I now have an iPhone 3GS. My AT&T contract is up. AT&T has been pretty good, so I do not necessarily want to leave them. (It’s worked well enough, plus I have the grandfathered unlimited data thing, so I’d probably prefer to stay with the devil I know.) I would leave them if there was something materially better elsewhere.
So, I’m at that time where I can basically pick anything. My wife also wants a different phone, though she might simply take my 3GS (she has pretty limited email/net access needs).
So I was more or less mindlessly planning on upgrading to the iPhone 4S, when i realized: (i) my firm apparently supports Android phones now; and (ii) I really wasn’t all that impressed with what I learned about the 4S.
So (at the risk of the typical Apple v. Android flamewar), I’m kind of looking for the current battle of the pros and cons of each with respect to phones that are either out now or will be out in the next month or so. Including, of course, the best in class to buy for Android. I naturally assume best in class for Apple is the 4S. For Android, I understand that the “Nexus” is coming out soon, but they do not know exactly when, nor do they know whether it is coming out for AT&T?
Having used both, the iphone is a much more polished product. Android does allow for a lot more customization, so if you really want to decide which dialer, lockscreen, launcher, keyboard, etc, to use you may enjoy that. I just profoundly don’t give a shit and want the stock to work well.
Android 4.0 looks to be a major improvement, and the new galaxy nexus comes out next month. So you may want to wait. But I wouldn’t, I’d just get the 4S.
If you enjoy hacking your phone, great – Android might be for you. Otherwise, even if you find one that doesn’t obviously suck when you buy it, it probably will before your contract is up. HTC is the primary exception, as long as you bought a top-end device and you aren’t on AT&T.
That aside, from the Android side of things, the Galaxy Nexus looks good but also has some very strong competition from Motorola (RAZR). Otherwise, yeah, what Stusser said.
The Galaxy Nexus is, by rumor, a Verizon exclusive for the next bit. The Galaxy S II is the current flagship ATAT phone, and by all accounts very nice. Hardware-wise, it’s very similar to the iPhone, except with a larger screen. Play with 'em in the store and see which you prefer.
Contra everyone else, I don’t think the tinker/“just works” dichotomy is really the axis you want to choose on. I think it’s more a matter of what kind of integration you have. If you use Google or Amazon services (GMail, Google Calendar, Amazon Cloud Player, Google MP3, Google Voice), Android just works, and integrates perfectly with those services. If you use Apple software and services (iTunes, MobileMe, whatever), then you’re pretty enmeshed in Apple’s web and will want an iPhone.
Beyond that, hardware is roughly comparable (except for the screen size thing), and iOS 5 eliminates most of the glaring gaps in iOS’s functionality relative to Android, so the main advantage to Android is simply the fact that you can actually do whatever you want with it, and run programs without having to clear it with Apple first (which in practical terms means that you can take advantage of Amazon’s free app every day, from where I’ve gotten a zillion games, many of which are pretty good; I’m still annoyed that I got my phone too late for the free PvZ, though).
Also, forget about Windows Phone. What you see with Windows Phone is the same thing you saw with WebOS – reviewers use it and rave about it, and then go back to using their normal phone. If you try to use it on a daily basis, you’ll quickly find that it has “lots of promise,” which is defined as “a lot of things that you can’t do, that you can do on other phones.”
And anyway, Nokia’s Jesusphone for WP7 doesn’t come out until next year, and there’s no point buying anything that’s not a flagship.
I don’t disagree with the benefits of choosing Android, but I can’t agree with the contorted picture being painted of the iPhone.
Glaring gaps? There were no glaring gaps. And forget about iTunes and MobileMe. One you use, because you have an iPhone, not the other way around. And the other you just don’t use. So nobody would cite those as reasons to buy.
But if you like games (just to stay with mkozlows example) then the large number of games on the platform - many free - simply beats whatever you can get in an Amazon daily deal. There’s simply more quality apps for iPhone. And that’s likely to continue.
IOS is the best mobile OS right now. Mango is second with Android a close third. But every problem Android has with lack of apps Mango has tenfold and as nice as it is I do agree that a wait and see attitude is best.
But I agree with Brian that you should try first. If one or more of the things Android does best is really important to you - like the excellent free Google Navigation - then iPhone being best in some lesser (to you) category really doesn’t matter.
If you are staying on AT&T your Android choices are somewhat limited at the moment to one good comparison phone. The iPhone 4s currently performs the best on AT&T as far as 3G speed. If you were on Verizon there would be quite a few more enticing options. I faced a similar choice and switched to Sprint because the plan prices were much cheaper than AT&T, but I am paying for it with slow 3G speeds.
I’ve had an iphone since the 3G, and I have never purchased a song, TV show, or movie from iTunes. I probably spent under $15 on their appstore. I’m not stuck in the apple walled garden. I use an iphone because it’s just plain superior to the alternatives.
The iPhone is a great product, but so are current top-end Android phones. And the “only good if you hack your phone” bit hasn’t been true of Android since at least 2.2. 2.3, which any current high-end phone will be running, is a fantastic OS.
I don’t hate on anyone’s decision to go iPhone, but Android is a mature, excellent, user-friendly OS these days. Apple profoundly annoys me on a personal level, so my choice is obvious, but I can come up with any number of other reasons to prefer Android.
But really, I second the suggestion that anyone just go in and mess with a bunch of different phones to find one that feel right to you. I love my crazy-huge HTC Inspire screen and it’s fast enough to do what I want to do smoothly, but someone with smaller hands f’rexample would probably hate it.
Someone else posted this chart earlier, but the commentary makes it clear why this is a big deal. Most android phones are released at least one major version behind, and the vast majority never catch up. They run older versions of the OS throughout their entire two year contract periods. Iphones don’t have that problem. They’re kept fully up to date for three years.