Battery life left us slightly less impressed, however. After about two hours of wandering around town, shooting several dozen photos and about 10 minutes of HD video with each device, the iPhone 4S had just 30 percent of battery left. Its predecessor, the iPhone 4 offered much better performance in the battery department, finishing the shoot with 52 percent remaining, even though we also used that device to check email multiple times and make several phone calls. Despite its enormous 4.3-inch AMOLED display, the Galaxy SII took top prize, with 53 percent left when we returned to the office, while the Nokia N8 had 50 percent remaining. And what about HTC's new Amaze 4G? Our around-town photo session wasn't nearly as kind on that smartphone's battery, with just 29 percent left at the end of the shoot.
We were quite pleased with the iPhone 4S's 1080p HD video, which looked smooth, sharp and vibrant. iPhone 4 owners will need to keep in mind that higher-res video means much larger file sizes, however -- a 160MB, two-minute video that we shot with the iPhone 4 tipped the scale at 390MB on the 4S. Those eight megapixel photos take up more space too -- a 2.2MB five megapixel iPhone 4 photo was 3.1MB on the 4S. Check out the table below to see how file sizes stack up against the other cameras in our showdown.
For more on Apple's new iPhone 4S, check out our full review
Images from the Nokia N8 are not in line with those we've captured in the past. We're troubleshooting our device sample and will update this post accordingly.
We have added 800-pixel-wide sample images from all five smartphones to the comparison gallery. The original side-by-side 100-percent views were pulled from these images and magnified the problem. Image quality in the scaled versions appear in line with the samples from other cameras.
We repeated the shoot multiple times with the Nokia N8, taking multiple exposures for each scene, and noticed improvements in some of the images. We have added a second set of 100-percent views following the original comparison shots for your review, featuring the sharpest of these re-shot images. All images look virtually identical on the device's display, and appear very similar when viewed at 800-pixels wide. It's only when you view each image at a 1:1 pixel ratio (100-percent view) that the improvement becomes immediately apparent. We sincerely apologize for the poor quality of the initial images, which appear to have been the result of motion blur.