Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

Summary: The Galaxy Nexus is finally available today on Verizon, but before you succumb to the hype make sure you seriously consider the Apple iPhone 4S.

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The dramatic saga (at least according to phone geeks) of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus ends today as the device appears in stores for $299.99 with a 2-year contract. There has been loads of hype surrounding the device, but before you get too swept up on the moment I wanted to offer up ten reasons that I am sticking with my Apple iPhone 4S on Verizon. As regular readers know I have now had my own HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus for two weeks and can speak from experience with both devices.

There are a number of new Android devices on Verizon, but the only one that really impresses me is the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung with the latest Android operating system and outstanding specifications. Verizon also has the Apple iPhone 4S and I found the device and iOS 5 attractive enough to bring me back to iOS from Android. As a writer who focuses on mobile technology, I also am blessed (often it feels like cursed) to have a couple of wireless service providers so I have the Galaxy Nexus running on T-Mobile. I considered picking up the Verizon model to replace my iPhone 4S so I could then get a Windows Phone 7 device on T-Mobile.

Ten reasons to select the iPhone 4S

After sitting down and listing out pros and cons, here are ten reasons I have for choosing the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus. Keep in mind that some of these are subjective and my personal opinion, but I just wanted you to have some information to make an intelligent purchase decision and think before you leap. The Galaxy Nexus is priced the same as the 32GB iPhone 4S so I don't consider cost as a factor.

  1. Applications and services: The selection, quality, and design of applications is better on iOS devices. It seems that just about every day I find some fantastic apps for iOS that appear first on this platform and honestly if it wasn't for all the apps and services I would likely get bored of iOS and move to another platform.
  2. iPhone 4S quality is better: The iPhone 4S is an extremely well built phone with glass, plastic, and metal components. I have gotten used to my Galaxy Nexus, but it still feels a bit cheaper (Samsung Android phones are known for using thin plastics) and side-by-side you can feel the difference.
  3. Apple has Siri and she is good: I am testing out a number of personal assistant applications on my Galaxy Nexus, but nothing can currently compare with the conversational nature of Siri. The ease with which I create reminders and appointments, call and text people, check weather for the places I travel, set alarms, create notes, and search the web has changed dramatically thanks to Siri's advanced features.
  4. iPhone 4S camera is better: I posted a basic comparison of several shots I took in "typical situations" with the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus and while the Galaxy Nexus was not as bad as I was led to believe by reading some other sites, the iPhone 4S still performs much better. If taking photos and leaving your point and shoot camera behind is your plan then you will be MUCH happier with the iPhone 4S. I wish Samsung would have used a better camera module, even one just like their Galaxy S II would have been fine.
  5. Galaxy Nexus speaker blows: The speaker on the Galaxy Nexus is basically useless and one of the worst speakers I have ever used on a phone. It is nearly impossible to use it as a speakerphone and forget about listening to music and podcasts without a headset or external speaker. Some have suggested it might be a software issue and I can only hope so since I can't even use it with such low volume. The speakers on the iPhone 4S are much better and I have no complaints at all.
  6. Galaxy Nexus display is too big: I have medium to large sized hands and even then I can only reach about 50% - 60% of the display with my thumb while holding the device in one hand. With the iPhone 4S I can cover 95% of the display so the Galaxy Nexus is definitely a two-handed device. My buddy Mickey Papillon was quite bothered by this and ended up getting rid of his Galaxy Nexus after about a week.
  7. Android is still complicated: Ice Cream Sandwich is clearly the best version of the Android operating system. It is not perfect and lacks some polish, but there is more cohesiveness than before and more standardization. That said, it is still a rather complex and non-intuitive OS that can be overwhelming for some. I think it is way too much for someone like my mother-in-law and I actually just helped her order her first smartphone, the Apple iPhone 4S.
  8. iPhone 4S is world phone: Unlike the CDMA/LTE only Galaxy Nexus, the iPhone 4S is a CDMA and quad-band GSM/UMTS device. As I detailed before my trip to London it is easy to use the iPhone 4S with an international microSIM card or here on the expansive CDMA Verizon network. The Galaxy Nexus from Verizon is limited to just Verizon here in the U.S. If you are a world traveler, then do what I did and consider the penta-band HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus.
  9. Malware is growing on Android: Last weekend I had a conversation with a woman who owns an Android device and was extremely upset that "the little green man ate all my contacts" and all the data on her phone was wiped. Now, she was drunk at the time so I am not clear if a real green Android character appeared on her phone, but malware is definitely a growing concern (as reported by CNET) on the Android platform.
  10. iOS web browser is better: The web browser in ICS is good and I appreciate the large display for surfing. However, there are some issues with how it handles text on many websites (no changing of settings cures the issue) and there are still some sites that do not render nearly as well as they do on iOS. ICS is also not as smooth as iOS and this is apparent when doing things like surfing the web.

Six reasons to consider the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

Now, there are definitely reasons to also consider the Galaxy Nexus over the iPhone 4S and if you just can't stand Apple products the decision is easy. Also, the Galaxy Nexus does let the serious phone geek do a lot more due to the open nature and those phone enthusiasts reading this blog will likely be happier with the Galaxy Nexus. Some obvious benefits of the Galaxy Nexus are:

  1. Fast LTE data network support
  2. Large, beautiful display (if you don't care about one or two handed operation)
  3. Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (refreshing if you are a current Android user)
  4. Replaceable battery
  5. Standard microUSB port with full HDMI out experience
  6. Google Maps Navigation experience

I was always under the impression that the intent of Nexus devices for Google was to offer up the purest Android experience and be as open as possible with very little carrier impact and have an easily unlockable bootloader so developers could push the limits of the platform. As I wrote a couple of days ago, the world GSM/HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus lets you unlock the bootloader and get Google Wallet installed with straightforward instructions. It remains to be seen if the Verizon Galaxy Nexus allows this, but I am sure we will soon see developers and enthusiasts making attempts this weekend.

There has also been a lot written and said about bloatware on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, but honestly having a couple of Verizon utilities that help you manage your account (and from what I understand can be disabled) hardly counts as bloatware. If they had a bunch of V CAST crap on there then I would be concerned, but the device still appears to be a pure Android smartphone.

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Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones, Verizon

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174 comments
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  • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

    ONE reason we should NOT listen to you: You are a biased Apple fanboy. Most of your reasons are highly subjective.
    substring0
    • Much more of a Windows Phone fan actually

      @substring0@... If you read this blog regularly you will know I prefer WP over most others and am clearly not an Apple fanatic. I stated that many of my reasons are subjective at the beginning of my list so no surprises there. This is a blog where I share my opinions and attempt to carry on conversations with readers.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        Now seriously Matt. Did you really think you wouldn't be called a fanboy with this blog? Or do you expect to only get about 10 replies.
        The virtual fireworks will be awesome on this one. Just sit back and enjoy.
        MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) It is not the article that looks biased, but the header.
        ForeverSPb
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) It seems so of your reasons lack of fundamentals. Do not agree on:
        Siri: My friends stop using siri after a week. It is nice but it just another app.
        Quality: 90% of the iphones I have seen have the broken screen problem unless they are using a big case. Plastic is not a cheap design is a better design for real world usage. I do not like to ugly my phone with a case.
        Malware: 40 apps out of 500000 the math is around 0.008% what are you so worry about? I have 200 apps on my phone. I do not think I need more. I have not had any problems so far.
        Complicated: we are adults. Iphone is a dumb down product. I want to use my phone because it is my phone. Dont care if you dont know how to use my phone, I dont care how to use yours. I want my phone to behave and act the way I like it. I like to personalize because it is me. My phone with the customizations I have it is not the fastest anymore(dont care) it is the coolest.
        mgfjd
      • The "broken screen problem?"

        @mgfjd
        The "broken screen problem" happens with pretty much every glass capacitance screen. It's not because glass breaks (which we all know it does), it's because people are not careful with their expensive toys and they drop them repeatedly. I've had a glass screened smartphone of one kind or another since 2007. I generally avoid big cases, although I do like the zagg invisible shield. I am careful with my tech and I've never had a broken screen.

        I have seen broken screens on iPhones, HTC phones, Blackberries, and Samsung (maybe others but these come to mind). I just call it what it is "the careless butterfingers" problem.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)

        Malware? Really? That's the same thing Mac users say about having a Mac. If you're searching the far corners of the internet for a full version of Shazam or whatever, then you fully deserve the $1000 worth of text messages the bogus app sends. It's no different than the guys the clicks on the boner pill spam emails. In other words, it's called COMMON SENSE. There's nothing wrong with the Android Market. In fact, it puts the Apple market to shame. Apps, books, music, and movies all from one place...and no need for iTunes. Android WINNING.
        joeyjabroni
      • macadam: iPhone has twice as much glass as any other phone

        "The "broken screen problem" happens with pretty much every glass capacitance screen."

        Except Apple decided to put glass on the back of a device that is slippery and that people are constantly handling. People are clumsy, that is a fact of life. It would be like creating a 3" front door and when people complain, saying that "People are just too tall". It was a very poor design decision to put glass on the back of a phone just like it would be a very poor design decision to build a 3" tall front door.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)

        Same here Matt! How about an article with 10 reasons to wait for the Lumia 900? It's smooth and sexy with a hint of Euro flair minus the pit hair.
        Rob.sharp
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)

        Same here Matt! How about an article with 10 reasons to wait for the Lumia 900? It's smooth and sexy with a hint of Euro flair minus the pit hair.
        Rob.sharp
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) True, but why did you feel the need to do an article about picking the iPhone 4S over the Nexus? Why make that argument if you don't have an Apple bias over Android? You might ultimately prefer WP but it also seems you prefer iOS over Android. So on your subjective list 1. WP, 2. iOS, and 3. Android?<br><br>This article doesn't add anything to the discussion. Just another extended rant by someone who prefers iOS over Android.
        mrxxxman
      • Broken screen problem

        You can call it whatever you want but the true Iphone breaks too easy compare to a samsung. I do not know how many times I have dropped my phone without having to worry about the screen. Phones will drop and it needs to be taken into the design phase.
        mgfjd
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) why is everything flagged so you can't respond? I did notice you mentioned your reasons were subjective and I appreciate that.
        nbkz81f
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) your post is clearly biased....screen is too big? boo-hoo. selection of apps is better? it's actually not, might want to do some research on that one.

        it'll be interesting what the apple fanboys say when the iphone5 comes out and looks and feels just like the galaxy nexus does now, not-so-great battery life and all.
        mbe3204m
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) You selected an iPhone as your preferred phone so in the mind of Apple haters you have to be a fanboy, there is no other excuse. Of course you pointed out before even getting to the list that some items were subjective and that should have been enough. Most of the reason's given by hater why they don't like the iPhone are purely subjective as well but they don't point it out and must feel that their opinion applies to everyone. At least you also included a list of pros for the Nexus, that would be against the hater religion to even think about listing pros for the iPhone.
        non-biased
    • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

      @substring0@... One reason we should NOT listen to YOU: You are a biased fandroid and your reasoning is based on iHate.

      Having both an iPhone 4 on AT&T and a Samsung Fascinate (running Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread via cyanogenmod7) I will tell you IMHO the iPhone 4 is the better device (vs the Fascinate) for the reasons Mathew stated. And if you had bothered to read the article he also brought up reasons to chose the Galaxy nexus over the iPhone 4S - but you were too busy being a troll.
      athynz
      • No reason to buy anything other than iPhone

        @Pete "athynz" Athens
        There is no real competition to the iPhone. It is a sick market. We all lose.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        but this isnt the capitivate. why dont u get the ICS roms for captivate i can send u the link if u dont know where to get them. ICS isnt gingerbread so the comparison is futile. ICS is so sweet but it will take u 1-2 weeks to find the hidden gems in it
        snoonw
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @toddybottom [b]No reason to buy anything other than iPhone
        There is no real competition to the iPhone. It is a sick market. We all lose.[/b]

        Dude you flip-flop more than most crooked politicians... I never said there was no other reason to by any other smartphone than the iPhone - I'm agreeing with Mathew's reasons to pick the iPhone based on my personal experience with both iOS and Android... admittedly an older version as I have not tried ICS on my Fascinate or Nook Color yet.

        There - the trolls are fed. LOL

        @snoonw [b]but this isnt the capitivate. [/b]

        I know that - which is why in my reply to that troll substring0 I did not say anything about the Galaxy Nexus or ICS but compared my fascinate to my iPphone and came up with the same reasons why the iPhone is a better pick. My Fascinate is a work phone.[b]

        why dont u get the ICS roms for captivate i can send u the link if u dont know where to get them. ICS isnt gingerbread so the comparison is futile. ICS is so sweet but it will take u 1-2 weeks to find the hidden gems in it[/b]

        I've been considering using ICS - I may try it out on my Nook Color first though... I have to admit I do like CM7 as opposed to MIMU and some of the other available roms out there.
        athynz
      • RE: Ten reasons to pick the iPhone 4S over the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

        @Pete "athynz" Athens Those reasons are very subjective so what's the point? I could write an article stating the opposite, so what? How does that further the conversation regarding both platforms? It doesn't. It's just a big personal biased rant.
        mrxxxman