difference you will note is the GS3 screen is a bit darker in broad daylight which is a result of its AMOLED screen vs the N4's True HD IPS Plus.