Nexus 4 vs iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3: Who Da Daddy?

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The Samsung Galaxy S3, the LG Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5 are gracing a lot of wish lists this Christmas, but which one would you want to find in your stocking this year?

LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5

The Samsung Galaxy S3 came out in May and is the year’s best-selling phone. The iPhone 5 came out in September and was followed by the LG Nexus 4 in November.

The LG Nexus 4 has a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip, the iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz A6 dual-core chip and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has its quad-core Exynos offering (the US version has a dual-core 1.5GHz chip). The iPhone 5 is twice the speed of the 4S, but it’s the slowest of the trio on paper. The LG Nexus 4 is the fastest, as it has 2GB of RAM and four cores, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S3 comes in dual-core with 2GB or quad-core with 1GB RAM. The LG Nexus has the best of both worlds, so wins out. But remember, this is only on paper as it has the most cores and RAM combo.

The LG Nexus 4 has a 4.7” True HD IPS Plus screen, with a 1,280x768p resolution and 318ppi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a bit bigger at 4.8” and has a 1,280×720 resolution, with 306ppi. The iPhone 5 is the smallest of the bunch with a 4” screen – 1,136x640p resolution and 306ppi. It’s also IPS. Three great screens, and people will have different favourites because they need different things. AMOLED gives very vibrant colours and endless blacks, whereas IPS handles direct light really well and is more realistic. Personally, as it has IPS and a big screen, we’ll let the LG Nexus 4 take the cake again.

The LG Nexus 4 8MP camera has LED flash, autofocus and can do 1,080p films. It also has a 1.3MP front camera. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8MP rear and a 1.9MP front camera. The rear camera has LED flash and autofocus. The iPhone 5 also has an 8MP rear camera and a wee 1.2MP camera on the front. Each camera has its ups and downs – the Samsung Galaxy S3 can take simultaneous films and photos, the LG Nexus 4 benefits from Android’s PhotoSphere and the iPhone 5 is second only to the Nokia Lumia 920 in low light. You’ll have your personal favourite, but being strictly objective, the iPhone’s BSI sensor puts it in the lead.

The LG Nexus 4 has 8 or 16GB versions, and lacks an SD card. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has 16, 32 and 64GB versions and has SD support for another 64GB. The iPhone 5 has the same sizes as the Samsung Galaxy S3, but has no SD. So, the S3 wins here.

You should get around 15 hours of talk from the 2,100mAh battery in the LG Nexus 4, and around eight from the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5. Recently, though, a battery test by AnandTech had the iPhone 5 in the lead, followed by the S3 and then the Nexus 4.

Operating system is a big deal when you’re choosing a phone. The LG Nexus 4 has Jelly Bean 4.2, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has Jelly Bean 4.1 (finally) and the iPhone 5 has iOS 6. For nifty and zippy, go iOS 6. However, you’ll need Android if you want customisation options. Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the LG Nexus 4 are on Android, but the Nexus 4 will get regular updates. It’s a three-way draw, really. It’s up to you.

The LG Nexus 4 is 133.9mm x 68.7mm x 9.1mm and 129g, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is 136.6mmx70.6mmx8.6mm and 133g, and the iPhone 5 is a titchy wee 112g and 123.8mmx58.6mmx7.6mm. In design and looks, the iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4 take it away, with the iPhone 5’s thinner body and lighter weight edging it out in front.

You can get the LG Nexus 4 from $299 for the 8GB model and $349 for the 16GB model. This is only from the Google Play Store, though. The Samsung Galaxy S3 generally starts at $550, and an unlocked iPhone 5 starts at $650. The Nexus wins this section because it’s got the lowest price.

Both the LG Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 have NFC, but the iPhone 5 doesn’t. The iPhone 5 and the S3 both have LTE, which the Nexus 4 misses out on. If you want both LTE and NFC, you’ll need the Samsung Galaxy S3, so it’s the winner here.

To sum up: The iPhone 5 is the most user-friendly of the three, and the LG Nexus 4 is the best value for money. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best all-round device as it doesn’t skimp on any hardware and has a medium price tag.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.