Help me choose a new smartphone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vistadude, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #1
    So my iphone 3G contract is finally over, and I’d like to get a new, faster phone. I’m not considering an iphone mainly because I don’t want a 2 year contract and I’d like to try something else. That being said, I’d like to get a phone that can be able to play podcasts, mainly ESPN podcasts, have google voice sms push notifications, have espn score alerts, amazon kindle, and an IM client(s) with msn and aim chat. Here’s the three phones I like best, help me choose which you think is best or the one you would buy. Thanks!

    1) Samsung Focus – Windows Phone 7

    Advantages:
    a. Overall, the slickest and smoothest/fastest OS, and thin phone
    b. I can continue to have my 20% employee discount and get it for $200 on a 1-year contract
    c. Can swap the SIM card in my existing iPhone 3G for certain apps
    d. Can keep my unlimited data package
    e. Can uninstall all bloatware
    f. Can still make use of my at&t microcell, which is fairly new
    g. Has the zune marketplace with ESPN and lots of other podcasts
    h. Doesn’t require a micro SD memory card
    i. Can be unlocked and used on T-mobile and many worldwide carriers

    Disadvantages:
    a. Google voice apps don’t seem to have push notifications, and they cost money
    b. No MSN messenger app, at least that I could find
    c. No multitasking and app shortcuts is a long list
    d. No google maps and bing maps doesn’t have transit times, which I use a lot
    e. Screen might be hard to see outdoors according to reviews
    f. Can’t sync contacts with my computer, requires cloud service. I have a different msn chat and xbox live account, and neither have my phone contacts, nor do I want to have those on my chat lists.


    2) Droid 2 Global on Verizon

    Advantages
    a. Can get it for ~$300 on 1 year contract
    b. 15% employee discount on monthly plan
    c. Although I don’t normally like slide out keyboards, it’s nice to have the option, in addition to the on screen keyboard and swipe
    d. Google maps and navigation
    e. Relatively new phone, perhaps will get a major update
    f. Has google voice, and likely MSN apps

    Disadvantages
    a. ESPN Scorecenter doesn’t have push alerts
    b. No podcast store that I could find, podcasts can sometimes be played through browser but useless on a plane.
    c. Won’t work on AT&T or T-mobile (yet)
    d. Feels slow, bloatware isn’t uninstallable without rooting, and screen didn’t seem responsive
    e. Thick phone
    f. Battery life seems to be poor according to reviews
    g. Pricey at ~$300 for 1 year contract


    3) Droid Incredible on Verizon

    Advantages
    a. $300 on prepaid plan (no contract)
    b. Google voice
    c. Has a physical home button, which I really liked in iphones.
    d. Slick looking phone and feels like the smallest phone (screen size is fine with me)
    e. Sense skin seems to be decent
    f. Likely has good app support since it’s a popular phone

    Disadvantages
    a. Likely to be obsolete soon
    b. Phone plan is expensive on prepaid, no employee discount
    c. Bloatware
    d. No podcast store
    e. No ability to use on GSM network
     
  2. walie macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #2
    dogcatcher is an excellent podcast catcher for android
     
  3. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #3
    Thanks, if all 3 phones have podcast apps, which phone would you choose and why?

     
  4. b0blndsy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #4
    Hello vistadude,

    Nice comparison, can you please suggest where you get the reviews.

    Thanks!
     
  5. crazytiger86 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    #5
    At the risk of being painfully obvious, I think its worth it to point out that you came to a Mac Forum and even more so an iPhone sub-forum to ask what phone should you buy out of a choice of three android phones.


    Its *almost* like asking PETA for a steakhouse recommendation.
    Just saying..

    But you dont look like a troll, so I'll bite.
    I've only had experience with the Droid Incredible. And let me tell you out of the gate, the battery life is absolutely terrible. Absolutely. So much so, that I think that if you're going to buy it you might as well pick up the Seidio extended battery that they sell in VZW stores.

    The OS is alright and I guess its a fresh take on iOS. But from my experience, much of the battery problems come from the Sense skin itself (i.e. FriendFeed is constantly running in the background, HTC mail had some bug that never let it sleep etc). Keep in mind my experience dates itself to before FroYo, so I dont know if its been fixed since then.

    Take from it what you will, but i had a few crashes which required hard resets. And there are a few amenities that the iPhone had that the Incred didnt. (Well they did, but you had to pay for it). One example being City ID. Honestly, I'd be happy with either OS but the battery life kind of killed it for me.

    The form factor was pretty much perfect, imho. The "step" design on the back made it feel thinner than it really was and it was light. Though I did have some gripes: the camera is the most raised part of the phone. That means that if you lay it down on the table, it is resting directly on the bezel/lens of the phone. No case I've seen mitigates this problem. Its going to get damaged pretty fast. The battery cover in the back "creaked" a lot which made the phone feel a lot cheaper than it really was. Say what you will about the iPhone's glass back, but you'll notice the "creaking" from the plastic door and the bezel.

    My main gripe with Android is that, it takes planned obsolence to a whole new level. Sure, Apple does it too, but it isnt nearly as drastic as android phones. For example: the HTC Hero from Sprint was barely released a year ago and now its effectively "obsolete". Sure it can run froyo but it will run pretty really slow. In fact, there was a pretty good chance froyo wasnt going to come out for it. Just this last year, there were 3 (?) droids released :)eek:).

    Another example, the nexus one was released less than a year ago, but it really shows its age next to an Evo or an Epic. The iPhone 3GS was released more than a year ago, and aside from Retina and a Flash, and a slightly bigger battery, you'll be hard pressed to notice a huge difference performance wise.

    Just my 2 cents. Take it or donate it to a charity.
     
  6. ryanrich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    #6
    Out of those options I would definitely take the Samsung Focus.
     
  7. rikbrown macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #7
    Interesting forum/website to pick to post an explicitly non-Apple question.
     
  8. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Texas, US
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    If the iPhone was out of the question I too would have a tough time deciding.

    The Android powered Incredible and Droid Pro (I would include the Moto Droid-X on my short list) offer an extensively fielded and tested OS with a huge app market, while the Samsung Focus' WP7 has only been on the street a month or so, and it remains to be seen what will happen as far as apps, OS updates, etc.

    On the other hand, Microsoft's requirement for top-flight hardware specs and insistence that OS updates will be soon and universal could spur really robust app development as their phones will not have the multi-tiered hardware to develop for like exists on the Android side of things.

    The Droid phones offer a much higher degree of customization though, and tie in excellently with Google's cloud services, which can be a killer combo. But was pointed out, Verizon and the manufacturers do a lot of that "customization" before you ever get the phones, and tend to lose intrest in last season's hardware PDQ.

    Personally, I'd wait till the first of the year to see what happens with WP7, then decide. Did the update happen? How universal was it, really? Did apps get developed? What's rumored/confirmed to be next?
     
  9. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    #9
    None of the above. Get an iPhone 4. This is an iPhone forum, you want info on other phones, go to their forums. Unless of course you can't because they don't exist because of lack of interest.
     
  10. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #11
    I have the three you've listed as well as an iPhone 4, an EVO, a Samsung Captivate and a Droid X. Of this group, I find the Captivate my favorite.

    It has the best, most brilliant, Super AMOLED display. It's the fastest and most responsive of the lot. Battery life is great, and the flat slim form factor is a pleasure to hold.

    Second is the Incredible. If not for it's regular AMOLED display and smaller screen it could be my top choice. However I've grown accustomed to the stellar 4.0" display of the Captivate (Galaxy S series) and it's hard to go back to a smaller display.

    The phone performance, call quality, and reliability is simply the best of any smartphone I own. With 16GB of onboard memory as well as an expansion slot, this is one terrific phone. Some would criticize the fact that it's running Eclair ver 2.1, yet frankly I find that it outperforms my Droid X with Froyo 2.2.

    What these Android phones have taught me is how much I prefer a 4" display. I truly hope that Apple decides to update the iPhone to a larger screen with the next model, or create an additional choice, so as to join the others with what is now becoming the standard sized smartphone display.

    Cheers... :)
     
  11. ryanrich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    #12
    I think the next iPhone will most likely have a larger screen, I estimate 4.0", which is the sweet spot really. Man alive, retina display at 4.0" would be gorgeous...
     
  12. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for all the responses! No doubt the iphone 4 is one of the best phones, maybe the best, but it's nice to try something different, and not get locked down to a long term contract. I move around a bit, so the 2 year contracts don't work that well for me.
     
  13. JD914 macrumors 6502a

    JD914

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    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Dutchess County NY
    #14
    Iphone 4 without a doubt isn't the best smart phone on the market (fact). You pretty much know what you want and the phones you listed pick up where iPh4 grossly lack.
     
  14. bid2ask77 macrumors regular

    bid2ask77

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    Just keep in mind that most people that had an iphone and left all wish they never left and come back... :D
     
  15. Fliesen macrumors 6502a

    Fliesen

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Austria
    #16
    I'd go for the Windows Phone 7, don't ask me why, ... mainly the 'something new' factor, i guess, and Android is/looks just way too similar to iOS.

    i really adore the metroUI
     
  16. samven582 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #17
    Have you though about buying the iPhone 4 at the no commitment price? Like you, I did not want to sign up for 2 years and bought the phone at full price.
     
  17. Orion126 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #18
    If the 3G was able to do all that then a 3GS will do the same with better hardware. You can easily buy a 3GS from Craigslist for $250/under with no contract.

    If you do choose to go with someone other than AT&T you can subsidize your phone purchase a bit by selling the Microcell on Ebay. I got a free one from AT&T but didn't need it and got $120 for it on Ebay.
     
  18. Savor Suspended

    Savor

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #19
    If I had to choose, I would go with the Samsung Focus. Those ads and playing with WP7 phones at the store is drawing me towards it. A month ago, I would have told you to pick one of the Android phones. There is something about the WP7 that I really like. The OS just seems fresh and original whie the Android looks like a pale rip-off to iOS and webOS. WP7 just seems more refined than Android already and it still is on V1. Wait for a major update in Jan. Plus, been using the Zune desktop software as my media player, and it makes iTunes look like some boring spreadsheet. If Microsoft updates the Zune HD with an external speaker, forget the iPod nano, as I may just get myself a Zune for my main mp3 player. Getting an iPod touch would seem redundant to me as I already got an iPhone.

    Microsoft may not always innovate, but they seem to be much more software savvy than Google. Even Palm outclasses Google in software. The fragmentation and constant Android phones getting released every month is just too overbearing and a head scratcher for me. If WP7 gets some particular apps I want, I may just switch to them for my next phone by the time 2012 hits and my contract is up. I don't even like Microsoft all that much. But their hubs look very useful to pass up. Tegra 2 or Snapdragon using a 28nm manufacturing process with be awesome on WP7. Both platforms are not as refined as iOS of today, but WP7 seems to be the closest to getting there the fastest if you aren't much of an app freak.
     
  19. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #20
    OP, they're all nice phones. And don't worry about "bloatware"... you're talking about a couple of apps that you can see in the full app list, but which you don't have to put on any homescreen.

    Note that the Incredible is available for the next few days on Amazon for 1 cent for a two-year contract. Deal of the year.

    Sometime after the beginning of the year, we're supposed to see the Incredible HD, which will have a EVO-sized screen and LTE 4G support. For many current Incredible owners, it's the only phone they'd change away to.

    That said, it'd be fun to try WP7 for a while.
     
  20. Sedrick macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    Nov 10, 2010
    #21
    My friend just picked up the Samsung Captivate and man am I drooling over that phone! It's got a beautiful form factor (rounded on the back-what a concept!) and is very, very close to the dimensions of the iP4, so you don't have to give up a pocketable size for that luxury of that 4" screen. The OS on the Captivate is very sweet and responsive as well. Thinking about picking one up myself and giving my 3Gs to my son.
     
  21. AML225 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #22
    I disagree I think this is a completely relevant question, think of this less as an "iPhone Forum" question and more of an "iPhone Users Forum" question. If I had to get rid of my iPhone you can bet I'd ask fellow iPhone users their opinion because I know they'll more objective about what phone to get. To be honest I think the posts "Should I get an iPhone?" in an iPhone forum are WAY more pointless.

    Unforutunately I have no experience with Droid phones so I can't help but I felt like sticking up for the OP because I can sympathize.
     
  22. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    Jun 16, 2010
    #23
    Of those three, I would take the focus. Windows 7 was actually pretty slick when I played with it, and I have never really been a fan of android. Also look intro a pre plus or pre 2, webos is very cool, I'm using the pre plus as my work phone. Only downside is dated hardware, but You can get them cheap with no contract.
     
  23. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #24
    I have an iPhone 4 and an HTC Surround, and, although it's a little different situation since I can switch back and forth between the two whenever I wish, I've found that, since getting the surround, I havn't even turned the iPhone on.

    WP7 is, in a word, amazing. I've used android, and obviously I've used iOS. I've even played around with WebOS. WP7 is the prettiest and smoothest. It's still very young, but it more than makes up for its shortcomings with what I feel is by far the best UI design. I still love my iPhone, but I think that, for the time being at least, I'm sticking with WP7.

    So of those 3 choices, I'd go with the samsung focus. Personally, I want nothing to do with Android unless it's a handset that uses stock android and has top specs, so I don't ever have to worry about being stuck on older OS versions. And neither of the 2 you mentioned offer that.
     

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