As this week comes to a close, I wanted to touch on what will likely blow up in my face as a smart phone holy war due to competition, fanboyism, and so forth. The fact of the matter is learning how to pick the best smart phone is no different than any other device. It’s different strokes for different folks. Some people still, despite everything, swear by WebOS or the BlackBerry despite both of these options being considered dated immediately with every release due to Android and iOS eating their lunch right off the bat.
Best smart phone for the new user?
I cannot speak too much to Windows Phone 7 as my exposure has been generally limited. This being said, my first hands on impressions of this phone early on indicated to me that with all of the kinks worked out, this would be extremely simple for new users to get their heads around. Clear, concise tiles where you are within an app, a dynamic home screen — it’s pretty cool. Now on the negative side of things, like the iPhone or the Android OS when it first came out, it might be worthwhile to wait a bit before recommending this so we can be sure it’s totally ready for prime time.
This of course brings us to Android. It’s an interesting beast as the available skins certain manufacturers and carriers use make it difficult to nail down a specific flow to the Android OS. To me, Android is awesome. There is no question here. Google really outdid itself. But trying multiple phone demos with multiple people of all walks of life left me feeling like it’s handing a machine gun to a toddler. Sure, they can shoot it… but will they be able to hit anything? Too much phone + too many options = just too much.
And finally, there is the iPhone 4. The single biggest gripe above all other gripes is the AT&T network. Thankfully we will be seeing Verizon destroying AT&T’s iPhone hold here very soon. Finally! So once this happens, on the Verizon network, owning an iPhone will, indeed, be the most idiot proof device available. I mean seriously, it’s almost impossible to be confused using it. If an iPhone is confusing a person, they will be mesmerized with Android and best off sticking with a clamshell phone.
Best smart phone for the intermediate to advanced user?
If AT&T wasn’t a carrier I was “married to” by contract, and I wasn’t already invested in multiple iPhones, I’d be using Android for myself and iPhone for my wife via Verizon. It’s as simple as that. For those who are comfortable with smart phones, I think either Android and iPhone do very well. From an app perspective, I might be inclined to say that the Android apps tend to have more flexibility and are able to offer more cool stuff without as many restrictions. At the same time, folks might argue that the flow of the iPhone is just smoother, overall.
So if you’re an advanced smart phone enthusiast, I’d suggest trying out every Android phone your provider carries, plus giving the iPhone a good look over… once it’s offered by Verizon. Please, for the love of Pete — don’t use AT&T. Worst carrier signal quality I’ve ever used in my entire life. It’s horrid.