The much-awaited Google’s 2013 I/O event surprised Nexus fans by announcing a new Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, instead of an updated Nexus 4 or a new Nexus 7 2 that analysts predicted. The Nexus 4, announced in November 2012, was well-received because of its favorable price tag and exceptional software and hardware features.
Though it made it to the market only in February 2013, it gained prominence as Google’s premier smartphone equipped enough to compete with 2013 devices – Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and iPhone 5 – released in close succession. The new Galaxy S4 Nexus edition, which will be available at the Google Play Store from June 26th, is packed with some exciting features to stand out in the competition. How does it compare with the original Nexus 4, with regard to hardware, software, price and other features? Let’s explore.
Nexus 4 is built of a durable plastic frame measuring 9.1 mm thick and weighing 139g. However, it has a glass back that must be secured in a bumper case to prevent damages from drops. The front features the scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus features a thinner and lighter build with a thickness of 7.1mm and a weight of 130g. It flaunts a solid plastic design with the front featuring Gorilla Glass 3, which has thrice the scratch-resistance of Gorilla Glass 2, according to Corning.
Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch screen with 720p HD resolution and 320 ppi, featuring 2012’s specs, yet good enough for great videos and photos.
Galaxy S4 Nexus boasts a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution and 440ppi, outshining the latest devices. It means richer text, crisper colors and more fluid videos.
However, we need to consider the size difference before judging the resolution, meaning that Nexus 4 has a decent resolution proportionate to its screen size.
Nexus 4 has an 8 MP camera while Galaxy S4 Nexus will come with a 13 MP camera. Both will use the stock Android camera application. Galaxy S4 Nexus will not feature the Samsung camera app, which is actually better than the stock camera app. Front cameras on either device are likely to have similar performance features for video-chatting.
Nexus 4 is powered by the Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor which clocks at 1.5 GHz.
Galaxy S4 Nexus outshines Nexus 4 with a Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core Processor clocking at 1.9 GHz.
Both have 2 GB RAM and Adreno 320 GPU.
When it comes to software, Nexus devices do not feature the manufacturer’s UI loaded with Android OS. Instead, they provide a pure Google experience. Nexus 4 runs on the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean vanilla version. Galaxy S4 Nexus is also loaded with the vanilla version of the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean without any of Samsung’s software features. By comparison, even the recent Galaxy S4 features Samsung’s TouchWiz UI over the Android OS.
Storage and battery
Nexus 4 comes in two versions – 8 GB and 16 GB – based on storage capability. However, it has no microSD card slot for additional memory. Galaxy S4 Nexus has 16 GB storage and bears a microSD card slot for expandable memory up to 64 GB.
Nexus 4 has a non-removable 2,100 mAh battery, whereas Galaxy S4 Nexus has a 2,600 mAh battery that is removable. Both support wireless charging and NFC. The wireless charging feature in Nexus 4 is built-in, whereas Galaxy S4 Nexus, with its removable battery, will be compatible with Samsung’s charging kit.
Nexus 4 runs on HSPA network and lacks 4G LTE support, a disadvantage that many have taken note of. Galaxy S4 Nexus overcomes this drawback by providing LTE support, so users can avail the best data speeds equivalent to home Wi-Fi networks.
Nexus 4 has enjoyed widespread demand mainly because of its price tag. Google Play Store offers the 8 GB version for $299 and the 16 GB version for $350. Compared with iPhone 5‘s $650 price tag, Nexus is amazingly cheap for a smartphone of its kind.
But, the Galaxy S4 Nexus will bear an astounding price tag of $649 comparable with that of iPhone. Considering the added features, such as high-end hardware, better display, microSD, 4G LTE connectivity, etc. the price tag may well be justified.
Google has yet to reveal more of the internal features of Galaxy S4 Nexus, but among the notable non-Nexus features are the microSD slot for expanded memory and the removable battery. The new device is likely to retain the specifications of Galaxy S4. Though both Galaxy S4 Nexus and Nexus 4 are powered by quad-core processors, Galaxy S4 Nexus will be a step ahead of Nexus 4, which uses the previous generation chip.
Though the Nexus 4 has a comparatively smaller battery, it is relevant for the display features, given that display resolutions consume most of the battery charge. So, Galaxy S4 Nexus’ bigger battery is not a bonus, but a necessity considering its larger display with higher resolution.
Nexus 4 is likely to retain its relevance for several months with prospects of software updates from Google to keep it fresh. The new Galaxy S4 Nexus will definitely draw the attention of Android enthusiasts, with many looking to weigh its features against the Nexus 4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus, though expensive, provides far more features well worth the price. However, Nexus 4 offers a lot despite its low price tag.