Does hardware matter to you?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by kenknotts, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. kenknotts macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2013
    After going back and forth between iOS and Android for a few years now and ending up with a 5s for now, I am thinking the big difference (for me anyways) is the hardware. I just had a chance to really test these out again recently with the LG G2 and my 5s for a week. A few examples of this would be:

    Build quality-Better on the iPhone than most Android phones Ive owned. Especially the earpiece and speakerphone.

    Camera-Again, better than most Android phone Ive had. This is especially noticeable with video recordings at events like a concert. The iPhone picks up the sound (even the vocals) exceptionally well and plays it back clearly. Any Android phone Ive had records the audio like a mess. It just sounds like a ton of noise coming from a blown out speaker.

    Radios-For some reason, with my 5s I can get LTE in places around town I never could with any Android phone regardless of manufacturer. The GPS is also extremely accurate and locks in instantly. Ive actually had to pull over in my car in an area I didnt know and wait for GPS to lock while using navigation on my S4 for several minutes. Once, I had to actually restart my Note 2 to get the GPS to locate me, never has this issue with the iPhone.

    Wifi-Despite having an inferior wifi setup compared to a few Android phones, my 5s gets a better wifi signal. My home wifi is picked up by my 5s even 3 houses down whereas my last few Android phones would drop the signal by the time I hit my sidewalk. Not only that but when I am closer to the router, the 5s uses my main connection but when I go to another side of my house, it automatically switches to the stronger signal from my wifi extender. Something no Android phone I had ever did.

    I really like a lot of the freedoms Android offers software wise, but I just havent found one yet that matches the iPhone in any of the above areas I mentioned. Having said that, I have yet to use a newer Nexus phone. Last one was the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, a truly awful phone. If the Nexus 5 has LTE and is available on Verizon, Id strongly consider it.
  2. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    For me every year it was just for the OS even tho I have android and windows phone as well. But for this year it was just all about hardware the most touch ID then came to ios7.
  3. Assault macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2013
    in the taint
    I think this will always be a preference issue. I recently got an HTC One to go with my S3 and Nexus 4 and it is a really, really well built phone and extremely nice to look at. But I presonally, hate the cold, dead feel of aluminum. Also not a fan of glass, like on my Nexus 4. The MotoX actually feels the best to me and to me, that trumps how something looks.
    Speakerphone, not sure what you are referring to there? Most flagship phones these days have 3 mics located around the phone ensuring a clear call.

    Don't think you have used the HTC One, have you?

    Agree here. For some reason Samsung phones have terrible modem/radio's or the controllers? It is one reason why I no longer use my S3 and switched to the Nexus 4.

    Either your router doesn't play nicely with your Android phone (let me guess you are using an Apple built airport router, right?) or you don't know how to adjust the settings on your phone to access the best signal from either 2.4 or 5ghz sources. What I don't get is, if you are using a wifi extender, you either live in a mansion that is over 300 feet long and require an extender or you have interference from a 2.4ghz cordless phone or your router is enclosed and to low to the ground. I live in a 5 bedroom house over 4000 square feet and have no issues with my Cisco router using iOS, Android or Windows devices.

    I would suggest trying the MotoX, HTC One, Nexus 4 and soon the Nexus 5 and then comparing the iphone. BTW, Nexus 5 does not look like it is going to Verizon. The FCC filing left out 3g frequencies needed for Verizon. (Not to say you can't use it on their LTE network, but if you lose LTE, you have no data at all.)
  4. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    I've been ultra-spoilt by the build quality of my black HTC One.

    Being able to run stock Android on such great hardware is a great thing for me. It easily trounces my old Nexus 4 and I personally think it's a better build than my iPhone 5.

    Those Boomsound speakers alone give any phone a run for their money and the screen is utterly fantastic.

    How HTC can be struggling as they are with such superb hardware out is a huge shame.
  5. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    HTC have such a bad rep with the nerds, being immensely slow to update phones, being slow to bring them onto networks such as Verizon.

    A lot of the general non techies I know turn to their trusted family/friend geek for advice on tech and if the nerds are annoyed, they won't recommend them. Also now the HTC one is getting a bad rep over its camera. It was held to such a high standard at launch, now people are seeing it for its true faults. It produces noisy, overexposed pictures that you can't zoom or crop. Even in decent light, if it doesn't overexpose it, itll wash out the colours. Not to mention HTCs rep now with abandoning support for fairly recent devices.
  6. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    HTC have really over hyped Ultrapixel and the camera on the one but it does produce some half decent images at times.

    I'll say it is better than any Nexus phone I've owned so far at least. My iPhone 5 does outperform it though. :D
  7. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    If we're talking hardware, screen size should be a major factor the options available for the iPhone are disappointing.
  8. kenknotts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2013
    Thanks for the reply about the router, might have to look into that. I didn't have to mess with anything on the iPhone though, it just does it automatically which is much appreciated. I'm quite familiar with the HTC One actually, my roommate has it. It's a love/hate relationship eith it. I love the display, boom sound and build quality but I'm not crazy about the camera the overall speed and I don't like sense which means rooting and installing custom roms, I'm done with that. Although boom sound is great, it still doesn't record audio nearly as well as my 5s as we found out at a green day concert recently. Mine sounded clean and you could hear the vocals perfectly, his was still muffled. Way too much bass and you couldn't hear the vocals well. Whatever it is that records the audio in the iPhone is top notch, my Canon point and shoot doesn't even compare on audio quality in a Concert.
  9. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2011
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    It depends on the hardware. The hardware that does matter to me is the hardware keyboard. Now a days, there aren't any on high end phones.

    The camera does matter. I would care about being able to take decent pictures. As long as it is not blurry, I'm fine with it. I don't take many pictures with my phone, but when I do, I expect to see the detail that is necessary. It doesn't have to be outstanding.

    The physical exterior shell doesn't really matter much to me. The iPhones do give a very good first impression when I pick one up and use it. For day to day use, I won't notice the exterior shell materials. All I want to do is use the phone and have it perform the functions I need. A better exterior material isn't going to really make those functions any better.
  10. kenknotts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2013
    For some, yes. Believe it or not there are plenty of people like me who work from home and/or always have access to a tablet, laptop or desktop and don't need a phone with a giant screen. I do zero multimedia on my phone. No movie watching, no games, no serious web browsing.mOnly thing I do is calls, texts, emails and maybe browsing Facebook or Instagram while out. So for me, the screen is perfectly usable and I really like how small and easy to pocket the 5s is.
  11. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    As long as it provides a smooth, responsive, battery saving performance, I'm good. When I bought the S4, I didn't dive much into the specs - only the camera quality since that's all I really care about. I figure the reviews will tell me if the phone was not up to par as far as hardware goes.
  12. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
  13. Fanaticalism macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2013
    I care about design, but not materials. Case in point, I find the G2 to be one of the better aesthetically designed pieces (albeit the power toggle on the back). It looks like a premium device and the bezel-less design is eye catching.
  14. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2006
    These United States
    I know some people complained about the buttons on the back, but I like it there better. I have smaller hands and it is easier to hit than on the side the way I hold it.

    The design for me goes is important to an extent. As long as it's not atrocious looking or has some really bad usability feature, I'm good.
  15. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    You could go with the Google Play edition.

    I'm actually running a Google Play edition ROM on my AT&T One. It's even possible to do a full conversion so you're able to get OTA updates.
  16. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    It doesnt really matter to me. I dont really care for aluminum built phones. Way too slippery and needs a case anyways to fix that problem and i just dont mind plastic backs at all since as i said, i usually have a case on it.
  17. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009

    I couldn't comfortably go back to a 4" screen. I'm a bigger guy than most, I simply need a bigger screen than what Apple is offering.

    I love the heft of my Nexus 4. Not really a fan of the glass back but I'm careful with my stuff. Soft-touch aluminium/polycarbonate would have been great.

    On the other hand, I don't care about the cameras (rarely use either of them, i could make do with worse than I have now.

    For storage, 16 GB is the sweetspot for me.

    Also, why are we still using physical buttons? It's not 1993, put them on-screen already.
  18. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2012
    Camera and build quality/materials are completely irrelevant to me when buying a phone.

    Just about everything else is important.
  19. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Absolutely, but only to the extent of impacting the user experience.
  20. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Exactly. As it is, I'm perfectly happy with the CPU and GPU speeds of current phones. I really don't care if a Note 3 is faster etc, my S4 already is very smooth in general.

    Cameras are also more than decent in most phones. Camera software on the other hand could use some work. For example while the camera app on my S4 is regarded as being one of the best for Android, it still lacks some things I got used to with iPhone and Camera+. It also has some quirks like if you have auto brightness enabled, you'll generally get darker pictures than what is shown on the screen. Without auto brightness you get what you see. It's small, obvious things like these that I feel iPhones do better even with their stock camera app.

    Display size and overall dimensions matter a lot tho. My S4 is the absolute biggest I would go and it's great that it has minimal bezel. The 1080p display is also very pleasant to read. I would've gotten the S4 Mini if it didn't have such a low res display.

    The S4 also does really well on the materials department. I can tell you that in the cold Finnish winter, it's no fun holding a glass or aluminum phone outside. Even though it's plastic, the S4 feels very rigid and the only drawback is that the back is a bit slippery. Replaced the back cover with a cheap imitation leather one that has just the right feel.
  21. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    If my Nexus 4 had a better battery and camera I would probably keep this thing until it broke. The specs are fine to me, I have the latest software, it's as fast or even faster than when I got it 10 months ago thanks to 4.3, and the size is perfect for me. I'm done with the spec race for now. Smartphones haven't really changed a whole lot in the past year with what they can do and I have higher priorities in life than buying every single phone that benches 100 points higher than the last one.

    We'll see what the Nexus 5 brings. If the camera and battery are significantly improved over the Nexus 4 I'll probably get and and stick with it until I run it into the ground.
  22. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Not really. I just want something that's comfortable to hold and use, has a screen that is easy to look at, and does what I need it to do.
  23. NuggetSauce macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    I'm okay with the iPhone screen size, because I have a tablet to use when i'm at home, or have an overnight trip and want a bigger screen, so my smartphone is only used when i'm traveling, or outdoors, and used in short bursts of time.

    What's more important is that it's sleek, and light, as it accompanies me when I do long distance cycling, and running. I don't use a case, and I can sleep with it in my pocket and barely notice its there. My friends who have large phablet phones always take their phones out and set it on the table when we go to a cafe or bar, and leaving your phone out often leads to theft. I've also noticed that the brightness on some of the larger screens are not as strong by comparison.

    Hardware has to good, which it is for most of the top rated smartphones. But Software is equally as important, and that's often underrated, and it's the reason why after I switched from iOS to Android, I ended up switching back to iOS. That's the reason why the Surface isn't doing well, despite the fact that it has excellent hardware, same with Windows phone. Same reason why the Zune HD was a huge flop. Great hardware, but had no software.
  24. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    For the most part hardware doesn't matter much to me as long as it's "enough" for the phone's software to operate well and give me decent cellular service & battery life. I actually prefer plastic phones to whatever the newer iPhones are made up of as they tend to be far more comfortable to hold in my opinion.

    What does matter hardware wise to me is the display. I absolutely can't stand the annoying little 3.5 - 4" screens on the iPhones after using a phone with a larger one. I'll put up with the flaws of an Android phone any day if it means access to a 4.7"+ screen lol.
  25. gotluck, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Personally, I left iOS because of the software. I love the hardware, too small screen sized iphone aside. The restrictiveness of iOS drives me insane. I cannot get over the fact that apple dictates what we can put on our devices. I view iOS as a large part of what could lead to the censorship of the internet in the US.


    hardware definitely matters, but I personally don't hate plastic and use a case because I'm sweaty hand man.

    A real Verizon nexus (phone at least) will never happen. Verizon is the antithesis of what nexus stands for.

Share This Page