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Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Posted: , by John V.

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Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
We have used the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S III for this comparison.

Introduction:

For as long as we can remember, Samsung has proven itself as being the premier smartphone maker out of Korea, as Sammy’s renowned Galaxy smartphone handsets have seemingly been greeted with open arms by people worldwide. Sitting in the shadows, it wasn’t until recently that LG finally emerged from out of the depths with the impressive LG Optimus G, but without pausing for a moment, they’ve undoubtedly came out of nowhere with the one-two punch offering of the Google Nexus 4. With the mighty name behind its product, will LG’s Nexus branded smartphone pull ahead of the Samsung’s current pride and joy in the Galaxy S III?


Design:

Looking at the two, we can wholeheartedly agree that neither comes off as mighty stylish in design, but the Galaxy S III has a more natural feel in the hand thanks to its curvier feel. In contrast, the Nexus 4 definitely feels like the more premium device between the two, primarily due to the glass surfaces covering the front and rear of its casing. However, the glass surfaces tend to be more susceptible to smudging, and at the same time, it causes the handset to feel super slippery. Finally, build quality seems to be on par with one another, but again, the glass casing of the Nexus 4 exudes a sturdier finish over the plastic body of the Galaxy S III.

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)


Even though the Galaxy S III utilizes a combination of capacitive buttons and a single homescreen, it doesn’t pose any issue with accidental presses. On the other hand, the Nexus 4 has its Android buttons incorporated with its interface – so it doesn’t have any impact.

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Android buttons - The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Front cameras - The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
 

Android buttons

Front cameras

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)


Interestingly enough, the two have their dedicated power buttons and volume controls positioned in the same areas. At the same time, they’re distinctive enough to feel out and offer tactile responses when pressed. As for some of the other commonalities that they share around their trims, they include the following: 3.5mm headset jacks, noise-cancellation microphones, standard mics, and microUSB ports for charging/data/video-out connectivity. For video-out functionality, the Galaxy S III uses a non-standard MHL port, while the Nexus 4 opts for Slimport socket.

Bottom edges - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Left - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Top - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Right - The sides of the Google Nexus 4 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Bottom edges

Left

Top

Right

The sides of the Google Nexus 4 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top)


When it comes to snapping photos, they feature 8-megapixel auto-focus rear cameras with LED flashes, which can shoot video in 1080p. Meanwhile, when it comes to front-facing cameras, the Nexus 4 is packing a 1.3-megapixel snapper – while the Galaxy S III is sporting a slightly higher 1.9-megapixel one.

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Rear cameras - The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
  

Rear cameras

The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)


Easily regarded as the more flexible device between the two, the Galaxy S III is the one to feature a removable battery and microSD card slot for storage expandability, which aren’t offered by its rival in the Nexus 4.


Display:

Always a difficult thing to gauge, especially when it can vary between individuals, these two handsets feature displays that are undoubtedly quality in every aspect. Yes, we’ll agree that the 4.8-inch 720 x 1280 HD Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy S III has the initial wow factor with its overly saturated color tones and deep black reproduction. However, it doesn’t match the color accuracy and better outdoor visibility seen with the Nexus 4’s 4.7-inch WXGA 768 x 1280 True HD IPS Plus display. And even though the Nexus 4’s display uses the RGB pixel arrangement, as oppose to PenTile on the Galaxy S III, it doesn’t necessarily prove to be a significant improvement, seeing that both are still highly detailed in practical usage. In the end, it’s all about what’s preferable to you – whether it’s the flashy and vibrant colors put out by the Galaxy S III’s display, or the more realistic tones and better outdoor visibility of the Nexus 4 screen.

Viewing angles - Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Viewing angles - Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Viewing angles - Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Viewing angles

Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Color productionThe Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right) - Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Color production
The Google Nexus 4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)





Google Nexus 4 360-degrees View:



Samsung Galaxy S III US 360-degrees View:



56 Comments
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posted on 26 Nov 2012, 06:48 18

1. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


nexus.....

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 16:05 5

30. AnTuTu (Posts: 669; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Both of them are just perfect piece of technology. But I'll still pick S3 over design and features.

I think Google really have to workout those thick bezels on Nexus phones which just don't make sense to me at all. I didn't buy Nexus from Samsung just because of this and won't buy LG Nexus for the same reason as well.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 17:54 4

35. jan25 (Posts: 384; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


the Nexus 4 is both shorter and narrower than the One X which also has a 4.7 display. i can almost bet it's bezel is thinner than S3 too.

posted on 02 Dec 2012, 16:15 1

53. Galen20K (Posts: 511; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


I own both and I can honestly say I love both of them just as much for various reasons. If you really had to choose between the two, you really can't go wrong with either. And that's the truth. There have never been so many fantastic Smartphone choices as there are now, and not just between these two but also many others on the market. Its a fantastic time to be a technology enthusist. - )

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 06:48 10

2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


LG Nexus 4 for software, people who prefer experience over power.
Samsung Galaxy S III for all the brawns and muscle.

Good review once again!
Nexus 10 smackdowns next, along with 920 vs Nexus 4.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:18 10

11. MeoCao (unregistered)


Nexus 4 has qua core, GS3 dual core only so how GS3 can have more power?

GS3 has more flexibility: removable battery and SD slot and more internal memory. GS3 camera is better but for the rest it's Nexus all the way.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:30 8

12. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


The S III is a quad-core device and both perform rougly equally.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:34 8

14. MeoCao (unregistered)


Look again, US version of GS3 is dual core, other versions are quad core but A9-based while Nexus is Krait quad core which is much better.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:56 4

15. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


Europe here :>.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 11:05 5

23. nwright94 (unregistered)


Why would someone thumbs down you for living in Europe??

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 16:50 1

33. ncv144 (Posts: 126; Member since: 04 May 2012)


Look again, US is only one country, there are 184 other countries and many of them have the quad core version (some dont even have the s3) which greatly outnumbers the US dual core.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 18:43

36. New_Enthusiast (Posts: 3; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


The review is using the Sprint model. A US version. So it doesn't matter if the quad core version is in more countries, because the review is using the dual core version. It's the very first line of the article.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 01:46

40. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


*Facepalm- GS3 Dual core is for the american version.

International version of GS3 is QUAD Core.

posted on 30 Nov 2012, 07:18

46. darkkjedii (Posts: 10296; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


S3 international version is quad core bro

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 02:49

39. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)


Software wise the Galaxy S3 and Samsung s**ts all over the stock Android features that will always be. Nobody beats Samsung in the software and features side not even Google. .

posted on 30 Nov 2012, 07:19 1

47. darkkjedii (Posts: 10296; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Shhhhhhhhhh!!!

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 06:49 18

3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I would choose Google Nexus 4 over Samsung Galaxy S III.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 06:55 12

4. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


The Galaxy S III is the slightly better phone but the killer price, an fast-updatable pure Android experience is what would make me pick the Nexus 4 everyday.

Also, i actually prefer the LG Nexus 4's design and material choice over the S III.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 09:32 2

18. networkdood (Posts: 6260; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I never sweat the updates as XDA will post the 'pure' updates for almost any phone within a week after Google releases it.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:06 2

5. louiemapa (Posts: 28; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)


How about 920 vs S3 or nexus 4?

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:07 3

6. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


The S3 is rightfully the phone of the year, but nothing beats the Nexus 4's bang for it's buck. The only phone I'd consider over it would be the Note II, which is worth every extra penny you need to throw at it, however I think I'll wait for next year and a Nexus phablet, surely, they have devices in all segments but in the tabphone.

posted on 02 Dec 2012, 06:47

52. techspace (Posts: 552; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


actually, the htc droid dna is the phone of the year......it has started the era of the 1080p smartphones and it looks really good, the htc one+ is a great one as well, especially because most of the android games are being optimized for nvidia processors
actually, the note 2 can't run a single tablet app....its just 0.5 inch bigger than the droid dna, so note 2 or the droid dna should be the best android phone of the year

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:08 2

7. dsDoan (Posts: 215; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


Being a Verizon customer, LG/Google didn't give me the option between the two.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:10

8. StreetNerd (Posts: 700; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


Lumia 920 vs iPhone 5?

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:15 2

10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5580; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Or, the Droid DNA vs. the GS III? That would fit the theme of the crop of 2013 Android phones vs. the king of 2012 Android phones.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 01:49

41. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


No need to compare- Droid DNA Would completely smack the GSIII out of the arena! Recent articles also says that Droid DNA is no power hogger!

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:11

9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5580; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I wonder how far out into the future Sammy will be providing updates? JB on the GS III may be a 2013 event for the 'official' carrier-supported version. But what about KLP? The hardware would seem to be quite future-proof (at least for 2 years or so).

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 07:31

13. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Actually I don't think stock android 4.2 is better than the latest Samsung 4.1 version with split screen functionality.
If we put the price aside, the s3 wins this quite obviously IMO

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 09:16

17. TheOldOne (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


you are not far from the truth. I don't have a S3, but I do own a Galaxy Nexus recently updated to 4.2: the feeling is that 4.1 had more stability (there are some issues with 4.2 I don't have time to describe here).

I do not mind it tough: this is the very reason I got GNex, to live on the edge, with the last nightly build of Android is possible (I run takju build since this one seems to get the fastest OTE updates).

If you are an S3 user tough, you may feel different tough, and you may not care of new features to much if it comes with some instability.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 14:04

28. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


4.2 isn't a terribly huge deal.
5.0 probably will be. The Nexus 4 will be one of the first devices to get it. The S3 will have to wait some time.

Price aside, I don't think it's "quite obvious" that the S3 wins. Many prefer the build and display of the Nexus 4. The S3 offers more carriers, microSD, a removable battery, and a marginally better camera. For some, these details are irrelevant, or at least not worth the software delays and skins.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 16:22

31. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Well, there's also a larger screen.
I know 0.1 of an inch is negligible but when you put the on -screen buttons in the picture, the difference turns quite visible.
I'd call the Nexus' SoC advantage irrelevant since the petty internal memory pretty much negates any real use of the Nexus as a gaming device.
Now days Android games take up to 3.5Gb of space (the Bard's tale), and the future prospects are not going down.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 20:31 1

38. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Very good point on the on-screen buttons. The Nexus' storage situation is pretty bad. I get the dislike for SD slots, that's fine. But not offering a 32GB option (if not a 64GB model, as well) was a bad move.

I personally prefer the Nexus, but that's the beauty of Android: choice. I like the Nexus 4, somebody else likes the S3, the Note 2, Droid DNA, Razr HD Maxx, or whatever else.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 08:20

16. mydi.maus (unregistered)


Galaxy slll is better,but nexus 4 is the best.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 11:02 2

21. SleepingOz (unregistered)


You mean that the GSIII is better than the best?

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 10:04 1

19. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 789; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


The beauty of owning a GS3 running the leaked Android4.1.2 update:
http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx240/Tsepz/Screenshot_2012-11-24-00-50-40.png :D

Nexus 4 is great, but what Samsung have done with the SIII and NoteII is just incredible. :)

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 12:06

27. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


This is what I'm talking about :)

I've said already that I believe Samsung will take Android 5 and then ditch Google's updates and development in favor of their own.
It will be something along the lines of "Android X", or more likely "Android S"

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 10:41

20. paul48 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Your comparison of connectivity didn't list the SG3's FM Radio with RDS, so when out of internet signal range, SG3 can still receive news, unlike the LG

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 11:04

22. paul48 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


The above comparision also missed the post "Nexus 4 and USB-on-the-go are no-go" on this site 2 hours earlier, pointing out you cannot run USB peripherals on the LG, unlike the Samsung SGS3 & Note2. It seems LG, s marketing department aren't telling their designers to include the same full-feature tick-boxes that Samsung does, which is a shame as Samsung gives the customer everything (excepting a Nokia quality camera and superior IPS screen) they desire, expandable memory, replaceable batteries, FM Radio - hence the most sold smartphone of the year !!! Why doesn't the competition learn from such simple facts ?

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 11:32

24. ilia1986 (unregistered)


I am the proud owner of a phone which can give a very good fight to the newest Nexus breed - despite having only half as much Ram and being half a year old! :D

Love my GS3 International. :D

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 11:49

25. robocopvn (Posts: 175; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)


2:58 you call them home buttons ? lolz hahaha

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 12:04

26. jan25 (Posts: 384; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


when Key Lime Pie is released next year, the S3 will be trashed and the Nexus will be the first to run it unaltered and the difference will be day and night between the two.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 16:46

32. Jillsandwich (Posts: 41; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


That's why you have XDA.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 17:45

34. jan25 (Posts: 384; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


not if KLP turns out to be a major update like ICS. it will be a while until the S3 tastes the update and even then it will probably not be as good as the Nexus.

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 14:40 2

29. TMach (Posts: 349; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Both trailing behind the HTC One X+ in truth.................If you've used it you will know what I'm talking about. I would have leaned slightly to Nexus 4 but the 16gb memory limit is a no go for me! The One X+ is so well rounded, it is unbelievable...

posted on 26 Nov 2012, 18:57

37. polodennis (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)


in my opinion what makes the s3 win is the micro sd card slot

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 09:18

42. 007akshay (Posts: 37; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


i think s3 is better coz of memory card slot + good camera+lte in other wise nexus n s3 are similar so plz google understand wat customers want if u do dat den u vil b top in everything.............

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 15:57

43. Giulio-EU (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


where can i find the wallpaper being used on the S III as showed in this review ??

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 02:58

44. samystic (Posts: 189; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


another day at PhoneArena... another wait... why no review of Nokia 920?

samystic

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 08:44

45. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


why is everyone saying that super lcd 2 is better than super amoled hd ? i personally prefer samoled hd over super lcd, isn't it downgrade from gnex's screen ? lcd doesn't have that "WOW" effect when you see it because the color is average...when my friend saw my gnex screen they said "wow your phone's screen color is better than my hdtv"

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 15:06

49. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3935; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


The Nexus 4 doesn't use S-LCD 2, it uses LCD-IPS.

But, it's a matter of preference. Some people like the contrast/saturation of AMOLED, some like the natural colors and superb viewing angles of S-LCD/LCD-IPS.

AMOLED displays give me a headache if I look at them for more than 10 minutes, though it still is a quality display. I just enjoy LCD more because I can look at it for longer, and it gives better outdoor visibility.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 14:58

48. sadiqsamm (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


I am with nexus always. I hate to have to wait for months for simple software updates. The ease to which I can unlock/lock back, root and install clockworkmod recovery is something I can never give up for any other brand of phone.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 18:19

50. samystic (Posts: 189; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


is PA not interested in a full fledged review and comparison of Nokia Lumia 920? i waited patiently to comment / complain on this.

samystic

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 22:39

51. Cha7520 (Posts: 209; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


GS3!! Better Camera, Better 1080p, I like the Amoled display more, not the washed out colors of the Nexus 4. You can't swap out a battery or memory w/ the Nexus 4. I have LTE speeds with my GS3. And Yes, I can wait for 4.1 this month and 4.2 next year. The only thing that is better with the Nexus 4 is the speed, but in some benchmark tests the GS3 is faster...so, no, the Nexus 4 doesn't compare to the overall offering of thes GS3.

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 07:32

54. aryanvats (Posts: 1; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


Nexus 4 is better than Samsung galaxy S3

posted on 27 Dec 2012, 07:59

55. uromeo16 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Dec 2012)


I actually have both phones because I like to switch off every once in a while. Personally, I prefer using the Nexus for everything because it doesn’t have bloatware like the Galaxy. My Nexus 4 is great for watching TV on. For example, I like using the DISH Remote Access app which lets me stream live TV through the Sling Adapter that’s connected to my receiver at home. It comes in handy when I can’t see a show because I’m not at home.

posted on 01 Apr 2013, 23:51

56. Neil64 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)


I know this is an old thread but I am looking for replacment for my T-999 Samsung SIII due to its lack of noise reduction when using a wired headset. Everyone I call when using various brands of wired headsets says I sound like I am near or in a water fall. The brackfground noise is terrible and I have heard it myself. I have tried 3 other T-Mobile S3s and all are the same. Now blue tooth headsets sound fabulous on the SIII. And the pentile Amoled display is fuzzy when compared to a IPS-LCD on a iPhone or Nexus 4.

The Nexus 4 has great call quality using the ear piece, wired and blue tooth headset. It is markedly better than the S3 in call quality in every regard. And I like the display more because it is tack sharp and easier to see in direct sunlight.

As I do not like vanilla Andriod, the SGIII wins on every other aspect including Touch Wiz and the colors used in Samsungs stock themes, SD slot, replaceable battery, etc.. As I have never rooted, I am not looking forward to spending countless hours to learn how to root to get some screen with some colors.

In the end, I use my phone for voice calls 90% of the time and I like using wired headsets. This is probably going to force me to keep my Nexus 4 and learn how to root.

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