Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy S II–Which Is The Ultimate Smartphone?

Yesterday, Apple announced the highly anticipated successor to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S. However, many Apple loyalists were disappointed with the iPhone 4S since the phone did not have any innovative feature. The most disappointing part about the iPhone 4S is that it looks exactly like its predecessor, and is in fact heavier by 4 grams.

Now, that the iPhone 4S has been announced, it is more than obvious that the handset will be stacked against the current top-end Android handset, the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Below is a small comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the iPhone 4S.



Dimension wise, the Samsung Galaxy S II is larger, slimmer and bigger than the iPhone 4S. Compared to the Galaxy S II dimensions of 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, the iPhone 4S has dimensions of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm. Last year, when Apple announced the iPhone 4, it vowed everyone with how slim the handset was. However, it was disappointing to see its successor having the same dimensions as the previous generation iPhone. The Galaxy S II weighs in at 113gms, while the iPhone 4 weighs 138gms.

While the iPhone 4S is primarily made of glass and metal, the Galaxy S II is made of plastic. Both the handsets are pretty stylish as well. However, out of the two, I would prefer the Samsung Galaxy S II, since at least it can be easily distinguished from the original Galaxy S, unlike the iPhone 4S.


The Samsung Galaxy S II has a 4.3-inch SuperAMOLED Plus display with WVGA(800×480) resolution, while the iPhone 4S has a comparatively tiny 3.5-inch IPS LCD Retina Display’ with an eye-popping resolution of 640×960. Like the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S trumps the Galaxy S 2 in terms of resolution and pixels. However, I would prefer the Samsung Galax S II just because it has a much bigger display with eye-popping colors and contrast ratios.

Also, it is just a matter of weeks (perhaps, days?) before the next-generation Android handsets trump the iPhone 4S with their 720p HD (1280×720) resolution. The Nexus Prime is reportedly rumored to have a 720p HD resolution. The Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE already has a 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED display with 720p resolution.


The Samsung Galaxy S II sports an Exynos 4210 SoC, which contains a 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor along with an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. Like the iPad 2, the iPhone 4S is powered by an A5 SoC. The A5 SoC consists of a Cortex-A9 dual core, running at unknown frequency and a powerful PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.

While the CPU on the Galaxy S II trumps the iPhone 4S in terms of raw processing power, the tables turn when it comes to GPU. The PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU is way ahead of the ARM Mali-400MP GPU in terms of performance.


While the Samsung Galaxy S II runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with Samsung’s proprietary TouchWIZ 4.0 UI on top of it. The iPhone 4S runs on iOS5, which includes a completely revamped notification center, iMessage, new camera app, and many other changes.

Compared to iOS5, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS on the Samsung Galaxy S II looks pretty stale. Hopefully, things will change when Google announces the next major version of Android this month Ice Cream Sandwich.


Both the Samsung Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4S have an 8MP camera with an LED flash. While the Samsung Galaxy S II camera has an aperture size of 2.65, the iPhone 4S camera has an aperture size of 2.4. The iPhone 4S has a custom ISP designed by Apple, thanks to which it has features like Face recognition, Hybrid IR filter and auto-white balance. From the camera samples released by Apple, it looks like the iPhone 4S is capable of taking better photos compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II. There is not much difference between the picture quality though. However, in low-light conditions, the iPhone 4S totally trumps the Samsung Galaxy S II pictures.

Both the handsets are also capable of recording videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution at 30FPS. The most interesting feature of the iPhone 4S is that it sports real-time video image stabilization, along with real-time temporal noise reduction. Thanks to these features, the iPhone 4S records much better videos than the Galaxy S II. This does not mean that the Samsung Galaxy S II camera is bad. It still has one of the best cameras among the Android handsets.

The Verdict

This is perhaps for the first time, that a product announcement from Apple has led to a disappointment. The iPhone 4S while has evolutionary hardware, still sports a very small screen compared to the competition from its Droid counterparts. Also, it looks exactly like its predecessor, which is not a good thing. Had the iPhone 4S been released at WWDC 2011, it would not have been such a disappointment. But, 14 months after the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S is nothing but a disappointment.

So, who is the ultimate winner? While this is a fairly sensitive and personal issue, I would like to leave this decision on our readers. Drop on your comments, and let us know who the ultimate winner is.

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]

  • Jason Chang

    I don’t really think it’s fair to say that Apple has disappointed consumers with the iPhone 4S release. This isn’t the first time Apple doesn’t come out with a radical new design. Look at the iPhone 3G and later on the iPhone 3Gs, I’d say that was a real disappointment. Look at its Notebook lines and iMac lines … seriously, nothing really life changing regarding the way the devices look. I believe that Apple doesn’t change something if it thinks its good. Personally, I think the iPhone 4 is a very nice design, and Apple has definitely did some radical changes with its guts. New processor, but even battery life (didn’t even know that was possible … since when did faster processor give better battery life?), Super excellent camera, which you yourself mention in your article trumps the best Android phone camera out there (I believe iPhone 4 camera is a bit lacking compared to Samsung). Not to mention the speed of taking photos, don’t you hate it when you have to wait between shots? well, if Apple’s Keynote is to be believed, iPhone 4S is going to blow the competition away in that category. If my assumption is correct that they have corrected the antenna problem with the iPhone 4 and added some extra function that improve reception, I think that is also an important change. After all, its suppose to be a phone above all else. Finally, Siri, Apples voice AI. That is just too cool. If it really does work as well as Forestal’s live demo at the keynote, It would be a real selling point for the 4S. Without Siri, I would have had to seriously consider sticking with my old 4 since the old iPhone speed was decent enough and 32G is fine by me. Just the great camera really doesn’t warrant buying a new phone, but with Siri, it really peaked my curiosity and imagination. I’m thinking its one of those things where you don’t get it till you actually hold it in your hand.

    • Marcie

      I just got the new samsung coming from an evo and this samsung is really slow on FB and words with friends. Also unless in a dark room, my pics suck. hmmm debating on the iphone but is is slow? please help

  • sridharan

    it seems samsung has bigger screen. But the size is not a important thing.
    The new iphone 4s has very advanced sensors and many features equal and higher than sII. Mainly in apps ios be best for ever.

    So i personally vote for iphone 4s for ever till the next iphone. :)

    • jhony

      heyyyyyyyyyyy you are absolutely right buddy i also going with you cause iphone 4s best than the sg 2 …… the sg 2 is the deep shitttttttttttttt….

  • Col

    Samsung S2 by far is the winner. Apple have done noting but dissapoint in the last year. RIP Steve Jobs!

  • Paul

    I went to AT&T store yesterday to see them for myself. I picked the Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s an easy decision.

  • I am an Apple lover, but iPhone 4S was a big disappointment. Galaxy S II wins.

  • D

    I kind of an anti-Apple person. But I think the iPhone 4S wins because it will likely have a better camera and hopefully (finally)reception. Most tech fanboys focus on appearance of the new handset, which is not an issue for most people.

  • Deven

    I was very disappointed after watching the keynote. I owned two iPhones over ten iPods two apple mini’s and a iPad. So I have some history with apple. I was left disappointed. I really felt like Apple had a chance to hit a home run with it’s loyal costumers with all the hype surrounding the “iPhone 5″ but really dropped the ball this time. I went to a AT&T store and used the Gallaxy sII. It is a great phone. Sorry Apple you lost me on this one. Maybe next time you should consider the market place and what they want. All you did is take technology you already had and slapped a “s” on it. You even already had Siri which is no longer in the app store. I guess the only thing apple cares about is the bottom line. Well my dollars are going elsewhere Enough customers do the same as send you a message that you can’t ignore.

    • Alex

      Siri is not the same as the app that was up, it’s a super Siri compared to that, also they changed a lot, it’s just all on the inside, so saying they just took the IPhone 4 and slapped an S on it shows you really didn;y do more than look at the same shape and move on. I’m sure within the next few months you’ll regret your poor choice of switching loyalties.

      • Chris

        They changed exactly 2 components on the inside. the processor and the camera unit. and supposedly fixed the antenna issue, that’s not a radical new design. and on the software side they added a notification bar so they can be more like android phones. revolutionary product no wonder it took them over a year to get it out.

    • MDUB

      WHOA……. Was Apple the ones announcing the Iphone 5? No its stupid on the medias part playing this guessing game with Apple when everyone knows their ultra hush hush on their releases. Furthermore I Have nothing but Apple products, with that being said ive also had several Android phones and the android os cant touch the ios. It does not matter about the design it matters how well it functions!! By the way who needs a phone thats just as big as some of the tablets (thats why I have an Ipad)? Who wants to carry around a phone that big? As far as the weight goes, the phone is heavier because its a more quality phone, not cheap plastic like all other smart phones!!

    • Sean Crawford

      Okay, I can understand loyal apple fans being angry at the new iPhone but, I don’t think they are seeing it for what it is. It has a beefed up processor that is just as fast if not faster than any device on the market. A better camera that as the writer said, is probably the best camera on the market. I don’t go to into customizing my phone so I believe IOS (with jailbreaking of course!) is a much better OS then android gingerbread. I think the issue most people have with it is that it Apple didn’t change the overall design. I believe that people were just thinking they would get a change as mind blowing when the iPhone 4 was released. I’m sure if Apple rounded that back of the phone and made it heavier for some reason people would be calling it great. It is a great phone that right now can compete (and beat in my opinion) with any phone on the market right now. As for the Samsung Galaxy S II. All I have to say is that it is a great phone. In many ways it is superior to the iPhone. However, I believe that one thing gives the iPhone a slight edge. The OS. It appeals to more people and is easier to use. I think you should buy the phone that best suits you.

  • Can’t wait to give it a try. Voice recognition looks good

  • ignacio90

    I actually loved de iphone4 design, and when I saw the “iphone5″ pics with bigger screen and thinner I felt disappointed ! I agree with apple! The iphone4 design is just perfect it looks awesome :) I don’t own an iphone I have a blackberry torch and I feel sorry for it lol it isn’t a smartphone at all I just use the bbmsn! I wanted the iphone4 and now I want the iphone4s so bad! But all my friends have bbmsn and in some way I don’t want to leave it! Because I would felt disconnected! I’m from latin america :D

  • Dave

    Seeing how the Samsung galaxy s2 have been out for a while, I would give the crown to Samsung.

  • ignacio90

    Iphone 4 Steve <3

  • lol

    Well, of course Samsung Galaxy S2 wins, apple took so long time to release this phone and its just added a few features like android..What happens when Samsung Galaxy S3 comes out?? iphone 4s will be a joke…

  • Taylor

    iPhone 4s FTW ! Anyone voting on samsug is just silly, they’re sooo faulty. iPhone’s aren’t like any other phone, you can do MUCH more on them, it’s like a portable computer,camera,phone (obviously) and portable game system ! It doesn’t get better than that ! i’d reccomend the iPhone to anyone, its sooo easy to use & it changed my life. Which phone do you seem more often ? iPhone. Exactly. I don’t EVER see a samsung, its just iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. Just because the iPhone 4s isnt bigger, doesnt matter, the iPhone 4 lookes immaculate adn having the same design for the 4s just makes it better, they are indestructible. i rest my case, iPhone 4s :) RIP Steve Jobs <3 You changed my life.

    • Chris

      if samsung is so faulty, why does apple get a lot of their componants from them, like the a5 processor for one.

    • Carlo

      Your comment shows how little you know about technology.
      I pity you.. and oh go check the drop test between iphone and gs2, after watching that i wanna see you say that iphone is indestructible . ;]

  • Cole Train Baby Whoo!

    I’m getting the Samsung Galaxy SII not iPhone 4S on AT&T. WHY?
    I can do better and easier things in Android Compare to a Walled Garden iPhone.

  • darktanone

    I’m glad they didn’t change the design. Now I can buy the 4S and continue playing 3D games on Hasbro My 3D for another year. The iPhone is the clear winner for its still awesome design and build quality, retina display, camera with image signal processor, HDR and Face Recognition among others, voice control, notification center, location based reminders, imessage, dual core A5 CPU with dual core GPU, Bluetooth 4.0, intelligent antenna switching, etc. Samsung Galaxy S II is just another Goliath Android device.

  • Joseph Kazandjian

    I love how apple copies from other devices and says its revolutionary haha. Drop down status bar is from android. Im pretty sure “Siri” is just a glorified google search. Integration with twitter was already on the android devices. iMessage is from blackberry. The things that they added on the inside is gonna be outdated soon because at the rate that phones are advancing, there will probably quad core phones with 12 mp cameras.


    i will say one thing to you my fellow indian. You are way more biased toward the android plastic crap 2. And this is a bad review.

  • Damon

    The Galaxy SII looks like it is one of the best phones out there! I mean it comes with a dual-core processor, a huge screen, and is 4G capable, and I think it is going to have no problem keeping up with me. I ordered one a little while ago, and now I just have to wait for it to get here. One thing that I really love doing on my phone is watching movies whenever I get bored. The app that I use for my streaming is the DISH Remote Access app. I love this app because it lets me stream recorded shows and live TV from my 922 SlingLoaded receiver to my phone anywhere I am! As a customer and employee of DISH Network, I have been using the app on my current phone for a while and it is one of the best apps that I have. I have a good feeling about it on the GSII! I can’t wait for it to get here!

    • Marcie

      Wow good to know, does Verizon Fios have one to for my Samsung


    yeah I used iPhone 3gs for 3 years. Recently, I bought a samsung galaxy 2 and I love it.

  • fopvi

    I’ve been using iPhone for quite sometime now. With the anticipation of iPhone 5 which i taught will stomp Samsung Galaxy S2 this October was far from even leveling the game. Really disappointed with the outcome. When to the store and have just fell in love with the S2…Sorry Apple you’ve lost my vote…now I know why apple is after samsung….

    • Peter Yang

      I totally agree. I was an avid iPhone user, and have defended the iPhone until the disappointed of the 4s. I am no longer blinded by Apple and the ignorant fanboys, and am going for clear winner. Galaxy S2!!!

  • I waited and waited and waited for the Apple announcement and I can tell that what came was a HUGE dissappointment. I don’t care that there wasn’t a major design overhaul, the 4 and 4s are the sexiest hardware out there at the moment IMO, but for me the deal breaker was this: No LTE support. With carriers all over the world rolling ot LTE networks, for apple not include support in this release was a deal breaker. I predict they are goinf to come out with 5 within the next year and piss off everyone who just upgraded to 4S, just like they did when they announced 3GS shortly after 3G. I got the Samsung Galaxy S2 which LTE ready and backward compatible and couldn’t be happier. I and am now fully future proofed and completely off the Apple Train.

  • Cecilian

    I originally bought the first iphone that ever came out (in the US) and jail broke it in order to use in Canada. Now that my contract was over (and after like, 4 different iphone systems came out) I was debating on the rumoured iphone 5 or the galaxy s2…. s2 beat the iphone 4 hands down in terms of specs and I was really tired of waiting for the new iphone to come out so I jumped ships. I haven’t regretted it, although it definitely took me some time to adjust from ios to android, and there are a few things I miss (surprisingly, autocorrect being one of them haha).
    This new iphone 4s seems like a copy of the galaxy s2… i’m not sure how the processor works out, but both have 8mp camera and 1080p video…. and that siri?! galaxy already has that… I would have expected iphone/apple to go way above and beyond the galaxy… to the point where it makes me regret my decision but so far, I haven’t regretted it yet. Plus, I REALLY hate itunes… the gs2 works like a USB drive and is much more simple for me to understand and I’ve been playing ps/snes/gba games on it with no problems :)
    For what it’s worth, I like the gs2, and this new version of the iphone just isn’t worth it imo, even though I like apple and their products (except itunes)

  • Justin Leon

    I’m amused.

    Why doesn’t anyone mention the fact that all of the android phones basically look the same? So Apple releases the iPhone 4S, which looks just like the iPhone 4, and it’s a conspiracy? I just threw up in my mouth.

    I like the design of the iPhone 4. Why change something that isn’t broken? It’s a beautiful design, especially with the white casing. So speak for yourself. The only disappointment was this article.

    I’m not an Apple fan-boy, but I call bullshit when I see it.

    • Kayla

      I am with you on that one. I was considering the gs2 because it had LTE but verizon screwed us over on that one. And the iPhone is so much easier to use because I have used iTunes fir many years and would hate to have to use something that was less accessible and easy to use. The iPhone 4 is a beautiful design and perfectly sized. If you want a bigger screen then get a tablet. I need a phone that I can easily fit in my pocket and take wherever I go. And the iPhone 4s beats the gs2 in that category. So what if apple copies android on a few things. Who do you think came up with apps for your phone and better touchscreen devices without styluses that works with anyones fingers? Oh yea, apple. I’m sticking with apple on this one. And who cares if they didn’t radically change the phone, it is still a great phone and looks amazing.

  • Wilvor Kafer

    And it will be very disappointed to see for you that the Dissapointed iP4S is breaking pre-order sales in smartphone history….again.

  • Ferrari Jae

    SGS 2 was released almost a year now, iP4S was released several days ago, if technology several months ago CAN STILL COMPETE & DEFEAT technology from several days ago, logic is… SAMSUNG is 1 Generation ahead of APPLE. ‘Nuff Said!

    • indigo plateau

      true. so very true indeed… apple is nice… SGS line=awesome.some people just love apple because a white guy made it. stop hatin on the asians.

      • GSII wins

        I also prefer the Galaxy S II, however, your “white guy” vs the Assians comment is both pathetic and absurd. You probably enjoy telling racist jokes against blondes too, by reading your foolish comment? These comments are meant to judge phones, not to make a stupid of yourself with your cheap, easy, decadent politics. Steve Jobs was one of the most priviledges minds of the century, God bless him. And, yes, whether you like it or not, he was a white man.

        • maame gyamfi

          lets not go there on race