Phone geeks everywhere constantly debate with each other in comments sections of various websites about which phone is best. So, which phone REALLY is the best? The answer is simple: None. Every new smartphone, no matter how awesome it might be, has flaws.
I'm an iPhone 4 user with AT&T. When I first got my iPhone, it was my first smartphone upgrade. Before the iPhone, the fanciest thing my phone could do is send a picture message (something previous versions of the iPhone couldn't do). I was instantly hooked with this amazing technology in the palm of my hands. Then I wondered why so many people complain about their phones and the tiny little differences between the best devices on the market. I started to play around with other devices in stores. Before I got my iPhone, I checked every store, every phone, every provider to find the best deal for the best product. When I'm dedicating 2 years to a device, I want it to work perfectly for me. I had Sprint and was going to upgrade to the EVO, but after the demo phone in the store had almost half of the battery drained in 2 hours, I skipped the EVO. I then went for the Droid Incredible with Verizon. Like the EVO, the Incredible was a battery drainer. If you couldn't tell by now, battery life is a MUST for me. If I have an amazing device that can do these amazing things, it must last more than a few hours without needing a charge. The iPhone 4 with it's very good battery life (2-3 days per charge), incredibly easy to handle operating system and size, I went iPhone. Also, since I pay nearly half of what I would have paid if I went with Verizon, it is also a money saver. When I upgraded, Android devices were JUST getting to the point where they can be declared "better" than iPhones. Now in Fall of 2011, I can firmly say there are some Android devices out there that are without a doubt better than my iPhone 4. Because I'm now borderline obsessed with new phones and technology, I've been testing a lot of the new smartphones out there in stores.
I've had my iPhone 4 for just over a year now, and while I still love the fact I can surf the web, post on Twitter and Facebook and do just about anything I want, I now understand why phone geeks constantly compare phones. I now know why "Vs." videos on Youtube get thousands of hits. I've been trying out new Android phones. More specifically, the Samsung Galaxy SII
I've been trying the Galaxy SII on Sprint (which calls the device the "Epic 4G Touch") and I absolutely love it. I thought I wouldn't like a big screen on a phone (one of the reasons I didn't upgrade to the EVO), but the Galaxy SII has changed my mind about big screens. The screen itself is 4.52 inches of beauty. I didn't think my iPhone 4's screen could be topped. I was wrong. Not only is the Galaxy SII's screen clearer, but the processor speed, memory, web browsing speed are all better. Every single thing about the Galaxy SII is better than my iPhone 4, and just last year the iPhone 4 was voted as the best smartphone. Also, the fact that the Galaxy SII has a bigger screen and bigger frame than my iPhone 4, yet is lighter in weight and has a better battery life is stunning. Plus, Sprint has an excellent network and now with 4G and being the last true "unlimited" provider, the Galaxy SII with Sprint is, IMO, the best device and value on the market today.
Another device I tried out, recommended by Maryanne, the HTC Rezound from Verizon.
Maryanne has bought this device and has said nothing but great things about it (more in-depth review coming soon). I decided to try it out myself at a Verizon store and I can concur with Maryanne that the Rezound is fantastic. The camera quality (along with the Galaxy SII) are much better than my iPhone 4. Although using 4G it drains the battery pretty quickly, the speed of this device when web browsing is stunning. This phone on Verizons 4G LTE is faster than my laptop at home. If speed is very important to you, the Rezound is the fastest phone I've tested. The Galaxy SII is maybe a second or two slower when loading up web pages. The overall size of the Rezound is smaller than the Galaxy SII, but bigger than the iPhone 4, so it is a great mid point with people who didn't like the small iPhone screen and the large screens on the Galaxy SII and EVO. Verizon now has data plans, so if you're a heavy data user, stay with Sprint. However, if you were "Grandfathered" into unlimited data with Verizon, the Rezound is highly recommended.
I am an iPhone user, so what do I think about the new 4S?
What Apple was trying to do with this new device is make it into a smaller frame with a bigger screen, but since they couldn't figure out how to do it, the put the new hardware upgrades that were SUPPOSED to be in the iPhone 5 in this new 4S. The new A5 processor is a good increase in speed and performance, the camera quality is excellent and SIRI, the 4S's biggest selling point, is pretty fun to mess with, although not that innovative. SIRI is a voice recognition software that allows you to basically communicate with your 4S. What Apple is mainly selling this SIRI feature is "it's not what you want it to do, but how you say it". For instance, most new phones have voice commands, but you have to say specific words so your device can perform said command. With SIRI, all you have to do is talk to it, like for instance, "Will it snow today?". Saying "Will it snow today?" or "Does the weather look bad today?" or "Do I need a sweater?" all will give you the forecast. SIRI is not innovative and not original by any means. However, what SIRI does is perfect the voice command system in smartphones. The camera was another upgrade I was really impressed with. The Rezound and Galaxy SII take great photos themselves, but the 4S IMO takes the best photos in almost any situation. Apple can take something good and make it great. Hate on Apple all you want, but they know how to make a great product. As far as speed goes, the Galaxy SII and HTC Rezound blow the 4S away in terms of web browsing and app downloading speed. The 4S isn't even that much faster than my 4 now. Very disappointing with that. I was very excited when Apple compared the speed of the 4S to competitors. However, the 4S is still a pretty fast device and with Sprint now carrying the iPhone, the 4S with Sprints unlimited plan looks pretty good if you're a first time smartphone buyer.
What about Windows Phone?
Nothing a Windows phone can do is something my iPhone 4 already can't do. Sure, Windows Phone is incredibly easy to use, but like the iPhone, you need Windows products to make the experience with Windows Phone more enjoyable. Don't get Windows Phone if you're a MAC user. At least with Droids, you can still use an Android device even with a MAC. I'm sure there are Windows Phone users out there that absolutely love their device and are happy with that. Great! Windows Phone just wasn't for me. Although I really did like the simplicity of the device. The live updates with your social media was neat as well. Windows Phone is something you either will like or not like. I just happen to be on the "not like" side.
So what exactly do you do if you're looking to buy a smartphone? All smartphones can browse the web, download apps that can do cool things, check your email, take great photos all while fitting in your pocket. We live in a world where you can have your entire life on a device in your pocket, and for that I'm thankful for. I love technology today. That's why I didn't go into anal details about processor speeds, RAM, memory, etc. because so many people argue like crazy over .2 MB of memory and how that .2 MB of memory makes their device so much better. It's annoying. Here are the simple Black/White differences with Android Vs. iPhone.
- Flash with web browsing (for now)
- Can customize virtually anything on your device
- Most devices you can actually take out the battery
- Most apps that you would have to pay for on iPhone are free in the Android market
- Screen sizes on some devices are bigger and easier to see than on iPhone
- Can be turned into a mini computer and run software you'd find on your home computer
- Customizing home screens, 4G and most in-app notifications drain battery
- Battery lasts at most 1 & 1/2 days
- Lot's of customization and settings can confuse new smartphone users
- Some devices are too big to fit in pocket comfortably
- Simple & very easy to setup and use
- Click & drag your music, videos, podcasts, etc in iTunes to your iPhone and it is automatically sorted
- Over 500,000 apps so your device can virtually do anything
- Great battery life that lasts 2-3 days depending on data usage
- Picture quality is excellent
- Can fit in your pocket comfortably
- No flash for web browsing
- Can't change the battery without replacing the device
- Software upgrades erase memory
- Most useful apps cost $
- Screen size not as big as competitors
- Unless Apple approves or you jailbreak your device, you're stuck with what the iPhone has
- No talk/text unless you use SIRI. If you don't have a 4S, you have to type everything by hand.
The bottom line: If you want a simple, easy to use device that you know will work for you and will do anything basic you would want, go iPhone. If you want a more customizable, complex device that can do anything your home computer can, go Android.
I'm a happy iPhone 4 user and I've loved my iPhone, but when I can upgrade, I'm going Android and with the Galaxy SII for Sprint.
Written By: Hammy