T Nation

Cell Phone OS Choices


It is time for a new phone and I am considering three smart phones, each with a different operating system. I would appreciate feedback about the OS and the phones if you have experience with them. (I have read reviews, both professional and customers, but trust this crowd over complete strangers.) The phone (and OS)choices are:

iPhone (whatever Apple uses)
Samsung Focus (Win7)
HTC Inspire (Android)

I do not have anything else that is Apple and do not use iTunes - the way the company controls everything bothers me. I use MS Office products but not Outlook or anything that has to do with their cloud. I am tempted by an Android phone as I guess Google is less evil than the rest, I do use gmail but have yet to set up a Google profile (though I am might if it will sync my phone and computer). I am wanting to use the phone for checking email and typing responses to students; I am encouraged to start a blog and would like to be able to take pictures and make comments directly to the blog; will listen to some music but would more likely use it more to read/listen to books on trips.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Any suggestions for a different phone would be cool, I am limited to AT&T phones.


I despise Apple's software but I adore their hardware. I have like 6 Apple devices, (2 iPods, 3 iPhones, an iPad), and I keep going back for more. You MUST jailbreak the device though, to get the maximum potential out of it. The difference between a jailbroken iDevice and a non-jailbroken one, for me, would be enough for me not to buy one if I couldn't jailbreak it. Luckily, jailbreaking has become incredibly easy, and there is an extremely helpful site called www.modmyi.com that has all the information you could ever need plus a very helpful forum.

Full disclosure, I know nothing about any other brand of smartphone, but the impression I get is that, for another couple of years, at least, Apple's devices just have a LOT more options and versatility than any other smart-device out there. I honestly hope it does not remain that way for long because the bullshit software restrictions they place on a device that you own.


Btw, iTunes, used correctly, can actually be a pretty convenient program. However, if you do hate it and Apple software (as well you should), there are now enough alternative programs out there that you can do pretty much everything without ever using iTunes at all.


Thanks, Cortes! I will check out that website when I have some time. One reason I like the looks of the HTC is it has a 8m camera with dual flash. When I am doing research in the field it is easier to carry a phone over caring a phone and a camera. So the camera in the phone is important.


The iphone4 has an HDR camera functon. The megapixels are important but essestially it just says how claer the picture will be if viewed very large in size (not the best explanation, someone can step in to explain better). The HDR function is amazing for outdoor pictures. Im sure you can do a google search on some HDR pics taken with an iphone. I dont know of any other cell cameras that match this.

I enjoy my iphone4. Very easy to use. Nice and intuitive.


I can't stand iTunes or any apple products. They're too closed. I might be wrong but I'm almost positive jailbreaking a phone voids it's warranty.

I went from a Blackberry to HTC Incredible running Android. I love it. If you have a gmail email set up, you already have a google account. All my stuff sync'd easily. I believe you work at a college as do I, and the Android sync'd up with my work email just as easy too. I like the calendar and sync it up with my desktop, phone and online google calendar.

I've never had an IPhone or Windows based phone but love my HTC.


I hate the fuck out of Apple on principle. No flash on your handheld browser is bullshit and simply a company choice, it's not that it's incapable of using it. If Apple's controlling policies bug you they will just continue to do so if you don't mess with it.

I use a non-jailbroken phone (3GS) and I'm not a fan.

I used the Droid OS and the Android about a year ago (started a contract with Verizon but jumped ship in enough time to pick another carrier (AT&T)) and I vastly preferred the Droid OS and will go back to it the second I'm out of contract with AT&T (the service is fucking miserable, too).


Android all the way. Apple is so stuck on themselves that they think they can decide what and when you get things that other cell phones, devices and OS all ready have. No physical back button, no widgets and no customizable homescreens. I have an HTC Desire unlocked on ATT. I also have an itouch. I have my itouch playlists on my desire so its not like I really need itunes. Android for the win in my opinion.


Just get the Android phone, I wouldn't recommend the WP7 to anyone but I'd use it over an iPhone personally. WP7 has potential and could go either direction but its too new at the moment. There may be some random task you'd like your phone to accomplish someday and Android is most likely to be able to do it, via an app or other method. iPhone/WP7 might do everything you think you need but could one day run into that problem of "oh yeah your phone can't do that"


I have an iPhone for work and a private Android (HTC). I don't like the iPhone, as I feel limited with how much I can customise it to my needs. Here, the Android clearly wins for me. Wrt speed, the iPhone wins, although that'll probably be a hardware thing as my HTC is almost two years old, and the iPhone is brand new.



I have the Samsung and there are some things I like. It is hands down the best picture option I have had (Netflix and camera are amazing). When I had a an Iphone I never surfed the web on it because I couldn't see a dang thing. However the Apps plain suck for the Windows phone. I don't even have a simple banking app for it. Ringtones suck as well. All you get are the basics and you can't even buy new ones from MS.

Easy way to describe it...Windows is a phone that does some cool things. Iphone is a device where the phone is just one of the applications it does.

I would go back to the Iphone if I could, never owned a DROID but everyone I talk to love them....


Thanks everybody. I am considering switching to Verizon with all the AT&T comments about limiting what their phones will do. The HTC/Android phones seem to be winning here.


WP7 is fantastic, I switched from an iPhone and it's a much better user experience overall in terms of UI.

Granted it's still young and doesn't have certain features, but it's a brilliant platform.

If you use Office, you cannot beat a Windows Phone - you get full cloud support with all your office documents via Windows Live too.

Trust me when I say, it will be a top platform in a couple years time. They are bringing Office 365, Media Room (TV on your phone), Lync (live chat/call integrated with Office and Exchange) and Kin Studio (basically a timeline of everything on your phone).

Blackberry is the first one in trouble once they get underway.


iTunes is the most vile software I have ever used.

Anyone using Windows, try the Zune software http://www.zune.net/en-us/products/software/download/ and try telling me it's not one of the nicest media players you've ever used.


I think at present, Android is the most feature-packed phone OS. Apple does an incredibly good job with their hardware and marketing though, plus their products are always well 'polished'.


Here I think I had made up my mind and you had to go and say a thing like this.

Question: how does the cloud thing work?


Well, you sign in once with a Live or Hotmail account and that will sync and store all your contacts, photos (25GB on Skydrive - free) and calendars. The good thing with this is you can't lose your contacts, because if you lost your phone, you re-add your account and it syncs from Live and pulls everything down.

The whole ecosystem that MS is building is great - one account for your 360, PC and phone which works across all the platforms in terms of music (Zune on your phone, PC and 360 and it's a good media player) and functionality.

You can't upload Office documents to the cloud right now, I don't think, but that feature is coming by the fall. I guess you have to go in and try the phones, although the UI is either love it or hate it, but after a week of use it's great.


Is MS claiming ownership or use of any of the information they are willing to store? Doesn't Facebook claim ownership?

I guess I have lived so long with everything on just one machine this is all kinda 21st century.


Not that I'm aware of, Facebook is a shitty company.

After all the shit MS went through with Apple et al crying to the Department of Justice about the antitrust matters, I don't think MS would be claiming ownership of anyone's data. I suppose it's the same as using a Hotmail account, but the cloud is definitely the future of pretty much everything.


Are you guys talking about jailbroken vs non-jailbroken with respect to iPhone's features? Because they are night and day. I have customized the living shit out of my iPhone, and there are quite literally hundreds, maybe thousands of programs, tweaks, utilities, games, apps, skins, boot logos and possibilities for individual customization that are ONLY available for jailbroken iPhones.

I would certainly admit that a non-jailbroken iPhone is going to get it's ass kicked by the other smartphones, but a jailbroken iPhone is a beautiful thing. My brother does a lot of custom stuff and he has made some really cool stuff for my phone like a hippo slider bar (I love hippopotomi), customs carrier logos and all sorts of other stuff he's put together with photoshop.

Also as far as jailbreaking voiding warranty, while they may be true, all you have to do is restore your iPhone and there is no evidence your phone was ever jailbroken (unless Apple wanted to pursue some very deep avenues, which they don't).