Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3 Comparison

It can’t be explained easily how much eagerly we’ve been waiting for the LG Nexus 4, and now that Google has made the Nexus 4 all official, along with the Android 4.2, it’s time we compare it with the greatest of Android available as of today.

And this clearly begins with the Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison, in which we will put the software, hardware and other obvious things against each other form both these great devices we will remember 2012 for, including HTC One X.

The Galaxy S3 is still selling like hotcakes all over the world and looks set to easily break records set by its predecessor, the Galaxy S2.

While Nexus 4, releasing after around 5 months since Galaxy S3 came to market, easily out-specs the Samsung’s flagship phone for 2013, the Galaxy S3 has got some tricks up its sleeve too. Like, the Super AMOLED HD display, TouchWiz 5 (maybe not, at all!) and most importantly, microSD card support.

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: Hardware


The Google Nexus 4 is powered by what Google considers the best is business right now, the 1.5 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor by Qualcomm, while the motor inside International Galaxy S3 is 1.4 GHz Quad-core Exynos processor made by Samsung itself. Sure, S3’s processor is no slouch by any means even now and when it was launched, when it was a leader, but the Nexus 4 processor surely scores above it.

It needs mention here that the US variants of Galaxy S3, at Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, house a dual-core S4 processor, which is very impressive for sure, but the one in Nexus 4 is the quad-core version of that dual-core S4 processor only, and thus obviously packs in a bigger punch.

Winner: Nexus 4!


With 2GB RAM, Nexus 4 is a clear winner. The international Galaxy S3 packs in 1 GB RAM, which was standard at its time, while its US variants pack in 2 GB RAM. Not convinced? How about we average out the RAM in Galaxy S3 in U.S. and elsewhere in order to prove that Nexus 4 still scores.

Winner: Nexus 4!


Those who like vibrant and saturated screens will see Galaxy S3’s Super AMOLED HD display as the best. While, those who want true colors, and hate saturation on displays, will simply love the Nexus 4’s True IPS+ display.

If you want white to be very white and not yellow-ish, and black to be deep blacks, you’ll want Super AMOLED display of Galaxy S3. That’s it. Nevertheless, both are good display. Awesome, actually! My personal favourite is Super AMOLED (just loved it on SGS, SGS2, SGS3 and Gnex)!

Winner: Both are great, let’s call it a draw.


Both Samsung Galaxy S3 and Google Nexus 4 house an 8 megapixel sensor, with LED flash of course, but since Nexus 4 has been bestowed with Google’s latest Android 4.2 OS, and 4.2’s cool new camera software, featuring all new and exciting Photo Sphere function and gesture controls, we’re too much inclined to give thumbs up to Nexus 4 here, even though Samsung has done a good job with Galaxy S3’s camera software, making it one of the best camera phones on earth, installing features like Burst shot, best shot, enhanced photo sharing and friend identification, etc. in the S3

Winner: Nexus 4 it looks to be, but we will have to click a few snaps first to decide on it confidently. Yes, Draw it is.

Other factors:

Features Nexus 4 Galaxy S3
LTE No Yes
Dimensions 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Micro SD card support No Yes, up to 64 GB
Battery 2100 mAh
2100 mAh
NFC Yes Yes
NotificationLED Yes
(Damn sweet!)

Winner: Galaxy S3 (finally!). Since it supports micro SD card, battery is removable, and is thinner of the two). Above all, no support for LTE is a big downer for many people.

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: Software

Operating System

The Nexus 4 comes pre-installed with Google’s latest version of the OS, Android 4.2, still called Jelly Bean. This by itself is more than enough to make Nexus 4 a winner and close this discussion. Btw, the Galaxy S3 is in the process of being updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (with Samsung’s own UI, TouchWiz 5) and comes pre-installed with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with TouchWiz 5 atop it, of course.

While the custom UI the OEMs force on their device is the main underlying reason for many people to simply buy the Nexus (as also the fact that Nexus devices receive the updates first of all too), the custom UI is still a winner for many, if not the most. Personally, I love the Galaxy Nexus, and its stock UI a lot over whether it’s Samsung’s colourful and busy TouchWiz 5 or HTC’s Sense 4.0 and above. Of these two custom skins, I prefer the TW5, though, but even that’s nowhere close to stock UI Google Nexus devices get you.

Winner: Nexus 4!

Software Updates

Updates are an issue on Android, and will remain as such for obvious reasons. If you believe using the latest version of Android is imperative for you, so much that it’s your way of life, simply opt for Nexus 4. Nexus devices, not only get the latest android OS first of all, and they do so by a good margin of around minimum 3 months or so, but also are best eligible for an update. The Galaxy S2 won’t see Android 4.2 most probably, unless Samsung stuns us, but Galaxy Nexus with nearly same hardware capabilities will surely get it, even before the likes of Galaxy S3 and HTC One X.

So, even though Galaxy S3 fares better than other devices of its ilk — the HTC One X, Motorola Razr series, Sony Xperia S and Xperia T and LG Optimus 4X and LG Optimus G — as it received the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update before others or others will, it simply got it around 3-4 months after the Galaxy Nexus received it. Ask any Nexus user how much happy he/she is as regards software updates and you’ll be convinced for life.

Winner: Nexus 4!

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: Device Build

We’re yet to get our hands on the Nexus 4, but its build is already looking very exciting and is in stark contrast to use of plastic and its gloss in Galaxy S3. Samsung has many happy customers with that the plastic build of Galaxy S3, no doubt about that, but there is even larger bunch of users who didn’t quite like it, and Nexus 4 scores a lot for such, including me.

Nexus 4’s design is looks inspired from the Galaxy Nexus — which won many hearts over its simple and minimalistic design — and by using glass in the back while also opting for the more darker colour tone than the Galaxy Nexus, Google looks to have successfully raised the bar here, too.

Winner: Nexus 4!

Nexus 4 vs Galaxy S3: Price

Well well! The Nexus 4 price is literally at rock-bottom level, as it’s available only for $299 (8 GB) and $349 (16 GB), unlocked and sim-free, in US and works with over 200 networks world over, which truly makes it great.

On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy S3 pricing depends on where you buy it, and from whom and when. You might get a deal by your carrier, which gets you $50 or $100 off of the usually $200 price for 2 yr contract in U.S. And, the unlocked Galaxy S3 goes for around $600. Goes without saying the Nexus 4 wins by superior margins here.

Winner: Nexus 4!


Nexus 4 Wins!

Not only the faster 1.5 GHz quad-core S4 Pro processor and 2 GB of RAM, but also the latest software, Android 4.2, and also the assurance of quickest update to next Android version (Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie?) on the LG-made Google Nexus 4 for the price of just $349 (in U.S.), makes it a clear winner to us, even though it doesn’t support LTE (and won’t), doesn’t have 32 GB model, doesn’t support micro SD card either, comes with non-removable battery and even doesn’t supports LTE.

We’re sure you have lot to add to this comparison, so, do give a shout in the comments. Would love to hear ye all, guys!

Posted by
Kapil Malani

A die-hard Liverpool FC fan, Kapil is a big fan of Batman, Android and street Cricket. In that order, probably. Email: [email protected]


  1. microSD (you can have more SD cards), removable batt (you can have one in reserve) – not that clear win for Nexus 4. In areas with LTE, you must have LTE (i don’t, yet)

    I would go for S3. And it’s cheaper. Finally: S3 is Samsung.

  2. microSD (you can have more SD cards), removable batt (you can have one in reserve) – not that clear win for Nexus 4. In areas with LTE, you must have LTE (i don’t, yet)

    I would go for S3. And it’s cheaper. Finally: S3 is Samsung.

  3. nexus 4 at half the price for the s3–winner nexus 4

  4. nexus 4 at half the price for the s3–winner nexus 4

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