The dust is finally settling after a hectic Christmas period and it is just about safe to venture back out onto the high streets again. And perhaps you're thinking it's time to upgrade your phone?
We’ve been taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy S3, Google’s Nexus 4 and Apple’s iPhone 5, and chatting about how well they perform. You can read dozens of reviews and still feel clueless about which device is right for you. As we have all three phones represented in the office, we thought we'd try and come up with a winner.
Spec vs. Usability
It’s all well and good knowing that the Nexus 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, but you are probably more concerned with how easy the keyboard is to use, the best features, the biggest niggles, and how likely it is to cut out in poor signal areas.
Samsung Galaxy S3
The general consensus is that it is an advanced, yet simple phone to use. Features such as the native GPS app work well and include helpful extras, showing you streetview images of your destination for added clarity. Running on Android, you have access to lots of great apps, and with the Android store merging to form the Google Play Store, Apple isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to app variety.
There are a few small niggles though, like the highly sensitive touch screen; which can be extremely annoying. While the touchscreen slows typing down, the phone navigation can cause its own delays. Some features are so well hidden a couple of the team had to Google where to find them!
Google Nexus 4
Whilst not as slick as the iOS interface, the Nexus 4 is much more customisable. The emphasis is on simplicity, allowing you to organise everything exactly as you’d like to. Streaming is great on the Nexus 4, and we found that iplayer and Google’s own “Play Music” (both free) worked perfectly without losses in connection in built up areas.
Where the Galaxy S3 has typing sensitivity issues, the Nexus 4 has “gesture typing” built into its stock keyboard which allows you to swipe your finger around the keyboard, rather than touching the letters individually. This speeds up texting and most of the team thought the feature worked well.
The iPhone 5 is the device to go for if you’re a big fan of social media. You don’t even need to have individual apps installed to post images straight to Facebook or Instagram, but the phone hit the headlines with the now notorious Apple maps fiasco that came with the iOS update. While it has come in for a lot criticism, we would give it mixed reviews. In comparison to other map applications it might not be quite as good, but if you’re looking for a simple tool to get you from A to B, it works just fine.
The price of the iPhone 5 is a sticking point for some, but the cross platform compatibility is one of, if not the selling point of the iPhone. The ease and speed of syncing to all your devices is second to none.
What Would We Recommend?
The short answer is we love each phone for different reasons and your choice will often come down to price and personal preference. Having said that, most of our team have the iPhone5, and even with Google Play Store in view, Apple's apps are something to consider as most publishers create games and applications with Apple in mind, ensuring smoother operations.
But if you don’t have any other Apple devices (like an iPad or Macbook), you can’t go far wrong with the Nexus 4 or the Galaxy S3. Cheaper and offering alternative features to their main competitor, they will appeal to the individual that loves to customise.
Want To Add Your Thoughts?
If you already own a Galaxy S3, Nexus 4 or iPhone5, share your reviews below. We'd love to hear what you think.