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Apple Iphone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II head to head

First INQpressions The battle for top spot
Thu Oct 13 2011, 17:38

APPLE AND SAMSUNG are bitter rivals in the consumer technology market, so here we pit their flagship smartphones against each other.

The two handsets are similar in the looks department with both available in black or white options. One of the main differences is that the Galaxy S II has a larger screen than the Iphone 4S at 4.3in compared to 3.5in. The other big different for us is the size and weight. The Samsung is an extremely slender 8.49mm thick and 116g. Apple's rival is thicker and heavier at 9.3mm and 140g, which is not an upgrade from the Iphone 4.

The Iphone 4S does have a more premium finish with glass front and back whilst the Galaxy S II has an extremely thin and flimsy plastic rear case, but this is partly what makes it so light. With both handsets looking so similar, the size and weight make Samsung come out on top in the area.


The Iphone 4S has received a processor upgrade, which is an A5 dual-core chip. Based on some benchmarks, this is clocked at 800MHz. That figure might seem surprisingly low when you consider that the Galaxy S II has a 1.2GHz dual-core chip. However, the same benchmarks show that the Iphone 4S blows other smartphones, including the Galaxy S II, out of the water in pretty much every test.

The difference between IOS 5 and Android makes all the difference here and means the Iphone 4S wins in the performance stakes. Although the benchmarks show the Iphone 4S is better, the Galaxy S II is still incredibly responsive, so it's not exactly a write-off. A side note here is that Iphone 4 users will gain a decent performance boost just by upgrading to IOS 5.

The other significant Iphone 4S upgrade is its rear facing camera, which has been bumped up to 8MP from 5MP. This brings it up to speed with the Galaxy S II 8MP camera. The details continue to be the same across the board with an LED flash, auto focus and digital zoom. The two are neck and neck on video too with HD 1080p at 30fps. Something the Iphone 4S does have is video stabilisation but this minor detail means the video competition is a draw.

As we mentioned earlier, the Galaxy S II has a larger 4.3in screen compared to the 3.5in screen on the Iphone 4S, which is unchanged from the Iphone 4. If you need the extra screen real estate then the Samsung might be the right choice but there's no getting around the resolution difference.

The Galaxy S II might have a bright AMOLED display but it has 480x800 resolution, which means it has a pixel density of 216ppi. The Iphone 4S packs 640x960 resolution onto its smaller screen, creating a pixel density of 326ppi. This puts the Iphone 4S in front for us.


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