These past two months have been really heavy on new smartphone announcements. Two days ago, Apple announced the iPhone 5s and 5c; the previous week at IFA, we saw the Galaxy Note 3 and Xperia Z1. Other, smaller manufacturers – LG, Acer and Xiomi – have been introducing their own flagship phones as well. With all these announcements, a good fraction of smartphone owners have made their mind to upgrade their devices to the latest and greatest. We are here to discuss with you which is your next smartphone, and why.
I really have no strict “X platform only, forever and ever” policy like some people do; I don’t mind shifting to a different platform if it offers better features. It is just that for the year 2011, and now 2013, I believe iOS is ahead of Android in two key areas: a higher-quality apps and media ecosystem, and absolutely stellar hardware. Despite Eric Schmidt’s old claim of developers going Android-first, the majority of high-quality apps still come to iOS first. Good recent examples include VSCOcam, Mailbox, and Yahoo! Weather.
iPhone 5s is the biggest “S” iPhone leap so far. Besides the standard 2x bump in general performance, it comes with a ‘motion co-processor’ that will give birth to a whole new genre of exciting health and fitness tracking apps, a significantly improved camera system, and a fingerprint scanner embedded right into the home button. Its camera alone makes it a worthy upgrade from my currently-owned iPhone 4s.
The only other phone that seems close to it in image quality is the Sony Xperia Z1. From the outset, it may appear as if Sony is still waging the megapixel war, but they mentioned repeatedly in their keynote announcement that the phone is using hardware tech taken straight from their Cybershot division.
Then there’s the LG G2, which definitely ranks among the latest flagships based on its killer specs, especially given the success of Nexus 4 that has had a positive effect on how LG devices are perceived by the masses now, along with the likelihood of the upcoming Nexus 5 being a variant of the G2. Though LG’s software customization of Android that the device will ship with is dismal, to say the least, and the hardware design seems to be nowhere close to what we saw in case of the Nexus 4.
I will wait for the final reviews on iPhone 5s and Xperia Z1 before I make my absolute final decision. The rest of the crop has deal-breaking features that just don’t click with me anymore: the HTC One’s camera is mediocre; the TouchWiz customization in Galaxy S4 is just repulsive; the Galaxy Note 3 just might be a little too big, and the iPhone 5c is just a recycled iPhone 5, essentially.
That’s it for me. Now it is your turn. If you are upgrading your phone soon, which one are you going for, and why?