The Nexus 4 is currently up near the top in terms of the best Android smartphones available. However, in the weeks ahead, Google’s yearly Android smartphone will face some stiff competition from the likes of the HTC One and of course, the heavily rumored and highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4.
Read: HTC One vs. Nexus 4.
In November, Google unleashed its latest and greatest Nexus smartphone, the LG-made Nexus 4, a device that replaced the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as its go-to Nexus option. The device, which became available to buy in November, only recently became a viable option for those looking to buy a new Android smartphone.
That’s because, at least according to LG, Google had no idea that the Nexus 4 would be as popular as it has been. The unlocked Nexus 4 sold out almost immediately through the Google Play Store back in November and the T-Mobile version of the device went through its own ups and downs as well.
However, just as LG promised, the Nexus 4 supply issues have been dealt with and the Nexus 4, both unlocked and locked, is now available through several different avenues including the Google Play Store. Whereas before, the device was virtually impossible to find. That of course has made the Nexus 4 an intriguing device for those on the market for something new. Nevertheless, there are still some other devices that are breathing down its neck.
One such device is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that will likely be replacing the popular Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that emerged as the most popular Android device on the market back in 2012.
To date, Samsung has sold over 40 million Galaxy S3 units worldwide and that has put the pressure on Samsung to deliver something special with the Galaxy S4.
And while the device still isn’t official, we don’t expect an announcement until March 14th, there has been no shortage of Galaxy S4 rumors. In fact, we already have a large arsenal of potential features that could be on board the Galaxy S4, some of which we think will beat the features of the Nexus 4.
With that, here are the eight ways that we think the Samsung Galaxy S4 could beat Google’s Nexus 4.
8 Ways the Samsung Galaxy S4 Could Beat the Nexus 4
While the Nexus 4 has the best display of any Nexus smartphone yet, it likely won’t be any match for the display that Samsung puts on the upcoming Galaxy S4.
The Nexus 4 boasts a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution. LG also outfitted the Nexus 4 with a 320 pixels-per-inch count which translates into good looking text and images. Needless to say, this is a great looking display that will suite most average consumers. However, those looking for a little more from their display and their content will likely be enthralled by what Samsung has to offer with the Galaxy S4.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is rumored to have either a 4.99-inch or 5-inch FHD display with full HD 1080p resolution. An exact pixel-per-inch count isn’t know but that doesn’t matter. Movies, video and more will look better on the Galaxy S4’s display.
What’s more is that Samsung is rumored to be adding touch less gestures to the Galaxy S4 which would allow users to manipulate on-screen content without having to touch the display. That’s just rumor but the 1080p resolution is virtually a given.
Those looking for the fastest data speeds available aren’t going to find them on the Nexus 4 due to the fact that its LTE radio is not enabled.
When the Nexus 4 arrived, it came without 4G LTE data speeds, speeds that have become common place on top tier smartphones. LTE, for those unaware, allows devices to pick up data speeds that can reach up to 10 times faster than typical 3G. Translation: It’s like having Wi-Fi everywhere you go.
The Nexus 4 only uses HSPA+ 42 on T-Mobile and HSPA+ 21 on AT&T. HSPA+ 42 can, at times, be comparable to LTE but overall, it’s slower. The match up between HSPA+ versus LTE can be seen in the video below.
This likely won’t be an issue with the Samsung Galaxy S4 as it more than likely will feature 4G LTE data speeds right out of the box.
Last year’s Galaxy S3 featured LTE data speeds so there is no reason that its successor, the Galaxy S4, won’t. In addition, considering the HTC One has support, we expect T-Mobile to offer it on its 4G LTE network.
Those who don’t need fast data might be comfortable with the Nexus 4 but after using 4G LTE for an extended period, it’s honestly tough to go back to anything else.
One of the nice things about the Nexus 4 is its vanilla Android experience, void of any manufacturer software. Yet, Samsung has proven that it can deliver some extremely enticing complimentary features and we expect it to deliver with the Samsung Galaxy S4 as well.
The Nexus 4’s Nexus name is there for a reason. It means that it’s a developer device. Google’s developer devices use a plain version of Android that is not found on other Android phones and it’s one of the reasons why people buy Nexus. However Samsung has, over the past year or so, given consumers reason to think about ditching vanilla Android.
With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the company introduce its TouchWiz Nature UX software, a UI that brought some fantastic software features to the table including a phenomenal camera application that blows away the stock Android Camera app. Another example is Multi-Window View, a multitasking feature available to Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 owners.
While no features have been confirmed for the Galaxy S4, there are signs that Samsung is going to be including some new software functionality on its device. And it’s anywhere close to as useful as the features that came before, consumers are going to have a hard time resisting temptation.
Choice of Carriers
For those that don’t wish to be stuck on either AT&T or T-Mobile, the Nexus 4 might not be the best smartphone choice.
The Nexus 4 comes in two different models, an unlocked version and a T-Mobile version. The unlocked version is capable of running on GSM carriers in the U.S. like AT&T and T-Mobile but incapable of running on CDMA networks like Sprint and Verizon. That severely limits the carrier options of those looking to snag it.
Again, while Samsung has not confirmed anything, we’ve already seen possible evidence of a Galaxy S4 on Verizon, and AT&T as well, and given that the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 arrived on the five largest carriers in the U.S., Sprint included, we expect more of the same from the Galaxy S4.
What this means is that the Galaxy S4 will have more data plan options and more network options than the Nexus 4, something that is extremely important to consumers.
The camera on the Nexus 4 is decent, and in some ways, comparable to the iPhone 5’s. However, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is rumored to have a next-generation camera and it’s likely to best the rear camera on the Nexus 4.
As we’ve shown, the Nexus 4 camera can compete with some of the better rear cameras on the market. However, its 8MP camera is likely going to falter next to some of the cameras on the bigger name devices of 2013.
One of those cameras will likely be the camera on the Galaxy S4 which is rumored to be 13 mega-pixels and have access to some powerful software including Samsung Orb, Samsung’s version of Android 4.2’s Photo Sphere.
Samsung has been lacking in the camera department, the HTC One X from 2012 bested the Galaxy S3’s camera, and it could be that the Galaxy S4 brings it up to par with the cameras found on rival Android devices.
While the Nexus 4 may have built-in wireless charging, it doesn’t have a removable back which means that users are stuck with the battery that is inside LG”s device.
While this might not be a problem for some people, especially since the device has good battery life, for others it could be a hindering experience. That’s because it means that not only will the battery be hard to replaced in an easy fashion if trouble strikes, it also means that users who need more power won’t be able to install an extended battery.
Users of the Galaxy S4 should run into no such issues. Samsung’s most recent flagship smartphones have all featured a removable back which has allowed owners to replace the battery with a new one or an extended battery.
The same should happen with the Galaxy S4 as Samsung is heavily rumored to be introducing a wireless charging kit, something that will likely require owners to replace the stock back plate of their Galaxy S4 with a unique one.
The Nexus 4 will likely be thin and light enough for most consumers but one of its design features should have users a bit worried.
LG, for whatever reason, decided to take a page out of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S’ book and install a glass back on the Nexus 4. As we’ve seen and heard from owners, the glass is fragile and demands a case for protection. For a device that is supposed to travel everywhere, durability is an extremely key component.
We don’t expect the same type of issues with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Not only will it likely be thin and light like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, but it should also be durable.
Samsung typically uses polycarbonate plastic to ensure a durable design and we imagine that it will likely go that route, or at least one that isn’t glass, with the Galaxy S4’s design.
More Storage Space
LG’s Nexus 4 comes with two storage options, however, for many users especially those that take a lot video or play a lot of games, they may not be enough.
The Nexus 4 comes in both an 8GB and 16GB variants, much smaller than most flagship smartphones. What’s more, is that the device does not have a microSD card slot which limits users to 8GB or 16GB. That means that Nexus 4 owners who want to exceed that space will have to trust the cloud.
Those that don’t want to rely on the cloud likely won’t have to with the Galaxy S4. That’s because Samsung tends to offer a variety of storage options with 16GB being the least amount and 64GB being the most.
It also tends to offer microSD card support which means that users can expand their storage space for movies and apps should they feel the need to.