Friday, May 24, 2013

Which Smartphone? - The Result

Finally, I made the decision! After months of research and consulting others, my replacement mobile phone is now on order, and it’ll replace my HTC Sensation that’s served me well for the past 24 months.

In the end, NOT being an Apple fanboy helped the decision-making, as it narrowed down the choice to just TWO devices - The HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4.  Spec-wise there wasn’t a lot in it and the HTC certainly won over all the critics for its quality build, premium feel and exceptionally good camera. So, what did I do?
Samsung Galaxy S4
I chose the S4! Why? When it came down to it, I couldn’t convince myself that in spite of the HTC being a better looking phone, there were two major issues that impacted on my buying decision - battery life and storage capacity.

Deal-Maker
With the HTC One, the fact that its battery isn’t removable pushed me in the direction of the Samsung model. Battery life had always been an issue with my current phone, the Sensation, as I barely got through a day without the need to recharge it - so the ability to be able to swap-out to a fresh battery was high on my priority list.

The other ‘biggy’ was that there’s no external provision for storage (via an external card) with the HTC One and even though it’s got larger internal storage of 32Gb than the S4, it felt too restrictive to cope with my love of having films and music with me all the time. The ability to slot in an external storage card (64Gb in my case) into the S4 was, in the end, the deal-maker.

Storage-wise, the S4 isn’t the perfect solution though as there’s been a lot of criticism in the media recently about its lack of internal storage. In spite of this new phone being badged as a ‘16Gb’ version (there’s no 32 nor 64Gb available here in the UK - Vodafone, O2, Three, Orange, EE - why not????), there’s apparently only around half of that available for installing apps - the rest being taken up with Samsung’s own on-board stuff. Still, having totalled up the size of my apps on my current device - the Sensation - it looks like there’s only about 1Gb worth (even though I have nearly 200 apps installed!), so I should be OK.

Techy Note
Thanks to Google who make the OS, it’s no longer possible to install apps on the external card - a real pain in the wotsit!!

The March of Phone Tech
Putting all the criticisms aside, both the HTC and Samsung phones are a massive leap of ‘tech’ since the last time I upgraded back in May 2011. Way-back in those ‘dark ages’, ‘4G’ wasn’t even part of the language, whilst ‘3G’ was cutting edge. An 8 mega-pixel camera was about the best you got on a phone - the S4 now boasts 13! (OK, I know pixels aren’t the ultimate benchmark!). Internal memory has come on leaps and bounds too! - The 2011 Sensation sported a mighty 768Mb RAM whilst the 2013 Galaxy S4 has 2Gb - almost three times as much. Finally, back in 2011, the maximum external storage on a phone was 32Gb, now it’s double at 64Gb! - that’s a lot of films and/or music!

Comparison - Then and Now

Click on the list below for a version that’s easier on the eyes!

compare phones 

It’ll be really interesting to see how mobile-phones evolve over the next two years!