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Samsung Galaxy S II vs Apple iPhone 4

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Samsung's Galaxy S II was probably the most important phone launched at Mobile World Congress 2011.
Like its precessor the Samsung Galaxy S, it has a stunning screen and looks like a beautiful object.
We compare the stats of the two devices to see which touchscreened beauty takes the biscuit.




Samsung Galaxy S II - 125.3x66.1x8.49mm, 116g
Apple iPhone 4 - 115.2x58.6x9.3mm, 137g

Overall the iPhone 4 is a more compact solution, the one exception being the thickness (or should that be thinness?) as it is just pipped by the Samsung S II by only a hair’s breadth, the S II also weighs less, but really if you’re looking for a sleek, compact and ultra-thin handset you simply cannot go wrong with either of these phones, they both looks the business as far as state-of-the-art, wafer thin smartphones are concerned.

We’ll cover display in more detail in a moment but it’s fair to say that physical size of the device affects the screen size and in this regard the Samsung has the largest of the pair with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, while the iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch.

After that it really comes down to personal preference, the iPhone 4 is, well, an iPhone, with all the visual styling that goes with it and just like a certain yeast-based spread people tend to either love it or hate it. The Galaxy S II, on the other hand, may prove to be something of an acquired taste being something of a departure from the original Galaxy S’s smooth curves, we found the slightly more angular, ‘slab-like’ stylings of the S II have a certain charm to them.

The iPhone 4 is undoubtedly an attractive looking piece of kit but there are some who might be a bit tired of the now very familiar iDevice style, but it will no doubt always have its admirers.
Between the larger screen size, lighter weight and bold styling I’m going to have to vote in favour of the Samsung Galaxy S II on this one.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II




As we mentioned the Galaxy S II has the larger screen of these devices at 4.3-inches to the iPhone 4’s 3.5-inches. The iPhone 4’s display is an LED backlit, capacitive TFT touchscreen at 960x640 resolution which features a “scratch-resistant oleophobic surface” along with multi-touch and a three axis gyro auto-rotate sensor.

The S II’s screen is a Super Amoled Plus at 800 x 480 resolution. This is a tricky one to call, iPhone screens are some of the best around and the 960x640 resolution is great but the Samsung’s Super Amoled provides a brighter and more vivid display than the iPhone 4’s retina display and with reduced power consumption to boot.

Overall we think the Super Amoled’s practical features just pushes the Samsung into the winning position in this category.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


Operating System


The Galaxy S II runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and of course the iPhone 4 uses the latest version of Apple’s iOS.

Again this is a case of personal preference, Android is a much more customisable platform if that is what you’re after but there’s no denying the smoothness and usability of the iOS if you want something that will do a good job and don’t have the need for a tailored system.

Android does have its peculiar quirks, some of which are a bit irritating truth be told, in particular the web browser to which Opera or another third party browser is usually preferable.

Whatever you think of Apple products there is something about using an iOS device that brings a smile to your face because of its simplicity and how well it works, it’s just a no fuss platform and that’s definitely something to recommend.

Given time Android will likely smooth out the blemishes, although fragmentation issues are something to consider, future versions will aim to merge the current phone and tablet systems (Gingerbread and Honeycomb) into a much better platform and this is something we can see the S II really taking advantage of.

Winner – Draw




The iPhone 4 comes with either 16 or 32 GB internal storage and 512 MB RAM but sadly is let down by lack of card support, the Galaxy S II has the same internal storage options but with 1 GB RAM and allows up to 32 GB via Micro SD card.

This is something of a no-contest, the iPhone 4 not having card support on a modern smartphone is a big faux pas in our view as Apple continues to make the same blunder with its iPhone line. The Galaxy S II’s 32 GB Micro SD support and extra bit of RAM makes it a clear winner on this round.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II




The Samsung Galaxy S II features an 8-megapixel primary camera at the rear of the phone, which also features an LED flash and is capable of capturing video and images at 1080p.

The S II also has a 2-megapixel camera on the front. The iPhone 4, meanwhile, has a 5-megapixel primary with LED flash and a 2592 x 1944 resolution, capable of 720p image and video capture.

The iPhone 4 camera also includes touch focus and geo-tagging features. The iPhone 4’s secondary camera is designed for the phone’s video-calling feature via Wi-Fi connections.

On this round it’s a case of bigger is better and the S II’s beefy 8-megapixel primary camera gives it that edge.

Winner- Samsung Galaxy S II




While the number and quality of apps for Android is steadily increasing it still is yet to come close to touching Apple’s crown as the undisputed King of apps.

You simply can’t beat an iOS device for sheer choice of great apps and for this reason there is no hesitation in saying the iPhone 4 wins this round straight away.

Winner – Apple iPhone 4




The iPhone 4 uses a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor, actually manufactured for Apple by Samsung. The A4 features a single ARM Cortex-A8 CPU core paired with a PowerVR SGX 535 graphics processor (GPU). The Galaxy S II uses Samsung’s own Exynos Dual Core Application Processor.

Apple’s processors are always impressive specimens and have enabled the iPhones to lead the smartphone pack in running apps, media and games effortlessly, to date they have made it look easy.

We somehow doubt the S II will come close to making the iPhone 4 look feeble but it does represent the ‘next gen’ of handsets a bit more than the iPhone 4 with its dual-core processor.

Phones are starting to follow the trends set by desktop and laptop computers where more cores has meant more power and efficiency, provided the programs and applications are made to utilise the multiple cores, that is.

As brilliant as Apple’s A4 processor is it’s not in line with the forward-thinking approach Samsung has taken with implementing dual-core technology in the Galaxy S II. In the long run the S II should prove more versatile but it doesn’t detract from how well the iPhone 4 functions in the current market.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


Final Thoughts


This one has been really tough. The iPhone 4 is a great little handset which is very difficult to find fault with but it is a very current device and this is where the Samsung Galaxy S II distinguishes itself as something we can see being used for longer.

Samsung has future-proofed the S II by beefing up the features such as the camera and storage and have used clever tech like the dual-core processor and more power efficient screen.

In some ways it seems like Apple is simply sticking to its guns and catering to its own specific corner of the market, the company isn’t breaking ground with the new iPhone 4 where Samsung is really consolidating its position in the wake of the Galaxy S with a really ramped up successor in the Galaxy S II.


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