Comparison Between The iPhone 4S And The Galaxy Nexus


With the iPhone 4S being announced yesterday, and the Nexus Galaxy (previously known as the Nexus Prime) slated to be announced in less than a week, we are going to do a comparison between the two from a hardware standpoint. Obviously, the Galaxy Nexus and its respective specs haven’t yet been released. We won’t know for sure what the phone will be packing until Samsung’s Unpacked Event on October 11th. Update: Official specs of the Galaxy Nexus are now included.

  iPhone 4S Galaxy Nexus
Display 3.5 Inch (960×640) 326 PPI 4.65 Inch (1280×720) 316 PPI
Processor 800 MHz Dual-Core Processor 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
RAM 512 MB of RAM* 1 GB of RAM
Camera 8 MP Camera, 1080p Video Recording 5 MP Camera, 1080p Video Recording
NFC No Yes
OS iOS 5 Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Display: This one can come down to personal preference. If you like the bigger screen, obviously you’ll favor the Nexus Prime’s massive 4.65 inch screen. But on the other hand, even though the iPhone 4S’s screen is only 3.5 inches, it is technically packing more pixels per inch (PPI). However, since the PPI numbers are so close, we have to call this one a draw.

Processor: The iPhone 4S has a 1.0 GHz 800 MHz dual-core A5 processor (like the one in the iPad 2). It may not be clocked at the fastest speeds, but its SGX543MP2 GPU is in its own league when it comes to 3D performance. The Galaxy Nexus is sporting a 1.2 GHz processor TI OMAP 4460 that Android 4.0 was optimized for.

Again, this might come down to personal preference. If you’re a gamer, the A5 will most likely give you better performance. But when it comes to using regular applications, like the browser, we fully expect the Galaxy Nexus to outperform the iPhone 4S. Especially given the next point.

RAM: Though we don’t know for sure (as Apple hasn’t released detailed tech specs for the iPhone 4S), we are presuming the iPhone 4S has 512 MB of RAM like the iPad 2. The Galaxy Nexus is packing 1GB of RAM, doubling that of the iPhone 4S. The extra RAM of the Nexus Prime should help it edge out the iPhone 4S when it comes to running regular apps, and multitasking.

Camera: The iPhone 4S has an 8 megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video. The Galaxy Nexus has a 5.0 megapixel camera that can also record in 1080p. Now, let us remind you here that the megapixel count isn’t the only factor in determining a camera’s quality. But as for which one actually performs better, we have to give the edge to the iPhone 4S.

NFC Capabilities: One of the biggest surprises with the iPhone 4S unveiling (other than the fact there was no iPhone 5) was that it didn’t have NFC capabilities. Now, this is probably a non-issue for most. But in the coming years, more and more people will start using their smartphones to pay for things instead of having to bust out the credit card. Another cool advantage of having NFC is using Android Beam to share contacts, apps, web pages, maps and so on just by putting two NFC devices back to back.

Operating System: Once again, this feature can come down to personal preference. Apple and Android fanboys each claim that their OS is better, with no clear victor in sight. The addition of Siri is really nice, but iOS 5 seemed to be doing more catch-up with Android than revolutionizing. With Android Ice Cream Sandwich packing a whole new set of features we will just call this one a tie.

Data Speeds: While Apple has upgraded the max data speeds the iPhone 4S is capable of, it still falls short of what it could achieve. This isn’t the case with the Galaxy Nexus capable of taking advantage of both HSPA+ and LTE.

Conclusion: It isn’t an easy choice between the two, as they both will easily be the top 2 handsets of the year, but we have to give the slight edge to the Galaxy Nexus. The pure Android phone is just packing better hardware. It has the bigger screen, faster processor, more RAM, NFC, and 4G. But again, it is so close we just have to own both!


About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

  • John

    Nexus Prime vs iPhone 4S… Hmm…. For me it depends on whether or not Verizon’s Nexus Prime is pure Android. I don’t want to see stupid VZW bloatware on my phone. If it has VZW bloatware, I’m going iPhone 4S. Siri looks awesome!

  • Steven8217

    iPhone 4S screen contrast ratio, 800:1
    Galaxy Nexus screen contrast ratio, 100000:1

  • Steven8217

    Verizon 4G/LTE field test:
    TX City Download Upload
    Round Rock 27Mbps 14Mbps
    El Paso 30Mbps 11Mbps
    Austin 15Mbps 6Mpbs