The Samsung Galaxy S3, the iPhone 5 and the LG Nexus 4 are going to be featuring on many a Christmas list this year, but which one deserves to be at the top of the tree?
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5
The Samsung Galaxy S3 came out this summer and is the year’s best-selling smartphone. The iPhone 5 came out in September, and the LG Nexus 4 hit just days ago. The LG Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core chip, the Samsung Galaxy S3 a quad-core Exynos 1.4GHz chip (dual core 1.5GHz chip in the US). The iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz A6 chip which might not be as powerful as the other two, but is twice the speed of the A5 in the 4S. In theory, the LG Nexus 4 is the leader, as it has most cores and most RAM (2GB) combination.
The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” True HD IPS Plus display with a 1,280×768 resolution and 318ppi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 4.8” Super AMOLED screen with 1,280×720 and 306ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4” screen with a 1,136×640 resolution and 306ppi. These are three great screens, and really, it depends on what you want. IPS screens do better in direct light and have more realistic colours. AMOLED gives deeper blacks and intense colours. Many people prefer IPS to the hyper-real AMOLED displays, and because the Nexus 4 screen is both IPS and bigger than the IPS iPhone 5, it has the best of both worlds and wins out.
The LG Nexus 4 only has 8GB or 16GB of storage, which is a bit naff as there’s no SD card. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, and has up to 64GB of SD support. The iPhone 5 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but doesn’t have SD either, so the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a clear winner.
The LG Nexus 4 camera is 8MP and can take 1,080p films. It also has LED flash and autofocus and is supported by a 1.3MP camera on the front. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has an 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a 1.9MP front camera. The iPhone 5 joins the 8MP club, and has autofocus and LED flash too. The front camera is 1.2MP. Each camera has its good points – the S3 can take simultaneous stills and videos, the LG Nexus 4 has Photosphere courtesy of Android 4.2, and the iPhone 5 BSI sensor is brilliant in low light. The winner depends on what you value more but looking at it from a hardware perspective, the iPhone 5 is the clear winner.
Operating systems are an important consideration – the LG Nexus 4 has pure Jelly Bean 4.2. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been stuck on ICS but is finally getting Jelly Bean (4.1 though). Obviously the iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6. Again, it depends on your lifestyle and wants. If you want a nifty, streamlined OS, then iOS 6 will suit you. If, on the other hand, you want a lot of customization and widgets, then you’ll prefer Android. The Samsung Galaxy S3 offers the same possibilities as the Nexus 4, but you won’t have the same certainty about updates as with the other two.
The battery life on the LG Nexus 4 is around 15 hours on paper thanks to the 2100mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy S3 should last around 11 hours on 3G and the iPhone 5 has the smallest battery of 1440mAh which offers around 8 hours of talk time on 3G. However a recent battery test by AnandTech put the iPhone 5 ahead, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S3 and then the LG Nexus 4 at dead last (even fell behind HTC One X and iPhone 4S).
The LG Nexus 4 is 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm and weighs 139g. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 136.6mmx70.6mmx8.6mm and weighs 133g. The iPhone 5 is 123.8mmx58.6mmx7.6mm and 112g, which makes it the smallest and lightest. In terms of design the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5 draw, as they are equally stunning, but due to the dimensions of the iPhone 5 it is Apple that comes out ahead.
Price-wise, the LG Nexus 4 is $299 for the 8GB and $349 for the 16GB (unlocked). It’s only available from the Google Play Store at this price though. The Samsung Galaxy S3, unlocked, starts at $550, and the unlocked iPhone 5 isn’t out in the US yet, but it may come out just after Black Friday starting at around $650. The winner here is LG Nexus 4.
You also need to remember that the LG Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 come with NFC, and the iPhone 5 doesn’t. And the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 have LTE, but the Nexus 4 doesn’t. So if you want both LTE and NFC then there is only the S3.
If you want a user-friendly device, go for the iPhone 5, but the best value for money is the LG Nexus 4, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an all-round amazing device with more features than either of its rivals.