Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S vs. Droid RAZR: Smartphone battle royale

They’re thin, fast and beautiful, but which of these three phones has the edge?

Google's Galaxy Nexus is the latest addition to this year's hot smartphone line-up, alongside the iPhone 4S and the Droid RAZR. Unveiled last night, the Galaxy Nexus, manufactured by Samsung, embodies Google's idea of the perfect smartphone, together with the brand-new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile OS.

But does the Galaxy Nexus stand a chance against Apple's iPhone 4S, which is currently selling like hot cakes, or the skinny Droid RAZR, also unveiled this week?

The first thing you'll notice on the Galaxy Nexus is the huge, curved 4.65-inch display, which is larger than the 4.3-inch one found on the Droid RAZR, and considerably bigger than the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S. The Galaxy Nexus display doesn't skimp on pixel density either; it has a 1280- by-720 pixel resolution, the highest in the comparison. The iPhone display however, still retains the highest pixel density at 330 ppi, a slight lead over the 316 ppi screen of the Galaxy Nexus.

The Galaxy Nexus is also very thin, but not thinner than the Droid RAZR (8.84 mm on the Nexus compared to 7.1 mm on the RAZR), which makes the iPhone 4S look a bit bulky at 9.3 mm. The Droid RAZR is also the lightest smartphone out of the bunch at 127 grams, while the iPhone 4S is the most compact given its smaller screen size.

Inside, the Galaxy Nexus, the Droid RAZR and the iPhone 4S run on the latest dual-core processors, namely 1.2GHz dual-core on the Android side, and 1GHz dual-core on the iPhone 4S. The Android phones also run on 1GB of RAM, while the iPhone 4S features half that amount. As for storage, all three phones come with 16GB of built-in memory, so you have plenty of space for your apps and media. The Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S come in 32GB flavors, too, or even up to 64GB at the high end for the 4S, which doesn't have a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage. The Droid RAZR also comes with a 16GB MicroSD card included, so the total of bundled storage is bumped to 32GB.

In the multimedia department, you won't run out of options with either of these phones. The Droid RAZR and the iPhone 4S have 8-megapixel cameras at the back that can record full HD 1080p video. The Galaxy Nexus can also record 1080p video, but, surprisingly, Samsung put only a 5-megapixel shooter on Google's phone, which is less than what we have seen on other phones from the manufacturer, such as the Galaxy SII. All three phones also have video chat cameras on the front.

If you're looking for extra tricks from your phone, the Galaxy Nexus might be what you're looking for. Out of the three phones, the Nexus is the only device with Near Field Communication support, which allows you to make wireless payments (at a small, but growing list of retailers), as well as to beam contacts, websites, apps or maps to other NFC-enabled devices by just bringing the phones together and making them touch.

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This story, "Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S vs. Droid RAZR: Smartphone battle royale" was originally published by PCWorld.

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