Update: Checkout our Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.
The arrival of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus will bring a whole new era to the Android-based smartphone market, specifically the beginning of the Android 4.0 era that’s been nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s been talked about for months as the replacement, or really upgrade, to the current OS system for Androids 2.3.4 Gingerbread, and the Nexus will be the first phone to done the highly anticipated operating system. As the newest phone to come onto the scene of the already oversaturated Android smartphone market within the past three months, the Nexus is pegged to be the “iPhone Killer,” but will it really kill the iPhone 4S’ popularity? Here’s a helpful comparison that might help you decide whether or not to ditch the Apple and head on over to the Android side or stay an everlasting Apple fan.
The iPhone 4S fits some pretty big features into a small package with its latest smartphone that measures in at 115.2 mm x 58.6 mm x 9.3 mm (H x W x D) and weighs only 140 grams. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus sports some heftier dimensions of 135.5 mm X 67.94 mm X 9.47 mm and is only 10 grams heavier than the iPhone at 150 grams.
Winner: Apple’s formula can’t be beat on size as the iPhone 4S is lighter, smaller and thinner than the new Galaxy. While both can be easily maneuvered with one hand, the iPhone’s compact dimensions are a highly desirable quality since it can also easily fit into a small purse, a back pocket and more.
The iPhone 4S is sleek thanks to its glossy exterior that was carried over from the last model and still comes in black and white color options. In the looks department, the Galaxy Nexus looks like a grand competitor for the iPhone, but is really more of a coy given its cheap plastic feel. However, it does sport a gentle curve on its body that does give it a bit of style.
Winner: Apple really knows how to dress up its gadgets and the iPhone 4S is no exception with its glossy and sleek exterior. While it’s not always about looks (remember, you can’t judge a book by its cover), sometimes cheap plastic doesn’t always get you a great first impression.
The Galaxy Nexus may be larger than the iPhone 4S, but it’s for a purpose, which is a larger screen that measures 4.65 inches compared to 3.5 inches that Apple place on the latest version of its popular phone. But Apple also added a 640×960 Retina display that sports 330 ppi on the iPhone 4S, while the Nexus has a 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED contoured display (curved glass, really) with 316 ppi.
Winner: While both will provide crisp and sharp images, the iPhone’s 330 ppi seems to still reign higher.
The centerpiece of the Galaxy Nexus is that it will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich or Google’s Android 4.0 that’s supposed to represent a huge leap forward for the highly popular OS system. Said to bring an entirely new look and feel to Android phones with simple layouts, subtle animations and an entirely revamped home screen, web browser, email and everything in between. But this still in the beginning phases and the kinks haven’t been worked out yet (or really seen), leaving the iPhone 4S’ iOS 5 still easier to use. It also has 5 GB of free cloud storage so that you can sync your photos, contacts and more with your other Apple products. The Nexus has Google’s Gmail and its cloud services, so it’s a win-win situation there.
Winner: Until it’s been tested, the iOS 5 still seems to be easier to use since it’s been proven. But this can always change as more and more Androids upgrade to the new OS.
Both pack some powerful dual-core processors, so neither smartphones will be slow. The iPhone 4S has Apple’s A5 1 GHz processor, while Samsung’s phone carries a 1.2 GHz from Texas Instruments (the first time Samsung’s used such a processor. It also has 1 GB of RAM, while the iPhone 4S only has 512 MB of RAM.
Winner: Samsung’s 0.2 GHz is a bit more than the iPhone’s and that’s enough to beat it out on this category!
Both phones feature 16 GB and 32 GB internal storage options, but the iPhone 4S comes with a 64 GB option. Neither come with a SD Card slot.
Winner: The iPhone 4S has that 64 GB option, making it the winner here.
The iPhone 4S can still only get 3G, while the Galaxy Nexus will sport 4G speeds thanks to its LTE status since it’s debuting on Verizon. So the Nexus will have faster download speeds. They’re both Bluetooth-enabled with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n.
Winner: The Galaxy Nexus’ LTE status says it all!
Camera and Video
The iPhone 4S packs a 8 MP rear camera and is capable of 1080p video. It can also produce high quality images in medium to low lighting with its f/2.4 aperture and features face detection and image stabilization The Nexus only has a 5 MP rear camera and boasts Panorama photos, zero shutter lag, and “silly faces” (think Apple’s Photo Booth software on the Mac and iPad).
Winner: The iPhone 4s’ camera is the clear winner here.
The Nexus sports a standard li-ion 1850mAh battery that has up to 270 hours of stand-by time and up to about 18 hours of talk time. The iPhone 4s claims 8 hours of talk time on 3G or 14 hours on 2G. They say it will standby for up to 200 hours, will playback video for 10 hours and you can surf the web for up to 6 hours on 3G and 9 on Wi-Fi thanks to a 1432mAh battery. But remember that 4G is a battery drainer, so expect a lot less from the better connectivity.
Winner: Since the Nexus has a 1850mAh battery vs the iPhone’s 1432mAh one, we gotta give it to Samsung’s newest smartphone.
Verizon will be the first to carry the Galaxy Nexus while the iPhone 4S is already available on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
Winner: More customers can enjoy an iPhone since it’s on more carriers.
The Galaxy Nexus come equipped with Android Beam, which allows you to share contacts, web pages, videos, directions and more just by touching two NFC-enabled Android phones back to back. The phone also introduces a new way to unlock your phone with its Face Unlock. The facial recognition feature lets you turn on your phone with your smile. On the other hand, the iPhone 4S features Siri, the “smart assistant” that helps make life a bit easier thanks to its useful information and quirky sayings.
Winner: The Android Beam is pretty cool and beats Siri for now, given Google is probably working on their own voice app comparable to Siri.
The iPhone 4S is priced according to its GBs, with the 64 one the most expensive. So The 16 GB is $199, the 32 GB is $299 and the 64 GB is $399. Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is said to debut at $199.99 and will require a two-year contract with Verizon.
Winner: Since the iPhone 4S is price according to its storage, the price differences makes it more affordable for those with varying incomes.
One of the best Androids on the market, definitely. An iPhone killer, not this time. Sorry Samsung, looks like your Galaxy Nexus didn’t exact have the gusto to take out the iPhone (at least not yet, anyways). While it may sport some very impressive abilities and be the beginning of a new generation of Android phone, it still didn’t make the cut standing up against the highly popular iPhone 4S.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.