Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why all Androids?

If you have read our May 2011 smartphone buyers guide, it is almost impossible to notice that all the current phones in our list are Androids. Little by little, the Symbian, Bada, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and iOS phones have disappeared from out list. Here is why?

Wait for the iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone. The good thing about Apple products is they hold their value. The pricing of their product stays pretty much fixed for one year until a new product is released. On the grey market you can expect discounted prices over time, but not by much. You can expect to pay about Php31K for a iPhone (16GB) on the grey market. About the same price we expect to see for the new dual core phone like the LG Optimus 2X, later this month, and Samsung Galaxy S II, by June.

When the iPhone was competing with 30K Android's it was already the most expensive option. Now with its 2010 rivals at 19K to 23K, the iPhone 4 really feels expensive.

The other issue is screen size. In 2007 the iPhone had a large screen by 2007 standards. Even into 2009 it was still at the top of the class. But by second half of 2010, the 3.5-inch screen was starting to look a bit on the small side. Now, 3.5-inches is the province of manufacturers second level phones, with their flagships having 4-inch or larger screens. While a 4-inch or larger screened phone is not for everyone, it would be nice if Apple provided that option. We would be happy if they up the screen size to even just 3.7 to 3.8 inches. But these days, a 3.5-inch screen just does not excite us anymore.

We would wait for the BlackBerry OS 7 phones.

BlackBerry. BlackBerry OS 7 launched with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Bold 9930 devices. The BlackBerry's that came before those two won’t be updated to v7 of the OS, not even the ones running version 6. Pretty much, we recommend holding off buying a BlackBerry until we can find out if RIM plans to continue updating for version 6.

Still a risk, and there are plenty of options at 20K, but now might not be a bad time to give this OS a spin.

Windows Phone 7. Buying a Windows Phone 7 smartphone right now is cheaper than ever. The HTC Mozart 7 is now priced at just Php20,500. If you feel like trying a Windows Phone 7 phone, this may be a good time. But we think the future of Windows Phone 7 is still iffy. With two established operating systems, iOS and Android, we would recommend going with one of the two leaders for 20K.
That being said, I really like Windows Phone 7, but could not get myself invest in one myself. If you are looking at a Windows Phone 7 unit, now is not a bad time to get one.

The best feature phone in the world.
Bada. The Samsung Galaxy Wave 8530 is now available for less than 15K which might make one feel like jumping on the Bada bandwagon. The problem is there is no bandwagon and we do not see a future for this OS as a smarthpone OS. Still nothing at 15K has better specifications than the Samsung Galaxy Wave 8530, but I really would consider it more of a high end feature phone than a smartphone. The lower price Bada phones have equally low priced Android to compete with.

If you own one, it will still get the job done. If you are looking at buying, there are many better options these days.

Symbian. Symbian = Nokia. If you like Nokia phones, we recommend you wait for 2012 for the new Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices. No matter how much sugar coating Nokia does, Symbian as a smarthpone OS is near end of life. With Androids available for as low a 8K, we would recommend a Android instead.   

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