Spec shootout: Galaxy Nexus vs. Galaxy S II vs. iPhone 4S vs. HTC Sensation

So Google has announced their latest smartphone in conjunction with Samsung, the Galaxy Nexus, which has some impressive specifications that cement it as a fantastic upcoming device. Still, there are some other smartphones on the market competing with the Galaxy Nexus, and below we have compiled a handy comparison table to help you make the right decision.

The top specs of each are highlighted in bold:

  Google Galaxy Nexus Samsung Galaxy S II Apple iPhone 4S HTC Sensation
Network Connectivity

HSPA 850/900/1900/2100
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
LTE (some regions)

HSPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

HSPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
CDMA 800 / 1900

HSPA 850 / 900 / 2100
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

Display

4.65-inch 720x1280 HD Super AMOLED

4.3-inch 480x800 Super AMOLED Plus

3.5-inch 640 x 960 LED-backlit IPS

4.3-inch 540 x 960 S-LCD

Processor

TI OMAP 4460 chipset
1.2 GHz dual-core CPU

Exynos chipset
1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU

Apple A5 chipset
800 MHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU

Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon (S3) chipset
1.2 GHz dual-core Scorpion CPU

Graphics

Unknown graphics

Mali-400MP

PowerVR SGX543MP2

Adreno 220

RAM

1 GB

1 GB

512 MB

768 MB

Storage

16 or 32 GB internal storage

16 or 32 GB internal storage

16 or 32 or 64 GB internal storage

1 GB internal storage with microSD expansion

Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
A-GPS
DLNA
FM Radio

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
A-GPS
DLNA
FM Radio

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
A-GPS

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
A-GPS
DLNA
FM Radio

Camera

5 MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash
1.3 MP front camera
1080p video recording (rear)

8 MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash
2 MP front camera
1080p video recording (rear)

8 MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash
VGA front camera
1080p video recording (rear)

8 MP rear camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash
VGA front camera
1080p video recording (rear)

Sensors

Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Gyroscope
Barometer
Light sensor
Proximity sensor
Near-field communication (NFC)

Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Gyroscope
Light sensor
Proximity sensor
Near-field communication (some models)

Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Gyroscope
Light sensor
Proximity sensor

Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Gyroscope
Light sensor
Proximity sensor

Battery

Li-ion 1,750 mAh

Li-ion 1,650 mAh

Li-Po 1,432 mAh

Li-ion 1,520 mAh

Launch OS

Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich"

Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
TouchWiz UI 4.0

iOS 5

Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
Sense UI 3.0

Launch Date

November 2011

May 2011

October 2011

June 2011

Size & Weight

8.94mm thin
135 g

8.5mm thin
116 g

9.3mm thin
140 g

11.3mm thin
148 g

 

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44 Comments

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Just bought a iPhone 4S and that new Google Galaxy Nexus looks really good, I'd buy it if it had iOS on it

I'm not sure how having a larger battery is a win for the Androids. That's like declaring SUVs best at MPG based on the fact that it has a 16 gallon tank while the sedan only has a 12.

Shadrack said,
I'm not sure how having a larger battery is a win for the Androids. That's like declaring SUVs best at MPG based on the fact that it has a 16 gallon tank while the sedan only has a 12.
Because Android phones are capable of decent battery life. I had a HTC Trophy running Mango, and with the same settings, it fared the same battery life as the Droid Incredible (running Gingerbread), and I used the same battery for both phones, since it's interchangeable...

Those screen sizes look ridiculous. I had enough trouble touching the top corners on my friend's first gen Samsung Galaxy S when used one handed and that only had a little bit bigger screen than the iPhone. I don't think something with a 4.65 inch display would even fit my hands comfortably because the current biggest phones certainly don't.

It's good that the resolutions are improving on the competition though.

LaXu said,
Those screen sizes look ridiculous. I had enough trouble touching the top corners on my friend's first gen Samsung Galaxy S when used one handed and that only had a little bit bigger screen than the iPhone. I don't think something with a 4.65 inch display would even fit my hands comfortably because the current biggest phones certainly don't.

It's good that the resolutions are improving on the competition though.

You are forgetting one thing. The phone dimensions are pretty much the same. It's the screen dimension that changes. You see the Galaxy Nexus has no buttons. It's built in to the UI where as the Nexus S had buttons.

Why do they always screw up something with this Google phone? This time with the camera - what was the problem with putting in a 8MP sensor?

tom5 said,
Why do they always screw up something with this Google phone? This time with the camera - what was the problem with putting in a 8MP sensor?

It comes down to the quality of the sensor. On the Droid Incredible and the HTC Thuderbolt, they both had 8MP. However the iPhone 4 has 5MP and took better pictures. More MP doesn't always mean better. Without the right sensor (Which has always been HTCs problem) photos look saturated.

Berserk87 said,
anyone know why they put that in there?
there has to be a reason.

Probably to predict real time weather. But they don't have an ambient temp sensor so I'm not sure how that is going to work.

I'm waiting to see it in person and test the interface response. It is something that have always left people, me included, disappointed. I prefer WP7 but Android is good too.

For many friends that prefer Android first have always talked about how smooth WP7 on my LG Optimus 7 is compared to their phones.

Looks to me like the most significant difference between the Galaxy Nexus and S2 is the screen resolution.

I presume the processor and graphics will be similar in performance.

Oh and the Galaxy Nexus battery is slightly bigger (although countered by the slightly bigger screen).

jasonon said,
how come apple is the only manufacturer who can put 64 gb in a phone nowadays?

Because unlike iPhone, most Android phones have sd slot ? Duh ? You can get 32GB micro-sd card for like 30 buck nowadays.

BK201 said,

Because unlike iPhone, most Android phones have sd slot ? Duh ? You can get 32GB micro-sd card for like 30 buck nowadays.

I havn't seen anything saying the galaxy nexus will have an sd slot.

Why's the S2 win on camera? 2mp video calls that no one uses? well ok. But I think its a draw then, if u factor in the 4S's superior optics rear optics. Its not just about the megapixels. Also isn't the S2 thicker than the iphone at its thickest point? The reason its claim as the thinnest smartphone was denied.

RobertH said,
Why's the S2 win on camera? 2mp video calls that no one uses? well ok. But I think its a draw then, if u factor in the 4S's superior optics rear optics. Its not just about the megapixels. Also isn't the S2 thicker than the iphone at its thickest point? The reason its claim as the thinnest smartphone was denied.

its just a spec kick off .. and they are just going off of specs.. does not mean its better

RobertH said,
Why's the S2 win on camera? 2mp video calls that no one uses?

It's just comparing raw numbers. The Galaxy Nexus may have the best camera but we haven't seen a shootout yet.

RobertH said,
Why's the S2 win on camera? 2mp video calls that no one uses? well ok. But I think its a draw then, if u factor in the 4S's superior optics rear optics. Its not just about the megapixels. Also isn't the S2 thicker than the iphone at its thickest point? The reason its claim as the thinnest smartphone was denied.

Superior optics ? Are you talking about some cheap software tricks to enhance contrast and saturation to the point that the images look unnatural ? Seriously, iPhone users shouldn't even talk about "optics" or professional photography because it just makes them look stupid.

BK201 said,

Superior optics ? Are you talking about some cheap software tricks to enhance contrast and saturation to the point that the images look unnatural ? Seriously, iPhone users shouldn't even talk about "optics" or professional photography because it just makes them look stupid.

Lol...it reminds me of the time, during one of the iphone launches, that a reporter asked about the iphone camera, and jobs said something along the "its not about megapixels" line. Gotta love iphone users parroting things.

Yea I was wondering if I was the only one that was noticing that haha. It seems to be an Android was reviewing the phones and popping in the stats in the charts haha...

RobertH said,
Why's the S2 win on camera? 2mp video calls that no one uses? well ok. But I think its a draw then, if u factor in the 4S's superior optics rear optics. Its not just about the megapixels. Also isn't the S2 thicker than the iphone at its thickest point? The reason its claim as the thinnest smartphone was denied.

BK201 said,

Superior optics ? Are you talking about some cheap software tricks to enhance contrast and saturation to the point that the images look unnatural ?

What are you talking about? f2.4 is not a cheap software trick? Nor is the improved sensor or added lens. And actually the iPhone 4 produces the most natural colour saturations??

iPhone users shouldn't even talk about "optics" or professional photography because it just makes them look stupid

Um wait what? "iphone users"? Oh disregard what I said before... you are just a troll and my mistake for taking it seriously.

It looks like a pretty sweet phone. I think a guy I work with is going to get the Galaxy Nexus if it comes to Verizon.

That said, no mention of expected battery life?

72Raisins said,
Galaxy Nexus wins.

Still doesn't explain the lags, I'm going to give up and just think it's a feature of Android from now on. I mean, c'mon! at this stage in the game??

flexkeyboard said,

Still doesn't explain the lags, I'm going to give up and just think it's a feature of Android from now on. I mean, c'mon! at this stage in the game??

Yes, Android has always been very laggy. Just the scrolling completely kills the experience, I'm not even talking about the rest …

PyX said,

Yes, Android has always been very laggy. Just the scrolling completely kills the experience, I'm not even talking about the rest …
WP7 wins for fluidity. No other mobile OS can touch it (not even iOS). It's not all about fluidity though...

flexkeyboard said,

Still doesn't explain the lags, I'm going to give up and just think it's a feature of Android from now on. I mean, c'mon! at this stage in the game??

Accelerated hardware. I wonder what that means? This is the forth revision of Android to enable accelerated hardware 3.0,3.1,3.2 & 4.0. Still doesn't explain your ignorance...

Muhammad Farrukh said,
HTC Sensation?
Seriously?
Yeah, it would have made much more sense to use Motorola Razr in comparison. Or even HTC Titan.

HoochieMamma said,
Sensation has 1080p recording on the back btw

Thanks, originally had the Sensation XL there before I realized it was even less powerful than the Sensation

Scorpus said,

Thanks, originally had the Sensation XL there before I realized it was even less powerful than the Sensation

The Sensation XE has better specs then the Sensation.
Better battery (1730mAh) and overclocked processor.