Some or many, you and may be myself as well, just people around claim the Samsung Galaxy S2 is the best Android-based smartphone in the world at the moment. Samsung’s device heads many lists of top Android smartphones and plays a draw with high-end smartphones like the HTC Sensation.
After reading some reviews about the Samsung Galaxy S2 and after holding it in my hand and enjoying its good-quality build and stylish design, I thought if Nokia has a smartphone powerful and cool enough to compete with it. The first candidate that came to my mind was the Nokia N8. And now I will try to compare it with Samsung’s latest smartphone to find out which one is cooler or hotter – whichever you like! Samsung Galaxy S2 deals (and its white version as well) are long available by most of the carriers worldwide, so of course, not only technical aspects matter but as well pricing of the phone. So stay with us after the cut to know more.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Nokia N8 are both well-made touchscreen-only smartphones, but I guess that’s the only thing they have in common. Nokia’s device has a metal body made of a single sheet of anodized aluminum, but it’s not as heavy as you could think – only 135g. The Galaxy S2 – one of the best Samsung Phones ever – is plastic, very thin and very light (116g). Both smartphones have well-crafted and responsive physical buttons around.
As for overall design, the Nokia N8 is kind of more “edgy,” while the Galaxy S2 is sleek and elegant. I guess both will find their fans, but I personally like the Galaxy’s sleekness more. On the other hand, Samsung’s device is available in one color only, and those who don’t like dull black phones will surely pay more attention to the bright colors of the N8, which is available in Dark Grey, Silver White, Green, Blue, Orange and Pink (I guess this pink version is the most popular one now, especially among girls).
The Samsung Galaxy S2 features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display (480 x 800 pixels) and the Nokia N8’s display is a 3.5-inch (360 x 640 pixels) AMOLED touchscreen. Which one is better? Of course the Super AMOLED Plus one, this goes without saying… It’s clearer, it’s thin and it consumes less energy than a regular AMOLED screen.
Of course, I can’t say the N8’s touchscreen is bad, no. It’s really good, it shows clear and bright colors, but the Galaxy S2’s Super AMOLED Plus is cooler anyway. Period.
By the way, both displays are protected by the Gorilla Glass technology, so both are rather durable and scratch-resistant.
Many people wonder why Nokia has decided to equip one of its best smartphones with a not that powerful 680MHz processor if its next phones (not that powerful ones) are going to come with better CPU. Well, anyway, Nokia’s 680MHz ARM 11 can’t compete with the dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor Samsung has used in its flagship, but it provides steady performance and it’s still much faster than many 1GHz processors, even dual-core ones. I remember once we compared the single-core 680MHz processor of the Nokia N8 and the dual-core 1GHz processor of the Motorola Atrix 4G. Nokia was the winner. I don’t think Nokia’s CPU will still win in a fight against Samsung’s one, but still no one can say it’s to weak, it’s too slow or something.
Besides, Samsung’s device is faster not only because of the more powerful CPU, but thanks to its RAM amount (which is much more than the N8’s –1024MB against 256MB) as well.
I’m not in the mood for comparing the Nokia N8’s Symbian^3 OS (recently upgraded to Symbian Anna) and the Samsung Galaxy S2’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Both have their stronger and weaker sides, and this topic has been discussed for many, many times. It’s not that Android has many fair advantages over Symbian OS, just many people prefer Google’s OS, and it’s just a matter of taste. If you’re one of those people, the Samsung Galaxy S2 should be your smartphone of choice. If you like Symbian, too, maybe you should pay attention to the Nokia N8, I’m sure it’s worth it.
However, I can’t help mentioning that Android Market has much more apps (about 300,000) than Nokia’s Ovi Store (less than 50,000, if I’m not mistaken). So if you’re an app fun, Android with its Android Market will seem more attractive to you.
Here is where the Nokia N8 is the confident winner. Right now Nokia’s smartphone has the most powerful camera in the market, able to take huge 4000×3000 pics, highly detailed and beautiful as if taken with a professional camera. Well, a 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and auto-focus isn’t a joke!
The camera of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is much weaker – it’s only an 8MP camera usual for all high-end devices found in the market. It has LED flash and auto-focus and takes 3264×2448 pics that are maybe a bit worse than those taken by the N8, but look very good anyway.
As for videos, the N8’s camera shoots 720p videos at 30fps (upgraded from 25fps with a camera update). Maybe it’s a bit strange, but the videos shot by the Galaxy S2 are 1080p at 30fps.
So the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a great smartphone that needs a powerful battery. The manufacturer has equipped it with a standard Li-Ion 1650mAh battery that provides about 18.3 hours of talk time and 29.6 days of standby time.
The battery of the Nokia N8 is weaker, only 1200 mAh (standard Li-Ion again). It provides up to 12 hours of talk time (more than 50 percent less than Samsung’s battery) and 16.2 days in standby (about 80 percent less). It’s enough for many people, so I can’t say a weaker battery is a terrible shortcoming. But the fact that the battery of the N8 is not removable is a serious shortcoming, I think – you won’t be able to replace it if you want a more powerful one.
So we see the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a great smartphone, and it’s more powerful than the Nokia N8 in many aspects. That’s why it’s much more expensive, too. If the Nokia N8 can be bought for about 260 Euros (about $376), you’ll have to pay about 550 Euros ($795) for the Galaxy S2 – it’s almost twice more.
So if you want a really powerful smartphone – the best Android smartphone in the market – and can pay about $800 for it, go for the Samsung Galaxy S2. And if you want to pay less and get a weaker, but still a very good device with a powerful camera, the N8 is your choice.
One more thing – it’s not really easy to find the N8 in the U.S., especially if you want it with a contract with a carrier. But you won’t face the same problem with the Galaxy S2, which is available in all corners of the world – you can easily find many affordable Samsung Galaxy S2 deals both in Europe and in the U.S.