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Eric Thomas: Cell Phone Roundup — Which One Is Best?

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It’s November, and in this economy that means large corporations will stop firing you just long enough to beg you for whatever money you have left. Smart phones have been popular in recent years, and this year will be no different. Most years, smart phones are released in the beginning of the summer, but the Japanese tsunami affected the releases. Now that all the major players have released phones, I will help you sort it out. 

Let me start with this: PLEASE don’t get all “fan boy” on me. If you think the Uof M vs. MSU rivalry is bloody, you have never encountered the “Apple vs. Google” nerds. For the record, I have owned phones with both iOS and Android so I actually know what I am talking about when comparing the two. But if you know a ton of stuff about phones, fine. You are entitled to your opinion. I am writing this more for the people who still actually own flip phones (I swear, they exist). 

 Apple iPhone 4S
 
Have no friends? Good news, because you can buy one. With the new iPhone, your new friend is named Siri, a voice activated operating system. All of you people who were exhausted by touching a picture with your finger can finally rest a little easier.  Ask Siri questions like “where can I find a bar?” and Siri will point you where to drown your Christmas cheer.

Siri even has a sense of humor. If you ask: “Why am I so fat?” to her, she responds “I don’t know, I have often wondered about that myself”. PROS- Price! Yeah, believe it or not, iPhones are actually more affordable than some Android Models. Apple products are always cool and crazily innovative. CONS- 2 year obsolescence. New iPhones come out every year.

Apple continually updates iOS regardless of whether or not your phone can handle it, and there is no way to stop them from doing it. Also, there are a lot of people complaining on the internet that iPhone 4S has terrible battery life (thats saying something for iPhones that already have bad battery life). Apple has announced they will be releasing a patch for this problem.

Motorola Photon 4G

The latest thing in Android smart phones is “dual core” processors. The dual cores allow smart phones to move at absolutely blazing speed. This allows you to… uh… well… I don’t really know. There hasn’t really been a huge market for playing Crysis on your phone. I suppose its like back in the day when Windows PCs came out seemingly weekly and you wanted to get the biggest baddest one. This comes loaded with Android Gingerbread, and a kickstand.. because it gets tired I guess. PROS – Great battery life, 1080p camera (!) and its the Sprint successor of last years’ awesome Motorola Droid X. CONS – Not the latest verson of Android, much bulkier than other phones. Not much bad to say here.. cool phone.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The latest from Google. The Nexus line of phones always get the latest version of Android. This one is called “Ice Cream Sandwich” and has a ton of new features. Some are great, like Android Beam which allows you to “beam” information from one Android to another (makes those boozy number exchanges a snap). Some are really creepy, like Face Unlock, where you unlock your screen by smiling at your phone. Samsung and Google have made some great phones together, so don’t worry at all about leaping into this one.

The biggest complaint about the Android phones is it takes forever to get updates, and the Nexus line of phones erases that. PROS – Latest Android on what is basically Galaxy 2, plus cool features like panoramic photographs. CONS – Early Android builds (like all early OSs) are notoriously buggy. Sometimes its best to wait a couple of months after they come out before buying one of these.

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