Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

Apple launched the new iPhone 4S earlier this month, while Samsung and Google launched their new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, today. The iPhone 4S had a slow start, but it has been showing some great sales numbers, with over 4 million sold in the launch weekend.

While the iPhone 4S is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4 internally, I have a few gripes with the display size, the low amount of RAM and the lack of a new design.

Google’s new Galaxy Nexus comes with the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which is supposed to unify Android on tablets and smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S

In this post, I will try to compare the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the Apple iPhone 4S based on the information we have available right now. It may not be a very accurate guide, but it should give you a good idea about which phone you should buy.


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus sports a new design and is slimmer than most new smartphones, including the iPhone 4S. It has dimensions of 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm and weighs 135 gms. In comparison, the iPhone 4S has dimensions of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm. It weighs 140 gms. Despite being much bigger than the iPhone 4S, it is a tad slimmer.

I, for one, prefer the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to the Apple iPhone 4S, at least when it comes to design. Judging from the initial reviews, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus seems to have great build quality as well.

When it comes to design, I would definitely go with the Galaxy Nexus.


The display is one of the strongest features in favor of the Galaxy Nexus. It comes with a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is one of the highest resolution displays seen in smartphones.

On the other hand, the Apple iPhone 4S comes with a 3.5 inch IPS LCD retina display with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels, the same as the iPhone 4.

When it comes to the display, the Galaxy Nexus beats the iPhone 4S in terms of every parameter – size, resolution and display quality.

The Galaxy Nexus is the clear winner here.


The Apple iPhone 4S runs the latest version of iOS – iOS 5. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus runs the latest version of Android – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Both are excellent operating systems and come with tons of new features. There isn’t much you would miss with either one. This one is completely subjective. Just for the record, I prefer Android.

Additionally, Apple has a much better selection of apps and games, but I have been able to find whatever apps I most need in Android as well.

The iPhone 4S may have a slight edge here.


It’s a bit complicated when it comes to the hardware. The iPhone 4S comes with the new Apple A5 processor clocked at 800 MHz (same as the iPad 2) and a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU. The Galaxy Nexus comes with a 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4460 processor and a PowerVR SGX540. The iPhone 4S has only 512 MB of RAM, while the Galaxy Nexus comes with 1 GB of RAM.

Going by the specs, it may seem that the Galaxy Nexus has a slight edge here. The iPhone 4S has better graphics, while the Galaxy Nexus seems to have a faster processor and more RAM. However, the overall processor-graphics-RAM combo in the iPhone 4S is more powerful than in the Galaxy Nexus.

Apple has completely optimized the iPhone 4S to run iOS 5, and it will presumably be much faster and responsive than the Galaxy Nexus running Android, despite it having more RAM and a bulkier processor.

The jury is still out on this one, but I would go with the iPhone 4S on this one.


Samsung Galaxy Nexus – 5 MP camera with autofocus and flash.

Apple iPhone 4S – 8 MP camera with autofocus and flash.

I don’t know why Google and Samsung skimped on this one. This is one area where the iPhone 4S clearly beats the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The iPhone 4S has possibly the best smartphone camera right now. All camera samples of the iPhone 4S suggest so. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Nexus can hardly compete with the Galaxy S II, let alone the iPhone 4S.

The iPhone 4S wins this round!

Other Stuff

The Galaxy Nexus will come with LTE connectivity. The iPhone 4S tops out at HSPA. I wouldn’t lend much weight to this point though.

The battery life in the iPhone 4S will presumably be much better than the battery life in the Galaxy Nexus, thanks to the more optimized software, lack of LTE, smaller display and other factors.


Both the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus are excellent phones. They are the best smartphones on the planet right now. This is not the most accurate comparison of the two, but it should give you a pretty good idea of which one you want to buy.

I would go with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus mainly due to the excellent display (I watch a lot of movies and read a lot on my device). If you want a better camera, more apps and a better gaming experience, go with the iPhone 4S.

Again, it’s subjective. You can’t go wrong with either one.

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