If you aren’t yet aware of the launch of Android OS 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich – you’ve got to come out of the hole. Google has pulled the wraps off its new flagship product with Samsung. And with it comes the launch of its spanking new OS which should heat things up considerably with Apple. With the euphoric sales of the iPhone 4S, we figured we’d give you some time to contemplate your next smartphone purchase before either phones hit our shores here in Dubai.

Here is a comparison that we’ve drawn from all the news that has been streaming in.

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GALAXY NEXUS

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (OS 4.0)

4.65” HD Super AMOLED Display

100,000:1 contrast ratio

1280 x 720px screen resolution

16GB, 32GB

8.84mm thick

Dual-core 1.2 GHz Processor

5.1MP with 1080p Video Recording

1.3 MP front camera

4G (LT or HSPA+)

£515 approx. AED 2,990 – 16GB

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iPHONE 4S

Apple iOS 5

3.5” Retina Display

800:1 contrast ratio

960 x 640px screen resolution

16GB, 32GB, 64GB

9.3mm thick

Dual-core 800 MHz Processor

8MP with 1080p Video Recording

0.3 MP VGA front camera

3G

£499 approx. AED 2,900 – 16GB

£599 approx. AED 3,500 – 32GB

£699 approx. AED 4,060 – 64GB

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Just by looking at the core specs above, its evident that the Galaxy Nexus beats the iPhone 4S on almost all counts except perhaps the rear camera. But with a meatier processor backing it up and a better front camera (yes, an actual lens-camera, not VGA) the Nexus is going to be absolutely brilliant with Google+ Hangouts.

The iPhone 4S is quite brilliant in its own right. With Siri, which we’re seeing brilliant omniscient videos of and the the recent upgrade with iCloud and iMessages, its a very well rounded device. Alas, what you get out of it here in Dubai would be another matter altogether. We’ve heard and read disparate reports saying that iMessages won’t be working as you expect it to, here in the UAE.

With the iPhone 4S you get a device that has been perfected from the last year. Its a natural evolution of an already benchmark setting device. With the processor and GPU upgrades, the device is now looking to help you do more with it.

However, Google and Samsung have collectively thrown down the gauntlet with this launch. Android has been consistently eating away at Apple’s market share of the smartphone market. And with this launch its going to be a big hit for the tech adopters that adore Apple as a trendsetter. With features such as Beam allowing you to share data via NFC, Single-frame panorama shooting, ubiquitous Google+ and Apps built right in, folks here at I_D have already forgotten about Apple’s launch a couple of weeks ago. We can’t wait to pre-order our Galaxy Nexus here.

However, herein lies a caveat for all of us. With the highly developed and excellent build quality of most iOS apps, we’re always left a little back with Android. The functionality is always there, probably even more at times but they just seem to lack the pizzazz. With the new OS and the new UI, we’re hoping to see a shift with beautiful looking UIs coming through on the Android apps.