Phones Review

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy Nexus upgrade dilemma

Under: Google Android, LG, Phone Debates, Samsung
By:Debbie Turner | November 11th, 2012

One smartphone that really has a lot of people talking right now is the LG Nexus 4, the next Google Nexus phone that will release running the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system. We’ve had a lot of positive things to say for the Nexus 4 and have already compared it to other hot smartphones of the moment, but what about if you have the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the previous Nexus phone released last year. We thought we’d take a look at the Nexus 4 vs Galaxy Nexus in a bid to help readers solve their upgrade dilemma.

Firstly we’ll look at the key specs and features of these two handsets and then we’ll break down some of the differences so that you can try to work out if it’s worthwhile upgrading to the Nexus 4. Both offer a pure Google experience and being Nexus-branded this means they are the first devices to receive the latest Android updates. This is not an attempt to compare every single feature and specification, as you cannot expect a phone released over a year ago to be on a par with a brand-new phone, but a look at the key factors that could help you decide if an upgrade from the Galaxy Nexus is a good idea.

We’ll start with the LG Nexus 4, to be released very shortly, and this has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core Krait processor, 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with resolution of 1280 x 768 and 318ppi, 2GB of RAM and 8 or 16GB of internal storage (non-expandable). There’s also an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4, 2100mAh battery and of course it will run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a key factor for many Android enthusiasts.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus released last year and has a 1.2GHz TI dual-core processor, 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with resolution of 1280 x 720 and 316ppi, 1GB of RAM and 16 of 32GB of storage depending on model (non-expandable). It also carries a 5-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v3, a 1750mAh battery and it was released with Android 4.0 ICS and has already received an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

As the LG Nexus 4 is so reasonably priced and will be available unlocked through Google Play for $299 for the 8GB version of $349 for the 16GB version, you might imagine that an upgrade from the Galaxy Nexus is worthwhile, simply because of how cheap it is. However the Nexus 4 does lack LTE and there has been some concern over the low amount of non-expandable internal storage so you need to work out if $300 is worth laying out for what the newest Nexus phone will offer you.

An interesting Android Central article gives some useful pointers here with various categories looked at in detail. For instance for external hardware the Nexus 4 comes out tops easily for looks and feel while the IPS display difference is seen as “noticeable” in favor of the Nexus 4. As we mentioned previously, anybody would expect the Nexus 4 to win as far as internals are concerned considering the time between the two handsets and this is indeed the case and users will also appreciate the extra battery capacity.

Looking at software the Nexus 4 takes it again, but this time only just. Although the Nexus 4 will release already running 4.2 Jelly Bean the update for this should come to the Galaxy Nexus before too long, although some carriers are slower than others. As for camera set-up, again the Nexus 4 comes top with the new PhotoSphere feature being a factor in this.

With all of these aspects considered you may now be able to decide whether you should upgrade to the Nexus 4 from the Galaxy Nexus and a point to remember here is that you could sell your Galaxy Nexus and that should give you a good whack of what you will have to pay for the Nexus 4. You will also be getting a phone with a longer lifespan too. Weighing everything up we’d say that it certainly looks as though an upgrade to the Nexus 4 is a good idea and we’d also be interested to hear what readers think of this.

If you have the Galaxy Nexus will you be upgrading to the Nexus 4 and if so, what is the key deciding factor in this for you? Maybe you are a consumer who would always want the latest Nexus phone regardless? Let us know with your comments.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/wrg25 Will Gonzalez

    I’m Giving my Galaxy Nexus to my Wife… she own the Nexus S!

  • Rambir

    I couldn’t afford the g nexus last year but now I’m due an upgrade. Im swapping my nexus s for the 4. But my nexus s will still be upgraded. That’s why I love nexus phones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.ramsamy Sebastien Ramsamy

    Selling my Galaxy Nexus and HTC desire HD = Free LG Nexus 4…it’s not rocket science, with a year left on my contract I ain’t paying to upgrade this year…LOVE ANDROID/ LOVE GOOGLE

  • utilitybelt

    I’ve sold an iPod touch 3rd gen, 4th gen, and a BROKEN HTC thunderbolt on eBay to upgrade to the nexus 4 (and hopefully leave Verizon forever), as well as have a little leftover to put towards a nexus 10. I plan to sell my galaxy nexus and pay the ETF to leave Verizon if T-Mobile works out. I…can’t…WAIT!

  • zemm

    I’m getting the Nexus 4, but it will be my first Android. First modern smartphone for that matter! Hopefully they start selling at midnight local time, which would make it only 16 hours away here in Australia!

  • Habib

    I bought a Galaxy Nexus 2 months ago. It was a great phone but I noticed lag in certain things and the speaker volume was low. Also, it does not support higher HSPA+ 42 that Nexus 4 supports. So in a nutshell I sold my Galaxy Nexus for fair price and will happily purchase the Nexus 4.

    LTE means little to me because HSPA+42 works very well in my area (NYC), big storage is not my thing as I rarely use more than 10gigs at a time.

    So the Nexus 4 is highly anticipated by me. I have heard a mix bag of both positive and negative reviews of the speaker… I just hope this won’t be as bad as the Galaxy Nexus.

    • Klaine

      Volume level on gnex is so frustrating but I’m hearing 4 isn’t much better. I wanna see for myself.

  • Valentine Feldbergs

    Going to sell everything I have and will save up, just to get that pure android experience myself I have a dell streak 5 and its time to upgrade from the old bloke :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/barhoomo Ibrahim Younes

    I will buy my nexus 4 on the very time its out. It will be my first android device. I didnt buy the galaxy Nexus last year because i thought it had a bad design. This year i thnik the nexus 4 is the most amazing design on the market with the best price

    • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

      The two phones look incredibly alike, but you hate one and love the other?

  • http://twitter.com/Gnabergasher Gabernasher

    Dumping Verizon for this, can’t wait.

  • Alex

    I got the G Nexus on a 2 year contract…(damn you P4U) on o2, so this 4g lte whatnot i’m not fussed about….The Nexus 4 has faster HSPA+ or whatever its called. A source claimed it has double what the G Nexus has. My G Nexus isnt completely working, but the price for me to get it fixed, i may aswell get another phone, and the Nexus 4 sounds perfect. I also read that the speaker is better and louder than the G Nexus? Perfect as i use my phone for alarms. I’m still having to use my old phone for the alarm, because the G Nexus isn’t up for it….Unfortunately i like the looks of of the G Nexus better – The bit around the camera looks so much nicer than the Nexus 4…but hey ho, i’m not going to be looking at the camera that much am i? :D…So getting a cheap phone thats potentially twice as good as my G Nexus, i think so!! :)

  • Tyler

    Trying to sell Galaxy Nexus and get Nexus 4.

  • Peter Wanyonyi

    Seriously waiting to test this phone. Hurry up, Google!

  • Snouille

    Will buy the nexus 4.
    I still have an iphone first gen (6years ago)
    Some fresh air will be appreciable :)

  • woody

    Like the look of the nexus 4 but can’t bring myself to swap my galaxy s 3 for it love my s3 and can’t be doin without the micro sd option 16 gig ain’t enough may bye it as a second phone or wait to upgrade to galaxy s4 early next year

  • SenseOffender

    I will order the Nexus 4 direct form Google tomorrow, then I’ll wait for the SGS 4 from Samsung when my network upgrade is due next year, if I need the extra’s that will no doubt have.

    I’m not an app hungry mobile user, so the basics should be enough without me needing more memory or the device slowing under the strain of too many apps.

  • RobboBKK

    Google….Love your work! Seems that the Nexus programme is now in full swing with great ‘partnership’ hardware and butt-kicking software. 5 years in and pushing 80% Smartphone market-share. Congrats!
    I used to live on ‘Planet Apple’ but now I proudly carry a Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and TF Prime. Yep I’ll be moving to the Nexus 4.

  • sproketz

    Ordering 2 Nexus 4s as soon as they come out. Upgrading from the Galaxy Nexus. It’s worth it just to get updates straight from Google. Plus, HSPA+ is not that much slower than LTE. T-Mobile’s plans is also half the price of Verizon for the same thing. $59/mo for unlimited everything with their family plan.

  • Klaine

    Want a better camera; gnex is often blurry..but even more, the phone needs better volume than gnex. Other ques is battery; I’m told always to remove battery & reboot every time there’s problem so what would I do w the4

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