Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus

We pit two of the latest smartphones against each other to see which comes out on top

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus launch is finally here, and what better way to celebrate than with a good old smartphone scuff? T3 pits the Apple iPhone 4S against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (video below)

Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Build

Samsung Galaxy Nexus I Samsung Galaxy Nexus release date, specs, features and more

Amongst the notable features of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a hulking 4.65-inches Super AMOLED HD screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, HD video recording at 1080p, a 5-Megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-Megapixel front-facing camera.

Storage comes in 16 or 32GB flacours, while a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, with 1GB of RAM, keeps things monstrously fast. NFC technology is stuffed inside, for wireless payments as well as the new Android Beam sharing app.

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus screen plans were seemingly leaked by the company's official Romanian Samsung Mobile Twitter feed earlier this year, when a tweet which was hastily deleted, read: “Yes, the next Nexus will be Samsung and it will have Super AMOLED HD.”

Apple iPhone 4S I Apple iPhone 4S review

The new A5 dual-core processor (as seen in the iPad 2) makes things noticeably nippier. Apps launch quicker, web pages load faster, multi-tasking is more fluid and resource-hungry apps like Pages now allow you to edit documents without any lag. Competitors will argue that their phones have been able to produce similar results for months, and they'd be right, but it remains a welcome (if a little late) upgrade.

The processor also supercharges the iPhone 4S's graphical prowess. We tried Real Racing 2 HD and, while the visuals were a little smoother, we didn't notice the 7x improvement as claimed by Apple. This is because games will need to be tuned to take advantage of the new chip. We had a demo of Infinity Blade 2 (confirmed to launch later this year) at the iPhone 4S launch and were blown away by the detail and speed of the polygon pushing. We're talking PSP Vita graphics, if not better.

Another benefit of having the A5 processor is to mirror 4S content over AirPlay. Wirelessly, the 4S will push out 720p to an Apple TV. Over connected HDMI, that will jump to 1080p. The simplicity of pushing small-screen content to the big screen on the fly is a neat trick, especially when you start rotating and zooming. It's also something to brag to iPhone 4 owners; T3 was told that the older model simply can't cope with the demands of such technological wizardry.

iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus: OS

Samsung Galaxy Nexus I Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS features: What's new?

Just like the Samsung Nexus S became the first Android phone to sport Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Galaxy Nexus will be the first device to host Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The OS merges the best of Honeycomb with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The first thing many people will encounter is the lock screen, as with Ice Cream Sandwich Google has taken a new approach to unlocking. By using the front-facing camera, ICS's facial-recognition determines if the person using the phone is the owner, and then unlocks it.

Once inside there are the familiar horizontal homescreens which can be swiped across and filled with apps and widgets, however there's the addition of some neat graphics, which have clearly taken cues from Honeycombs 3D-effect UI. This is continued when you try to add apps and widgets, bringing up a similar grid in which you can place them and in some cases resize them using multi-touch.

Elsewhere you'll find new additions such as a completely new browser which offers tabbed browsing, as well as a new Gmail app which allows truly offline use. A integrated task manager has finally been included letting you kill off all those pesky apps that are sucking the precious battery from your beloved device.

Finally, the camera is a completely redesigned application, with built-in image-editing - a feature that was leaked earlier this week.

Apple iPhone 4S I Apple iOS 5 review

At long last Apple has produced a notification service to rival Android's. We're not sure why it's taken this long but it's a welcome addition. Simply flick the top edge of the display and the shiny new menu appears, compiling your mail, messages and reminders into one handy list.

It's a perfect way to stay organised if your schedule's as ridiculous as ours. It's customisable too, so you can choose exactly what you want to appear. We'd recommend turning off Facebook notifications, unless you enjoy hearing about your mate's recommendations for farming simulation games.

The iMessage service is a quick and cost-free way of contacting fellow Apple fans. Your brief notes pop up in their Messages app, just like a text message – except these bad boys are coloured blue. It's kind of hard to get excited about yet another messaging service, especially when we get 500,000 free texts a month on our phone contract, but it's there if you need it.

You also get integrated Twitter support in your phonebook, so you can tweet a message to a friend by scrolling to their entry. We love the way you can tweet a photo as soon as you take it, without messing around on the website. And if your photography skills are as useless as ours, you'll appreciate the option to crop and perform basic editing on your shots before saving them or posting them online.

How did the Apple iPhone 4S fare against other Android smartphones? Watch T3's Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S2 video to find out