The search for a new Android handset looks to be coming to a close. Unfortunately, the two handsets I’d identified as the prime choices at the start of my search… remain the two that need to be chosen between.
To save you all clicking back through previous articles, there’s a lot of reasons I’m *this close* to ditching my iPhone 3GS. Ranging from the sub-par battery life through moderate usage… it’s patchy ability to hold onto a signal (which makes for some annoying tube journeys – on some days I can keep a 3G signal for the whole journey. Others, my signal drops and it takes a reboot to regain any signal!).
If you speak to any Apple fanboy about switching away from the iPhone to any other phone, you’ll get the usual scare stories: Fragmentation. Security. You’ll have to re-learn everything. Those claims can be answered in two parts: I’m not a kid (I don’t need the Apple security blanket to protect me from Flash and the big nasty world out there)… and quite simply, Apple’s phones just don’t do what I want them to do.
It’s not a question of the fact that the phone I purchased in 2009 is now ubiquitous. Apple’s gone from a handset that was rarely seen, to a handset that every man and his dog owns. See!
It’s just not fun owning an iPhone any more. Sure, it’s great having a wide selection of apps (except a working alarm clock… try that one out when daylight savings begins and ends!). It’s great being able to browse a limited number of websites, unless they’ve coded a mobile or iPhone-only version for people who can’t work with Flash. But while it’s good having a phone that “works”, there’s a lot of niggling things that annoy me.
If I want to check my e-mail, I’ve got to load up the e-mail app – no home-screen notifications for me! If I want to check the weather, there’s another app that needs to be loaded! If I want to send a picture over to a non-iPhone, I can’t Bluetooth it (heaven forbid, Apple probably thinks that I might want to swap porn, or even worse, music!), so that’s got to be sent by e-mail or as a reduced quality MMS image. If I want to multi-task, granted, the most recent flavours of iOS let me do that, but only in a limited version.
Granted, Android isn’t perfect, but it’s improving. The various homescreens allow me to really customise the device, without having to bog down my device. Yes, I do want have random apps installed on my app, but why should I have to pick between scrolling through ten different screens and uninstalling the bloody app, when I can just have it on my phone, and decide whether to fire it up from the launcher app, or add a shortcut? It’s a little bit like using Windows, but I find that easy to use (note, I’m not talking about any of the other stuff that Apple fanboys use to shoot down any-other-product-that-isn’t-Apple!)
Speaking of apps, yes, it’s going to be a bit of a wrench leaving a device where I can check football scores at a touch (unless Sky have recently released a Score Centre app?)… but at the same time, I’ll still keep my iPhone, just as an iPod Touch that I can still shove a SIM card in, should I need a second device.
So, what am I plumping for? Atrix 4G, or Galaxy S II? One’s available in the UK now, the other, will be shortly. Both phones are highly rated, both with their drawbacks – Motorola’s custom bootloader block means that I can’t put any custom ROMs on it, so I’ll be stuck with the version of Android that Motorola says I should have. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S II doesn’t have any of the flashy accessories that the Atrix has, nor does it come with native mini HDMI support.
Perhaps it’d be frugal to wait until both devices have had real world time in the UK? After all, my brother in law got the supposedly indestructible Motorola Defy, and has had to return that handset back twice because of problems with the ear speaker, which is kind of important on a mobile phone! Meanwhile, I still remember all of the moans when the original Galaxy S phone had sub-quality GPS. It’s a coin-toss between those devices, but if the rumours of the Atrix being only available via Orange (that is, not even available SIM-free), then I guess Samsung will be getting my monies.
My iPhone contract expires in June… let’s see what Apple will try to tempt me to keep my custom. However, after being wooed by Android, not even a Human CentiPad will keep me with an iDevice for much longer!
- If you’re reading this, and have an Atrix 4G or Galaxy S II, leave your thoughts on your device (vs. your previous phone, especially if it was an iPhone!) below!