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iPhone 5 vs Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: A Threeway Scrap

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Which one of the top three handsets is warming people up through the cold New Year?

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4

The Samsung Galaxy S3 hit the streets in May last year, and became 2012’s best-seller. The Apple iPhone 5 followed in September, with the LG nexus 4 bringing up the rear in November. The Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm chip, the iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz A6 chip, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad-core Exynos chip (dual-core in the US). So, the iPhone is the slowest of the trio, although it’s twice the speed of the iPhone 4S. The LG Nexus 4 has the best combo – quad-core and 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy S3 is quad-core with 1GB of RAM, or dual-core with 2GB of RAM. The LG Nexus 4 has the best of both worlds.

The LG Nexus 4 is on Jelly Bean 4.2 compared to the Galaxy S3’s 4.1, and the iPhone 5 is on iOS 6. If you’re after nifty, you’ll want iOS 6. However, if you like to twiddle and customise, you’ll be wanting Android. While the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the LG Nexus 4 both have Android, the Nexus 4 will get speedier and more regular updates than the Galaxy S3. We have to declare a draw, though, as OS really is a more personal matter.

While the LG Nexus comes in 8GB and 16GB versions, it has no SD card. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions and has SD add-on for up to 64GB. The iPhone 5 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but has no SD. The Galaxy S3 has to win on this one.

The LG Nexus 4 has a True IPS Plus display of 4.7”, with a 318ppi and a resolution of 1,280x768p. The Galaxy S3 has a 4.8” Super AMOLED screen with a 306ppi and a resolution of 1,280x720p. The 4” screen of the iPhone 5 is the smallest, and its IPS screen has a resolution of 1,136x640p and a ppi of 306. So, three fab screens here, and many will choose according to personal preference. IPS gives more realistic colours, while AMOLED looks hyper-real a lot of the time. The LG Nexus is IPS and has a large display, so again it’s got the best of both worlds.

The LG Nexus 4 should give you up to 15 hours of talk with its 2,100mAh battery, and the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 will give eight or so. AnandTech tested the three phones not so long ago, and the iPhone 5 came in first, with the Galaxy S3 second and the Nexus 4 third.

The LG Nexus 4 is 129g and measures 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm. The Galaxy S3 weighs 133g and measures 136.6×70.6mmx8.6mm. The iPhone 5 is a tiny 112g and measures 123.8mmx58.6×7.6mm. The iPhone 5 wins in the looks department, with the Nexus 4 on a par with it. The iPhone 5’s smaller size means it wins, though.
An 8GB Nexus 4 will cost you $299, and the 16GB will cost $349 if you buy it at the Google Play Store. The Samsung Galaxy S3 starts at $550 off-contract, and the Apple iPhone is $650 off-contract. The LG Nexus 4 wins on price.

The LG Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S3 both have NFC, and the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 both have LTE. If you want both capabilities, you’ll need the Galaxy S3, which wins this round.

The LG Nexus 4 has an 8MP rear camera with autofocus, LED flash and 1,080p video. It has a 1.3MP front camera. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8MP camera too, also with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a 1.9MP camera. The iPhone 5 has an 8MP rear camera as well as a 1.2MP front offering. Each camera has its merits and demerits. The Galaxy S3 can take simultaneous stills and videos, the LG nexus 4 has PhotoSphere and the iPhone 5 is only beaten by the Nokia Lumia 920 in low light. While it’s up to you, the iPhone 5, objectively speaking, wins with its BSI sensor.

Conclusion: The iPhone 5 is easiest to use, and the LG Nexus 4 is the cheapest and hence gives the best value for money. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best all-rounder, with the least number of drawbacks at a fair price.

Green, emission free, recyclable… these are the words you usually find in Joshua’s stories. From hybrid cars to intuitive technologies for consumer electronics, Joshua leads our green news stories.