Google Galaxy Nexus (Nexus Prime) vs Samsung Galaxy S2

October 7, 2011
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Folks, this is an epic show-down, and what you are about to read below will demonstrate that both the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Nexus Prime are two of the greatest smartphones – Android or not – to ever come into existence. We cover all of the important categories, so you can get the whole picture. Read on for more!

Overview

Samsung Galaxy S2

Samsung’s Galaxy S2 has finally landed stateside, on both T-Mobile and soon to come to AT&T. A mega-hit in Europe and Asia, Samsung’s follow-up to their first Samsung Galaxy S is the kind of second version we love to see. Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G for T-Mobile (too long, we know) it features an incredibly thin profile, and is one of the lightest phones on the market. Additionally, it is packing an incredibly vibrant 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, and has excellent optics via its 8-megapixel camera, and is currently the most powerful dual-core Android phone on the market, courtesy of its Exynos processor.

Nexus Prime

The Nexus Prime has not been publicly released, and very few in the industry know about it definitively. That being said, there’s been a steady stream of rumors leaking our way over the past several weeks which point to a October 11th unveiling, a 4.6 inch 720p Super HD AMOLED display, and a bunch of other specs to die for. The jury is still out on whether it will receive a 1.2Ghz or 1.5Ghz dual core, but honestly, it won’t matter. With the alleged performance updates to Ice Cream Sandwich, we have no doubt that this device will be lightning fast. Additionally, it will be like all the other Nexus devices – first in line to receive updates fresh from Google, which is a huge plus in our book.

Spec-For-Spec Battle


Phone Nexus Prime Samsung Galaxy S2
OS Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 Gingerbread Android 2.3.3
Processor Dual-Core Texas Instruments 1.5 / 1.2 GHz CPU Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos chipset
Carrier Verizon Exclusive Possibly Other Carriers Later T-Mobile, AT&T, Telus, Sprint with a 4.5 inch variant, with same specs
Price $299/16GB $199
Internal Storage 16GB, with SD Card 16-32GB with SD Card
Display 4.6 Inch Super HD AMOLED 1280×720 Display 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus 800×480
Camera 5MP LED Flash 8MP LED Flash
Video 1080p HD 1080p HD
Front Camera? Yes Yes
Memory 1GB 1GB
External Storage? Unknown Yes, microSD
App Store? Yes, Est. 350,000+ Yes, Est. 350,000+
4G Capable? Yes Yes
Weight unknown, probably approximately 150+ grams 116 g
Height unknown 4.96 inches
Width unknown Width- 2.6 inches
Depth 8.8 mm 0.35 inch
Release Date Early November 2011 May 2011
Battery 1750mAh Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G 1650mAh Talk time 8 hours, one day heavy usage, two days moderate

Performance

Samsung Galaxy S2 

The Galaxy S2 is considered the reigning performance champ for Android phones

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is no slouch. I’ve had over 10 media intensive sites, all with flash loaded and playing in Dolphin going, while I have music streaming, a torrent or two downloading, and two games (Tank Hero, Robo Defense) in the memory, and the device never stuttered for a second. In fact the slowest thing about the Galaxy S2 is me. Devices of this caliber are simply some of the most responsive and powerful mobile devices ever devised. Let’s not fall into the megahertz trap folks – a few extra clock cycles makes no difference at this level. Coming from a Motorola Droid and then a Droid 2 Global, I have to say that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is simply unbelievable. How will it stack up to the Nexus Prime? Well, realistically, the key differentiator will be the software. Ice Cream Sandwich is said to built with dual (and more) cores in mind. It’s a highly scalable OS, and will likely result in a whole new level of responsiveness for Android devices.

Nexus Prime

Oh Nexus Prime, when will you come? There’s been some controversy in the blogosphere over the past 24 hours about whether or not the Prime will be receiving either a 1.5Ghz or 1.2Ghz, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is software and RAM, and the Prime will have the best of both. Being that this is the latest reference device from Google, and that Honeycomb was a bit of an unfinished product when it shipped, we know fully well that Google and Samsung have put everything they have into this one. Samsung has positioned itself as one (if not the) of the top manufacturers producing Android devices, and the Nexus Prime will be no exception. Expect blazing fast performance on par or better than the Samsung Galaxy S2.

Display

Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S2 – despite not being qHD, or a 720p display – is still amazing. Coming from LCD, it’s still a treat on the eyes. It works beautifully in direct sunlight, has butter smooth operation in all areas, and is power efficient. Go and find one of these displays and have a look for yourself. Pure, rich blacks, saturated colors – every time I pull it out it practically puts a frown on iPhone owners faces.

Nexus Prime

The Nexus Prime has the same technology that is in the Galaxy S2 – but (potentially) of the PenTile matrix variety. While nowhere near as bad as PenTile in LCD’s, it’s a difference nonetheless. Still, these are truly minor criticisms, as this will be the world’s first 4.6 inch 1280×720 Super HD AMOLED Display. And for that, it’s going to be the most amazing display on any phone out there – including the one found on the iPhone 4/4S. Think Galaxy S2, but better. Still, for some 4.6 inches could prove to be too large.

Other considerations

What we are looking at represent two of the most advanced Android devices in the universe. This is particularly hard for me to write, as I am the proud owner of the Samsung Galaxy S2, and can easily say that it is the best smartphone I have ever owned – period. Lightning fast performance, a display that makes everything look incredible, awesome battery life – it’s really everything I could have ever hoped for in a mobile device. My only small gripe would be that I wish the display had slightly higher resolution. One other thing to consider is physical size. I like to think I have large hands, and I often struggle to enter touchscreen text input on a display of this magnitude; but for two handed typing – it’s a gem. I wonder how 4.6 inches of Super HD AMOLED goodness will feel in the hand? The verdict is still out on that one, folks.

After witnessing these brand new leaks of what appears to be the Nexus Prime in the flesh for the first time, I have to say that I am completely sold on Ice Cream Sandwich. As i’m sure you saw in the videos above – it looks incredibly responsive, and boasts significant UI improvements across the board. Considering the Nexus Prime has a significantly higher spec’ed display vs the Samsung Galaxy S2, at 1280×720 on a 4.6 inch for the Prime and 800×480 on a 4.3 for the Galaxy S2 – it’s an easy call – the Nexus Prime is the new Best Android Superphone of 2011.

While we don’t have official confirmation as to when it will be launched, and whether or not it will be bloatware free or not, we do know that is coming soon. Samsung and Google are holding an event on October 11th [UPDATE! It's just been delayed for reasons unknown], and we know that Ice Cream Sandwich will be debuted for the first time publicly, and will be streamed on YouTube too! For now, I’m going to say that it’s looking like the Nexus Prime has all the makings of an incredible device.

And how about you? Do you think the Nexus Prime has what it takes to be a Galaxy S2 killer? Will it’s immense screen size prove to be too much? Are you excited?

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Also, if you’re a fan of superphone showdowns, then check out our dedicated VS page! Let us know your thoughts!

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