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Apple iPhone 4 Versus Google Nexus S - Which is Better?

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/25/2011

Planning to buy a new smartphone? The Apple iPhone 4 and the Google Nexus S are the best options you have. Check out this comparison to find out which is better suited to your needs.

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    Let's Compare

    The Apple iPhone 4 and the Google Nexus S are the two flagship devices, the very best that the two most popular smartphone platforms have to offer. The iPhone 4 is the latest iPhone, while the Google Nexus S is the successor to the Nexus One, and one of the best Android phones currently available.

    In this article, we'll put the iPhone 4 vs Nexus S against each other in various categories -- though much of it is very subjective, and will change from user to user.

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    Design

    iphone The Apple iPhone 4 is one of the slimmest smartphones currently available. It has a very stylish design which isnexuss  clean and elegant. It sports the characteristic iPhone form factor, with a 3.5 inch display and the singular Home button below it.

    The Google Nexus S also has a very stylish design. It is quite slim too, but is a bit bulkier compared to the Apple iPhone 4, owing to its bigger 4 inch display. It has the four standard Android buttons below the display - Back, Menu, Search and Home. It has a slightly curved "contour" design, which offers an excellent grip.

    Nothing can beat the feel of handling a new phone, so make sure you get your hands on one physically before you choose. The curvier design of the Nexus S is definitely more appealing, and is easier to hold too, but that's cause I have girly hands -- what's right for me may not be the best choice for you!

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    Display

    The Apple iPhone 4 sports a 3.5 inch Retina display with a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels, which is the highest smartphone resolution available. It has a much higher pixel density than the Nexus S and the display quality is truly awesome. The display is made of Gorilla glass and is one of the best mobile displays ever.

    The Google Nexus S comes with a 4 inch SuperAMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Less than the iPhone but it still packs a visual punch. While the iPhone 4 has a higher resolution, the Nexus S has a slightly brighter display with better contrast as well as being larger.

    The viewing angles are excellent on both phones. The capacitive touchscreens in both of them are also very responsive. This round is too close to give a clear verdict.

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    Hardware

    When it comes to hardware, there isn't much of a difference between the iPhone 4 and the Nexus S. Both come with 1 GHz processors, 512 MB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. The iPhone 4 also has a 32 GB version though. Both the phones don't support expandable memory, which is still disappointing given you have the two best markets for buying great apps from.

    Speaking of which, the iPhone 4 vs Nexus S debate continues over the page, starting with a comparison of the operating systems and respective app stores.

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    Operating System and User Interface

    android This is the most debatable section of the Nexus S vs iPhone 4 comparison, which is likely to attract a lot of angry comments.apple 

    The iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4.2 which is one of the best (and definitely the most user-friendly) mobile operating systems. iOS 4.2 is much better than its previous iterations. The Google Nexus S comes with the latest version of Android - Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This is the best version of Android, and just as good as iOS, though takes a bit of getting used to.

    The App Store currently offers something like 350,000 apps and games, when compared to around 250,000 in Android Market. Although Android is gaining ground, the deciding factor in which phone you go for could well be as easy as the victor in the Android Market vs. iPhone App Store battle.

    I'm going to wimp out on this section and call it a draw - arguably iOS and the App Store are winning at the moment, but Android and their Marketplace is likely to be bigger within the next year.

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    Camera

    The iPhone 4 comes with a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, and so does the Nexus S. The image capture quality is really good in both the phones, but the iPhone 4 is better, thanks to HDR.

    The iPhone 4 can also record 720p HD videos at 30 FPS while the Nexus S can capture only WVGA videos at 30 FPS.

    The iPhone 4 is a definite winner in this category.

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    Connectivity

    The iPhone 4, and the Nexus S, both offer all the connectivity options you would need in a smartphone. They have GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP etc.

    They also have a GPS transceiver with A-GPS. The Nexus S also has built in NFC, which the iPhone 4 doesn't, but I don't think anyone is going to miss it. Both the phones have excellent browsers, but the browsing experience in the Nexus S is a bit better, thanks to the bigger display.

    The iPhone 4 has slightly better battery life than the Nexus S, but this depends on your activity -- the Nexus has that larger screen to power after all. Another draw.

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    The Verdict

    So who is the winner in the Nexus S vs iPhone 4 war?

    The Apple iPhone 4 and the Google Nexus S are the two best smartphones on Planet Earth as of now. The truth is, you can't go wrong with either of them. They are quite similar in terms of hardware, unless a camera and recording videos is especially important, where the iPhone just wins out. Your decision is likely to boil down to whether you want iOS or Android, and which of the phone designs you prefer, which is an entirely personal choice.

    I would suggest that you try out both the devices to see how they handle, and then use the above info to make your final decision.

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    References

    • Nexus S Tech Specs, http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/#/tech-specs
    • iPhone Tech Specs, http://www.apple.com/lae/iphone/specs.html

    Image Credits:

    • http://www.apple.com/iphone/gallery/
    • http://www.google.co.uk/nexus/#/tech-specs