Monday, February 11, 2013

In-hand Comparison : LG Nexus 4 Vs Samsung Galaxy S3

Honestly, with the spurt in the number of models every manufacturer is coming up with to make their mark with the wonderkid known as Android, the common man is finding it increasingly difficult to zero in on the best. We sense your dilemma, and bring to you an in-hand comparison of the LG Nexus 4 Vs Samsung Galaxy S3.

LG Nexus 4 VS. Samsung Galaxy S3

With the Samsung Galaxy S3 taking over the Android market with its latest, feature rich TouchWiz Nature UI for almost over 6 months now, with a whooping alleged 30 million handsets sold, is certainly the most inevitable smart phone to go for in the higher-end category. Or is it? On the other hand is Google’s controversial flagship Nexus, The Nexus 4 was the most anticipated of all Nexus phones & went out of stock in the USA & UK just minutes after its launch on the play store. Although, its arrival in the huge Indian market is doubtful (obviously), just like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Early review of the LG Nexus 4 suggests that it sure is a tough competitor for Samsung Galaxy S3 given that it’s priced almost half that of the Nexus 4.

Build Quality/Design & Feel

LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 -

To start with, both the devices have almost similar size to weight ratios & holding them together, I couldn’t figure out any significant difference in their weight. The S3 stands a little taller than the Nexus 4 and is an edge wider too. The front screen on the Nexus is pitch dark & glossy and also has a clean and minimalistic design compared to the S3 as it does not have a home button. Whereas the S3 has a distinct “Samsung” logo right below the earpiece and the proximity sensor & a springy Home button adjacent to bright white capacitives for back and menu at the bottom.
Both devices have the exact same placements for the buttons & jacks, starting with the Power buttons on the right, going clockwise have a micro-USB ports at the bottom, the Volume-rockers on the left and the headphone jack’s on the top of the devices. The Nexus 4 does have two distinctive screws on either side of the micro-USB port, which symbolizes it’s a LG device inspired from the Optimus G.
LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 -
The non-removable glass-back panel of the Nexus 4 definitely out-shines the S3 in terms of looks with its shiny-sparkling-patented (obviously)-crystal design. It is just beautiful to hold the device and see it sparkle at in day light. The flagship Nexus Logo floats on the back right below the flash & the 8MP. Camera, while the LG logo is at the bottom sitting next to the vertical speaker outlet on its right. Whereas the S3 has a removable & pretty clean poly-carbonate glossy back with the 8MP. The camera snuggles right between the flash on the left & speaker outlet on the right & a trademark Samsung logo in the center. S3 does have an advantage when it comes to removing the battery & the expandable memory compared to the Nexus 4. You can also experiment with various different colors of back covers in-case it loses its shine.


The Displays are made of “Corning Gorilla Glass 2“ and thus both devices are without-a-doubt the best I have seen on a smart-phone ever. The crisp & clear 4.8”HD Super AMOLED 1280×720 display which rounds about to 306 ppi (pixel-per-inch) on the S3 is stunning. While the 4.7” True HD IPS+ 1280×768 display with 318ppi on the LG Nexus 4 is just as stunning but with a slight higher resolution. The display on the Nexus is definitely more realistic, as I prefer, while the S3 was more vibrant and had brighter colors. The touch responsiveness on both phones is top notch and I couldn’t really choose in between the two thanks to the quad-core processors on both the phones. Both the displays showed no signs of lag while playing 1080p HD videos. They are also flawless when it comes to the occasional reading, web browsing or just a quick game of Temple Run.


The Nexus 4 runs on stock vanilla Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. There’s a new Quick Settings screen, widget support on the lock screen, improved Google Now, and Voice Search, among a few other new bits and pieces in version 4.2. While the stock S3 running ICS also received a Jelly Bean update just recently. The 4.1 update for the Galaxy S3 brought a very noticeable improvement in speed and performance, alongside great features like expanded Notifications and Google Now. The S-Voice which is a Siri wanna-be by Samsung is great but still in beta and needs a prior improvements to match Google Now & Siri. But again , Nexus 4 does have an edge because it is currently running the most latest 4.2.1 & will be certainly be the first one to receive any future updates from Google.


The Nexus 4 lacks in storage for its limited 8 or 16GB options & no additional Micro-SD card support (Why? Nexus, Why? ). Whereas the S3 is available in 16, 32 & 64 GB variants plus an additional option to bump-up the storage to a further 64 GB with the micro-SD slot.


The Audio outputs on both the phones are to expectations, although the Nexus 4 did sound a bit louder and clearer to my ears.


The 8MP cameras on both the phones are amazingly precise & deliver a shutter-lag free experience. Although, again the Nexus 4 takes it away because of 1. Its amazing 4.2 Jellybean Camera Application which allows to you run through different settings very quickly 2. The trademark Photosphere* which was developed using Google’s street-view technology lets you take amazing 360* shots, with minimum effort. While the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S3 does have extremely sharp camera which is backed by a feature-packed camera application letting you easily switch to features like Voice-Activated Shutter , HDR , Face-detection , Share-shot etc.
The front cameras on both the phones are to expectations and good for a Skype call or the occasional self-portrait.


You’ve got NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA, and everything else you would expect to find and never use on both smartphones. The hit here is taken by the Nexus 4 given its lacks to support 4G LTE, although it’s debatable as HSPA+ can be very fast too. Should not matter at all if you’re an Indian buyer.

Processor /RAM/ Benchmarking

Technically, both the phones ooze power when it comes to processing-The Samsung Galaxy S3 runs on a 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 while the Nexus 4 is sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz. The Nexus, with its 2 GB RAM outruns the S3’s 1GB (International/European Version) whilst the US version packed with a 2 GB given the N4 a run for the finish.
Several Benchmarks pointed out S3 to be slightly overpowering the Nexus 4 in terms of 2D & 3D graphics flow.


This will and is one on the foremost reason for Nexus 4 being such a huge hit. The 8 GB sim-free (unlocked) version is going for dirt cheap $299 & the $349 for a 16 GB variant. (US-ONLY)
While the starting 16GB model (sim-free) goes in to make a hole of $600 to your pockets. (US-ONLY)
Indian pricing will be significantly higher as, 8GB is rumored to be priced at Rs. 28,000 & the 16 GB for a good Rs. 30,000.

Our verdict 

Being a Nexus fanboy myself , I would suggest going for The LG Nexus 4 (if you can get one) as it is way-more reasonably priced than the S3 , more feature-rich & will be the most up-to-date Android phone at least until the next Nexus release . The play-store stock for the Nexus 4 is however Out-of-Stock for US, UK & most other countries, for almost over two months now & its official release in India is still a mystery.


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