Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy S II


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S II may not the best handsets you can find when it comes to call quality, but are not bad either. The earpieces of both produce similar tones – averagely loud and a bit deeper than usual, which is good. On the other end of the line, your callers will be treated to a slightly more robotic sounding with both phones, but it's still more than tolerable. No big differences here.

However, when it comes to loudspeakers, the Galaxy S II is noticeably better, due to its more powerful output, while we found the one of the Nexus to be quite weak.

Battery life should be a bit better on the Samsung Galaxy S II, according to the official specs provided by the manufacturer, but the reality is that your experience will vary greatly, depending on your usage pattern.


With a risk of making things sound overly simple, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the better phone. And it should be, because it made it to the stores only recently, while the Galaxy S II has been around for the better part of the year.

With technological advantages like a higher-resolution screen, as well as a much better software platform in the form of Android 4.0, the Nexus is currently holding the lead in the Android race.

However, the Galaxy S II is not too far behind. Thanks to its simplistic and lightweight design, along with outstanding system performance, it has managed to fight a lot of rivals during the year and keep its status of being one of the best Android smartphones around. And with an upcoming update to ICS, we expect it to retain this status for a while longer.

Ultimately, if video recording is too important to you, or you don't feel like putting a 4.65” monster in your pocket, you'll be better off staying with the Galaxy S II, until a more suitable candidate appears on the horizon. In every other case, grab the Galaxy Nexus and enjoy the best of Android right now.



1. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

Also, there is stock android vs. touchwiz, I definetely prefer stock.

3. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

TW has been improving - but, for a lot us, the UI is no big deal and not a deal breaker as it can be changed.

5. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

But phones are rated based on the UI they come with, not everyone wants to root their phone, or knows what a launcher is. Anyways, that was another thing to throw in the battle, I know the UI itself is not going to win anything.

15. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Amen. It's great that Cyanogen ports quickly to the Galaxy lines, but I'm never going to root my phone. TW may have improved functionally, but looking purely at the visuals, it's still too iOS-ish for my taste. So it was always down to Sense or stock ICS for me, because at least they have a unique look and feel.

57. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

Totally agreed. Never gunna root ma phone. But contrary to you guys, I actually go long lengths for a good looking UI. And the ICS UI seems so good. But sadly, Im running 2.2.1 and cant afford an upgrade, so I just got to sit this one out...

21. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Me too, even if i have a SGS :)

80. moosa.mahsoom

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

galaxy s2 has support for more video and audio codecs. a strong plus for me. s2 has microsd card slot.(i will be swapping my friends cards many times). touchwiz has a lot of features. it has become better in the latest iteration. but, lacks eye candy. needs more transitions.

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

2 excellent phones!

4. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

i like the original SGS2 design than they designed for US

6. lex700

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Faster Processor??? Erm...Exynos vs TI OMAP 4460 both featuring two A9 cores clocked at 1.2ghz The main difference is the GPU which is the Mali-400mp for the Exynos and the SGX540 for the OMAP (and as I have been led to believe the Mali has the upper hand here) So how do you come to the faster processor conclusion for the G Nexus then? From reading this article it seems that apart from the screen (which still uses the horrible old pentile matrix) the only advantage the G Nexus holds is the software, which the GS2 will end up getting anyway.

13. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

the exynos is better if you OC it ;) also the only reason the G nexus is faster is because of ics has hardware acceleration. i oc'd my gs2 and got 7500 on antutu benchmark and completely crushed the nexus

23. ph00ny

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 26, 2011

Since i own both Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note, I'm going to have to disagree with you on the pentile issue. Note's screen is much sharper than the SII. It's a non-issue blown out of proportion due to the first SGS experience. I don't know how PA got the idea that ti OMAP 4460 is quicker when TI OMAP 4430 isn't quicker than exynos

25. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

the exynos shall be the master of dual-core until the next exynos quad-core releases :) saving up $ for the summer/fall of 2012 when the monster known as the sgs3 releases ;D

79. RamyAbdelbadea

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 07, 2011

so you own galaxy SII and Galaxy Note .. can you tell us the better screen ?? in images , videos , web , ... etc

32. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

In terms of I/O, the 4460 is definitely faster than the Exynos, but the Mali-400 crushes the SGX540 here.

39. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

thats absolutely ridiculous to say dude. The Exynos absolutely creams it in every test.

51. kidtronic

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

The tests (benchmarks) that aren't even remotely optimized for the ICS software? I'd expect so. I think performance is a better test of speed, wouldn't you agree?

52. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

The lag I have been seeing on the nexus tells me enough, youre right.

59. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

soo what do you mean?? Both have cortex a9 1.2ghz the difference is in the GPU of the SoC and if Mali is quicker then Exynos is the best

61. Ray.S

Posts: 453; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

Thanks for your comments, guys, we removed the part about the "faster processor" of the Nexus.

66. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

It's because the TI OMAP was optimized for ICS resulting in a smooth experience with the galaxy nexus, not exactly a faster processor, but possibly works better with the nexus than the exynos does with the gsII.Idk though, because I don't own the nexus, but that's probably what they mean. And as for with the pentile matrix, I think I still prefer the nexus screen, I think it's sharper and still has AMOLED colors.

7. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

If s2 had a hd samoled screen it would have blown the nexus away in jiff...

9. seylan

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Not really, only by the camera...

10. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

And if it had LTE.. and... and.. But the SGS2 doesn't.

11. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Sgs2-camera, sd slot, processor, gpu, ffc, no pentile, massive dev support, gpu accelorated browser, cheaper Nexus-720p screen(in 4.65" and pentile), first to update...thats it. How is the nexus a better phone?

56. kidtronic

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Pentile is only bad when it's noticeable. And at such a high resolution, it really isn't. The screen is much better on the Galaxy Nexus, given the sharpness and clarity. If you don't think the Nexus will have massive dev support, you're sorely mistaken (it's a developer device). The processor may be better on the Sgs2 but the performance really isn't, if for no other reason because the version of Android that it runs was built upon and optimized for it, so that's a moot point. The Nexus browser outperforms the Sgs2 browser. There's no cartoonish touchwiz on the Nexus, which is a huge plus for many. It wil get updates directly from Google, as opposed to waiting for carriers to push it out which has been an issue in the past (at least in the U.S.). The Galaxy Nexus also takes the edge (slightly) in build quality, sporting a (slightly) more premium feel and metal internals for enhanced durability. Obviously, as with any phone, it comes down to what you value more. But the Galaxy Nexus is an overall better phone. It may not be a compelling enough option for some to upgrade from the less-than-a-year-old Sgs2 but that's understandable. If I bought a phone less than a year ago, there's no way I would be rushing out to buy a new phone unless it crushed it in every conceivable way. The Galaxy S 3 will probably be a huge upgrade from the S2, and incremental update from the Galaxy Nexus.

58. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

you can type out a 15 page response but the simple fact is the sgs2 is better, period. build is the same if anything, less quality on the galaxy nexus. Processor is slower and its shows in micro stuttering on home screen and browser, gpu is slower and it will show with more advance games (same gpu as the Nexus S lol), screen may be 720p but it doesnt look better than the SGS2 because of pentile, dev support will probably be great IF its released on more than Verizon etc etc. I have had this phone in my hand and let me tell you, as much as I wanted to buy it, it just wasnt better.

24. ph00ny

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 26, 2011

I thought they announced the SGSII HD LTE in korea like month ago

26. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

they did but the sgs2 hd LTE uses a snapdragon over the exynos due to LTE incompatibility with the exynos. snapdragon sucks compared to exynos

8. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I have a galaxy s2 and a nexus and I have decided to keep the nexus purley because of ICS. You forgot about memory, expandable memory for the s2 is a big plus in my opinion. other than that i do think the nexus is a better and agree the s2 camera is much better

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.