Finally, I laid my hands on the latest Android phone in the market – Samsung Galaxy S II (S2) running on thh new Android OS (Gingerbread 2.3.3). As seen, the dual-core race is already heated up massively over these months and forward 6 months, with the LG Optimus 2X & HTC Sensation already released, Motorola Atrix & iPhone 5 in time to come in local market.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 is nearly impossibly skinny once you pick it up – dimensions of a 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm mean it’s one among the thinnest smartphones on the market at the moment, rivalling the likes of the iPhone 4 and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc for the title.It’s crazy-light too – after we show you what tech is rammed beneath the hood, you’ll be amazed that it all goes in a device that weighs only a shade over 100g (116g, to be precise)
Let me do a quick summary of my initial week of experience with the new Samsung Galaxy S II (S2) vs the white iPhone 4:
A. Form Factor
Winner: Galaxy S II – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, 117g
Runner up: iPhone 4 – 115.2 x 58.7 x 9.3mm, 137g
Though Galaxy S II (S2) feels cheap and iPhone 4 stylish, in terms of usage, iPhone 4 fits well in hand and is comfortable to use. S2 may feel too big for people with smaller palms.
Winner: Galaxy S II – 16/32GB + microSD slot
Runner up: iPhone 4 – 16/32GB
Having more expandable memory is very useful if you need to carry more media files on the move.
C. UI & Navigation
Winner : iPhone 4 – iOS4
Runner up : Galaxy S II – Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 with TouchWiz 4.0
Galaxy S2 runs on Android, customized with TouchWiz 4.0. The iPhone 4 uses iOS 4.3. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. While it’s difficult to cover the Android vs iOS debate in a few lines, here is a summary:
iOS is very simple to use. It is simple, effective and efficient. There are no hidden options, few ‘long press’ options and mostly you get what you see.But this same simplicity may not appeal to everyone.
Android, in comparison, is highly customizable. And it’s not as complex as many would like you to believe. Most of the settings are easy to access, and if you are familiar with computers, you will not have much trouble. For power users, Android opens up a host of opportunities that can make a smartphone truly a ‘magical experience’.
The performance, especially the speed of navigating between apps and scrolling through web pages is great on both iPhone 4 and Galaxy S2. Earlier, Android had issues with browsing performance. They are not there anymore.
As a bonus you also get Flash content on Android. The iOS doesn’t allow any Flash content.
D. Battery Life
Tie: Galaxy S II – 1650mAh (almost a full day)
Tie: iPhone 4 – 1420mAh (almost a full day)
This is based on my usage pattern of 40% email, 20% surf, 30% social media, 10% AV media.
Winner: Galaxy S II – 4.27-inch, 800x480px, Super AMOLED Plus
Runner up: iPhone 4 – 3.5-inch, 960x640px, LCD with IPS
S2 screen is drop-dead gorgeous due to the use of Super AMOLED Plus technology. Colours pop out and its 4.3-inch screen, compared to the 3.5-inch screen on iPhone 4, gives it an advantage.
In terms of resolution, iPhone 4 is better. It has a resolution of 960×640, compared to 800×480 pixels of Galaxy S. This means sharper display on iPhone 4.
Winner: Galaxy S II – 1GHz Tegra 2 dual core, 1GB RAM / 1.2GHz Dual Core Exynos chip, 1GB RAM
Runner up: iPhone 4 – Apple A4, 512MB
Web browsing speed tests show off the shear power of Samsung’s offering, with its dual-core 1.2GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM helping it throw images onto that huge screen faster than Apple’s iPhone 4 – hardware that is by no means a slouch.
Winner: Galaxy S II – 8MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video capture
Runner up: iPhone 4 – 5MP rear, VGA front, 720p video capture
S2 sports an 8MP primary camera. iPhone 4 has a 5MP camera.
In still photography, the S2 camera slightly edges out the one in iPhone 4.
In video capture, there is no comparison as S2 can record some decent quality full HD videos while iPhone 4 can only manage 720P recording.
H. Price (Retail price without contract)
Winner: Galaxy S II – S$998 (16Gb)
Runner up: iPhone 4 – S$1088 (16Gb)
|Feature||Apple iPhone 4||Samsung Galaxy S II||Verdict?|
|Operating system (OS)||Apple iOS||Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)||Draw|
|Display size||3.5in||4.3in||Galaxy S II|
|Display technology||Capacitive retina IPS||Capacitive Super AMOLED Plus||Unknown|
|Display resolution||640×960 pixels||480×800 pixels||iPhone 4|
|Camera||5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging||8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection||Galaxy S II|
|FM radio||No||Yes||Galaxy S II|
|Internal memory||16GB or 32GB||16GB or 32GB||Draw|
|Expandable memory||No||microSD card slot||Galaxy S II|
|Dimensions||115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm||125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm||Galaxy S II|
|Weight||137g||116g||Galaxy S II|
|Application store||Apple App Store||Google Android Market||iPhone 4|
|Processor||Apple A4||ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1.2GHz)||Galaxy S II|
|3G networks||HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100||HSDPA 900/1900/2100||iPhone 4|
|Wi-Fi||802.11b/g/n||802.11a/b/g/n||Galaxy S II|
|Bluetooth||2.1 with A2DP||3.0 with A2DP||Galaxy S II|
|NFC (Near Field Communication)||No||Yes||Galaxy S II|
|HDMI-out||No||Yes (via MHL)||Galaxy S II|
|Quoted talk time||Up to 7 hours||Unknown||Unknown|
|Quoted standby time||Up to 300 hours||Unknown||Unknown|
|Adobe Flash support||No||Yes||Galaxy S II|
In summary, it’s pretty obvious the iPhone 4 has met its match. However, at two-thirds of the way into its life cycle it isn’t exactly the most ‘fair’ comparison. The iPhone 5 is likely to have dual-core, and feature improvements in nearly every notable department. The iPhone is an excellent device, and was designed with the pursuit of design perfection in mind. Really though, the Samsung Galaxy S II beats it in nearly every departments that count. The Galaxy S II is lighter, thinner, significantly more powerful, and light years ahead of the iPhone 4 on taking pictures and video, and has the most technologically sophisticated 4.3 inch screen on the market.
But for a pro business & multimedia person, Galaxy S II (S2) should be a better consideration while if you are a social media & gamer, you may wish to still stick to iPhone 4 due to a richer App store offerings. For the moment, my new motivation is to have the new Google Plus app on my Galaxy S II (S2)!
Do share your experiences with the rest too here!
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