The LG Nexus 4 was announced recently and while it packed some serious hardware and a price tag that put the Samsung Galaxy S3 to shame, it had two drawbacks – lack of LTE and minimal storage space. So are these two disadvantages enough to put it below the Samsung Galaxy S3 despite all its merits? Let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4
First up. Does the lack of LTE make a difference? If you are currently on AT&T and using a LTE device then going back from 4G to 3G for the LG Nexus 4 would be like going back from using a broadband connection to dial up. With LTE web pages load up so much faster and many people wouldn’t consider going back.
AT&T has not given out any specifics about the performance of their network and they have caused some confusion when they called their HSPA+ network 4G. The LG Nexus 4 supports HSPA+ of course. AT&T have launched their LTE network and of course they want to get people interested in it by talking up their speeds.
Just last month the head of wireless said during a conference call that their LTE service gives speeds of around 12mbps. This can be compared on average with speeds of around 2mpbs to 6mbps on the HSPA+ service. He also said that the speeds for Android customers had been boosted by 50% last year, before they started offering LTE.
For customers who have been with AT&T for a long time, the improvement over download speeds is a great improvement. The LTE network also means that congestions on the older 3G and HSPA+ networks has been helped, and this means less dropped calls and better performance on the 3G network. This for AT&T is great news, as they haven’t exactly held the best record for dropped calls.
But what does it actually mean for the consumer and you choice between devices such as the LG Nexus 4 (HSPA+) and the Samsung Galaxy S3 (LTE)? The LG Nexus 4 doesn’t have support for LTE and the S3 does. However the Nexus 4 has the benefit of having the latest OS and it is the pure Android experience compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and ICS (although the handset is getting updated to Jelly Bean soon).
Some believe that the LTE of the Samsung Galaxy S3 makes up for the software issues and owning a pure Google handset. In the case of AT&T, this is even more so, as the speeds with them are superb on LTE. So for those who are with AT&T the lack of LTE on the LG Nexus 4 will probably be the deal breaker and these people will go for the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Now that we’ve crossed AT&T off the list, there are other carriers where the LG Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3 are supported. If you are with T-Mobile for instance (LG Nexus 4 is available for $199 on contract) then you know that they do not offer LTE and so the advice is different as they won’t get LTE until next year. In this case the LG Nexus 4 may be a superb choice on HSPA+, as it does perform better than the one at AT&T. Some people say that it even rivals the LTE of AT&T as you can expect speeds of up to 42mbps with T-Mobile. However those are theoratical speeds and you would be lucky to break 20Mbps.
If you are an international customer then at the moment LTE is largely irrelevant as few carriers support it In this case the pure Google experience of the LG Nexus 4 wins again. So really, it is only AT&T users who should opt for the Samsung Galaxy S3 while all others should go for the LG Nexus 4.
Of course another concern over the LG Nexus 4 is the fact that it comes in 8GBor 16GB and it doesn’t have support for SD card. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is offered in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions and it has support for SD card up to another 64GB. Now if you don’t plan on storing your movies and photos permanently on your device then this shouldn’t pose as a problem, as Google is moving its services to the cloud part by part. So a 16GB LG Nexus 4 should last the average user up to their next upgrade.
So to recap, the bottom line is that if you are on AT&T then you may be better off going for the Samsung Galaxy S3 instead of the LG Nexus 4 as LTE does make a world of difference.