Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus | Speed, Performance and Features Reviewed | Full Specs Compared
Ever since Google introduced Android Operating System, every other smartphone platform available at that time was threatened. Android provided superior control over an open source business model which attracted a lot of developers. It has been a huge success throughout the world, and Android is marked as the Operating System of the most selling smartphones. It is a widely known fact that Google takes extreme precaution on who they partner with and their partnership with Samsung to manufacture their own brain child Galaxy Nexus series has given the loyal Samsung customers a sense of pride while it has given the other customers a sense of confidence towards Samsung products.
Samsung, in turn, has worked really hard to keep that sense of confidence and fame by producing high quality smartphones that integrate the best technological components out in the market. They have initiated the Galaxy family as their signature family and have treated the family with respect. Google’s brainchildren were also in the same family; namely Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. However, more than these two products, the flagship product of the Galaxy family and the Samsung mobile division has been Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy S II. The last of this legendary line was released in the last year, and today (04 May 2012) Samsung has revealed the successor for Samsung Galaxy S II at the ‘Mobile Unpacked’ event at London.
A smartphone needs to be as elegant as Galaxy S III to be compared and what can be a better choice than Google’s own brainchild Galaxy Nexus? It has been the first smartphone to carry Android OS v4.0 IceCreamSandwich and the operating system was tailor made to fit the requirements of this device. Thus, it would have a significant advantage over Galaxy S III, but S III is newer and thus will incorporate new and improved features that Nexus didn’t think of including. Let us talk about them individually and move on to the differences.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III)
After a long wait, initial impressions of Galaxy S III haven’t disappointed us at all. The much anticipated smartphone 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 S III 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. The initial benchmarks of this device suggest that it’s going to top 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 S III 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 S III 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. S III 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 II, 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 that we can eagerly await.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The model exhibited didn’t have a sound model of this new addition, but Samsung guaranteed that it would be there when the smartphone is released. 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. S III 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 S III 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 caliber 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 S III only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Google’s own product, Nexus has always been the first to come up with the new versions of Android and who could blame as they are state of the art mobiles. The Galaxy Nexus is the successor for Nexus S and comes with a variety of improvement worthwhile talking about. It comes in Black and has an expensive and gorgeous design to fit right in your palm. It is true that Galaxy Nexus is on the upper quartile on size, but amazingly, it doesn’t feel hefty in your hands. In fact, it only weighs 135g and has dimensions of 135.5 x 67.9mm and comes as a slim phone with 8.9mm of thickness. It accommodates a 4.65 inches Super AMOLED Capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, which a state of the art screen is going beyond the conventional size boundaries of 4.5 inches. It has true HD resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels with an ultra-high pixel density of 316ppi. For this, we can daresay, the image quality and the crispness of the text would be as good as iPhone 4S retina display.
Nexus is made to be a survivor till it has a successor; which means, it comes with state of the art specifications that won’t feel neither intimidated nor outdated for an extended duration of time. Samsung has included a 1.2GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor on top of TI OMAP 4460 chipset bundled with the PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The system is been backed up by a RAM of 1GB and non-extendable storage of 16 or 32 GB. The software doesn’t fail to meet the expectations, as well. Featuring the world’s first IceCreamSandwich smartphone, it comes with a lot of new features that hasn’t been seen around the block. As for starters, it comes with a new optimized font for HD displays, an improved keyboard, more interactive notifications, resizable widgets and a refined browser that is intended to give a desktop-class experience to the user. It also promises the best Gmail experience to date and a clean new look in the calendar and all these sums up to an enticing and intuitive OS.
As if this isn’t enough, Android v4.0 IceCreamSandwich for Galaxy Nexus comes with a facial recognition front end, to unlock the phone called FaceUnlock and an improved version of Google + with hangouts. The UI is re designed for a better experience. According to the official press release the multi-tasking, notifications and web browsing is enhanced in Galaxy Nexus. With the screen quality and display size available on Galaxy Nexus, one can anticipate a unique browsing experience combined with the impressive processing capacity. Galaxy Nexus comes with NFC support, as well. The device is available with many google services such as Android Market, Gmail™, and Google Maps™ 5.0 with 3D maps, Navigation, Google Earth™, Movie Studio, YouTube™, Google Calendar™, and Google+. The home screen and phone application has gone through re design and has acquired a new look under Android 4.0. Android 4.0 (Ice cream Sandwich) also includes a new people Application allowing users to browse friends and other contacts, their photographs and status updates from multiple social networking platforms. The most important fact with Galaxy Nexus is the availability of updates on Android as soon as it is released. A user with a Galaxy Nexus will be the first to receive these updates as Galaxy Nexus is a pure Android experience.
Galaxy Nexus also has a 5MP camera with autofocus, LED flash, touch focus and face detection and Geo-tagging with the support of A-GPS. It can also capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 frames per second. The 1.3MP front camera bundled with built-in Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP enhances the usability of video calling functionality. Samsung has also introduced single motion sweep panorama and the ability to add live effects to the camera which looks really enjoyable. It comes to be connected at all times with the inclusion of HSDPA 21Mbps connectivity. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n that enables you to connect to any Wi-Fi hotspot as well as set up a Wi-Fi hotspot of your own just as easily. The DLNA connectivity means that you can wirelessly stream 1080p media content to your HD TV. It also features Near Field Communication support, active noise cancellation, accelerometer sensor, proximity sensor and a 3-axis Gyro meter sensor that can be used to many emerging Augmented Reality applications. It is commendable to emphasize that Samsung has given a talk time of 17 hours 40 minutes with 2G networks for Galaxy Nexus with a 1750mAh battery, which is beyond incredible.
A Brief Comparison between Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Nexus
• Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by 32nm 1.4GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset with 1GB of RAM while Samsung Galaxy Nexus is powered by 1.2GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4460 chipset with 1GB of RAM.
• Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android OS v4.0.4 ICS with TouchWiz UI while Samsung Galaxy Nexus runs on Vanila build of the ICS.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with PenTile matrix that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi while Samsung Galaxy Nexus has 4.65 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 316ppi.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos and images simultaneously while Samsung Galaxy Nexus has 5MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos.
• Samsung Galaxy S III comes in 16 / 32 and 64GB flavors with the option to expand the storage using microSD card while Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes with 16GB storage without the option to expand the storage using a memory card.
• Samsung Galaxy S III larger, but thinner and lighter (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g) than Samsung Galaxy Nexus (135.5 x 67.9mm / 8.9mm / 135g).
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 4G LTE connectivity while a variant of Samsung Galaxy Nexus is offered with LTE connectivity.
• Samsung Galaxy Nexus has 2100mAh battery while Samsung Galaxy Nexus has 1750mAh battery.
There will be fans of the Vanilla ICS build or any build of Android anywhere in the world who absolutely hates any vendor addition for the UI such as TouchWiz. For those enthusiasts, Samsung Galaxy Nexus may appeal over the Galaxy S III, but for the general public, Samsung Galaxy S III is going to get a substantial competitive advantage over Galaxy Nexus due to the feature set offered with it. First off, the performance of the Galaxy S III is really impressive and breaks every known benchmark. Other additions like Smart Stay, Pop up Play, S Voice, as well as, Smart Alert do the talking on behalf of Galaxy S III, and for all, we can say, the customers are going to adore this beast of a phone. We will get back to you with solid benchmarking results comparing the performance against that of Galaxy Nexus in order to convince you further, but we daresay, Samsung Galaxy S III will be a smartphone to look out.