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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Which smartphone should you buy?

There are a number of similarities between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Nexus, leading us to believe that the Nexus smartphone might actually have provided the blueprint for the Galaxy S3.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S3 review

Storage & Memory

Both phones come with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. The S3 however is available in 32GB and 64GB models (although the price premium charged is likely to encourage customers to opt for a 64GB microSD card instead) while the Nexus only comes in 16GB flavours. Also the latter doesn't have a microSD card reader. On top of that the S3 comes with 50GB cloud-based storage from Dropbox for two years.


Both handsets have a 1,280 x 720 pixels capacitive display. The S3 screen is slightly larger (4.8in vs 4.65in) and not curved like on the Galaxy Nexus plus it is protected by Corning's Gorilla glass. The S3 uses Pentile Technology (Super AMOLED HD) just like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Samsung is said to have production issues with the non-Pentile Super AMOLED Plus HD limiting its use in smartphones - like the Tizen development phone - which has a small run.


When it comes to processing power, the S3 has a quad core Exynos 4412 processor clocked at 1.4GHz with Mali400 GPU. The Galaxy Nexus features a dual core TI OMAP4460 processor clocked at 1.2Ghz with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. In benchmarks, the Galaxy S3 trounced the Galaxy Nexus by a very wide margin both when it comes to compute and graphics power.


They're almost the same volume (81.88 cubic centimetres (Nexus) vs 82.93 cubic centimetres(S3)) and have almost identical mass (135g (Nexus) vs 133g (S3)).


While both of them can record full HD footage, the S3 has an eight megapixel shooter compared to a five megapixel for the Nexus. Its front facing camera is also better at 1.9-megapixel, a 50 per cent increase in pixel count.


Both run on Android 4.0.4 ICS. Nexus runs a stock version whereas the S3 has Samsung's own Touchwiz v4.0 which oddly enough doesn't affect the performance of the phone.

Battery life

The S3 has a more powerful battery compared to the Nexus (1750mAh vs 2100mAh) which translates into a higher talktime on 3G (620 minutes vs 500 minutes). Interestingly, somehow Samsung has managed to increase the efficiency of the S3 compared to the Nexus. The battery capacity increased by 20 per cent but talk time by almost 25 per cent.


As expected, both have NFC and Wi-Fi Direct but the S3 has Bluetooth 4.0 and USB on the go as well as GLONASS on top of A-GPS.


The Galaxy Nexus can be had for a mere £355 while the Galaxy S3 costs £499, a 40 per cent premium. The cheapest contract for the Nexus costs £20.50 per month while the punters can get the S3 on a £29 contract both from


Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.