Call Quality


Callers immediately preferred the Nexus 5 over the Galaxy Note 3, complaining that the Note 3 was very hollow and that they had to concentrate on the conversation to understand us. They said that one or two word answers, as well as the beginning or end of sentences would frequently be garbled or get cut off. The Nexus 5 was not perfect, with some slight muffling being the biggest complaint, but callers said we were very clear and that they had no problem understanding everything we said. On our end it was a dead heat between the two phones, as callers sounded clear, natural and had plenty of volume.

Battery


One of the biggest complaints about the Nexus 4 was the less than stellar battery life, and people were disappointed to learn that the Nexus 5 would only have a slightly larger battery at 2300mAh. We are happy to report that for most users that will be enough to get you through a typical day, but heavy users may be looking for a charger late in the afternoon. While the battery on the Nexus 5 is good enough, it is by no means a standout.

Samsung has taken advantage of the Galaxy Note 3’s extra large form factor and stuffed a 3200mAh battery in there, which is user replaceable. If you can run through that battery in a normal day then our hats off to you, because we could easily go through a day of heavy use with plenty of juice left.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note3
6h 8 min (Poor)

Conclusion


It is always hard to pick a winner in these comparisons because each user has different opinions and requirements for a phone. Both Samsung and LG have brought excellent devices to the table, and in reality the Note 3 and Nexus 5 compete in slightly different segments. Still, they represent the top end of what Android has to offer and many users will find themselves choosing between the two. If you’re looking for a super-sized screen and lots of software features (some of them gimmicks) the Galaxy Note 3 is your device, but if you’re looking for the latest and greatest pure Android OS has to offer in a more svelte package then the Nexus 5 is the choice.

Both devices are wicked fast due to the Snapdragon 800 processor, both displays are beautiful and both camera can handle most of what you throw at them. In the end it may come down to price for many users, and what Google has done with the Nexus pricing is simply untouchable.

Samsung Note 3:
Build number: JSS15J.N900PVPUBMJ4
Android 4.3
Google Nexus 5:
Build number: KRT16M
Android 4.4



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