T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S2 ($300) vs Samsung Galaxy Nexus ($350)


  1. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,


    I'm looking into upgrading my phone. Currently on T-Mobile's $30/month 100min/5gb 4G data plan, recently learned about the price drop on the Galaxy S2, now available for $330 at Walmart. The price includes a $30 topup card I plan to use anyway.


    Seeing how the Galaxy Nexus (HSPA+) is available at $349, I'm wondering what you guys would recommend between the two. Some points to consider:


    -The S2 has HSPA+ 42mbps. Obviously not too many people are going to hit max speeds, but from what I've seen in reviews, it's a world of a difference over HSPA+ 21mbpsin areas where it's available. It's available in my area.

    -I hear the battery life on the HSPA+ Nexus is better than the Verizon version's. Would someone be able to tell me how it compares to T-Mobile's S2 which we know uses a different processor?

    -Are the Nexus' pixels really worth it?

    -I'm kind of a fan of the SAMOLED+ display's colors, might be a strong factor favoring the S2.

    -I'm told the S2 has a better camera. Picture quality seems decent.

    -I'm not too worried about getting the latest updates. I plan to root/flash.

    -Are there any "issues" I should be worried about? My LG G2x is infamous for random shutdowns and restarts.


    For now, I'm slightly favoring the S2. But I was hoping I could get some input on why the Nexus might be preferred.

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    zener773 likes this.
  2. bob60626

    bob60626 Well-Known Member

    Ah, hell. :D
  3. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member

  4. bob60626

    bob60626 Well-Known Member

    I had been looking for weeks for a used one in that range, passed on the ones I saw, and then bought an S3 for only a bit more. Also, Walmart is saying they're out online.
    zener773 likes this.
  5. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member


    Yep, I might have to wait as late as Thanksgiving weekend to nab one when I go back home. No Walmarts up here in good ole' hippy SF!

    The S3's a really nice phone. It's just way outta my budget!
    zener773 likes this.
  6. andnewbie09

    andnewbie09 Member

    I think S3 would be a bit too much since it has really new technologies that still have a lot to go in the future. But if you are looking for a future-proof phone, I suggest you take the S2 since it is on your choices. It has really great specifications and would be in line with the latest technology for a couple of years more. The S3 is a good choice too, though its features would still have better versions so try waiting for new updates.
  7. mrsbelpit

    mrsbelpit Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, positively, without question go with the Nexus. The screen blows away the S2's. Stock android blows away touchwiz. As to the 42mbps, the Nexus is definitely slower. My husband has the SGS 3 and hie gets about 15-17mbps while I get 10-13mbps on the Nexus. I don't know how the battery life of the S2 is, but the HSPA Nexus definitely has better life than the Verizon one. With heavy use I'd say I get 15-17 hours (4hrs screen on time)
    With not so heavy use, I charge my phone every 24 hrss, it may have about 20-30% left when I do.
    zener773 likes this.
  8. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member

    As I said in my opening post I'm rooting and flashing, so stock Android isn't an issue.

    Wish there were more easily searchable data on the battery life comparisons.
    zener773 likes this.
  9. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    I'm actually going through the same thing of trying to decide which phone to go with. I just purchased the Walmart SII, just have to wait for it to get here some time next week, but after doing so I've been going back and forth on whether or not I should get the Nexus instead.

    It seems like the SII's are in stock at some point every day, but they sell out quick, so you wouldn't have to wait long to order one if you decided that's what you want.

    With tax and shipping, in the end, the Nexus is around $60 more, from what I can find the resolution is the main selling point here. Between the SII and the GNex, the GNex has a MUCH nicer picture, BUT also from what I can find, the SII has a pretty nice picture as well.. Although it doesn't seem compare to the Nexus by any means.

    Other than the resolution, the only other big selling point on the GNex is the OS, which I'm with you, my phone would be rooted and have a custom ROM on it in either case, so that doesn't matter to me.

    As for picture quality, it seems to be a matter of opinion, the GNex seems to be better in low light situations and close up, but the SII seems to be better in the other situations. The GNex having the zero shutter lag is also really nice, a big factor that has been making me have second thoughts on going with the GNex.

    Both phones seem to have their issues, most newer phones do, there's just too much going on with these new phones to NOT have ANY issues.

    The Nexus also seems to have better battery life, I personally recharge my phone every night anyways, so as long as I get a days use out of it, I'm happy.

    I personally think I'm going to save the $60 and go with the SII, I am still on edge about what I want to do, but I think more than likely I'm going to be keeping the SII.

    Also, returning something to Walmart is nothing, they will refund everything without pretty much any problem... If for whatever reason you had to return the Nexus to Google after opening it, you get hit with a 15% restocking fee and they don't refund shipping... That's a lot of money if for whatever reason you needed to return it.

    Hope that helps, I've been going nuts the past couple days trying to make up my mind.
    zener773 and zeth006 like this.
  10. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Hey, I moved this to the Device Comparisons forum. Thanks for understanding. :)
    zeth006 likes this.
  11. mistermike40

    mistermike40 New Member

    How/where were you able to order the S2? I've been looking online for over a week, it's always sold out (and none of the local Walmarts have them in stock). Thanks!
  12. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    Just keep checking Walmart's site. I've been looking at it for days, it shows sold out every day, but if you keep checking, they pretty much always have it in stock daily, it just sells out really quick, so you have to keep checking.
  13. mistermike40

    mistermike40 New Member

    Thanks, I'll keep trying! That seems like a great price for the S2 under the $30/mo plan
  14. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member


    Yeah, the restocking fee is something I need to consider with respect to how much I'm willing to pay to test-drive a phone. Luckily it's just one or the other for me. I suppose I should review Google's return policy too and see if there's no fee.

    The battery life difference is going to be something to consider, wish there were comparisons out there for the T-Mobile versions of the Nexus and the S2.

    EDIT: Just checked, Google seems to have a 15% restocking fee too.
  15. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    You may have misunderstood me, or I'm misunderstanding you. Google has the 15% restocking fee, Walmart does not. Walmart pretty much returns anything almost no questions asked. Either way you have 15 days to return the devices.

    Honestly, I'm STILL debating whether or not to grab the GNex, I've had my credit card in hand numerous times ready to grab it, then I decide to think about it some more.

    I've been doing A LOT more searching and what not, the main things I'm worrying about are the GNex camera and camcorder, as I've said it seems to be a matter of opinion, but I've seen a lot more complaints about the GNex camera than the SII's. The screen resolution is obviously another thing, I just don't know if I need it that badly to sacrifice the camera quality.

    Also, most of the reviews I can find are on the original GSII with a different processor, different size screen, different lots of things. AND pretty much all the reviews on the SII are with the SII being on Gingerbread, so it's hard to see how the phone would actually be now.
    zeth006 likes this.
  16. mistermike40

    mistermike40 New Member

    I was able to order the SII from Walmart late Saturday night... did they process your order yet? Do you have a tracking number? (I don't). Thanks again!
  17. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    They did and I do.. It's scheduled to arrive on the 12th. 2 days away but feels like an eternity, lol.
  18. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member


    Seriously, if you guys could report back your experiences or at least link me to a review you've written and any possible comparisons to the Nexus, that'd be cool! :p
  19. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    Well, I won't be able to give you any Nexus comparisons, the only stuff I know about the Nexus is the countless reviews and what not I've read online. I will gladly give you a review on the phone when I get it though.
    zeth006 likes this.
  20. mistermike40

    mistermike40 New Member

    I received my email for the 1st month's $30 but the phone has yet to be processed :( Two days doesn't seem like an eternity to me lol... I still have no tracking number!
  21. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    Ok, I JUST got the phone, so I don't know too much yet... First off though, I've seen A LOT of complaints about the build quality of this phone... I have absolutely no idea why people are complaining. This phone feels pretty solid to me, it actually feels nice. The chrome look around the edge looks really nice and the back has that soft rubbery feel to it, which I personally really like. No, it's not made out of metal or glass, but the plastic doesn't feel like junky cheap plastic either while holding the phone... I have absolutely no complaints about the quality.

    That's really all I can tell you so far, gotta get it charged up then I'll start playing with it later tonight
    zeth006 likes this.
  22. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member


    Most people aren't complaining about the "cheap" feeling. The whiners tend to use the iPhone as the "gold" standard for what materials should be used. Not to knock the iPhone, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with plastics. If anything, today's iPhone 5 announcement is big only because of the form factor and the materials, neither which are particularly revolutionary.
  23. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    So, I decided to turn the phone on and play with it probably before I should have for battery optimization, but I've left it plugged in... Once again, I don't have a TON of news, but there's a few things I noticed about the phone...

    First off, on Gingerbread, the phone sucks, I was actually really disappointing with the phone at first. I tried using a live wallpaper, just to see how the phone would perform, it was kind of laggy, more so than I would have expected out of the phone. I opened up Netflix to see how the video was because of all the complaints about the low resolution on the phone, Netflix was not very good at all, the video quality sucked...

    I decided to go ahead and update to ICS through Kies... It's literally like a whole different phone... The speed is MUCH better, I used a live wallpaper and noticed no lag, no problems whatsoever with the live wallpaper. I opened up Netflix and gave it a go, MUCH better picture, I don't know why upgrading to ICS would make the Netflix picture so much better, but it really made a huge difference. People complaining about being able to see any pixels are looking WAY too close at their phone (At least after upgrading to ICS).

    LOVE the phone so far, will update you with anything else I come accross.

    Edit: sorry, I somehow posted before I was done
    zeth006 likes this.
  24. zeth006

    zeth006 Well-Known Member

    Is a Gingerbread update available?

    Might just be taking a while for the phone to initialize. But I would personally look into flashing a Jelly Bean ROM.
  25. surgerush

    surgerush Well-Known Member

    Accidentally posted before I was done, go ahead and finish reading my last post.

    Edit: I will definitely be flashing Jelly Bean for sure eventually... I'm going to give it a few days on stock just to get a feel of the phone before I start playing with flashing ROMs and what not.
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