The iPhone 4S only went on sale on Friday but already it’s no longer the latest super smartphone on the block.
And Apple could have a battle on its hands after technology giants Google and Samsung joined forces Wednesday to announce two massive steps forward in the rival Android landscape.
With the launch of the Android 4.0 operating system, coolly-named Ice Cream Sandwich, comes Samsung’s latest top-of-the-range mobile handset, the Galaxy Nexus.
It will be the only device to launch in the UK this year sporting 4.0, and alongside the phone’s top spec hardware, it brings a totally different look and feel to the Android experience.
Look and feel
With its massive 4.65 inch HD screen, the Galaxy Nexus display is a third bigger than the one on the iPhone 4S. It could also prove to be a lot brighter and clearer with Samsung’s AMOLED technology over Apple’s Retina display.
The Galaxy Nexus also does away with all hardware buttons on the front and just uses touchscreen controls instead.
It is also only 8.94mm thick compared to the 9.3mm body of the iPhone 4 and is HSPA+ enabled so data works faster on compatible networks such as Three. This is not yet a true leap to 4G connectivity though.
The Nexus does feature a speedy 1.2Ghz dual core processor but in the camera stakes, Apple has for once inched ahead in the battle for picture quality.
Its eight megapixel snapper on the iPhone 4S trumps the five megapixel stills camera on this Google and Samsung handset.
So what is actually innovative about the Galaxy Nexus? From the specs it sports it will certainly put up a good fight against the iPhone 4S but there’s no knockout blow.
Not even the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) can provide that punch because the technology is still in its infancy, especially in the UK. Using NFC to turn your mobile into a wallet to pay for goods and services is likely to be slow to catch-on.
And embedding the Google+ service is simply a move by Google to try and gain more traction and popularity for its social sharing software. It has so far struggled to win over the mainstream in the same way as Facebook and Twitter.
You will be able to use it though to hold a video call with up to nine other friends through the Hangout feature in Google+, and that’s certainly a neat addition.
There is some innovation in Ice Cream Sandwich though, whether or not you feel the name is fun or just a silly gimmick. Face Unlock uses facial recognition as security to unlock your phone rather than with a password or code and Android Beam lets you share information, web pages, apps and videos with other Android NFC phones just with a tap.
There’s also voice control to turn your speech into text but this doesn’t go anywhere near as far as the iPhone 4S’s Siri voice-controlled personal assistant technology.
On top of that you get all the usual features of Android such as a seamless Google experience, now known as “pure Google” including the Android Market for apps, Gmail, Google Maps with 3D maps and navigation and Google Earth.
Due out in November, pricing details are yet to be announced by Samsung and UK mobile phone networks.
But coming ahead of this weekend – which marks the third birthday of the G1, the first-ever Android phone – now it has been unwrapped, the Galaxy Nexus certainly looks a decent present to bring to the smartphone party.