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back to article Ten... Androids to outshine the iPhone 4S

Yes folks, it’s that time again when across the land otherwise rational and even sensible adults feel the need to whip themselves into a frenzy over the pending arrival of the latest iPhone. To be honest, I find the whole charade rather entertaining and have taken to sauntering over to the Trafford Centre come launch day, …

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Anonymous Coward

"To be honest, I find the whole charade rather entertaining and have taken to sauntering over to the Trafford Centre come launch day, grabbing a cup of coffee and a sticky bun, pulling up a chair and making fun of the twerps lined up outside the Apple Store opposite."

Queuing is a bit sad but going out of your way to watch people queuing - that's a whole new level.

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WTF?

Quite...

I think we need an official term for this kind of silly writing[1]. Just as anyone who dates to contemplate buying an Apple product for any reason is labelled a "Fanboy", or more likely "Fanboi" by the terminally silly, we need a word for the people who hate all things Apple. Other than the obvious more vulgar ones, of course...

[1] Not to mention the lack of proofreading.

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You sir are a genius..... sounds like a perfect Youtube vid..... Sweeping shots of the queues, and right at the front on the other side someone sat having a coffee and snack and asking them awkward questions.

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Coat

You've ruined my plans

I was all set to enjoy a cup of tea and a bacon buttie (sticky bun? pfff.) in the cafe next door. Watching him watching them...

Now I just feel silly.

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And pretty much sums up the rest of the article on that statement alone...

Droid, as the name suggests - I thought apple fanboys were bad.

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Buying an ipad on the first day is sad but being the first in the queue and then videoing the blue tshirts as they funnel your credit card to the tills is a whole new level. Fortunately though, it means we can get our fix of braindead consumerist sheeple without having to leave the house.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5ZAnPDHLY4

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Happy

"we need a word for the people who hate all things Apple"

Sane, rational, commonsensical, realist, pragmatist, intelligent... there are many more I reckon.

Let the downvotes commence...

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Anonymous Coward

There is already a name; fandroids. They are just as sad and pathetic as the "fanbois" and in many ways worse. All the thing that they accuse "fanbois" of doing they do themselves and worse, perhaps bar queueing...

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Unhappy

@AC 22:18 GMT

Nope, that one doesn´t work... Personally I dislike Google just as much as Apple (and their respective fanbases), and I know I'm far from being the only person who thinks that way.

I've found that, in many ways, the most raging Fanbois and Fandroids (the extreme ones) can be compared to religious extremists and annoying, self-righteous atheists, respectively.

Without any other sane options (WebOS is dead and Win Phone is Win Phone) I'll have to keep my aging Nokia alive well over its expiration date...

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Be honest: A huge chunk of the people lined up to buy an iPhone would never consider buying any other phone, even if it were better both technically and aesthetically at the same price (which several, though by no means all, of the phones on this list are). It's that kind of blind devotion to a product that causes people to sneer at Apple cultists.

Don't get me wrong: some people have looked at several options and decided they like the iPhone best out of the ones they tried. I question thier judgement (mainly because I find IOS to be a pain in the arse to use compared to Android), but I don't put them in the same category as fanbois. But when you refuse to even look at other options because 'all the cool kids have this one', as many iPhone owners do, I am going to think less of you and I think I'm right to do so in that case.

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Facepalm

Foolish critique. Can't you spot a joke?

It's humorous writing. The guy doesn't actually spend his lunchtimes as described. You're supposed to chuckle at the image, in the same way as you're supposed to chuckle at the witty similes ("a bit like saying you’d rather date Beyoncé than Rihanna because she has the slightly better singing voice", "crisper than freshly picked lettuce that’s been dipped in liquid nitrogen", etc.)

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FAIL

Actually, I choose to stay with the iOS system, because the OS updates happen on the day they are released, it runs iOS5 which is the most developed for OS and all my apps just work, without the need to root the device, which is more hassle these days than I'm willing to do. None of the phones in the article tempt me for these reasons, and you make no mention of battery life, Camera quality or screen pixel density, (not to mention the giant leap forward for AI, Siri) none of which the iPhone 4S have zero competition in. The A5 CPU in the 4S eats the competition for breakfast, which will probably change by the time the iPhone5 is released, but by then I'll be ready to upgrade. Whilst the iPhone 4S is an evolution of the iPhone 4, considering it is running twice as fast, with 7 times as fast graphics (and iOS actually has games which will make use of this last point, unlike Android) it's a pretty big upgrade.

The only Android phone I could consider is the Nexus S, but considering the relative power of the iPhone 4S compared to it coupled with the poor battery life and display and the fact that the NFC doesn't even work in the UK, I'll pass thanks. Out of all the phones you selected to review, only the Experia Arc holds a candle to the design of the iPhone4 (they seem to have thought about design at least) but it has some rubbish overlay interface and you can't even update it!!

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Trollface

Optional title? Wow!

All very nice handsets, but there is one thing that stops me buying an Android handset: Android upgradability. A vast number of handsets are locked down by the manufacturer and cannot be upgraded to the latest/greatest version of Android (whatever the current flavour may be) or cannot be upgraded because they are too slow.. In contrast, the wife's iPhone 3G (yes, a 2nd gen unit) is currently running iOS 4 (4.21 IIRC).. Okay, no iOS 5, but still the unit is ancient in phone terms and yet still works beautifully with this OS. Any Android phones around that can boast the same thing?

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Umm yes, my original T-Mobile G1 and my 16 month old HTC Desire are all running the latest version of Android (tablet version aside).

That's the great thing about android, you can generally hack away to your hearts content.

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G1?

I'm still running the first generation Android handset on Android 2.3 and apart from the odd slowdown, it is faster than it was when new.

Admittedly the upgrades beyond 1.6 were nothing to do with either the hardware manufacturers or T-Mobile and Cyanogen is no longer supporting it (though there are still some modders who are).

While the mobile operators continue to butcher the phones they offer on their networks, the upgrades are at the mercy of both the hardware manufacturer releasing an update and then the network operators 'customising' and releasing that update, we won't see much in the way of updates unless they come from the custom ROM community. That is why the Nexus phones (which run vanilla Android) and presumably the Jesus phones too, will always have better upgrade prospects.

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@swisstoni

That's the problem with Android. You generally /have/ to hack away to your heart's content.

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I think the point he's making is the manufacturer supporting the update rather than having to hack his phone. I have read plenty of complaints on these very forums from users complaining that the manufacturer won't be updating their handset from 2.1 or 2.2 to 2.3 etc. This isn't an Android problem per se but a manufacturer one. However it doesn't help sell the phones to those on the fence.

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Stop

Not upgradeable?

Pah! I got an Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) last Christmas, running 2.1.

Within 24 hours of getting it, it was unlocked, rooted and running a custom 2.2 ROM.

I've just put Cyanogen mod on it, so it's running 2.3.4.

Very upgradeable indeed!

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Pint

Android hardware isn't the problem

CyanogenMod 7.03 works better on the ZTE Blade (600Mhz) than the rubbish bloatware Orange released on the handset.

Post the incorrect memory configuration on the HTC Desire, most phones with unlocked boot-loaders will run the latest version of Android 2.3.x very comfortably and unless Sandwich suddenly requires a minimum quad-core 2Ghz processor with 2GB of RAM, many current devices would be capable of running it and may end up doing so, if Google return to open sourcing the code if it is any good, but that is a big IF.

These same phones will continue to be upgraded by the developer community for a long time just to show that it can be done if nothing else, whereas users will get bored of their 3G's and want to move on, if they don't just use them as a phone, but there is no denying they had a good run.

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I've also hacked and upgraded my Galaxy to the latest releases - but its not exactly straightforward and its also pretty risky.

As much as I love using android, Google really should force the manufacturers to either update quickly, or make it a lot more straightforward to do yourself.

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Upgradability

The problem with having to 'hack' a handset is that 99% of people have no idea how to and hence don't.

Upgradability 'is' Androids biggest weakness - unless you have a Google Nexus (I do) you are likely to be left with an outdated OS sooner rather than later. The manufacturers only get cash for selling handsets they have no reason to want to upgrade the phone OS only the phone. Apple mean while get a healthy profit from selling apps so they have a reason to upgrade old handsets.

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Stop

Well, that's you. Well done. The real question is: "It it more or less difficult than opening iTunes and clicking on update?" Expecting the general population to have a degree in CS (or even the interest) to be able to update their phone in this way when Apple has been making it look easy since 2007 is living in crazy land. These are probably the same people who couldn't understand why everybody else didn't love Symbian and Wimo. As HTC's recent problem around security have proven, the ability for everyone to update when a new threat is found is really critical, and something that Android currently doesn't possess barring those that bought Nexuses. With iOS5 looking particularly strong and filling in the features that have been missing like Delta, OTA upgrades, WiFi sync and notification centre, I can't see why you wouldn't go iOS if you didn't just want to tinker with your phone.

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Not a big fan of Apple myself..

But to be honest, none of these phones can compete in price with the cheapest version of the new iPhone 4S. Unless you want to start comparin ZTE Skate v the iPhone..

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Anonymous Coward

The prices quoted here were for outright purchase, not how much they cost when you tie yourself into a 24 month contract. On a contract most of them will be less than £100 if not free.

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@Belfunk

"But to be honest, none of these phones can compete in price with the cheapest version of the new iPhone 4S."

I've no flag to wave for any side, and don't particularly care about mobile phones, however the Apple UK store lists the starting price of the 4S as £ 499 - more expensive than all the phones listed here for which a price is given.

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Comparing Apples with...

The cheapest 4S is £499 according to the Apple website. I think most of these will come in comfortably under or around that that!

The headline price in the Apple keynote is for contract-subsidised phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Also...

You probably could compare the ZTE Skate to the iPhone. With an unbiased judge, and including criteria such as call quality, it'd be anyone's race.

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Silly me

Felt for the marketing trick :) I really thought for a moment that you'd be able to get an iPhone 4s for £150 :/ Well.. if Amazon can afford to do it with Kindle Fire, then why can't Apple?

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@Belfunk

Kindle Fire ain't a phone.

You need to compare apples with, er Apples.

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Just as long as it isn't done by the (i)Gadget Show - I still haven't forgiven them for the iPhone "winning" a challenge because Pollyanna took too long to decide what dress she was going to change into...

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Anonymous Coward

@Belfunk

Well the hardware costs several times that to buy as pats, before assembly, and selling phones for loads less than they cost to manufacture is a good way to burn through all your money and run your business into the ground. Apart from that it's a brilliant idea.

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Anonymous Coward

Read between the lines...

That was actually their way of saying it hadn't won, but they couldn't vote against the provider of the challenge sponsorship money. Things like that only influence people who aren't in the know... unlike the rest of us who only watch that show to win the prizes for sell on eBay.

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Linux

Good 'ol unbiased Auntie. They absolutely love their apple gear and cannot help but tell us all how great they think it is.

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@Kindle Fire ain't a phone

All that crap from LG, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Google can only sell better than iPhone if it costs less than $200, that's what original comment about Kindle Fire was going to highlight. $550 for Samsung Galaxy S2? Are you joking?

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Journalistic licence

You can't actually see the Apple store from a coffee shop in the Trafford Center (the gf works there so I'm more familiar with that temple to consumerism than I really want to be) so I think that's a statement for effect rather than a literal truth.

Every time there is an Apple launch you will see local hacks or news crews taking pics etc and I guess the Reg's man goes along for the same reason.

It's still a fair comment though, I walked past that same store on the day of the iPad2 launch and the saw the queue and my only thought was "cretins". I mean seriously what kind of grown man stands in line to buy a gadget?

I stood in line at an HMV to buy the Joshua Tree LP many moons ago but I was only 14 at the time!

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One difference being:

I still have my Joshua Tree LP, and it's as good as it ever was.

Thanks, by the way; you inspired me to put it on again... ;)

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As a fresh faced 21 year old I queued up outside HMV on Market Street when the Stone Roses "The Second Coming" was released. That was a mistake.

As for grown men being sad for queueing to buy newly released tech, it's their money and their time, you might not like it, but who are you to judge? You complain about it on a 'forum' (of sorts) that is squarely aimed at geeks and nerds who spend their evenings debating the benefits of rooting their phone and trolling each other! When all things are considered, it's downright pathetic. Hey, I'm just as sad. I'm here too, chiding you for doing it instead of just ignoring you all...

Icon is for me.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm reading this at 02:22 and going to the HTC Beats Audio party later and I have to be up for work in 3.5 hours.

I think I need help

Oi, TheRegister, update your mobile app, it's rubbish

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Joke

24 hours

Within 24 hours of buying my own Joshua Tree LP, it was unlocked, skimmed, jailbroken, and reloaded with the latest Justin Bieber tunes.

You're doing it all wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with you the above

But Samsung Galaxy S II in 6th what is this so called tech report on .... too much coffee sadly watching sad people maybe

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Meh

Popularity contest

I wouldn't fret too much, the Reg rated the Galaxy S2 the best phone on the planet a couple of months ago and we should all know by now that when something becomes too popular it starts getting slated instead.

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Meh

You can get a 'droid that matches an iPhone....

...and I despise the apple love/apple hate commenttards but this article does nothing to boost the profile of Android

If it had been headed 'A list of nearly-but-not-quite droid phones and also the ZTE' it would have been more accurate.

Why list a number of phones that are the same price as an iPhone but don't compare, and say they are missing x, y or z otherwise they would be great.

I like the Monte Carlo though...thats a totally fair suggestion for people who want a smartphone but dont want to pay Apple prices, ditto the Wildfire, assuming its not unusably slow for angry birds etc

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Er... where are the 10 phones that outshine the iPhone 4GS?

Not trying to be an Apple apologist, but that was a pretty crappy list. Quite a few of them aren't even vaguely iPhone competitors, and many are referred to in the list as being "underpowered" or "makes the text look blurry"...

Personally, I think that Apple could have done a lot more to temper the loony expectations of the media and tecchies, as the media reactions have been entirely predictable. Had - for no particularly good reason - Apple introduced exactly the same phone, but with more iPad 2-like tapered sides and somehow-different back, and called it the iPhone 5, then most of the pundits would have been pretty happy with that.

The fact that they followed the pattern of the 3GS, kept a perfectly good form factor (as they do in all their products when they get to it) - which means you don't need to buy new sets of accessories, docks, etc. - and produced a phone that won't alienate people who've bought the iPhone 4 recently (but will be a huge step up for the 3GS owners coming to the end of their 2-year contracts) seems to have been taken as a sign of weakness.

As more considered voices have been saying for a long time now, it's the ecosystem that matters, not the individual devices. In the past, handset makers didn't upgrade the SW on their existing products - they wanted you to buy a new device every year. Apple is happy for you to buy a new device every 2 years, and keeps updating it as they go along.

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Underpowered?

Only because recent launches will see dual-core phones running 1.5Ghz.

For all except the skate I think you'd be more than happy with the processor speed.

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The difficulty I have with the iphone 4 and now 4S is ..

its size and shape ... TOO boxy .. not curvy enough (it does not feel comfortable to hold for any length of time) and the screen (whilst very detailed and sharp etc) is not physically big enough for my old eyes.

So its not enough for me to part with cash for an upgrade ... now the afore-rumoured iphone 5 specs (curvy back ... much bigger screen) sounded much better for me .. Apple really need a new physical design and another spec bump to creep ahead of the crowded 'droid collection ... software ecosystem even with iCloud won't be enough to stop a market percentage decline (even with relative price cuts and 3 different handset ranges). Actual sales will obviously go up and up anyway because the whole market is growing as smartphones become the standard phone to buy (or get "free").

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SEXPlay

Can be had for less than £200 unlocked now if you can find one in stock.

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Indeed - el reg needs to check their pricing. SE have made MASSIVE price cuts on this one. Saw it somewhere for £175.

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Trouble is...

The OS and support is sh1te.

I tried an HTC desire before I went iphone.

Had an issue, went to Vodafone, speak to HTC, HTC, not us google, google said, we don't support it except via groups...

Compare that, to one call to Apple.

Android could make me a coffee in the morning, run me a shower, warm the car up and drive me to work, but until they fix the broken support model, it's always going to be second place behind a unified support model with everyone pointing the other way, I want to like android, I really do but when it doesn't work, then someone needs to step up. At the moment the networks, manufactureres and google won't. So comparing one closed phone OS with another, I'll go with the one with the best support.

Plus there is the small factor of it suffering from the Porsche Boxster Syndrome, it's ok but everyone knew you had it because you were too cheap to buy a 911, Android everyone knows that the only reason you bought one, was you were too cheap to buy an Iphone....

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Almost, but not quite

I was almost agreeing with you, up until your preposterous 'mine is more expensive, thus both it and I are better than you and yours' last paragraph.

And, now I think, I'll counter your original point with - when I had an issue with my Desire, the network provider were unsurprisingly useless, but the HTC UK support and service people were the nicest, most useful bunch of tech-support people I have ever dealt with.

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FAIL

If you're going to look at it that way...

Then if you have an iPhone, it means you're showing you wasted a bunch of money.. on a phone.

Yeah, you're not helping your case.

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