Interface and Functionality:

Even as we speak, we’re constantly perplexed to find Android devices launching with Gingerbread out of the box when Ice Cream Sandwich has been popularized by the near 3-month-old Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Complaining won’t get us anywhere, but rather, we have to say that we absolutely prefer the most up-to-date Android experience on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as opposed to Motorola’s customized UI running on top of Gingerbread. Visually, there are a lot of pleasing 3D and transition effects in use with Moto’s customized interface that make it a pleasure to use, but the cleaner look and uncluttered approach of stock ICS is simply preferred above all things. On top of that, the improvements and new functions found with ICS, such as easier multi-tasking, essentially makes it the preferred choice. Who wants something that’s already outdated at this point? We know we don’t, and probably you too!

[img full [[108004,108005,108006,108007],[108008,108009,108011,108014]]:"The Motorola DROID 4 is running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread" /]
[img full [[104805,104806,104807,104808],[104809,104810,104812,104813]]:"The Samsung Galaxy Nexus runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich" /]
Having the upper hand with its larger display, our fingers effortlessly tick away in composing messages with the spacious keyboard layout on the Galaxy Nexus – whereas, we find the DROID 4’s on-screen keyboard a tiny bit more cramped. Still, there’s no arguing that the DROID 4 is the ultimate messaging device for most people, simply because of the tactile response we gain while typing something up with its physical keyboard.

[img full [[108024,108025,108027,108026]]:"On-screen keyboards of the Motorola DROID 4" /]
[img full [[104821,104822]]:"The on-screen QWERTY keyboard of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus" /]
On the surface, there isn’t a huge disparity between their core organizer and email apps, but when we dissect the two even further, the refinements found on the Galaxy Nexus are more prominent – like the pinch gestures in place with the calendar to expand/shrink appointments. However, we find Motorola’s Smart Actions on the DROID 4 to be a delightful supplementary function that has some huge implications on how we manage the device to our liking.

[img full [[108018,108019]]:"The Calendar of the Motorola DROID 4" /]
[img full [[104816,104817,104818,104819]]:"The Calendar of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus" /]

Processor and Memory:

Frankly, we’re well aware that this two are packing speedy processors within their bodies to execute most basic functions without working up a sweat. Specifically, the DROID 4 features a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, while the Galaxy Nexus sizes up with an equally reputable 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 CPU. Both are complemented with 1GB of RAM, but the Galaxy Nexus shows signs of sluggishness when live wallpapers are used. In contrast, the DROID 4 maintains its responsiveness, but we’re puzzled to this day to find prominent choppiness with things like pinch zooming in the gallery.

Although the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has the higher storage capacity out of the box at 28.13GB, the DROID 4 has the ability to expand its internal memory, which breaks down to 8GB for storage and 2.36GB for apps, by throwing in a microSD card into its available slot.

Internet and Connectivity:

Nowadays, we’re undeniably spoiled by so many 4G LTE devices, but ennui has yet to settle in as we’re constantly amazed by Big Red’s blazing speeds – even more, we’re appreciative of it after checking out 3G speeds. Naturally, the web browsing experience on these two devices are amazing as they’re able to maintain a high level of responsiveness with sites heavily drenched with Flash content. However, the Galaxy Nexus catches the glint in our eyes more since it exhibits the better fluid navigational responses.

Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4 - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Web surfing with the The Motorola DROID 4

The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Motorola DROID 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The ICS web browser on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Unfortunately, not all 4G LTE smartphones are made equally, as we’re made aware after running speeds tests. In fact, the DROID 4 has the upper hand as it boasts download speeds that are typically 2-3Mbits/s faster than the Galaxy Nexus. On the other hand, upload speeds are usually the same. Lastly, both devices feature aGPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality, but the Galaxy Nexus is outfitted with an NFC chip to ready itself for the mobile payment explosion that’s expected to happen soon.



1. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

i never knew that the galaxy nexus has 24 fps video... that means that my old nokia c6-01 that is with belle has 6fps more than the new galaxy nexus

2. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

It doesn't, most of this info is wrong. Hell, even the pictures of the Nexus are super old. Look at the last one! AND, there is no comparison between these 2 phones. Nexus is better.

3. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Yeah, I have said on other posts I think the Nexus is a little over rated, and I am a HUGE Droid line supporter. And there is no way even I would take the Droid 4 over the Galaxy Nexus in a fair fight. It isn't close.

5. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

yeah, this was a pretty silly comparison but i guess it's what the regular consumers doing Google Searches for This vs. That are looking for.

4. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I personally find this comparison unnecessary.

6. Jasonhunterx

Posts: 111; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

No Nexus Comparisons unless the phone has 4.0+ ICS is such a large jump!

7. EarnYourLeather

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

I think it's unfair that the Droid 4 is only compared to phones that cost $100 more, and don't have physical keyboards. In the regard, it will ALWAYS lose the "form and design" factor and likely will lose out on high-end features like great cameras and screens. I'm sure for $300, the D4 could've had a super amoled panel and a stellar camera or an even better processor than it already has, but it doesn't. It is marketed as an affordable niche (Qwerty-slider) smartphone, and should only be compared to other affordable niche smartphones. Otherwise, these videos just set out to make it look like a bad phone when it's really a great one if you need a keyboard.

14. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

If HTC would make a good slider I would buy it. I had a hard time switching to the TB and then the Bionic due to the fact that I suck with onscreen keyboards. I've had a nonslider now for almost a year, and I'm still not used to typing on it. It just doesn't feel natural, but HTC has all but abandoned us that are old winmo users. They kept the sliders with WP7, but WP7 is too iPhonish. I don't like it. Hence the reason I jumped ship after 6.5. Anyway, I had the D2 and it wasn't a "bad" device, but left a lot to be desired.

8. wakefinance

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

I want to start a petition to keep John V. from writing any more of the articles on this site. His word choice is consistently appalling. Please, Phone Arena, get a real writer and stop embarrassing yourselves!

9. GeekMovement unregistered

Personally I find John V.'s articles and word choices to be 'fresh' and easy on my eyes. It keeps the articles/reviews very interesting and fun. If you hate it that much, why don't you yourself try applying to be the writer for Phone Arena instead and shut up?

11. wakefinance

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

I guess your standards for writing are lower than mine. And yes I would love to be a writer for the site, but I don't have time as I'm still a student.

10. Mercenary

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

For me, John V. is the best reviewer...

12. wakefinance

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Content good, writing bad


Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 30, 2011


16. Schai

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 16, 2009

Personally, I find most of the reviews silly. I am a native speaker of American English. To me, "phone" is short for telephone, a two-way real time communication device. I don't care if the operating system is Ice Cream Sandwich or Tootsie Bar, and if the screen has prettier pixels, If it has a poor speaker and poor sound transmission, and can't keep a connection when the signal is weak, it's a lousy telephone. Everything else is secondary. Having a camera and video device is very handy, and I frequently use these features. However, I know that for quality, the images are going to be very inferior to my real cameras. It is also nice to have a handy internet browser, calculator, news reader, etc. Anything that works reasonably well makes me satisfied. My desktop and laptop has a massively better screen, keyboard, and speakers, but I can't put them in my pocket to call that I have to reschedule a meeting or help out a customer. Then, I want to hear clearly and be heard. To me, there is no contest. Battery life is the same, but the Motorola has a better microphone, better speaker, and better radio system. It is a better telephone. --------------------------------------------------​------------------ Another comment: In the video, there was some poking at the keyboard screens with gobbledygook. Why not slow down and show some real sentences? Then show a comparison of a real tactile keyboard vs a touch screen. That is a pretty major difference between the phones, but with the way the reviewer types, he's oblivious.

17. SonyFTW2020

Posts: 311; Member since: May 03, 2012

Droid 4>Nexus........Droid 4 has a 1785 mAh battery, Nexus has 1750, Droid 4 has 8mp camera, Nexus has only a 5mp, Droid 4 has expandable sd card up to 32gb, Nexus has built in 16gb, non expandable, Droid 4 has a 4 inch display, The Nexxus has a TOO large 4.65 in display lol....Only thing is the Droid 4 is CDMA and not GSM.....I would say put the Droid 4 on ics and it is definetly the winner...

18. BeyondRedemption

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I upgraded from my Droid 2 to the Droid 4 just this past November... and I love it. From the larger screen to the much improved keypad, and 4G LTE, plus a front camera, so that I now can Tango, ooVoo, and skype on my phone, this phone is everything I could possibly ask for. It even has a hard rubber case with a kick-stand so that it can stand up on its own while I Tango. I certainly hope Moto keeps the series going, because I will gladly upgrade again in 2 - 3 years...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.