Posted by ottoman673 (498 posts) 10 months, 9 days ago

Poll: Let's talk phone upgrades! (62 votes)

Samsung Galaxy S4 21%
Samsung Galaxy Note III 3%
iPhone 5s 40%
HTC One 16%
Other/None of the Above 21%

So as of today, I'm eligible to upgrade my phone. I'm currently on Sprint, and while that would make most people wince, the coverage here in my area is relatively good. There's even quite a few 4G LTE towers up, and with the price I'm paying [$71ish for unlimited everything with a corporate discount] I really don't see any reason to switch carriers.

What I'm not so certain on is what phone I should buy, however. I'm currently rocking an iPhone 4s, which is a totally okay phone, except it doesn't have an LTE radio on-board, which is kind of a deal breaker to me. I've dealt with Android devices before and haven't had any issues with the software on that side, either. Right now I'm looking at 4 potential candidates, and wondering what way I should go. All 4 are strong phones, but none of them are pulling me any specific way. So, thoughts?

[Note: I was also considering the Lumia 920, but that's not available on my carrier]

#1 Edited by Sploder (917 posts) -

I got a Galaxy S4 Mini the other day, it's pretty tight. Go for the S4.

#2 Edited by Positrark (316 posts) -

This is virtually impossible to answer. Truth is they're all pretty great phones like you said, so there is no "best phone". It all comes down to personal preference. It doesn't make sense for me to say, "you should buy this one", because I have no clue, compared to you, what you actually want. I'd go hunt down some good reviews, fokus on the relative strengths and drawbacks of each, and then figure out which of them fits you best. I know its a cop out answer, but I also think it happens to be the right one.

#3 Edited by coaxmetal (1603 posts) -

I personally just purchased a full-price iphone 5S (ouch, not cheap) and am switching from verizon to tmobile with it, so at least no contract, and monthly will be cheaper. Clearly that would be my recommendation. Also if you are going android I always thought the nexus branded devices were better, though idk if you can get them subsidized on contract.

#4 Posted by Duder_Me (307 posts) -

I have personally found solace in iOS since it looks so simple and easy to use compared to Android or Windows Phone and I just find the design of the iPhone more appealing than other phones out there. It's obvious why some people go for Android because of the ability to customize and what not, but that can be accomplished with a jailbreak for iOS. It's all about what you prefer though.

#5 Posted by Snail (8593 posts) -

DON'T BUY A GALAXY PHONE.

Other than that you're set.

#6 Posted by MikkaQ (10281 posts) -

I got the 5S recently and it's great. Then again I was upgrading from a 4, so I knew exactly what to expect, but it just feels really snappy and looks really cool.

#7 Edited by Hamst3r (4479 posts) -

I'm liking my 5S.

#8 Edited by MormonWarrior (2561 posts) -
#9 Posted by leftie68 (215 posts) -

@snail said:

DON'T BUY A GALAXY PHONE.

Other than that you're set.

I love these un-substantiated reccomendations. Anyways, My wife has the new iPhone 5S and she absolutely loves it. It is simple to use, and it works fantastically. If you are like me and need a little more customization for your phone you can't go wrong with the other three Android phones. I just got a Galaxy Note 3, and if you can get over the size factor (it is big, but not as big as you may think), that is by far the best Android phone out. It is a beast technically (SnapDragon 800 with 3G of RAM), it is blazingly fast, responsive, and the screen is amazing.

#10 Edited by Chaser324 (6395 posts) -

Between the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4, you really can't go wrong. They're both solid phones, so it basically just comes down to how invested are you in iOS right now and would you like to change?

Personally, I switched from Android to iOS last year with an iPhone 5, and I have no intention of going back.

Moderator Online
#11 Posted by MB (12207 posts) -

I've had Galaxy phones since the Galaxy S, including the S2, S3, Note, and Note 2. They have all been great.

Moderator
#12 Posted by isomeri (1246 posts) -

The term "being eligible to upgrade your phone" has always seemed strange to me. I mean I know what it means but that sounds so restrictive.

Anyhow I've been happy with my Lumia 920 and Lumia 1020, but from what I've seen of the iPhone 5S and HTC One they seem like great choices as well.

#13 Posted by TooWalrus (13156 posts) -

I've used both Android and iOS, and personally I'd go with the iPhone. I've got a 5 in an aluminium case, and it just feels like a little box in my pocket that does everything I want it to do with almost none of the jank I experienced with my old phone.

#14 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

@leftie68 said:

@snail said:

DON'T BUY A GALAXY PHONE.

Other than that you're set.

I love these un-substantiated reccomendations. Anyways, My wife has the new iPhone 5S and she absolutely loves it. It is simple to use, and it works fantastically. If you are like me and need a little more customization for your phone you can't go wrong with the other three Android phones. I just got a Galaxy Note 3, and if you can get over the size factor (it is big, but not as big as you may think), that is by far the best Android phone out. It is a beast technically (SnapDragon 800 with 3G of RAM), it is blazingly fast, responsive, and the screen is amazing.

And I love lazy sarcasm.

You want substance? Fine. Let me copy/paste some stuff I've said before and add some new stuff just for you.

Aherm.

I find them to be cluttered with clunky, gimmicky, unusable functionality (the eye-tracking-scrolling feature for example, which is annoying to use). On top of that they also feel clunky overall, with frame drops that occasionally make scrolling through the home screen an awkward slideshow - even when seemingly, not much is running in the background (or sometimes, not even anything at all), and that drop-down top Android menu sometimes taking close to a full second to respond to your drag gesture.

Simply put, they lack polish - which is something I want from a 500$+ product. An HTC One looks and feels elegant, as do iPhones, Nexus phones, and Lumias. Galaxy S phones don't, in my experience. There's no good reason to go with a Galaxy S4 over an HTC One, for instance.

On top of that, the Samsung custom Android UI is ugly. It feels as dated as Windows XP's design. Seriously, the other day I asked someone for directions, and this kind stranger booted up some maps app on her Galaxy phone. I could tell it was a Samsung app because it had that hideous near-comic-sans font they use in their marketing (how?!), and yet that wasn't even the worst aspect about the app's design: it looked like an unfinished prototype design made in PowerPoint, with lazy gradients and shitty color schemes. This is one example.

Everything about the way those phones look, be it physical design or software UI, is an insult to the design progress other smart devices (including Android devices) have made since the inception of this market. Galaxy phones are not worth their price.

#15 Posted by Ben_H (3336 posts) -

@snail said:

@leftie68 said:

@snail said:

DON'T BUY A GALAXY PHONE.

Other than that you're set.

I love these un-substantiated reccomendations. Anyways, My wife has the new iPhone 5S and she absolutely loves it. It is simple to use, and it works fantastically. If you are like me and need a little more customization for your phone you can't go wrong with the other three Android phones. I just got a Galaxy Note 3, and if you can get over the size factor (it is big, but not as big as you may think), that is by far the best Android phone out. It is a beast technically (SnapDragon 800 with 3G of RAM), it is blazingly fast, responsive, and the screen is amazing.

And I love lazy sarcasm.

You want substance? Fine. Let me copy/paste some stuff I've said before and add some new stuff just for you.

Aherm.

I find them to be cluttered with clunky, gimmicky, unusable functionality (the eye-tracking-scrolling feature for example, which is annoying to use). On top of that they also feel clunky overall, with frame drops that occasionally make scrolling through the home screen an awkward slideshow - even when seemingly, not much is running in the background (or sometimes, not even anything at all), and that drop-down top Android menu sometimes taking close to a full second to respond to your drag gesture.

Simply put, they lack polish - which is something I want from a 500$+ product. An HTC One looks and feels elegant, as do iPhones, Nexus phones, and Lumias. Galaxy S phones don't, in my experience. There's no good reason to go with a Galaxy S4 over an HTC One, for instance.

On top of that, the Samsung custom Android UI is ugly. It feels as dated as Windows XP's design. Seriously, the other day I asked someone for directions, and this kind stranger booted up some maps app on her Galaxy phone. I could tell it was a Samsung app because it had that hideous near-comic-sans font they use in their marketing (how?!), and yet that wasn't even the worst aspect about the app's design: it looked like an unfinished prototype design made in PowerPoint, with lazy gradients and shitty color schemes. This is one example.

Everything about the way those phones look, be it physical design or software UI, is an insult to the design progress other smart devices (including Android devices) have made since the inception of this market. Galaxy phones are not worth their price.

You forgot that they also break if you look at them funny, have abysmal build quality, and use cheap internals. They try and market the bejeebers out of their products to make up for the fact they suck but people are starting to catch on.

I've had 2 Galaxy phones die on me and I baby my phones. I know at least 5 people who have had Galaxy phones quit on them. Never again will I buy a Samsung product.

Add to that they rig benchmarks so their phones benchmark higher than they actually perform when in normal use (source).

#16 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

@ben_h: Yeah they're the fucking worst.

Still, Samsung makes good CSC cameras, as well as pretty good but insultingly expensive ultrabooks.

#17 Posted by Hunkulese (2694 posts) -

If I was getting a phone today I'd probably go with the Xperia Z1. Can you get one on Sprint?

#18 Posted by Hunkulese (2694 posts) -

@ben_h: Everyone cheats on their benchmarks. It's not just a Samsung or a phone thing.

#19 Posted by mercutio123 (468 posts) -

I know people really have gotten on the hate train with Apple and I was going to switch from my 5 because of just general nay sayers, but honestly when it comes down to it I personally just need a phone to be a phone, with maps and internet thrown in, and the iPhone still nails that perfectly. I'd more go for what screen size is comfortable for you because all these phones will essentially do the same thing.

#20 Edited by mrcraggle (1894 posts) -

I kid, I kid. I'm not going to recommend a phone but I will recommend actually going to the store and trying them out if you can. If you're into the Apple ecosystem e.g you've bought lots of apps, have accessories etc and you're happy with your experience and feel you want to continue with it, then go ahead with the 5S. I personally feel this years iPhone is the least impressive yet. Android on the other hand can be a bit of a blessing and a curse. There's tons of variety so you can have a phone with a larger screen, better camera and what have you but pretty much every phone manufacturer out there feels the need to stick a crappy skin on top. Samsung have actually added a bunch of features but they go about it in the most unfriendly way in terms of design and can even effect performance despite having extremely powerful chips inside. If you'd posted this earlier in the year, I'd suggest the HTC One but since that phone has come out, HTC have become a bit of a mess. They simply have no idea what they're doing and it's no more apparent in their new HTC One Max. The Note 3 is an interesting one and probably the most far away you could possibly get from your current iPhone just simply due to the screen size alone.

I personally own the Nokia Lumia 920 but I don't even know if I'd recommend it even if you could get it. It's a phone that I enjoy using and I'm used to its flaws but I still find certain things jarring but more at Microsoft than the phone itself and it's always a bit disheartening to see news stories or ads with Available for iPhone and Android but no Windows Phone *sigh*

#21 Posted by Kidavenger (3528 posts) -

@snail said:

@leftie68 said:

@snail said:

DON'T BUY A GALAXY PHONE.

Other than that you're set.

I love these un-substantiated reccomendations. Anyways, My wife has the new iPhone 5S and she absolutely loves it. It is simple to use, and it works fantastically. If you are like me and need a little more customization for your phone you can't go wrong with the other three Android phones. I just got a Galaxy Note 3, and if you can get over the size factor (it is big, but not as big as you may think), that is by far the best Android phone out. It is a beast technically (SnapDragon 800 with 3G of RAM), it is blazingly fast, responsive, and the screen is amazing.

And I love lazy sarcasm.

You want substance? Fine. Let me copy/paste some stuff I've said before and add some new stuff just for you.

Aherm.

I find them to be cluttered with clunky, gimmicky, unusable functionality (the eye-tracking-scrolling feature for example, which is annoying to use). On top of that they also feel clunky overall, with frame drops that occasionally make scrolling through the home screen an awkward slideshow - even when seemingly, not much is running in the background (or sometimes, not even anything at all), and that drop-down top Android menu sometimes taking close to a full second to respond to your drag gesture.

Simply put, they lack polish - which is something I want from a 500$+ product. An HTC One looks and feels elegant, as do iPhones, Nexus phones, and Lumias. Galaxy S phones don't, in my experience. There's no good reason to go with a Galaxy S4 over an HTC One, for instance.

On top of that, the Samsung custom Android UI is ugly. It feels as dated as Windows XP's design. Seriously, the other day I asked someone for directions, and this kind stranger booted up some maps app on her Galaxy phone. I could tell it was a Samsung app because it had that hideous near-comic-sans font they use in their marketing (how?!), and yet that wasn't even the worst aspect about the app's design: it looked like an unfinished prototype design made in PowerPoint, with lazy gradients and shitty color schemes. This is one example.

Everything about the way those phones look, be it physical design or software UI, is an insult to the design progress other smart devices (including Android devices) have made since the inception of this market. Galaxy phones are not worth their price.

The beauty of Android; (and the reason I don't like iPhone) is you can turn all this retarded shit off.

Why would anyone even turn eye tracking on in the first place? Guess what, I know why your phone runs like shit, it's not android, it's because you have 50 apps running in the background.

I have a S4, I don't have any of these problems, but then, I've turned off all the idiotic Samsung apps.

You really need to hold the S4 in your hand and try it before you buy it though, my one complaint is that the phone is too big, my Nexus S was the perfect size, my hands aren't small, the S4 is wider than most other phone's out there and it's not a good thing, many apps have their navigation button on the top left and you can't really get at that easily with your thumb.

#22 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

@kidavenger said:

@snail said:

I find them to be cluttered with clunky, gimmicky, unusable functionality (the eye-tracking-scrolling feature for example, which is annoying to use). On top of that they also feel clunky overall, with frame drops that occasionally make scrolling through the home screen an awkward slideshow - even when seemingly, not much is running in the background (or sometimes, not even anything at all), and that drop-down top Android menu sometimes taking close to a full second to respond to your drag gesture.

Simply put, they lack polish - which is something I want from a 500$+ product. An HTC One looks and feels elegant, as do iPhones, Nexus phones, and Lumias. Galaxy S phones don't, in my experience. There's no good reason to go with a Galaxy S4 over an HTC One, for instance.

On top of that, the Samsung custom Android UI is ugly. It feels as dated as Windows XP's design. Seriously, the other day I asked someone for directions, and this kind stranger booted up some maps app on her Galaxy phone. I could tell it was a Samsung app because it had that hideous near-comic-sans font they use in their marketing (how?!), and yet that wasn't even the worst aspect about the app's design: it looked like an unfinished prototype design made in PowerPoint, with lazy gradients and shitty color schemes. This is one example.

Everything about the way those phones look, be it physical design or software UI, is an insult to the design progress other smart devices (including Android devices) have made since the inception of this market. Galaxy phones are not worth their price.

The beauty of Android; (and the reason I don't like iPhone) is you can turn all this retarded shit off.

Why would anyone even turn eye tracking on in the first place? Guess what, I know why your phone runs like shit, it's not android, it's because you have 50 apps running in the background.

I have a S4, I don't have any of these problems, but then, I've turned off all the idiotic Samsung apps.

You really need to hold the S4 in your hand and try it before you buy it though, my one complaint is that the phone is too big, my Nexus S was the perfect size, my hands aren't small, the S4 is wider than most other phone's out there and it's not a good thing, many apps have their navigation button on the top left and you can't really get at that easily with your thumb.

I can't think of a shitty feature the iPhone has that you'd want to turn off, never mind one that takes up significant amounts of RAM or clutters your CPU.

I have held a Samsung Galaxy phone many a time in technology stores - many, many a time - trying to figure out how on earth it can be so successful (intense marketing I suppose). Demo versions don't allow those embarrassingly unusable features to be turned off, so I can't verify what you're saying: but unless you install a different ROM on it (in which case you should get an HTC One for the infinitely better case design), you have a phone whose UI and outer shell look ugly as fuck. Unbearably ugly. It's a shamelessly outdated design with preposterous use of unprofessional fonts, dissonant gradients, and antiquated icons. I don't like the color scheme, I don't like the case, I don't like the water-ripple sound effects, and the next time I hear that shitty whistle text message tune in public I might punch someone.

I don't like it, and, especially given the much better alternatives of iOS 7, Windows Phone 8, and a few variants of Android (particularly stock), I don't see why anyone with a decent taste and a clear understanding of the kind of product they're buying ever should.

#23 Posted by Rick_Fingers (524 posts) -

Ive got a One and love the shit out of it. It's fast, powerful, tough, and has a great screen. It's also the first Android phone where I have liked the manufacturer's OS enough to leave it as is.

Only downside is the camera, which is great for a few things and shit for others. Definitely inferior to an iPhone or Galaxy in that respect, but I barely ever use my camera so not an issue for me.

The Galaxy is great, but I have had issues with the construction on them before. Keep in mind that they are kind of flimsy.

I really do not like iPhones personally, as they feel way too restrictive for what I want to do with a phone and I really dislike Apple as well. But there is no denying that they are very well made (well, at least for a year or two) and extremely polished devices. Also probably the best option if you want to play games and don't like emulators