Social Life : Which smartphone is right for you?
Photo courtesy of CNN Money
If you follow me on Twitter (@yooj812), you may remember all my complaints back in October about my phone. Instead of taking you on that painful journey again, here's the short version:
My Blackberry Curve 8530 had suffered from short battery life since last year, and by short, I mean extremely short, three-hour short. Beginning in October, my Curve began shutting off even at full battery, and it wouldn't turn back on because "battery has been drained."
Eventually, it reached a point where I would unplug my phone from the charger, and it would die immediately, thus making my mobile phone immobile.
Verizon told me the phone itself had issues, so I had my family ship me one of the old Blackberries, and that Blackberry chose Halloween weekend — when I needed a communication device the most — to die as well. To be more precise, during my drive up to Boston, while I was waiting for my friend to let me know when and where to meet her for dinner, the phone took its last breath. (Dramatic, I know.)
For those wondering why I didn't file an insurance claim, I would have been out $100 had I chosen to replace the phone, and the "new" phone would have been yet another Blackberry with same issues surfacing sooner or later.
Needless to say, I am done with Blackberries as soon as my contract expires. For me, I think Apple iPhone will do the trick as my next smartphone, but regardless, I did some research on other options out there.
I found a nice chart by PC World with the numbers and the tech-speak information, so if you're interested in that type of data, refer to the attached picture. Here, however, I'll break down each phone in non-tech people terms.
So, out of all those fancy phones, which phone is right for you?
Since Apple released the new iPhone 4S, the company has sold more than four million of them. Despite its price tag ($199 with a 2-year contract for most carriers), people love the new iPhone, and for good reason.
First, the camera quality. For many, 8 megapixels and 1080p high-definition may not mean anything. From a simpler perspective, the camera I use to produce video stories for the Times website captures the exact same quality footage, except my device doesn't let me text, tweet, or schedule meetings.
Then there is the app store. Instagram is a free, popular photo-sharing app available only for iPhones. Combine the highly praised iPhone camera with this easy-to-use app that lets you edit and crop with one finger swipes, and anyone can boast an terrific collection of memorable photographs.
As far as Siri — the voice-controlled personal assistant — is concerned, controlling your phone by talking to it isn't a new concept. You can download a similar app to Droids too, so why is Siri so special?
Apple has created Siri so you can talk to her as if she's a real person. For example, as most of us probably saw on television commercials, if you say "Will I need my rainboots in London this weekend?" Siri will respond, "No, you won't. Looks like a sunny weekend." And, she will bring up the weather app, supporting what she just said.
Siri apparently also provides quite a bit of entertainment. Simply visit the blog S**t That Siri Says to see what I mean.
Last Spring, before the release of the "most amazing iPhone yet," according to a Nielson study, Android phones sales grew the fastest. Nielson found 29 percent of all smartphone sales went to Android devices, with iPhone and Blackberry closely following with 27 percent each and Windows phones claiming only 10 percent of the market.
Though it seems like the entire world has converted to iPhone, many people still buy Android phones. Mashable reports at least 30 percent of new smartphone buyers choose Droids.
Jolie O'Dell, the author of the article, said, "Android-powered hardware is as diverse as it is impressive. Android phones range from affordable models suitable for families with kids (Motorola's Charm) to high-powered 4-inch, 8-megapixel superphones fit to satiate the geekiest of gadget friends (Droid X or Galaxy S)."
When I talked to a Verizon customer service agent, he told me that while iPhone is easier to use, Apple doesn't let you customize it to cater to your needs. With Droids, you can change the home screen and bring out the features you use frequently and hide other items you don't want.
Although you may need more time to learn how to use the phone, in the end Droid might cater to your needs better.
And, Verizon captures phone geeks' attention by offering a 4G "lightning speed" connection with certain Droids. Basically, you can download movies, music and photos faster and load web pages faster.
Even my brother, who always wants the newest and the coolest, has stuck with HTC Thunderbolt for quite some time now. The ad campaign, "Amazing is already here," I guess might be true?
Microsoft, in its latest attempt to squeeze into the Droid/Apple-dominant market, offers multiple Windows 7 phones. Similar to Android, these phones have big screens and real keyboards.
They can do everything other smartphones do, like GPS maps, front-facing camera and Internet browsing, and the price is generally friendlier to your wallets. One downside, however, is its small presence in the mobile scene, since Windows 7 doesn't have as many apps or the multitasking capability that Apple and Android do.
Although my Blackberry saga ended with me downgrading to a very old Blackberry, on the upside, I have a working phone. Despite the battery problem that many people face, Blackberry can have redeeming qualities.
Blackberry Messenger (BBM) allows you to chat with your friends without relying on 3G phone reception. As long as you can connect to wifi, BBM acts as a computer messaging program, and as a cherry on top, BBM offers a fun collection of smiley faces.
Many businessmen and women use Blackberries for a reason not too clear to me. However, the keyboard, the size and the easy navigation could be good enough reasons for busy professionals to rely on Blackberries.
What do you use? What will be your next phone? Let us know on our Facebook page and our website.