Android devices come from all walks of life, but in each generation there is a “chosen one”. In 2012, it’s the Nexus 4 and, as an overall package, this is probably the best Google has ever delivered. Yet, by a mean twist of fate, it has the most formidable opposition of any Nexus phone so far. Even with Google’s official backing, the purebred Nexus 4 is not guaranteed a win against the Samsung Galaxy S III – the Android smartphone of the season, which has been selling in numbers that make Black Friday look like a slow day at the grocery.While both devices have some similarities, there are some pretty key differences here as well. Let’s take a quick look at specs, dimensions and the software running inside to get a better idea of how the two Android phones really compare next to each other.
Weight and Dimensions
Both devices are large-screen phones that still have a fairly sleek and sexy overall design. The Nexus 4 probably has a design that is going to appeal to those looking for more eye candy though.
As for actual size, the Galaxy S3 is thinner at .34-inches, versus the Nexus 4′s .36-inch thickness. Weight wise, the Galaxy S3 is also just 133g, while the Nexus 4 is a bit heavier at 139 grams. Is this a HUGE difference? For most of us, probably not.
Pretty close here. The 4.7-inch Nexus 4 has a 1280 x 768 display with a ppi of 318. In contrast, with the Galaxy S3 you get a 4.8-inch 306ppi device with a resolution of 1280 x 720.
Processor and RAM
With the Nexus 4 you have a Quad-Core Qualcomm S4 running at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM.
As for the S3? It depends. In the North American market you get a Qualcom S4 dual-core at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. As for the international market, you get a quad-core Exynos at 1.4GHz with just 1GB of RAM.
While the Nexus 4 might be a little faster here, it’s really hard to say for sure considering the major differences between the international and North American Galaxy S3.
Honestly, the Samsung Galaxy S3 really wins here. You have 16/32/64GB choices and can expand the memory even further with an SD slot. As for the Nexus 4? No SD slot and only 8 and 16GB storage sizes.
Actually, the batteries in both devices are 2100 mAh. That being said, the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE so it might actually perform better. Probably too early to call for sure.
Unfortunately, the LG Nexus 4 just has HSPA+ 42 and no 4G LTE. This might not matter to you if you are in a region that doesn’t have 4G LTE, though. In many ways HSPA+ 21 and 42 are more widespread than LTE anyhow.
This is probably where preferences are really going to kick in hard. If you absolutely want LTE… the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins here.
The Nexus 4 gives us an 8MP rear cam and 1.3MP front cam. The Galaxy S3 has an 8MP rear cam and a 1.9MP front cam. At least on paper, these two devices are pretty on par in this category.
While both devices are running Android, many markets have yet to even get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean delivered to the Samsung Galaxy S3 yet– let alone the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update. While there isn’t that major for some users, it is still another factor to consider. If you want the latest version of Android, the Nexus 4 has it and the Galaxy S3 still doesn’t. Also worth noting, the Galaxy S3 has the TouchWiz interface, while you get a vanilla Android experience with Nexus devices.
So Which Wins?
Honestly, there is no clear winner here. If you want a solid device that is fast and has the latest version of Android but don’t care about LTE, you might certainly want an LG Nexus 4.
If you want more storage space and 4G LTE (in select markets) then you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy S3. What is great about Android devices is that there is a wide variety out there, which makes it easy to find something tailored directly to what you are looking for. Which do you prefer, the Galaxy S3 or the new LG Nexus 4?
If price is a factor, the LG Nexus 16GB might also be worth looking at since it is only $350 unlocked, versus $600 for an unlocked Galaxy S3. If you want a contract, there are sometimes some pretty good deals for the Galaxy S3 with a two-year commitment, though.
Samsung Galaxy S3 – vs – LG Nexus 4 – HD