The other day, one of my friends, who works in the film industry, told me that in order to truly be accepted at work, you have to have an iPhone. Of course, owning an Android myself, I freaked. So I continued to ask her repeatedly the choice, decision, and argument centered around this. Her overall point was that even though she would entertain the idea of getting an Android, it was much easier to be included in “The Club” if you had an iPhone at work. So with this said, are we brainwashed?
To have a fair comparison, you have to realize that Android devices get released more frequently than the iPhone. So factoring this in, I chose the HTC Rezound. A phone that was released a month after the iPhone 4S, and has a year and a half old OS (Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread). This was compared with the iPhone 4S, which possesses the lastest rendition of iOS 5 released the same time as the phone. If you would like to purchase either phone, the Rezound is listed at $200 for 16GB of built in storage and $200 for a 16GB iPhone 4S (these prices are with a two-year contract price as of April 21, 2012, with Verizon). So let’s dive into the features.
The Retina Display
You’ve been hearing Apple touting this feature forever as one of the phone’s standout features. So how does it look? The iPhone has 640 x 960 pixel resolution with 330 PPI (pixels per inch), this is incredible and looks great, but the Rezound’s is actually better at a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixel HD display and 342 PPI. Keep in mind, resolution is great, but it’s all about the PPI, and the Rezound tops the iPhone in both categories. Not only that, but the Rezound’s display is bigger (if that’s your thing) at 4.3 inches to the iPhone’s 3.5 inch display.
Connectivity and Power
4G/LTE is faster than 3G. The iPhone has 3G, the Rezound has 4G/LTE, so…? What about the camera? Both have an 8 megapixel rear camera, but the Rezound trumps the iPhone with a 2 megapixel front-facing camera to the iPhone’s .3 megapixel one. Users also have the ability to use the built-in Google Talk app that allows you to video chat with anyone on GChat or with the Google+ Android app you can host a hangout with 9 additional people via video chat on your phone – screw Facetime. All of this can also be utilized over your 3G/4G network, giving you better resolution with the Rezound’s 4G connectivity. Good luck even going outside your house with Facetime on your iPhone – it’s still only limited to wifi.
So what about hardware performance? The iPhone with its A5 dual core chip at 800 MHz with 512 MB of RAM is pretty speedy, but the Rezound’s Qualcomm dual core 1.5 GHz and 1 GB of RAM is faster. See where I’m going with this?
So what about performance and features?
The iPhone has Siri, but aside from a cool gimmick, is it really useful? Yes and no. I’d be lying if I didn’t think Siri was cool, but Android has had voice-to-text and voice prompting for two years before Siri. And to be honest, I think Android’s voice search is faster, and more straightforward than having HAL’s ex-wife as a digital assistant.
What’s even more interesting, is that as cool as Siri is, she still hasn’t figured out how to create a true navigator experience on the iPhone. I’m not talking about workarounds, I’m talking about a true GPS navigator that has existed on Android forever, and with BlackBerry (yes BlackBerry) even longer. Because the app has so much flexibility you can navigate by car, public transit, biking or walking. You can create map overlays of gas stations, hotels and restaurants, and free yourself of the ability to plan ahead when meeting people in an unknown location. To top it all off, everything is free. No annoying and antiquated map upgrades like Garmin.
But I use my iPhone for my music, and…?
I’m here to tell you iTunes sucks. It’s bloated, slow, and Apple is sure to nickel and dime you every step of the way to have true cloud access to your content. Although the Google Play Store is missing Warner Music Group, the Play Music app is anything but limited. The iPhone in this comparison has 16GB of storage for $200. Sure you could have purchased more space (32 or 64 GB – for an additional $100 or $200), but does that even matter? The Rezound can build off of its built-in space with an SD card slot supporting Micro SD cards up to 32 GB, without having to buy a new phone to do so.
But with all that said, none of this even matters with Play Music. Because now, you can access all of your music (for free) via this app, allowing you to upload up to 20,000 songs in Google’s Play Music storage locker. Beautiful. Not only that, but once uploading all of your content, the music is streamed to your smartphone and accessible with any device holding an internet connection – aside from an iPhone or iPad – sorry guys. All of the data is synced, and cached to your phone if recently played, and the app also possesses the ability to “pin” music to your device for offline use. With the iPhone, any content not purchased on iTunes costs $29 to access – not a lot, but not free. Also, you can upload any un-locked music purchased or ripped in iTunes (I say un-locked, because for years iTunes DRM locked all of their content).
I could keep going on the limits of iOS, highlighting the lack of true multitasking, the inability to install products outside Apple’s App Store, the lack of console emulators or a file management system, the inability to store attachments, move files, manage notifications properly, sync social contacts, share outside of just Twitter, or more. But I guess Apple’s just better? Right?
The point I’m trying to make is that there are other phones out on the market that actually do a lot more than the iPhone. Several people just purchase an iPhone because it’s an iPhone. The funny thing is that the Rezound isn’t even running the latest OS (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich). It’s running the year and a half old Gingerbread, and still it’s better than the iPhone.
So the moral of the story is…
Become a tech agnostic and just use the best product available. With that said, this blog post is being composed on a MacBook Pro, but I own an Android device as well. So just keep in mind that there are options and don’t be brainwashed by Apple.