Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs. Samsung Galaxy S2 – Which Is The BEST Smartphone of 2011?

The Google Galaxy Nexus was announced today morning by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong, along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Considering the Galaxy Nexus represents the best phone in the Android ecosystem, it is more than obvious that it will be pitted against the iPhone 4S and the best Android smartphone on the planet right now, the Samsung Galaxy S2.



Below is a small comparison of three of the hottest smartphones in the planet, the Samsung Galaxy S2, the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus.


Of all the three phones, the Galaxy Nexus is the biggest of all thanks mainly to its 4.65-inch HD Super-AMOLED screen. However, unlike all other Android phones, the Galaxy Nexus lacks the usual three capacitive buttons found on every Android phone, which helps keep the dimensions of the phone down. The Galaxy S2 comes in a close second with its 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus screen. The iPhone 4S is the smallest and the most compact phone of all the three, with a mere’ 3.5-inch display.


The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest and the highest resolution screen among all the three screens. The 4.65-inch on the Galaxy Nexus marks the beginning of 720p HD (1280×720) resolution in phones screen. Being a Super-AMOLED screen, the display has extremely high contrast ratios and brilliant viewing angles. Even though the screen on the Galaxy Nexus has PenTile display, it still looks sharper than the iPhone 4S Retina Display.

Compared to the Galaxy Nexus, the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S2 screens look seemingly previous generation. The Galaxy S2 has a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus display with WVGA (480×800) resolution, while the iPhone 4S has a very small 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 960×640, giving the screen an eye-busting 326ppi pixel density.


SoC wise, the iPhone 4S A5 powered chip is the most powerful of all the three phones. The iPhone 4S has a 800MHz dual-core Cortex-A9 based processor, while the Galaxy S2 has a 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 processor. The Galaxy Nexus has a 1.2GHz OMAP4460 SoC. The A5 inside the iPhone 4S packs a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, which is the fastest powerful mobile GPU on the planet right now. While the ARM Mali-400MP GPU is not as fast as the PowerVR GPU inside the A5, it still is the fastest mobile GPU to be found inside an Android phone.

The Galaxy Nexus has a PowerVR SGX540 GPU clocked at 384MHz. The previous generation Nexus S also packs the same PowerVR SGX540 GPU, albeit clocked at 200MHz. Early reports suggest, the new PowerVR SGX540 clocked at 384MHz, along with driver updates provide nearly a 50% performance improvement compared to its predecessor.


The Galaxy Nexus runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which brings with it a host of new changes including a revamped magazine style UI, swipe gestures, GPU rendered UI, new web browser and much more. Readers can find out more about Ice Cream Sandwich changes here.

The Samsung Galaxy S2 runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is without a doubt outdated now. The iPhone 4S runs on iOS5, along with advanced voice recognition feature AI Siri. This is a matter of personal experience, so I will leave it up to the readers to decide.


The Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S come with an 8MP camera, while the Galaxy Nexus has a 5MP camera. Both the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 have a stellar 8MP camera, while not much is known about the picture quality of the Galaxy Nexus 5MP camera.

On the camera goodies front, the Galaxy Nexus comes with face recognition, zero-shutter lag, new updated Camera UI and much more. The iPhone 4S also has some decent camera goodie like Hybrid IR filter, auto-white balance, and image stabilization. All the three phones are also capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution.

The Verdict

The Galaxy Nexus trumps the iPhone 4S in Display, while the latter trumps the former in camera and Hardware department. Truth be told, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is still the best Android phone money can buy you right now. The Galaxy Nexus has a better screen and software, but it’s only a matter of time before the latter comes to the S2.

The iPhone 4S is a probably the best among all the three phones, but the 3.5-inch screen on the handset is just way too small. Also, personally I would never buy the iPhone 4S since it looks similar to the iPhone 4. Sorry, but if one cannot distinguish a previous gen phone with the current gen once, then I don’t see the point in buying it.

Published by

Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]