Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S head to head review

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 6 years ago '05        #1
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Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S head to head review
 

 
Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S head to head review

Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is more appealing than Apple's IOS 5
By Khidr Suleman
Fri Dec 02 2011, 15:21

THE GALAXY NEXUS is Google's attempt to counter Apple's shiny Iphone 4S, and The INQUIRER has had a chance to play with both devices to see which is more worth splashing out the cash to buy.

Hardware specifications are closely matched, with each device outdoing the other in key areas. The main difference is the operating system. The Galaxy Nexus is the first handset to run Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the Iphone 4S is the first to ship with Apple's IOS 5.

Design: the Galaxy Nexus is bigger, thinner and lighter
The Iphone 4S is noticeably smaller than the Galaxy Nexus and this doesn't come as much of a surprise as Samsung has a habit of making rather large high-end devices, as can be seen with the Galaxy Nexus S and Galaxy Note devices.

Despite having a screen that is over an inch bigger at 4.65in, the Galaxy Nexus is 5g lighter at 135g and thinner at 8.94mm than the cappuccino company's counterpart. Apple's device incorporates a 3.5in screen, weighs 140g and has a 9.3mm thick frame. Samsung gains points in managing to outdo Apple and we don't think the California firm can claim any similarity in design here.


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Both devices are made from premium materials, with Samsung opting for high-grade plastic on the back whereas the Iphone uses glass and has a polished steel frame around the outside. The Galaxy Nexus feels more durable and is likely to survive more drops than the Iphone, which is susceptible to having its screen cracked.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Iphone 4S side on


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In terms of looks, it is debatable which handset is better and it was a stalemate in our offices. Four staff members prefer the Iphone, citing the solid feel and compact design as attractive features compared to the Samsung handset, which they think looks clunky and toy-like. One staff member who shall remain anonymous for his own safety even went so far as to call the back of the Nexus "cheap and nasty".

The other four members of the team including myself prefer the Galaxy Nexus over the standard Iphone 4S owing to its minimalist look. The curved design also makes the Samsung made device easier to hold. However, it should be noted that the white Iphone has a certain charm and we think a white version of the Galaxy Nexus could look good.


Display: the Galaxy Nexus is better for browsing and video, but the Iphone is brighter
The 4.65in Super AMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a stunning 1,280x720 resolution. Meanwhile, the Iphone has a 3.5in screen with an equally mesmerising 960x640 Retina display.

On paper the Iphone 4S has a higher pixel density of 326ppi compared to 316ppi on the Galaxy Nexus. In reality, though, this is not really noticeable and text and colours are very sharp and vibrant on both devices.


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We preferred browsing and watching videos on the Galaxy Nexus, as the extra screen real estate really makes a difference. There is little to choose between the devices in terms of speed, as both are capable of loading full web pages in seconds over 3G and WiFi. IOS devices have a blanket ban on Adobe Flash content, but that software is not yet available for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich either. This means that the Galaxy Nexus does not have a clear advantage over the Iphone 4S in terms of viewable content at present.

The only screen criteria that are noticeably different are the brightness and text input. When set to automatic brightness, the Iphone 4S is brighter, as can be seen above, making text easier to read. Of course, the brightness on the Galaxy Nexus can be turned up manually, but this will chew up more battery life.

Conversely, we found it easier to input text on the Galaxy Nexus, as the keyboard is well spaced on the screen and the letters are a couple of millimetres wider. With the improved text correction, we found ourselves making fewer mistakes on the Android keyboard.


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Hardware: the Galaxy Nexus has more power, but the Iphone 4S is still smoother
Both devices have premium components. The Iphone 4S has a dual-core Apple A5 processor running at 1GHz and is backed by 512MB of RAM. Apple offers a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, but the Iphone 4S has no microSD card support.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Nexus has a 1.2GHz Texas Instruments dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The Galaxy Nexus is available with 16GB of internal storage and, like Apple's device, does not have microSD card support.

Despite having a faster processor and double the memory, the performance of the Galaxy Nexus is not noticeably faster than the Iphone. In fact, actions such as reorientation of the screen, pinch-to-zoom and transition between apps are smoother on the Iphone 4S, a testament to the cohesion between Apple's software and hardware. However, this might change when subsequent updates for Android ICS are released.

The Galaxy Nexus features near field communications (NFC) functionality, which is something that Apple's shiny toy lacks. However, users of the technology are limited to sharing content with other NFC-based devices, as the infrastructure has yet to be established in the UK.

An area where the Iphone 4S has a definite hardware advantage is the camera. Credit where it is due, the 8MP camera is the best camera we've seen on a smartphone and outdoes the 5MP camera on the Galaxy Nexus. Colours on the Galaxy Nexus appear a bit washed out, and images are very noisy compared to the Iphone 4S when zooming to the highest level.


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Iphone 4S test shot

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Galaxy Nexus test shot

However, we do like the zero shutter response time of the Galaxy Nexus camera and the ability to take panoramic shots. Both are capable of recording in full HD 1080p and have front-facing cameras. The Iphone 4S just shades the Galaxy Nexus in terms of quality in both of these features.

Operating system: Google's Android 4.0 innovates whereas Apple's IOS 5 plays it safe
Of course the main difference between the smartphones is the operating system. The Galaxy Nexus is the first handset to have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which combines the best features from the Android Gingerbread and Android Honeycomb operating systems. Users are treated to a revamped user interface with context-sensitive on-screen buttons and the new easier-to-read 'Roboto' font.


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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich comes with the regular home screens, but there are a number of additional features. Users can resize widgets, see a preview of running apps when multitasking, unlock the device with their face and share content via the NFC-enabled Android Beam app. Another useful inclusion is the integrated Data Usage app that allows comprehensive monitoring of mobile data consumption. It is possible to see exactly which apps are chewing through data, and users can set warnings and limits to prevent going over their monthly allowance.

As with all Android devices, you can mount the Galaxy Nexus onto a computer and use it as an external hard drive via a microUSB cable. This makes it easy to transfer pictures, files and music without the need for cumbersome software.

Meanwhile, Apple has kept the same look for the IOS 5 interface, choosing only to add new features. One of the main additions is a notifications bar that has been 'borrowed' from Android. This shows text messages, emails, social apps, weather and stock market alerts. A swipe down from the top of the screen displays a full list of your latest notifications.


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 http://www.theinquirer.ne .. jpg?1322584529

Additionally, it is no longer necessary to connect the device to Itunes to start using it when you remove it from the box - although you're still going to have to deal with Itunes. WiFi syncing allows the transfer of music, pictures and videos wirelessly after an initial USB sync. Apple has also introduced Icloud, allowing users to pack up documents, photos, calendars, contacts and email and synchronise them across devices. Apple gives you 5GB of free online storage and there is the option to buy extra storage space if needed. Google also provides free storage and limits for pictures and files are generally 1GB, but not all uploads count towards the limits for Google+ account holders.

Apple has added basic plug-and-play features allowing you to transfer videos and pictures taken on a device to a PC or Mac without having to use Itunes. It makes the device a tad more flexible but still nowhere near the level of Android devices.

Voice recognition: Siri is more fun to use than Google Voice
One of the main talking points of the Iphone 4S is the voice activated personal a.ssistant known as Siri.

You can ask Siri to set up reminders, call anyone from your address book, and dictate text messages and emails. You can even ask factual questions or simply have a light-hearted conversation. Accuracy of the dictation can vary and it's nearly impossible to use Siri in a noisy environment. The usefulness of Siri is further limited in the UK as it is not yet possible to obtain directions.



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Google's Voice feature is rather mundane compared to Siri. It is possible to dictate emails and text messages, but the accuracy fluctuates. It is best to speak slowly to ensure an accurate transcription. However, Google's voice recognition trumps Siri in the ability to search for directions and sync with the ever reliable Google Maps. There are also a number of other features such as the abilities to transcribe voicemails, screen callers and personalise a greeting - but these are available to US users only at present. We would like Google to come up with its own personal a.ssistant-type features, which it could call the Droid, if George Lucas lets it.

Both voice recognition systems are still in their early stages. We haven't seen anyone dictate a message to their girlfriend on the train home, and are probably unlikely to soon.

Battery: the Galaxy Nexus outlasts the Iphone 4S
Samsung has put in a 1,750mAh Li-Ion battery, but this is required because the 4.65in screen guzzles power. With moderate use, the Galaxy Nexus managed 21 hours from full charge, with 25 per cent remaining. The ability to swap out the battery will enable people to carry a spare if they are heavy users.


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 http://www.theinquirer.ne .. jpg?1322584870

Meanwhile, the Li-Ion 1,432mAh battery in the Iphone 4S struggles to keep the device running for a full day, owing to the IOS 5 battery bug. The sealed back makes it impossible to swap out the battery, and those who use their devices heavily will need to carry a charger and make sure they are near a power source during the day.

Overall: A tough call
Price is a moot point, as both devices are available SIM-free for £500 or free from £41 a month on long-term contracts. The Galaxy Nexus is a very solid effort from Samsung and the software upgrades help to keep it just ahead of the Iphone 4S. The Galaxy Nexus caters to those who like to customise their device, and the larger screen makes it the better choice for web browsing and watching videos.

Unlike the HTC Titan, the Nexus is not too bulky and the light weight makes it easier to carry around. The ability to easily transfer content to other devices and the good battery life make it an attractive purchase.

The Iphone 4S cannot be faulted in terms of performance, however, providing a smoother overall experience. It also has a superior camera, making it a better choice for photo enthusiasts. However, buyers will have to be content with being locked into Apple's ecosystem, and this means having to sign up to Itunes, which is a pain in the you-know-what.

In terms of apps, both handsets have hundreds of thousands available, although the Apple App Store might have the edge in terms of quality and its walled garden approach offers good security.

It is important to bear in mind that neither device is perfect, as they both have fallen victim to some high-profile bugs. The Galaxy Nexus has a volume bug that automatically switches the device into silent mode when using a 2G network. This means that users are not alerted to incoming calls or text messages. Meanwhile, the Iphone 4S has been plagued by a battery issue, which Apple has so far failed to fix.

For those not in a rush to buy, it is worth waiting until these issues are addressed before splashing out on either handset, and the Galaxy Nexus issue looks like it is getting resolved first. If we were to pick one, we would wholeheartedly take the Galaxy Nexus, as we prefer the openness of Android, the apps are plentiful and the larger screen is great for web browsing and watching videos. Considering we have a sweet tooth, it's hardly suprising that we prefer the Ice Cream Sandwich over the Apple.


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 Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S head to head review - The Inquirer

67 comments for "Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S head to head review"

 6 years ago '05        #2
P-Hill|M 26 heat pts26
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Despite having a faster processor and double the memory, the performance of the Galaxy Nexus is not noticeably faster than the Iphone. In fact, actions such as reorientation of the screen, pinch-to-zoom and transition between apps are smoother on the Iphone 4S, a testament to the cohesion between Apple's software and hardware. However, this might change when subsequent updates for Android ICS are released.
Come the fu*k on Google.
 6 years ago '05        #3
Y.G. 27 heat pts27
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 P-Hill said:
Come the fu*k on Google.
Noticed that too.

I'm just gettin the Epic Touch 4G when they get a workin version of Ice Cream Sandwich.


Last edited by Y.G.; 12-02-2011 at 02:08 PM..
 6 years ago '04        #4
VictoryThagr8 6 heat pts
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 P-Hill said:
Come the fu*k on Google.
I guess people forgot hardware acceleration uses the graphic chip which the iPhone 4s has a far superior chip over the galaxy nexus . Even the gs2 has better graphic chip than the nexus. The graphic chip that is on the galaxy nexus is the same chip the runs on nexus s and galaxy s 1.
 12-02-2011, 06:25 PM         #5
Andhily 
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i mean i guess we r gona take 1 mans opinion as fact? iphone will prob always be a little smoother because it's literally only developed for 1 or 2 things where as android is attempting to be a universal phone os
 12-02-2011, 09:40 PM         #6
Coo Coo Cal 
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sgs2 >>>>>>>


[video - click to view]

 6 years ago '06        #7
kevkhalee 1 heat pts
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 illogik said:
Google only slapped a 5mp camera on there?!
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 6 years ago '05        #8
PhrozenMenace 
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 illogik said:
Google only slapped a 5mp camera on there?!
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google made the phone
 6 years ago '10        #9
Seymore Cake 19 heat pts19
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Could've been an amazing phone but they seem to have failed
 6 years ago '05        #10
s4s|M 23 heat pts23
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the galaxy s3 will probably be the next big phone, this is just filler
 6 years ago '10        #11
Seymore Cake 19 heat pts19
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Happy with my SGS II Skyrocket, was gonna use my upgrade on this but I think i'll pass
 6 years ago '11        #12
PTC 138 heat pts138
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 VictoryThagr8 said:
I guess people forgot hardware acceleration uses the graphic chip which the iPhone 4s has a far superior chip over the galaxy nexus . Even the gs2 has better graphic chip than the nexus. The graphic chip that is on the galaxy nexus is the same chip the runs on nexus s and galaxy s 1.
I guess people like you are too fu*kin ignorant to see that all you do is make fu*kin excuses... what does your post have to do with anything? The iPhone 4, sh*t 3GS will probably have a smoother experience.

At the end of the day, how does what you say rebuttal the problem? After all it is a google phone. At the end of the day, it was google's choice to use the chips.

What you said might merely explain it, but it doesn't excuse it... but that's all your about right? Excuses?


Last edited by PTC; 12-03-2011 at 12:18 AM..
 6 years ago '11        #13
PTC 138 heat pts138
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 Andhily said:
i mean i guess we r gona take 1 mans opinion as fact? iphone will prob always be a little smoother because it's literally only developed for 1 or 2 things where as android is attempting to be a universal phone os

[pic - click to view]

 6 years ago '11        #14
PTC 138 heat pts138
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 s4s said:
the galaxy s3 will probably be the next big phone, this is just filler
... this isn't in line with the Galaxy S phones... this is a direct Google flagship phone.
 6 years ago '11        #15
PTC 138 heat pts138
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It seems like a fair enough review, however the whole iTunes ecosystem being a pain in the a.ss or whatever needs to stop. Everyone has used it at this point and it's easy as sh*t, and efficient.
 6 years ago '10        #16
Trill Livin 65 heat pts65
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Sprint stay gettin lame a.ss phones....


they data plans tho
 6 years ago '07        #17
omglolwtfbbq 5 heat pts
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 PTC said:
It seems like a fair enough review, however the whole iTunes ecosystem being a pain in the a.ss or whatever needs to stop. Everyone has used it at this point and it's easy as sh*t, and efficient.
I dunno man. I love my iPad (after I jailbroke it) but there are two main things I hate about it, one is being so tied to my itunes/desktop PC

(the other thing I hate is not being able to view some of the vids when I'm on the forums, but that's whatever.)

Yea, most people have used it and can adapt to being forced to use it, but my feeling is cmon, it's 2011 and I'm still having to go to my comp and resync libraries and sh*t every time I wanna add a song or vid or something.
 6 years ago '11        #18
Kingpin 313 104 heat pts104
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rezound>>>>>
 6 years ago '04        #19
ddash 1 heat pts
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I have always been like fu*k the Iphone.I thought it was a trendy piece of sh*t.

I loved my evo 4g but yesterday that motherfu*ker died and I badly needed a phone because I had a ton of calls to make.

So I went to best buy to basically get another evo 4g but I thought in my head how after updates my evo 4g seemed so slow and sh*tty.Sad to say I was like lets try something new and the iPhone 4s was only $199.

So I got the iPhone 4s and I hated it the first day but now I love it.I cant put my finger on what it is but its a really dope phone.I dont know if I am going back to android.

I do wish the iPhone had a bigger screen and menu button for browsing tho.


Last edited by ddash; 12-03-2011 at 06:35 AM..
 6 years ago '06        #20
Yung Dilla 1478 heat pts1478
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:hmm:
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