Last week, we had a rare Friday post in which we attempted to solicit your opinion regarding what phone we should buy.
While only an incredibly small number of readers gave their advice (by comment or poll), we did learn something from this. Additionally, it gave us time to read some reviews and reflect. Here are our revised thoughts after feedback:
Never in the running
First, it is important to indicate that the iPhone 4 was never really in the running. Regular readers of the blog will know that our opinion of Apple has soured recently — we were unlikely to choose to splash out on one of their products. However, Apple is also the current trendsetter in the smartphone arena and the maker of our current phone.
It seemed wrong not to include them.
What we found, of course, is that Apple’s mobile platform has no advantages over the competition. They are better marketers, and produced their platform first, but none of those things is actually important to the end user. Additionally, the iPhone 4 is nearly a year old.
Why pay top dollar for last year’s model?
Reflecting on the contestants
This left us with two real contestants — the HTC HD7 and Samsung Nexus S. In our five-minute test-runs, the HD7 left us more impressed, but are they all flash and no sizzle?
We had the HD7 as beating the Nexus handily when it came to its enclosure, last week.
Afterwards, we received a couple of trustworthy opinions singing the praises of Samsung’s phones — they are tough, well-made, and tend not to break. We also read reviews of the two phones, which suggest that the quality of the Samsung device might be superior to the HD7.
Specifically, the HD7 is also a plastic case — with a metal ring around it. It is that ring that gives it its heft, but the case itself is rather cheap and flimsy.
The second advantage of the HD7 is that the Microsoft-produced interface is incredibly smooth and responsive. It is clearly ahead of both Android and iOS there.
But for how long?
You would have to be a fool to think that the people at Google are not trying the Microsoft device, impressed with it, and making improvements to their own software. It will not be too long before a software update is available, and the Nexus S is a match.
One thing that we did not look at was the hardware.
We are disappointed to find that the pieces that make up the HTC HD7 are an almost exact match for the HTC HD2 … which was released a year ago.
What were we saying about the iPhone?
The Nexus S, on the other hand, packs some pretty impressive — and not dated — hardware inside its case. The video linked to at the end of last week’s article had it beating the HD7 soundly on every single task.
With all this in mind, it seems as though our main cause for preferring the HD7 — its seeming build quality and zippy responsiveness — was an illusion.
The phone feels well-made, but on review, that is simply not the case. A Nexus S — particularly a Nexus S with a case on it — will likely be more resilient than the HTC device.
And the responsiveness strikes us as a temporary advantage. We intend to have the phone for several years, and expect this will be fixed in a software update somewhere along the line.
The Nexus S, however, has some serious advantages — the hardware specs, the range of applications that can be played on it, and the security of the device, to name just three. It was enough to sell us.
So, boys and girls, welcome … the Nexus S!