Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Some things ln life just have to happen. Kids have to grow up, car tanks have to be filled with gas, Santa has to put presents in our stockings (thank God phones fit in there!), Lady Gaga has to top the charts, and the Galaxy Nexus has to be compared to the iPhone 4S. It's inevitable! And since we happen to not be so concerned with Gaga, and (most of us) don't have kids yet, how about shifting our focus towards that smartphone comparison thing?

Now that we've closely examined the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II side by side, and determined that Google's latest and greatest does indeed set new standards with its redesigned software platform and beautiful screen, it seems like the next logical step for us is to set the stage for a nice tactical fight between the new Nexus and the overly-polished iPhone 4S.

Which one will come out on top? Read on to find out!


Place these handsets next to each other and it immediately becomes obvious that much more thought has gone into the design and execution of the iPhone 4S. This phone continues to be one of the very best offerings in terms of appearance and construction. Not only does it look beautiful, but it's also made from premium materials like glass and steel – no plastic whatsoever.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Nexus is a typical Samsung phone, being made from plastic, and having this characteristic bump on the bottom of its back side. It is pretty light for its size, but this doesn't make up for the fact that the handset doesn't have a classy feel when held. Thankfully, it doesn't feel cheap either.

One of the most obvious differentiating factors in terms of design are the dimensions of the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S. Honestly, if you don't like having to carry around a very large smartphone, the iPhone 4S will be the better option due to its significantly more compact body.

[img full [[105447:"Right edges",105448:"Bottom edges",105449:"Top edges",105450:"Left edges"]]:"Samsung Galaxy Nexus (bottom) and Apple iPhone 4S (top)" /]
On the other hand, the large dimensions of the Nexus allow it to have this giant 4.65” HD Super AMOLED screen, which dwarfs the 3.5” panel of the iPhone 4S. Both screens employ different technologies – on the Nexus there's Super AMOLED, while on the iPhone 4S we have IPS-LCD. Both feature nicely saturated colors and good contrast, although the Nexus leads in this respect. The situation with screen clarity is very interesting. On one hand, the Nexus' has an HD (720x1280) resolution screen, which offers more pixels compared to the iPhone 4S' 640x960 pixel resolution, but in reality, the pixel density on the iPhone 4S is slightly higher at 326 ppi, versus 316 on the Nexus. This is because the screen of the iPhone 4S is much smaller, but still, this difference in pixel density is almost unnoticeable, so both handsets will offer you amazing image quality.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 360-degrees View:

Apple iPhone 4S 360-degrees View:



1. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 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!!!!!!!

4. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

you are right but iphonearena would never agree.

107. medalaster01

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

writer indirectly concluded its iphone4s which is better.

117. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 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! Looks strangely similar doesn't it??! is no longer a "premium material" However, GORILLA GLASS is a premium material!

135. hobble

Posts: 130; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

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

7. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 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?

94. Mkondrak unregistered

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

110. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

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

41. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

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

128. milominderbinder

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 31, 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?

137. scottz

Posts: 14; Member since: Jan 09, 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.

157. tedkord

Posts: 17362; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

42. DaveyJE24

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 02, 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.

53. Paden

Posts: 262; Member since: Jul 07, 2011

Are you guys blind? iPhone = 8.5 out of 10 Nexus = 9.5 out of 10

55. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010


63. DaveyJE24

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 02, 2011

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

72. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 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.

73. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

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

109. solidsnakeduds013

Posts: 221; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

They must be

93. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

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

118. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

Why? I've stopped reading phoneArena, there are much better places to read now, like: I only stop by here once in a LOOONG while. Just like with Engadget, I've totally stopped reading that site.

125. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 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...

138. scottz

Posts: 14; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

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

74. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 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."

119. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 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.

139. scottz

Posts: 14; Member since: Jan 09, 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)

86. Retro-touch unregistered

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

120. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 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.

140. scottz

Posts: 14; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

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

111. oldarney

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 07, 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.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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