HTC One S And Samsung Galaxy Nexus Spec Comparison, Which One Should You Get?

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Okay, so I have a little bit of a dilemma on my hands. I currently have the unlocked HSPA+ Samsung Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile. But the upcoming HTC One S (due to launch sometime in April or May for T-Mobile USA) looks really nice. I keep going back and forth in my head trying to figure out which one I want most.

If I choose the HTC One S, I can get it for about the same amount of money (or even less if I do a 2-year contract) that I can get by selling my Galaxy Nexus. But the question is, should I? There are pros and cons to each device, and in this comparison article I’ll go over them for each device. First, lets take a quick look at the two spec sheets:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus HTC One S
Display 4.65 in Super AMOLED (1280×720) 316 PPI 4.3 in Super AMOLED (960×540) 256 PPI
Processor 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
RAM 1 GB 1 GB
Camera 5 MP 1080p rear, 1.3 MP 720p front 8 MP 1080p rear, VGA front
NFC Yes No
Bluetooth 3.0 4.0
Dimensions 9.4 mm thick, weighs 135 g 7.9 mm thick, weighs 120 g
OS Version 4.0.4 4.0.3

Display: Because both of these phones are using the same screen technology (Super AMOLED), the Galaxy Nexus with its higher resolution (316 PPI) is the clear winner as far as screen quality. Of course, some may prefer the smaller screen size on the HTC One S but I’m indifferent to the sizes. Winner: Galaxy Nexus.

Processor: This is probably the single biggest factor in my desire to get the HTC One S. The dual-core Snapdragon S4 clocked at 1.5 GHz should easily beat out the 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4460. The S4 looks pretty impressive, even beating out the Nvidia Tegra 3 in several benchmarks. Winner: HTC One S.

Camera: One of the strong suits of the HTC One S is its impressive 8 MP rear camera. Not only does it take clearer pictures than the 5 MP sensor on the Galaxy Nexus, HTC has its own image processing chip in the One S and offers software advantages that the Nexus can’t match (like continuous shot).

It’s worth mentioning that the Galaxy Nexus’ front facing camera offers better quality at 1.3 MP capable of recording at 720p compared to VGA resolution on the HTC One S’ FFC. However, this advantage isn’t enough to make up for the difference between the rear shooters. Winner: HTC One S.

NFC: While near field communication hasn’t quite taken off, it is something we’ll see more and more of in the future. The Galaxy Nexus has it, while the HTC One S (sadly) does not. While it may not really affect you in the short term, if you’re planning on keeping either one of these phones for more than year the Nexus will offer you more longevity. Winner: Galaxy Nexus.

Dimensions: Overall, I feel like the HTC One S has the better form factor. While some would rather have the extra .3 inches in screen size, the virtual buttons on the Galaxy Nexus end up using some of that extra space most of the time anyways, effectively making the screen size 4.5 inches (except for while watching videos).

So after you account for that, the screen on the HTC One S is only .2 inches smaller than the Nexus, but the HTC offers you a phone that is easier to hold in one hand, is significantly thinner at 7.9 mm (compared to 9.4 mm), and weighs a bit less at 120 g (compared to 135 g). Winner: HTC One S.

OS Version: Both phones are running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The difference of course is that the HTC One S is running Sense 4.0 over top. To some, this can be a bad thing (because of the extra bloatware) while others will appreciate the software enhancements (like in the camera) that the overlay brings with it. But the biggest difference here is the rate at which the phones will receive OS updates. Being a Nexus device, the Galaxy Nexus will most likely receive updates (that bring new features and fixes) a good 3-5 months ahead of the One S. Winner: Galaxy Nexus.

And the winner is…

If you tally up the wins for each device, you’ll see that each phone has 3. So, as typically is the case when comparing two good phones, it comes down to personal preference. So which do I prefer? I’m still torn between the two. I think that when the HTC One S does come out, I’ll get it and use both for a little while to determine which one is best for me. And don’t worry, I’ll make a video comparing the two once I do. So, which phone do you prefer?

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. 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.