The Galaxy Nexus has arrived in Europe and will be coming to the United States soon on Verizon, although no official date has been announced. The turbo geek tech site AnandTech has performed several tests on the new phone and found it to be better than the iPhone 4S in a lot of areas including overall speed and browser speed.
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The Galaxy Nexus hardware platform isn't a significant departure from what we've already seen on Android. TI was chosen as the launch silicon partner with its OMAP 4460. The SoC takes a pair of Cortex A9 CPUs running at 1.2GHz and gives them a dual-channel LPDDR2 memory interface to talk to. The GPU is Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX 540. The CPU side of things is comparable to Apple's A5, although the cores are clocked noticeably higher than the 800MHz we saw in the iPhone 4S. Until Tegra 3 and Krait show up, the CPU side of the 4460 is as good as it gets.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S is still better at graphics rendering.
Of course, evaluations of a smartphone are not objective, they’re subjective. And there’s no accounting for whether the Galaxy Nexus can compete in brand affection with the iPhone 4S. But it seems that in terms of performance anyway you won’t lose anything with this particular Android model.