Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alternatives for iPhone Users that Prefer Smaller Phones

The trade press is finally waking up to the fact that Apple's insistence on a tiny number of products means that people that prefer small phones are being left out in the cold.

This post is a list of various high-end non-Apple phones that are relatively small -- it has a US bias as many good Android phones simply are not for carriers here (Xiaomi for example). To be on the list, the phone had to have a 720p or better resolution, a smaller size than the iPhone 6 and LTE.

As an iPhone user, you may not realize just how much better the web browsing experience is on a wider phone, so be sure and check that out.

(Sizes below are Height x Width x Thickness in inches)
For comparison:
Apple iPhone 4s:  4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37
Apple iPhone 5s:  4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30
Apple iPhone 6:   5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27

Android Phones

Sony Experia Z1 Compact:  5.0 x 2.56 x 0.37

Sony Experia Z3 Compact: 5.01 x 2.56 x 0.34

LG Optimus G E975:  5.19 x 2.71 x 0.33

Samsung Galaxy Alpha 5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 in

Windows Phones

Nokia Lumia 928:  5.24 x 2.71 x 0.40

MidRange Phones

If you are willing to not have not quite as fancy a screen or as fast a processor, there are many more options available.

Some examples include:
Moto G LTE (Android):  5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46
Nokia Lumia 635 (Windows):  5.1 x 2.63 x 0.36

These phones tend to have better battery life than higher end phones. They are also cheaper. Despite what Apple and Samsung might have you to believe... phones really don't have to have high-end displays and processors to get what you want done. I'm seriously considering the new Moto G (see below) for my next phone.

GSM Arena has an interesting phone finder that will help you quickly sort through all the options.

Apple's Ridiculous Pricing

Consider the soon to be released, Moto G LTE 2014 (a good mid-range Android phone) vs the very high end iPhone 6:
               |    Moto G LTE 2014    |      iPhone 6
Size           |  5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43   |  5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27
Screen DPI     |         294           |        326
Storage        |        16Gb           |       16Gb
RAM            |         1Gb           |        1Gb
Cost (unlocked,|                       |
no contract)   |        $199           |       $649

Battery life tests are not yet available, but numbers from the two company's numbers suggest that the Moto G will have a better battery life than the iPhone 6. (Certainly the earlier Moto G had a better battery life than the iPhone 5s.) Finally a word about the two phone's operating systems: Android and iOS. The previous version of Android needed less CPU/GPU resources than the the current version. Likewise the next version of Android (likely releasing in October) will use even less resources. Apple has used more resources with every release of iOS... eventually forcing you to upgrade your phone because it becomes too slow.

Now there is no question that the iPhone 6 has a faster processor and GPU, but do you really need that? Is it worth the price difference? If what you use your phone for is to browse the internet, run a few apps like Facebook, maybe a fitness program, text and the occasional phone call... probably the answer to both questions is, "No".

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