Samsung finally gets ahead of the iPhone in the power, prettiness and sheer impressiveness stakes. Is that enough to eat into the Apple high-profit pie?

At the Heart of Power

Being the best in the consumer tech stakes doesn't always mean success (Betamax anyone?) but it helps a lot. So, Samsung now has a brief period of time where its class-leading smartphone is bigger, sexier and trendier than Apple's iPhone 4S.

It needs to use however long until iPhone 5 arrives to win sales in stores, and hammer home the message to the market and potential customers that it is top dog. All that starts today in the U.S. as the device goes on sale from around US$ 299 on a two-year contract at Verizon. A small update is already available, Android 4.0.2 improves your 4G/3G and Wi-Fi performance.

It will be selling on the bigger screen, the brand new operating system and the best and latest from the Android Marketplace. And, with Apple yet to resolve its battery issues, can appeal to those wavering between brands. Expect telcos, Google and Samsung to press every advantage they can to sell this hi-spec super-phone over lesser models. The Nexus will have to go some too, with Apple likely to sell between 30 and 35 million iPhones this quarter, according to Morgan Stanley.



Ahead of the Pack

While there are other Androids that outclass an iPhone in one area or another, this is the first one that sweeps across the board. For those frustrated with the U.S. launch, at least you didn't get the early European versions with the dodgy volume issue, now fixed up an update. Among the features of the new Android 4.0 OS include:

  • A redesigned user interface replacing the hardware buttons with soft on-screen keys, a first for Android smartphones.
  • Facial recognition to unlock the phone.
  • Android Beam is a Bump-like feature to share Web pages, apps, contacts and YouTube videos with friends by tapping two compatible phones together.
  • Improved camera with 1080p video capture, panoramic mode zero-shutter lag for instant photo capturing.
  • Cloud storage and social apps including Google+ along with the new Google Music service: which allows users to store 20,000 songs in the cloud and stream them to your phone.

If you're near the end of a current contract or looking to upgrade, the Nexus really is where its at, and just before Christmas too!