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Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4


Call quality

Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
The Nexus 5 also has two mics for noise cancellation, which do an admirable job for discerning our voice on the receiving end without the ambient fluff. The usual earpiece slit is replaced with an earpiece circle on the Nexus 5, and it takes some time to adjust it right onto your ear, so as to take advantage of the full speaker strength, which leaves something to be desired in the first place.

The Galaxy S4 sports very good call quality, relaying our voice loud and clear to the other end through the dual noise-canceling mic setup. Voices in its earpiece could sound stronger and fuller, though.

Overall, call quality on both handsets is average from their earpieces, while their microphones perform above average for the receiving end.


The 2300 mAh battery of Google's phone and the 2600 mAh unit on the S4 provide very similar endurance scores in our standardized testing – 4h 50m vs 4h 59m, respectively – and the phones are even rated for the same 17 hours of talk time in 3G mode by their manufacturers.

Since we have similar music playback and browsing sessions endurance scores, about the only thing different is video playback, where the OLED display shines with more than ten hours on a charge possible from the Galaxy S4.

Battery life

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.

Higher is better
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
View all


The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an excellent phone. Compared to the Nexus, it also offers a microSD slot, longer video playback, a tad more detailed photos, and IR blaster for universal remote control. However, you can add two Benjamins to the $350 price of the Nexus 5 if you want it off-contract.

Apart from those the Nexus 5 offers very similar experience to the Galaxy S4 in all areas, and outshines it in several, such as low-light photos and steadier videos. Also, it will be a while before the Galaxy S4 gets the latest Android 4.4 KitKat features officially.

If you are buying the Nexus 5 from the Play Store, that is, since carrier pricing differences with subsidies aren't as stark as the full retail price gap between the two handsets, amounting to about 50 USD or Euros. On Sprint, for instance, the Nexus 5 can be had for $150 if you aren't transferring your number from another carrier, while the S4 costs $200. Full retail price is listed by Sprint as $450 for the Nexus, and $600 for the S4. Moving over to Europe, France's Bouyuges Telecom, for instance, sells the Nexus 5 for EUR 130, while the S4 will run you EUR 180 on the same contract.

One thing is for certain – if you want stock Android and the fastest updates to the latest iteration of Google's mobile OS, the Nexus 5 won't make you break the piggy bank for this to happen, provided that you can grab it off the Play Store, and you'll still flaunt flagship specs to boot.


  • Options

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 07:33 4

1. fistigons (Posts: 354; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)

I decided to not upgrade my S3 to the S4 because of touchwiz. I'm hoping my Nexus 5 doesn't get boring.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 07:57 1

4. in_core (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

same here. upgrading from S2 to Nexus 5. Sammy boring physical and UI design

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 17:24 1

9. musokestrain (unregistered)

I replaced Touchwiz with Apex Launcher. It made a huge improvement to my S3. Having said that, I bought a Nexus 5 primarily because I wanted Android updates in a timely manner plus it "declutters" the UI compared to Samsung. I do miss Paper Artist though.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 07:51 3

2. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

I think Sammy couldn't do the right job with S4.
But their Note3 is a masterpiece.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 07:53 6

3. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 382; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

Touchwiz kills all Samsung phones for me. Samsung really needs to work on their design (hardware and software) and optimization

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 07:57 2

5. in_core (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

exactly. thats why didn get the s4, instead going with the nexus 5

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 17:14 1

8. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Touchwiz kills all Samsung phones for you?

Well at the same time you are also missing all of the S features what Sammy brings with its Touchwiz. I have been using S4 from last 6 months and TBH I haven't experienced any lag or issue what so ever. I had the same perception for Touchwiz until I used it for months.

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 05:54 2

12. in_core (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

Most of the "S" features are useless.. sure its fun to show your friends for first few days that is also if it works when you trying to do so. But in real life most of them dont give benefit.
Though S4 awesome hardware and 2GB of ram its lags. It does not feel buttery smooth as it should with these hardware. The moto x with much lesser hardware resource slide like butter. I dont hate Samsung but dont like their software implementation and the phones design. Hope they change it with the upcoming S5 or else in future they will face difficulty. HTC is gonna kill samsung

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 13:30 1

13. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

hahahahahahahaha so you proved that you don't know a bit of technology dude.

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 19:29 1

14. in_core (Posts: 80; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

good to know at least you do.. cheers!!

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 08:08

6. sergiobr (Posts: 713; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)

Going from S3 to Nexus 5, cheaper and better low light photos. Still keeping my Nokia 808 too.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 10:01

7. rishabh_2795 (Posts: 24; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)

Going from galaxy S to nexus5 because its cheaper and and much better than s4. Even the scrolling in the app drawer doesnt seem smooth enough and sometimes there is an animation stutter something which really pisses me off inspite having an excellent hardware. Takes an eternity to open the gallery from camera app too. And ofcourse touchwiz s**ks.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 21:36 1

10. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1310; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

i'm really not sure where all these people got the 'touchwiz' is laggy part... how much is too laggy? do they just say its "laggy" when they see a 0.5 second stutter?

I just remove all the samsung widgets to keep it clean and maybe add other widgets, and barely see lag's, but the rare 0.5 lagg and stutters.

People need to realize that this is android, you can change the home screen to other better alternatives like Nova or Apex Launcher etc.

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 01:32

11. blaford (Posts: 2; Member since: 31 May 2012)

I don't understand this writer at all... the more angular design of the nexus 5 looks much sleeker. I'm so tired of these effeminate rounded edged smartphones. Round makes me think of something for a little girl. Like fisher price... windows xp... macs... vw beetles, etc. Samsung is horrible at making a sleek looking phone and while the specs may beat any other manufacturer I have never been pleased with the build quality of Samsung. At least the note 3 is a bit more mature looking.

Despite the fact that both carry a plastic chassis, the rubberized texture on the nexus is much nicer than the cheap glossy stuff on the galaxy.

In my opinion only sony and nokia are making really nice looking phones right now. Now if we can just get a carbon fiber xperia... that would be a nice device.

posted on 18 Nov 2013, 21:22

15. Killertech2099 (Posts: 148; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

I love the nexus 5 for its style and kikat. But lets be honest the camera on the nexus 5 has to be one of the worst camera's I've seen in awhile. I have a google editon s4 and it blows nexus 5 out the water for now. When you take a picture on a nexus 5 everything is kinda yellowish but other than that is fast, cheap and a phone you can count on except the camera. Video quality is pretty good. If you don't like sammy features or bloatware for heavens sake you can always put cynagenmod on it or use a launcher. That's the beauty of Android customization and free your phone

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