For several months the Samsung Galaxy S2 has been known as the best smartphone leading most of the lists of top smartphones. Many other manufacturers tried to create devices able to compete with it, but none succeeded – even Apples iPhone 4, according to most geeks I know, yielded to it in many aspects. Perhaps Samsung thought its Galaxy S2 was unreachable, but not so long ago Apple released the new iPhone 4S with a number of updated specs and features… and we all understood that the Galaxy S2’s position is now shaken.
So which phone is cooler – the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the Apple iPhone 4S? Which has better features? Which is worthy of your money? I’ll try to find this out in my comparison of these two smartphones.
I think we all understand that design is a matter of taste. Some like huge, heavy and rugged devices; others prefer light and tiny ones. So in this case we can’t say which phone is better – the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the new iPhone 4S – we can only note the obvious: you can’t say the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a tiny phone (it has a 4.3-inch display, after all), but it’s slim (only 8.49mm – much less than all the phones I can think of) and light – it’s plastic body together with the battery weighs only 116g. The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, isn’t much different from its predecessor in term of size and design (same cases can go for both); it’s smaller than the Galaxy S2, since its display is smaller (3.5 inches), but it’s not as thin as it.
There was a time when many people believed that the Samsung Galaxy S2 had the best screen ever, but now its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution doesn’t sound that cool any longer… The resolution of the iPhone 4S’s screen is higher – 960 x 640. Of course, it doesn’t mean the Galaxy S2 is outdated now or not that good any more – its screen is very bright, all the colors are eye-popping and very beautiful, and they don’t darkle or fade when you look at the screen at an angle. It’s great for watching movies and even for playing HD games (there are plenty of them in Android Market).
However, the display of the iPhone 4S due to its higher resolution is even brighter and isn’t afraid of sunlight, too (though it actually fades a bit under direct sunlight). The only bad thing is – old icons and apps look grainy on such a clear display, so unless the developers update them and adjust for high-res screens, you won’t enjoy using them on the iPhone 4S… at all.
So… here the winner is the iPhone 4S with its super screen, though I personally like the display of the Samsung Galaxy S2, too.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor that provides really fast performance without any delay. Web browsing is very quick even via Wi-Fi networks, and you won’t face any problem with loading and playing even the most “heavy” games on Samsung’s flagship.
The iPhone 4S has a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, which is also very fast (much faster than the single-core processor of the original iPhone 4 at least), but, though it provides great graphical acceleration, it yields to the CPU of the Galaxy S2 in terms of performance, so here the winner is Samsung’s smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 has a cool 8MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash that takes 3264 x 2448 photos and 1080p videos at 30fps. If you remember, the original iPhone 4S had a 5MP sensor, and many geeks thought it was a big shortcoming, even though the number of megapixels doesn’t really matter. Anyway, now those geeks have received what they wanted – the new iPhone 4S has an 8MP camera able to take 3264 x 2448 pictures just like the Galaxy S2 and many other modern smartphones. Plus it has a CMOS illuminated sensor, which is 73 percent more effective and about 30 percent faster than before. And of course, it shoots 1080p HD videos, too.
However, the secondary 2MP camera of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is better than the VGA camera of the new iPhone 4S. But anyway, secondary cameras don’t play a big role here, and as for the rear-facing ones, they’re both equally good, so we have a draw here.
Just like in case of design, I don’t think it’s a good idea to compare two operating systems, especially if they’re both good – each in its own way. Android the Samsung Galaxy S2 runs is the most popular platform at the moment, famous for being easy to customize and for having a huge number of apps in Android Market, too. However, the Gingerbread it runs isn’t the newest version of Google’s OS any longer, since the Ice Cream Sandwich update is already on its way, so we can’t say the Galaxy S2 runs the best software ever.
On the other hand, Apple’s iOS is really easy to use (even if the iPhone is your first smartphone ever, you won’t face any problem dealing with it – the user interface of iOS is intuitively understandable for everybody), but of course it’s not what makes the new iPhone 4S special. You’ve probably already heard about Siri – the special program designed to help the user give commands to the phone, ask questions and even send text messages. Siri is new, smart and funny, too (it came out that the developers had hidden many interesting Easter eggs, funny jokes and witty responses to strange questions in it), and I guess many people will buy the iPhone 4S especially for Siri.
Since you can’t surprise anyone with Android now, especially with its Gingerbread version, so in this case I think the prize should go to the iPhone 4S and its Siri.
The unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S2 costs £397.99 on Amazon, while the 16GB iPhone 4S is more expensive – £593.15. However, we shouldn’t forget that the Galaxy S2 was released several months ago, and the 4S is only about a month old, so it will most likely be discounted after a while. Anyway, you can find much better deals at RightMobilePhone offering both smartphones for free with contracts, so perhaps it’s better to choose one of them instead of paying much more for a SIM-free device.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Apple iPhone 4S are both very good smartphones, no doubt, and both have their stronger and weaker sides. The Galaxy S2 is a bit faster thanks to its processor, while the iPhone 4S has a better display and Siri that has caught so much attention.
I think the Galaxy S2 has been the best smartphone for too long, and now a new device should come to replace it. Apple’s latest “child” can be this new device, so… the iPhone 4S is my choice.
The comparison article above has been written by a guest author, thank you.