Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus

There’s a battle brewing… and the Galaxy S3 is hoping its bucketload of features can save it from a beating courtesy of Google’s headline phone

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – fight

You’d think that a new phone would be able to take a stalwart like the Galaxy Nexus on without breaking sweat – especially with both phones coming from the same manufacturer. But the fight’s more even than you might think…

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – build and design

To some extent this is going to come down to personal preference (when does design not?). The Galaxy Nexus has a textured back and a rear chin, the Galaxy S3 has a smooth “Hyperglaze” finish for a ceramic feel. To our hands the S3 has the more solid presence, despite near-identical weight and marginally thinner girth.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – screen

The Galaxy Nexus’ screen – at 4.65in – is arguably the perfect size. Does that mean that at 4.8in, the Galaxy S3 has overshot the sweet spot? Actually, no. What once might have been considered a comically-sized display for a pocketable device makes sense when the footprint of the phone is barely affected, thanks to that near edge-to-edge screen. And yes, we’ve fallen for the S3’s ability to show us videos while we’re doing other stuff. Not that we can multitask, mind.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – cameras

Sorry, Nexus, but your 5MP snapper is coming nowhere near this round, nor your miserable 1.3MP front facer. The S3 packs an 8MP rear cam with more party tricks than a unicycle-riding trapeze artist with a pet lion who can juggle. Our brief stint with the S3's camera showed decent results too, though we’ll reserve judgement for a full review.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – power

The Galaxy S3 is an amazing smartphone with a powerful quad-core heart, besting the Galaxy Nexus’ dual-core innards. Yet we can’t help but feel that when the inevitable OS upgrade comes around, Nexus owners will be jumping for joy as they install Jelly Bean while their S3-toting counterparts are left out in the cold with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus – verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is better than the Galaxy Nexus in almost every way and has set a new standard in quality for Galaxy phones. If you prefer to upgrade your OS rather than your handset, the Galaxy Nexus is the better choice – as Google's reference phone it'll be first to the punch with Android 5.0 – but in every other aspect the S3 is the superior phone.

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