Nexus 4 v Samsung S3/4 - Oct 2013
New to the forums and to Android. Have been a long time iPhone user and always need to run two phones as I travel so much, dual sim phones are mostly crap IMO so it does need to be two phones. I've been in the position (through fate) where new iPhones have come my way allowing the (then) currently used device to be dropped to second phone status. Not this time. For a second phone that gets used a lot, but not for long periods of time, I'm less inclined to pay current flagship prices. In addition I am getting a bit bored with the iPhone with the small screen and lack of much by way of inspiration. Guess I may just need a change. I've seen a couple of similar threads but from way back, and certainly before Android 4.2 / 4.3.
At first I plan to try an Android device as the no 2 phone and, if I like the OS that much, I may phase out of Apple altogether, despite a fairly heavy investment in IOS apps and having other Apple devices (all of which is great for keeping everything in sync, notes, mail, calendars, various apps etc) which I might well mess. That said, the no 2 phone can do without some of that, and at least Contacts and Calendars can be sorted with a one time export to Google (I use iCloud for other IOS devices and I don't think I can sync with iCloud AND Google at the same time)
So at the moment I'm contemplating either a Nexus 4 (albeit I'll wait to see the price and spec of the Nexus 5 and if it's not too high, here in Malaysia, it will also be a contender) or a Samsung Galaxy S3 (not interested in Notes, phablets or tablets). In Malaysia both can be had now for around $350 v the S4 at $540.
The Nexus 4 was the phone I was most interested in so it's the one I've researched the most. In terms of what appeals and what doesn't (where I've split the +/- within each section, the first 'batch' is the major issues / second batch, lesser concerns, at least for me)
+ Likely to get Android updates for some time yet
+ Good hardware, fast.
+ Price (for here!)
+ Plain Android (which is a plus in some cases but there are some TW aspects I like)
- Worried about the fragility of the glass back
- Concerns over the 'red light of death' issue which seems more prevalent than I'd like (albeit in overall % of units sold I'm not sure how much of a problem it actually is)
- Concerns over the notification LED dying under 4.3
- Concerns over battery life
- Not so many cases and accessories in these parts (that glass back worries me)
- On screen keys (home / back / menu)
- No removable battery
- No SD support
The S3 is quite a lot older but as some reviews seemed to say that the S4 might no be seen as an essential upgrade to an S3, for a no 2 phone it may be a contender.
+ Previous Samsung Flagship phone costing a LOT more until recently
+ Still quite fast for its age
+ I do like the design
+ SD card support
+ Replaceable battery
+ Aspects of Touch Whiz I like
- Lag / bloat with the TW components I'm not fussed on
- Will it get Android updates much longer?
- Random freezing
- Sudden death syndrome
- Audio / microphone problems
- Battery drain
- Wifi issue
- Copy / paste failures
Doing the list like this does seem to give the S3 the edge as the device to get, yet I haven't fully gone into the extent of the S3 problems. Yes the N4 got rave reviews but would those reviews have been so positive IF the S3/4 had been the same price? I know with price there's an element of Samsung profits (e.g. is the S3 / S4 actually WORTH that much more, or was it just priced that way because they knew they could). Actually the S3 is ard $50 less than the N4 here. At the moment I'm inclined towards the S3 but still fancy the N4, despite the longer list of negatives.
Hence the reason for the post here. Firstly, are there indeed some (or a boat load of S3 shortcomings I've not turned up yet) and secondly I'd be really interested to hear from anyone that switched either way and why?
Re: Nexus 4 v Samsung S3/4 - Oct 2013
Since this is the N4 forums, we’re going to be biased towards the N4. So let me address some of the negatives that you listed for the N4…
Fragility of the glass back
This is a legitimate concern. The back will definitely be scratched up if left unprotected. You’ll definitely need to cover it up with a case or skin. I use dbrand skins which look great while providing sufficient protection without making the phone thick.
Red light of death and LED dying
These are just a loud minority of folks with defective devices. This shouldn’t be a concern at all. There are 3 N4s in my family. None of them have issues.
It’s not great but it’s certainly acceptable. You’ll have no problems if you don’t do any gaming. Otherwise, expect to have to charge it mid-day.
Lack of accessories
In this day and age, just get them online.
This should be a positive. Using hardware keys (especially if the Menu key is kept) goes against the design language of Android.
See “Battery life” above
No SD support
While this is an issue, it’s easy to work around it using cloud storage. But if you must keep your entire music collection on local storage, then this isn’t the phone for you.
Personally, deciding between the N4 and S3/4 is pretty simple.
If you prefer stock Android over Touchwiz, get the N4.
If you prefer Touchwiz over stock Android, get the S3/4.
However, now is definitely not the best time to get an N4. The N5 is supposedly just days from being announced.
Re: Nexus 4 v Samsung S3/4 - Oct 2013
I'm not a gamer, nor into multi-media etc (at least not with phones) so I suspect the N4 would be fine. Price wise it's desirable, esp as a no 2 phone (maybe no 1 if I like it enough) but I'll certainly wait and see how the N5 is likely to be priced and its availability date here in SE Asia. I still kind of figure the N4 is a good bet, if I end up not liking the OS etc it's not a big loss. sadly we have a fairly hefty import premium here which keeps the price of the devices higher than they currently are in the US and sadly this affects accessories too, even online. I do miss the likes of Amazon but ordering direct has prohibitive shipping costs. Samsung devices being much more mainstream here are less affected by either supply or accessory issues TBH.
As to liking Vanilla or TW, I suspect I'm not THAT bothered really, never tried either (I don't count a half hour play in a store) so I'm mostly looking for more critical issues that might push the decision one way or the other.
As the question comes from both sides I suppose I could legitimately put it up in the S3 forum too, if that's not frowned upon.
Anyway, thanks for the comments.