iPhone 4S fails to outdo Android competitors


All fanboyism aside, it’s quite clear how the newly announced iPhone 4S stacks up against the horde of Android smartphones currently out there. I’m leaving all my personal opinions about both sides out of this one. Apple typically highlights many hardware specs at their keynotes and today’s was no different. Since they talked up their hardware features so much, I figured I should compare the iPhone 4S’ offerings to that of existing Android smartphones. Let’s get right into it and let the facts clear up Apple’s shroud of fake mysticism about their new iPhone.

  • Dual-core A5 CPU – Android phones like the Motorola Atrix 4G and T-Mobile G2x have been sporting dual-core chips since the start of 2011, so it’s not revolutionary like many might think
  • Dual-core graphics” – I think this is just a play on words by Apple. Truth is, the same dual-core CPU found in the Atrix and G2x (Nvidia Tegra 2) features an 8-core GPU. I feel Apple likes to use terms that no one has used just to bring it to the consumer’s attention, which don’t get me wrong, is great marketing, but the truth is it’s not something new…starting to see a pattern?
  • World Phone – The iPhone 4S is a world phone, which means that it can switch between GSM and CDMA networks, allowing people like Sprint and Verizon users to roam on GSM networks internationally. Various Droids including the Droid 3 and Incredible 2 have had this capability since their launch this past summer
  • 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture – The HTC EVO 4G came out more than a year ago and it has an 8-megapixel camera (pictured) . 1080p HD video recording was first seen on the T-Mobile G2x, which again was released back in Q1 of this year. Now, I will admit that the iPhone 4S’ camera is a lot better than those on the phones I just mentioned. In fact, it may even be better than the ones found on more recent Android devices like the Galaxy S II. So I’ll give them that. Apple’s camera and optics technology is very impressive and is probably the one hardware feature that trumps Android offerings. However, with the release of the HTC Amaze 4G due next week, that may soon change
  • Design – It’s the same design as the original iPhone 4 (nothing has changed on the aesthetic front with the 4S), but the keynote presenter kept pointing out how revolutionary the design really was…how thin it is, how light it is…Well, I hate to break it to you but the Galaxy S II is actually thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4/4S (pictured). (8.5 mm vs. 9.3 mm thick and 116 g vs. 140 g, respectively)
  • Siri – I gotta give them props here though, Siri is indeed a well executed feature. It really does take voice commands to the next level. I think this is the one thing that 4S buyers can actually use to debate against Android peeps. Hopefully Google will have an answer for Siri soon
  • Battery life – iPhones do have better battery life than Android phones, but it comes at a price. Android phones use up battery faster because there’s a lot more going on in the software side of things. Android is a lot more fancy with various animations and graphical transitions. Things like widgets and background data are very important and useful features that Android users love. Unfortunately, these features come at the cost of battery life…so it’s basically a push here. It all depends on what’s more important to you…having a phone with a limited UI with better battery life, or having a more flashy phone with lower battery life. Honestly though, I’d rather have the latter because battery life can be extended through various means, but you can’t change an OS’ experience that easy
So basically, the point I’m trying to make here is that the iPhone 4S announcement was presented in a way that made the phone seem as if its new features are revolutionary. They spoke as if the new enhancements were state-of-the-art and industry leading. The truth is, many Android competitors have had said features in their devices for quite a while now. I don’t mind that Apple has made these enhancements, but please don’t make it seem like you’ve developed something completely new because you haven’t. I know they don’t explicitly state that they did, but that sure is what they made it sound like. Now, all that’s left to do is wait and see what Google and Samsung have to offer in the Nexus Prime and calculate how much catching up Apple will have with their next iPhone.
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