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  1. #1
    Network Hub renhoelder's Avatar
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    Samsung Galaxy Nexus or iPhone 4s

    Hi,

    pretty simple question. I have no real favorites when it comes to the OS. I'm not an fanboy of neither Android nor Apple/iOS. The Price would be pretty much the same, both have 16GB of space. I would like it to replace my ipod and phone combo, so I guess the iPhone would be the better choice for that, as it seems to have the better audio-output via headphones.
    I know the iPhone may have (had) an slicker overall OS experience, but it is somewhat "closed" when compared to Android, that is the general feeling I get, maybe I'm wrong. As far as tinkering with the OS I gather that Android has more options
    and I could have Jelly Bean soon or right now which brings the OS slickness on bar with iOS.
    So yeah, I'm kinda stuck here.

    Any ideas suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Here's some advice from someone who used an iPhone for ages (3G, 4, 4S) before moving to a Galaxy Note: the entire "big open Android platform" thing really doesn't mean a lot. Yes, you can install a bunch of custom ROMs etc blah blah blah, but for the most part unless it's updating the OS to a later version (and Android OS updates land at a glacial rate, if at all - it took ages for my Note to get updated to ICS) I can't see what the fuss is all about. It's a lot of effort to screw around with it.

    Visual hacks are a different story and you can't get them on an iPhone, but the strict interface rules for iOS tends to lead to a better, more uniform approach to UIs (some cross-platform apps have really ugly Android interfaces compared to iOS). Also I don't buy the whole "You need a dedicated Back button how can iPhones not have this derp" thing; I've never seen a person have any problem trying to go back a screen in an iOS app.

    iOS tends to be the lead development platform for many apps, so whether or not Android ships more units (it does for the most part) it's clear that developer focus is still on iOS primarily, with Android coming second. Your phone is as good as its apps, so that might be worth considering. That said, the "fragmentation" argument is (for the most part) nonsense when it comes to important apps (at least for the smartphone sector). I've had a few 3rd party apps that have incompatibility issues with my Note, but for the most part there's no issues.

    So in my opinion for the most part the whole customisation issue of Android tends to be more applicable to people who love to tinker with their phones. Personally I need a phone that is rock solid reliable; it's not a toy for me to screw around with. I do run a custom firmware but primarily because it gives me much better battery life - and iOS devices do much better in terms of battery life than Android devices (on average, my iP4S would go for a week on a single charge, my Note barely lasts the day with the same usage).

    That said, Android does have two big advantages - no iTunes, and no arbitrary app store restrictions. That alone makes me suggest Android over iOS even though a lot of the popular reasons (centring around "no customisation" and some crap about sheeple) IMO aren't particularly important. Not having to use iTunes to load media onto my device is a BIG plus, as is not worrying about converting it into MP4 or MOV or something. Also there's no issue with "duplicate functionality" and apps; you won't find an iPod replacement in the Apple App Store, but you will find heaps of media players (including Winamp) for Android phones. Likewise you can select the default app to do just about anything, including opening web links or various files etc.

    With that all said, I'd still probably recommend an Android phone over an iPhone 4S. IMO the iOS interface tends to be cleaner, smoother, and generally a bit better than under Android... and although it isn't as customisable, it is good at what it does (honestly I don't find widgets to be particularly useful). But the lack of app restrictions and freedom from iTunes makes Android the better platform.

    That said I don't know if I can recommend the Nexus. It's a good phone, sure, but its biggest advantage was that it had ICS. A lot of other phones now have ICS as well, thus it's just a fairly average mid-range phone (not in the same class as the iP4S) without a microSD slot (which I'd seriously recommend having). There are better phones out there.

  3. #3
    Network Hub renhoelder's Avatar
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    I presume there are alternatives for loading media with iTunes?

    Anyway, I think I'll give the iPhone 4S a whirl, it seems to have a good re-sale value anyway. I was mostly thinking of gettin the Nexus for Jelly Bean, not much else.

    Well see what the next iPhone and Google phone will be, who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with the iP4S.
    Last edited by renhoelder; 09-07-2012 at 08:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Might be worth holding out to see how the windows 8 phones go if you can.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renhoelder View Post
    I presume there are alternatives for loading media with iTunes?
    I know Winamp can manage songs, but I don't know about videos. Backups and so on still run through iTunes though, so really you'll have to use iTunes for the most part. Which is a pain, because iTunes is bad. Also if you lose your iTunes Library and go to sync the phone again, it'll clear off all the media and apps and force you to set it all up again, a MAJOR pain in the arse.

    As Kad said though if you can wait, I'd also check out the Win8 phones especially if you're using Windows as your OS. The integration between Windows devices with Win8 will be pretty special (if annoying on the desktop).


    But if you're happy with the iP4S, then get one. Ignore all the "omfg ur a sheeple 4 goin wif appel lol noob" comments. iOS has its good points and does some things better than the top-end Android handsets (the lower end Android phones aren't even in the same league).

  6. #6
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    It's ironic because on the grounds of how good the OS and especially hardware are, I'd heartily recommend the 4S. The fact it's Apple, though, makes me back off.

    If your sole concern is reliability and ease of use, then iOS is probably better (though by a small and decreasing margin with ICS and above). If you dislike (or, like me, despise) Apple's practices, then Android is really good.

    The main point though is that you won't find yourself displeased with either of them in day-to-day use. It's not like you were comparing iOS to BBOS or Symbian.

  7. #7
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    I'm loving my Samsung Galaxy Nexus for the most part. The things I'm jealous of from iPhone are the superior camera, the more colour-accurate screen, and some exclusive apps. Otherwise I'm 100% confident I made the right choice.

    I love to hack and tinker so that was a big deciding factor for me. I'm running the new 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and I liberally use widgets and customizations to tweak my homescreens so that they look just the way I want them to. Here's a screenshot - all the text is clickable which opens a related utility or folder, and the line graph at the bottom is the temperature and precipitation for the next 24 hours. I get a lot of info without ever having to run an app, and there's no clutter of unrelated icons:
    http://d.demodulated.com/nexus.png

    And check out that resolution! (click the image if your browser shrinks it) This is a 4.65" screen which is significantly larger than the iPhone, and the resolution is much higher as well (720x1280, same as HDTV, versus iPhone's 640x960). This means the Nexus shows more data onscreen and pictures and text look smoother. I've comfortably read about 9 books on this phone in the past 4 or 5 months.

    I can't live without widgets. They're simple applications that run on the homescreen and give you information so that you don't have to open up a fullscreen app. On my other screens I have a Twitter widget which shows my timeline and lets me post, a list of my last several calls, a notepad and to-do list, and a list of my upcoming appointments. It's all handy stuff that's available at a glance. iOS doesn't allow widgets whatsoever - just static icons.

    Jelly Bean OS is really nifty too. Yesterday I googled directions to a restaurant on my home PC, and when I checked the Google Now app on my phone it inferred my next actions from my search history and showed me a weather forecast as well as GPS directions to the restaurant with an ETA adjusted for traffic density. Nifty stuff.

    I'm very wary of Apple's vendetta against Google as well. They're trying to reinvent the wheel and it's going to be an uphill battle. Their new mapping and GPS app for example - I hear it's got beautiful maps and decent GPS but what's missing is the decade of metadata Google has built up with reviews and suggestions and streetview.

    TL;DR - it's an expensive purchase and you should do your homework. Think about what you're trying to accomplish, how you accomplish those things, and whether you'll be happy with the phone in the long run in case you sign a multi-year contract.
    Last edited by djbriandamage; 09-07-2012 at 03:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Activated Node Eric's Avatar
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    Oh gosh, what weather widget is that?

    Waiting for a working Jelly Bean rom is killing me, I almost regret not getting a Nexus.

  9. #9
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    I have two weather widgets on my homescreen.

    The 24 hour line graph at the bottom is AIX Weather Widget. Can't live without it. Many weather apps have an hourly weather screen but no other has it on a widget. There's no more intuitive way to know the weather at a glance.

    At the very top of my screen I created three weather-related text widgets with Minimalistic Text. One shows the current temperature in celsius, one describes the conditions (e.g., "partly cloudy"), and one shows today's high and low. In the top corners I configured two more widgets, one showing the battery percentage followed by either "USB" or "AC" depending on how\whether it's being charged, and one showing either the WiFi SSID I'm connected to or "N/A" if I'm just on cellular data. You can do some zany stuff like put the text sideways or colour the fonts, and with the paid version you can output any system variable as text (e.g., for upcoming appointments or last number dialed).

    Both these widgets work with all versions of Android from 2.2 to 4.1 and have free and paid versions.

    You can't do this stuff on iOS! My phone widgets show me a ton of information that is relevant to me without having to launch a single fullscreen app.
    Last edited by djbriandamage; 10-07-2012 at 03:35 PM.

  10. #10
    I do run a custom firmware but primarily because it gives me much better battery life - and iOS devices do much better in terms of battery life than Android devices (on average, my iP4S would go for a week on a single charge,

  11. #11
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    I've been told that the iPhone 4 has much better battery life than the 4s. My coworker who has owned both a 4s and a Galaxy Nexus says the battery life is comparable (i.e., they're both lousy).

  12. #12
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    edit nvm 10 char

  13. #13
    I would recommend waiting for the new Windows Phone. After switching to Windows Phone 7 I can never see myself going back to Android.

  14. #14
    iPhone 5 will coming in October, waiting it, or choose Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I thinks iPhone 4s has a little behind than other popular smart phone.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    I often find the best answer when asked is simply "not IPhone".

    You are choosing to trust your phone will have fundamental failings and the right to pay more.

    But apple fans be apple fans so I won't labour the point.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousOrange View Post
    I would recommend waiting for the new Windows Phone. After switching to Windows Phone 7 I can never see myself going back to Android.
    I would love to hear your rationale for this. I was seriously considering a Windows Phone 7 but the lack of apps turned me off. I'm reasonably satisfied with my Android but am very open to trying a Windows Phone next time. What do you like about the platform?

  17. #17
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    I suppose this doesn't really answer your question but we (me and the wife) just changed phones after holding ~3 years with some old pre-smartphone shit. We both went for the SE XPeria Mini Pro.

    It goes for 150 euros now, it has a real keyboard and can upgrade to android 4... It does everything we want from a phone to do and is the best choice for the price, in my opinion. I do recommend it, but then again if you are looking in bleeding edge tech and price is not a problem, this won't be of much help.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Here's some advice from someone who used an iPhone for ages (3G, 4, 4S) before moving to a Galaxy Note: the entire "big open Android platform" thing really doesn't mean a lot. Yes, you can install a bunch of custom ROMs etc blah blah blah, but for the most part unless it's updating the OS to a later version (and Android OS updates land at a glacial rate, if at all - it took ages for my Note to get updated to ICS) I can't see what the fuss is all about. It's a lot of effort to screw around with it.
    The charm of the Nexus devices is that they're on Google's update track (or childishly simple to put there), which means quick updates. My Galaxy Nexus is on 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and has been for a few weeks now. They're even going to give, or have given, the Nexus S (the previous Nexus phone) an update to 4.1.1.

    I'm very happy with my Galaxy Nexus, but then again, I've always had Android smartphones. I'm not one for Apple phones, so I can't really comment on whether or not you should get an iPhone. However, if you want to get an Android, get a Nexus, they're generally awesome.

    Cons to the Nexus: It's large. It barely fits in jeans with really small pockets. I can't comfortably use it with only one hand, and I have very large hands (the notification bar is hard to reach). I mean, it is possible to use it with one hand, but it's not what you want. Contrast this to my previous phone, an HTC Legend, which fit in my hand easily and was a joy to use single handedly. Really, this is a big phone.

    The camera is not exceptional, but passable. I have a camera for real photos, the camera on the GNexus is good enough for those instant snaps and what not. There isn't any noticable shutter lag, so that's good. On the plus side, it being only 5 megapixel means the pictures aren't that large. It's good enough, but I'd still use my compact for my holiday snaps.

    The rear cover feels a little flimsy just under the camera assembly. You can push it and it gives way about half a millimeter. Not serious, but I'm not used to it coming from an unibody aluminium phone.

    The dock and car dock are very expensive, and there aren't any decent knock-offs on Deal Extreme.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    The charm of the Nexus devices is that they're on Google's update track (or childishly simple to put there), which means quick updates. My Galaxy Nexus is on 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and has been for a few weeks now. They're even going to give, or have given, the Nexus S (the previous Nexus phone) an update to 4.1.1.
    I like this as well, but it's a sad state of affairs that we had to buy a specific handset just to get updates reliably. iPhones don't have this issue whatsoever.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    I like this as well, but it's a sad state of affairs that we had to buy a specific handset just to get updates reliably. iPhones don't have this issue whatsoever.
    That's a specific handset as well.

    It's basically the same thing between the two vendors (Apple and Google), only Google allows other people to make phones using their software. If you want one of their phones, the trade-off is you don't know how long the phone will be supported. What you gain is control over what kind of phone you get.

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