Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy S II

Introduction and Design

Let's face it – even after so many months on the market, it's safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy S II is still one of the hottest Android smartphones available. That said, we're now beginning to see that it's actually past its prime, considering some of its aspects like the WVGA screen, for example. On the other hand, the just launched Galaxy Nexus seems to be the perfect candidate to claim the title of being the most desired Android handset. Why? Well, the reasons are many – starting with the incredible HD Super AMOLED screen, and ending with the fantastic Ice Cream Sandwich software. With that in mind, it only makes sense for us to compare the two handsets here and now, and see if the Galaxy S II still has a chance to survive this fight, or rather, the new Nexus is here to smash all competition coming from the once glamorous S II.

Please note that in this comparison, we'll be looking at the international versions of the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II.


While both handsets are manufactured by Samsung, they have taken very different paths in terms of their appearance. On one hand we have the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is somewhat larger, compared to the S II, which is to be expected with its bigger screen. However, it's interesting to note that there's almost no difference in the width of the devices. The most important difference as far as dimensions go is in the height, as the Nexus is 0.4” higher (almost 1 cm). Finally, examining the thickness of these two phones is an interesting endeavor, as the Nexus is actually thinner in its upper part, and thicker in its lower part. Love it or hate it – such is the case with the Samsung design. Overall though, the Galaxy S II definitely feels like the more compact phone of the two.

Sadly, neither the Galaxy Nexus, nor the Galaxy S II utilize any premium materials in their construction. Both are made from plastic, and have incredibly flimsy back covers. In our opinion, the Nexus has a slight edge here when it comes to build quality, but unfortunately, it's not able to separate itself much.

The screen is one of the very strong points of the new Google phone, and it should come as no surprise that it's able to trump the Galaxy S II with ease in this respect. What makes the Nexus' display so good is its HD (720x1280 pixels) resolution, which allows it to have this spectacular 316 ppi pixel density, while the Galaxy S II simply can't compete with that, due to its significantly lower 218 ppi. In terms of color quality, both are using the Super AMOLED technology, which means you'll enjoy very jolly, saturated colors, as well as deep contrast levels. Of course, the Nexus' screen is a bit bigger at 4.65”, compared to the 4.3” panel of the S II. Currently, the benefit in this isn't very big, since most apps (like games, for example) aren't optimized to hide the on-screen navigational keys and use all of those 4.65 inches, but we guess that with time developers will take advantage of this.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 360-degrees View:

Samsung Galaxy S II 360-degrees View:

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