Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Needless to say, when you’re attached with the Nexus moniker, there’s a lot going for you – more so when it’s expected to provide a vanilla Android experience. Well folks, that’s exactly what we find on the Nexus 4, as its new flavor of Jelly Bean, Android 4.2 to be exact, brings forth some exciting new features that move the platform along on its merrily route. With the most up-to-date version on board with the Nexus 4, it offers exclusive features such as native widget support in the lock screen, updated actionable items in the notification panel, Daydreams, and a new Photo Sphere camera shooting mode.
As much as the Nexus 4 benefits from all the updated features, the Galaxy S III with its TouchWiz Nature UX experience running on top of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean still has some specific features it calls its own – these consist of S Voice, S Beam, Pop Up Play, Share Shot, and Buddy Photo Share. In the end, it’s hard to deny the set of features that Samsung has put forth on the Galaxy S III, but again, we all know that the Nexus 4 is going to be treated to updates significantly faster.
Looking at the core organizer apps on both devices, they’re naturally boasting all the usual set of functionality we’d expect to find, so we don’t find one to be particularly more superior than the other. Furthermore, we can say the same thing about their email applications – though, it’s worth noting that Nexus 4 and its newer flavor of Jelly Bean offers quick archiving with the Gmail app by swiping left/right. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot separating the two experiences.
Likewise, the messaging experience is pretty good with these two real estate heavy smartphones, seeing that they have spacious layouts and peppy responses to keep us moving at a consistent rate. However, we have to mention that the Samsung keyboard on the Galaxy S III offers more access to punctuations from the main layout by performing long presses on specific buttons. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that they both feature Swype-like gestures as an alternative way of inputting text.
Processor and Memory:
Testing out the US version of the Galaxy S III, which is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset with the Adreno 225 GPU and 2GB of RAM, we find its real world performance to be on the same level as the Nexus 4. Sure, LG’s offering is outfitted with the newer quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU with the Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM, but there’s not a significant visual improvement found with its performance – as both the two execute all functions with the same finesse. Furthermore, with tasks that are more processor heavy, like 3D gaming, again we don’t see a vast difference in the performance of the two.
|Quadrant Standard||AnTuTu||NenaMark 2|
|Google Nexus 4||4757||10188||58,6|
|Samsung Galaxy S III US||4520||6111||59,4|
Already showing its advantage, the Galaxy S III benefits from a microSD slot, which supplements its internal capacity of 16GB. Meanwhile, the Nexus 4 is available in two options, 8GB or 16GB, which isn’t expandable in any way whatsoever.
Internet and Connectivity:
Yet again, Sammy’s beauty is showing off its worth, as the US variants of the Galaxy S III feature LTE connectivity for faster data speeds – whereas the Nexus 4 is unlocked out of the box and equipped with HSPA+ speeds instead. Overlooking the fact that the Galaxy S III technically pulls faster data speeds, the web browsing experience is no different between the two, since they feature fluid navigational controls and speedy rendering on the go.
As we’ve mentioned already, the US versions of the Galaxy S III adhere to pretty much all network capacities – meaning, in addition to LTE support, there are versions that work specifically for GSM and CDMA networks. Oppositely, the Nexus 4 is compatible to run off GSM networks only, with no word yet on CDMA versions. Moreover, since they’re flagship devices and all, both all blessed with all the usual connectivity features we’d expect to find – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot functionality, and NFC.
1. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)
30. AnTuTu (Posts: 1293; 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.
35. jan25 (Posts: 442; 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.
53. Galen20K (Posts: 524; 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. - )
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.
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.
12. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
The S III is a quad-core device and both perform rougly equally.
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.
23. nwright94 (unregistered)
Why would someone thumbs down you for living in Europe??
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.
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.
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.
46. darkkjedii (Posts: 15110; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
S3 international version is quad core bro
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. .
3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I would choose Google Nexus 4 over Samsung Galaxy S III.
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.
18. networkdood (Posts: 6330; 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.
6. _Bone_ (Posts: 2148; 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.
52. techspace (Posts: 884; 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
7. dsDoan (Posts: 225; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
Being a Verizon customer, LG/Google didn't give me the option between the two.
10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; 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.
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!
9. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; 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).
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
17. TheOldOne (Posts: 124; 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.
28. Zero0 (Posts: 592; 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.
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.
38. Zero0 (Posts: 592; 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.
16. mydi.maus (unregistered)
Galaxy slll is better,but nexus 4 is the best.
21. SleepingOz (unregistered)
You mean that the GSIII is better than the best?
19. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 902; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)
The beauty of owning a GS3 running the leaked Android4.1.2 update:
Nexus 4 is great, but what Samsung have done with the SIII and NoteII is just incredible. :)
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"
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
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 ?
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
25. robocopvn (Posts: 315; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)
2:58 you call them home buttons ? lolz hahaha
26. jan25 (Posts: 442; 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.
34. jan25 (Posts: 442; 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.
29. TMach (Posts: 421; 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...
37. polodennis (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)
in my opinion what makes the s3 win is the micro sd card slot
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.............
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 ??
44. samystic (Posts: 203; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)
another day at PhoneArena... another wait... why no review of Nokia 920?
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"
49. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4170; 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.
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.
50. samystic (Posts: 203; 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.
51. Cha7520 (Posts: 221; 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.
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.
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.