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Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

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Interface:

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Apple iPhone 4S have radically different approaches as far interface goes. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nexus is of course the livelier software experience thanks to such elements like Live Wallpapers and various 3D transitions and effects, whereas the experience on the iPhone 4S' iOS 5 is much more static and simplified in terms of visual presentation.

Until now, Android has been struggling to offer a truly well-made user interface, but with ICS, we're happy to report that the platform now looks very, very good, on par with what we have with iOS 5. However, the differences in the way they operate have remained, with Android allowing the user to place varioius widgets, which deliver information right on the homescreen, while with iOS users will still have to jump between apps in order to gain access to different kinds of info. Thankfully, with the new A5 processor this happens very fast.

The interface of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The interface of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The interface of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The interface of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

The interface of Samsung Galaxy Nexus


Interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Interface of the Apple iPhone 4S


Speaking of performance, both the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S are exceptionally fast. We feel that the iPhone 4S is still the more fluid of the two, with the Nexus experiencing an occasional slow-down every now or then, but as a whole there really isn't much of a difference with regards to their speed.


Messaging:

If you're used to typing messages with one hand only, you won't find any difference between the two smartphones. However, due to the larger screen of the Nexus, it's landscape QWERTY keyboard is slightly more comfortable for typing out long emails. This is further reinforced thanks to the presence of haptic feedback on the Google phone.

The on-screen QWERTY keyboard of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The on-screen QWERTY keyboard of Samsung 
Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

The on-screen QWERTY keyboard of Samsung Galaxy Nexus


Portrait keyboard - Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Landscape QWERTY - Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Portrait keyboard

Landscape QWERTY

Apple iPhone 4S


In addition, Google has worked to improve its auto-correction functionality while typing, and has made it about equal to the one found in the iPhone 4S. All in all, both handsets offer a great messaging features, but the bigger landscape QWERTY on the Galaxy Nexus, coupled with its haptic feedback, is a bit more comfortable to type on.


Internet:

The iPhone has been the undisputed kind of mobile browsing ever since its launch due to its incredibly well-performing Safari browser. Android's browser, on the other hand, has never been as smooth or accurate in its operation, but with Ice Cream Sandwich, it's closer than ever.

There are some more or less negligible differences in terms of browser performance with both handsets, with the frame-rate in Safari being just a tad higher. Anyway, the bad news is that neither handset offers Flash at the moment. And while the iPhone 4S will continue to be Flash-deprived, the Galaxy Nexus, along with the other Ice Cream Sandwich products, will eventually get it, when Adobe optimizes its plug-in.

The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus


Web 
browsing on the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Web 
browsing on the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Web 
browsing on the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Web 
browsing on the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Web browsing on the Apple iPhone 4S


In terms of data connectivity, the international variant of the Galaxy Nexus is an HSPA+ phone, which goes as high as 21.1 Mbit/s on the downlink and 14.4 Mbit/s on the uplink. On the other hand, the iPhone 4S manages to achieve 14.4 Mbit/s download, which is a bit slower, at least theoretically, but in reality there won't be that much of a difference. However, when the Nexus hits Verizon a bit later, it's going to sport an LTE radio, which will surely make a difference.


Camera:

The whole photo-taking experience with both the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S is quite simplistic. Their camera interfaces lack many options that you'll see in some handsets that have manufacturer overlays on top, like the Galaxy S II, for example, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, ICS on the Galaxy Nexus does come with some basic settings that you won't find on the iPhone 4S, like White Balance, Exposure and Scene Modes. Additionally, the Nexus has a Panaroma mode built-in, but this kind of functionality can be easily added to any iPhone or Android device by installing a third-party app.

The camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
The camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

The camera interface of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus


Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 4S - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 4S


What matters most is the actual picture quality, and in this respect, the iPhone 4S is definitely the better choice. Images from its 8MP camera enjoy more details and better exposure, whereas the 5MP snapper of the Galaxy Nexus tends to overexpose certain things at times. Color reproduction however, is slightly more natural on the Nexus, since the iPhone 4S' photos are a bit on the warmer side. Anyways, its safe to say that both handsets take good pictures outdoors, however, the situation with indoor shots is very different. When there isn't enough light in the scene, images from the Nexus get altered colors and much noise, while its LED flash is simply useless. Not that the iPhone 4S has a better LED, but all in all, its indoor photos are to be preferred.

Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Apple iPhone 
4S - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 
4S - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 
4S - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 
4S - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung Galaxy 
Nexus - Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples


Samsung
 Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung
 Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung
 Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Samsung
 Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Strong - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Medium - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Low 
light - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S
Darkness with flash - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash

Apple iPhone 4S
Indoor samples


While both devices record 1080p video, the one from Apple's handset is noticeably better. It has much more detail and it's smoother, due to its superior frame-rate of 30 fps. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Nexus' videos are a bit blurry and are shot at 24 fps. Now, 24 fps isn't really low, but when it comes to these so-so cameras used in phones, it makes quite a bit of a difference.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Sample Video:



Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video:



155 Comments
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posted on 02 Dec 2011, 10:47 23

1. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


"Figuratively speaking" of course XD

Remind me whats been added in iOS5?
Hell, remind me whats been changed in the 4S lol

This is barely a competition


Galaxy Nexus FTW!!!!!!!

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 10:54 16

4. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


you are right but iphonearena would never agree.

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 01:47 4

107. medalaster01 (Posts: 42; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


writer indirectly concluded its iphone4s which is better.

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 14:08 4

117. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)


iPhoneArena needs to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT! The design of the iPhone is NOT Apple's original design! They copied the Garmin Nuvi 3790T's design, which won a design award!

http://en.red-dot.org/2791.html?cHash=de5e1220d7f00b294bd00b01cdcc541b&detail=7398

Looks strangely similar doesn't it??!

ALSO...glass is no longer a "premium material" However, GORILLA GLASS is a premium material!

posted on 28 Dec 2011, 19:36

135. hobble (Posts: 130; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


I thought they copied a samsung phone that was released just before the original iphone?

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 11:04 12

7. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


I bet they used an iPhone 4 in the video, no one would have been able to tell the difference lol

why not do the GALAXY Nexus vs. the GALAXY Note?

posted on 03 Dec 2011, 18:14

94. Mkondrak (unregistered)


its a iphat 4s because it has sprint logo on the top part of the screen

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 19:05

110. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


you do know that since the 4s released they are selling an 8gb iphone4 at sprint now right?

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 13:03 13

41. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


alot has been added to the iphone 4s.....faults,more and more faulty additions appearing by the week judging by reports

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 13:26 3

128. milominderbinder (Posts: 6; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


The iPhone 4S is still missing:
1. 4G
2. Any size other than Extra Small
3. Notification LED
4. microSD
5. Removable Battery
6. HD Video Chat (still VGA, WiFi)
7. DLNA
8. Facebook Sync
9. Flash
10. NFC
11. Full Gmail (Priority Inbox, etc.)
12. DRM-Free Music like Google & Amazon
13. Widgets
14. Other App Markets like Amazon or GetJar
15. 15-Minute free trial on apps
16. Theming (unless Jailbroken)
17. Visual Voicemail with Contact Photos
18. True hands-free Voice Coomands
19. Turn-by-turn navigation
20. Live Wallpaper
21. Haptic feedback (vibrate on key-touch)
22. Swype
23. Real predictive keyboards like SwiftKey
24. Bluetooth Mouse/keyboard
25. Goggles, Voice, etc.

Phonearena, how little are your hands?

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 00:27 1

137. scottz (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


microSD and 15-minutes app trials are the only features on this I would want on an iphone. Some simply add costs for most(1,10) Many aren't real value adds(2,9,10,13,14,16,20) . While others simply aren't accurate (6,8,12,17,18). Again, only a couple of these items really add any value for a vast majority of people.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 09:27

157. tedkord (Posts: 12203; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Sorry, but to claim the 4G only adds cost is just ridiculous. I would never go back to 3G since getting 4G. Downloads take seconds instead of minutes. Also, flash is a value add, having used phone browsers with and without it, I would choose to have it every time, at least until the whole web goes HTML5.

And, video chat is still only VGA and restricted to WiFi, so that one is true.

I do agree that many in the list are, at best, preferences. But, choice is what makes Android a better choice for many.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 13:05 9

42. DaveyJE24 (Posts: 54; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)


dear iphonearena. You suck. But yet I continue to come back to read your reviews in hopes of one day your magical iPhone could be dethroned.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 13:30 17

53. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


Are you guys blind?

iPhone = 8.5 out of 10

Nexus = 9.5 out of 10

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 13:38 4

55. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


Thankyou.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 14:44 3

63. DaveyJE24 (Posts: 54; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)


thats just a number. Im talking about how almost everything is better on the iphone lol according to the iphonearena bums.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 17:05 3

72. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


tell me about it. Phonearena rates iphone 8.5 cause of the lack of a real upgrade.

Nexus get 9.5 for a true leap in the OS and phone. Yet these guys keep bitching how biased phonearena is.
It's to give up and laugh at their permanent ranting.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 17:09 1

73. wakingup (Posts: 51; Member since: 13 Aug 2011)


They should go look at the iphone's user reviews too...

posted on 05 Dec 2011, 09:09 1

109. solidsnakeduds013 (Posts: 218; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


They must be

posted on 03 Dec 2011, 16:31 1

93. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


oh ya michael heller who self proclaimed likes android over ios.. wonder why u chose him?

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 14:19 1

118. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Why? I've stopped reading phoneArena, there are much better places to read now, like:

http://androidandme.com/
http://www.androidauthority.com/
http://www.androidcentral.com/
http://www.gsmarena.com/
http://phandroid.com/
http://www.theinquirer.net/

I only stop by here once in a LOOONG while. Just like with Engadget, I've totally stopped reading that site.

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 23:40 1

125. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


Well judging by the links you posted, you're an avid Android fan. There's nothing wrong with that, but please don't flame. Just because Android may seemingly lose once in awhile doesn't mean a site is bias. As a matter of fact, the ratings clearly show that PhoneArena views the Nexus S very highly, even better than the iPhone. I don't understand why you all are so upset. The Nexus wins in some respects and loses in others. Seriously, PhoneArena is a great website. I'm a Windows fan and I come here everyday; despite them rating all the second-gen Windows Phones a 7.5 (excluding the Focus S). While I disagreed with some scores, I wouldn't call them biased, and nor did I complain. Give it a rest you all, please. It's gotten really, really old...

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 00:28

138. scottz (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


Read what you want to read, please don't spam.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 17:16 2

74. wakingup (Posts: 51; Member since: 13 Aug 2011)


I strongly believe that phonearena in this case is biased. ICS is finnally catching up to IOS??? Come one, its just you...remember, you can make an android look likt the IOS if you were really picky...but can you make a iphone run on ICS??? NO. In fact, I think the hicups faced by the nexus (i cant tell for certain because i dont have one yet) is that there were too many background applications. Most reviews on phonearena, I doubt they kill background tasks before "noticing a lag or a freeze or so forth."

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 14:20 1

119. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Yea, it's ironic that Android is "catching up" to IOS when IOS 5's latest features clearly are based off of Android's features (voice actions, drop down notification shade, etc).

Seriously people, dump this place, it's easy. Just delete it from your bookmarks.

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 00:32

139. scottz (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


Siri is a significant shift on how to interact via voice with devices. If you can't see this it is simply because you haven't taken the time.

I found the review on this site to be fair and balanced even though they rated the Galaxy Nexus higher than the 4S and I am a 4S owner. I simply preferred the 4S, it was a tough decision. (size, cost, app store)

posted on 03 Dec 2011, 03:07 6

86. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Ray S is VERY descriptive in his comparisons of the Galaxy Nexus vs Iphone 4S. He negates every positive aspect of the GN with abit better or slightly and exaggerates the Iphone's strong points. Superior frame rate of 30 FPS he didn't even mention that in the SGS2 vs GN comparison but here he had to highlight it yet the SGS2 records at 30 FPS. What does he means the browser on the Iphone has more frames, explain what the hell you mean by such statements cause I sure don't see those frames???!!! This reviewer is a MASSIVE IDIOT when its a vs Iphone but professional in other reviews. Clearly he's biased

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 14:24 2

120. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Well, you know he's a f@cking idiot when he claims that 30fps is "better than" 24fps.

Clearly, this tool has no idea what he's talking about.

Hollywood movies are filmed in 24p and blu-ray is 24p native. 24p is the frame rate that's "sought after" for its film like qualities, vs home movie like qualities.

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 00:34 1

140. scottz (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


Doesn't change the fact the iPhone took better videos.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 01:17 2

111. oldarney (Posts: 4; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Im also amazed that he forgot to mention that the 4S has ZERO lte, which makes it worse for MMO's, Heavy weabsites or HD video... oh thats right, the 4S isn't HD either!

Granted, the camera sort of sucks... Although its three times faster then the 4S.

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