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Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S

It. Is. On. Samsung has a new flagship gunning for Apple’s iPhone 4S. But will it sink or swim?

Finally the wait is over and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus has arrived, but to what? The mighty iPhone 4S waiting for it, that’s what. So in a fight to the death between two handsets whose parent companies are already at war, who will win? Let’s look at the stats.

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – Build

Galaxy Nexus: The latest effort from Samsung is slim at just 8.94mm. Yet it manages to support a 4.65in display on its sexy button-less body.

iPhone 4S: The form hasn’t changed, it’s still functional and attractive. But seeing the thinner, sexier Nexus really does make Apple’s iPhone 4S look a little chubby at 9.3mm thick.

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – Speed

Galaxy Nexus: With 1GB RAM and a 1.2GHz dual-core Samsung’s baby is – on paper – way more powerful.

iPhone 4S: The A5 dual-core is clocked at 800Mhz but despite that sounding meagre, Apple manages to use the processor to its full potential. As a result the iPhone 4S would give a 1.5GHz Android a run for its money.

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – Power

Galaxy Nexus: The superb 1750mAh battery will have you pushing the handset to its limits all day long with plenty of juice to spare.

iPhone 4S: With an extra hour of talk-time added to a phone that’s the same size as the iPhone 4, it’s a much needed improvement on the previous model – you’ll get a day (more or less) out of the 4S before needing a charge.

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – Screen

Galaxy Nexus: Samsung has really amazed us here. Despite jumping up to 4.65in display, the Galaxy Nexus manages a 1280×720 resolution giving a whopping 316ppi, along with those always-impressive Super AMOLED colours.

iPhone 4S: The Retina Display is still king with 326ppi, but on a measly 3.5in screen is that still as impressive?

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – Camera

Galaxy Nexus: Sure, it’s only a 5MP snapper – but with 1080p video, facial recognition and smart-stitch panoramics you couldn’t ask for much more.

iPhone 4S: The 8MP shooter on the iPhone 4S is Apple’s best yet, shooting 1080p video. Apple’s made the lens bigger, added backlight sensors and even chucked in an extra lens layer – this really is an amazing mobile camera.

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S – OS

Galaxy Nexus: Welcome to the world, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – we can’t wait to taste you. With NFC functionality, Google integration, improved multi-tasking and notifications, the Galaxy Nexus really has a cutting edge OS.

iPhone 4S: iOS 5 has brought with it the joys of pull-down notifications, iMessage threading, Twitter integration and improved camera functions. All caught up with the competition, then, Apple.

VERDICT While Apple may be winning in the courts, Samsung has managed to out-do Cupertino at what they’re both supposed to be achieving: pushing the boundaries of technological possibility.

The Galaxy Nexus is fast, has a beautiful display at a great size, and features an amazing new OS. The iPhone 4S has a very impressive new camera, while iOS 5’s new features bring it up to speed with the compeition. Oh yeah, and it has Siri. Which has some limitations if you’re in the UK. The Galaxy Nexus takes it.

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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