Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silly Question: Apple iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy Note II

I was asked a question today, which seemed to me to be rather odd. My advice was sought on whether it would be better to get a Apple iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy Note II. My response was, well do you want a big phone or a small one. I mean, if you like one, you should positively dislike the other.

I have seen a lot of comparisons online between the Samsung Galaxy S III, Google Nexus 4, and even the Samsung Galaxy Note II, against the Apple iPhone 5. I find those comparisons rather odd. It like comparing a 11.6-inch laptop with a 15-inch laptop. When I buy a laptop, I first decide on the size I like best (in my case its between 13 to 14-inches), than I see what is available in the size I want. 

When I got my got my current Android two years ago, I chose an HTC Desire HD. Someone asked me why I did not get the iPhone 4. My answer, I liked the 4.3-inch screen. Shouldn't screen size be the determinative factor in what smartphone you want?

All of todays smartphones work, and the more you spend the better they work. Android, iOS and Windows Phone both have more apps available than I would even use. Roughly, I have 50 apps on my phone right now, plus a few games I uninstalled since I don't play them anymore.  I have one game installed on my phone at a time for when I get really bored. So basically, an app store with 100,000 apps is as useful as one with 650,000 apps.

The HTC Desire HD, was the perfect size for me two years ago, it is still as big as I want a phone to be today.

Now, I liked a phone with a 4.3-inch display two years ago. Being all of 68 mm wide and 123 mm tall, it could still fit nicely into a belt pouch and hide discretely enough under my coat.  If I were to replace it now with say a HTC One X+, the question is am I happy with the larger wider 70 mm girth and the taller 134 mm height? Sure, I could keep in in the pockets of a loose fitting pair of jeans but not my finely tailored suit. The HTC One S would be almost perfect, but it means accepting a downgrade in screen resolution, and the local version has a circa 2011 tech Qualcomm S3 chipset. And next years top of the line HTC phone is something I do not find interesting at all. As tempting as a 1080p display and a quad core Qualcomm S4 is, I won't be buying a phone which is all of 140 mm tall, and over 70 mm wide.

Consider this a rant, but it would be nice if Android manufacturers would give us high end phones, in different sizes.  Luckily, with all the Android manufacturers around I can eventually find something I can live with like Sony's reasonable sized Xperia T and V, which are both a fair bit taller with my current phone. That is something we have to live with, with the move to HD aspect ratio displays. But I fear this might be a dying breed.

Apple has a one size fits all policy, and that is why I did not get an iPhone. Android manufactures are pretty much doing the same thing. The higher the specifications, the bigger the phone is. In a year, I might find myself with a deluge of giant Droids, smaller ones without features I want like LTE and a good camera, and Apple iPhone might look more and more tempting, even if I have to give up a swipe type keyboard.  


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