Google Nexus 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
Google has done it again. They have released an aggressively prices Nexus smartphone which is bound to take the market in a surprise. During the past few years, we were able to see Google planning strategically to reduce the prices of the smartphones in the market; especially the ones under their control. They offered the OS as open source and demanded more accessible smartphones from the smartphone manufacturers. The pinnacle of this was their own smartphone Nexus One which was followed by Nexus S and Google Galaxy Nexus subsequently. They weren’t tightly priced, but it was eminent that the manufacturers didn’t have a large margin from these smartphones. With the introduction of Google Nexus 4, they have stretched the margin even further and introduced a smartphone with a very tight budget. In fact, Google claims that LG Nexus 4 has the best processor in the market and since we know better not to doubt Google, we can only acknowledge that fact that you will be getting a top of the line smartphone for a very competitive price which is the lowest in the market for its kind. It will have two main competitors with different pricing schemes. Today we will be comparing its main Android competitors Samsung Galaxy S III. Let’s see whether Google Nexus 4 can bag up the customers in this November.
Google Nexus 4 Review
According to Google’s new naming convention, Google Nexus 4 manufactured by LG comes with a display that falls in the 4 inch range. To be precise, it’s 4.7 inch True HD IPS Plus Capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels at a pixel density of 320ppi. It looks almost the same as its predecessor Samsung Galaxy Nexus while Nexus 4 has introduced a black frame surrounding the display. The back plate of Nexus 4 seems to be made of toughened glass which has an attractive pattern hidden below its surface. Unlike its predecessor, Nexus 4 has a flat display panel although it does compromise around the frame in order to facilitate the prominent gestures used in Android.
As we have mentioned, Google claims that Google Nexus 4 has the best processor in the smartphone market. First off, we know better not to contradict Google, and second off, given the specifications of the smartphone, that is something we can’t deny. LG Google Nexus 4 is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. This is undoubtedly the best configuration that we can find in a smartphone nowadays and benchmarking tests will confirm Google’s claims. There are two storage versions ranging from 8GB to 16GB while providing no support for expansion using microSD cards. This might be a turn off for some high end customers who are used to keep a lot of media content in their smartphones, but hey, 16GB is a fair amount to be used.
Nexus 4 will only feature 3G HSDPA connectivity. Google has not issued any official statement about a follow-up with 4G LTE connectivity right now although that may well happen in the future. Right now, Google knows that most of the 4G LTE networks are in their infancy and hence they concentrate on keeping the smartphone compact and hence offer it at a reduced price range. The Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity ensures continuous communication even if 3G connectivity is not available. Nexus 4 also has Near Field Connectivity which is an interesting addition to have. Another attractive feature in Nexus 4 is the ability to use inductive charging. In Layman’s terms, LG Nexus 4 will be able to use wireless charging ability given you buy the supplementary Google’s wireless charging orb.
The operating system used is Android 4.2 which is still called Jelly Bean. However, there seem to have many new features that have been added to v4.2 so you will crave for the update. What’s more, as usual, Nexus 4 comes in Vanilla Android OS which is great news for ardent Android fans. The camera is at 8MP which has become the norm among the smartphones in this range. However, some new features including Photo Sphere which is a 360 degree panorama are included with the new operating system. The front facing camera is 1.3MP and you can use it for video conferencing. The rear camera has LED flash and enables you to capture 1080p HD videos at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Google Nexus 4 comes with a juicy battery of 2100 mAh which is going to last a full day at the most astringent conditions. The 8GB version is to be priced at £239 and the 16GB version will be priced at £279 to be released from 13th November. Right now, the availability is restricted to Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, UK and USA but Google promises that it would be ubiquitous by the end of November.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) Review
Galaxy S3, the 2012 flagship device of Samsung, comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android OS v4.0.4 IceCreamSandwich. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs and tops the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S3 with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus.
As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S3 also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S3 can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S 2, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S3 will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S3 has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this calibre needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S3 only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
A Brief Comparison Between Google Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III)
• Google Nexus 4 is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM while Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by 1.5GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Google Nexus 4 runs on Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean while Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean.
• Google Nexus 4 has 4.7 inch True HD IPS Plus Capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels at a pixel density of 318ppi while Samsung Galaxy S III has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi.
• Google Nexus 4 has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps and has advanced features like Photo Sphere while Samsung Galaxy S III has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps.
• Google Nexus 4 only offers 3G HSDPA connectivity while Samsung Galaxy S III offers 4G LTE connectivity.
• Google Nexus 4 is smaller yet thicker and heftier (133.9 x 68.7 mm / 9.1 mm / 139g) than Samsung Galaxy S III (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g).
• Google Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S III both have 2100 mAh battery.
Frankly, this isn’t a very hard conclusion as per judging which smartphone is better. It is only fair to dictate that both smartphones would render equal performances while Google Nexus 4 might have a slight edge which would in no way be shown to the average consumer. The two processors are almost identical although manufactured by two different manufacturers. LG Nexus 4 has 2GB of RAM which would give it an edge on certain applications. The display panels would be almost identical although Nexus 4 is bound to offer deep colors compared to the vibrant colors in Galaxy S III. Both have the same optics and once Samsung releases the update to v4.2, advanced features like Photo Sphere would be available in Galaxy S III as well. There are two features missing in Nexus 4 that we can see in Samsung Galaxy S III. First off, Galaxy S III offers you a super-fast 4G LTE connectivity. This may not be a critical factor as most of the 4G networks are still at their infancy. However, Google Nexus 4 doesn’t allow you to expand storage using microSD card which may be a problem for the media lovers. But the fact is, Google Nexus 4 is an incredible and top of the line smartphone offered at a fraction of price compared to the other similar smartphones. The 16GB version is priced at £279 whereas the similar Galaxy S III is priced at a price point of £490 which is more than £200 more. Hence we leave the decision on your hand to choose what you want for the money you have. Our guess is that Google Nexus 4 will give you the best value for money.