Apple iPhone 4 vs... the rest
2010: it's a wrap
The iPhone has been the smartphone to beat since, well, since it was first launched in 2007 - doesn’t that seem a very long time ago now? In the intervening years, it’s gained what some would consider smartphone essentials - 3G network access, cut'n'paste, third-party apps - and it’s changed its look a little with the latest iPhone 4 but is essentially much the same product.
In the meantime, its rivals have been playing catch-up, and some of them are getting pretty darn close.
Apple's iPhone 4: like it or not, the benchmark
The iPhone’s menu grid of icons has the double advantage of being both attractive and practical. It’s been largely copied by Rim's BlackBerry OS and Google's Android - with a bit of added positioning pizzazz - but it doesn’t do widgets. Widgets offer extra functionality from your home screen, whether it be flashing up social networking updates or the latest weather.
Any Android phone can offer all sorts of additional functionality from news updates to handset controls without the need to fire up the appropriate app. Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on the Galaxy S - layered over Android - has some good ones, so does HTC's sit-on-top-of-Android Sense. Symbian offers some basic ones and Blackberry is... er... working on it.
Rim's BlackBerry 9800
The iPhone, of course, has no physical keyboard, and while the standard on-screen Android keyboard is every bit as responsive and as easy to use - even easier on big screen handsets like the 4.3 inches of the HTC Desire HD - some people prefer to feel the keys under their thumbs. For that, the Blackberry Torch 9800 and its finely chiselled keys work a treat, and slide-out Qwerty keyboard models such as HTC’s Desire Z, the Motorola Milestone 2 and the Palm Pre 2 are well worth a look.
Next page: Taking an app
Re: "just want it to work without any pratting about"
There is one massive flaw in your argument: iTunes.
The writer needs to emphasize the iPhones main problem - its constant desire to make love to iTunes.
A 'smart' phone isnt that clever when it needs a PC/Mac to operate every 5mins.
Going from an iPhone to an android it was great plugging my phone into ANY computer to copy files over. Updates done over the air and no stupid stupid locked to a single iTunes install. At least the app store for iPhone works over the air. Oh and bluetooth file transfer - very poor to omit. But as you know its Steves way or the highway.
Grid of icons
"The iPhone’s menu grid of icons has the double advantage of being both attractive and practical. It’s been largely copied by Rim's BlackBerry OS and Google's Android"
My 2002 Nokia used a grid of icons (like all S60 devices) as well my wife´s LG Viewty (which is pre iPhone era ) So I would not say that BB and Android copied it from Apple
So, you're complaining because you actually had the opportunity to replace the SMS or Email apps on the Android device, as opposed to the iPhone where any app which replicates the functionality of an official Apple one is banned?
I can't speak to the Desire HD...but I do have the original Desire. I have used it, an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 3GS extensively. I was not a huge fan of the iPhone 4...but I did rather like the 3GS. The original HTC Desire on the other hand, I have very little to complain about.
If I were to break the phones down, this is how:
Reliable. Well thought out and mature product that doesn’t have any obvious flaws. The newer iOS versions are a little laggy on this older hardware. It is the standard against which I judge all smart phones: to date it still may be the best overall smartphone in existence.
Mostly reliable. I have had reception issues in areas where the Desire or the 3GS work just fine. On the other hand it’s screamingly fast with fantastic battery life for the performance level. I have seen a few with broken back glass: take care of it! The huge con is the locked-down nature of iOS. It became infinitely more useful once jailbroken – and no, I didn’t jailbreak in order to pirate apps.
A tank. Whilst the screen is slightly more vulnerable to scratches than an iPhone 4, it is otherwise capable taking an unbelievable amount of abuse. It is rock solid: it gets a signal where no other phone seems capable. The downside is that Android is not well optimised for this CPU: while the Desire is screamingly fast, simple things such as menu transitions can end up with 4-5 FPS. Great with optimised applications, however HTC Sense is not optimised.
In all, I think the HTC Desire (non HD) is a perfectly credible contender for the iPhone 4. It is certainly a more worthy opponent to the iPhone 4 than the HTC Hero was to the 3GS. In some ways, I honestly believe the iPhone 4 was a step backwards from the 3GS…in others (such as the front-facing camera) it’s a leap into the future. I fully expect that the next generation iPhone will solve all the little niggles.
In the meantime, HTC keeps going from strength to strength. I have my issues with Samsung (mostly over poor support for the original Samsung Galaxy) and Motorola (mostly over poor support for, well...everything.) HTC, meanwhile, is showing the world what Android phones truly can do.
iPhone versus Android really comes down to a philosophical choice. Android is more open: generally, it’s YOUR phone. You have a lot of freedom under Android that you just don’t under iOS. The flip side to that is Android fragmentation: like it or not, the lack of device fragmentation on the Apple side of the house leads to an operating system that is far more tightly optimised for the hardware it is running on.
With the HTC Desire and the iPhone 4 being so close to each other in terms of capability, speed and app loadout, choosing between them is a simple question:
What matters more; the (non-jailbroken) openness of your handheld, or the smoothness of the “experience?”