Google Nexus S Vs Apple iPhone 4 – Features Compared

Nexus S Vs iPhone 4

Google’s latest flagship device is here. Google Nexus S sporting the latest Android 2.3 version named Gingerbread was announced recently. Google’s flagship devices are always considered a major competitor for Apple’s iPhone 4. Both the devices are packed with latest technology that offers users the best experience. Here we compare Google Nexus S and the mighty Apple iPhone 4 with software and hardware details.

Google Nexus S Vs Apple iPhone 4 – Showdown

1. Size and Weight

The Google Nexus measures 123.9 x 63 x 10.9 mm whereas Apple iPhone 4 extends to 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm. So the Nexus S is longer and slightly thicker than the iPhone 4. When it comes to weight Nexus S weighs 129 g and iPhone 4 137 g. Even though Nexus S is slightly longer here iPhone 4 weighs more.

2. Display

Google Nexus S sports a 4 inch Super AMOLED WVGA capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The features supported by Nexus S display includes Oleophobic surface, Contour Display with curved glass screen, Multi-touch input method, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Touch-sensitive controls, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off and Three-axis gyro sensor.

The iPhone 4 is famous for Apple’s patented Retina display. The 3.5 inch LED-backlit IPS TFT with capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors has a screen resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. The screen includes Scratch-resistant oleophobic surface, Multi-touch input method, Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, Three-axis gyro sensor and Proximity sensor for auto turn-off.

3. Processor and Memory

ARM Cortex A8 Hummingbird- Apple A4

The Google Nexus S has 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor at its heart with a 16GB iNAND flash memory. It includes 512 MB RAM too. The Apple iPhone 4 has a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor with 16/32 GB storage. Also includes 512 MB RAM.

Both processors clocking 1 GHz are comparable and the only advantage here is for iPhone that offers both 16GB and 32 GB storage.

4. Cameras and Multimedia

Nexus S- iPhone 4 cam

Google Nexus S has both 5 megapixels (MP) 2560×1920 pixels back facing and VGA (640×480) front facing camera. It is capable of recording HD videos at 720 x 480 video resolution and saves in H.264, H.263 MPEG4 format. Also supports Touch focus, geo-tagging.

Apple iPhone too sports a 5 megapixels (MP) , 2592 x 1944 pixels back facing camera with autofocus and LED flash. The VGA front facing camera is available which enables Facetime video calling. It allows 720p@30fps HD video capturing with LED video light option. Supports Touch focus, geo-tagging.

5. Connectivity (Cellular and Wireless)

Google nexus S supports Quad-band GSM, Tri-band HSPA with both HSDPA and HSUPA bandwidth capability.

  1. Quad-band GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  2. Tri-band HSPA: 900, 2100, 1700
  3. HSPA type: HSDPA (7.2Mbps) HSUPA (5.76Mbps)

Nexus S allows wireless data transfer over Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n standards. Google Nexus S also sports Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and DLNA technology. Google is introducing a new technology which is pretty new to handhelds ie Near Field Communication technology (NFC). For navigation you can make use of Assisted GPS (A-GPS) and for connectivity to computer use microUSB 2.0 interface.

Apple iPhone 4 also supports these frequencies enabling high speed data transfer over 3G networks.

  1. UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  2. GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Iphone 4 also supports 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi standards. For Bluetooth connectivity it uses Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless technology. Assisted GPS and digital compass enhances navigation experience on Apple iPhone 4.

6. Software

Google Nexus S is running on the latest Android 2.3 version codenamed Gingerbread. Gingerbread brings forth lots of improvements when comparing to previous Android releases. Read our post here. Includes features like Multiple camera support, Near Field Communications (NFC), SIP-based VOIP, Download manager etc. Natively includes all Google apps which makes the phone a perfect device for Google fans or power users. Android Marketplace is fast growing with developer contributions.

Apple iPhone 4 houses the latest iOS 4.2 which supports features like AirPlay, AirVideo, Multitasking etc. Also includes features like Game Center, Facetime, iMovie, iBooks, Find my iPhone, Folders for Apps etc. Another advantage of iPhone 4 is that the availability of millions of apps in Apple app store helping you extend capability of the device to next level.

7. Hardware

Hardware features of Google Nexus S are Haptic feedback vibration, Three-axis gyroscope, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity sensor and Light sensor.

Apple iPhone 4 offers Accelerometer, Digital compass, Three-axis gyroscope, Proximity sensor and Ambient light sensor.

8. Battery Life

For many battery life is a decider. Nexus S housing 1500 mAH Lithum Ion battery promises a life of 6.7 hours on 3G and Standby time up to 17.8 days on 3G.

Apple iPhone 4 promises a  Talk time up to 7 hours on 3G and up to 14 hours on 2G. If you are using internet then expect a life of about 6 hours on 3G and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi.

9. Price

Both Google Nexus S and Apple iPhone 4 are priced the same. Nexus S will be available with a price tag of $529 for unlocked phone and for $199 with T-Mobile 2 year contract. The iPhone 4 16 GB is priced $199 and 32 GB is available for $299 with AT&T contract.


Both the flagship phones are well equipped with features that are comparable. But iPhone 4 has got better display and battery life when comparing to Nexus S. In fact in almost all other walks both Google Nexus S and Apple iPhone 4 scored equally. Google as usual has introduced this device to provide a tough competition for iPhone 4. Often the users OS liking turns out be the decider. The carrier lock too can play the spoil sport for Apple. It’s the software war between Android and iOS where Nexus S and iPhone 4 are the battlefield weapons 😉

9 Responses

  1. DD says:

    720×480 video is NOT HD.

    HD is either 720p which is 1280×720 or 1080p, which is 1920×1080 (ignore 1080i)

  2. Dylan says:

    I think the statement that the Iphone 4 has a better display is not true at all. It may have a slightly higher resolution but the Nexus S has a larger display. And seriously, are you going to see much difference between the resolutions? With a resolution difference like that it will be quite hard to see much of a difference. Plus the nexus can use flash 10.1 whereas the iphone 4 has no such thing. The Iphone 4 is also barely customisable compared to the latest android 2.3.

  3. says:

    Why would you spend all that money on designing a phone that’s meant to compete with the iPhone and only just miss out on matching it’s screen resolution and have inferior FPS for video recording. And to use a processor that doesn’t allow external storage? This phone’s dead before it has even been released. Come on, I want to see competition.

    • Robert says:

      Htc desire is certainly competition…

    • David S. says:

      I own the Nexus S 4G and the iPod Touch 4g. While the Retina display is ever-so-slightly clearer when staring at individual pixels, the Super AMOLED screen is absolutely beautiful. When using the Nexus S in the dark, blacks are completely black, not grayish like the Retina display. And when using the phone about 8 inches away from my face, I really can’t tell a difference in clarity. I would say the Super AMOLED display beats the Retina display in terms of color vibrancy hands-down.

  4. Saket says:

    I would love getting this Phone but I don’t see a strong reason for anyone buying this phone over the Galaxy S or iPhone 4. Almost same features

    • Binoy xavier says:

      Agree to the fact that Nexus S sports features similar to Galaxy S and iPhone 4. But Google flagship devices are always special and a keeper. Though not popular NFC feature and availability of unlocked version can win many hearts. Lets see how the sales catch up 🙂

  1. December 7, 2010

    […] Hackbay Junior Member   Join Date: Nov 2010 Location: India Posts: 22 Member: 1451249 Status: Online Both Google Nexus S and the mighty Apple iPhone 4 compared with software and hardware details. Google Nexus S (Android 2.3) Vs Apple iPhone 4 (iOS 4.2) Features Compared […]

  2. October 20, 2011

    […] it too [Q] Problems with oleophobic coating inconsistencies? [Archive] – xda-developers EDIT: Looks like the galaxy II has it too […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *