Features you will instantly miss from a Galaxy Nexus once trying out the iPhone 4S

February 18, 2012
55

As many would agree, it's best to have an unbiased opinion to help the public see the truth in your word. And taking that to heart, I went out and purchased an iPhone 4S to get a better feel for its differences and similarities to Android. Sure, we've all messed around with an iPhone at a retail store - and after taking the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for a spin it's instantly hard to reason with its pricetag. But the iPhone does so well, and people love it. This is why I needed to test it out for myself.

First off, iOS 5 is smooth and doesn't skip a beat. But then again - it's completely absent of widgets; this alone was the hardest to cope with. Customization of the homescreen is one of Android's finest perks, and is currently an area Apple's iOS 5 can even touch. Next up is the absence of an app drawer. I don't know about you guys, but I've been sold on ADW EX since its initial release. When maneuvering throughout iOS 5, out of habit I often swiped upwards thinking my apps would appear. From my personal experience, I do not like a crowded homescreen - and prefer having my most used applications taking up specific screen real estate. It helps avoid accidentally openings.

Next up, you guessed it: You're going to miss the large, beautiful, Super AMOLED displays that we've grown to love in so many new devices. Don't get me wrong, the Retina display used on the 4S is spectacular - but I have huge thumbs. What's a guy to do? Siri can only help so much when trying to carry on a conversation or surf the net. However, the iPhone's smaller display helps you retain solid battery life throughout the day. That was my only gripe about the Galaxy Nexus, without loading a custom ROM and kernel - it wouldn't last me more than four hours.

The dismal battery life on the Galaxy Nexus could also be attributed to having a 4G LTE connection, but after using the iPhone 4S and being limited to 3G alone, poor battery life is much easier to swallow. Once you've experienced Verizon's 4G LTE, nothing seems to fill its shoes. Again, this is a personal opinion; I have access to my computer's USB port most of the day, and an outlet is usually close by. Thus charging up the Nexus was never an issue.

Build quality in the 4S easily surpasses that of the Galaxy Nexus, hands down. It feels extremely solid, and ditching the plastic chassis should be a future implementation for Android to work towards. Another area the iPhone wins over is camera quality. I've never been much of a photographer, but after using the iPhone 4S - taking pictures is a much better experience. Each device has its pros and cons, but after this iOS 5 test drive I've come to the realization Android suits my lifestyle better. I enjoy Google services way too much, particularly Google Navigation, and an OS that isn't so locked down. I've yet to tweak my 4S via jailbreak, but that probably deserves a comparison towards custom Android ROMs and kernels anyways.


Recent Stories

  • Bob

    I think its less about having an ubiased opinion and more about you being a closet apple fanboy and now being an apple shill. The glass and metal body you so love, cracks when dropped from waist height.

    • Matthew

      I have dropped my iPhone countless times and it doesn’t have a scratch. They are much more durable than they look. Though they do shatter if they land face down and are dropped from about 5-6 feet or higher. If your worried about that a case would stop it completely. Even the apple bumper would protect it.

      • Clyde Giap

        Then what’s the point of having a ‘fragile’ yet ‘beautiful’ glass body if you can’t show it off. 

        My bro dropped his ip4s and it fortunately landed on the metal side grid. But it left a dent on that part. 

        If it landed on the ‘military grade’ glass, it shatters.
        If it landed on the metal grid, it leaves a dent.

        If it landed on cheap plastic cover, it absorbs the impact and distributes the shock.

      • Clyde Giap

        Then what’s the point of having a ‘fragile’ yet ‘beautiful’ glass body if you can’t show it off. 

        My bro dropped his ip4s and it fortunately landed on the metal side grid. But it left a dent on that part. 

        If it landed on the ‘military grade’ glass, it shatters.
        If it landed on the metal grid, it leaves a dent.

        If it landed on cheap plastic cover, it absorbs the impact and distributes the shock.

      • Anonymous

        Get a thick screen protector, I’ve dropped my phone several times…nothing bad has happened! well, at least not yet :P

  • http://twitter.com/MirceaVasile Mircea Vasile

    When I compare my Galaxy Nexus with my brother’s iOS 5 iPhone I feel like with the iPhone I’m loosing control. I like to have options and be on top of every aspect of my life. The iPhone is about simplicity and peace of mind. 
    Also try watching a HD video on YouTube on the GN then compare the experience with the iPhone 4S. It simply blows it away.

  • Kazie

    I did the same but with Nexus S with ICS. iPhone 4S is now my primary phone and I don’t miss anything in the Nexus. It’s just matter of preference.

    • Hans-Christian Francke

      Well, I went back to my old Nokia from Iphone – didn’t miss a thing either.

  • Cuz_chimp_choker

    Samsung galaxy s2 with ice cream sandwich you should compare it to iPhone 4s trust me camera is way better on s2 than on iPhone 4s and the s2 is the best phone I have had I did have iPhone 4 but after a while I just got sick of it due to no Bluetooth file transfers and it lacked technology that android phones have apps also get cramped on homescreens and no Widgets was a big disappointment also it seemed pretty basic and apple keep taking stuff from android such as notification center also the point of iPhone not having flash player and there are a lot of downsides to iPhone I could never go back and if I did it would have to jail broken just like my galaxy s2 is rooted for adfree app and clockwork recovery and I’m from now on is sticking to android as it has no limitations and my battery life is pretty awesome I get 20 hours with full use like listening to music and I’m on stock xxlpb rom for galaxy s2 and rooted

    • Cuz_chimp_choker

      The good thing about iPhone though is game center for achievements and the point that they have a lot more games like call of duty zombies if we had a game center for android it would be amazing and also a lot more apps that worked would also be great

      • anywherehome

        fortunately Android is able to do more than games :)

      • trob6969

        No matter how many or how great Apple’s games are, the gaming experience is STILL subpar compared to Android’s because of iphone’s small screen! C’mon now, how much gaming/video enjoyment can you really get on a 3.5″ display?!

    • anywherehome

      YES, SGS2 is the best of the best for more than half a year! it is like a miracle nowdays to have the TOP so long

      • Trob6969

        NOPE! the htc rezound is the best of the best! Although its specs weren’t promoted, compare them to ANY smartphone on the market and you’ll see! It not only has the best audio of any, but the highest pixel density and in fact is the ONLY phone thats higher than iphone’s! Even with a 4.3″ screen! Its also the only phone (that i know of) that records video in SLOW-MOTION! And contrary to popular belief, sense 3.5 doesn’t slow the phone down at all; its still not just fast but VERY fast.

      • Anonymous

        One word On why I passed on the Rezound… SENSE

      • Anonymous

        I don’t understand, can’t you just install another ROM?

    • Anonymous

      lol is your period key broken?

      • Trob6969

        LOL!!!!

    • Roymontey

      “Way”better camera? No. But don’t take MY word for it,i say,browse it out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stuart-Tracey/768565245 Stuart Tracey

      Do you know how to use punctuation marks?

  • anywherehome

    I hope Google has it patented to pay back Apple if he copies that like statusbar…

    • Anonymous

       They are not suit happy like apple.

  • Anonymous

    My wife went from android to iphone back to android. She got tired of the lack of freedom and crappy navigation. She did miss the sound quality of the music tho lol, but her Galaxy Nexus suits her better and the camera is as good or even better than the iphone. Just tweek the controls and get a pic say pro or something. Rapid shooting and panoramic mode with the speed and elegance of ICS will attract anyone that likes to take pictures and have a display to show them off.
    I got her the extended battery and a nice case and the phone feels solid without sacrificing its original look and enjoyment of the awesome HD display …I’ve been with android ever since the G1 now i also rock the GNexus 4g LTE, i did try to give the iPhone a chance but i just got frustration and roadblocks instead….oh well it wasntt for me…#TEAM FREEDOM

    • Mii123me

      There is always playerpro or poweramp for Music quality, I prefer playerpro however I do feel that both blow the iPhone away in sound quality :D

      • Anonymous

        Thats funny that i DO use PLAYER pro (black neon theme) and it definitely blows the iphoe away with sound quality but imm guessing its too technical for my wifey to adjust to lol. I definitely brought up the audio quality argument in the car, it was hilarious because i was using minimal settings because my stereo couldn’t handle it :( and she did admit it sounded better than hers ….#TEAM FREEDOM .

      • Roymontey

        I’m curious is this a gadget,application or dock?

    • Roymontey

      If there was any one thing on the iPhone 4s that is undoubtedly superior to that on the g nexus its the camera. And by superior,I mean MUCH higher quality. But don’t take MY word for it, check it out online. You do have more freedom but, jeez,the camera comparison is a no -go area

      • Anonymous

        The camera itself probably is better on the iphone but the options add-ons on ICS are nothing to overlook imo. Either way i need a smartphone with openness and the ability to manage media and files and a decent camera not a smartphone with an awesome camera and loads of roadblocks.

      • trob6969

        Most people do camera comparisons based on the phone’s out-of-the-box camera settings, ASSUMING they’re optimal when they usually aren’t. Some people adjust the settings themselves first. That’s why there’s mixed opinions on which takes better pictures. For example, the default picture quality of my htc rezound was very good but when i went into the camera settings and adjusted them myself the results were MUCH better! Now my pics aren’t just good, they’re nearly identicle renderings of the source material; color accuracy, contrast, white balance,…everything.

    • Anonymous

      Why do I keep hearing that the camera on the GNex is better than the iPhone?
      I have both and there is no way in the world the Nexus has a better camera.

  • None

    What don’t you compare app markets and quality of apps? Which you know iOS wins hands down.

    • Anonymous

      As an Android proponent due to its open nature with a strong bias against apple, I have to agree with the parent. iOS clearly has an app advantage and a better structured platform for reaching apps. This area of UX should be greatly improved on with Android.

    • Trob6969

      Not really. As far as the multitude of gaming an video based apps in Apples market that MAY be better than Android’s, the iphone 4s STILL loses because the subpar hardware in the phone (small screen, inferior processor) really lessens the user experience!…didn’t think of that, huh?!

    • Anonymous

       Yeah, apple wins in making you pay for nearly every apps. I tried an iphone and most of the apps that i get free on android, you have to pay for the iphone. GPS is a big one, while it’s free on my Droid X, you have to pay apple $10/month for the privilege to use GPS on their phone. Android wins (atleast for consumers).

      • Anamika

        Paying for GPS? Isn’t that free or are you paying for data service?

      • Anonymous

        Since GPS service is not available on the iphone, you have to pay for it on at&t. A buddy of mine had to pay $10/month for something that’s free on android. Again, android wins.

    • Chris

      Incorrect.  Some of my favorite apps on iOS are exclusive to that platform and some of my favorite apps on Android are exclusive to Android.  Of the MANY apps I use that are available on both platforms, I would say 70% of them are of higher quality on Android.  Some are not, I think Spotify is a much better app on iOS, and some others.  Gaming is also a little better on iOS, but to say that iOS wins hands down in the app category is short sighted at best.

  • Anonymous

    “and ditching the plastic chassis should be a future implementation for Android to work towards.” 
    That’s 100% Samsung’s doing, not Android. Try out any HTC device from the past 2 years, and you’ll see some quality in the hardware.

  • Lovinlissa1984

    “Bob”
    This is actually by far the most unbiased iPhone to Android article I’ve seen…..of course every point is up to the individual prefence, however I think you did a very good job noting when you were voicing something that is simply your opinion. Apple may be the scum of the earth to a lot of us, but we all have to admit that Apple has a way about getting people to crack open their wallets.

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/JTHolroyd/TileStoneWork JessSayin

    That’s it? 4 paragraphs of comparison? Wish you had really taken a test drive instead of a quick lap around the block. Your points of comparison are nothing new and quite frankly, redundant of  the dozens if not hundreds of comparison reviews out there.

  • Matt

    This is actually my favorite comparison I have seen between iOS and Android yet. The author stated that he preffered many of the Android features, but acknowledge how it was his opinion and how some people would prefer the iOS style. He also said how he has large hands and preferred the large screen. And I know someone like me who has small hands could never use a large screen and need an iPhone sized screen.

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t quite as big of an issue as it used to be, but for me the biggest advantage that Android has over iPhone and Windows Phone is that it’s unparalleled as a communication device. iPhone’s notification system is still lacking compared to Android because it doesn’t have a notification light or the instantly-visible status bar icons for notifications that you can see from anywhere in the OS. I want notifications to be as in-my-face as possible or else they’re not doing a good job of notifying me. It also helps that Android doesn’t give special permissions to built-in apps, so no matter which IM service I prefer I know that it can do everything with the same speed and reliability as the built-in SMS app.

    Most critically missing (for my personal use case) is the lack of proper APIs to enable an app to turn on the phone ringer from the background. If my wife needs to get my attention because of an emergency, it gives me a lot of comfort to know that she can remotely enable my Android phone’s ringer to maximum volume before she calls.

  • Trob6969

    I agree with this entire article except for one thing, writer’s opinion on build quality. Is it not known that plastic obsorbs shock MUCH better than glass?! People give build quality advantage to iphone because it ‘feels’ more durable in the hand but that’s an illusion. Why do you think plastic is by far the most used material in the world for making just about everything that we use on a daily basis?!

    • http://twitter.com/di3gopa Diego Tejera

      because is cheaper?

      • Anonymous

        LOL, yea tell that to Apple and their Foxconn workers getting $1.70/hr. 

      • trob6969

        …so you think auto manufacturers use plastic instead of glass for vehicle dashboards because it’s “cheaper”?…ok, why don’t you do your own experiment at home. Go into your kitchen, grab a plastic cup and a drinking glass from the cupboard then drop them both on a linoleum floor and note which one shatters and which just bounces around!

  • Anamika

    Does the iPhone allow you to connect to a any PC and drag and drop files i.e use phone as usb?
    Does it allow you to download installers(like apk) and install without market?
    Is there a universal back button or you have to go back by pressing the main button?

    • Anonymous

      Download iPhone explorer if you want to drag and drop files
      You can install applications with installous
      Having a ‘universal back button’ that changes function several times within the same UI is not intuitive, having a software back button is…but yes, you can always return to the homescreen by pressing the home button.

    • farexynex

      Downloading apk is the dumpest thing in the iPhone u download the whole app and it will work on any model unlike the android phones ;)

  • http://problogtech.com/ Hamid

    wow

  • Vincent

    Wow, I like this article, unbiased and straight to the point. It’s a good thinking that most of us should be, especially to those fanboys out there.

  • Sshaharia

    morons. do they know nothing of custom daemons and roms? are widgets all they know? leave the *cough* features *cough* to the modders. i have galaxy nexus and iphone 4s, apart from the physical’s, the moment you unlock each handset, they look nothing like the stock bullshit everyone rolls around with.

  • Sshaharia

    morons. do they know nothing of custom daemons and roms? are widgets all they know? leave the *cough* features *cough* to the modders. i have galaxy nexus and iphone 4s, apart from the physical’s, the moment you unlock each handset, they look nothing like the stock bullshit everyone rolls around with.

  • Gianni

    About build quality: GN is curved, thin and wide.
    IPhone is nice looking on a table but with all that sharp hedges is the worst thing to handle, actually people hold it with fingertips.
    GN is all curved, fits perfectly in hand, and being asymmetrical you can tell top from button without looking at it.
    The camera is amazing: fastest ever, beautiful colors and great panorama.

  • farexynex

    Android fan or the lamest people ever and or software doesn’t feel nice. And its not made for daily life use lots of lags as shit hung ups games shutdown suddenly really android operating system sucks it is just a wanna be iPhone ….. ( this comment was sent from a galaxy nexus )