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Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S: web browsing comparison

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S: web browsing comparison
While we're working to complete our full Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review, here's a sweet little video we did in order to compare the web browsing experiences on the Galaxy Nexus and probably its biggest rival - the iPhone 4S. As you can imagine, both handsets perform admirably in this respect, with only negligible differences with regards to their performance.

Both enjoy very smooth scrolling, panning and pinch-zooming, while the iPhone 4S shows its expertise in the double-tap-to-zoom gesture, which is especially convenient when operating with one hand only. Right now, both don't have Flash Player, but the Galaxy Nexus will get it, once Adobe optimizes it for Ice Cream Sandwich. When that happens, Nexus users will probably observe a slight frame rate drop on sites featuring Flash content, but we expect the experience to remain pretty tolerable, because of the powerful dual-core processor the Galaxy Nexus sports.

Enough talking - watch the video below to see the smartphones' browsers in action!


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posted on 26 Nov 2011, 13:35 12

1. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5751; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


The one area where the G-Nexus is going to run away and hide from the iPhone 4S is where the G-Nexus is browsing while connected to the LTE network. Even with AT&T's HSPA+ network, in my experience with my RAZR, LTE is running at least 3x faster. Page load times will become progressively slower for the 4S as more content is present in the page to be loaded. Sure, a fast WiFi connection can even things up between the G-Nexus and 4S, but that requires the user to basically tether themselves to the WiFi connection.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 23:11 1

22. NexusBLEH (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


the performance of the nexus is garbage when it comes to web browsing- just look at how it lags when people try to scroll or pinch to zoom. Now imagine what that would look like once it get flash support... nuff said

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 00:15 7

23. Retro-touch (Posts: 257; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


You should get your eyes checked and this reviewer is retarded. WORST REVIEW EVER!!!!!

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 01:24 5

28. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


someone is a fannnnboy lol. explain to me where you see lag?
Or are you just mad that the nexus is sexier and better than the iPhone in general xD trolls are hilarious!

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 13:06 2

42. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


No text reflow on iOS = FAIL. That's one important aspect of all of this double tapping and pinching that he seemed to have forgotten in his overly long video.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 13:52 11

2. davidvvassallo (Posts: 39; Member since: 02 Jul 2011)


how about trying to load some websites next time you do a web browsing comparison or is that not important.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 14:00 10

3. cnoevl21 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)


Seriously? The most important part of phone web browsing and this guy doesn\'t even touch on the subject.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 22:35 4

19. cheetah2k (Posts: 813; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Ray S needs a brain scan.

Sure the experience is going to be smoother on the iPhone 4S with its 960x540. The G Nexus has to pump out a bundle more pixels at 1280x720!!

And as far as "browsing experience" goes, the G Nexus is far better with 1.3 times the viewing area!!!!

Man these reviews are fcking brain numbing.... Do something worthwhile Ray!!

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 11:37

40. ngo2dd (Posts: 781; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


I think you need a brain scan. No the iPhone is not 960 x 540. Before you call someone check your facts.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 14:23 6

4. Jobes (Posts: 364; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Maybe he should just use 4g then tether the iPhone to it :)

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 14:29 8

5. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


I would rather see the Nexus compared to the GS2. Comparing it to the iPhone isn't helping many people make a decision here.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 14:45 3

6. bossmt_2 (Posts: 432; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Also will be fun when I root the Galaxy Nexus and I can then us AdBlock Plus and not have ads load and save load times there.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 15:52 4

11. jcoberg10 (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)


Horrible biased review he had made up his mind. Just watching the scrolling was better on nexus. And neither performed perfect for double tap but the iPhone had its flaws also. Just the terms he used. Tollerable for galaxy nexus, and flawless for iPhone. Can you please have someone who can be unbiased or have a independent 3rd party do the review.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 19:00

18. E.N. (Posts: 2294; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Scrolling usually isn\'t better on any Android device. Sometimes with a single gesture, you can with no intention find yourself quickly at the bottom of a page. It\'s just not accurate IMO.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 22:41 3

21. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)


If you use an android, you should know how scrolling works on Android. You can literally control the scrolling on android phones. If you flick really quick, it will go all the way to the bottom of the webpage. Try flicking gently and the page will only move slightly. How is that NOT better than iPhone scrolling?

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 01:15 2

27. saiki4116 (Posts: 351; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


yes,relly that helps in browsing lengthy webpages..

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 16:01

12. THE_RAY (Posts: 26; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Tap to zoom isn't as important when the screen is bigger and you can already make out the text. The Nexus page looks so much clearer and easier to read......

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 17:19

13. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


um ray bias much or is he trollin'? i wanna see webpage loadings dammit

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 17:21

14. Cinnamon (Posts: 87; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)


Where the F**k is the Galaxy Nexus Review???

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 17:30

15. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


Expected a mind blowing comparison, I was wrong =/

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 17:50

16. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


Here's a better comparison and consider that the nexus has a live wallpaper and apps in backgroundhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQEC_Y5v3Zw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 18:24

17. blackrose (Posts: 48; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


When the loading bar goes away the iPhone is still not not done loading. Its done when that little circle finish spinning. Apple has no shame do they.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 22:40

20. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)


If you use an android, you should know how scrolling works on Android. You can literally control the scrolling on android phones. If you flick really quick, it will go all the way to the bottom of the webpage. Try flicking gently and the page will only move slightly. How is that NOT better than iPhone scrolling?

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 00:21

24. mcbeaven (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


i love how the fandroids freak out whenever someone says something they dont want to hear.

( I am using something other than android and iOS )

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 00:37 2

25. blakesss (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


Not sure if this was mentioned before but you should also show the differences within tap to zoom within an actual article. The Android browser has the text-wrap feature, which will render the text perfectly to the display,where iOS will just zoom into the text, leaving the user to scroll horizontally. You can see the differences here in the browser section of this review:http://www.intomobile.com/reviews/epic-4g-touch-review-galaxy-s-ii-go/

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 01:48

31. drodro (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Ya I was going to ask if iOS5 supports text reflow yet. That also explains why double-tap to zoom doesn\'t seem to be \"accurate\" when you double tap.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 00:37 2

26. fervid (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Useless review. And, I saw no issues with pinch or double tap on the phones...the user\'s accuracy however in operation and speaking- not so much. Unless we are trying to start another lawsuit on patents and how alike things work, we need to instead focus on Android to Android comparison. I\'m not shopping and comparing between IOS and Android. I want to know which of the 10 Android devices releasing a week I want to finally buy.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 01:43 1

29. rawdeal (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


sometimes think outside of apple n do justice to other brands...i hate this website like nything...guys if u want a fair review plz visit Engadget....

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 01:44 1

30. rawdeal (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


phonearena comes under apples payroll....ray s is apples best employee

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 02:35 1

32. p0rkguy (Posts: 683; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)


I honestly don't think Ray S. is qualified to make such a comparison review like this.
Does he not watch his own video first before posting it up to see how bias his actions are?

Tolerable? Do you understand what you just did? iPhone's flaw is negligible while the Nexus' flaw is tolerable?
To me, negligible would be like receiving a text with misspelled words while tolerable would be like receiving a text with no words.

Since a person's level of handling things differ from others it might be hard to understand but the person using it themselves know well enough that they would take a negligible flaw over a tolerable one.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 04:05 1

33. manuell3g (Posts: 66; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


very stupid comparison. we want to know which one loads pages faster not their performance after loading the pages. we dont care about zooming effects or pinch to zoom gestures.this is just a smart way of trying to make the iphone4s worthy a competition to the Galaxy nexus. phonearena,we are not dump anymore.people have been using pinch to zoom on single core android devices and are very satisfied.show us which phone loads pages faster thats what we want.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 05:00

34. redmd (Posts: 886; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


so what more can we expect from you Ray 4S?

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 08:42 2

35. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ray?

Come on dude. really? that was the worst thing you have done in a while.

1) you have the nexus screen turned down to look dull compared to the i4s.

2) loading speed of each page? you skipped right over that

3) you used a lot of "probably skipping".. your personal bias is very much showing. If you cant tell if its skipping or not, then its not skipping. you automatically say the iphone is smooth and superior. ran the video multiple times.. you cant tell the difference

4) the first double tap to zoom, your finger taps the wrong spot, then you blame the device. watch the video, it goes exactly where you tap it.

5) you start talking trash about flash and assume its going to do all these horrible things to the browsing experience with no proof. my single core SGS1 has very little slowdown if any with flash... and only when it first loads up. We have no idea how the first fully dual core optimized android device will run flash. you shouldn't make assumptions.

the point is you throw a lot of assumptions and personal opinions in a "comparison", which should only be between what you are actually seeing. The only thing i saw the nexus be flawed at was the second tap to zoom where it went to the wrong picture. but further down the video you noticed its going to the text in the pictures.. thats probably what happened with the first one. its probably programed to find the text in pictures as thats what many people would be zooming in to read.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 09:38

36. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


There is a first review of this new cake (nexus).
And camera is a flop...
The rest is great

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 09:40

37. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


...and it's a shame that samsung made it because of the build quality.
it looks cheap..too cheap for such a powerful device.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 09:54

38. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


that's why I'd rather buy a RAZR and wait for an ICS.
Looks better, quality is much better and in terms of hardware is almost identical (benchmark's results will not be so much different for average joe...for geeks, it will be probably dealbreaker [oh gash...0.7 sec faster...yeah!])

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 10:17 1

39. Adamfthorn (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


The Fandroids are coming out of the woodwork on this one.

This review had a goal of web browsing experience, not web page loading. There are many other reviews and benchmarks for this. It has been established that the GNexus will load pages marginally faster then the iP4S. How relevant is the page loading experience compared to the time you actually spend reading the sites? Unless you spend your time constantly loading page after page, and not stoping to read any of their content then the GNexus is clearly superior. For those of you who actually stop and read web sites, such features as pinch to zoom, tap to zoom, and scrolling will make up the majority of your web browsing experience.

To dispel a few misconceptions, the scrolling on both are equally as smooth, and the difference people are perceiving is the scrolling accelleration. The programers have this setting set lowered on the iPhone and higher on the GNexus, and this is not a limitation of the hardware. Anyone who has used both devices and have the slightest concept of how programs are built would realize this.

Also has anyone considered the limitations of the Youtube video's frame rate when judging the smoothness? Consider that you are not even perceiving the full frame rates of the actions in this video and unless you are going to go and get both of these phones and judge for yourself then you are going to have to leave the decision to the maker of the video.

Lastly, for those of you bashing the reviewer and making claims about who pays him, that he is not good enough to make the video, or that the video was not to your liking, then I ask you where is your video review? Why do you not have his job? Where is your review site to dispute his claim? I bet it is easy to sit back in your chair in your own home and write your opinion without any backing or base to stand on and want to be taken seriously.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 11:46

41. ngo2dd (Posts: 781; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


You people are fanboy. We all know that on LTE the webpage will load faster. But not all of us have LTE. So if it wifi you people will bitch too. The Nexus screen is bad at low brightness and that is because it is using pentile. It has a Orangeish haze on it like the purpleish haze on the Nexus s and SGS. But they are you fanboy can't take anything bad about your beloved phone. Deal with it. Btw I been using android since the HTC hero came out. I know android is not perfect.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 17:16 2

45. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


its not about comparing LTE to 3g... that is an obvious win for LTE. put them both on Wifi. How fast they load a page comparitively on the same connection IS important to web browsing unless you only ever stay on one page and never click anything.

The i4s is set on a much higher brightness than the nexus. the nexus is turned the whole way down. They should both be set to their brightest. This is the ONLY review so far that Ive seen that had the nexus brightness so low.

Its not about being "perfect". There is no such thing as perfect. There however is a such thing as keeping everything equal on both sides for accurate results and not making biased judgements the whole way through the video that are based on nothing like "the nexus is PROBABLY skipping and the iphone is DEFINITELY not" If you cant tell if its skipping, than its not.. period.

I dont care who wins, I want a fair fight.

posted on 28 Nov 2011, 07:57

47. ngo2dd (Posts: 781; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


Ray is right about the skipping of the frame on the Nexus and the double tap on being off and for many it has nothing to do with text reflow. My EVO 3D has text reflow on the browser and it zoom in to area I want to. You all bash this guy for little to no reason. Let face the fact android webbrowser has never been it strong point that is why we all use different one.

posted on 28 Nov 2011, 11:53

49. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


your Evo 3D isnt running ICS, so its not a comparison. the p2z auto zooming to the text in the picture is probably an ics feature, as my sgs does not do it either, just like your evo.
watch the video again. he double taps the wrong spot the first time and it goes exactly where he taps it. i couldnt see any slowdown at all. ray kept saying "probably" which means he couldnt see it either, and was just assuming.
if you cant see it, its not happening.

posted on 28 Nov 2011, 16:46

50. ngo2dd (Posts: 781; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


All sense device have text reflow for double tap and p2z. When I double tap on a picture it go to the picture. He was talking about how not accurate the Nexus was so it is fair comparison. The second picture he tap it miss the Mark twice.

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 13:54

44. Ivan6479 (Posts: 244; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


This is by far the worst comparison ever!! I thought it was supposed to be a web comparison not a double tap to zoom comparison. LOL PA seriously needs to get with the program!!

posted on 28 Nov 2011, 09:26

48. hindsite (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


Ray you forgot to mention the perhaps biggest factor in web browsing "experience"--the size of the screen. The iphone is an excellent experience until, that is, you use a larger display for a while. Going back to an iphone after using a 4.3" for a year was, for me at least, striking in how limiting it felt. Definitely a discernible downgrade in the browsing experience.

posted on 03 Dec 2011, 13:12

51. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


Not understanding why several blogs say that the one advantage iOS has is double tap to zoom. Every Android I've owned since after Eclair has had that feature in the web browser.

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