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Comparing the Nexus S and the Galaxy S

written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

In this ultimate battle of Samsung smartphones - the Nexus S vs. Galaxy S, only one can be victorious! Which of the mighty Android powered Samsung devices is better than the other? Is the newer Nexus S worth the upgrade? Read on to find out in this toe to toe battle!

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    The War Between Samsung's Top Phones

    Samsung has been a dominant force lately in the highly competitive smartphone market, globally. Releasing the Samsung Galaxy S in Europe and Asia and different variations of the Samsung Galaxy S in the United States, and eventually releasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Samsung has truly dominated the Android market. The Nexus S has been a long rumored phone, with rumors abound about a Nexus successor to the Nexus One. Originally thought to be the Nexus Two, it wasn't until recently that the Samsung Nexus S was leaked to the world and finally released. It was only a matter of time for these two powerful smartphones to compete.

    Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S

    With very similar specs for hardware and software, one has to wonder which phone is the better phone. Similar to the Samsung Fascinate vs. Samsung Continuum, these two phones will truly have to battle it out for one winner to come out on top.

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    Introducing the Original Android Powerhouse - The Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Galaxy S The Samsung Galaxy S, in the U.S. came in different variations across all carriers. Ranging from the Samsung Captivate to the Samsung Epic 4G, the Samsung Galaxy S series of smartphones dominated the market. Outside of the U.S., the Samsung Galaxy S came in one available option, which also became a huge hit. Featuring a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, an amazingly beautiful and vibrant Super AMOLED touchscreen and Android 2.1 (Eclair), the Samsung Galaxy S was and is a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive smartphone market. In a market where every non-Apple smartphone is considered an "iPhone Killer", the Samsung Galaxy S showed to the world that Samsung was planning on taking that moniker. The Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle may be an uphill one for the Samsung Galaxy S due to it being the older phone.

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    Introducing the Highly Anticipated Successor - The Samsung Nexus S

    Samsung Nexus S The Nexus One from Google by HTC was a highly anticipated smartphone but ultimately fell flat. Due to some marketing blunders and confusing processes for obtaining the Nexus One, it faltered. As time passed, rumors of a successor began to appear, appropriately naming the successor the Nexus Two. Specs leaked out onto the internet regarding the follow up phone but soon died down. After another brief time period of silence, rumors began again of a Nexus successor being developed by Samsung. With rumors abound, specs for the now dubbed Nexus S began flying through the internet and blurry photos were found everywhere, but neither Samsung nor Google would respond.

    The CEO of Google used a smartphone to show off the latest version of Android, Gingerbread. Though he wouldn't call out what the smartphone was, many knew, it was the Nexus S. It wasn't too long before the official announcement was made. After much anticipation, Google had finally released a successor the Nexus One, dubbed the Nexus S. Also featuring a 1 GHz processor, a curved Super AMOLED touchscreen and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the Nexus S was the latest smartphone offering from Google and Samsung. The Nexus S has the upper hand in the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle, not only due to the age of the phone but also since the Galaxy S can show Samsung the weaknesses that they had to correct.

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    Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S

    Now that a little history has been covered for both the Samsung Nexus S and the Samsung Galaxy S, it's time for the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle to begin. Coming from the same manufacturer, Samsung and aiming for the same market, both the Nexus S and Galaxy S have quite the battle ahead of them.

    Design

    Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S The design on the Samsung Nexus S vs. the Samsung Galaxy S is what distinguishes the two smartphones first. The Samsung Galaxy S and the Nexus S both have very elegant and simplistic designs. Samsung has avoided giving either of the phones a boxy shape and have opted instead to go with the curved look. The Nexus S takes it a step further by introducing a slightly curved Super AMOLED screen. This slight curve gives the Nexus S a real phone like feel that many smartphones currently lack. It's an interesting little addition to the Nexus S. The other odd feature about the Nexus S is the location of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, it's on the bottom of the phone. This "design" feature negates the curved Super AMOLED screen, as the 3.5 mm headphone jack being on the bottom the phone makes it annoying to try to use the Nexus S as a music player.

    Winner - Tie

    Hardware and Software

    In this particular section of the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle, there is easily a true cut winner. The Samsung Nexus S is the first smartphone to feature Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). While the update doesn't have major changes except Near Field Communication (NFC), the true reason the Nexus S wins is simple, it's supported by Google. The Samsung Galaxy S series of phones have been mired with delays for upgrades to Android 2.2. One can only wonder how long it'll be until the Samsung Galaxy S receives Android 2.3. The Nexus S doesn't suffer from that problem. Similar to the Nexus One, the Nexus S has immediate access to the latest version of Android over the air (OTA).

    Winner - Samsung Nexus S

    Storage

    From a storage standpoint, the Samsung Galaxy S features either 8 or 16 GB of internal storage depending on your model and a microSD slot that is expandable to 32 GB. Interestingly enough, the Samsung Nexus S has 16 GB of internal storage but no microSD card. This is saddening considering storage space is important for those on the go. In the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle for storage space, the Samsung Galaxy S easily wins.

    Winner - Samsung Galaxy S

    Camera

    Both the Samsung Galaxy S and the Nexus S feature 5 megapixel cameras with 720p HD recording. The Nexus S, however, has flash while some variants, such as the Samsung Vibrant and Captivate, of the Samsung Galaxy S do not. The Nexus S also features a front facing camera which, once again, some variants of the Samsung Galaxy S do not. This slight difference gives the Nexus S a slight edge in the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle for camera dominance.

    Winner - Samsung Nexus S

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    Verdict

    In the Samsung Nexus S vs. Samsung Galaxy S battle, the Nexus S comes out ahead. Though it may seem like it's barely scraped through, the fact that it is Google supported truly makes the Nexus S the clear cut winner. Unlocked from the start, the Nexus S is a power user's dream phone for Android. While the Samsung Galaxy S is limited due to Samsung TouchWiz UI and closed software (unless it's rooted), the Samsung Nexus S is open and free with no limitation on software. While the Samsung Galaxy S has been a dominant force in the industry, the open, free, Google supported Android of the Samsung Nexus S allows it to win the battle.