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Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: Is LG The Giant Slayer?

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One advantage that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has over the LG Nexus 4 is that it’s easily available, having been on the market for six months already. The LG Nexus 4 has been out since mid-November but is nigh-on impossible to get hold of. It’s had some glowing reviews, though.

The two phones have a lot in common, as well as some big differences. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is available through most US carriers, but the LG Nexus 4 isn’t. So apart from availability, how do these phones compare?

LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3

Screens: The huge 4.8” HD screen on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a big draw. Some thought it’d be too unwieldy, but the thin bezel and rounded shoulders mean it’s quite ergonomic. The LG Nexus 4 is a shade smaller at 4.7”, and this means a slightly higher ppi and so a sharper display. Each screen has different screen tech, with the Samsung Galaxy S3 having Super AMOLED and the Nexus 4 having IPS LCD.

Each screen has its upsides and downsides, and both are protected by Gorilla Glass 2. Bigger screens are the in-thing right now, but as long as the 0.1” difference in size doesn’t bother you, you’ll find that the LG Nexus 4 offers more realistic colours and is easier to read in direct sunlight. Some love the deep blacks and uber-real colours on the GS3, but it just doesn’t do so well in bright light. The Nexus 4 wins.

OS: The Samsung Galaxy S3 is at a distinct advantage here because it came out with ICS. Most carriers have bumped up to Jelly Bean now, but it’s 4.1 not 4.2, which means it’s missed out on a lot of TouchWiz add-ons.

The LG Nexus 4 has Jelly Bean 4.2, which gives a pure Android experience. You get loads of new widgets, like Google Now, PhotoSphere and gesture typing. Both phones are equally easy to use, but the Nexus will get the more reliable and frequent updates, so it wins.

Chips: Both phones have quad-core processors. The LG Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz S4 Pro Snapdragon and the S3 has a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon. Both have 2GB of RAM, but the extra cores in the Nexus give it the edge (in theory, anyway). The international Samsung Galaxy S3 has quad-cores, but only 1GB of RAM. The Nexus has it away.

Storage: The Samsung Galaxy S3 is excellent for storage – it comes in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, and has SD add-on to the tune of another 64GB. The LG Nexus 4 only comes in 8 and 16GB versions and has no SD. Obvious win.

Camera: Both rear cameras are great. They both are 8MP, have HD video, LED flash and face detection, as well as lots more. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 1.9MP front camera, which beats the 1.3MP offering on the LG Nexus 4, but the difference is only slight. It’s a draw, really.

Battery: Both have 2,100mAh batteries however recent tests by AnandTech showed that the Samsung Galaxy S3 battery beat the Nexus 4 in real life usage trials. The S3 wins here, too.

Price tags: You can get a contract LG Nexus 4 for around $200, and a contract Samsung Galaxy S3 would cost around the same. You can also buy the phones off contract – the Nexus for around $299 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 for around $600. The Nexus wins this one by a long way.

Winner: LG Nexus 4

The overall winner is the LG Nexus 4. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has had a good innings since the summer, but as tech is improving at an ever faster pace, reigns don’t last long. The Nexus 4 is looking like it has the right stuff to take a turn on the smartphone throne.

A nice little price tag and even nicer features means that the LG Nexus 4 may well dethrone the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Nexus won in four categories, and the S3 in just two. However, for some, the limited storage and carrier availability may rule it out, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 may be a better option still.

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