Unless you’ve been trapped under a rock or on a ton of last minute holidays the last month before freshers’ week, you’ll be aware that a ton of great new smartphones been announced.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 (or GS3), Nokia Lumia 920, and Apple iPhone 5 are getting priority as my choice to represent the three major OSs, sorry to all the HTC fanboys (I didn’t know you existed) and twatberry fans (I know you don’t exist).
The Apple iPhone 5. The phone expected for release last year finally made its debut at the September 12th Apple conference, and although opening weekend sales topped 5 million and they sold twice as many iPhones as last year in the first 24 hours, it really wasn’t the smooth launch Apple would’ve wanted.
It’s reported that 30-40% of all brand new iPhones are arriving to the high paying customers scuffed in the box, known as “scuffgate” and iOS6 Apple Maps made news worldwide with levels of fail not seen since the Sega Dreamcast. Include this with bloggers and users around the world complaining about “letterboxing”, where two black strips appear on the top and bottom sides of the iPhone, and it doesn’t sound good.
Add the standard trolling we’ve come to expect from the other smartphone makers, and it’s not great. Samsung poked fun with a new “the next big thing is already here” video below, which quotes Apple users saying “we’re finally getting everything we should’ve got last year,” and an ex-Apple user holding a space in line for the phone for his elderly parents. Similarly a Google ad for the Motorola RAZR Droid shows Apple maps vs Google maps with the caption #iLost.
The iPhone 5 wasn’t the best, smooth, or even a grand launch we all expect of Apple, but neither was the iPhone 4S; maybe the company is struggling more than we thought without all-round legend Steve Jobs at the helm.
Or perhaps I’m being unfair and focusing on the negatives too much. Ignoring the bad press, the iPhone 5 is actally an amazing phone. Apple have successfully managed to exceed nearly all projected pre-order figures and the sales clearly show the company is doing something very well.
The new iPhone 5 offers a great 4-inch 16:9 screen with an impressive 326ppi (pixel per inch) retina display. It’s best feature though, in this editor’s opinion, is its weight. At just 112g it’s an impressive 73g lighter than the Lumia 920 and 21g lighter than the SG3. With the iPhones new hardware and software update it has also, of course, gotten a LOT faster. It’s now caught up with the speeds previously seen in the Lumia 800 and surpassed them.
But the iPhone 5 lacks NFC (contactless), which is odd of Apple to keep out seeing as the Lumia 920 and GS3 both have it. The GS3 also has a trump on both with external storage. The iPhone’s precious retina display isn’t actually a winner either, it may beat the SG3 4.8-inch 306ppi screen, but the Lumia 920 packs what it calls PureMotion HD+. It’s a 4.5-inch screen that packs 331ppi, and apparently its pixels can move twice as fast as all other screens, making it look super smooth. The Lumia is also the only smartphone that packs Wireless Charging, as well as its long awaited PureView camera technology featuring unbeatable SLR-esque image stabilisation and night time photography. The Samsung GS3 has an incredibly fast camera though, a beautifully bright and big screen as well as featuring the impressive "Google Now" feature built in on Jelly Bean, whose interface is slick and offers a wide range of cool services from transport and weather to restaurants and search. Similarly, Nokia has its own visualisation and restaurant or to-do apps built in with "City Lens" and "Local Scout". Both are Nokia speciality apps, one uses augmented reality to display shops, restaurants and things all around you and the other finds where you are and gives you a list of things "to see and do", restaurants, hotels etc.
All three phones however are 4G LTE enabled, ready for the super network of Orange & T-Mobile, Everything Everywheres launch later this month.
Overall, all three of these phones have excellent hardware and you can read about more comparisons here, but the one thing that really seperates them is the Operating System. There’s no outright winner in this though, it all depends on what you want out of your phone.
The easiest, fastest and simplest to use and understand has to be, bizarrely, Windows Phone. However, it has serious limitations due to the lack of apps and its current market share. The good news is that time is definitely on Windows’ side, especially with the imminent launch of Windows 8 and free programming software.
iOS has the largest app store in the world and is probably has the most recognised interface around as well as being quite fast.
Android lets you be creative and customise to your heart’s content, perfect for the all tech lovers/hackers.
I can't see why anyone would own one of these anymore as they won't be around for much longer. Then again, they'll probably be collectors items one day when we all think "wow, there used to be a crummy qwerty keyboard on phones!". To all blackberry owners: upgrade and OMG new smartphones!
* there really should be an abbreviation for this