Google Nexus S vs Apple iPhone 4

Google Nexus S vs Apple iPhone 4

Garnished with the fact that it's been given the Google branding, the Nexus S could arguably be the flagship Android device out there with the determination to fend off the heated competition from the iPhone 4. Only fittingly, both the Apple iPhone 4 and Google Nexus S aim to strive for glory as these two phones are quintessentially considered to be the cream of the crop in the industry. In fact, they're no slouches in any way as they pack on intricate hardware under the hood to establish themselves as worthy devices that will intrigue and capture the attention of consumers. As we place these two smartphones on a collision course with one another, it's going to be interesting to find which one will have the heart and performance to stand tall once the dust settles.


If you stop and think about it for a second, it's undeniably telling that the Apple iPhone 4 presents itself as the more premium feeling device between the two. That's because it employs durable feeling materials, like its brushed stainless steel band and glass like exterior, which undoubtedly is capped off with its striking industrial design. Whereas the Google Nexus S sticks to having a minimalistic appearance with its all plastic body – which unquestionably happens to be a bit more prone to scratches. The Nexus S is slightly lighter in weight, despite its blatantly larger sized dimensions. Naturally, both are considerably more streamlined over other smartphones as the iPhone 4 sizes up at 0.37” thick and the Nexus S measures in at a healthy 0.43” thick. Thankfully, the Contour Display of the Nexus S discretely  sprinkles a dash of personality to its typical looking form factor.

In terms of displays, these two smartphones feature the latest and greatest that have their own unique strengths to instantly wow anyone. Even to this day, there isn't anything else out there in the market that produces better looking colors than Samsung's Super AMOLED panels. In fact, the 4” capacitive touchscreen of the Nexus S hits the perfect sweet spot with its WVGA (480 x 800) resolution and support for 16.7 million colors. Needless to say that its output is stunning as colors magnificently jump out – while still retaining plenty of details. Conversely, the 3.5” Retina Display of the iPhone 4 takes the cake in pixel density since it packs a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. Granted that it's smaller, its high resolution makes even the tiniest of details jump out with sharp corners to make it easy on the eyes to view. But honestly, it's going to take a keen eye to distinguish any difference in detail between the two displays as they both offer great viewing angles and shine brightly.

One of the most frustrating parts about the Google Nexus S has to be its four capacitive buttons beneath the display because they're not all that distinguishable. Even with its back lighting on, it's still extremely weak and makes for some difficulty even in low lighting conditions – not to mention the occasional accidental press. In contrast, the single home button of the iPhone 4 is instantly visible and offers a springy feel when pressed – meaning it's the preferred method between the two.

On the left sides of both phones, we find their decently sized and pronounced volume rockers – a thin looking one with the Nexus S and separated ones with the iPhone 4. And when they're pressed, they do offer a substantial amount of feedback to make sure you hit them. With the iPhone 4, we also find a latch that conveniently places the phone in vibrate/silence mode.

Between the two, we actually prefer the feel and placement of the dedicated power button of the iPhone 4 as it's located on the top edge and is accompanied with a springy feel. Even though it's an improvement over other Samsung Galaxy S devices out there, the power button of the Nexus S isn't as prominent – but luckily manages to offer a decent response when pressed.

Apple iPhone 4 360-degree View:

Google Nexus S 360-degree View:



31. Neal unregistered

M using nexus from July dis year ....n m fallen in love wid my Android!!! Itz damn sexy(not taking about looks) featurably....iPhone is too expensive.

30. Kowl unregistered

How about the sound quality of iPhone 4 when compared to that of Nexus S.

29. IOS5 unregistered

iPhone 4 way way better than this shity phone nexus s the nexus s already got smoked not only by iPhone even by Andriod phones Galaxy s still smoke him LG 2x already smoked the galaxy s and nexus s and iPhone 4. So what the use of the nexus s don't know.

24. mr-python

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

iphones are for non-technical rich people who like to waste their money and show off their worthless bling. android mobiles are for smart people who know what they want, for people who want the best security (linux kernel), for people who want to constantly be able to improve their mobile's functionality whether they do it themselves or acquire help from the rest of the world (open source). and for people who know and want to learn how a mobile works and to explore the limitless bounds of technology themselves. . . . much like the comparison between the windows and linux OSes. . . . .linux always wins hands down because the whole world works on linux, while only microsoft are allowed to improve the Windows OS. . . .it's a meaningless debate when we all know Open Source always wins

25. Lucas303030 unregistered

Umm osx? Best os out there? And why is it that when an iPhone wins something its this and that... Why is it that it can't just be better? And jailbreak anyone? I mean what more do you want. Android is obviously better for the tech people... But for mainstream its iPhone hands down. You can't match its refinement and ease of use. But android is outdated so quickly it is ridiculous. You feel like the moment you buy it it is out of date. Like the G2. Boom mytouch 4g. Droid 2. Boom droid 2 global. Incredible. Boom thunderbolt. I mean there is no point in buying an android phone for the mainstream because they wont know what to do with their outdated one when it becomes unsupported by the new one coming out next week. And as for the nexus s... it doesn't even have 3g+ on a carrier where that is all it has going for it... I don't think people realize that yes att is not so great, but nothing else is really better except verizon-and there will be an iPhone for that soon enough hopefully.

23. Adrian unregistered

do mine eyes deceive me or can someone not take screen shots on an Android phone?

22. seriusly unregistered

Ok, phonearena deleted my previous comment because they felt the truth stick right in their ears. But here is the truth, are you gonna start making comparisions about WP7 and Android more often? Not only iPhone and then reward iPhone in every review. Seems like you are doing this for Apple as they told you too, so people will go out and get an iPhone instead of another OS phone.

20. kabir02

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

what is iphone oyu are talking about. pls nexus is rated more than iphone whose blueetooth can not send no receive.

21. Toto unregistered

Kin ya ree-peet that there in Ingrish pls?

19. 4iPhone unregistered

i dont know if everything in the reviews is true or not...i my love my iphone 4, one thing tho, it drops call like there is no tomorow....

18. applesr4eatingtoo unregistered

Note to iPhone Arena site developers: Your pathetic.

17. jokout unregistered

also, if you have already made up you mind which phone you like before you even start comparing them, why don't you just say that in the first line of the review and save us all a lot of time! I am looking for true unbiased info so I can make an informed desision as to what phone I will live with in the forseeable future, I don't need, I like this phone so what it doesn't do/have isn't important!

16. jokout unregistered

Coming from WinMo and now looking to move to another OS. I have spent quite a bit of time with both Android and OS4 and I really have come to the conclusion that the Iphone is really what I would consider a feature phone with apps! Frankly, I can't understand all the commotion surrounding this device! When you really dive into the phone it offers nothing new and innovative that inspires me to want one! As far as I can see, this is a style over substance thing, we evidently have to have one to be in the cool crowd! Now with this being said, Android isn't nirvana either! To me the Nexus S is a huge disappointment and could have been SO much's like, lets take a stock Galaxy S and take out some good stuff and throw Gingerbread on it and WOW, we got a super phone...NOT! There are just better android devices out there to put Gingerbread on! Google and their carrier/manufacturer politics! I'm just waiting for someone to come up with a great device that I will still want to own in a year!

15. Wireless

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Time to upgrade my phone and I don't know of any other site where I can get better expert opinions on what's the best outthere. I currently have an iPhone 3gs and I am quite content with it, had a change to play with the iPhone 4 and I do find it to be impressive however I want to consider all my options. I am looking for an expert opinion as to why wholud I consider Anfroid over the iPhone 4, Can do away with the tipical "because it sucks", "at&t's network is a piece of crap" etc comments. You guys have the knowlege and will apreciate your expert feed back.

12. Patrick Alexson unregistered

"When you consider its $200 on-contract pricing, there's no arguing that the premium feel of the iPhone 4 stands taller." That 2yr agreement does really make it stand out, so much so that I put it back on the shelf and left to go buy an unlocked phone somewhere else online. Same goes for you, captain T-Mobile - *throws out window* and no one cares about you - *kicks sprint in the face*

11. vyn unregistered

I just bought the Google Nexus S today and will be posting my comments while I get in depth of the phone applications. However, iPhone 4 surely is a great a smart phone but its carrier do not help the phone to lunch its capacity if you do not pay the $$$ for what you can really find usefull (be a hotspot with unlimited web data access can be really attractive...don't forget the Google GPS applications when you travel) Soon I will be posting my experience with the Nexus S...

10. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

Will there be an Omnia 7 vs iPhone 4 review? Please do that one. I check your website everyday, multiple times a day hoping that that comparison is there. I know you all do very thorough reviews.

9. Hello unregistered

This is a solid review. I would love to jump ship from my iPhone to an android phone and was hoping the Nexus S would be the one, but to be honest aside from gingerbread it really isn't that much of an upgrade from the Nexus 1. The iPhone might have some flaws, but for ease of use as well as application support and overall functionality, the iPhone is still the smoothest running and best smartphone in todays market.

14. ikkuh unregistered

The iphone is so smooth because it isn't really multitasking. And to be honest it hasn't some flaws but a lot: - poor call range - no microsd - no flash - 3.5" screen is nowadays to small - No real multitasking - too expensive - iOS4 closed as a bank-safe My 5 year old kid doesnt matter, i do. I simply wouldn't know why i want a iPhone.

28. Travis unregistered

Try that a closed ios4 means less likelyhood of viruses (oh yeah I really want every programer hacking my phone) Besides Apple still has almost twice the apps and the review said they seem more polished in comparison you want complicated write your own code intuitive programs take less time to learn and allow more time to do. Google should be commended for a great cdma alternative and having competition ensures consumers choices will continue to grow. For now Apple still sets the bar that Google shoots for maybe that will change maybe not. As for price you wanna drive a jalopy buy a Kia you wanna car that sets you apart you get what you pay for period. Apples attention to detail and development of both hardware and software for their products has always left them as the true innovaters, while I wouldn't say Google isn't innovative (I might say that about microsloth) imitation is still the most sincere form of flattery Apple deserves the kudos and cute pastry named os's ain't gonna take the cake.

8. blurryviews unregistered

everyone like iphone cause its so easy to use even an 2 year old can use it android is a more challenging phone.

13. ikkuh unregistered

Yes, you cant do much (wrong) on a iphone. It only has shortcuts to apps.I would give it to my 5 year old kid or my grandma. For me nahhhh, it's to simple, i stick with a decent OS: android. And geezzz why is a device this simple so f*cking expensive.

7. Awesome14Axel

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

As an Android user and fanboy I really don't like the Nexus S for two reasons most other android phones are going to be better than it when they get 2.3 and it has a lot of design flaws that an Nexus Android shouldn't have.

6. lacp unregistered

Apple it's a thief. Inflate the prices of their products outside of the USA.

5. lacp unregistered

IPhone 4 it's superior in what? I only see limitations in software and hardware.

4. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

I actually liked this video review, it felt more in-depth and the reviewer seemed to know a bit on what he was talking about. Disregarding the review, the iPhone hasn't changed much and hasn't really been revolutionizing. The Nexus S is still a SGS without bloatware and gets direct OTA updates.

3. baldilocks

Posts: 1563; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

I love it when you fAndroids get your panties in a bunch...

2. mr. droid

Posts: 278; Member since: Aug 21, 2010

ok, you always compare everything to the god damn iPhone. hopefully to show how superior everything else is to it. iPhone is a phone that is now behind its time. if this is not the case, then why? why do you feel that the iPhone is so superior? (because of its popularity, made possible ONLY because of advertising?)

27. hi unregistered

I completely agree. Apple has the best marketing and all the apple fanboys are soaking all of this up.

1. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

its an sgs... cant expect a different result from teh last comparison

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