Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Mar 2012 21:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This past week and this weekend I've finally found the time to enter into the colorful world of custom Android ROMs. After figuring out just how insanely great and awesome ClockWorkMod Recovery is, I set about to figure out what the best Ice Cream Sandwich ROM is for the Galaxy SII. While the answer to that question became clear quite quickly, this answer also gave rise to a whole bunch of other questions.
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ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

And just stick to the Android phones from Google.

Or buy superior stuff like an iPhone or a Windows Phone.

Reply Score: -14

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

And just stick to the Android phones from Google.

Or buy superior stuff like an iPhone or a Windows Phone.

"Superior" is a subjective concept. It depends on what you expect from a phone, and what you are ready to bear from your OS.

As an example, for my own purchases, I first consider that paying more than €400 for a phone is crazy, and that phone hardware should be built in a robust fashion that can survive half a dozen falls every week without requiring users to purchase ugly cases. I also strongly value physical keyboards on my handsets. This pretty much rules out anything running iOS or Windows Phone 7 already.

Without that, there would also be the issue of software : my phone is an electronic agenda and a communication tool before anything else, and I like its home screen or its lock screen to reflect this by being a readily available source of information. I typically set things up so that I can get very quickly to a summary of upcoming agenda entries and past notifications. And from this point of view, WP7 offers an average to poor performance, while iOS is simply awful.

Coming next in my priorities is battery life, which should preferably be good enough to survive a week-end without a power adapter, which means about 3 days of intensive texting and light web&youtube browsing. Bad luck : every single popular smartphone OS sucks in this department. In less popular circles, Blackberry OS, bada and Symbian do provide good performance on this front, but bada does not come on a device with hardware keyboards anymore, and buying Symbian-running hardware means putting money in Nokia's CEO and shareholders pockets, which I'm not interested in.

This pretty much only leaves Blackberry OS. Or, if I can get over the battery life issue, there's also Android. Each has its set of pros and cons, which is different from what iOS and WP7 have to offer.

As you can see, liking iOS or WP7 is a matter of priorities and taste more than one of intrinsic superiority.

Edited 2012-03-18 22:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

Agree. I still stick with my e63 as almost everything I need just in there. For productivity/functionality it's on par with my android, IMO. And it has qwerty keyboard. And the price is right (unlike US$ 300+ android phone with physical keyboard).

Android manufacturer just think about how to sell many-many phone. They don't/can't think about what user need.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Excellent post. I will say that the battery life on my HTC Arrive is far and away better than any Android or even BlackBerry I've owned. In fact, I'd say the last time I had a smartphone that lasted three days like this, was my trusty old Treo 650 in 2005-2008 that I should never have let go.

Of course, I'd be in phone heaven if someone out there would release a rugged or Mil-Spec phone that could dual boot WP7 and ICS, and last more than 24 hours on a charge. I know that will never happen, as Microsoft surely wants to keep other OSes off of its phones. But I'd settle for a good quality rugged phone with either OS, and the battery life of my current unit.

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Coming next in my priorities is battery life, which should preferably be good enough to survive a week-end without a power adapter, which means about 3 days of intensive texting and light web&youtube browsing. Bad luck : every single popular smartphone OS sucks in this department.


With a little tweaking on your part, and possibly the purchase of an extended battery, you can get an Android device to last 50 hours+ of phone, SMS, e-mail, web browsing, and even light gaming. Changing the CPU governor, adding an applet to control when/how the various radios turn on, tweaking the screen brightness and auto-shutoff, etc.

My 3.7", single-core 1 GHz Xperia Pro running Android 2.3.4 gets 50 hours of usage on a regular basis. It's only when I whip out Great Little War Game for an hour or two that battery life dips into the sub-20 hour range. ;) And I use the web browser, SSH, and e-mail throughput the day.

Reply Parent Score: 2

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I beg to differ on WP7 phones. Don't talk out your ass, especially since an HTC WP7 handset = HTC Android unit. I have an HTC Arrive and it has a really REALLY nice physical keyboard and has taken a ridiculous number of falls. I beat the crap out of my phones. I had to get a new back plate due to the old one getting so bent up falling on my gravel driveway it wasn't staying in place well.

I'll agree on the iPhones. My sister has an iPhone 4 that she dropped in her office on carpeted floor and shattered the back glass.

Reply Parent Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Why do you think you'd break the Lumia?

If it's too high speced for you (screen and glass?) I guess you can get something simpler. Even from Nokia to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

and buying Symbian-running hardware means putting money in Nokia's CEO and shareholders pockets, which I'm not interested in.
Why not and won't you have the same problem with kinda all phones? Maybe not with a government ran Chinese one?

Because they ditched/will ditch Symbian and switch to WP?

Hard to fault the shareholders on that. The CEO I can see. Regardless they could both need the money I suppose. Nokias stock haven't had a happy ride. I doubt too many stock holders are happy but there's some morons who still think it's all brilliant.

Reply Parent Score: 2

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Coming next in my priorities is battery life, which should preferably be good enough to survive a week-end without a power adapter, which means about 3 days of intensive texting and light web&youtube browsing. Bad luck : every single popular smartphone OS sucks in this department. In less popular circles, Blackberry OS, bada and Symbian do provide good performance on this front, but bada does not come on a device with hardware keyboards anymore, and buying Symbian-running hardware means putting money in Nokia's CEO and shareholders pockets, which I'm not interested in.


The main culprit isn't the smartphone OS, it's the 3g/4g radios. If you want your phone to last a weekend with texting and light web browsing, disable 3g. 3G+ enabled Symbian and Blackberry phones are not immune, although Blackberry has an inherent advantage in that it doesn't need to maintain a constant data connection if you're on a BIS/BES plan.

I spent a week in Cuba and brought my Nexus One to use for calls and texting, data wasn't an option so I disabled it. Phone went 5 days before I needed to charge. When I travel up to the cottage or somewhere for the weekend with my Galaxy Nexus, I set it to 2G which is sufficient for checking emails or light data use, and the battery will last the weekend.

I agree with your general point that smartphone battery life sucks in general, and while optimizing the OS can help, there's only so much that can be done when there are multiple radio transmitters of various types drawing juice from the battery constantly at a time when everybody seems to want slimmer and sleeker phones. Disabling those radios that aren't needed can work wonders.

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

By most of your requirements, the discontinued HP Pre3 probably would have been right up your alley. That is the phone I have (bought one on eBay and used it to replace my BB).

I am quite happy with it - even knowing it is probably a dead-end as far as software goes. The one mark against it - doesn't seem very tough. I have not dropped it but I don't suspect it would survive many drops. The battery life isn't stellar, but it generally makes it through a weekend if you are mostly just using it for voice and email. It meets all your other requirements admirably though.

Edited 2012-03-22 18:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

As much as I enjoy my Windows phone, I'm inclined to think you are totally clueless. From what little I've seen of ICS, I'd say Android has finally blown all the other mobile phone OSes out of the water. Thom's writeup only serves to strengthen that position in my eyes.

I'm going to be on the hunt for an ICS compatible off contract phone now.

Reply Parent Score: 3

nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

And just stick to the Android phones from Google.

Or buy superior stuff like an iPhone or a Windows Phone.


So why would WP7 be superior to android? Last time i checked WP7 didn't support bluetooth file transfers, NFC, dual core CPU:s, keyboards, high resolution screens, tablets etc. IMO WP7 is way behind Android.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

WP7 is not so much superior/inferior, it's simply a different animal, just like iOS.

Just to clarify a few things from your post:

Dual core CPUs are coming with the next round of hardware, though so far I haven't seen the need. My single core 800MHz WP7 phone runs circles around a friend's dual core Tegra2 Motorola Photon with Gingerbread. He's desperately awaiting the official ICS release for his phone just to get rid of the bugs and sluggishness.

By "keyboards" I assume you mean Bluetooth keyboards and not, for example, the built in physical keyboard on my WP7 phone. Bluetooth keyboard support was inferred for the Mango update but was left out for some reason. I would love to see this, even though the physical board on my phone is great.

On a 3.6 inch screen, I can't imagine having a resolution higher than 800x480; the pixels are already impossible to distinguish without taking off my glasses and holding the screen two inches away. It appears as sharp to me as the iPhone 4 screen. That said, bigger screens with higher resolution are coming with the next hardware bump.

Tablets are the real target for Microsoft, and I'm curious to see how well the OS fits in that sweet spot between phone and desktop computer.

I'd say WP7 is a bit behind Android, but not "way behind" as you put it, as all the things you complained about are slated for the next release. If we were going to wait two more years then I could agree with you.

The biggest problem they have right now is marketing and market penetration in particular. Perhaps, if it lives up to expectations, WP8 will start gaining ground. If it takes a step backwards like Windows 8 has though, I doubt it will be sustainable.

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

And just stick to the Android phones from Google.

Or buy superior stuff like an iPhone or a Windows Phone.


Until Apple releases an iPhone with a hardware keyboard, they will remain the inferior option. Simple as that.

Haven't used a Windows Phone 7 device yet, but at least they offer the option of a hardware keyboard.

Unfortunately, the portrait keyboards on RIM devices are crap compared to a good landscape keyboard, so those devices will also remain inferior.

Oh? You don't need a hardware keyboard? Guess there's no such thing as "The One True Smartphone For Everyone".

IOW, everyone has different needs; thus everyone needs a different phone. So why bring up "the superior iPhone" when it's obviously not for everyone?

Reply Parent Score: 2