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Galaxy S3 vs Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5: Age Comes Before Beauty

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When Samsung released its Galaxy S3 last May, it almost immediately became a best seller. Apple brought out the iPhone 5 in September, and this was followed by LG’s Nexus 4 in November. The Galaxy S3 is the oldest of these phones, but is it still the best?

The LG Nexus 4 has the 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip, while the iPhone 5 has the 1.2GHz A6 chip, which is slow, but still twice as fast as the A5 chip in the 4S. The Galaxy S3 has a quad-core chip internationally, and dual-core in the US. The Nexus 4 has 2GB of RAM and is quad-core, so it’s better than the GS3, which has only 1GB of RAM in the quad-core version. The LG Nexus wins this particular contest.

If you’re after Android then the Nexus 4, with Jelly Bean, is hard to beat. The Galaxy S3 started with Ice Cream Sandwich, but has since been bumped up to Jelly Bean, and the iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6. If you need customisation space then you’ll need Android, but if you want streamlined, then iOS 6 will fit the bill. You should also remember that the Nexus 4 will get faster and more regular updates.

The LG Nexus 4 has 8GB and 16GB versions, but no SD support. The Galaxy S3 has a lot of storage options – 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, as well as SD support for another 64GB. The iPhone 5 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, but no SD. The clear winner is the Galaxy S3.

The Nexus 4 has a 4.7” screen with a 1,280x768p resolution and 320ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4” screen with a 1,136x640p resolution and 306ppi, and the Galaxy S3 has a 4.8” Super AMOLED display. These are three good screens, but AMOLED can look over-saturated. The LG Nexus 4 has IPS and is big, so it wins.

You should get 15 hours of use from the Nexus 4 and its 2,100mAh battery. The iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 both give around eight hours.

The LG Nexus 4 weighs 129g and measures 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm; the Samsung Galaxy S3 weighs 122g and is 136.6×70.6mmx8.6mm. The Apple iPhone 5 is the lightest, at 112g and the smallest so it wins.

If you want NFC, you have got the choice between the LG Nexus and the Galaxy S3, but for LTE it’s between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. If you want both, you’ll need the Galaxy S3.

These handsets all have 8MP rear cameras, with 1080p video, LED flash and autofocus. The Nexus 4 has a 1.2MP front camera, compared to the S3’s 1.9MP camera. However, the iPhone 5 has an amazing BSI sensor, which wipes the floor with the competition.

If you want a user-friendly handset, it’s the iPhone 5 – it also looks great. If you’re looking after the pennies you should go for the LG Nexus 4 – it also looks good and has good hardware, but lacks LTE and storage. The Galaxy S3 is by far the best all-rounder, with a decent price and lots of widgets. So, it’s an oldie, but it’s the winner.

Alex customizes his cars and smartphones like its going out of fashion. Jumping between Korean and American, not only does Alex provide in-depth reviews but he usually hangs on to the models for some “real world testing” weeks at a time.