Anyone who got one of the big three phones – the Samsung Galaxy S3, the iPhone 5 and the LG Nexus 4 – for Christmas should still be really pleased with them. Which is the best, though?
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4
The three were released throughout last year – the Galaxy S3 in May, the iPhone 5 in September and the LG Nexus 4 in November. The LG Nexus 4 has a Qualcomm 1.5GHz quad-core chip, the GS3 has a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip (although in the US it’s a dual-core 1.5GHz). The iPhone 5 has an A6, 1.2GHz chip. This is the slowest of the three, but is still twice as fast as the iPhone 4S. The LG Nexus 4 is the winner, as it has quad-cores and 2GB of RAM.
The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” True HD IPS Plus screen with a 1280x768p resolution and a 318ppi. The GS3 has a 4.8” Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1280×720 and a ppi of 306. The iPhone 5 has the smallest screen – 4” – with a resolution of 1,136x640p and a 326ppi. These are great screens, and you’ll pick according to what’s important to you. The IPS displays do better in bright light, and have more realistic colours. AMOLED screens show deeper blacks and hyper-real colours, but many prefer the reality of IPS. As the Nexus 4 has a big screen AND IPS, it’s the best of the trio.
The LG Nexus 4 camera is 8MP and can record video at 1080p. There’s LED flash and autofocus, as well as PhotoSphere panorama. It has a 1.3MP front camera. The Galaxy S3 also has an 8MP camera that can record at 1080p; it also has autofocus and LED flash, as well as a 1.9MP front camera. The iPhone 5 has an 8MP camera too, as well as LED flash, autofocus and a 1.2MP front camera. Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses – the Samsung Galaxy S3 can take simultaneous stills and videos, the LG Nexus 4 has PhotoSphere and the iPhone 5 has an amazing BSI sensor that takes great low light photos. You get to choose the winner.
The Nexus 4 comes with 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, and no SD support. The Galaxy S3 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options, as well as up to 64GB of SD support. The iPhone 5 also has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but no SD. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the winner.
On paper, the LG Nexus 4 should give you around 15 hours of talk with its 2,100mAh battery. The Galaxy S3 should give 11 hours on 3G and the iPhone 5 eight hours. However AnandTech’s recent test placed the iPhone first, with the Galaxy S3 second and the Nexus 4 last.
OS is vital when you’re choosing a phone. The LG Nexus 4 has Jelly Bean 4.2. The Galaxy s3 has got Jelly Bean now, and the iPhone 5 has iOS 6. Most people will be stuck between the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5. When it comes to OS, you need to think about your lifestyle. If you want streamlined, go for iOS. If you like to fiddle and customise, go for Android. The Nexus 4 will get more reliable updates than the Galaxy S3, though, so bear this in mind.
The LG Nexus 4 is133.9mm x 68.7mm x 9.1mm and weighs 139g; the Samsung Galaxy S3 is 136.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.6m, and weighs 133g. The iPhone 5 is 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and weighs just 112g. It’s a draw for looks between the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5, as they are both stunning looking phones.
The LG Nexus 4 comes from the Google Play Store for $299 for the 8GB and $349 for the 16GB. The Galaxy S3 is from $550 unlocked, and the iPhone starts at $650.
You also have to remember that the LG Nexus 4 and the S3 have NFC support, while LTE is the province of the GS3 and the iPhone 5. If you want both, you’ll need the Galaxy S3.
If you want a nifty, user-friendly phone, then the iPhone 5 is the obvious choice. The LG Nexus 4 is the best value for money, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a great all-rounder with loads of features at a mid-range price.