Friday 28 October 2011

Technology & Opinions: iPhone 4(S) VS Samsung Galaxy SII

iPhone 4 and Galaxy SII
Photo by Locky's English Playground

Too many people have been making their comparisons of the two phones for a long time. And yes it may sound useless to do a comparison now because so many others have already done it. But when you actually get to spend time with the two phones, the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy SII, like 16 hours a day, switching from one to another, I do have comments which are different from other critics.

Or maybe not, anyway, I just want to write my own review for the two phones.

I have been thinking whether I should do this review in a traditional way comparing specifications and details, but if I do follow this pattern, I will fall into the same track as the other reviews, so I'm going to do this review in an extremely subjective way!!!

Weight and Grip
First, I like the Galaxy SII being super light, lighter than the iPhone 4(S), but that is just the first feeling, when you start using it without the protective casings, iPhone feels better on my hand and I can type better with one hand due to the narrower size, Galaxy SII is too big for my one-hand grip and too light to stablise, so it does spins around on my small palm. But if your hand is big, I think Galaxy SII will serve you better with bigger keys to press on the bigger screen. And the over-underweight problem of the Galaxy SII can be solved by adding the protective casing, or a silicon one will also increase the grip.

Anyway, I don't recommend anyone typing on the phones with just one-hand holding onto it.

Verdict: iPhone 4(S) wins marginally.

Image from
Screen Size
I just love the 10.8cm (4.3 in) Super AMOLED on the Galaxy SII!!! It is so crisp! It is an addiction! The colours are so sharp!!! And the size... man!!! Size does matter in this world! iPhone 4(S)'s screen size made me dizzy after using for a short while.

Verdict: Galaxy SII beats up iPhone 4 badly!!!!!

Image from igitaltrends
In the past, I heard reviews from the internet saying that App Store from Apple has far more apps than the Android Market, but when I actually do search through the Store and the Market, even if App Store may still have more apps, yet really useful ones? I don't see too many. Pay ones I do see a lot. But one good thing about the Android Market is that they have many useful ones which are free!!!! Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, and Angry Birds Seasons are FULL versions available on the Android Market for free!!!! I will definitely start recommending apps in the future, but for now, the Angry Birds game have already saved me quite a bit of money. Plus, Samsung has its Samsung Apps for you to download free apps which are not available in the market, it isn't very big, but it is free.

Verdict: Galaxy SII's Android Market beats iPhone 4(S)'s App Store in terms of free apps

I started off learning from the iPhone first before I learn to use the Galaxy SII, at first I thought iPhone operations are hard and difficult, if I didn't have my sister to teach me, I wouldn't know how to use it without reading the instruction booklet, although once I have got used to it, it gets better and more user-friendly. Galaxy on the other hand, didn't take more too long to get a hand of it. Page-to-page is really smooth and quick except the arranging of apps which turns out to be completely different from iPhone and took me 2 days to figure out how to arrange them.

Verdict: Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4(S) are both fine as long as you learn how to handle the interface. Tied.

Battery Life:
Galaxy SII's battery life is really dries up faster. At times, you can lose 10% of your battery in 10 mins if you are playing games with volume! Battery Save Mode can be adjusted to switch on when the battery is down to 70%, and you can switch off many applications before that, but still, feeling wise, I still think the iPhone's battery lasts longer than Galaxy SII's. Some users buy an extra battery pack to be safe, while I bring the charger with me for the Galaxy SII. The recharging is quick if you use the plug charger, so that is fine, but if you are really looking for long lasting battery life, then the original battery which comes with the Galaxy SII isn't going to do very well as it is only 1650 mAh (The iPhone 4 has even less at 1420 mAh), but the good thing is you can change your battery pack when you think it is not enough.

Verdict: iPhone 4(S) wins in terms of battery life, but Galaxy SII allows you to up that battery.

Camera and Image Quality
So I don't know how the performance of the camera on the iPhone 4S is like, but from what I've heard, it has this zero shutter lag which allows it to take quick photos. As of Galaxy SII, I don't think it is as fast as zero shutter lag, but the image quality of the SII is definitely better than the iPhone 4 and should be more or less similar to the iPhone 4S'.

Verdict: Unsure about this one, but I suppose 4S has a slight edge over SII in terms of speed, but image quality wise, similar.

Resistance to Drop
From the drop test video that I have posted some entries ago, titled News & Opinions: iPhone 4 Steve? Siri-ously? What about iPhone 5teve?, we knew that Galaxy SII wins big time in this one! No doubt about that! I beat that Siri knows the answer for this now.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy SII wins! Period.

Operating System & Tools
Synchronising the phones using iTunes or Kies are more or less the same, but since I don't really need to Jailbreak anything on the Galaxy S2, I'm not as annoyed with the Kies as I am with the iTunes. The openness of the Android Gingerbread system is really more welcome than the protection-freak of the iOS.

Verdict: Android Gingerbread is less protective and thus more friendly than the iOS.

Talking about increasing your smartphones, iPhone doesn't let you change your battery, doesn't let you add memories but Galaxy SII lets you do both! If you are planning to build a super smartphone, Galaxy SII gives you that advantage and remains good looking. If you want to do the same with the iPhone, you will need to add bits and pieces outside of the phone, making it real clumsy and ugly.

Verdict: Galaxy SII keeps his cool while iPhone 4(S) has to gain weight. SII wins!

Resell Value
Not sure about other countries, but in Hong Kong, the second-hand reselling price of all iPhones beats all other mobiles by a full stretch. If it wasn't for this factor, I will have already considered Galaxy SII for sure, but if you are looking for money-back through the years, then iPhone has a definite advantage! But if you happen to get a faulty iPhone 4(S), then you will most likely end up getting a fixed phone (possibly with scratches) used to be owned by someone else instead of a brand new one. Try your luck really!

Verdict: iPhone 4(S) wins big time, if it never has anything wrong that is.

So the final decision is, I just love the Galaxy SII now!!!

I have included two more articles on the Galaxy SII, you may want to read up on it too.

Samsung Galaxy S II: More diamond, less rough @ BGR

Samsung overtakes Apple to win smartphone crown @ CNET

clumsy -- (adj) awkward in movement or manner

News & Opinions: iPhone 4 Steve? Siri-ously? What about iPhone 5teve? @ Locky's English Playground

iPhone 4S Camera Hands-on Review @ YouTube

[ENG] Samsung Apps & Kies Tutorial (English) - Official video @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy S II: More diamond, less rough @ BGR

Samsung overtakes Apple to win smartphone crown @ CNET