After the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was given out for free to attendees at Google I/O last month, pre-installed with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) there have been a lot of reviews comparing the device to Samsung’s other device-of-the-moment, the Galaxy S3, which will not be getting Android 4.1 until the end of 2012. The folks over at MobileNApps have summarized a comparison of the two devices to see if it is worth getting a Samsung Galaxy Nexus again after its ‘added Jelly Bean advantages’ and promise of more things to come:
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Nexus on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The Nexus is heavier than the S3, weighing in at 0.33 pounds whilst the S3 is just 0.29 pounds. It is also smaller but thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S3, with dimensions of 5.33 x 2.67 x 0.37 inches to the S3’s 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches. The S3 is definitely better on this front.
The S3 wins on most other points too, as it has 2GB RAM, internal storage options of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, a 2100mAh removable battery, support for wireless charging, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.9MP front-facing camera with 1080p video support. The Nexus on the other hand has just 1GB RAM, along with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 1820mAh removable battery, 32GB storage, a 5MP rear-facing camera with 1080p support, and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD slot (like the S3) with accelerometers and gyroscopes.
Clearly from all this we can see how superior the hardware on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is to the Nexus. However is the story the same about software? The Nexus is the only phone to run the latest Android offering, 4.1 Jelly Bean, though the S3 does have Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean is an impressive OS and the new features include Google Now, which keeps you up to date with your plans and things around you that may affect them (e.g. traffic). Now this feature is not to be taken lightly as once you begin using it you can’t believe you survived before without it.
It also includes a more updated version of Voice which is heaps better than Samsung’s S-Voice.
Now with the updated notification bar which has moved and become translucent, notifications are much more comprehensive as they are now expandable, meaning its easier to preview messages, etc. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus definitely wins hands down with regards to notifications.
Returning to Google Now because it is a very exciting features, it shows you different things dependent on where you are at the time. For example it will let you know favorite team’s sports scores or your nearest shop all from the notification area. The S3 won’t see Google Now until Jellybean is rolled out onto it, but by then we may see the Samsung Galaxy Nexus enjoy whatever Google has cooking up next for the year-end unveiling of the next Nexus phone (Android Key Lime Pie?).
Software performance on the Nexus has also vastly improved using Project Butter which triple-buffers the graphics and increases the frame rate. This too is only available on the Galaxy Nexus.
In conclusion – as far as software and overall user experience goes, Jelly Bean is far superior to ICS. However if the aforementioned features aren’t really impressing you, then you should go for the S3 with its infinitely better hardware. It really is a matter of preference – whether you want to keep seeing updates and new features or if solid hardware is more your thing. Generally speaking, the Samsung Galaxy S3 hardware will either get matched our outdated by newer smartphones before the year is up. As for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it will likely remain in the forefront of receiving the latest goodies Google has to offer for you to play with up until late 2013.
That’s why I picked the GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus over a Samsung Galaxy S3 (that an the ridiculously low price of $350 on Google Play).