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Google Nexus 4 - How Does It Compare To The iPhone 5 & Galaxy S3

By Simon Thomas on 30th October 2012

Google have officially announced the Nexus 4 alongside the Nexus 10 tablet, a 3G version of the Nexus 7 and Android 4.2. They were due to be unveiled at an event in New York which got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.


The Google Nexus 4 is a premium Android smartphone which has been manufactured by LG and will cost around half the price if the iPhone 5. But what specification does it have and how does it compare to its major rivals, the iPhone 5 and Galaxy SIII ?


Display & Dimensions


Contrary to what the name suggests the Nexus 4 has a 4.7 inch touch-screen , which runs at a resolution of 1280*720 pixels. This gives the smartphone a 320 pixels-per-inch (ppi) which compares pretty favourable with the iPhone 5's 4 inch 326 ppi Retina display and beats the  Galaxy SIII's 4.8 inch 306 ppi display.


The Nexus 4 has dimensions of 134mm * 69mm * 9mm and weighs 139g which makes it bigger and heavier than the iPhone 5. However, that's to be expected due to the larger screen-size and the higher capacity 2100 mAH battery. It's a lot fairer to compare the dimensions of the Nexus to the Galaxy SIII and it's almost identical to Samsung's device being just a touch thicker and heavier.


Power & Features


Google Nexus 4

Google seems to ensure all of its devices come with an amazing amount of power and the Nexus 4 is no different. The smartphone has a quad-core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor and 2GB of RAM, which gives it the edge over both the iPhone 5 (dual-core A6 processor and 1GB of RAM) and the Galaxy SIII (1.4 Ghz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM).


Google's Nexus 4 has both an 8 mega-pixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing 1.3 mega-pixel snapper for video calling. This puts it pretty equal with the iPhone 5 (8 mega-pixel and 1.2 mega-pixel) and the Galaxy SIII (8 mega-pixel and 1.9 mega-pixel).


One advantage the Nexus 4 has over its major rivals is support for wireless charging, which isn't supported on the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy SIII. A wireless charging mat is included in the retail box , so you don't event have to buy an extra accessory to use the feature.

Operating System

The Nexus 4 runs on Android 4.2 which is the very latest version of the Android Jelly Bean operating system. It includes a whole host of new features including Photo Sphere, an improved version of Google Now and Gesture Typing.

We'll be bringing a comprehensive review of Android 4.2 later today so keep posted to find out more about Google's new version of Android.


Google Nexus 4

The Apple iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, which is the latest version of Apple's operating system while the Galaxy SIII languishes behind the Nexus 4 because it runs on the stock version of Android Jelly Bean (4.1). To be fair Samsung's device will be updated in the future, but the fact it comes pre-loaded on the Nexus 4 gives Google's device the edge.


Lack of 4G & microSD support

However, Google's device doesn't deliver in ever category because it lacks support for 4G LTE , which launched today in the UK on EE's network. Additionally, Google's Nexus 4 doesn't support microSD cards , so you'll have to make do with either 8 or 16GB of onboard memory.


We're not sure that'll be enough for some users, but you can always use cloud-based storage.  Both the iPhone 5 and Galaxy SIII come in  16, 32 and 64GB models, with Samsung's device also supporting microSD cards.


Prices & Availability


The Google Nexus 4 will launch in the UK on November 13th and will cost £240 for the 8GB model with the 16GB model costing £280. The 16GB iPhone 5 (£529) is almost double the price of the 16GB Nexus 4, while the Galaxy SIII is still significantly more expensive than Google's smartphone (around £400 for the 16GB model).


When it comes to operators the Nexus 4 will be exclusive to O2 for a month before then going on to launch on the other UK operators. We'll bring you more detail on the tariffs as soon as  we hear more.




The Google Nexus 4 has more power, an equivalent display, competitive battery life and almost identical cameras to its major rivals. It runs on the very latest version of Android with the only thing letting it down being the lack of support for 4G and microSD cards.


However, when you factor in that Google's device is almost half the price of the iPhone 5 and over £100 cheaper than the equivalent Galaxy SIII it offers great value. Those happy with just 8GB of onboard memory get an even better value because they'll pay just £240 for a power-packed Android smartphone , which is an amazing deal !


Google are quickly becoming a real force in the smartphone and tablet markets and 3G are looking forward to reviewing the Nexus 4 to find out just how good it really is.

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