The smartphone market is facing plenty of superphones from different manufacturers, but only two -- Apple iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 -- are the devices that people might prefer over others due to the beautiful designs.
On Tuesday, Apple Inc. took the wraps off of iPhone 4S at its Let's talk iPhone event. For the launch of iPhone 4S, the general response from the public, who was anticipating iPhone 5, appears to be largely underwhelmed.
Samsung Galaxy S2 has officially hit 10 million sales since its global launch in late April. Galaxy S2 debuted at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February and the phone was later launched in Europe and South Korea. It also went on sale in China in July before hitting the U.S. market in September.
Galaxy S2, which runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and sports Samsung's TouchWiz UI, went on sale via Sprint on Sept. 16 as Samsung Epic 4G Touch while the AT&T version went on sale on Oct. 2. T-Mobile has not yet announced a release date for its version of Galaxy S2.
The Samsung smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel camera with flash and can record HD video in 1080p offering the richest video content on a smartphone. The phone also has the front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chat.
All the versions of Galaxy S2 will get 4G treatment, offering data speed up to twice faster than Apple's iPhone 4S. T-Mobile's and Sprint's Epic 4G Touch versions have 4.52-inch display screens whereas AT&T version retains 4.3-inch screen of original Galaxy S2 version sold worldwide.
The Sprint and AT&T versions of Galaxy S2 are powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400MP GPU Orion chipset while the T-Mobile version will be powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm APQ8060 processor. The phone comes in 16/32GB internal memory configuration with 1GB RAM.
As for iPhone 4S, the features include the latest iOS 5 operating system, iCloud, an A5 dual-core processor found in the iPad 2, an 8-megapixel LED flash camera with 1080p HD video recording, secondary VGA camera for video chat, Siri voice-recognition functionality, world phone, retina display and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.
Pre-orders for iPhone 4S will start on Oct. 7 and will be available on Oct. 14 in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. In Japan, carrier partners include Softbank and now KDDI.
iPhone 4S will be attractively priced (including a two-year contract agreement) with storage capacities of 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. The current iPhone 4 will become the lower-end model for $99, available in 8GB capacity only along with the 3GS, which will now be free.
The smartphone battle will heat up in the second half of 2011 between iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2. Both of these smartphones are right up there in the hype clouds, and hopefully they can both live up to it.
Here is a look at 10 reasons why Galaxy S2 will beat iPhone 4S.
Processing Power: The T-Mobile version of Galaxy S2 will be powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm APQ8060 processor while the Sprint and AT&T versions are equipped with dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400MP GPU Orion chipset. It is backed by 1 GB of RAM.
Meanwhile, iPhone 4S will come with iPad 2's A5 chipset. The phone will be powered by 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPUwith NEON SIMD accelerator and a dual core PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
Apple lists the A5 to be clocked at 1 GHz on iPad 2's technical specifications page, though it can dynamically adjust its frequency to save battery life.
The Apple A5 is a package on package system-on-a-chip designed by Apple and manufactured by Samsung to replace the Apple A4. Apple stated that the CPU is twice as powerful and the GPU up to seven times as powerful as its predecessor - the Apple A4. The A5 package contains 512 MB of low-power DDR2 RAM clocked at 533 MHz.
Recently, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC) is believed to have quietly secured Apple's contract, and even succeeded in extending the deal to cover the manufacture for the A6's successor, according to a DigiTimes report.
We caution that this is an unconfirmed story and that Digitimes has in the past been inaccurate. Even if true, we estimate an Apple A6 order win would drive a modest 0.6 percent upside to earnings estimates in 2012 and 2.6 percent in 2013. Hence we do not see a confirmed Apple win as a re-rating catalyst, said Robert Lea, an analyst at Jefferies.
With improved versions of Galaxy S2 about to feature 1.5 GHz processor with 3D graphics support, iPhone 4S won't match up to Samsung's flagship phone.
Design: Apple's iPhone 4S is just an upgrade of its previous versions. When it comes to the Galaxy S2, the very delay in reaching the U.S. shores showed that Samsung prepped various designs with improved modifications and specs for different carriers.
T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint are going to offer their versions of Samsung Galaxy S2. Sprint's version, known as Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G, retains all the basic specifications of the Galaxy S2, except for the 4.5-inch display.
The AT&T version of Galaxy S2 retained the 4.3-inch display whereas the T-Mobile version has not received any official name, but the Hercules is expected to come along with 4.5-inch screen.
Verizon confirmed that it will not be offering the Galaxy S2 on its network, but would opt for Samsung Droid Prime to grow its Long Term Evolution lineup. Verizon is expecting Droid Prime to become its ultimate Android flagship phone that will most likely be the first phone to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, giving stiff competition to iPhone.
Recently, Samsung said it would be launching the Galaxy S2 lineup with an LTE version, but that would most probably not go to Verizon. The Galaxy S2 LTE version will have 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.3, LTE with HSPA up to 42 Mbps, 8-megapixel camera, 1850 mAh battery and a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and will come equipped with 3D games and videos, as well as the ability to browse web pages like Google and YouTube with ease.
Display: Samsung is the only manufacturer of Super AMOLED Plus displays, which is considered to be the best available technology for mobile displays. If one wants to experience the best screen, there is no other choice than Super AMOLED Plus in the market.
With the help of Super AMOLED Plus display, Samsung Droid Charge became one of the best selling devices on Verizon, overtaking HTC Thunderbolt. iPhone 4S is just an improved version but still won't be able to match Super AMOLED Plus.
The Super AMOLED Plus display delivers superior color, enhanced readability, slimmer form and better battery consumption than the previous generation. The Real-Stripe panel technology brings 30 percent more pixels per inch for a brighter, clearer and richer viewing experience compared with the first-generation AMOLED. Also it uses less space and consumes 18 percent less energy than previous displays, making it one of the longest-lasting smartphones available.
Galaxy S2 comes to AT&T with a 4.3-inch screen while the T-Mobile and Epic 4G Touch version of Sprint has 4.52-inch display screen. The Epic 4G Touch comes with 4.52-inch (about 206 ppi pixel density) 800 x 480 pixels Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen display.
The Apple iPhone 4S is coming with 3.5-inch TFT Retina multi-touch display, which is similar to iPhone 4. Users were expecting a 3.7-inch or 4-inch display as major smartphone manufacturers are opting for 4.3 inches as the ideal screen for their phones. At a minimum of 4.3 inches, Galaxy S2's display dwarfs iPhone 4S.
Flash: Till a month back Flash, which enriches Web experience, is considered as a big advantage an Android systems holds against iPhone. But recently Adobe said Flash will come to Apple Inc.'s iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, not directly supported but just that the new app tools will be able to export Flash content as an HTML5-supporting format.
Any Flash player has to be able to animate on top of video renderings, which makes hardware accelerated video rendering at least not as straightforward as with a purpose-built multimedia player.
Therefore, even when only displaying video, Flash players are more resource-intensive than a dedicated video player software. Presently for Apple, only Mac OS 9/X supports Flash.
Samsung Galaxy S2 supports Flash. The Galaxy S2 supports full HD video playback inside Adobe Flash player. There is no other device at present which allows full HD video playback even inside Adobe Flash player.
At the IBC 2011 Conference and Exhibition, Adobe announced the releases of the new streaming video solutions, including Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 and Flash Access 3.0 software.
The new releases works for publishers, who want videos stored in Flash to be visible on popular Apple products such as iPhone, iPod and iPad. For a recurring fee of $4,500, Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 software converts website video stored in Flash so it can be seen on Apple handhelds, in an Apple-friendly format called HTTP Live Streaming, according to the Daily Mail.
Near Field Communication (NFC): Samsung Galaxy S2 supports the NFC chip that allows for simplified transactions, data exchange and connections with a touch. Apple haven't embraced NFC technology into its iPhone 4S, since Near Field Communication has no industry standards.
NFC allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch. A smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip could make a credit card payment or serve as keycard or ID card.
Globally, 100 million people use mobile payment outside the U.S., but only 3.5 million use the technology in the U.S.
It is said that Apple has disclosed in some of the meetings that NFC won't be on the feature list of the next iPhone. The Independent, citing some of the largest mobile carriers in the UK, said that Apple will forego NFC in its next iPhone due to lack of industry standards about the technology.
Operating System: Apple's iPhone 4S is equipped with the recently announced iOS 5. The important features of iOS 5 are already found in Android, except iMessage that is mostly copied from RIM's BlackBerry. The iOS 5 important features include the notification bar, cloud synchronization, wireless syncing, Twitter integration and Widgets.
In recent days, for smartphones Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS is used and for tablets Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS is used. But the next version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich will be a single OS running across smartphones and tablets.
Ice Cream Sandwich will bring all the interface loveliness of Android Honeycomb to smartphones including updated app launcher, holographic user interface, interactive and new home-screen widgets plus the multi-tasking panel.
Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed in an interview with Marc Banioff at Salesforce.com's conference, Dreamforce, in San Francisco, about the rumors of Ice Cream Sandwich, which was previewed at a Google conference in May.
We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October or November, which everyone is really excited about, Schmidt said.
The Ice Cream Sandwich OS will definitely help reduce the majority of the fragmentation issues on Android devices. Android is more customizable, has more widgets, less restrictions, is more functional and will feature a more fluid interface.
Security: The approaches for Android and iOS security are different. To prevent a virus, Apple verifies all the apps before allowing it onto App Store but the rest of the phone is semi-vulnerable. Although Android does not check the apps, in the event of a virus attack the apps run in an isolated way so as not to affect the system.
Both Android and iOS require you to sign in with some form of an account in order to download/install apps from the applicable store/marketplace. For iOS, you use your iTunes account. For Android, you use your Google account.
According to a recent Symantec report, even though iOS and Android both have their weaknesses, the mobile platforms are still much more secure than their PC counterparts.
Researchers have found many more vulnerabilities on iOS than Android. Roughly 200 have been found on iOS, compared to only 18 found on Android. Only 4 of those 18 remain unpatched by Google. Google is also faster than Apple when it comes to patching vulnerability, averaging 8 days to Apple's 12 days.
Both the operating systems are vulnerable to viruses, but the Android has an antivirus app which iOS does not have. Hence Samsung Galaxy S2 holds an advantage over iPhone 4S.
Connectivity: Galaxy S2 already supports 3G data speeds up to 21 Mbps (HSPA + networks), but with the Galaxy S2 LTE version poised to feature HSPA up to 42 Mbps, the iPhone 4S doesn't stand a chance in terms of speed.
In addition, the Galaxy S2 smartphone will get the 4G treatment, offering data speed twice faster than Apple's iPhone 4S, which has the maximum HSDPA data speed of 14.4 Mbps.
According to a research note from Hudson Square analyst Todd Rethemeir, the next iPhone will support HSPA+ technology, a development that will allow the device to offer faster data speeds on GSM networks such as AT&T. The present iPhones are shipped with standard HSPA.
Even though HSPA+ is slower than the LTE standard, AT&T has begun marketing its HSPA+ network as 4G, meaning that the carrier could position iPhone 4S as a 4G device despite it failing to offer LTE compatibility.
Galaxy S2 has 4G data in the form of WiMax, HSPA+ 42 or HSPA+ 21 Mbps, while iPhone 4S has 3G HSPA 14.4 Mbps.
Battery and Memory: Galaxy S2 has the privilege of expandable memory and a removable battery. In terms of removable storage, Apple's iPhone versions differ from other smartphones in the market as none of them have featured one.
Apple never reveals its capacity of RAM memory and it always turns out to be less than other phones. The Galaxy S2 holds the advantage of 1 GB RAM to match the dual core processor.
Galaxy S2's battery life is not the best on the face of the planet, but it easily lasts a day with good use and can stretch out to two days with mostly calls and texting. AT&T's version of Galaxy S2 comes with Li-Ion 1650 mAh battery, while T-Mobile's and Sprint's versions is equipped with Li-Ion 1800 mAh.
On the other hand, iPhone 4S, which has a Li-Po 1420 mAh battery, gets up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G and up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM). The latest iPhone also has a standby time of up to 200 hours, much lower than iPhone 4's 300 hours standby.
Apps and open source: The Android market is expected to surpass Apple's App store with its improvement of quality and quantity over the past few years. The biggest plus point about Android apps is that majority of the quality apps are free and the OS is open source.
Android Market is an online software store developed by Google for Android OS devices. Anyone can get access to the source of Android to better the system. If any weaknesses are found in the open source community, they are quickly fixed.
Though Apple's iOS is not an open source, 200 million users have downloaded over 15 billion apps from Apple's App Store. As of May 2011, Apple approved its 500,000th app.
After the success of Apple's App Store, and the launch of similar services by its competitors, the term app store has been adopted to refer to any similar service for mobile devices. However, Apple applied for a trademark on the term App Store in 2008 which was tentatively approved in 2011.
iPhone 4 was criticized for antenna-gate issues. Apple said the device's antenna issues were related to software and not the hardware, eliminating the need to recall the device, but it took months to resolve the issue.
Comparison: Reports emerged that Samsung had sent out emails with a comparison chart mentioning the relative merits of the Galaxy S2 over the iPhone 4S, according to the AppleInsider citing theunlockr.com.
Other features touted by Samsung include: the larger screen (4.5 or 4.3 inches), 2-megapixel front camera, 1080p High Profile video capture, lighter weight (4.3 oz compared to 4.9 oz), removable battery and HDTV remote control functionality. Samsung also points out that, unlike Apple, it will begin selling the device on the T-Mobile network next week.
The email went on to remind that screen size benefits scale by area, not just diagonally. The AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S2 has 42% more screen area and Sprint / T-Mobile versions of Galaxy S2 have 58% more screen area than iPhone 4S, Samsung reportedly wrote.
Samsung also boasts that its smartphone operates within an open ecosystem as consumers can buy music from a variety of music services and use multiple cloud music services and video chat clients. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is not limited to a single manufacturer's storefront or app store, the email read.
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