Sony Xperia S vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus
We pitch the Samsung Galaxy Nexus against Sony's second generation Xperia flagship, the Xperia S
We see how Sony's Xperia S compares to Samsung's Android Ice Cream Sandwich flagship, the Galaxy Nexus.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - 135.5x67.9x8.9mm, 135g
Sony Xperia S - 128x64x10.6mm, 144g
The Xperia S is Sony's first contribution to the existing Xperia Android range since it took complete control from former partner Ericsson. As such, there are enough visual design cues here taken from the existing Xperia range, which includes the likes of the Xperia Arc S and Xperia Ray.
However, Sony has put a new twist on things to distinguish this as part of a new generation of dual core handsets. A big part of that change in visual design involves bringing the handset in-line with other Sony electronics - dark colours and broad flat shapes with occasional curved accents to keep things interesting.
It still has the D-shaped cross-section of the other Xperia models, but unlike the Xperia Arc S it doesn't curve along its length and sits flatter in the hand. Likewise the edges are flatter and wider giving a chunkier look but a more solid feel in the hand - this is a phone that isn't going to slip anywhere.
One particularly distinctive feature of Sony's revamped Xperia line is the transparent bar at the bottom of the device, just below the capacitive touch controls.
Overall it has a very stark rectangular shape which looks contemporary and Sony has managed to make a device that is both sleek and sturdy. The materials used do feel of a very high quality.
If the Xperia S is all sharp and angular then the Galaxy Nexus is its polar opposite. Samsung's Galaxy Nexus avoids the common problem of softer, curvier handsets which can often look cartoony due to its longer, stretched-out proportions which work very well indeed.
In addition, the slight curvature of the body not only looks good but means it sits very comfortably in the hand. It's also a good deal thinner than its opponent at 8.9mm to the Xperia's 10.6mm.
We'd say that neither phone has a huge advantage over the other in terms of looks, they both have a very coherent aesthetic and flattering proportions which work very well, along with build quality, to convey that these are ‘premium' models you're dealing with.
If you like a harsher rectangular shape with razor edges then the Xperia S will suit you better, for fans of the more rounded, curvy look then the Galaxy Nexus is spot on.
Winner - Draw
The Galaxy Nexus features a large 4.65-inch Super AMOLED capacitive multi-touch display with an oleophobic coating to repel smudges. The resolution comes in at 1280x720 pixels giving a pixel density of 316 pixels-per-inch (ppi) for some suitably crispy visuals with plenty of colour depth and contrast. Our features editor, who currently runs a Galaxy Nexus, described the screen as ‘good' but ‘not as good as the iPhone's,' which seems like a fair enough assessment to us.
Sony's Xperia S, however, is something of an iPhone beater with its display, which is a 4.3-inch LED-backlit LCD affair and features 10-finger multi-touch support. A 1280x720 pixel resolution gives a sky-high pixel density of 342ppi which is higher than the iPhone 4S and one of the sharpest smartphone displays on the market right now. It's also suitably bright with vivid colours and should fare better in bright light conditions than Samsung's offering.
We have to hand Sony the prize here.
Winner - Sony Xperia S
The Sony Xperia S comes with 32GB of onboard storage space and 1GB of RAM for the processor to play with. Samsung's Galaxy Nexus has 16GB internal capacity and the same 1GB of RAM. Neither handset has a card slot for expandable storage.
The Xperia S's larger capacity makes it a preferable choice here.
Winner - Sony Xperia S