There are many handsets on the market at the moment but there are likely 3 that are at the top of the Christmas lists most shoppers. These are the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the new LG Nexus 4. So which of these superb devices would you most like to see under your tree?
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 vs LG Nexus 4
The Samsung Galaxy S3 launched in the summer and it has been the best-selling smartphone of the year. The iPhone 5 was revealed by Apple in September and the LG Nexus 4 just this month. The Nexus has a quad core processor of 1.5GHz, the S3 comes with an Exynos 1.4GHz processor quad core internationally and in the US this is a 1.5GHz dual core. The iPhone 5 runs on the A6 chip which is 1.2GHz and is said to be twice as fast as the iPhone 4S. The LG Nexus 4 comes out on top in this category as it comes with the most cores and RAM combo (quad-core & 2GB).
The LG Nexus 4 comes with a display of True HD IPS Plus which is 1280 x 768 resolution and 318ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4 inch display and 1136 x 640 resolution that is 306ppi and the Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with the Super AMOLED display that is 1280 x 720 and has 306ppi. Some people prefer the display of the IPS screens as they are easier to see in sunlight and they tend to offer colours that are more realistic. The Super AMOLED display has blacks that are deeper and the colours are more intense but this is hyper-real for many. Based on this we will go for the IPS display, and give the LG Nexus 4 the crown as it has both IPS tech and the size advantage over the iPS iPhone 5 screen.
The LG Nexus 4 is let down by the fact that you can only get it in 8GB or 16GB and there is no SD card support. The Samsung Galaxy S3 on the other hand is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB and it supports SD card up to another 64GB. The iPhone 5 comes in the same storage choices internally as the S3, however it doesn’t support SD card, which makes the S3 the clear winner.
The camera on the LG Nexus 4 is 8 megapixels and it can take video at 1080p. It comes with autofocus and LED flash and there is a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also comes with an 8 megapixel camera which supports LED flash and autofocus and it has a camera on the front of 1.9 megapixels. The iPhone 5 comes with the 8 megapixel camera and has autofocus and LED flash and a camera of 1.2 megapixels on the front. Each of the devices have their pros and cons when it comes to the cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S3 can take photos and video at the same time, the LG Nexus 4 comes with PhotoSphere thanks to Android 4.2, and the iPhone 5 has a BSI sensor which is excellent in low light conditions. We’re going to give it to the iPhone 5 here.
The OS is very important and if you want the latest Jelly Bean experience then it has to be the LG Nexus 4 as it comes with Jelly Bean 4.2. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with ICS but the update is rolling out to Jelly Bean 4.1. The iPhone 5 of course runs on iOS 6 and is highly polished, and a breeze to use. However if it is customisation that you want then the Android devices may be the better option. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with the same features as the LG Nexus 4, however the Nexus will get updates faster than the S3 thanks to it being pure Android and the S3 will have the extra S-features.
The LG Nexus 4 comes with a battery of 2100mAh and this should provide around 15 hours of life. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a battery that should give around 11 hours of use and the iPhone 5 has a battery of 1440mAh which gives up to 8 hours use. These figures are all on paper of course and recently AnandTech put the devices through their paces. Battery life wise the iPhone 5 was in front, then the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the LG Nexus 4 in last place. The Nexus came behind the One X from HTC and the iPhone 4S as well.
When it comes down to size the LG Nexus 4 weighs 139 grams and comes in at 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a weight of 133 grams and is 136.6mmx70.6mmx8.6mm and the iPhone 5 weighs just 112 grams and is 123.8mmx58.6mmx7.6mm. This makes the iPhone 5 the slimmest of the two handsets and the lightest too. When it comes down to design both the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5 are stunning, however thanks to the fact that the iPhone 5 also has the dimensional advantages, it wins. The S3 and its plastic-fanstastic looks come in third.
You can get the LG Nexus 4 for $299 if you want the 8GB version or $349 for the 16GB version and both are unlocked. The Samsung Galaxy S3 starts at around $550 if you want the unlocked handset and the iPhone 5 unlocked is not out yet in the US in unlocked form. However it is purportedly due after Black Friday and will be around $650. The winner in this category has to be the Nexus 4.
Connectivity-wise, the LG Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 both have support for NFC, while the iPhone 5 does not. On the contrary, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 have LTE, but the Nexus 4 doesn’t. Therefore if you want both options in your handset you would have to go for the S3 naturally.
Verdict: If it is a device that is highly polished, packs a solid camera, decent amount of storage and has LTE that you’re after, then the iPhone 5 is ideal. But if you’re on a tight budget but still want the best yet can sacrifice storage space and LTE then the Nexus 4 is the answer. If you don’t want to make these sacrifices the it is the Samsung Galaxy S3.