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Comparing the Galaxy Nexus to the Upcoming LG Nexus 4


The recently announced LG Nexus 4 is here in just a little over a week. So how does the most recent Nexus smartphone compare with the aging Galaxy Nexus? Is the upgrade massive enough to warrant tossing out the Samsung Nexus device and moving over to the latest and greatest Nexus?

This is a great question, and something we will take a look at by comparing the overall hardware of the Galaxy Nexus next to its younger sibling.

As you read this article, keep in mind that this comparison is just looking at the specs “on paper” and isn’t a direct hands-on comparison of the two phones. We’ll do our best to accurately represent the features and options on both the phones– if we miss anything, just politely add to the comparison through the comments section.

Alright, so let’s jump in!

Size and Weight

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally sported a weight of 135g and had overall dimensions of 135.5mm x 67.94 mm x 8.94mm. Did the Nexus 4 rock the boat here or is it sporting a similar size and weight? It’s pretty close, for the most part.

The LG Nexus 4 is a few grams heavier at 139g. As for the dimensions, the Nexus 4 is 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm. The bottom line here is that the phones are quite similar in size and shape, it shouldn’t be much of an adjustment for you if you plan on upgrading to the Nexus 4.

The Nexus Display

While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus had a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD super AMOLED display, the Nexus 4 brings the screen size up to 4.7-inches and has an WXGA IPS Plus display with a resolution of 1280 x 768. While the LG Nexus 4 does have a better display, it’s not really THAT huge of a jump.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Processor & Ram

So far what we’ve seen of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Nexus 4 paint the picture of a marginal upgrade. The good news is that this isn’t true when it comes to what really matters, things like processing power and RAM.

When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus debuted, its 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4460 processor and 384MHz PowerVR SGX540 GPU were rather impressive. The 1GB of RAM was also more than enough to get the job done. Since then, more and more budget devices are moving to dual-core processors and most of the high-end Android smartphones rock quad-core power.

The LG Nexus 4 leaps ahead with an impressive 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and an Adreno 320. As for the RAM? This time around the newest Nexus smartphone packs 2GB.

By today’s standards, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is still quite capable and should run just about every app you throw at it. That being said, the Nexus 4 is a major hardware upgrade when it comes to processing, graphics and RAM.


Probably one of the biggest complaints for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the lack of microSD. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus instead simply had 16GB or 32GB versions that couldn’t expand the memory.

If you were hoping that the Nexus 4 would change all of that— bad news. Not only is there no microSD on the Galaxy Nexus 4, the storage options are simply an 8GB and 16GB version. If you are heavily invested in cloud streaming, 8GB will probably get the job done okay, but it is still a little disappointing that we don’t have larger storage options.


Not a lot of change here. Both devices have expected connectivity options like Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi and more. The only additions are the support for wireless charging and the added SlimPort-HDMI.

Strangely enough, a version of the Galaxy Nexus did support 4G LTE while the Nexus 4 takes away 4G LTE altogether. It’s fastest supported mobile broadband speed is now the HSPA+ 42.

There is still the possibility of 4G LTE variants in the future though.


On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a 1750 mAh battery versus the bigger 2100 mAh battery in the LG Nexus 4. Unfortunately bigger battery doesn’t tell us how much more battery power the LG Nexus 4 actually has— more processing power and graphics probably means need for a better battery to keep up.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are relatively comparable in actual battery length.


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally had a 5MP rear cam and a 1.3MP front cam. For those that are hoping for improvements in the camera department, don’t worry — the camera is better this time around, though not by a ton.

The LG Nexus 4 features an 8MP rear cam, though the front cam stays the same at 1.3MP.

LG Nexus 4Operating System

Both being Nexus devices, you get a vanilla Android experience here. It is worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has now managed to update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (I believe) in all major markets.

If the latest version of Android is important to you, the Nexus line is well known for keeping up here. The LG Nexus 4 will be the first smartphone to ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which includes several new features such as an improved keyboard, a Photo Sphere camera feature, improved notifications, improved Google Search and Google Now functionality and more.

Summing it up…

While I may have missed a few other crucial areas of comparison, this should give you a pretty good idea of how the LG Nexus 4 stacks up against its older brother.

If you have the Galaxy Nexus, should you rush out and buy the latest version? It depends. If you have the cash to spare and want the improved camera, better graphics/processor and RAM—sure, why not. Honestly though, if cash is rather tight and the Galaxy Nexus still seems to get the job done when it comes to apps and overall speed, you might want to hang on to the Galaxy Nexus a little longer.

Where the Nexus 4 really shines is for those that don’t have a Nexus device at all, or are still rocking the older Samsung Nexus S. Another MAJOR reason to consider a Nexus device is that it is a powerful yet affordable option for those that use a prepaid carrier that is compatible with the upcoming smartphone. The LG Nexus 4 will be available on November 13th in the US, Canada, Germany, UK, Australia, Spain and Germany. The US pricing is set at $299 unlocked for the 8GB version or $349 for the 16GB version.

So how about it, will you upgrade to the LG Nexus 4 or not?



About Andrew Grush

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  1. Why did they omit the charging pin connectors on the side? This is one of many reasons I like Nexus devices. I’ve always had a docking station for my Nexus phones that utilizes the pin connectors. It’s difficult for me to stray away from them. This is one of a few reasons I didn’t get the S3 and stuck with the Galaxy Nexus. Now i’ll be forced to stick with the Galaxy Nexus due to the Nexus 4 not having the connector pins.

    • it still has all of the usual pins. It has a micro USB on the bottom so it will use all of the gnexus and any android or windows phone charger and connector. The headphone jack is on the top and it supports wireless charging built in (sold separately). It is the same for all android phones, but it costs £280 unlocked here in England for 16gb (£240 for 8gb) compared with a 16gb gnexus for £240. The gnexus will last a year and is a great phone, but if your looking for a new phone, nexus 4 all the way. And for the LTE, i do not want to spend £80 a month to EE (Orange and T-Mobile) just for unlimited data on LTE. I prefer £30 on O2.

  2. No LTE = Fail

  3. I’m definitely going to pick one up. As soon as my Nexus 4 comes in, I will be putting up my Samsung Galaxy S3 for sale.

  4. You forgot that the nexus 4 battery plus non replacable. Might go with the older galaxy nexus to replace my broken atrix just because of this..

    It really seems like they are taking all the shitty things abput the iPhone and putting l them into the nexus line

  5. ordering 2 for myself and my wife when they come out. We both have the original Galaxy Nexus with Verizon with only 1 year of the contract used.

    After buying two new Nexus 4 phones $700, paying $500 total to get out of contract with Verizon we’ll still save $2000+ over two years. Thats how badly Verizon rips you off and that’s why i’m switching. Plus, Verizon can’t get an OS update out on time to save their lives.

    T-Mobile unlimited everything for $59/mo family plan is awesome. Heck verzion’s LTE doesn’t even work most of the time here in Ft Lauderdale.

    • That is so true. That was my story as well. After being with Sprint for 11 years, I am tiered of the flimsy bone they throw to me every two years so they rip me off for 24 months straight.
      I moved to Nexus for a year now. I feel free and I save lotsss
      Of mulahhh. Don’t buy the lie of big telecom


  6. for $299 it’s almost a no-brainer. You could get two of these for the cost of an S3 or iPhone5. I’m thinking of getting a his/her matched set this holiday season; my wife’s LG Optima is just too small and slow, and can’t even run Google Plus in the limited RAM.

  7. Mobile App developer

    I still have the ancient Samsung galaxy s1 and a little less ancient s2 for my personal use. As I own an iPhone 5 from work, it’s time to get an android phone that’s on par with my iOS device. Can’t wait to experience the latest nexus device with jellybean. LTE is barely a problem for me because by the end of 2013 we will begin to see true international standard 4G LTE (LTE-Advanced) deployed. No phone today can support that yet, so I’ll stick with prepaid T-mobile HSPA+ 42 for now thank you.

  8. The Galaxy Nexus was actually somewhat underspec’d from the very beginning, especially in the GPU and camera departments.
    Not sure why you thought otherwise…

  9. I just bought the Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus for about $390 direct after taxes two months ago and now they roll this out… Just kidding. I am fine and happy with my purchase and I feel this phone will do me good for a long time. No rush, I feel they could have had better upgrades anyway. Therefore no reason to buy the 4. Though I would’ve appreciated the lower priced 8 GB… Oh well.

    • But at least you have a nexus and you’ll be getting 4.2 Jelly Bean much, much sooner than GSIII and HTC One X owners!

      • same for me – bought the Galaxy Nexus in August for what seemed a good price…and although i knew the next Nexus would be out now I never expected to come in at this kind of bargain price! As above though, the GNex will be fine for the next year compared to all the phones not even on jellybean at least we’ll get the fast updates.

        • Same here. Bought 3 Galaxy Nexus via GooglePlay back in July. Still very much loving the device. I had to purchase the extended battery though. If it came with a more mAh battery and tweak the system audio to be louder, then it’s the perfect phone. Yet, I’m very happy with my purchase. Absolutely loving the (on time) OTA updates!!

  10. nov. 13th. my order will be in for a couple of these boys

  11. I’m in the US and on T-mobile’s $30 prepaid plan. T-mobile has great coverage where we live and work. I will not be upgrading my Galaxy Nexus. I will be rocking the same operating system shortly. I am getting my wife on the LG Nexus on the $30 prepaid plan. $30 per month with HSPA 42. The phone is faster than my home internet.

    My wife wanted the Iphone 5 and we were waiting for it from Virgin Mobile. No word on that. This will be faster in most areas and is $300 cheaper for what is arguably as good of a phone.

    • You are absolutely right, this phone is comparatively inexpensive and one of the best phones in the planet. When used with great prepaid plans, it can save hundreds of dollars that is needed with contract.

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