Sunday 23 December 2012

Choosing between Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry

One of the things that I tend to use most everyday is my smartphone. I almost always carry it with me everywhere I go, and also have it close by when I'm at home. Needless to say, if there was one piece of technology I wouldn't give up it would probably be my smartphone. However, with so many different types of phones and smartphone operating systems out there, it can be somewhat of a hassle to determine the right type of smartphone for your needs. As such, I have put together here a little guide that may help you select the right type of phone. Most of what I have mentioned here comes from my own personal experience, with all these operating systems.

Top 3 reasons for choosing an Android Phone:

1. Price: A quick comparison between android phones and other smartphones will quickly reveal that android phones are in general a little less expensive than other varieties. This may be either due to lower specs, lower build quality or less features so always be sure to check some reviews online before going for an android phone that looks too good to be true. The top tier android phones, however, may be just as pricey as other competitors though, depending on how the smartphone market is when the phones are launched.
2. Freedom: One good thing about the android OS is that most manufacturers give you the option of installing any application that you want on your phone. It doesn't necessarily have to be downloaded from Google play (Android's app store). Often times, you can download it from the creators website (or forums such as XDA developers) and install it directly. Also, if you're even just a bit tech savvy, you can download custom roms and with technical some know-how "flash" it to your phones. Also, did I mention that you can play flash videos/games on android (you'll have to download a custom APK, but it's possible)?
3. Features: Big screen, small screen, high res, loud speakers, keyboards... there are all sorts of hardware features that you can find in android phones. If you're looking for an AWS spectrum phone (some providers like Wind/Mobility in Canada, and T-mobile in the US us the AWS spectrum for their services) then you can find plenty of android phones that may meet your needs

Top 3 reasons for choosing iPhone
1. Top of the line hardware: Apart from minor antenna problems with the iPhone 4, the latest lines of iPhones  have every piece of great hardware you'd want in a phone: 8MP camera, thin and light, high res display, adequate hardware noise cancelling and most of all a hardware silent/vibrate button (which is indispensable if you go to a lot of meetings and only realize that you forgot to turn off your phone after someone else's phone rings, and you don't really want to remove your phone out of your pocket)! One thing that I would have liked to see was some kind of a notification light, so I don't have to repeatedly turn the phone on to see if I have a message or email.
2. A wide selection of apps: iPhone still has more apps by number. Also, since Apple has been around the smartphone market for a while and the App store gets higher revenue than Android/Windows Phone/Blackberry stores many developers usually chose to release their apps for the iPhone first.
3. Reliability: iPhones on average have less software/hardware problems than Android phones. I've usually never had my iPhone never refuse to connect to the network after coming out of the subway for example, where as other platforms have sometimes given me some trouble.

Top 3 reasons for choosing Windows Phone
1. Fresh: Windows phones arguably have one of the funkiest looking hardware around. This is pretty cool when you want to differentiate yourself from the other iPhone users out there. Also, the Windows phone UI is pretty fun to use  and Microsoft has done a good job of showing the most critical information to the user upfront without having them jump to apps and screens.
2. Nice hardware: Many windows phone hardware partners (Nokia, HTC in particular) are putting out some of the best camera phones and high res displays out there.
3. Sufficient apps: While the Windows phone app store may not be as big as iPhone or Android, it does have a large variety of apps (especially those built using the "Metro" design platform) that will most likely take care of most things you would want to do with your phone.

Top 3 reasons for choosing Blackberry
1. Reliability: Blackberries have some of the best reception and voice quality (along with a few Nokias and Motorolas) that you can possibly find in a smart phone.
2. Keyboard: The Bold 9000/Bold 9900 probably has the best keyboard my thumbs have ever typed on. However, unlike touch screen based phones, there's no way to switch to a "number only" key pad when you want to make calls for example. Other Blackberries also have formidable keyboards that make it easier to type out those quick emails and texts.
3. Business features/BBM: Blackberry Enterprise Services/Blackberry Internet Service ensure that you get your emails in a secure and timely manner. Also, I've found BBM to be more reliable and faster than Apple's iMessage and even text messaging at times. It is also more secure.

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  2. Interesting, it is so hard to choose, and there are so many new LPWA devices to choose from, it isn't easy selecting the right one.