Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Apple iPhone 4 Head To Head With The Samsung Galaxy S2

The year 2011 is coming to an end soon, and the battle of the supreme smartphones is only going to thicken. So out of several contenders out there, let's pick two very popular choices and pit them against each other: Apple's iPhone 4 and Samsung's latest Galaxy S2.

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is basically the successor of the earlier Galaxy S, which was one of the best of last year's Android phones. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S2 packs the new Android OS 2.3 on a 4.2 inch AMOLED screen with 800x480 resolution. While bigger than Apple's iPhone 4 screen of 3.5 inches, there is still no contender to the iPhone's retina display at an ultra-sharp 960x640 resolution. Still its "Super AMOLED Plus" screen looks good with vivid colours, and its overall smoothness is not that far off from the iPhone, probably thanks to its dualcore Qualcomm processor of 1.2GHz with a 1GB RAM. This seems to slightly edge out the iPhone's A4 processor at 1GHz and half the RAM at 512MB. Smoothness was a close tie here, though we would expect the dualcore processor of the Samsung to handle heavy multitasking better.

In terms of the Android 2.3 versus Apple's iOS 4, Android's latest instalment offers Samsung's TouchWiz UI 4.0. It does offer some neat features such as Game Hub and Readers Hub, but we found that this is still no match compared to the vastness of Apple's App Store, as well as the smooth, slick feel of the iPhone 4. Probably the only edge that Android holds over iOS is the fact that it allows you to play Adobe Flash when browsing online, which is useful for some websites with videos and animations.

Samsung Galaxy S2 has a superior camera of 8 megapixels versus 5 megapixels on the iPhone 4. Also the Galaxy S2 offers video shooting at Full HD resolution that is 1080p at 30fps. This feature is certainly superior to the iPhone's video at a HD resolution of 720p at 30fps. Both the Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4 have an LED flash and autofocus, but Samsung Galaxy S2 packs a superior front camera of 2-megapixels, versus just plain VGA resolution on the iPhone 4, which could likely provide more immersive video calls.

In terms of physical size and build, the Samsung Galaxy S2 measures 125x66x8.5mm, which feels very slim and light at only 8.5mm thick, and weighing in at 116g. The Apple iPhone 4 measures 115.2x58.6x9.3mm, which means the iPhone 4 is a little thicker at 9.3mm, and a little heavier at 137g. However, the build quality of the Samsung Galaxy S2 feels somewhat flimsy and plasticky, as compared to the solid metallic feel of the iPhone 4.

Storage-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S2 offers the same 16 or 32 GB variants as the iPhone 4, with the notable difference of a microSD expansion slot, which can cater for up to an additional 32GB storage, depending on the microSD card.

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is also pretty impressive, being able to last into Day 2 despite some heavy usage of Wi-Fi and games. This is superior to the iPhone 4 which barely makes it to the end of Day 1 under heavy usage.

To summarize, it does appear that overall, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has trounced the Apple iPhone 4 in a number of departments as described above, which was expected considering the Samsung was released almost a year later in Feb 2011 versus the Apple iPhone 4 in June 2010. Keep a lookout for the iPhone 5 which would be expected to outdo the Galaxy S2 with at least similar, if not superior features.

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