• Google Nexus 4 Review and Galaxy S3 Comparison

    I’ve had the LG Nexus 4 for about a week now, And I want to share with you my experience of it.

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    Google Nexus 4 Review and Galaxy S3 Comparison

    Google Nexus 4 Review and Galaxy S3 Comparison

    Among other things, I’ll be looking at the display quality, performance, call quality, and battery. At a starting price of £239 or $299 for the 8GB model, And being the first phone to run Android 4.2, There’s a lot to like about the Nexus 4. So let’s find out more about the handset, And you can decide if it’s the phone for you. The Nexus 4’s body is an interesting combination of glass and plastic. There’s a glass front and back, With a lightly textured plastic side-frame. It’s comfortable to hold, and definitely better feeling in the hand than an all plastic phone. But the fact that it’s back is also glass can be a bit of a worry. The front and back glass is Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2, So it’s going to be scratch-proof to some extent, But I doubt it’ll completely withstand heavy knocks or drops. I think with the Nexus 4, a sturdy case isn’t just an option, it’s a must. This isn’t a small phone. It’s a 4.7 inch display encased in a body that’s 133.9mm tall, 68.7mm wide, and 9.1mm thick. It’s only slightly smaller than the Galaxy S3, which has a 4.8 inch display. And the S3 is actually thinner than the Nexus 4 at 8.6mm. It’s also slightly lighter, 133 grams compared to the Nexus 4’s 139 grams. So if you have small hands, you might find this a bit of a stretch to use one handed. And personally, though I can hold the phone comfortably in one hand, just like with the S3, I prefer to have both hands free to use it. There are no physical buttons on the front of the Nexus 4, And the glass curves nicely down at the edges into the side frame, Making swiping comfortable. The front 1.3MP camera is placed top right, And the earpiece grille is set into the top where the glass and side frame meet. On the top left are the light and proximity sensors. The LED notification light is set below the display. You don’t really notice it unless it lights up. When the phone is switched on, You see the capacitive back, home, and menu keys on a black bar below the interface. And these remain, unless you’re watching a movie or using the camera app. There are just the usual physical buttons and ports on the Nexus 4. On the right, there’s the power button. On the left there’s a volume rocker and the microSIM card slot. At top, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone. On the bottom of the phone, there’s a microphone, And the microUSB charging port. The all-glass back of the phone has an 8MP camera with LED flash above the ‘Nexus’ logo, And down below, a slim speaker grille near the LG logo. Here on the back glass is where the Nexus 4’s design gets a little interesting, With a shimmery light particle effect. You only see it when you hold the phone at particular angles to the light. It’s a really nice touch. The Nexus 4 doesn’t have an easily removable back panel, So the 2100 mAh battery inside is non-swappable. Also, there’s no microSD card slot. This might be an issue for some, Since the phone is only available in 8GB and 16GB versions at the moment. Available space out of the box on this 16GB model is 12.73GB, and in the 8GB model that would be just 4.73GB. So the 8GB version may be too small for most people’s needs, even though it is cheaper. The Nexus 4’s display is a 4.7 inch IPS LCD, With a WXGA resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels. This means it has more pixels by width than an equivalent HD display. This gives it a pixel density of 320ppi, Which is more than the Galaxy S3’s 306ppi. Let’s take a look at reading outside. Now this isn’t very bright sunlight. It’s winter here so I’m a bit short on bright sunny days, But you can see that both the Nexus 4 and S3 displays are readable, And this is at maximum brightness. The S3 display, being AMOLED, has more contrast, So the text is darker and more visible. Coming back indoors, Still at maximum brightness on both, The S3 display continues to show better contrast. The Nexus LCD display is actually too bright here, And is washing out the text a little bit. Now, this is my display test video, And we’ll start with how it looks outside. The sun’s not very bright, so there’s not much glare on either display. But comparing the two, The S3 stands out a bit more for clarity and contrast. The Nexus 4 display looks more faded out. Looking at the displays indoors, The Nexus 4 doesn’t look so faded any more. The S3’s AMOLED display shows much more saturation and contrast, But the Nexus 4 is managing to show more detail in darker areas. Things that are mostly blacked out on the S3. Neither is actually showing true colour. You can see that more clearly with this red rose. The colour on the S3’s display is more saturated, But on the Nexus 4 the colour looks duller. In this next clip, The pink flower colours are still not accurate, But the greens are interesting. The S3 shows very saturated green, While it’s closer to true colour on the Nexus 4. The orange of these flowers looses a lot of it’s vibrancy on the Nexus4. Next, I want to show you colour comparison with another LCD screen added to the mix. And I’m using the iPhone 5 for these tests. You can see how, with the runner bean flowers, both LCD screens are closer to original colour compared to the S3’s AMOLED. The iPhone 5 shows a bit more vibrancy than the Nexus 4. There’s a striking difference with the wheat here. The iPhone 5 display shows close to true colour, While both the Nexus 4 and S3 are a bit more greyish. With this snail shell, The Nexus 4 is suffering from a lack of vibrancy again. And you can see that same effect with these rose petals on the water. The Nexus 4 comes in between the S3 and iPhone 5 displays By showing more saturation with these purple flowers. That also causes a loss of fine detail on the flower petals. It doesn’t do so badly with yellows and oranges, though. But the butterfly on the Nexus 4 is looking a couple of shades lighter than true colour. And finally when you look at these white clouds against the sky, The white is blue-tinted on the Nexus 4. The Nexus 4’s processor is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro. It’s quad-core 1.5 GHz, with 2GB RAM. This is more than the international version of the Galaxy S3’s quad-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB RAM, And falls just below the Galaxy Note 2’s quad-core 1.6GHz and 2GB RAM. The Nexus 4, being a Google phone, is also running the very latest, pure version of Android Jelly Bean, version 4.2. Here are some benchmark results for the Nexus 4, As compared to both the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. It’ll give you a rough idea of how well the phone performs in regards to speed, response, and graphics. In real world use, the Nexus 4 is fast and responsive in everything. You get the smoothness of Jelly Bean, And swiping through homescreens, and loading apps is lag-free. Things like multi-tasking, switching between open apps, is quick and responsive. Playing graphic intensive games like Riptide is also smooth. One thing I noticed though, was that the Nexus 4 has a tendency to heat up with prolonged use, And you can feel it around the camera area. It gets hotter to hold than phones like the S3 or the Note 2. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is very noticeable. Now, just to finish off this performance section, Here’s a quick look at the Nexus 4’s stock wallpapers. Overall, the Nexus 4 performs well, And the new Jelly Bean interface really helps things along. I’ve had no call or connection problems with the Nexus 4. It has dual-band wi-fi, NFC with Android Beam, Bluetooth, and GPS with GLONASS and A-GPS support. However, it doesn’t have 4G LTE. Most likely, this was a cost cutting measure on Google’s part, And it’s not an issue if you don’t live or work in an LTE enabled area, But it does make the phone less future proof. GPS function is reliable. In practical use, I didn’t have any problem with lost signals in my area. I want to quickly compare it with the S3 though. I found that the Nexus 4 was quick to see satellites, But the S3 was quicker at locking on to most of the satellites it saw. In the end, the Nexus 4 saw 21 satellites and locked on to 14, While the S3 saw 17 satellites and locked on to 15. The Nexus 4 also has SlimPort HDMI support and Miracast. SlimPort is like MHL in that with an HDMI adapter you can connect your phone to an HDMI enabled TV. With SlimPort you can mirror content, watch full HD movies and even 3D media, It uses very little of your phone’s battery power, But you can charge the phone at the same time if you want. A difference from MHL is that SlimPort being based on DisplayPort technology, Also has support for VGA and DisplayPort with the right adapters. This means you can easily hook your phone up to projectors and monitors as well as TVs. If you want to go wireless though, The Nexus 4 has Miracast. It’s a part of Android 4.2, And it lets you mirror 1080p movies and other content as seen on your phone’s display onto a compatible external display. It works through Wi-Fi direct, So it’s limited to certain Wi-Fi Direct supported devices. Call reception on the Nexus 4 has been excellent, And I’ve found in-call quality to be loud and clear. You can hear it for yourself in this call quality example. Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods, instead, it is a way of thinking and behaving. If luck means being in the right place at the right time,…..being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind. Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods, instead, it is a way of thinking and behaving. If luck means being in the right place at the right time,…..being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind. Between the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S3, I found that the Nexus 4 in-call quality was clearer and louder. The rear speaker audio quality is also good, But here it is compared to the Galaxy S3. To give you an example of voice through the speaker, Here’s something deep from Winnie the Pooh “What day is it?” asked Pooh “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet “My favourite day,” said Pooh To give you an example of voice through the speaker, Here’s something deep from Winnie the Pooh “What day is it?” asked Pooh “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet “My favourite day,” said Pooh And now, here’s music through the speaker… The speaker quality results were different from the in-call ones. Here I found that the S3’s speaker was clearer and louder. The Nexus 4’s main camera is 8 megapixel with auto-focus and LED flash; The front video calling camera is 1.3 megapixel. The camera interface is a little different, In that there’s a contextual circular menu on screen which you activate by long-pressing anywhere on the screen. You get various options here. If you want to focus though, just lightly tap the circle. A new software feature in the camera app is called ‘PhotoSphere’. This takes panorama to a new level by letting you take 360 degree images. It looks a bit like street view when you swipe around the image. You can turn this into a nice mini planet, Not sure how useful it would be, but it’s nice to play around with. These are some test 1080p videos I recorded on both the Nexus 4 and Galaxy S3. Comparing the two, the S3 video looks sharper. The Nexus 4 camera isn’t focusing as well as the S3’s. The S3 camera is capturing closer to true colour, Except with greens, which tend to be more saturated. On videos from the Nexus 4 camera everything looks a bit more yellow and not as bright. Here with the green trees and grass, You can see how much more sharper the S3 video is, Even though the greens are overly saturated. This clip with the sunrays really shows the difference between the two cameras. On the Nexus 4, the sunrays have washed out a big part of the picture. The S3 camera handles this same scene a lot better. Next, I have some video audio examples. The Nexus 4 camera has clearer audio compared to the S3’s, but it is slightly muffled. The S3 camera is picking up more sound, but there’s also a lot more unwanted background noise also. This is a macro shot. And you can see here that the Nexus 4 camera has a hard time autofocusing, While the S3’s autofocus works brilliantly. This photo was taken indoors. The Nexus 4 camera shows more detail in the shot. You can see that on the surfaces of the veg. The S3 camera is losing detail due to too much light, And so isn’t managing to capture the true colour either. This is a night shot with flash, taken in a completely dark room. The S3 does so much better here. The Nexus 4 is taking in too much light, and so losing detail. The Nexus 4 has a 2100 mAh battery, same as the Galaxy S3. But unlike the S3, the Nexus 4’s battery is non-swappable. I tested it with a day of normal use and it lasted around 11 and a half hours. This was with auto-brightness and wi-fi on most of the time. I did a lot of different things with the phone that day, like calls, browsing, playing games, using the camera, GPS and so on. Total screen on time was 3 hours 46 minutes. I found the drained battery takes about three hours to fully charge. I have ten minute battery usage figures for common activities, And these were done at 50 percent brightness, With all connections, including wi-fi, turned off. Ten minutes of capturing 1080p video on the camera used 8 percent. Ten minutes of playing graphic intensive games used 4 percent battery, While less intensive games used 3 percent. Ten minutes of browsing with wi-fi turned on used 4 percent. Ten minutes of watching a 1080p movie used 4 percent. Ten minutes of reading an ebook used 1 percent. A ten minute phone-call used 1 percent. and ten minutes of listening to music used just half percent. The Nexus 4 is on par with the other phones in most of these figures, But things like the camera and web browsing used more battery power. The Nexus 4 also supports wireless charging, And Google will be releasing a wireless charging orb for it soon. But if you have a Qi standard charging mat, you can use that as well. At the price it’s being sold at on the Google Play Store, The Nexus 4 looks like an unbeatable deal. It’s a quad-core phone with all the up-to-date features Like a high-definition display, raw power, and the latest pure version of Android with ongoing updates. It’s easily one of the best Android phones on the market right now. There are, however, a few issues that could break the deal depending on how important they are to you. First, currently available storage space is only 8GB or 16GB, with no microSD expandable memory. So space will be at a premium. The battery is non-swappable. And finally, there is no 4G LTE support. There’s a lot of choice among Android phones right now.

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