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Saturday, August 30, 2014

A tale of three phones

In an effort to understand the phone ecosystem better I gave my daughter my iPhone 5 over a year ago and bought a Samsung Galaxy S 3 running Android and used it for about six months.  I then tried a blue iPhone 5c under the mistaken impression it would be the success in Asia Apple hoped it would be.  After a couple of months I got the Nokia Lumia Icon which I have had for about half a year now.

While I do regret that I couldn't get the a phablet Android (not available on Verizon at the time), and I regret not getting an iPhone 5s (preferably the gold one), and I wanted the long optical path of the Nokia Lumia 920 (again not available on Verizon at the time), I did accomplish the goal of my experiment to get the experience of being a "real" user of iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.  The hardware of all three particular devices was very impressive, although the iPhone 5c was not much different than my previous 5, and the Galaxy was already mature technology so lagging a little.

Pros:
  • iOS  The app ecosystem was very rich, and the look and feel was very smooth.
  • Android   The app ecosystem was almost as rich as iOS, and the interoperation of apps was neat.  The support for various google services was of course good.
  • Windows   Very smooth UI that was much better to use than I imagined given this is such a new piece of software.  On par with iOS in my subjective opinion.
Cons:
  • iOS  No google maps.  I actually got lost in Boston due to this and ended up in a sketchy neighborhood.  This has been fixed but shows the dark side of the curated closed environment.   Also, the thing is too small for my old eyes.
  • Android  Too much software and Samsung preloaded apps made things confusing.  This shows the dark side of open environments where specific hardware manufacturers sometimes have a negative incentive to support common portable environments between Android devices.
  • Windows   Too few apps.
What really surprised me is that I liked my Android experience the least.  This is personal taste, and I am very impressed with the new HTC phone a friend showed me so this is a dynamic issue, but I am really liking my Lumia running Windows.  Until Windows solves the app problem I am still going to buy Apple once it joins the 5" club, but I think Microsoft really scored with this OS.  Android was nice, but it is already starting to have the Balkanization problem we saw with Linux.  I would love to see google have a "standard" set of apps and settings I could download and get rid of as much manufacturer "improvements" as possible; with that I would give Android another try.  After all, the wild west of Android hardware is why we have phablets, so it does spur innovation.

1 comment:

Jared M Johnson said...

I like what motorola did to android, but you're right in it being too big of a mess.