iPhone ≠ Mobile
For many, smartphones begin and end with the all singing, all dancing iPhone. Such was the impact of its 2007 launch – introducing multi-touch technology to the non-technology crowd – it has continued to resonate with the public consciousness ever since.
We are now up to iPhone 5s, and iOS7, but to accept that iPhone equals mobile does a disservice to the other devices out there. Here’s three of the best.
Samsung rules the roost so far as worldwide market share goes. In Q2 2013, it commanded 31.7% of all smartphone sales; twice as much as the iPhone with 14.2%. The Galaxy series, launched in 2009, has helped it topple Nokia’s previous stranglehold on the mobile market.
The S range is home to Samsung’s flagship devices, providing a bestselling alternative to the iPhone. The latest model, the Galaxy S4 (although a curved version has just been unveiled), runs the Android Jellybean release, and offers a marginally cheaper alternative to the latest iPhone.
Despite minor gripes regarding its feel – it has a plastic housing, as opposed to aluminium – the S4 both matches, and outperforms the iPhone in other areas of usability, such as:
- Screen size – 5″ Super AMOLED with 441 ppi display (beating iPhone’s 4″ display)
- Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, 4G, GPS, NFC, MHL (iPhone lacks NFC and MHL, although iOS7 now offers its own version of NFC – AirDrop, compatible with Apple devices)
- Storage – The memory of a 16GB model can be expanded by 32GB for less than £20, via a microSD card (Apple makes you upgrade to a more expensive model)
- Camera – 13 megapixel, LED flash (iPhone is 8 megapixel, offering less picture detail in close-up)
- Software features – Air gesture, eye-tracking, Smart Stay, and a multitude more
- Speaker – Beats the iPhone at higher volumes
Hailed by some to be the world’s greatest smartphone, the HTC One is another Android device, combining a sleek, attractive design, with top drawer usability.
It may not be as popular as the Galaxy, nor the iPhone, but what it lacks in market share, it makes up for in features, and all round user-friendliness.
- Screen size – 4.7″ Super LCD with 468 ppi display (trumping the iPhone for both sharpness and screen real estate)
- Infrared – The ability to turn the device into a TV remote, via its infrared sensor and bundled app, may not be the clincher, but it’s just one of those little extras that add to the user experience
- RAM – At 2GB, double that of the iPhone
- Battery – 2,300mAh. Superior to the iPhone’s 1,570mAh on paper, although different factors can affect battery capacity. However, the iPhone is notorious for battery drain
- Speakers – Dual front facing stereo speakers, offering, what some say, is the best mobile sound experience available
The Nokia Lumia (latest model 1020), runs Windows Phone 8, as part of an exclusive partnership between the handset manufacturer and Microsoft.
- Screen size – 4.5″ AMOLED with 334ppi (once more beating the iPhone)
- Camera – 41 megapixel, LED Xenon flash (the highest camera resolution of any smartphone)
- Multi-touch – Extra-sensitive touch display that works with gloves
- Software – Microsoft’s world-beating, productivity-centric Office apps included free
- RAM – Another 2GB smartphone outweighing Apple’s 1GB
- Battery – 2000mAh, boasting 13 hours of 3G talktime (iPhone claims around 10 hours)
These three smartphones are just the tip of an extremely large iceberg, and demonstrate that when it comes to the little things that improve a device’s usability, there’s more to life than the iPhone.
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