Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

Summary: Should Verizon customers nearing the ends of their contracts go for the iPhone 4S, or will it be worth the wait for Google's Nexus Prime?

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Now that the iPhone 4S has been unveiled -- to quite mixed reviews -- it has a lot of consumers questioning whether or not they should take the plunge once the new smartphone is available starting on October 14. (FYI, it goes up for pre-order tomorrow).

Verizon Wireless customers, especially those with their contracts ending in the next few months, could have an even bigger conundrum thanks to the next Google phone on deck.

The flagship Samsung Galaxy Nexus, also known as the Nexus Prime, is said to be a Verizon exclusive when it launches (likely some time this quarter). Here's what it will have, according to Boy Genius Report:

  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD with curved glass (1,280 x 720 resolution)
  • TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex A9 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 32GB of built-in storage
  • 5-megapixel camera on the back, 1.3-megapixel in the front
  • 1080p HD video capture support
  • LTE/HSPA depending on carrier
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
  • NFC
  • 9mm thin
  • 1,750 mAh battery

So let's highlight some of the major differences that could make or break a purchase.

First, we'll get NFC technology out of the way. Obviously, the next Google phone is going to support Google Wallet. Great, but that still isn't supported that widely yet, and I'm convinced that not having NFC will not hurt the new iPhone. So that's a wash.

Moving on to LTE. There were a number of complaints from consumers and even analysts that the new iPhone 4S is not built for 4G. However, that makes sense in a way that because out of the three networks that will sell the iPhone 4S, only Verizon and Sprint have 4G networks, and Sprint's LTE network isn't built out yet. AT&T's LTE network is barely existent. So why even bother with that on the iPhone this year?

Yet, 4G speeds are incredible, and it's very arguable that Verizon is the leader in this arena right now. So maybe if 4G was a make or break feature for a Verizon customer, this would do it. But remember that 4G technology also sucks the life out of batteries incredibly fast, so voice and browsing times will likely be much less than the iPhone 4S if the user is always on 4G.

Then there's the display. Some consumers were upset that the iPhone 4S doesn't have a 4-inch display yet. While it might be nice if it were slightly larger, a 4.65-inch screen on a smartphone is just absurd. The 4.5-inch display on the Samsung Infuse already had me questioning whether or not smartphones are becoming mini tablets or e-readers. There was no room for the 5-inch Dell Streak in the market, so why does everyone want to keep blowing up smartphones?

On the cameras front, it's hard to judge the Nexus at this point as there are few available details beyond the 5-megapixel sensor. We already know that the rear camera on the iPhone 4S is pretty fantastic. However, that along with the voice command technology might be the only two features that the iPhone 4S really has going for it.

Finally, it looks like there's only one storage capacity option for the Nexus Prime, while the iPhone 4S has three, starting at the traditional 16GB for $199 on-contract rate. The Nexus starts with 32GB, which usually means something like $299, which is incredibly steep for a smartphone. The only other notable one at that rate is the Motorola Droid Bionic, and I didn't think it warranted the price tag.

If the 32GB Nexus was $199, or even a little over that, then that would be a steal. I'd only imagine loyal iOS fans to stick around for the iPhone 4S at that point.

Otherwise, it might just come back down to the usual Android vs. iOS battlegrounds. The Galaxy Nexus sounds like a great Android device, but until we see Ice Cream Sandwich running on it and what the price tag will be, then there's the possibility that the reception will be just as cool as it was for the latest iPhone.

UPDATE: Sure enough, the unveiling of the Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime has been delayed.

Related:

Topics: iPhone, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones, Verizon

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39 comments
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  • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

    While it's an interesting comparison, only the price will tell us if it's a useful one, or comparing chalk and cheese.<br><br>Most people have a budget, and while that may be flexible, they will likely look at phones within a range.<br><br>I'm not convinced there will be a direct comparison to be made between these two, at least on launch ... and there are plenty of other phones around, and not necessarily a lot of money!

    And the Nexus is one model, while i4S is three - different buyers will therefore have to make different comparisons, so maybe you should have thrown a few Samsungs into the mix - or chosen the iPhone most likely to compete one-on-one with the Nexus Prime. It's not fair to tout the features of the top level i4S, and then talk about the price of the cheapest i4S, is it?
    Heenan73
  • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

    In all honesty, iPhone 4S is like an interim device akin to 3GS. I predict iPhone 5 will roll out in 6 mths time. However, with 16 mths between 4 and 4S, Apple could have done better. Changing the processor is a no-brainer and having 8 MP is definitely a step ahead. I am not so sure about Siri though. Voice recognition software, be it on iOS or Android, is a great tool but in all honesty, we won't be bothered using it on a daily basis. Therefore IMHO, it is not a deal breaker for the mass.

    A bigger screen, perhaps a 4" would have suffice to keep loyalists happy, but Apple have decided to keep the cost down by keeping the form factor. Don't fix what ain't broke.

    I believe the launching of Nexus Prime is to counter the 4S, and Samsung is holding off its flagship Galaxy S3 to rival iPhone 5.
    erique82
    • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

      @erique82

      My thoughts exactly. We already saw teaser images of the iPhone 5. Teaser images are normally pretty spot on ahead of a launch. If Samsung has the technology to make a super-slim phone like the Prime, I have no doubt Apple already had plans to do the same. That's why the 4S is just a warmed over iPhone 4 for the time being until the iPhone 5 joins the party.


      As for the S3--bits and pieces about the specs have been confirmed. Nothing on form factor or features. Smartphones are constantly one-upping each other, so I expect Samsung to pay close attention to what the iPhone will offer us.
      zeth06
  • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

    Comparing the two latest, most sophisticated smartphones isn't the right comparison? That's exactly what should be compared. These two phones are going to be in the same price range so comparing either to phones that don't "cost a lot of money" would not be particularly useful.
    DH in DC
  • Non-Objective

    Sorry, but you sound like a typical Apple fan-girl.

    OS: ICS or Android 4.0 is a brand new OS, while iOS remains unchanged. Android wins, because it is newer.

    Processor: GN Dual core 1.2GHz under-clocked OMAP 4460. 4s has a dual core 1.0 GHz A9. Android wins.

    GPU: GN- SGX543. 4s - SGX543. It's a wash.

    RAM: GN - 1GB 4s - 512MB. Android wins.

    Screen GN-4.6 Retina Super AMOLED. 4s - 3.5" Retina. The NG has a 320 density, while 4s has a 326 density, but the NG does it on a 1.1" bigger screen. I consider that a wash.

    Thickness: NG - 9mm. 4s - 9.9mm. Android wins.

    Data: NG - 4G. 4s - 3G. Android wins.

    Camera - NG - 8MP with 30fps video capture and a 1.3MP front camera. 4s - 8MP with 30fps capture and a VGA front camera. Android wins.

    Wifi: NG - a/b/g/n. 4s - b/g/n. I will call this a wash although NG is "a" compatible.

    GPS: NG - true GPS. 4s - Assisted GPS. Android wins.

    I have gone through every area and I don't think I can be more subjective. How does this sound like an even playing field. The 4s did not edge out the NG in any field. How did you come to your conclusion.
    TEK112
    • &quot;I don't think I can be more subjective&quot;

      @TEK112

      That's for sure.

      iOS remains unchanged? Um, no. iOS 5 will be released next week.

      "NG - 8MP." Um, no. 5MP (although picture quality isn't really determined by pixel count).

      GPS - Um, I don't think you understand how the iPhone's GPS works. It uses the GPS satellites.

      Processor: Are we back to the idiotic belief that clock speed of different processors is a valid comparison?

      Oh, and the Nexus has been delayed.
      msalzberg
      • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

        @msalzberg

        iOs will be changed, but we are talking phone for phone now, not releases down the road. I have no doubt the iPhone 5 will kill the Nexus when it is released next year.

        According to the most recent update, yes an 8MP camera:

        http://gizmodo.com/5847288/galaxy-nexus-the-first-ice-cream-sandwich-android-phone-has-a-killer-720p-screen

        GPS - The GPS options available for Android are more user friendly.

        Processor: It is subjective, I understand. However, given the vast similarities: 45nm, 1MB l2 cache, dual core, cortex A9 based, I would then assess that 1.2GHz is faster than 1.0GHz. Honestly, they are both Cortex A9's.

        I am trying to be objective. I have looked at both phones on a technical level. Show me how these two phones are as close as you say in your initial comparo?
        TEK112
      • &quot;we are talking phone for phone now&quot;

        @TEK112

        Huh? The iPhone 4s with iOS5 will be released next week. The Nexus was supposed to come out in November, but has been delayed. Maybe we can discuss them 'phone for phone' when the Nexus is released, which will be somewhere 'down the road.'

        Correction: The Nexus was due to be released next week, not in November. My mistake.
        msalzberg
      • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

        @msalzberg

        No, the event to show off the Nexus was delayed, not the actual shipping dates.
        zeth06
    • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

      @TEK112 Who sounds like the fanboy now? ANDROID WINS ANDROID WINS winning Wins winz!

      You are also wrong on quite a few of your assumptions. The iPhone does not have true gps? you must be smoking something. A-GPS is a type of GPS technology that uses the cellular tower and Cellular radio to better pinpoint a location quicker. Nobody wants to sit and wait for 6-30 minutes for a gps fix.

      Also, iPhone 4 has 512 MB of RAM? I don't think so bud you are sorely mistaken and the teardowns in a few days will confirm this.

      The Nexus Prime or whatever will have a 5MP camera as the article stated. iPhone 4S now has 8MP and 5 glass lens as well as more sophistocated photo software. How do I know? because iOS 5 (that OS that's not so new according to you) is available and has been in testing for months - which is more than I can say for ICS.

      On that note, when is Android gonna drop the fruity garbage with their OS releases? After all they're all in beta when they're released anyways.
      deftdrummer
      • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

        @deftdrummer
        "...6-30 minutes for a gps fix."
        After this I am not sure I need to read you rants further....
        kirovs@...
      • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

        @deftdrummer

        I wrote which one won in each category. Not my fault Android nudged out Apple in most categories.

        Android uses true GP is addition to cellular triangulation (like when you are indoors). However, there are more GPS options available for Android and from my experience, my Droid 1 running Google Nav is more accurate than my girlfriends 3Gs or my other friends's 4. Once again, trying to be subjective.

        Yes, only 512RAM. Google is your friend.

        Once again, the specs have been updated as of this morning. 8MP.

        I wouldn't poke fun at the Android software. Remember that it is open source and available for all to make better. Unlike Apple which locks down their software. My Droid 1 is running a specialty ROM that has allowed me to keep it for two years. Remember what happened when the 3G and 3Gs got iOS 4? So please don't say that Apple has never released unstable software.
        TEK112
      • &quot;Android uses true GP is addition to cellular triangulation&quot;

        @TEK112

        You mean exactly like the iPhone.

        "GPS options?" You made a claim that the iPhone didn't have GPS. Changing the subject won't make you right.

        "Trying to be subjective." And you certainly are. By the way, I don't think it means what you think it means.
        msalzberg
    • Plain GPS or Assisted?

      You think "plain GPS" is somehow better than "Assisted GPS"? You obviously don't know what either one means.
      CathyCC
    • You sound like a typical Android fan-boy.

      @TEK112

      OS: ICS is just the same old same with a new skin. iOS 5.0 has the same proven skin with whole new tech under the hood. iOS 5.0 wins.

      Processor: It is a wash. Android is much less efficient on processor utilization so an extra 20% processor does not make up for the 50% slower operation.

      GPU: 543MP2 VS 540 is a wash. It is yet to be seen, however, if ICS has the deep integration of the GPU seen in iOS.

      RAM: Who cares? Again, Android needs substantially more memory to function due to its archaic memory management design. So this is a wash at best.

      Screen: GN. Darn those are impressive specs. Except for the fact it is a mini-tablet that is too thick and too big to fit in pockets, the screen looks to be darned impressive. While the size makes the device impractical, I will give this to the GN.

      Thickness: Samsung is known to lie about thinness. The 9mm spec is, knowing Samsung, the thinest point and not the thickest like everyone else in the world measures it. <b>Likewise the curved aspect makes the true thickness of the GN 18mm.</b> <i>HUGE Win for the iPhone 4S.</i>

      Camera: Given the iPhone 4 camera smashes the best Android cameras to date (color fidelity, noise, sharpness, speed), my bet is the optics and sensor will, likewise, crush the GN. Win iPhone 5.

      WiFi: The ability for "a" is a nice touch looking to the past for the GN.

      GPS: NG - only GPS. 4s includes A-GPS superset. HUGE power and speed and accuracy win for iPhone 3G->4S.

      I have gone through every area and I don't think I can be more subjective. How does this sound like an even playing field. The 4s did edged out the NG in most fields. How did you come to your conclusion?
      Bruizer
  • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

    Is it android 4.0 or 3.2?(Ice cream sandwich)
    ramdasviky
    • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

      @ramdasviky

      4.0, that is part of the allure. 3.2 is Honeycomb and as of now, tablet only.
      TEK112
    • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

      @ramdasviky

      Double post, sorry.
      TEK112
  • I doubt it

    The whole Nexus line hasn't been what I would call a success (I have yet to see any in the wild).

    If the Droid can't do it, then Nexus S won't, either.

    People don't look at specs, instead what it will do for them, or how the phone makes them look.

    That's Apple's advantage all the way.
    William Farrell
    • RE: Samsung Galaxy Nexus could lure Verizon customers from iPhone 4S

      @William Farrell

      I agree with this. The way Apple (Steve Jobs) went about their product with exclusivity, and solid build quality is second to none. He was truly a marketing genius and will be missed. They personalized the phone rather than Android which advertises utilitarian views.
      TEK112