The Samsung Galaxy S3. Now that we (the general public) have had two months with the super phone, how does it compare with the myriad of other products on the market and who actually is this phone for? This analyst has had many smart phones over the past decade, even starting with the Palm Treo back when apps were still called programs and they sold at Staples for up to $50 a pop. The times certainly have changed. And even though Samsung has been hit with an expensive lawsuit, the product itself is cutting edge. And certainly worthy of being called a “super phone”.
Upon release of the Droid 4, this analyst commented, “The phone just works.” Well, this phone doesn’t merely supply an adequate alternative to the apple products that are out there. The GS3 possesses a magic, build quality, and reason in and of itself to purchase the product. A combination of ease of use, and Android flexibility make this phone suitable to a wider audience than is customary for Android products.
It has been noticed that many buy Android products, but not every consumer truly knows how to use the phones they are purchasing properly. Multiple User interfaces exist, everything from HTC’s Sense, to Motorola’s Blur, all competing to be a respectable alternative to IPhone’s IOS while still being flexible enough for the core super user customer base. If one is dissatisfied with their phone’s interface, other alternative are out there such as Apex. Or, one could even root, and install a custom Android ROM. The point that is being made, is that many have tried to bridge the gap between Android functionality and IOS ease of use, and nothing meets that need as well as the GS3’s Touchwiz interface. It is the perfect balance between ease of use, and customization. Yes, one can root. Yes one can install a different UI if one so chooses. But, if you are Joe Schmoe out shopping for a phone, it’s functionality is more self explanatory than other Android options that are on the market.
This phone is fast. With 2 gigs of RAM and a dual core 1.5 ghz processor, there is enough fuel in the engine to power the multi tasking ability Android as a platform so generously gives the user. Samsung has also gone out of its way to give added functionality that one cannot find on other android devices. There is S Voice, S beam (nfc), and a host of other customizations that make this product “innovative”.
The phone is sexy. This beast is well designed, with nice build quality, and in this user’s opinion, 4.8 inches is the optimal screen size. Yes, this is a big phone, but after using the phone, it will be hard for any user to go back to a non Super AMOLED display that is smaller than 4.8 inches. I found watching a movie to be actually pleasant on this device, as well as reading and perusing news stories.
The phone is spendy, with my 32 GIG device costing roughly $250 out of pocket with a 2 year contract, so for the price sensitive, this phone may not be for you. But, if you are looking for a sexy, innovative, fast, non iPhone product with the freedom of Android, there are very few options on the market that compete.
Apple definitely does not have a monopoly on Awesomeness. There are two companies that can play that game.
Have you ever wanted a dual boot smartphone with multiple cores, able to boot from android when used as a handset, and able to function as a fully functional desktop when docked? If you visit this site, chances are this is the achievement of nerd Nirvana! This functionality, according to Canonical, the makers of popular Linux distro Ubuntu is coming to a handset near you. Soon, Android smart phones will be able to dual boot from a docking station that is plugged into a monitor and keyboard
for use as a portable desktop. Rumor has it that phones are expected to ship with this dual boot capability by the end of the year. It is this website’s opinion this could truly revolutionize the information technology environment. Setting up an environment whereby every android phone owner is distributed a working copy of Linux, could challenge the omnipotence of the Apple Windows paradigm. This would give every information technology person, every business executive, and every student, a free working operating system with computer. All one would have to do is add the peripherals. In a sense, this almost sounds like unfair competition, almost worse than packaging a free web browser in with one’s operating system.
Not so long ago form factors in cell phones seemed to be decreasing in size. Small was in, with flip phones predominating due to their thinness and their ability to fold in half, reducing the size of what a consumer has to put in their pockets. Enter the Iphone. What one could arguably call the rebirth of the candy bar phone, beefed up with accelerometers, processors, and RAM galore.
The Iphone 3G, 4 and 4S screens are just 3.5 inches, the HTC Thunderbolt sported a 4.3 inch screen, while the recently released Galaxy Nexus has expanded to 4.65 inches. Everyone originally thought the new Iphone, the 4S would also increase in size, that expansion however, has presumably been delayed to the entrance of the theoretical Iphone 5.
Just recently however, the concept of “big is in” is now truer than ever before, with the establishment of the new 5.3 inch Amoled display of the Galaxy Note. The new trend in bleeding edge mobile technology seems to be display, clarity of it, and screen real estate.
The LG Optimus has recently been announced and it will contain a 5 inch screen, and both megaphones will sport dual core 1.5 gigahertz processors, with 1 gig of RAM. Both the Optimus and the Note will be stylus friendly, with the Note coming with one built in to the device. Whether this trend in size will continue or not time will tell. We will have to wait to see whether or not consumers will want to break the 5 inch barrier in display size.
By now many of you have heard of a little something happening in the technology industry called the patent wars. A war of attrition between technological giants, some smaller firms, and new patent investment funds (read: patent trolls). This war is designed to raise operating costs of those companies that cannot afford to buy a large portfolio of patents, or cannot afford to staff a team of patent attorneys.
Apple seems to be pursuing a mobile strategy that is partly centered around the use of patent enforcement and accumulation. But for the average consumer, the result of such a divisive struggle between the large mobile players, Apple, and patent trolls will mean higher prices for consumers, due to patent licensing, and litigation costs, as well as an anti competitive atmosphere that prohibits small players from existing in or entering such a hostile market. This patent war could mean the eventual exclusion of players such as RIM, and other smaller mobile players, from remaining competitive in the market.
There is another anti-competitive and distinctly anti free market aspect of the existing patent war. Will this conflict cause companies to spend ever increasing amounts of money on litigation, rather than paying for designers, and engineers? Could there be a congealing of innovation, in favor of a zero sum game approach to competition? Instead of making the pie larger, are we making it smaller by stifling competition, by making every swipe, every design feature, every aspect of a gadget, patent-able?
Some notable examples of the recent patent war insanity:
Swipe to Unlock: Apple owns this patent and is part of its arsenal against other mobile manufactures and Google.
Text prediction: Apple owns this patent, though it is arguable they were the original developers of the technology. Most likely, they bought this patent from a third party.
And voice recognition: Really? On an anecdotal level, I remember a few instances of the technology showing up in products before the advent of Siri.
Current Court battles by country:
All across Europe
The patent wars are spreading, a war of attrition, with no winners.
The Motorola Droid 4 just works.
I loved the Iphone series, but like all things, you grow up, and move on. The HTC Thunderbolt was the next foray into smartphone user-ship, and Marveled at the the increased freedom . I’ve enjoyed all of these products, as well as their jailbroken and/or rooted counterparts. As everyone knows by now, the Iphone invented the “it just works” test. And the best thing about that platform is ease of use. My mother has an Ipad for example, and she loves it. She can’t use a PC to save her life. But for her, the IOS platform, “just works”. The
downside of this platform, in my opinion, is its uniformity. If there is something specific you need to have the Iphone do, it better fall in line with the boundaries of the existing platform, otherwise, the only option is to buy another phone. You want your todo list to show up on your home screen? Sorry, to bad.
The Thunderbolt was a unique change from this user’s perspective. It was my first foray into the Android series, and I was both pleased and disappointed. The level of augmentation the user is allowed to make on the Android platform was far different from the “model T” nature of IOS. The Thunderbolt was Verizon’s first 4g phone, and in 4g coverage the phone navigated through websites like a foreign sports car. The downside of course, much like a foreign sports car was the Thunderbolt’s infamous many issues. Random reboots, bad data connectivity, locking up, the list of issues I had to work through with Verizon’s troubleshooting staff was long. The Sense UI was a joy to use, and very attractive, perhaps my favorite of the Motorola, HTC, and IOS interfaces. But a robust user interface comes at a price of reduced performance, and once rooted the Thunderbolt, with a rooted/modded UI, was much faster.
Enter the Motorola Droid 4: 8 megapixel rear camera, Slide out keyboard laser cut with back lighting, 16 gigs of internal storage, two 1.2 gigahertz processors and an ample gig of ram. Though upon first glance, I preferred the sexiness of the Sense UI, I found the performance and reliability of the Droid 4 to be quite good. No random reboots, excellent data reception, adequate call quality, combined with a slim size for a phone with a keyboard, makes for an excellent high end business phone. The Droid 4 also features the security protection of a phone designed to be used in the office, and an HDMI port, and docking station compatibility. The phone can be recommended as an excellent choice, for any student or professional, that would like to have the use of a full keyboard with the convenience of a candy bar multitouch smart phone. The only downside this writer has encountered is mostly aesthetic, the Motorola UI isn’t really my preference, but that is easily changed with third party software available in the Market.
The Galaxy Nexus is considered, and rightly so, the premier android flagship smartphone. Samsung/Google’s Nexus comes equipped with the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system pre-installed, with none of that bloatware that weighs down other non nexus branded Android phones in the market. Also, in the smartphone world, big is in, and the Nexus certainly has that, sporting a 4.65 inch screen. As for hardware, the Nexus sports dual core processors with a gig of ram under the hood–I think this thing can handle angry birds….
And if you are into video, the camera shoots in 1080 p high definition.
But mostly, it’s one of the baddest handsets on the market right now, and Amazon is giving it away at $200 off the list price for a two year contract. Get em while they’re hot.