Used Galaxy Nexus vs. Used Galaxy S3 -- thoughts?

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Nexus' started by Comp625, Nov 14, 2012.

?

What should I do?

  1. Stick with my HTC Thunderbolt

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  2. Go with a used Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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  3. Go with a used Samsung Galaxy S3

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  4. Go with another phone (LG Nexus, HTC's offering, etc.)

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  1. Comp625

    Comp625 New Member

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    Ran a search but most "comparison threads" between the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3 were pre-Jelly Bean. I'm torn!!

    I have Verizon and an HTC Thunderbolt right now, rooted with CM7. The Thunderbolt has speakerphone/voice quality issues, battery life is atrocious with moderate use, the screen is terrible in daylight, ICS 4.0 still has not been officially released, ICS-based ROMs are buggy, and my Wi-Fi decided to completely stop working (a somewhat common problem on Android 2.3 apparently with no real universal fix). Safe to say, I am FED up with my Thunderbolt.

    To add to my dilemma, I want to keep my Unlimited Data plan which forces me to pay full price for a phone. I don't mind the used marketplace (via Ebay/Swappa) as long as I find a near-mint unit. I can get the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for about $250, or the Samsung Galaxy S3 for about $400. I know Verizon will sometimes have a sale on their CPO inventory, but I have not seen one in the last few weeks.

    Here are my daily uses:
    • I prefer Stock AOSP over Sense, TouchWiz, or any other OEM interface. However, I know you can root and throw a Jelly Bean ROM on the S3.
    • Voice and speakerphone quality are an absolute must -- especially the Speakerphone for when I'm driving.
    • I text and surf the web a lot, so the S3's bigger screen is nice and using LTE is a great perk.
    • I don't ever watch Netflix or movies. The photographer in me doesn't find AMOLED screens to be nice from a color rendition perspective.
    • I take occasional pictures "for fun" but I'm a semi-pro photographer with dSLR equipment.
    • I will occassionally use Flash (e.g. if a website requires it)
    • I don't play any mobile games (since I have a gaming PC, Xbox, PS3, etc. to satisfy those needs)
    Most tech reviews say that the S3 is, hands down, the better phone. However, I don't know if my actual uses justify the extra $200-$250 for the S3. Or maybe I should be looking at another phone?

    Final scattering thoughts:

    • Speakerphone issues with the Galaxy Nexus was cleared up with a recent update.
    • CM10 is still in Beta phase with the S3, whereas Jelly Bean is officially out for the Galaxy Nexus.
    • I'm semi-tired of fiddling around with ROMs, Kernals and Radios. Just want something that works!! :)
    • Battery life on the S3 is awesome, while above-average on the Galaxy Nexus.
    • I hear Google Now is a battery drain. That might sway me away from the Galaxy Nexus.
    • I am anxious to have a smooth user experience via Project Butter under Jelly Bean.
    • I miss having a physical keyboard, but the Samsung Stratosphere and Motorola Droid 4 both stink.

     
  2. mattjenn

    mattjenn Member

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    I bought certified preowned nexus full retail $229 from verizon I think they still have that special
     
  3. Comp625

    Comp625 New Member

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    Hmm...unless I'm doing it wrong, Verizonwireless.com shows the Certified Pre-Owned Nexus as being $449.00. :blink:
     
  4. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    I love my S3. The Verizon one can be unlocked and there is a lot of dev support for it. Stock though its a great phone too. The hardware is much better than the GNex too.
     
  5. mattjenn

    mattjenn Member

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    Maybe its over I bought mine 3 weeks ago yesterday but I heard about it on droid-life so I called customer support ordered it though them 32gb CPO galaxy nexus with 1 year warranty and billed it to my account
     
  6. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    Going to try and help you in making a decision on these thoughts:
    1. Yes they were cleared up, but again they are still quite low, though many ROMs come with a volume booster now.
    2. Doesn't make it easier, but 4.2 source dropped yesterday, so alot of the ROMs will be implementing 4.2 features soon
    3. Out the box, both phones work well. I know many stock Gnex users who love their phone, I'm just a flash-o-holic:D I will say that the S3 is more user-friendly out the box.
    4. I'm sure both can last you a whole day with moderate use, but I bet the s3 will have a bit more juice left at the end of the day when it's time to charge'em up
    5. Never noticed any battery drain from Google Now, but there are settings you can disable that won't effect the user experience of Google Now at all. I've turned them off and Google Now is still very useful and helpful
    6. Project Butter truly does spoil you, I tried going back to an ICS ROM a week after JB first dropped, couldn't go back. I've since deleted any ICS ROM backups I have
    7. Well you're outta luck here with your phones of choice:D, there are mini BT keyboards you can buy though that I've heard worked well. Don't know how you feel about carrying another accessory though.

    For the record I owned an s3 for a week then ended up returning it. Why? It mostly came down to form factor. The phone itself is extremely nice and the display is big and beautiful, but the overall size of the device was too much. I don't have small hands by any means, but to me, the Nexus is the perfect form factor when it comes to phones. It's more than big enough, but not too big like the s3 (it just always felt so wide in my pockets). It was an awesome phone to use for a week, but I couldn't see myself using it as my daily phone. It was fast, and it'll only get better once JB drops on it, but it was just too much imo. And as a flash-o-holic, I felt the dev community supporting the Nexus far exceeded it and the s3 doesn't provide what I consider the Google Experience.

    Good luck deciding. I'm sure you'd be happy with either phone, all comes down to getting both in your hands and see which one suits you best.
     
  7. wvdroidman

    wvdroidman Member

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    I returned my nexus after 10 days due to poor radio and battery life. Am going to get a razr maxx hd when I can afford it.
     
  8. trestevenson

    trestevenson Active Member

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    I've had my Nexus now for almost a year, and I have yet to have any issues with it. I rooted mine the day I got it, and I've been running BAMF Paradigm ever since. Before the latest radio was released for the device, I would receive complaints of an echo whenever I used the speakerphone. Since the FF02/FG02 radios were released, I haven't had that problem at all.

    If I were in your shoes and simply wanted another phone to replace my Thunderbolt, I'd go with the Galaxy Nexus. It's going to cost less to purchase outright, it's more than capable of handling anything you'll probably throw at it over the next year to 18 months, and the development behind it really is unparalleled at this time. Although it's certainly not the best phone available right now, it'll certainly be a noticeable and welcomed upgrade from what you're using today. I think you'd be happy with it, and if you're not after a few weeks, sell it for what you paid for it and go with the S3.
     
  9. Comp625

    Comp625 New Member

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    I think I'm leaning towards the Galaxy Nexus, but am still in the cautionary phase of the buying process. It's so tempting to spend the extra $200 on the s3. As you can tell, I do a lot of research before plopping a few hundred bucks down on a phone -- especially since it's something I use everyday. :icon_eek:

    More scattering thoughts:
    • After playing with my friend's Nexus, the AMOLED is concerning (and the same concern holds true with the S3). However, he says you can calibrate color if a custom ROM is used.
    • The S3 in the U.S. is only dual-core, but has double the memory. Again, I'm not sure of the everyday advantages outside of benchmarks.
    • I can overclock the Nexus to match the s3's stock speeds, no?
    • My friend's Galaxy Nexus's speakerphone volume, and audio volume in general, is quite inaudible. Even after official fixes. My crappy Thunderbolt was significantly louder. Yikes! :frown:
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but flashable 4.2 is already out for the Nexus on Verizon...whereas 4.2 binaries aren't available yet for the s3. This echoes trestevenson's point about unparalleled community development.
     
  10. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    I wish more people did this. This isn't something that you'll put down and not use after a week, this is something you're essentially locking yourself into with a 2yr contract.

    -What exactly concerns you about AMOLED? Yes the colors can be calibrated with a custom ROM & kernel if it allows it, but I'm just curious as to what your concerns are.
    -You won't notice too much of a difference in everyday use. ICS was made optimized for dualcore and when it receives JB it will be even smoother. Benchmarks are quite meaningless when it comes to everyday use, at least imo.
    -Yes you can overclock, but I have heard the furthest one can go (without problems) to overclocking is 1.4ghz (might have been 1.5ghz, I forget). I keep mine at stock speed because I really didn't notice a difference in speed, but I did notice that my battery life suffered.
    -Yeah the speaker isn't loud, especially compared to other phones and phones of the last generation, but the way I personally use my phone, I don't need it that loud. There are mods (sound boosters) that you can install and use that do make quite the difference though.
    -I don't think 4.2 officially released on Verizon yet, but I'm pretty sure there's a ROM or two out now that is based on 4.2. Been out of the loop on the whole dev community news past couple of weeks. I just found out that a stable version of CM10 is out:D

    The good thing about a Nexus device is that it'll be long supported even at the end of its life. Take the OG Droid for example (not an official nexus device, but it's the same), devs worked and actually got ICS to run on it. It wasn't smooth, and was most likely for fun, but you get the idea of the support for "Google" phone (I use this term loosely as we are under the mercy of the Big Red). 4.2 will come and I'm sure 5.0 (or whatever it'll be) will run on the Nexus as well. You may be thinking about getting it as a replacement phone til something better comes out, but if you turn into a flash-o-holic and want the latest first, doubt you'd turn to any other phone.
     
  11. Comp625

    Comp625 New Member

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    As a semi-pro photographer, I am keen on color reproduction, and the AMOLED is super saturated with shifting towards blue/green. That was one area where my Thunderbolt looked aesthetically more pleasing than my friend's Galaxy Nexus, when viewed side-by-side.

    Sounds like overclocking the Nexus is not realistic option, considering you can't bump the CPU too far. The Quadrant benchmarks show that the Galaxy Nexus's dual core CPU blows away my OC'ed single-core Thunderbolt @ 1.8ghz.

    Again, the 2gb RAM on the U.S. dual-core S3 is very tempting though...but probably not worth the extra $200. Ugh!! :frown:

    Do the speakerphone mod apps work on a rooted stock-rom Galaxy Nexus? If so, can you recommend the best one so I can tell my friend? Again, his speakerphone audio was barely audible, even in a quiet room.

    I see that you are right. 4.2 is out for non-Verizon phones, but it looks like you can custom flash a Verizon phone to 4.2, albeit it seems a little buggy. At least that's more progress than the s3!!!
     
  12. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    -Ok gotcha on the screen then. Definitely a personal preference thing, but yes it is possible to adjust the colors with different kernels and ROMs.
    -It is a realistic option, but the thing is you probably won't notice the difference in speed with everyday use. Sure your benchmarks will go up, but that really doesn't prove anything in real world use, which is why I find benchmark scores to be useless. And yes the Nexus will score higher than an overclocked single core phone just because it has an extra core.
    -Worth of a phone is subjective. Like I said I had one for a week and did notice it was a bit snappier than my Nexus is come parts, but overall it wasn't worth keeping to me.
    -I am not sure if the speakerphone mods work on a rooted stock ROM, I haven't been on stock ROM in well, since the OG Droid:D I'm pretty sure they don't work though. There are ROMs with very little developer customization though, if you choose to go that route.
    -4.2 I've heard has some bugs, but those should be worked out in no time. I'm personally waiting til cdma source drops and then go about picking a ROM. For now I'm happy with my ROM of choice based on 4.1.2. And since I have 4.2 on my Nexus 7, I'm in no rush really. The changes to it aren't really worth taking the time to set my phone up again.

    As for your friend's Nexus, alot of the big name devs have an audio booster built in. If not you can definitely find that mod over at xda developers forum or he can use Volume+ Free which can be found on the market.
     
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