Monday, 7 November 2011

Droid! Droid! Droid! Apple! Apple! Apple! Which Team Are You?

Do you ever get the feeling that technology has taken over your life? Do you ever have that heart-stopping moment when you think you left your phone charging on your bed and have the realization that you will be without your phone all day long? Yes, I bet you have. That is what technology has done to us. It makes us need it every second and feel as though we may not survive the day without it. Is that bad? Some would say yes, but nothing is better than realizing you didn't leave it on your bed, and it’s in your pocket.

The more popular technologies that have hit the market, and continue to every four to six months, are the gadgets that enter the cell phone market. Well, they aren’t really cell phones anymore. Let’s use the proper term: smartphones. They think. They respond. They predict. ‘Smart’ is the right word.

What’s the first phone you think of what I say ‘smartphone’? An iPhone? A Droid? Some other phone that is not as popular but still amazing? If you are part of the first two groups, then we have some talking to do.
The iPhone made by Apple is quite possibly one of the most popular smartphones out there. The way it looks, the way it works and the way it keeps users connected only increases its popularity. But, the same can be said for the Verizon Droid models. I specifically say “Verizon”, because the term “Droid” is specifically owned by Verizon, so I must be completely accurate.

Today’s adventure into technology will compare two of the most popular phones in the category of “Apple” and “Droid”. Which team you are on now is not as important as which team you MAY be on after this article.

Droid RAZR vs. iPhone 4S

First, the body. The RAZR is bigger, thinner and weighs less but by small numbers.

RAZR:                5.15 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches; 4.48 ounces
iPhone:                4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches; 4.9 ounces

The difference doesn’t add too much of a difference, although you may feel the weight difference if you held both in your hands. That’s very important for some and not so for others. Depends on the user just as everything else does.

Second, the processor. This is where it gets very technical. The RAZR has a Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor clocked at a frequency of 1.2 Ghz Cortex A9 dual core processor with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The iPhone 4S is powered with A5 SoC consisting of Cortex A9 dual core processor that has had a preliminary frequency clocked at 0.8 Ghz and a powerful PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
What does all that mean for you non-techies out there? It means the processor is faster for the RAZR. Does that mean the RAZR is faster than the iPhone? Some say no as the seamless motion from one program to the next is better than what the RAZR offers in terms of usability, but based on specifications, the RAZR wins. Also remember the iPhone 4S wins the comparison between graphical acceleration for both phones, no question.

Third, operating system. This is where people debate between phones, and it then becomes a preference decision. I can tell you that the RAZR has the Google Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system and that the iPhone 4S has the iOS 5 operating system. There really is no way of saying one is better than the other. Users of the Droid will say it’s better. Users of the Apple will say it’s better. There are features they may change on the interfaces they use from one phone to the next and other options they wish they had on another phone. This is a preference that only the user can name better or not.

Fourth, the display screen. The RAZR has a 4.3 inch, Super AMOLED qHD display, and the iPhone 4S has a 3.5 inch, IPS LCD display. The resolution for the first is maxed out at 960 x 540 with 256 pixels per inch while the iPhone maxes out at 640 x 960 with 326 pixels per inch. This shows that the iPhone may win in terms of pixels/resolution, but the RAZR does win in terms of the size of the screen.

Fifth, the camera. Both phones have an 8 megapixel rear camera with an LED flash. The difference comes with the front camera for both phones. The RAZR wins this category with a 2 megapixel front camera while the iPhone has VGA. But again, the iPhone has a custom ISP design that features face recognition used for applications like Facetime; a Hybrid IR filter and an auto white balance that the RAZR does not have. As for the video, both record in HD at 1080p with a resolution of 30 frames per second but by using the phones most agree the iPhone does record better video.
Well, that’s it. Those are the main important pieces of both phones.

So, the winner is ... drum roll please ... … … … …

You choose.

Going by spec is not the best way to determine which phone is better than another. It’s about the user.  If I pick up a Droid and use it for weeks, I will be able to tell you what I love about it, what I hate about it and what I would change. The same goes for any other phone like the 
iPhone. Numbers are not going to tell you about the actual user experience. So it’s up to you to make your decision.

Do I have an iPhone? Yes. Would I give it up to try a Droid? Probably not. It’s the user. Not the review that makes the decision.  

So, what team are you on? Droid or Apple?

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