There are some great smartphones around right now and plenty of people will be adding one to their Christmas wish lists. We’re going to take a look at the Nexus 4 vs. Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5, flagship devices from LG, Samsung and Apple and undoubtedly three of the most popular phones for this holiday season. Hopefully if you’re torn between one of these three smartphones this could help you decide which you want most.
We’ve written many articles now about these three phones so if you want more background on any of these then hit these LG Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III) or Apple iPhone 5 links. The Galaxy S3 released several months ago on multiple carriers while the iPhone 5 released in September, also on multiple carriers worldwide. The Nexus 4 is to be released later this month and is the next Google Nexus phone offering a pure Android experience. For now though we’ll start off by taking a look at the key specs and features for each phone. Specs used for the Galaxy S3 are for the international version.
The Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core Krait processor while the Galaxy S3 has a 1.4GHz Exynos quad-core Cortex A9 processor (or a 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor for the US). The iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz dual-core A6 processor, which on the face of it doesn’t match the quad-core processors of the Nexus 4 or Galaxy S3, however Apple boasts that it offers twice the performance of the A5 processor used on the iPhone 4S.
The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with resolution of 1280 x 768 and pixel density of 318ppi. The Galaxy S3 has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with resolution of 1280 x 720 and 306ppi and the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display with resolution of 1136 x 640 and 326ppi. To be fair these are all excellent displays and your choice may be very simply down to whether you prefer a smaller display as on the iPhone 5 or a larger screen as on the Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4.
RAM and Storage
The Nexus 4 is very nicely equipped with 2GB of RAM but disappointingly has 8 or 16GB of internal storage that is not expandable. This is perhaps one of the only real letdowns of the Nexus 4 but a letdown nevertheless. The Galaxy S3 has 1GB of RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB versions for internal storage, which is also expandable to 64GB via microSD. The iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB versions but this time is not expandable.
The next pure Google phone, the Nexus 4 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, autofocus and LED flash plus a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and also PhotoSphere panorama. The Galaxy S3 also has an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture, autofocus and LED flash and also has a 1.9-megapixel front-facing shooter. The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video captures, autofocus and LED flash and up front there’s a 1.2-megapixel camera. All of the above have plenty more camera features such as a panorama mode on the iPhone 5 and simultaneous HD video and image recording on the Galaxy S3 but all have a great deal to offer.
For many this will be a deciding factor. As we’ve already said, the Nexus 4 is the next pure Google Nexus phone and as such will release running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. This will be the very latest operating system and as it’s a Nexus device it will be pure unadulterated Android, something that will be a huge draw to Android enthusiasts. The Galaxy S3 meanwhile, is another Android handset released on Android 4.0 ICS and currently the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is rolling out to various carriers worldwide. If you’re not a diehard Android enthusiast though, then your choice may be the iPhone 5 running the latest iOS 6. If you want a phone that has a simple-to-use interface then this is where the iPhone 5 could be a great choice for you.
A 2100mAh battery powers the Nexus 4, claimed to offer around 15 hours of talktime using 3G. The Galaxy S3 uses the same capacity battery with talktime claimed of 11 hours on 3G while the iPhone 5 has a smaller-capacity 1440mAh battery that gives around 8 hours or 3G talktime, something to take into consideration if you’re a heavy phone user.
Dimensions and Weight
Measurements for the Nexus 4 are 133.9mm x 68.7mm x 9.1mm and it weighs 139g. The Galaxy S3 measures 136.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.6m, weighing 133g. Finally the iPhone 5 measures 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and weighs 112g, definitely the slimmest and lightest of the three.
The LG Nexus 4 is available to order through Google Play at a price of £239 for the 8GB version or £279 for the 16GB version, that’s $299 or $349 for the relevant models in the US. These are prices for the unlocked Nexus 4 and as such offer excellent value but earlier today we told about pricing confusion as LG appears to want retailers to charge more for the device. We’ll be following developments on this closely. The Galaxy S3 in the UK starts from £499 for the 16GB version unlocked direct from Samsung or in the US is available unlocked on Amazon at around $540. Of course prices may vary by retailer and contract pricing is also available from many outlets. Finally the price of the unlocked iPhone 5 in the UK is £529, £599 or £699 for 16GB, 32GB or 64GB respectively. In the US the iPhone 5 is not yet available unlocked, but contract prices for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are $199 $299 or $399 for the different storage options on the usual two-year contract.
There are a huge amount of factors to consider then and as well as the above we should tell you that the Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3 include NFC support, which the iPhone 5 lacks. On the other hand LTE variants of the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 are available and the Nexus 4 lacks LTE connectivity. Design may also come into your choice and is very much a personal preference. Our choice design-wise would come down to the iPhone 5 or the Nexus 4 but plenty of people seem to be impressed by the Galaxy S3, which in our opinion looks and feels a bit cheap.
You really need to consider all of your options and requirements from a new smartphone before making up your mind and there are plenty of other things to consider that we haven’t time or space to mention here that you may want to look into further. Honestly though, all of these phones have a huge amount to offer but if you want the lightest device and ease of use the iPhone 5 might be the right phone for you. On the other hand you may want the pure and latest Google Android experience of the LG Nexus 4 with long battery life, although the storage is a drawback with this one. Alternatively the Galaxy S3 is a great all-rounder and despite being the oldest of the three devices will still make it onto plenty of holiday season wish lists.
We’re really interested to hear what you think of the above three smartphones. By taking a look at the various specs have you decided which is the smartphone that will make your most wanted list? Maybe you’d already decided which would be your next choice of smartphone but have changed your mind since reading our comparison? Let us know by sending your comments.