Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3: Head To Head

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 hit the streets last May, and quickly became 2012’s best-seller. The iPhone 5 followed in September, and then the LG Nexus 4 came out in November. Which of these giants is really the daddy?

iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 vs Nexus 4

The LG Nexus 4 has a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, the iPhone 5 a dual-core 1.2GHz A6 chip, and the Galaxy S3 has a quad-core Exynos chip (in the US, it’s dual-core). The iPhone 5 has the slowest chip, then, but this is still twice the speed of the iPhone 4S. The LG Nexus 4 wins in both camps – quad-core and 2GB of RAM. With the GS3 you get either dual-core and 2GB of RAM, or quad-core with just 1GB of RAM. The Nexus 4 has to win here.

The Galaxy S3 has Jelly Bean 4.1, and the Neus 4 has 4.2. The iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, of course. If you’re after a nifty operating system, then it’s iOS 6 for you. However, if you want to be able to customise, you’ll need Android. The Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S3 both run on Android, but the Nexus 4 will get faster updates, so will be the better choice. OS is a personal matter, though, so it has to be a draw here.

The LG Nexus 4 has 8GB and 16GB versions, but has no SD support. The Galaxy S3 has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions and has SD for another 64GB. The iPhone also has 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but no SD. The Galaxy S3 is obviously the winner.

The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” True HD IPS Plus screen with a 1,280x768p resolution and 318ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4” IPS screen and a 1,136x640p resolution, and the Galaxy S3 has a 4.8” Super AMOLED screen with 1,280x720p. These are great screens, and people will pick according to taste. IPS screens are more realistic and fare better in bright light, whereas Super AMOLED can look unrealistic and over-saturated. The LG Nexus has a big – and IPS – screen, so it’s top of the pile.

The LG Nexus weighs 129g and is 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm in size. The Galaxy S3 is 133g and 136.6×70.6mmx8.6mm, and the iPhone 5 is a wee 112g and 123.8mmx58.6×7.6mm. The iPhone 5 wins on looks, but the LG Nexus 4 is a close second. Only the iPhone 5’s smaller frame keeps it ahead.

You’ll most likely get 15 hours of talk from the Nexus 4 and its 2,100mAh battery. The Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 will give you around eight hours. Anandtech tested the three devices and found that the iPhone was in the lead, with the GS3 second and the Nexus 4 third.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 and the LG Nexus 4 both have NFC, and the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 both have LTE. So, if you want both, the Galaxy S3 sits firmly in the middle of the connectivity Venn diagram.

The Nexus 4 has an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, autofocus and 1080p video. There’s also a 1,3MP front camera. The GS3 also has an 8MP rear camera, with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a 1.9MP front camera. The iPhone 5 has an 8MP rear camera too, and a 1.2MP front camera. Each camera has its pluses and minuses. The Nexus 4 has PhotoSphere, the iPhone 5 is great in dim conditions and the Galaxy S3 can take simultaneous stills and films. The iPhone 5’s BSI sensor beats the other two into a cocked hat, though.

To sum up: The iPhone 5 is the most user-friendly, and the most beautiful. The LG Nexus 4 has the best price, and the amazing hardware under the hood also makes it amazing value for money. The Samsung Galaxy S3 however is the best all-rounder, with almost no sacrifices and at a fair price.

Cecelia has the patience of a praying mantis. She spends the day sifting through press releases from all the major brand’s PR reps. From the most ridiculous announcements to those you really want to know more about, Cecelia makes it a point to skim through as many daily as possible so you won’t have to.