If the Samsung Galaxy S3 has one advantage over the Nexus 4 it’s that it’s been out for six months and is readily available. The LG Nexus 4 came out last month but it’s very hard to get hold of, and is so unlikely to match, let alone beat, the sales of the GS3 despite its glowing reviews.
LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
These phones are similar in many ways, but there are telling differences that will make choosing easier for buyers. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is on pretty much every US carrier, and the LG Nexus 4 isn’t. So, availability aside, has the Nexus 4 got the hardware goods to beat the S3?
The big stand out feature of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is its big 4.8” Super AMOLED screen. Many thought that the phone was too big for regular use, but it’s not because it has a thin bezel and rounded edges.
The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” display, so a shade smaller. This screen looks a bit sharper, though, because it has a higher ppi. The screens are different – AMOLED vs IPS. The LG Nexus gives more realistic colours and the display performs well even in direct sunlight. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has deep, deep blacks and hyper-real colours, which don’t go down too well with some. This isn’t helped by the fact that even on maximum brightness, the S3 doesn’t show up too well in sunlight. So, the LG Nexus 4 is the overall winner in display terms.
In terms of OS, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is disadvantaged once more – it comes out of the box with ICS, and has now finally got Jelly Bean 4.1. The TouchWiz UI also brings some bloatware along with it. The LG Nexus 4 has the pure Android Jelly Bean 4.2 experience, which means that users get lots of options and new features like Google Now, gesture Typing and PhotoSphere. The Nexus 4 will also get updates a lot more regularly than the S3, so it has to win.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has the advantage over the LG Nexus 4 in storage, though, as it comes in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, with SD support for a further 64GB. The Nexus 4 only comes in 8 or 16GB models and has no SD support.
The rear cameras are superb in both phones – 8MP – and both able to record video at 1,080p and 30fps. Both have face detection and LED flash, as well as lots of extra features.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 1.9MP front camera, compared to the Nexus 4’s 1.3MP offering. There’s no real difference here, so it’s a draw.
Both batteries are 2,100mAh, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 battery is removable, unlike the Nexus 4. AnandTech recently proved that the Samsung Galaxy S3 battery lasted longer than the Nexus 4 in the real world, so the S3 wins in the battery section.
Both of the handsets have the powerful processors. For the LG Nexus 4 this is the Snapdragon 1.5GHz S4 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has the dual core Snapdragon of 1.5GHz. Both have 2GB of RAM, however the Nexus 4 has an advantage with the extra cores, at least when it’s written on paper. It is worth noting that internationally the Samsung Galaxy S3 has the quad core processor, however it does only have 1GB of RAM. The winner here is the LG Nexus 4 again.
The LG Nexus 4 can be had for $200 on contract, which is around the same as the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Nexus 4 has a brilliant off-contract price though – 8GB for $299, compared to nearly $600 for the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3. The Nexus 4 carries it off no probs.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been the best-selling smartphone of the year, but tech, as ever, is moving on and bigger, better and faster phones are popping out everywhere you look. The LG Nexus 4 does, then, have the right stuff to take on the S3.
The brilliant features of the Nexus 4, along with its attractive price, mean that it may well dethrone the Samsung Galaxy S3… on paper at least. The LG Nexus 4 has won four categories here, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 only won two. Many buyers will be put off by the lack of storage and LTE, and these people might prefer the GS still though.