Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Battle of the flagships

by: Ankit BanerjeeApril 11, 2012


If there is one issue that Android users will never face, that issue will be the lack of options. But, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. While too many Android phone competing for attention isn’t necessarily “bad”, it does create confusion among consumers looking to upgrade their device.

Keeping this in mind, we are putting together comparisons of the latest and greatest smartphones and tablets, aiming to reduce this confusion and make it easier for you to choose. Without further ado, today, we will look at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3.


The highly acclaimed Samsung Galaxy Nexus is Google’s latest flagship device, released in December last year. It was the first phone to feature the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) flavor of Android and it’s been a huge success. This device will soon be launched by Sprint with LTE support.

The (seemingly for forever) “coming soon” Samsung Galaxy S3 is, if rumors are to be believed, is all set to become the most powerful Android device available, potentially way ahead of its competition.

Of course, you may be thinking that there is no point in comparing the “old” Galaxy Nexus with the seemingly superior Galaxy S3. But with the “re-launch” of the Galaxy Nexus with LTE support, it could still be a viable option. Some of the head-to-head comparisons may just surprise you.


Samsung has always led the race when it comes to mobile device displays, with its AMOLED technology slowly becoming the gold standard to which all other technologies are compared. Fact: Samsung also manufactured the much hyped Retina display of the iPad 3. So, it goes without saying that the Korean company will leave no stone unturned to bring the best display technology available to its own devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD Pentile display with a 1280×720 resolution and 316 ppi. This display is nothing short of magnificent and is a big step up from any other LCD display out there. The only issue with the Gnex’ display that purists have is the use of the Pentile pixel arrangement matrix. Although the Pentile setup helped deliver HD resolution, many claim that it makes text look fuzzy.


It seems Samsung has gone about fixing the Pentile matrix issue for the Galaxy S3, if the latest “leak” is to be believed. The Samsung Galaxy S3 will feature a 4.7″ Super AMOLED (true) HD display with a 1280×720 resolution and 316 ppi. While it seems to be very similar to the Galaxy Nexus, using a true HD RGB matrix to produce the first HD AMOLED screen for the Galaxy S3, will provide an even better visual experience.


In a move away from Samsung’s own Exynos processors, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a TI OMAP 4460 dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. There were some rumors that the LTE version will feature a faster 1.5 Ghz processor, which would bring the processor up to speed with its competitors. But that report turned out to be inaccurate, with the phone featuring the original 1.2 Ghz processor and 1GB RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 on the other hand, will most likely feature an Exynos 4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a supposed clock speed of 1.5/1.8 Ghz. Paired with 2GB RAM (rumored), this will will make the Galaxy S3 the most powerful Android phone ever to be released.

Operating System and UI

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first device to feature stock Android 4.0. The update from Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on phones to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich represents the most significant revision to Android yet. The simple, yet elegant user interface, along with its hardware acceleration feature, make the Galaxy Nexus feel much faster than it is, more than making up for the “disappointing” processor.


The Galaxy S3 will also feature the Ice Cream Sandwich OS, with an added layer of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Although there have been complaints about the TouchWiz UI slowing down the phone, the latest version is said to be much “lighter”. Considering how powerful we are expecting the Galaxy S3 to be, the added layer should not be a problem at all, and will instead bring the added benefit of Samsung’s hubs for music, reading, games, and apps.


This is one area where the Galaxy Nexus loses out in comparison to newer devices. The phone features a “modest” 5.0 MP LED flash rear camera, with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera. This is certainly not a bad camera, but, even considering it’s a 2011 release, it does fall short of expectations, with most new Android 4.0 devices featuring at least an 8MP camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is (again, rumored) to boast a 12MP camera with a 2MP front-camera for videocalls and all those self-portraits we love to take. We can’t make any assumptions on whether it will be the best shooter around, with HTC”s ImageSense as a strong contender to the title, but the camera on the S3 will definitely be superior to the one on the Galaxy Nexus.

galaxy nexus camera


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE version features a slightly larger 1850 mAH battery (compared to 1750 mAH). It’s said to allow upto 7.5 hours of average usage, with 78.6 hours of standby time. Of course, 4G LTE devices are known to be voracious, so the battery will likely not be enough. But do not worry – Samsung is offering free extended-battery packs for the Galaxy Nexus.

There are numerous “leaks” on what the battery of the Galaxy S3 will be, so consolidating all the rumors, we estimate that it would most probably be in the 2000mAH – 2650 mAH range.

Release Dates

The Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE phone will be released on April 22. Nevertheless, the device will still mostly run on 3G speeds with Sprint’s LTE network set to be functional only in 6 major centres in June.


The Samsung Galaxy S3 should (say the rumors) be released on May 22, at a press event in London, and will likely ship starting from June. Of course, as with every other piece of information we have about the device, this is yet another rumor, but the estimated dates seem likely. With the HTC One X already shipping worldwide, regardless of how good this phone may be, delaying any further the release of the S3 would be a huge setback.


It is obvious that the Galaxy S3 is the superior device, unless we are way off on the expected specifications of Samsung’s new flagship. That being said, we still have no official release information for the Galaxy S3. We also have no information on what the LTE alternative for the quad-core Galaxy S3 will be.

With a lot of users looking to renew their contracts, eager to jump on the LTE bandwagon, the Galaxy Nexus is a very impressive  option. However, it’s only reasonable to recommend that, if you can wait for the Samsung Galaxy S3, you should.

So, which device is your favorite? Will the Galaxy S3 trump the Galaxy Nexus by a longshot or will the GNex 4G LTE holds its own against the S3 juggernaut? What do you think?

  • AppleFUD

    Seriously, What’s with all the “___ Vs. Galaxy S III” articles?
    We don’t even have official specs let alone a device. . . Not to mention the tons of rumor articles on the S III every other day — you all have left ridiculous far behind. Is this now “THE Android speculation site?”

    • Amine Elouakil

      I’ve already complaned about this, I understand that some writters are hardcore Samsung fans, but at this point is getting rediculous, there isn’t a single day without a …….VS SGSIII articale

      • Ankit

        I’m sorry that you feel this way. I’m not a Samsung fan at all, my inclination being more towards HTC. But anyway, I understand how frustrating it is to only see rumors of the S3 all the time. The point of these articles I believe is so that people can make a decision on whether waiting for the S3 is worth it or if there are better or at the least more viable options available. This is more applicable for US consumers who depend on 2 year contract terms, with a lot of them having their renewal periods coming up soon.That being said, we do plan to do a few comparison pieces to make things easier for our readers, and not always “vs Galaxy S3” so if there are any particular devices you want us to look at, we will gladly do so. Just let me know here, and I will get right on it. We appreciate your feedback and will do everything in our power to come your experience on this site better.

    • Ankit

      We have just been reporting any new information/rumor/speculation we hear about the Galaxy S3 in the hope to let our readers know what to expect. As of now, we do have a fair idea of what to expect, unless (like I said) we are way off on our expectations. That being said, I do understand how you feel. We are trying our best to provide the most comprehensive coverage of Android development, and at this point, that does mean a LOT of galaxy S3 rumors as well. I, like everyone else, am eagerly waiting for an official announcement. Sorry if the above article was disappointing. If there is any specific comparisons of devices you would like to see, or anything else we can work on, do let me know here and I will get right on it.

  • Zombie Killer

    Whoever made the fake picture… HOME MENU BACK buttons.
    That is all.

  • Cole Raney

    The galaxy S2 skyrocket gf is better than the galaxy nexus do of course the galaxy S3 will be better.

  • K Vortex

    honestly, these pseudo-comparing articles are absolutely ridiculous.

    The galaxy s3 isn’t available right now, so stop messing around with it.

  • glennstarr

    The nexus had crazy rumors too which were all wrong accept for ics and super amoled hd. Not getting too excited about sg3 till its official.

  • No microsd card slot. No thanks.

  • Alex

    Because of the Nexus’ inadequate camera, it is not a complete phone.

  • CogitaClare

    What’s the matter, people? Can’t enjoy a little hype and speculation? The S3 is hyped to be better than the Nexus, and no matter what the actual specs will be, it probably will be better than the Nexus. Guessing as to how it might be better helps people decide whether to jump in on the Nexus or stick it out for the S3, and people (like you, dear reader) are interested in that, fact or speculation or otherwise. Comments like “HOME MENU BACK buttons” only show how ignorant people can be, as it is a proposed feature of the S3 that its function buttons be produced on the screen as-needed by software, without any permanent placement.

  • mimi93

    I have Nexus & if they had any Galaxy s3 in stock that day, I would’ve waited. I’ve never had so many connectivity issues with any phone!