iPhone 4s vs Samsung Galaxy S II (comparison)

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Updated June 27, 2022

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The battle of the smartphones continues as the highly anticipated iPhone 4S goes head-to-head with Samsung’s latest and greatest Android, the Galaxy S II. For those looking to upgrade their phones or just want to know how each of the top smartphones (at least “top” for now given how fast upgrades are made), here’s a helpful comparison of the two! If you’re interested in these two phones, take a look at our iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 review too.


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The Galaxy S II is one of the thinnest Androids out there, measuring 5.11 x 2.71 x .37 (all inches, HxWxD) and weighing in at 4.77 ounces. The new iPhone, on the other hand, measures in at 4.5 x 2.31 x .37 (all inches, HxWxD) and weighs 4.9 ounces. The Galaxy S II is considerably larger because of its display but it is lighter.


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Both share similar features in the looks department. They both come in white and black options, but the iPhone 4S does sport a premium finish with a glass front and back, while the Samsung Galaxy S II has a very thin and sort of flimsy plastic rear case…but this is what makes it so light, so it’s not necessarily such a flaw.


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The Galaxy S II has a larger screen than the iPhone coming in at 4.52 inches compared to 3.5 inches (but remember that the S II is lighter). So the iPhone 4S boasts a 640×960 resolution, creating a pixel density of 326ppi, while the Galaxy S II has a bright AMOLED display but it has 480×800 resolution, which means it has a pixel density of 216ppi. Looks like the iPhone wins here, but really, both are awesome touchscreen displays.

Operating System

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Obviously, the iPhone 4S runs on IOS 5 and the Galaxy S II on Android. But all the hoopla with the new iPhone was about a new operating system and the latest version is touted as the “world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” as well as the easiest to use. New features with the upgrade include: notification center, iMessage, Twitter integration, reminders, camera enhancements, better photo editing options, PC free, Safari, Newsstand and Siri, the voice control feature that everybody’s taking about. The Multi-Touch interface in the new OS is easier since it was “designed for your finer,” making it finger friendly. But it still lacks flash support, which is a major downer!

The Samsung Galaxy S II runs Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS with its own Touchwiz interface. It’s claimed to be “more refined and polished,” which basically means a more intuitive user interface.


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The iPhone 4S has received a processor upgrade, which is an A5 dual-core chip, clocked in at 800MHz and Apple says you’ll notice the upgrade with it’s faster responses that make all the difference when you’re launching apps, on the web and doing everything else you do on your smartphone these days. And because the A5 chip is so power-efficient, iPhone 4S has outstanding battery life (but more on that later).

Since the Galaxy S II has a wider screen, it was given a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 Processor with 1.5 GHz dual-core CPUs so that it wouldn’t freeze while running multiple apps.


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Storage is worth a quick mention with a new maximum capacity of 64GB available on the Iphone 4S. The Galaxy S II maxes out with just 16GB, and but it does redeem itself with the inclusion of a microSD card slot that can take a further 32GB, adding more storage for those who like to keep everything on their smartphones. This totals 48GB, so comes but it still comes in short of only 16GB of its rival.

Wireless Connectivity

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They are both world phones, so globetrotters will be satisfied with both. The Galaxy S II is built and engineered to run on 4G networks, making it super fast, which means no waiting even when you have tons of apps open. Thanks to AllShare, you can also wirelessly share and stream videos, photos and music between your phone and TV, laptop and audio system. With a 4G connection you get up to 42 Mbps down speed and it’s Bluetooth 3.0 compatible.

The iPhone 4S also has WiFi abilities thanks to AirPrint and AirPlay, which allows you to print wirelessly and wirelessly stream what’s on your phone to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV. It also boasts faster connections since Apple says that the new phone is the first to intelligently switch between two antennas to transmit and receive, making call quality better.

Camera and Video

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Other than Sira, the other significant iPhone 4S upgrade is its rear-facing camera, which has been bumped up to 8MP from 5MP, and it also has a custom lens with a larger f/2.4 aperture. But the Galaxy S II 8MP camera matches that of the new iPhone 4S, making them even in this category. The details continue to be the same across the board with an LED flash, auto focus and digital zoom. The two are neck-to-neck on video abilities, too, with HD 1080p at 30fps. Both also come with software for photo and video editing.

Battery Life

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Apple placed a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery in their new iPhone, with a talk time of up to 8 hours on 3G. Standby time is up to 200 hours, while Internet use is up to 6 hours on 3G and up to 9 on Wi-Fi. Video playback is up to 10 hours and audio playback is up to 40 hours.

Samsung added a rechargeable 1850 mAh lithium-ion battery with talk time pretty much the same with the iPhone so expect 8 hours to be the maximum.


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You can get the iPhone on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, while the Galaxy S II is available on T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.


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The iPhone 4S will put you back $199 for the 16GB, $299 for the 32GB and for those big spenders, $399 for the 64GB…but this is for new contracts or those eligible for upgrades. Price jumps between $600-$800 depending on the carrier and GB variant.

With AT&T, the Galaxy S II starts at $199.99, while T-Mobile has it for $299.99. Sprint is carrying it for 199.99 also (all with a new contract).


Really, it’s a tie. Both the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S II sport the latest and greatest tech when it comes to smartphones and share a lot of the same features. So it really depends on whether you’re a devoted Mac fan or an Android lover. But whichever one you opt for, you’ll end up with an awesome smartphone that will entertain you for hours and/or  help conduct business when you’re away from the office. It’s a win-win situation!