What decent Android handset to use instead of iPhone 5?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Cubytus, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #1
    Hello community,

    I'm intending to replace my useful, but very slow Nokia N8 with something that would have a greater number of useful applications. As I'm a Mac user, my natural choice was the iPhone 5, but considered its grossly overpriced compared to its sibling, the iPod Touch (Same for the iPhone 4S): while the iPod costs $300, the iPhone 5 is $700, and the 4S, $600, all before taxes.

    Now, I'm seriously considering an Android such as the Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4, but I know big G is all about quantity, not quality. So far, no fan-Droid was able to provide me with a clear answer on that.

    I want a phone that:
    - makes a good wireless modem without drying the battery in 2 hours
    - supports the most common applications, including (gasp!) commercial ones I use, say, to find a good place to chill out with friends in an unknown "barrio"
    - top quality predictive texting (Apple's iPod Touch being the best I tried so far)
    - supports third-party IMAPS servers, with supports for aliases.
    - supports standards-based, not Google-based, calendar sync, as well as Mac Address book, ideally locally, or through the cloud. Considering difficulties in easily accessing a wifi network in this city, local sync would be preferable, though not mandatory.
    - native eduroam authentication

    To support it all, there are only two platforms meeting these requirements: iPhone OS and Android. Windows Mobile still isn't a significant player when it comes to application, neither is Blackberry, nor Symbian.
    I am still concerned about the reputation of insecurity that Android market has, but the completely unreasonable price tag of the iPhones, even to Apple standards, push me in the other direction.

    What other handsets can be considered?
     
  2. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Take a look at the NOTE II, from what I've read it has an excellent battery. The problem with LTE is that its a battery hog so almost all phones (regardless of the platform) is going to have inadequate battery life for extended tethering.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    Samsung Galaxy SIII as well? Very decent Android phone that I would highly recommend. :)

    What do you mean by quanity and not quality btw? The SIII specs are quite good!
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    The droid DNA is a solid choice
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #5
    If battery life is your biggest concern, then the Note 2 and Razr Maxx HD are probably your best choices.

    Android generally has better predictive texting apps than iOS. Are there any specific apps you are looking for. You could browse the Play store yourself to see if it meets your needs.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #6
    Well, battery life isn't my biggest concern. I would like to be able to pull a full working day out of it, including tethering, and not be forced to have a spare charger, which I wasn't able to do with the N8 and its 6-hours battery. 3G drains battery really fast also, and is completely unnecessary for voice. Do these handset allow one to exclusively use GSM for voice conversation, 3G or LTE for all data-relAted tasks?

    If android, it has to be easily rootable, cleanable (especially from the crap manufacturers preinstall, much as on Windows). Lets not forget about eduroam, so far I was told that it may not be natively supported in Android. Experiences?

    I had an eye on the Note II, but is simply too large to be comfortably used as a phone. As for better predictive texting on Android than iOS, how can you do better than the best? Also, is the sensitive quality of Android devices on par with iPhone? As for the apps, I'm more impulsive. If I use a service I like, I start looking for an application.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    LSUtigers03

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #7
    iOS isn't the best at predictive texting. SwiftKey 3's prediction is much better than iOS and it's the best I've used so far on Android.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #8
    What is SwiftKeys?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #9
    If you can root, you don't have to worry about cleaning. I can't speak about other handsets, but Samsung's Galaxy S phones and Nexus phones can be rooted fairly easily.

    Who told you it's the best?:)


    Majority of the apps on the App Store also exist on the Google Play Store so you shouldn't have a problem. Some people say that the Android apps don't look as good as the iOS counterpart. I don't find this to be true anymore as more and more apps start using the holo interface from Android 4.0+.

    But overall, considering you needs, and from my experiences, the Galaxy S3 would be a good choice. I would have easily recommended the Nexus 4 but I've read complaints about its battery life, so I'm hesitant to do so. It still might be worth looking into.

    ----------

    http://www.swiftkey.net/en/
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    daveathall

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
    #10
    IMHO both Swiftkey and Swype are better than the predictive text on iOS.:)
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #11
    Galaxy s3, note II, razr hd/hd maxx, nexus 4, Galaxy nexus, optimus g, and the htc one x+.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #12
    Reading your list again, I think the Nexus 4 just might be the best choice for you. It's battery isn't that bad. It can last you between 3 to 4 hours of screen on time. It will get the latest updates for quite some time. And best of all, it only costs $360 for the 16GB version.

    But it's out of stock now, so you would have to wait a bit.
     
  13. blackhand1001, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #13
    It will last longer than that once they fix the wakelock issue in 4.2 as well. The identical optimus g gets double the battery life as its not on 4.2. Google really should have shipped the new nexusw devices with 4.1.2. 4.2 is a mess.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #14
    I hope so because I really want that phone. The only other complain I have about it is that is doesn't support USB OTG.
     
  15. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #15
    If I'm not mistaken, Google released a software update/fix/patch around Xmas time last year for the Galaxy Nexus.

    I'm hoping that's the time frame they're aiming for for the Nexus 4 update.
     
  16. blackhand1001, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012

    macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #16
    hopefully, the only thing is that 4.2 is way worse than 4.01/02 was. I can't believe they actually pushed it out. I doubt any manufactures will ever push or ship devices with 4.2. They'll likely skip it.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #17
    I had something called SwiftKeys or Swype on my Nokia N8, but I found it very slow to learn, and not so efficient if you're not into the habit os swiping your finger to enter a word. Plus, it was a major battery hog. But if these bugs were ironed out and battery draw reduced to what it should be (no more than standard typing), I'm willing to give it a try once again.

    As for the other requirements, are they all met?
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #18
    Galaxy SIII, Note II, and Nexus 4 are the only Android phones at this time that I'd even consider.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #19
    Ok, it seems I have started an uncontrollable flow of enthusiasm from Android fans.. So let me re-paste requirements, numbered for your convenience:

    1. - makes a good wireless modem without drying the battery in 2 hours
    2. - supports the most common applications, including (gasp!) commercial ones I use, say, to find a good place to chill out with friends in an unknown "barrio"
    3. - top quality predictive texting (Apple's iPod Touch being the best I tried so far)
    4. - supports third-party IMAPS servers, with supports for aliases.
    5. - supports standards-based, not Google-based, calendar sync, as well as Mac Address book, ideally locally, or through the cloud. Considering difficulties in easily accessing a wifi network in this city, local sync would be preferable, though not mandatory.
    6. - native eduroam authentication

    Are these criteria met?
    I would hate buying a spanking new handset only to find out it doesn't fit my needs and return it / resell it.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    #20
    If the S3 had a better quality screen I would say that.. But the AMOLED screen sucks in daylight. I have the Nexus 4 and its gorgeous.. I also have the iPhone 5. LTE is amazing, I am back to using my 5 for the moment. Battery on the Nexus has not been too great. I am waiting for a software update to hopefully fix that.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    roxxette

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    #21
    What if someday a thread like these is made but instead it would be " What decent iOS handset to use instead of iPhone X ? :eek:
     
  22. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #22
    Maybe the htc m7 if you can wait a couple of months.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-m...obile-world-congress-47-inch-1080p-screen-tow

    I wonder if htc will wise up and put the sleep/wake button on the side finally... Probably not. As if its not hard enough to reach, they put the sleep/wake button top-center of the droid DNA. Lulz

    I also wonder about that battery. They seem to always put too small of a battery in their phones...
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #23
    Doesn't answer my updated question, still. I'm starting to understand that Androids, generally speaking, do have a battery life issue.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #24
    Some do, but there are a few that excel.

    I have a Galaxy S3, and have had the same one since release back in May. The battery on it is pretty damn good. I'll unplug it at about 8:30am, and when I finish work at 4pm, it's still at around 65-70%.

    Sometimes it's lower if I play games on my lunch break, or watch YouTube, or something else battery intensive. Usually I just browse a few forums, and it's still got plenty of juice when I get home.

    I also hear the Galaxy Note 2's battery is insane, but of course, the tradeoff there is the size.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #25
    I had the international version S3 and the battery was great, I was really surprised. Not sure how other versions are, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Didn't try the tethering much though.

    Well, you got Android, Windows Mobile, and the new Blackberry 10.

    If I were you, I would wait a couple of months. CES and Mobile World Congress are both in the next two months.

    If it has to be now, I'd say S3 or Nexus 4. There are a lot of developers and users for both, so if you ever run into trouble you can expect to find solutions fast.
     

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