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.