Galaxy S3 vs Nexus 4

Samsung's Galaxy S3 was one of the most popular smartphones of 2012, but how does it compare to Google's Nexus 4? We’ll look at the differences in our Google LG Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 comparison review.

The Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3 are two of the best Android smartphones around at the moment so fully deserve a PC Advisor comparison review. We'll compare the two handsets in-depth in price and specifications to see how they differ. See also: Group test: what's the best Android phone?

Google Nexus 4 review

Samsung Galaxy S3 review

Google Nexus 4 price in UK and specs

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Price

Price is one of the biggest differences between the Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3, even though they have a similar set of specifications. The Nexus 4 is by far the cheaper of the two, starting at just £239 for the 8GB model and £279 for the 16GB. Samsung's Galaxy S3 costs around £450 for the 16GB model.

See also Google announces LG Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and new Nexus 7 models.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Dimensions

The Galaxy S3 and LG Nexus 4 are smartphones with similar dimensions. The Nexus 4 is slightly smaller 69 x 134mm while the S3 is 71 x 137mm. However, the Galaxy S3 is thinner at 8.6mm against 9.1mm.

The Galaxy S3 is also a lighter device at 133g. Only a few grams heavier, the Nexus 4 weighs 139g.

Google Nexus 4

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Screen

These two phones have almost the same screen size. Google's Nexus 4 has a large 4.7in display while the Galaxy S3 has a minutely larger 4.8in screen. This difference is barely noticeable.

The Galaxy S3 uses Super AMOLED technology while the Nexus 4 uses an IPS display. It's Google's smartphone which has a higher resolution - 768 x 1280 giving a pixel density of 320ppi. Samsung uses a resolution of 720 x 1280 which over a slightly larger screen means the pixel density is lower at 306ppi. Both are high quality displays.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Processor and memory

Key internal components are also close in their specifications. The Nexus 4 has an impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Samsung's Galaxy S3 uses its own Exynos 4 Quad 1.4GHz quad-core chip with 1GB of RAM.

In our GeekBench 2 tests it was the Nexus 4 which came out on top. It scored 2009 which is the highest we've seen from a smartphone to date. The Galaxy S3 managed a score of 1659.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Storage

It is the Galaxy S3 which offers better storage options with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB models. The Nexus 4 only comes in 8GB or 16GB models. Furthermore, the Galaxy S3 has a microSD card slot for up to an extra 64GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Cameras

Both the Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3 have 8Mp rear facing cameras with the ability to record video in full HD 1080p. The Galaxy S3 does have a slightly better front facing camera though; it has a 1.9Mp lens while the Nexus 4's is 1.3Mp. Both shoot video at 720p.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Connectivity

The pair is close on connectivity with each offering Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, near-field communications (NFC), and wireless charging. The Nexus 4 doesn't come with 4G connectivity but Samsung has made a 4G LTE version of the Galaxy S3.

LG Google Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Software

Although both these smartphones run Google's Android operating system, the Nexus 4 is more up to date with Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S3 has been updated to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Until Samsung updates its handset again, the Nexus 4 will have some additional core features such as lock screen widgets, gesture typing and Photo Sphere.

However, Samsung provides some of its own features to Android which the Nexus 4 doesn't have via its TouchWiz overlay such as Direct Call, S Voice, Pop up play and Smart Alert. Google's phone uses the standard Android interface.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google Nexus 4: Battery

Samsung and Google have fitted their smartphones with a 7.8Wh (2100mAh) battery. The difference is that the battery inside Galaxy S3 is removable but the Nexus 4's isn't accessible.

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Google Nexus 4: Specs

  • SCREEN: 4.7" diagonal,768 x 1280 pixel resolution (320 ppi),WXGA IPS,Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass 2,MEMORY:16 GB internal storage (actual formatted capacity will be less),2 GB RAM
  • OS: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) S4 Pro
  • CAMERAS: 8 MP (main),1.3 MP (front)
  • BATTERY: 2,100 mAh Lithium polymer,CONNECTIVITY: Micro USB,SlimPort HDMI,3.5mm headphone jack
  • WIRELESS: Wireless charging,WiFi 802.11 b/g/n,NFC (Android Beam),Bluetooth
  • SENSORS: Microphone,Accelerometer,Compass,Ambient light,Gyroscope,Barometer,GPS
  • NETWORK: Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+,GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz),3G (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz),HSPA+ 21
  • SIZE: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
  • WEIGHT: 139g
  • SCREEN: 4.7" diagonal,768 x 1280 pixel resolution (320 ppi),WXGA IPS,Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass 2,MEMORY:16 GB internal storage (actual formatted capacity will be less),2 GB RAM
  • OS: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) S4 Pro
  • CAMERAS: 8 MP (main),1.3 MP (front)
  • BATTERY: 2,100 mAh Lithium polymer,CONNECTIVITY: Micro USB,SlimPort HDMI,3.5mm headphone jack
  • WIRELESS: Wireless charging,WiFi 802.11 b/g/n,NFC (Android Beam),Bluetooth
  • SENSORS: Microphone,Accelerometer,Compass,Ambient light,Gyroscope,Barometer,GPS
  • NETWORK: Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+,GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz),3G (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz),HSPA+ 21
  • SIZE: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
  • WEIGHT: 139g

OUR VERDICT

The Galaxy S3 and Nexus 4 are very similar smartphones. With almost identical specifications, the big difference is the price. Despite the more limited storage the Nexus 4 is a better deal.

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