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iPhone 5 vs Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: “Plastic Fantastic” Wins

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When the Samsung Galaxy S3 came out last May, it wasn’t long before it was the best-selling smartphone of the year. Apple threw the iPhone 5 at it in September, and then it had to fend off the LG Nexus 4 in November. Is the Galaxy S3 really the best, though?

The LG Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip, while the iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz dual core chip and the Galaxy S3 has a quad core Exynos chip (international version – the US version has a dual-core). The iPhone 5 is the slowest, but it’s still twice as fast as the 4S. The LG Nexus 4 has four cores and 2GB of RAM, compared to either 1GB of RAM and four cores, or 2GB of RAM and two cores in the GS3. The Nexus 4 carries it away.

The Nexus 4 is on Android Jelly Bean 4.2, whereas the Galaxy S3 is on 4.1. The iPhone 5 is on iOS 6, as you’d expect, and this is a nifty, user-friendly OS. If you’re after customisation options, you’ll want Android, though. One big edge that the Nexus 4 has over the Galaxy S3 is that it’ll get updates much faster, so really, it comes down to deciding between the iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4.

The LG Nexus 4 comes in 8GB and 16GB versions, but has no SD card. The Galaxy S3 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, with SD support for another 64GB, so the GS3 is the winner by yards.

The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” True HD IPS screen and a resolution of 1,280×768 and 318ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4” IPS screen with a 1,136×640 resolution and a 306ppi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the biggest, at 4.8”, with a 306ppi and a 1,280×720 resolution. Each screen has its ups and downs, and you’ll have to go for the one that suits your needs most. IPS gives the most realistic colours, whereas the Super AMOLED screen on the GS3 can look over-saturated. As the LG Nexus has IPS and is big, it’s the winner.

You should get around 15 hours of talk with the Nexus 4 and its 2,100mAh battery. The GS3 and the iPhone 5 both give you around eight hours. However, Anandtech showed that the iPhone 5 had the best battery, with the Galaxy S3 second and the Nexus 4 third.

The LG Nexus measures 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm and weighs 129 grams and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is 136.6×70.6mmx8.6mm with a weight of 135g grams. The Apple iPhone 5 wins, though, as it’s smallest and has the best design; however the LG Nexus 4 wasn’t exactly hit with the ugly stick.

If you need NFC, you have the choice of the Galaxy S3 and the LG Nexus 4. If it’s LTE you’re after, you have the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. The GS3 has both facilities, so it has a clear advantage.

The Nexus 4 has an 8MP camera with autofocus and 1080p video. There’s also a 1,3MP camera at the front. The GS3 also has an 8MP camera, with LED flash and autofocus, and a 1,9MP front camera. The iPhone 5 has the obligatory 8MP rear camera with a 1.2MP front camera. Each camera has a unique feature – with the Nexus you’ve got PhotoSphere, with the iPhone 5 you can take almost unbeatable low-light pics, and the Galaxy S3 can take simultaneous stills and films. The iPhone 5 stands head and shoulders above the other two, though, with its outstanding BSI sensor.

The iPhone 5 is the easiest phone to use, and it looks amazing. The LG Nexus 4 has brilliant hardware and a decent price, but has no LTE and no extra storage. The Galaxy S3 is the best all-rounder, with loads of storage, low price and lots of great widgets.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.