Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Great Debate: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or HTC?

I'm at a mobile 'phone crossroads in my life.

When I first went to University in Aberystwyth back in 2000, I borrowed my mother's mobile to regularly keep in touch with home. It was a brick with an ariel but was very much of its time I suppose.

My first personal mobile 'phone was bought probably a year or so later - a good decade back. I'm pretty sure that my mobile number now is the same number that I had with my first mobile. Certainly since I was elected to local government in 2004, I've had no desire to change my number as it has become well used by friends and work colleagues alike. Over the years, they have been upgraded one-by-one and as technology has moved on, have become more advanced in their functions.

I have always been with Orange as the signal over here in the west is best served with them and particularly now with the addition of the T-mobile network. My current version was purchased 18 months ago and is a Samsung. It was a particular leap forward for me as it was the first touch-screen mobile that I'd ever owned - it certainly took some getting used too!

iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC or other?
But what next? I'm now entitled to a free upgrade but having asked friends for their recommendations, have unsurprisingly found that everyone has a different view.

The Samsung Galaxy 2
I've made a number of enquiries in recent days and have made progress with my view on the matter though as I'm not intending on making the change until next week, thought that this would be one final opportunity to gather views on the back of what I have learned and on the specifications that I desire.

First of all, though there has been some backing for the HTC, I have on the whole heard that it is unreliable and not comparable to the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy.

My gut instinct was to go for the iPhone and have found that for the £40 or so per month package that I'd be looking for that I could purchase one for as little as £95 which is not unreasonable as I see it. It is of course, the status symbol mobile to own and I gather that on financial functions, it is the business. However, an android such as the Samsung Galaxy will be a free upgrade for me and has comparable if not better entertainment functions than the iPhone. It is also more accident friendly as it is more shatter-proof than the glass iPhone. I also gather that the iPhone is a killer on the battery. I'm one that has my mobile on me 24/7 and it resembles more of an extra limb for me than an inanimate object. I always charge my mobile at night but I gather that the iPhone if used regularly could need to be charged as often as every 3 to 4 hours which would be hopeless for my usage.

Apple's iPhone 4
There are positives and negatives for all types of course but another small thing that I've learnt is that on the Samsung Galaxy it is possible to watch live TV (I didn't know such a thing were even possible) but that on the iPhone it can only be done so on the iPlayer. Also, I gather that the camera on the Galaxy is 5 megapixels but barely 3 on the iPhone.

So in taking all of this in, I'm clearly edging towards the Galaxy android. But I've got a final few days to mull it over so would welcome comments from those who know about these things.

Have I underestimated the HTC, is the iPhone better than I make out, has the Galaxy got pit-falls and are there any other phones that I'm not even mentioning that should be considered?

It's a world away from my first mobile 'phone a decade ago but in moving into the android era, I want to make sure I make what for me, is the right choice.


  1. I literally don't understand why anyone would buy anything other than an iphone! I charge mine - which is the old 3Gs - every other day. I've never had any problems with the camera either (all the photos bar the ones of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on my blog are from an iphone camera).

    I've had mine just over a year now and it's an indispensable part of my life in a way that my mobile has never been in the past. But then I am an Apple groupie so may not be 100% objective..!

  2. I laughed quite a lot at this blog post. Your facts are all over the place. iPhone battery 3-4 hours? Are you insane? An iPhone battery will last an entire day of hard usage. That means, using the GPS, wi-fi, data connection (uploading, downloading and surfing), camera (photos & video recording) etc... I'm afraid that, yes, the iPhone is indeed a lot better than you make out. 3 megapixel camera? Get out of here! It's a 5 megapixel camera, with an LED flash and is the best mobile phone camera I have ever used!

    I myself own a Samsung Galaxy S and personally, I love it! It's all down to personal opinion at the end of the day. As for how it stacks up against it's Apple counterpart, well there are a number of factors to consider.

    The first and foremost is the operating system. Both Apple iOS and Android are unix based. However, Android, unlike Apple iOS, is open source. This allows for a lot more customisation and tweaking than is allowed by iOS. 'Jail-breaking' an iPhone can act as a rudimentary solution to Apple's locked down operating system, but it's not perfect!

    Saying that however, the consumerist minded among us (which is most of us, let's face it!) prefer exactly that! Apple iOS is arguably one of the most stable mobile platforms out there. It'll do everything you want it to do and it'll do it without any hassle. If you just want your phone for tweeting, facebook'ing, text messaging, call-making and picture-taking, then an iPhone 4 is for you! Yet in contrast, Android offers a LOT more customisation than iOS. With the likes of widgets and user-defined home-screens, yet it doesn't pack the punch of simplicity that the iPhone does.

    So, why Android? Well, the customisation is by no means limited to aesthetics. Over the past few months, I have altered and tweaked Android on my phone to the point that the phone runs at least 5x faster than it originally did as well as prolonging the battery to over 2x (it now lasts around three days as opposed to one, on normal usage). Don't get me wrong, these processes are no easy feat. If you are techno-minded enough and can release the geek in you, then you may well want to sway the way I did and go for the Android phone. Android phones can satisfy all ranges in the market, however, only when you go to the levels of true customisation I have, will they please you as much as an iPhone will.

    As for the HTC, well, the only points worth factoring in there and purely hardware related. Depending on which HTC you go for, the Galaxy S is pretty hard to beat. It is both Samsung and Androids current flagship model - meaning it boasts the best overall balance of hardware.

    Hope this helps in your decision (if you haven't already made one!)

  3. Oh, I did forget to mention - the iPhone 4's 'Retina Display' is one of the most amazing things I have witnessed on a phone. The resolution is (supposedly) beyond the viewing capabilities of the human eye - it is literally impossible to make out the pixels!

    The Galaxy S's SuperAMOLED screen is also impressive. It boasts vivid colours and deep blacks, making every image look outstanding and colourful. However, as brilliant as it looks, it can't match the sharpness of the iPhone 4's display!

  4. Eddy - great comments thanks!

    You've put me right on a few iPhone issues which is appreciated and have given me a more detailed breakdown of the pro's and con's for the both!

    Muchly appreciated geeky inside knowledge which is what I was looking for!

  5. Excellent, if you are further swayed by Android and do in fact bite the bullet, then I urge you to sign up to these forums

    If you wish to get geeky with the Galaxy, then this place will give you all the info you need to know!


  6. I am insanely in love with my iPhone 3GS. I use it all the time & charge it nice a day, usually unobtrusively plugged into my laptop. Yes, it's a bit restrictive in some areas, but I love it. The iPhone 4 camera is also much better.

    I am an Apple addict. In the year since I bought an iPod Touch for the F1 application, Steve Jobs has reconfigured my neural pathways to desire all Apple products. My iPad is an early birthday present & I love it.

    I could throw another phone into the mix - the Motorola Atrix, which my husband recently got for his 60th birthday. It dragged him into the 21st century with a bang. It has a dual core processor is accessed by fingerprint. I wouldn't swap my iPhone for it as I personally don't like the Android interface.Have a look at it though.

    Good luck! Hope you fi d a phone you like.

  7. stick with an samsung - though its a good phone, the iphone is expensive because of the brand. Fact is, other phones can do the same things now ... but for less.