My Iphone4 vs SGS2 hands on verdict

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sir Ruben, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Sir Ruben, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #1
    Okay so at the moment i own both an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy S II and have decided to write up my impressions. I initially did this as general notes for my own benefit to help me make a choice between the two, however it has expanded it into something that others may be able to get some useful information from. I am a fan of the iPhone and IOS but approached the SGS2 with an open mind, if it wowed me I decided I would switch and sell the iPhone. Being classed as THE best android handset on the market, if anything would sway me then this would probably be the handset to do it. I have tried to summarise my experiences into a few categories in a bid to keep it simple and maybe help out a few potential buyers, before I start though I would just like to point out that I LOVED the SGS2, anyway:

    THE HANDSET:

    The SGS2 is all plastic, it has an incredibly thin battery cover on the back which houses the battery and sim card slot. It does not use micro sim. The handset is comfortable to hold and very light. Its more comfortable in the hand than the iPhone, but the iPhone has a much more solid overall build quality. The screen initially impresses however after a little use you can clearly see that it has a lower pixel density and resolution than the iPhone. This is very apparent when viewing web pages and photos. The size of the screen actually proved to be awkward in some cases. As an example if I were on the Android Market and holding the phone in my left hand, it was almost impossible to reach the search icon with my thumb situated in the top right of the screen.

    Saying this it still manages to look very vibrant and impressive most of the time and if you had never used the retina display to compare you would be none the wiser. Even though the screen is vibrant it can at times look very over saturated, kind of like when you turn the contrast up too high on a TV. Holding the phones side by side the signal strength on the SGS2 was always lower than the iPhone, there would be times where the iPhone would have say 4 bars and the SGS2 would be down to two or none! This could be down to the way the phones display the signal but I though that it was interesting none the less.

    THE CAMERA:

    Another thing I compared was the quality of the front facing camera. Again this looked marvellous on the big display, however under direct comparison with the iPhone4 in low light the image was very dark with grainy lines running vertically down the image. The iPhone's front facing camera in comparison produced a brighter image with much less grain and no vertical lines across the image.

    NOTE: I did not directly compare the rear camera however the pics i took with the SGS2 appeared very good and I also noticed that the camera app opened noticeably quicker on the SGS2.

    THE OS:

    Gingerbread is very competent and enjoyable to use and features such as the DNLA sharing are an excellent addition. Widgets are initially fun (as an iPhone user they are something new) but very soon you realise they just take up valuable screen space, and widgets such as twitter are pointless, you are far better off just opening the app itself. I think apple agree hence the reason they have avoided widgets apart from the notification drop down in IOS 5 where they are not taking up space on the home screen. Most of the time they don't improve the user experience and cause the home screens to lose continuity in the process. My initial home screen had mostly icons with only the clock widget at the top, then I realised that the clock shows in the notification bar above it rendering it pointless and taking up valuable app icon space - you can have a minimum of four additional icons in the space that a widget takes up. The other widgets I used were cast to the second page and looked untidy. I also noticed that sometimes when I scrolled to the page I had three widgets on, they were not there instantly and sometimes loaded in. In fairness they loaded quick but as the SGS2 is pretty powerful this surprised me and added to the untidy feel of the widgets.

    Whilst the OS is snappy on the phone even with it's dual core processor flicking through pics in the gallery still doesnt have the silky smooth flow you find on the iPhone. That's down to the OS coding though rather than the phone I would imagine.

    I loved the notification area (that Apple have copied), this showed the status of downloads which I thought was very impressive (not sure if IOS5 with show this in the same way). I did enjoy being able to download files such as .MP3 directly to the handset.

    I really like haptic feedback A LOT, i have read that a jailbroken iPhone can have this but is it as nice as the Android implementation? I also really like the two soft keys either side of the home button, they light up when you touch them and also provide haptic feedback.

    At the end of the day though there are a lot of nice little features that apple would be wise to ‘borrow’ for IOS5 (ahem, like they did with the notifications).

    THE APPS

    The app icons though are ugly and a simple upgrade in quality would make the home screen look a lot nicer. Many of the apps look much rougher around the edges than their iPhone counterparts, eBay for example, and many more look and perform noticeably worse on android.

    iPhone 4 (640x960):
    [​IMG]

    SGS2 (480x800):
    [​IMG]

    ebay (iPhone4):
    [​IMG]

    eBay (SGS2):
    [​IMG]

    More to follow......

    I did some side by side performance comparisons. Opening and closing app's etc. What I found is that the opening time of say BBC News etc would usually be the same but very often marginally slower on the SGS2. It was almost nothing but thought it was worth noting mainly because the SGS2 has a higher spec than the iPhone 4, and I have seen a lot of people make bold claims about its performance blowing the iPhone away. From my side by side comparison I can safely say that the performance of the SGS2 only matches the iPhone 4 in the majority of situations.

    I have taken some screen shots comparing the same app's on each of the devices for people who have not seen the difference between the two. I took the shots using the home & power keys so they are direct from the handsets in the correct resolution. I will add them to this section when I get the time.

    Google Maps app seemed to perform better on the iPhone 4, I was very surprised by this. With the SGS2 it struggled to find my exact location and managed to be about a mile off. I waited and it didnt seem to close in any further, so I fired up Maps on my iPhone and it located me straight away.

    VERDICT:

    I like the SGS2 a LOT, initially I was tempted to switch until I realised that I was just entertained by something new and different. After some use though, I am even more convinced of apples choices with IOS. Before this comparison I wanted widgets, now I don't, I wanted live wallpapers, now I don't. I have to say though the SGS2 IS a fantastic phone, but if this handset is still not quite enough to make me switch then I know no other android could.

    If iPhone didn't exist I would absolutely cherish the SGS2. If you LIKE android OS more than IOS then this phone is the ultimate handset. Now that I have tried the best the competition has to offer I will be selling the SGS2 and using the cash for the iPhone 5. Everyone is different though and if you decided to move to the SGS2 you could make far worse choices in life that’s for sure.

    PICS

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    iPhone 4 pics added for comparison (as you can see I was a fan of the SGS2 wallpaper):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ap3604 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #2
    I like your review :)

    Very objective and gave good points for both sides instead of simply bashing one side or the other...
     
  3. JetBlack7 macrumors 68020

    JetBlack7

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    #3
    Good review. Informative and direct, both combinations I like. +1 ;)
     
  4. WeegieMac Guest

    WeegieMac

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #4
    Superb post/thread, that's been written in a manner that's been missing from the forums thus far.

    It's also refreshing to see it given +4 so far, as this kind of stuff is normally marked down by default by the Android users who see anything other than lavish praise, as hatred and "fanboyism".
     
  5. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #5
    A very refreshing read.

    Hardware wise, Samsung have more than nailed it but Touchwiz and Samsung's historic performance with updates are a massive turnoff when it comes to the SGS II IMO. How long will it take Samsung to bake their custom software into the next Android release?

    Nothing can touch the prompt update schedules of an iPhone or Nexus device and both represent the best of both platforms IMO.
     
  6. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    #6
    Good post! These are the kinds of iPhone vs threads I WOULD like yo see in this forum... even if you had not picked the iPhone.
     
  7. Deanoaka macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #7
    You feel exactly the same as me. Every point in your verdict is of my same opinion.

    I just sold mine too for £400 and will save up another £100 for the new iPhone (That is unless they drop the price :D - Go on Jobs'ey, do me a favor :D )
     
  8. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #8
    Hi All,

    Glad you enjoyed the comparison, I wrote it with most of the little details still fresh in my mind and as you can probably tell im a big fan of both handsets. Part of me has considered keeping the SGS2 as well, but for the money I can get I just cant justify keeping both.

    One other thing I compared (and forgot to add above) was the quality of the front facing camera. Again this looked marvellous on the big display, however under direct comparison with the iPhone4 in low light the image was very dark with grainy lines running vertically down the image. The iPhone's front facing camera in comparison produced a brighter image with much less grain and no vertical lines across the image.

    I also mentioned the notification area (that Apple have copied), this showed the status of downloads which I thought was very impressive (not sure if IOS5 with show this in the same way). I did enjoy being able to download files such as .MP3 directly to the handset.

    I'm really glad I had the chance to compare the handsets side to side, as im sure that like me, many of you have wondered what the best Android was like in the flesh. Any other questions you may have ask away.
     
  9. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    Great review, thanks. Will be sticking with my iPhone :D
     
  10. Apollo 13 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #10
    I think these threads are dumb. You are telling us u couldn't come to the conclusion u didn't want the phone before your 30 trial with the phone? Now u have to sell the phone just to get the iphone. I love my iphone just like most ppl here but if i were to get an android phone i wouldn't care about reviews posted here since they wouldn't be fare. Hell look at how everyone loves your review since u said u want an iphone. I thought the review was weak.
     
  11. JetBlack7 macrumors 68020

    JetBlack7

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    #11
    He wrote a review to compare 2 handsets that are rivals in the market today. He liked both but prefered the iphone instead, without bashing Android for it, after all this is an Apple forum, but he has the right to post about other brands than Apple. I respect him more for his honesty than rather choosing the iPhone. I guess the one who looks dumb with coments like that is you.
     
  12. Reach9 macrumors 68020

    Reach9

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    In America
    #12
    if the S2 could run iOS, i'd be first in line for it.
     
  13. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #13
    You are assuming I bought the SGS2 when in actual fact I had it for nothing. As I had previously paid for my iPhone 4 I was due my free upgrade on my contract. It didnt cost me a penny.

    Im not even an Apple fan outside of the iPhone (i dont own a mac or any other Apple products) so I think my opinion is as fair and as honest as I could make it. I basically said which one *I* prefer, and I also said that they are BOTH incredible phones.
     
  14. BrandoFiasco macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Monica, California
    #14
    I thought his review was good and comparable to any other review you find on a blog, and it could prove helpful for those people on the fence about switching platforms. With any review you always are going to have the readers that are biased, but he started off with an open mind, gave some keypoints on each OS and then gave his final verdict. Looked good to me.

    I was thinking about writing something similar for my take on going from an iphone>thunderbolt>iphone to help those thinking about switching.
     
  15. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #15
    So what your saying is...the review would have been fine if he picked the Samsung phone. :rolleyes: He gave some of the reasons why he didn't like it without bashing. This review was more fair than 99% of what I see on this forum. You were the first poster that attempted to turn this into another iOS vs Android thread.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Sir Ruben thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #16
    Thanks BrandoFiasco, being a geek I just wanted to air my thoughts on two hot gadgets and as you said, maybe help someone else make a decision. Not everyone will have the opportunity to compare them side to side in the comfort of their own home.

    I would have liked to make it a bit more in depth and cover off more points but I have been limited on the time I have to do a write up at the moment. So in the end I settled on talking about the things that stood out to me.
     
  17. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    #17
    Did you actually read his post before you decided to post? Sometimes it is better to keep your thoughts to yourself.

    -1
     
  18. Savor Suspended

    Savor

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #18
    SGS2 still seems like a great Android phone even if you preferred iPhone over it.

    At the end of the day, no right or wrong. All preferences. Whatever you like better or you feel more comfortable with. Like picking Coke over Pepsi or Sprite over 7-Up.

    To see an Android phone catch up to the iPhone is a good thing for the industry for competition to inspire innovation. I can't wait when the Nexus Prime comes out. iPhone 5 vs Nexus Prime vs Nokia N9 vs Nokia WP7 phone should be an epic 2011 showdown.
     
  19. FX4568 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Location:
    Mom's basement
    #19
    Gal S2 is pretty amazing.
    I used in Korea for the first time and was wowed by the upgraded touch interface than its old predecessor and the Super AMOLED+ screen, it truly is a beauty.
     
  20. ap3604 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #20
    Yeah I'm really happy myself that Android hardware is starting to catch up / pass the iPhones. Even though I have an iPhone 4 I like having more than one option available for great hardware. Gives me a security blanket in case a situation ever comes up in the future where say my company doesn't let me use the iPhone.

    Now if only Samsung could actually bring the pure European version of the sgsII over... Unfortunately it's going to butchered again by the big 4 like the galaxy s was last year as well :(
     
  21. DanteMann, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011

    DanteMann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #21
    Never read a more flawed comparison. But then again, you don't do it for a living, or at least I hope you don't. You missed so much, I'm wondering if you even had the SGS2. And because of that, it seems like more of the, "Let me say I bought a SGS2, just to say I went back to the iPhone" posts.

    I've always said, there is nothing wrong with coming out in the open, and saying you will always stay with an Apple product regardless of how much better the competition is. Even when it is as clear as the SGS2 destroying the iphone4, it is ok to say you will stay with the iPhone and Apple. It's your absolute right to do so. No sense in pretending otherwise. Funny how I haven't come across a single online non apple or samsung dedicated tech review site that doesn't consider the SGS2 the most dominant phone in the market bar none.
    Nice try on your "review" though, it's your right to have an opinion, regardless of how little correct facts it is based off of. Cheers.
     
  22. awadeee, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011

    awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #22
    [​IMG]

    On a more serious note, great review! I think I will be trying to get my hands on a used Sony Xperia x10 soon. Not the latest and greatest, but new enough that I can get a taste of Android without forking over 500 bucks.
     
  23. RafaelT macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    #23
    If you had actually bothered to read the whole thread he said...

    It was exactly that, his opinion. He was not incorrect about anything... he didn't list incorrect specs or anything like that.. all he did was offer his opinion on the phones. How do you figure it was based off incorrect facts? If that's how he felt... then that's how he felt.

    All he did here is share his thoughts on his experience with the phones. If people don't like his review you are more then welcome to post your own constructive review but telling him he is wrong or his review sucked is really uncalled for.

    Let's all remember, it's not nice to be a douche bag. <- not directed at anyone in particular of course...
     
  24. DanteMann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #24
    Wow, you say, "if that's how he felt...then that's how he felt." Really? Why don't you apply that same logic with anyone that disagrees with his "opinion."

    Lets be honest, a majority of people on this forum will buy an Apple product even if stayed the same for the next 5 yrs. And again, it's their right to do so, and no one can fault you for it. But just admit it and get on with it. Don't make any excuses or ridiculous comparison in the hopes of justifying how it's still the "better product for themselves" and not necessarily the better product overall. So just say you love your Apple branded product regardless of how it fairs up to the competition. I have no idea why people just can't come out and admit this. There's nothing wrong with blind brand loyalty when you admit it's why your buying the product.

    Let's all remember, it's not nice to be a blind follower and afraid to admit it. <- not directed at anyone in particular of course...
     
  25. Darthdingo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #25
    Anyone that has held an actual real Galaxy S 2 in thier hand, could not deny it is a much better device than the severely outdated iPhone4, and not just hardware, but mainly software. iOS is so boring and pretty much the same from 2007, just a screen full of app icons. Lol.
     

Share This Page