iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy SII

February 21, 2011
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[Update – Be sure to checkout the iPhone 4s vs Galaxy S2 mobile comparison ]

Samsung has just launched its flagship smartphone in the shape of the Samsung Galaxy S II (2) (GT I9100). With MWC 2011 finally over, we can now all have fresh perspective on the best  devices slated to be released into the hands of smartphone lovers worldwide in 2011. First off, the Samsung Galaxy S II is seriously impressive. The big question, of course, is just how amazing is it, and, for that, we’re going to need to compare it to arguably one of the best non-Android phones around –  the Apple iPhone 4.

And so, without further ado, read on to find our thoughts on this legendary superphone standoff.

iPhone 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S II:

Form Factor

1st: Galaxy S II
125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, 117g

2nd: iPhone 4

115.2 x 58.7 x 9.3mm, 137g

While there are four dimensions of statistics to consider in this category, it’s only really two that count and the Samsung Galaxy S II comes out top in both. The latest flagship mobile from the Korean tech giant claims to be the world’s thinnest at just 8.49mm and its amazing considering the high end technology inside. The superior screen size on the Samsung, and all the extras included make the Samsung Galaxy S II the winner of this round.

Storage

1st: Galaxy S II

16/32GB + microSD

2nd

: iPhone 4
16/32GB

Pretty simple one to judge here. Both phones offer the same amount of flash storage with the only difference that you can expand that of the Samsung Galaxy S II with microSD cards up to the value of 32GB. So, effectively, you can store twice as much on it. With all those 1080p videos and 8MP stills, you’ll probably find you need to.

Battery Life

Tie: Galaxy S II
1650mAh
Tie: iPhone 4
1420mAh, Up to 10 hours video

While the Samsung Galaxy S II hasn’t gone on sale in the United States yet, except via select private retailers, it has received significant exposure in the UK and Europe. Actually, it’s currently sold out virtually all across the UK, and in certain parts of Europe. Anyway, the battery life of the Galaxy S II is absolutely excellent. In fact, despite having an jaw-droppingly powerful dual core 1.2GHz processor, the phone itself is smart to enough to drop down to as low as 200MHz, and as such, is able to easily achieve a full days usage. This is even with heavy browser usage, photo/video taking, and playing of apps and games. The battery is definitely bigger than that of the iPhone 4, and it does have that dual core CPU to run as well as a larger screen. All the same, the Super AMOLED Plus display is incredibly power efficient and that’s often where smartphones use up most of their supply. At the end of the day, we have to say that the Galaxy S II’s battery life bests that of Apple’s best, and only smartphone – the iPhone (4). Very impressive indeed.

Display

Tie: Galaxy S II
4.27-inch, 800x480px, Super AMOLED Plus
Tie: iPhone 4
3.5-inch, 960x640px, LCD with IPS

The Super AMOLED Plus is a significant step up from the straight Super AMOLED of the first Galaxy. It brings with it a wider colour gamut, superior contrast, sharper edges, much better outdoor visibility and lower power consumption than any other screen on the market. In fact, so proud is Samsung of this on the spec sheet that, if it all performs as promised, it is likely to be better than the Retina Display of the iPhone 4. However, we will have to reserve judgement until we get one in our hands and have time to play with it in a variety of environments. According to the numbers, and to what we know from our brief time with it, it’s still a draw. Still, when you are able to stand up to a screen like the Retina’s, you’re saying quite a bit.

Performance

1st: Galaxy S II
1GHz Tegra 2 dual core, 1GB RAM / 1.2GHz Dual Core Exynos chip, 1GB RAM
2nd: iPhone 4
Apple A4, 512MB

Samsung hasn’t been entirely forthcoming about the specifics of the hardware in the Samsung Galaxy S II. There are disputing reports of what is inside, and it appears that there will be two renditions of the phone itself very soon. It’s clear however, that either set of specs are going to absolutely blow the lid off the iPhone 4. The CPU runs just as fast but is built for multitasking with the added core, plus the doubling of the RAM, speaks for itself. What’s a little unclear is what’s going on graphically. All the same, we know that the original Galaxy S had the edge in that department over the iPhone, so it’s a pretty safe bet that the second iteration will have blown Apple’s darling out of the water this time around.

Imaging

1st: Galaxy S II
8MP rear, 2MP front, 1080p video capture
2nd: iPhone 4
5MP rear, VGA front, 720p video capture

Samsung has really pulled out all the stops in designing and developing the Samsung Galaxy S II. It has placed a quality 8MP stills camera on the Galaxy S II complete with LED flash. This particular camera, can capture Full HD video at 30fps whereas the iPhone can only manage 720p. To make matters even better for the Galaxy S II, the  front facing webcam is of the kind of resolution that’s even hard to get embedded in modern day laptops these days. If the software and connection are up to it, video calls on the Samsung smartphone should look fantastic at the other end too.

Connectivity

1st: Galaxy S II
Wi-Fi, NFC, 4G, BT 3.0, DLNA, Wi-Fi tethering
2nd: iPhone 4
Wi-Fi, BT 2.1, 3G

Samsung seems to have opted for connectivity overkill in this case, but we actually appreciate their approach. The Galaxy S II contains absolutely everything a true connectivity junkie could ever hope for, and more. Seriously impressive. There’s 4G – should you be able to use it – and the latest version of Bluetooth designed to cut down the hassle of the handshake initiation. Furthermore, there’s  the upcoming NFC (Near Field Communication) technology for when contactless payments via smartphones become the mainstream.

It also features Samsung’s DLNA system called All Share which will come in very handy when you want to view HD content wirelessly from your phone onto a big screen TV. With Wi-Fi tethering to your PC, it should make mobile connectivity a breeze. Cables are so 2009. We would caution would be buyers of the Galaxy S II to remain mindful of ever-present battery concerns however.

Price

1st: Galaxy S II
Less than the iPhone 4
2nd: iPhone 4
More than anyone else

While we don’t know for sure how much the Samsung Galaxy S II will cost, we are quite sure it will cost less than the iPhone 4. The iPhone has always cost considerably more than any other smartphone on the market and we see no reason why Samsung would choose to price things any other way. We will have to keep you posted on this one, but it’s looking good for Android Smartphone lovers everywhere. If you are looking for the best and exciting deals in Smartphones, then you can visit www.letstalk.com.

Conclusion

To us, it’s pretty obvious the iPhone 4 has met its match. However, at two-thirds of the way into its life cycle it isn’t exactly the most ‘fair’ comparison. The iPhone 5 is likely to have dual-core, and feature improvements in nearly every notable department. The iPhone is an excellent device, and was designed with the pursuit of perfection in mind. Really though, the Samsung Galaxy S II beats it in nearly every departments that count. The Galaxy S II is lighter, thinner, significantly more powerful, and light years ahead of the iPhone 4 on taking pictures and video, and has the most technologically sophisticated 4.3 inch screen on the market. Delicious.

At the end of the day, we can reflect on all of this as a statement from Samsung. They are obviously very serious about being the best manufactuer/OEM of mobile tech out there. This latest flagship smartphone from Samsung is a mobile maven, in every way that matters. Incredible power, amazing connectivity, svelte form factor, and fantastic media. Samsung has obviously put everything it has into this one, and – on paper – it shows. It is amazing how far we have come, and we can’t wait to get one. Considering how good the original Galaxy S was, we expect it to deliver in every way we have listed above.

Stay tuned for more!

We’ve also compared the most powerful, most amazing superphones of 2011 in the following comprehensive articles:

HTC EVO 3D vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Extreme Android Superphone Standoff!


HTC Sensation vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Flagship Superphone Fight!


The Android Superphones of 2011 [Spreadsheet]

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

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