The Google Nexus S Squares Off Against the iPhone 4

When Google’s last “iPhone killer,” the Nexus One, fell flat on its face, many predicted that Google would get out of the hardware game and focus on developing Android for handsets made by other companies. However, the king of search is back with an impressive attempt to revive the Nexus line.

Below we’ll answer the one question iPhone owners really want to know: How does the new Nexus S stack up against the iPhone 4? Does it blow away our beloved Apple device or will it be pale in comparison? Let’s take a look!


The Google Nexus S Website

Physical Size

We’ll start with the factor that’s perhaps the most superficial in deciding whether or not anyone will like it: the dimensions. Google lists the dimensions of the Nexus S at 63.0 mm wide, 123.9 mm high and 10.88 mm deep. For those of you boggled by the metric system, that’s approximately 2.4 inches wide by 4.8 inches high by 0.42 inches deep.

Now, let’s compare sizes to see who wins! Apple lists the iPhone’s width at 2.31 inches (58.6 mm), the height at 4.5 inches (115.2 mm), the and the depth at 0.37 inch (9.3 mm).

Obviously, the phones are very close and it comes down to mere millimeters of difference. And then there’s the question of who wins. Is smaller always better? Or perhaps it’s the weight that counts? The Nexus S weighs in at 4.5 ounces and the iPhone is 4.8 ounces.

Ultimately, neither really has bragging rights in this category. For what it’s worth, the Nexus S is both a little bigger and a little lighter than the iPhone 4.


The Nexus Runs a clean clean version of Gingerbread

Storage, RAM and CPU

Now for the good stuff. How do these two contenders compare in the technology that makes a difference? Let’s start off with the processor.

Processor comparisons are tricky if you’re not really familiar with the chips. Ultimately, they both have a 1GHz processor, Google with the A8 Hummingbird and Apple with the A4. Here’s a comparison of Samsung’s Humminbird vs. Apple’s A4.

Next up is built-in storage. Both the Nexus S and the iPhone have a 16GB version but the iPhone does one better with the 32GB version. Whether or not you actually need 32GB is up to you, but it’s definitely nice to have the option on the table.

Finally, let’s have a look at the RAM. Again, the two are evenly matched with both coming in at 512MB. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Obviously, the Nexus S specs aren’t exactly arbitrary but have been pegged to be extremely comparable to the iPhone. If you’re yawning at this point, get ready, we’ll dig deeper and point out the differences next.


It's definitely a sharp looking device

The Big Differences

As you can see, the two phones are turning out to be just about the same with tech specs. Let’s get all the other similarities on table quickly shall we? Both start at $199 for 32GB, both have a primary 5MP camera with flash in addition to a front-facing camera and both have Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS.

Fear not however, for with this mound of identical features comes a few notable differences. For starters, Apple boasts 7 hours of battery talk time while Google only claims 6 (PC World says 6.7 for the Nexus S). Far more interesting however are the screens. The Nexus S wins the screen size battle (assuming suddenly that bigger is better) with a 4″ 480 by 800 pixel AMOLED display but the iPhone 4’s 3.5″ retina display is still kicking butt and taking names with resolution at 640 by 960 pixels. Translation: The iPhone still has the most beautiful display you’ll find on a phone.

If at this point you’re ready to run out and tell your Google pals how your iPhone is still better than anything they can dish out, you might want to make sure you have all your facts straight. They’ll likely pull two arguably big cards that will leave you defenseless.

The first is Flash. Just about every device on the planet runs it but the iPhone, including the Nexus S. I’m personally not a Flash fan (quite the opposite) but I am getting sick of Apple deciding which websites I should and shouldn’t visit instead of supporting everything and leaving the choice to me.

Finally, and this one is big for me, the Nexus S can serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Why can’t the iPhone do this? I imagine it’s not really Apple but AT&T being stubborn on this matter but regardless, it really sucks that all the other kids get cool hotspots in their phones and we don’t!

Will The Nexus S Follow the Nexus One?

Now that you’ve seen the specs, let us know what you think of the Nexus S. We know you’re not going to throw your iPhone in the trash to rush out and get one, but we are interested in hearing your thoughts on whether or not it will succeed where the Nexus One failed.

Google is abandoning its online-only distribution strategy and pushing the phone out to a Best Buy near you. Perhaps that will be enough to convince consumers to pick one up? Or maybe Google really should “pull a Sega” and get out of the hardware game. Tell us in the comments.