I am part of a mobile phone enthusiast community called HowardForums.
In the Nexus One, there was a post regarding moving back to the iPhone 4. I felt uniquely qualified in responding given that I own both phones and I’ve been thinking about the two handsets a lot.
Here is the originating post by DaveTO:
I’ve got a Nexus One a couple of months ago after using the iPhone 3G and then the 3GS and I think my support for the Nexus one is dwindling. I am thinking of switching back to the iPhone (4).
Here are my reason in point form:
- I rely on Exchange email and the native android client (or any other Exchange client for Android) is crap! No threaded messages for Exchange. The alerts are completely broken. Try this on your phone, a message comes in to both Outlook and the N1, you read the message in Outlook but the alert does not clear on the N1… Annoying!
- Flash? Is it really that important? I could see it being a selling point, but I rarely surf the web on my device other than just getting a quick tid bit of information. I use apps, which brings me to my next point.
- Where are the apps? Skype client? Games? Why is it taking so long to produce so many games that are popular on the iPhone for the Android?
- Death grip? I don’t choke my phone when I use it.
- The screen is much clearer and brighter on the iPhone than the N1.
- Gadgets? Big deal..
- The headphones are horrible on the N1, no volume control!!! Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t (in picking up calls or pausing a track).
- The touch screen is kinda *****ty, sometimes you have to press really hard on it to get anywhere, other times you can click and click and nothing happens (you get a message saying something is stuck.. giving you an option to wait. Wait for what?? I thought this thing had a 1Ghz super processor??)
These are just some of the things that are causing me to lean towards going back to the iOS. I know it is more closed, but damn, look at the support in terms of developers. I know it might take some time for them to come around, but isn’t that what they said about the PS3 and it has been years and the Xbox 360 has been consistently beating it in sales.
I don’t think there is anything defective with my phone, I’ve reset everything a couple of times. I think the Android product has some great potential, but not right now and not on the N1.
Am I nuts? I already have a couple of people who want to buy my N1 for exactly what I paid.
Since I’ve been thinking about this too AND since I own both phones, I figured I was uniquely qualified to respond:
I own both an AT&T Nexus One, and I stood in line at the Toronto Downtown Apple store for 7½ hours on Canada launch day to purchase an unlocked iPhone 4 16GB.
It’s a tough call really—both phones are quite good, and I enjoy using both and I typically switch between the two of them. Here is where I stand at the moment.
I kind of share your reservations about the Nexus One. Here is how I net out.
In terms of hardware, the iPhone 4 makes the Nexus One feel like a last generation device. The screen is incredible, and the camera is the best I’ve ever used on a phone (although I’m sure some Nokias, in particular the N8, might rival it). For the buttons that are on the device, the iPhone 4 buttons provide much better tactile response. The speakerphone is also louder.
The antenna on the iPhone 4 does have a flaw in it (it’s well documented), but overall it works well. In some parts north of Toronto (Markham / Richmond Hill) I can totally drop the phone toEDGE just by bridging the contact with my finger. My Nexus One also suffers in these areas, but the connection is otherwise stable. Other than that, 3G coverage in the GTA is pretty awesome for both phones.
Now the Nexus One isn’t perfect. It has a crap capacitance screen that only handles two contact points with limited gesture support. The sensor rules it out as a gaming device. The Wi-Fi chip goes to sleep when the display turns off, rendering your background processes useless. The 512 MB of internal storage is really limiting if you install lots of apps (even with Froyo’s new move to SD storage feature).
The iPhone 4’s screen is pretty amazing—it’s like digital magazine paper. For those who haven’t seen it, definitely take a look—I was super-impressed at least.
The Nexus One’s screen is no sloucher though. I’ve used the Samsung Galaxy too and I have nothing but great praise for both handsets. Although the Galaxy is so lightweight, it feels like a toy.
In day-to-day use, I don’t notice much difference in terms of the displays. Small text is still legible, if a bit pixelated on the Nexus One. Web browsing and eReading still works (and I think the Nexus 1 provides a better browsing experience). In terms of outdoor performance, I thinkALL screens suck donkey balls.
I guess the software experience is where things differ.
I’d break it down to the following statement:
“iOS is all about having a finished and polished product. Android is about promise and potential. I like both.”
The iPhone typically feels more put-together—it’s very hassle free, but not very tweakable. I jailbroke the phone at 4.0.1, but next to Wi-Fi tethering and theming, I pretty much can’t change too much. Being a hacker-at-heart, I find the iPhone kind of disappointing in this regard.
As expected, I love experimenting with ROMs on my Nexus One. It’s super hacker friendly. I used to own a rooted HTC Magic, so I’ve gone from android 1.5, 1.5+HTC Sense, 2.1 and 2.2. In 18 months, it’s amazing how android has developed. I’m pretty stoked to see what they do now that Google hired Matias Duarte from Palm.
I agree that the Nexus One can be unresponsive at times, but I like its multitasking better than the iPhone—just seems more natural to me. I like having a dedicated menu and back button. The back button, in particular, allows me move backwards between apps. Perhaps some unresponsiveness is the price I pay for having all these background tasks.
I hate the notification system on the iPhone—It is intrusive and doesn’t scale (eventually it just stacks and I can’t make sense of it). The fact that it requires me to manually dismiss modal dialogues is pretty annoying. I really like android’s notification bar. It scales well, and I can choose when and where i want to check in.
I really miss the glowing trackball on my Nexus One.
I really have a beef with the iOS’s “multi-tasking” implementation. It seems break down to a bunch push notifications and small background tasks. I really want to run a persistent background process. I like having my twitter client on android check periodically, whereas on the iPhone, I have to always start the application. I like having Google Talk and PingChat! open at the same time. I like having real VoIP support with my chosen VoIP providers. It’s unfortunate that iOS’s multi-tasking implementation for VoIP doesn’t follow industry standards (UDP support).
From day-to-day use, I find that I don’t use my iPhone as much—because I always have to manually check into things. Perhaps I should use more services like Meebo, but I don’t like giving my credentials to 3rd party services (see my misgivings about Google below…LOL). I feel that I have a more ambient awareness when I use the Nexus One…sure I am bombarded with notifications from my background services, but at least I can choose when to check them…
That being said, the quality of the apps on the iPhone feel better. Siphon (a VoIP client) works much better than sipdroid (it seems more consistent). Applications seem to behave similarly. I even find the official Twitter client for iOS (formerly Tweetie) more thoughtful than the official Android client (which is probably one of the best apps out there on android).
I won’t even start with the games.
I like web browsing on the Nexus One more. With 2.2, it feels a lot faster than the iPhone 4’s. I love how I can select+copy+paste almost anything on the iPhone—Apple really nailed that experience. In the WebKit browser, I have to click the menu button, click more, maybe scroll…kind of ridiculous.
While the iOS is “tight”, some parts are starting to show its age…no live widgets, springboard feels incredibly prehistoric to me—-why can’t I download an app to replace it? We haveADW.Launcher and Launcher Pro for android? I have to jailbreak my phone and user winterboard…
However, android 2.2 still feels unfinished…where is search for my exchange mail? You figure a company that specializes in search and has a dedicated button on the phone for search would have implemented search for email.
Why don’t I have a Google Reader application? Why is connecting to a hidden Wi-Fi network so hard? Why don’t we have multi-touch on the keyboard?
Time will tell I guess. I think most of this stuff will be fixed eventually by Google—if you are willing to wait. 3rd party manufacturer with their custom UI layers already address some of my issues.
One of the truly awesome things about the Nexus One is the Google services support. I truly miss that on the iPhone. Gmail, GTalk, Google Maps, Google Navigation, Calendaring, Cloud contacts and app back up….it’s a pretty compelling package. Although it was a tough pill to swallow, having given Google so much information…
For me neither platform is waning. It’s the classic “Betty and Veronica” problem for me (I’ll let the greater community figure out which is which).
Somedays I like a blonde, other days I like a brunette.
Does that sound crazy.
Still more to come I think.