Google and Samsung herald the future of Android by way of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus Smartphone

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As with the iPhone 5! launch (actually iPhone 4S as it turned out) there was lot of hype around the launch of the new official Google Phone. There were rumours of a super processor of 1.7Ghz, a 10MP camera on the reverse and an ingenious new form factor.

Both phones benefitted from major version releases of operating systems - Android updating to 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), whilst iPhone 4S jumped up to iOS 5.

For me, I am actually a little disappointed with both launches. Neither one is really the runnaway success I thought they might be. The obvious draws on the Nexus are the amazing 4.65" Super Amoled HD Screen - which is even better than the gorgeous Galaxy SII screen, also the new Barometer sensor, along with NFC and 4G capabilities that the iPhone 4S lacks.

I still contend that the construction of the iPhone 4 series is seriously flawed - as can be seen in the latest drop tests, where both back and front glass screebs of the iPhone 4S shatter way too easily. It is also my opinion that the dodgy antenna issue has been fudged with clever electronics - which switch the signal between two halves, depending on how the antenna is being shorted / obstructed by finger or thumb. That said though, Samsung’s phones tend to be a little ’plasticky’, and for certain the iPhone uses better quality materials in its construction - bar possibly the glass, which seems overly brittle.

The biggest thing for me was the 64GB boost in internal storage for the iPhone 4S - the Galaxy Nexus omits SD Card slot, and is stuck therefore with a maximum of 32GB - which is no good for my mobile jukebox needs! I really wanted the iPhone to have a larger screen, and here the Galaxy Nexus certainly comes up trumps.

As for the other head-to-head specs they are much of a muchness really - battery performance is as much to do with hardware and software than actual size of battery - same goes for processor clock speed and RAM.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich seems to be largely an aesthetic update, although it does have some very nifty bandwidth management widgets, as well as clever ’bump’ sharing of content from phone to phone. To compete with the obviously superior iPhone 4S camera, the Nexus has a clever automated panorama picture mode.

Side-by-side specs are as follows, apologies if I’ve got any of these wrong! They’re from a variety of sources obviously.

 

Samsung Galaxy Nexus iPhone 4S
Resolution 1280 x 720 960 x 640
Screen Size 4.65" 3.5"
Processor 1.2Ghz 1.1Ghz
RAM 1GB 512MB
Max Storage 32GB 64GB
Front Camera 1.3MP VGA
Rear Camera 5.0MP 8.0MP
Video 1080P 1080P
Battery 1750 mAh 1420 mAh
Dimensions 135 x 67.94 x 8.94 mm 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm
Weight 135g 140g
NFC X
4G X
Barometer X

 

On reflection, neither phone is perfect for my requirements. I was quite put out about the lack of 4G and NFC on the 4S - but for UK citizens these options might be moot, as 4G won’t arrive officially until 2013, and retailers here have been relatively slow in adopting NFC - who’s to that say onscreen QR codes, bluetooth or other wireless standards won’t be used in some way for electronic purchasing instead.

There’s no doubt that both phones are great to own, but neither is really state-of-the-art - in containing everything you might want of a bang-up-to-date smartphone.

Several of my friends will end up owning both of these phones, for me - I’m very much a one-phone-man, and after weighing this up and debating internally and externally, it seems that the iPhone 4S is the phone for me on this occasion!

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