What phone should I buy?

On April 1, 2011, in news, by

With approval from the author Ross Lotharius of Avanade.

It all started with someone asking the question… what phone should I buy?

Ross had one of the best pros-cons I’ve read in a long time. You can tell it’s from someone who has used the phones and not just read the marketing materials.


I’ve blogged his answer with permission:

 

“I go through cell phones about every 6 months so hopefully my punch list of pros/cons below helps

 

 

iPhone:

 

·         2nd place now

·         Great phone if you are looking to use the apps such as the remote, Apple TV, and AirPlay. Apple really did this right. Using them together is incredible! For example, you can have 2 Apple TVs in your house and use your phone for the remote. Stream something from your phone/iPad using Airplay and choose what TV to show it on, quickly and very easily. The setup is also very easy! It’s very cool and convenient.

·         Video quality and picture quality is incredible!

·         Great hardware. Apple makes excellent products and the iPhone is no exception. You know you are holding and carrying a quality product when you use it.

·         The OS is getting very dated and is showing its age.

o   Alerts are not grouped together and still javascript style alert boxes that are very annoying.

o   The 1 button to do everything is a horrible experience for any power user

o   No widgets/tiles on the home screen just leaves a bunch of buttons without providing any realtime information.

o   Email integration leaves a lot to be desired.

·         Requires the evil that is iTunes. I detest iTunes! It’s a hog, always tries to install quicktime bloatware and safari and is a total piece of crap application!

 

Android

 

·         Leading the way

·         This is a great OS and is in my opinion the best power user friendly OS available.

o   4 buttons to do tasks very fast. I have a back button, menu button, and home button making this very user friendly.

·         Camera and Video is hit or miss depending on the device.

·         Lots of options for screen size and ergonomics.

·         Widgets are wonderful and a must have!

·         Free navigation!

·         Fragmentation of the OS makes for painful update schedules. You are always left yearning for the next build that is out but your phone isn’t updated yet. This also causes problems with the marketplace and apps working on phone x but not on phone y.

·         Rough around the edges. It’s simply not polished like the iPhone and WP7 on things like transitions, swiping, and scrolling. I like polish.

·         Marketplace is a jungle. You need to be cognizant of what you download because you might get a virus, keylogger, etc. It’s very open, which is great but has all the risks of being open.

 

·         Email integration is decent but has is different depending on the “flavor” you buy. HTC Sense is very good where vanilla has issues with the GPO for example.

 

WP7

 

·         Playing catchup with no serious investment showing they are trying publically.

·         Good OS and has a lot of potential

·         Tiles rock and give instant feedback however I wish they were more flexible to display more information such as more than 1 calendar event at a time.

·         Best Outlook integration by far. It’s amazing and very easy to use!

·         Office integration and skydrive integration are great

·         Love Zune Marketplace for songs. It’s great with great subscription plans. This transfers right to the phone which is also great.

·         Marketplace sucks for apps! It’s fixed in Mango but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

·         Updates are severely lacking. MS promised updates to the phone, got the world excited, and still haven’t released a full update to everyone. They just got out NoDo to some carriers but it’s been quite a letdown. Mango will be great if it ever comes out but right now it’s delayed and will probably be delayed again. As I said above don’t hold your breath because you are will die waiting.

·         Adoption is very low. Why isn’t Microsoft standing behind this great OS? I don’t get it but they are failing miserably here. People still look at my phone on the plane sometimes and say “oh what is that”. Big mistake in my eyes. 

 

There’s millions of things to add to all of these phones but hopefully it will help you in deciding. I personally love my WP7 phone and think it’s the best from a usability perspective. However, I will most likely go back to Android if Microsoft doesn’t get its act together and take this seriously. Their lack of updates, lack of press, and lack of new phones is very disheartening. Android does everything the WP7 does and more. Multitasking, widgets that are better, constant innovation, and new phones out the wazoo make it exciting. There’s always something to look forward to. “

 

6 Responses to What phone should I buy?

  1. Dean says:

    Is a business plan that relies on most people buying a new phone every six months realistic ? Yeah it would be nice to have a new phone at least once a year but how long can you keep that up ? And look at the waste that produces. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this whole cell phone business. T-Mobile got in trouble because they never came out with new phones. They tried to sell the same phones year after year. Ok a little exaggerated but mostly true. Everyone wants a phone that no one else has, which means something new, but it’s not realistic.

  2. Ross Lotharius says:

    Hi Dean. Phones are like PCs in the late 90s and early 2000s when AMD and Intel were competing head to head. New computers today were old in a matter of months with faster and better processors coming out all the time. Like computers, cell phones will continue this trend until the demand lessons or the competition levels off. Last I read, on average cell phone users change phones every 18 months and that number is dropping.

  3. Dean says:

    Ross,

    There is one big difference in your analogy. With the computers in the 90’s when someone bought a “new” computer it was usually their first one. New hardware sold like crazy because the empty market was filling up. With the cell phones I think pretty much everyone in the US who wanted one had one about 8 years ago. Now when a “new” phone is purchased it’s not a first purchase but a must have. I guess my point is that most people don’t need a new phone they just buy one because they want something that no one else has. Of course that doesn’t take into account hardware failures and the drops in the toilet but the cell phone business plan does not have as it’s goal making a cell phone that lasts as long as the old ATT indestructible phone did. The business plan is to make people buy a new phone as many times a year as possible and my question is, is that realistic. And your statement that “that number is dropping” seems to say no. So what happens to the cell phone makers when people start buying new phones only once every three to 5 years ? Yes, I know you can’t even begin to imagine that possibility.

  4. SeanPT says:

    I recently ditched my old TouchPro2 (WM6.5) with Sprint and jumped to T-Mo. I had to chose between the HD7 and the myTouch4g and it was really hard. I had been waiting for WP7 for ages but when it came time to put my money where my heart is I was too worried about the future of WP7 to fully commit.

    As I was trying to decide a client of mine asked me to setup TouchDown on his Android phone and getting some time with that $20 app made the switch to Android really easy. TouchDown is everything I’ve wanted in mobile e-mail for years. With it I can finally:

    See a view of all unread messages across all folders I’m syncing (if I could do this with WP7 I never could figure out how)
    Do all of the ActiveSync stuff I was doing with WM6.5 (push, out of office)
    Flag e-mails for followup (biggest reason I can’t go to an iPhone, I’m a flag fiend)

    And finally I was able to setup a second profile with my wife’s login info and turn everything off but her calendar. FINALLY I can look at my wife’s calendar on the go! By default on Android I would get her reminders and she would get mine so that was no good and that was also the case on WP7.

    I really hope that in 2 years I can jump onto WP8 or whatever it is called at the time. I want that platform to mature and I want competition. Between now and then I’ll be enjoying the heck out of TouchDown.

  5. Ross Lotharius says:

    Touchdown is a great application if you have the vanilla Android OS and if you have GPO has mobile phone policy. Vanilla just doesn’t work right for it. If you have the Sense UI, it handles a lot of this for you. I’m not sure about the calendar part though. I will most likely jump ship back to Verizon once they get a phone with 4G that has good battery life. The HTC Thunderbolt is a very nice form factor but 6-7 hours of battery is horrible!

  6. dated os says:

    really ??

    android fragmented ?? … physical buttons … ??

    plz plz put down that bag of google crack …

    ps
    free nav on iphone since day one …