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Samsung Galaxy S3 VS Google Nexus 4: Which one to buy

Samsung Galaxy S3 VS Google Nexus 4: Which one to buy

Two powerful devices with quad core processors and really strong specs. We love them both. But you can buy just one. So this will be a difficult battle.

We compare the phones on 6 fields. If we missed something, just add a comment.


Shape: Samsung Galaxy S3
Design: Google Nexus 4

Although Samsung Galaxy S3 is taller and wider, it remains lighter and more thin.

It is normal that S3 is a bit bigger as the screen of Samsung Galaxy S3 is bigger than Nexus 4 (0.1 inch).

Although Samsung get more points for the size of the body, Nexus 4 should take a point for the design.

The unibody glass is awesome. Glass on the front and glass on the back compared to cheap plastic of the Samsung Galaxy S3.


Bigger screen: Samsung Galaxy S3
Better screen: Google Nexus 4

The screen of Samsung Galaxy S3 is a bit bigger but the difference of 0.1 inch is not visible so we can say it’s the same size.

The screen of Google Nexus 4 is better as it has more pixels per inch (318 pixels VS 306 of Samsung Galaxy S3). But this is a small difference that is not visible.

The technology behind the Samsung’s screen is called Super AMOLED and Nexus 4 has True HD IPS Plus by LG.

They both have Gorilla Glass 2 so they are pretty resistant.


Primary camera: No winner
Second camera: Samsung Galaxy S3

Both phones have two cameras, the primary one of 8MP and the front for video chat.

While the primary camera is the same, the front one is better in Samsung Galaxy S3 (1.9MP compared to 1.3MP).

With both phones you can take photos and videos simultaneously and also video at 1080p @ 30fps.

Of course both have LED flash and auto focus capabilities so they are pretty the same.


Google Nexus 4

Both phones are quad core but they hace different versions of processors.

Technically Google Nexus 4 has a quad core at 1.5GHz and Samsung Galaxy S3 a quad core at 1.4GHz.

Beyond that Samsung has a Mali-400MP that is not as fast as Adreno 320 and Adreno consumes less battery. Moreover it supports almost all 3D games.

Nexus 4 has also more RAM memory (2GB) compared to 1GB of Galaxy S3.


Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3

Both phones have the same battery, a 2100mAh li-on battery. The difference is that on Samsung Galaxy S3 the battery is removable and in Google Nexus 4, no. I cannot understand why this happens with Nexus 4, maybe it’s because of the glass on back side.

Other specs and details

Memory: Samsung Galaxy S3 has 3 versions of memory capacity from 16GB to 64GB and you also have an SD card to add more stuff on your phone. Nexus 4 is more limited as it has a 16 or 32GB version with no SD card. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3

Android version: Google Nexus 4 has the latest Android version 4.2 and Galaxy S3 started with Android 4.0 to then upgrade to 4.1. I am not sure if it will get Android 4.2 soon as Samsung now has a newer phone to look at (Samsung Galaxy S4). Winner: Google Nexus 4

Options: Samsung Galaxy S3 has TouchWiz, a custom made Android version that has a lot of options and features we really like. For exemple, the notification bar has a lot of options to get quick access to your phone. Nexus 4 has the core Android OS with no nodifications. This is good because you will get the updates as soon as they are published (or almost) but you have to make more steps to do what you do with Samsung Galaxy S3 in just a tap. So no winner on this as the battle is Quick upgrades VS Quick shortcuts.

Apps: both phones have access to Google Play but Samsung Galaxy S3 has more apps preinstalled on the phone. You can find S-Voice, Smart Eye, Dropbox (with 50Gb as a gift), TV Out, Document Viewer and all Google apps. On Nexus 4 all you get is Google Apps. If you are not an english native speaker, S-Voice is not your thing so maybe you prefer a clean version of a phone like Nexus 4. But the fact that Samsung engineers created stuff for Samsung Galaxy S3 is a point we should consider positively. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3

Final verdict

We should also take into account that Nexus 4 is a newer phone than Samsung Galaxy S3. This could give extra points to the phone. Samsung Galaxy S3 is surely a winner as it was one of the best selling phones of 2012 but Nexus 4 has a better price and is Google’s proposition for Android phones. We loved both phones but as Google Nexus 4 is newer we would buy that. Samsung Galaxy S3 was wonderful but is behind the new Samsung Galaxy S4 so it can be a proposition to buy it only if you find it in a competitive price. Below you can find the wins of each device.

Total Wins

samsung-galaxy-s3Samsung Galaxy S3 (read the full review here)
Body shape is lighter and thinner
Bigger screen
Better second camera
Battery can be removed
Memory options (has microSD card)
TouchWiz options – notification bar
Preinstalled Samsung Apps

Google-Nexus-4Google Nexus 4 (read the full review here)
Beautiful glass body design
Better screen with more PPIs
Processor Speed is much better and has double RAM
Quick updates from Google
Android version is the newer one

Specs rating of Google Nexus 4

SpecGoogle Nexus 4Compared to:with spec:ScoreBuy now:
how we rateTotal Rating71.5%Get a better price for this phone
Width9.1iPhone 57.680%

Weight139iPhone 511276%
Screen PPI318HTC One46968%
Camera MP8Nokia Pureview4120%
2nd Camera1.3Sony Xperia Z2.259%
Processor4 * 1.5Samsung S48 * 1.647%
RAM MB2000HTC One2000100%
Battery mAh2100Samsung Note 2310068%
Android4.2Google Nexus 44.2100%
Release Date2012-11Today2013-0383%
Our view85%-100%85%

Specs rating of Samsung Galaxy S3

SpecSamsung Galaxy S3Compared to:with spec:ScoreBuy now:
AVP rating methodTotal Rating66.3%
Width8.6iPhone 57.687%

Weight133iPhone 511281%
Screen PPI306HTC One46965%
Camera MP8Nokia Pureview4120%
2nd Camera1.9Sony Xperia Z2.286%
Processor4 * 1.4Samsung S48 * 1.644%
RAM MB1000HTC One200050%
Battery mAh2100Samsung Note 2310068%
Android4.0Google Nexus 44.267%
Release Date2012-05Today2013-0358%
Our view80%-100%80%

You can compare all Android smartphones here!


  1. Aashuk Mehta  /  September 27, 2013, 4:28 am

    Off course Nexus 4 is better

    Ask me this at 3am the answer will be same

  2. Nicolas Cook León  /  September 27, 2013, 4:28 am

    Is there even a contest? The Nexus 4 is newer, faster, higher-spec’d, and runs the latest version of Android.

    • Simon Koss  /  September 27, 2013, 4:28 am

      and what about software? I like Nexus but I miss for example a better notification screen.

  3. madhu soodana  /  September 27, 2013, 4:29 am

    Google is better than sumsung

    • Simon Koss  /  September 27, 2013, 4:30 am

      Nexus is an LG phone!

  4. Aashuk Mehta  /  September 27, 2013, 4:29 am

    What!! Google notification screen is hundred times better than samsung’s ugly notification

    Do you want the toggles there are hundreds of app that give toggles

    • Simon Koss  /  September 27, 2013, 4:30 am

      that’s true!

  5. Adam Hill  /  September 27, 2013, 4:29 am

    Had both. Nexus 4 by a mile… 

  6. Francesco Benati  /  September 27, 2013, 4:30 am

    2 GB of ram ,N4 !

    • Simon Koss  /  September 27, 2013, 4:30 am

      RAM is more important for me even than the processor!

  7. Jordan VanCampen  /  September 27, 2013, 4:31 am

    Gs3 has a way better camera.

  8. Lukáš Biel  /  September 27, 2013, 4:31 am

    SGS3 has better display and camera, but N4’s 2gigs of RAM are awesome and beats both of SGS3’s advantages

  9. Jordan VanCampenJ  /  September 27, 2013, 4:31 am

    S3 has 2gb of ram

  10. Rahul Bera  /  September 27, 2013, 4:33 am

    Obviously Nexus 4 is better!! How many proof do you want?

  11. willz Sto. Domingo  /  September 27, 2013, 4:34 am

    nexus 4 looks more premium 🙂 🙂

  12. Matt bates  /  September 27, 2013, 4:34 am

    On the fence on this one as had the s3 LTE first only on my second week with the nexus 4 and there are things I miss from the s3 but love my sexy nexus 4

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