When the Samsung Galaxy S3 was released onto the market in May 2012 it became the must have Android handset. In September the Apple iPhone 5 followed and in November we saw the LG Nexus 4. These all became very popular handsets and still today they remain among the best as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 have yet to make an appearance on US shelves.
Chipset: The LG Nexus packs in a 1.5GHz quad core processor, while the Apple iPhone 5 comes with the A5 processor, which is a dual core 1.2GHz. The international version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a quad core, and it is a dual core in the US. The Apple iPhone 5 may be the slowest of all three devices, but it is twice as fast as the iPhone 4S prove benchmarks. The LG Nexus 4 comes with 2GB of RAM and quad-cores while the Samsung Galaxy S3 has quad cores but with 1GB of RAM. So here the winner would be the LG Nexus 4.
OS: You get the pure Android 4.2.3 experience with the LG Nexus 4, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 has Jelly Bean 4.1 and TouchWiz. The Apple iPhone 5 has iOS 6.1.3 and this is the most streamlined of the trio. Android however is the best for customisation. The LG Nexus 4 would get updates faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and so you could choose between this and the Apple iPhone 5 from a software standpoint.
Storage: The LG Nexus 4 comes with a choice of 8GB or 16GB, but there isn’t room to expand. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is offered in a choice of 16GB and 32GB and it takes a microSD card up to 64GB. The Apple iPhone 5 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, but there is no SD card expansion. So the winner here is the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Viewing: The LG Nexus 4 has a display of 4.7 inches and this is True HD IPS, with a resolution of 1280 x 768 and it offers 318ppi. The Apple iPhone 5 meanwhile comes with an IPS Retina display of 4 inches, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a Super AMOLED display offering a resolution of 1280 x 720p and 4.8 inches. The displays are all superb but the IPS is often the more realistic and it offers better colour reproduction. It generally handles glare better too, when reading outside. The Super AMOLED display can be over saturated and it can offer colours that tend to be hyper realistic. The LG Nexus 4 comes with the biggest of the IPS displays here and so it wins.
Life: The battery of the LG Nexus 4 should give you around 15 hours talk time as it is 2100mAh, this is according to the spec sheet. The Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone 5 are both said to provide around 10 hours. However when AnandTech made tests the Apple iPhone 5 was in the lead, the Samsung Galaxy S3 came in second and the LG Nexus was dead last.
Dimensions: The LG Nexus 4 has a weight of 129 grams and measures 133.9mmx68.7mmx9.1mm. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 135 grams and measures 136.6×70.6mmx8.6mm. The Apple iPhone 5 wins as this weighs just 112 grams along with it being smaller and thinner than the competition. It also has its handsome looks on its side.
Connectivity: Anyone who needs NFC would have to choose either the LG Nexus 4 or the Samsung Galaxy S3. If it is LTE you prefer then it would be the Apple iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S3. Anyone who wants both of these would have to choose the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Camera: The handsets each offer a camera on the back of 8 megapixels. The LG Nexus 4 can take videos at 1080p and it also has a camera of 1.3 megapixels on the front. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a front camera of 1.9 megapixels up front and the iPhone 5 a 1.2MP shooter. The LG Nexus 4 boasts PhotoSphere, the Samsung Galaxy S3 takes pictures and video at the same time very well and the Apple iPhone 5 is great in low light. The Apple iPhone 5 takes the win as it comes with a superb BSI sensor for those excellent low light captures.
If you want a device that is easy to use then it would have to be the Apple iPhone 5. The Apple iPhone 5 also takes the win for having superb looks and camera.
The LG Nexus 4 is packed with hardware that is superb, but it is let down by storage and lack of LTE. The price tag however is unbeatable at $299, plus is has the pure Android experience and promise of future updates.
Overall the Samsung Galaxy S3 has to be the winner by a small margin thanks to its removable battery, biggest storage and display size, most connectivity options (NFC, LTE, DLNA, MHL, Smart Share and micro HDMI) and thanks to the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been announced the price has begun dropping.