0HTC Desire Android LogoSamsung Galaxy Nexus Prime v Apple Iphone 4S

With the recent release of the Sam­sung Galaxy Nexus Prime and the Apple Iphone 4S, I thought I’d do a quick com­par­ison of the 2 devices.  I’ve also included data and specs for 2 other high-end recent smart­phones, the HTC Sen­sa­tion XE and the Motorola Atrix 2.

Galaxy Nexus (GSM Region)Iphone 4SHTC Sen­sa­tion XEMotorola Atrix 2
Price
SIM Free Cost£519.99£581.76£429.95£299.99
Cost with contract£59.00£169.00FreeFree
Resale valuen/an/an/an/a
New bat­tery cost£19.99£62.44
Free­dom
Bluetooth MP3sYesNo!YesYes
Altern­at­ive OSesYesNoYesYes
Copy files without softwareYesNoYesYes
Replace­able batteryYesNoYesYes
Non-Market AppsYesNoYesYes
SD Card SupportNoNoYesYes
Stand­ard SIM CardsYesNoYesYes
Apps
Cost of games£1.22£2.07£1.22£1.22
Sat NavFreeNoFreeFree
Roll-back to older versionsYesNoYesYes
Sup­port
Known flaws (unfixed)Volume issue (fixed — Android 4.0.1 OTA)IOS5 bat­tery life issuen/an/a
Major updatesGuar­an­teed full updates for 18 months min­imum, his­tory implies premium devices get at least 2 major updates fea­ture com­plete, with the option for longer term updates via 3rd party releases.Likely to get sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of updates but with almost all new fea­tures miss­ing. Once offi­cial sup­port is gone there are very few options due to lack of OSS community.n/an/a
Specs
Weight125g (150g CDMA)140g151g147g
Thick­ness8.9mm (9.5mm CDMA)9.3mm11.3mm10mm
Screen Res­ol­u­tion720×1280640×960540×960540×960
Screen Size4.65″3.5″4.3″4.3″
Screen pixel density316ppi330ppi256ppi256ppi
Stor­age16Gb (32Gb available)16Gb (32Gb and 64Gb available)4Gb8Gb
Memory (RAM)1Gb512Mb768Mb1Gb
CPU1.2GHz Cortex-A9~800MHz Cortex-A91.5GHz MSM82601.0GHz Cortex-A9
GPUPowerVR SGX540PowerVR SGX543MP2Adreno 220PowerVR SGX540
Standby Time270h (150h CDMA)200h310h382h
Talk Time17h (12h CDMA)14h9h9h
Com­mu­nic­a­tions
Stream­ing MediaDLNAAir­Play (proprietary)DLNADLNA
4GLTENoNoLTE
Max data speed21MBps14.4MBps14.4MBps21MBps
Bluetooth3433
Wire­lessA B G NB G N33
NFCYesNoNoNo
A–GPSYesYesYesYe
Video chat3G, 4G, WiFiWiFi3G, 4G, WiFi3G, 4G, WiFi
Cam­era
Cam­era5Mpx8Mpx8Mpx8Mpx
Front Cam­era1.3Mpx0.3Mpx0.3Mpx0.3Mpx
Video Record­ing1080p301080p301080p301080p24
Shut­ter lag00.1
HDR PhotosApp £1.24IncludedApp £1.24App £1.24
Web
JavaYesNoYesYes
FlashYesNoYesYes
Other
Voice Func­tionsYes — Google Voice / MajelYes — SiriYesYes
FM RadioNoNoYesYes
Video Out­putMHL (HDMI adaptor £8)Pro­pri­et­ary (HDMI adaptor £30)MHLHDMI
SAR0.30 W/kg (0.63 W/kg CDMA)0.99 W/kg

Final Score: Galaxy Nexus 33 — 4 Iphone 4S.  9 draws.

Some of the con­tests were really too close to mat­ter in which case I’ve scored a draw (e.g. pixel dens­ity). The spec com­par­is­ons are largely mean­ing­less of course as it’s the respons­ive­ness of the phone that mat­ters, not the clock speed of its CPU.  How­ever it’s not easy to quantify “respons­ive­ness”, and any con­clu­sion is bound to be called biased by fan­boi, so I’ve included the specs.  The Galaxy won stand­ard SIM card sup­port because the Iphone only sup­ports mini sim cards, and altho a nor­mal sim card can be cut to fit most users will shy away from doing this (and it pre­vents you put­ting the SIM back into a nor­mal phone).  The HDR pho­tos was a draw because although the Iphone includes it, apps for android can do the job for a neg­li­gible impact on the over­all cost com­par­ison. Voice sup­port was a draw for 3 reas­ons: 1 — although I con­cede Siri is a bit slicker than cur­rent Android offer­ings, voice sup­port isn’t actu­ally very widely used, 2 — android will very soon have a super­ior equi­val­ent to Siri which ties all the exist­ing google voice func­tions together with google’s huge wealth of mined data, and 3 — voice sup­port before Siri was always super­ior on android but no-one ever bothered to give any credit for it then and I don’t believe fea­tures should only be given credit after Apple have included them.  Obvi­ously some things are more import­ant than oth­ers, but over­all, it isn’t dif­fi­cult to con­clude that the Galaxy is tech­nic­ally super­ior, is likely to receive bet­ter sup­port, has longer bat­tery life, has a much lower SAR, and is a bit cheaper.  Unless your house is already full of Apple-only hard­ware the Galaxy Nexus is going to “talk” to more of your exist­ing hard­ware without fuss too (e.g. Video Calls to Win­dows PCs, Cheaper Video out­put to your HD TV, join­ing Wireless-A net­works, Send­ing files from your old phone via Bluetooth, or stream­ing media via DLNA).  The Iphone takes bet­ter qual­ity pho­tos, is a bet­ter (if more costly) plat­form for gam­ing, and will sat­isfy those people who people who need to have “the” most fash­ion­able item — for everything else the Galaxy Nexus is the com­pre­hens­ive winner.

Updated 17-Dec-2011.

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