Monday, June 24, 2013

Changing Smartphone

The last time I was stuck with making a gadget choice was in buying my next camera. After reviewing several models of compact digital cameras my choice ended with the Canon Powershot S100 which I got at a bargain auction price far less than the retail price. It has become my default camera whereas my iPad was used regularly before its purchase.

I had been toying with changing my 26 months old Galaxy Ace not so much because of age factor but because I was fed up with its slow load up time of the installed apps. The current haze had me locked indoor so I went about checking the most popular phone models in the Malaysian markets and what reviewers say about them. The choices narrow down to these models:

  • LG Nexus 4 - 3G compliant, older technology, low internal memory of 16 Gb max, no microSD expansion slot.
  • iPhone 5 - 4G LTE compliant, only 1 Gb RAM, pretty boring with only 4.0" display, pricey, 16/32/64 Gb internal memory, no microSD slot.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 - 4G LTE compliant, 2 Gb RAM, like iPhone 5 with 16/32/64 Gb internal memory BUT with microSD expansion slot and 5" display. Major complaint of cheap body built made of polycarbonate.
  • HTC One - not as popular as iPhone or Samsung but emerging as a phone with great workmanship and aluminum body, 4G LTE compliant, 4.7" display, 32 or 64 Gb internal memory and 2 Gb RAM but no microSD slot. 
  • HTC Butterfly - like its One brother but only 16 Gb internal memory but with microSD slot to 32 Gb. 5" display screen. Also 4G LTE compliant.
  • LG Optimus G Pro - 4G LTE compliant, 2 Gb RAM, 32 Gb internal memory and expansion slot to 64 Gb microSD card, larger 5.5" display and equally large size body dimension. Largest of the 6 models reviewed.

Nexus 4 and Optimus G Pro were eliminated because of technology and size issues. Butterfly was knocked off because of internal memory issue that can affect apps loading time, a big issue for me. This leaves just 3 contenders:

iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

iPhone 5 is safe as I'm already familiar with the Apple iOS6 on my iPad but I find the 4.0" screen now too small and the apps overly crowded on the screen. But I like the seamless and fast switching between apps.

In the Samsung Galaxy S4 I have issues on plasticky built and my experiences with 4 Samsung cellphones so far. Not exactly very pleased with Samsung phones.

HTC One. I have no experience whatever with this brand so I have to trust third party reviews and my gut feel. Among the 3 manufacturers HTC is the smallest player in the smartphone market but catching up quickly. I like the reviews on its exquisite aluminum body and crisp screen display and great audio speakers. I am a sucker for looks besides performance. With its Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core 1.7 GHz processor it runs really fast. Therefore the One meets my expectation. The final hurdle is to hand hold and test out a physical unit soon. Hopefully the One is really going to be the one. Meanwhile here are pictures of the 3 finalists, courtesy

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