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

April 11, 2012
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Nexus-vs-s3

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.

Overview

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.

Display

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.

FlatPanelsHD

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.

Processor

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 phoneĀ everĀ 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.

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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.

Camera

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,Ā 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.

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Battery

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.

Sprint-Galaxy-Nexus-LTE

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 furtherĀ the release of the S3 would be a huge setback.

Conclusion

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 Ā 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?

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