iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

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iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Poll ended at Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:56 am

iPhone 4s
22
39%
Samsung Galaxy S2 (or similar android)
34
61%
 
Total votes : 56

iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:56 am

With the announcement of the iPhone 4s I thought I would ask the question: should I get the iPhone 4s or the Samsung Galaxy S2? Which phone will meet my needs based on my usage?

I have the iPhone 3Gs and my 2 years are up. I am with AT&T because my wife gets a hefty work discount. My phone was great when I got it, replacing an ipaq, phone and an MP3 player, but is now getting a little long in the tooth (slow and old). When I bought my phone, the androids were just coming out and did not seem like a reliable option yet. Fast forward 2 years and it looks like android and apple are the king of the hill on smart phones and the Galaxy seems to be the best of the android phones this week (slightly faster, more memory, better battery, same android OS as the rest). I know the windows phones are starting to sell but frankly, I don’t see them with enough market share for me to feel safe committing 2 years to them.

It seems like the two phones have similar processors, RAM and with the micro SDHC slot similar storage. I am assuming the card slot is as stable as the internal memory. The two biggest differences seem to be the OS and the screen size. The Galaxy has a larger screen that would be great for reading emails, docs, websites, books, etc. I am not sure I would benefit as much from a smaller screen with better resolution. Hopefully someone who knows better can weigh in. And as much as I hate mac’s and the people that love them, I have to say that the iPhone is extremely stable and does what it does well. How stable are the new androids for heavy users?

I use my current phone for email, calendar and contacts. My work has an exchange server though I think I am relying on OWA to sync my phone. II have to be able to sync all three daily.

Personally, I use my iPhone to list to audiobooks on my morning run and my subway commute. I also have a bunch of playlists. I have a few apps like a financial calculator, live tide chart (yes, I am a redneck who likes to fish), GPS and a few reference books that I bought but it looks like if I have to I can repurchase them on droid. There are a ton of others apps I use but those are simple ones that should do fine either way. I am not a big gamer. When I do pick up a game I am probably in line somewhere so it is more likely spider FreeCell than some action game. I occasionally watch some TV but its more likely season 4 of Dexter on a flight to the wrong coast so I can deal with whatever.

I tend to find more intelligent answers here and thought I would start here rather than on some android or iPhone forum. I am looking for responses from people who have reasonable experience with both android and iPhone who can offer reasonable comparisons.

Please no flaming from the fanboys or the pederast who prey on them.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:03 am

I think you should go play with a SGS2 at the store. You already know iOS and both OS's will do what you want just fine.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:14 am

I find iOS to be a much more integrated, consistent, and stable OS than Android. The hardware on high end Android phones is just fantastic nowadays, but the software always lets you down, regardless of the flavor of Android, with bad skins or incompatible software or whatever. If you like iOS but find your hardware to be lagging, just update your older hardware with a 4 or the new 4s. I suspect you will not be disappointed with that decision.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:42 am

If you wait a week for the Nexus Prime (based on the GS2) it's supposed to have a 720p screen meaning you get both resolution AND screen size.

Still, a 4s would a hefty upgrade to the 3gs so it wouldn't be a bad choice. Especially since your apps are already purchased for that platform.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:57 am

Tech specs tell only part of the story, but I'll start with those. Anandtech had a complete review of the Galaxy SII and without question, it appears to be one of the best (if not THE best) Android phones. When thinking about how it might compare to iPhone 4S, there are some important observations to make:

1. Most of the CPU-bound tests, the dual-core S2 was beating the single-core iPhone 4 by 25-50%.

2. In GPU tests, the new Apple GPU as demonstrated in the iPad 2 utterly dominates the other devices:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4686/sams ... defined/17

3. Battery life. iPhone 4 dominates and iPhone 4S claims to have improved on that.

The other part of the story is the OS. Android has been reknown for having beefier hardware and better tech specs, but because of [a multitude of excuses], it has also been notorious for having a variety of performance problems ranging from SCROLLING (how basic is that??) to MULTITASKING to network performance etc.

This guy's observations give much better insight than I have time for here: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/1 ... th-android

Some other stats for you: http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011 ... others.php

Overall, there are a lot of interesting dynamics at play. Android is ever-changing, ever-improving and varies greatly depending on device, carrier, and personal software preferences. From experience, Android is more of a dream / idealistic product versus being actually complete and fully usable. Android users are "loyal" because they believe in the dream and believe that every new upgrade is better. And every update is better, don't get me wrong. But even the latest Android OS has issues with some of the most basic functions.

By comparison, iPhone has a unified ecosystem that is stable, performant, and consistent. It may not claim to have all the features or "openness" that Android promises, but what it does have WORKS and WORKS WELL.

Some day, Apple will have some real competition in the mobile phone space. But I don't think there REALISTICALLY is a decent competitor out there that offers the same stability or performance or even apps that Apple has.

My predictions are that 2012 will be a big year. We are looking at Windows 8 and the ecosystem that Microsoft will successfully construct - almost overnight. We're also looking at Google + Motorola, and the possibility that there could be something other than Android - a vertically integrated solution just like Apple's in the works. And Android will certainly continue to grow and enhance. Supply of mobile components is reaching critical mass.

Get the iPhone 4S, and then take another look at the market in 2012 or 2013. There will be more options out there and you will actually be able to confidently look at one or two potential alternatives.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:18 am

JdL wrote:...


I don't disagree with anything you said, but I do suggest he go play with a SGS2 first. Browsing(read:scrolling) has been greatly improved with the SGS2.

Both are great phones coming from where you are.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:26 am

DancinJack wrote:I don't disagree with anything you said, but I do suggest he go play with a SGS2 first. Browsing(read:scrolling) has been greatly improved with the SGS2.

Yes, Anandtech posted an update regarding scrolling on the SGS2 specifically. I absolutely agree with you - he should touch it for himself. :)
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:30 am

With that said, if you use Opera Mobile, then browsing has been smooth since the Nexus One
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:46 am

JdL wrote:
DancinJack wrote:I don't disagree with anything you said, but I do suggest he go play with a SGS2 first. Browsing(read:scrolling) has been greatly improved with the SGS2.

Yes, Anandtech posted an update regarding scrolling on the SGS2 specifically. I absolutely agree with you - he should touch it for himself. :)


+1 Touch it. :lol:
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:50 am

i have a sgs2 and its the best u will have my roomate has an iphone 4 and he also says that my phone is pretty good mostly because of the display which is bright and colorful and the browsing in it is seamless its faster than my eee pad transformer which seems to be slower than this and right now

its using only 1 core because gingerbread doesn't support dual cores it will be supported in the next update of ice cream sandwich after which it will be even faster i seriously consider u using the phone and trying it out and the phone is very customizable in look and there are a ton of custom rom's out there
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:53 am

I have had both phones and long story short I use the SGS2 now. The SGS2 has better hardware than iPhone 4, that much I can tell you. Bigger screen is better for me than higher resolution. Excellent for web. Camera is excellent except in low-light situations ( LED-flash tsss ). I use Spotify for my music. Never used iTunes much so I am not bound by a huge library of music bought from some online music store which isn't available on the other platform.

The biggest thing I miss about iPhone 4: the apps. iOS usually get apps before Android and some apps are exclusive to iOS. Still, I don't use that many apps and the best apps are usually available on both iOS and Android. If iPhone 5 is at least as good hardware wise as Android phones I will consider switching.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:00 am

I'll echo the idea of going and playing with the SGII.

I've never owned an iPhone and will admit up front the "cult" following annoys me. I won't say they don't make great devices though and I greatly admire the build quality. I like any kind of nice hardware and was let down by the 4s announcment.
-I was looking forward to the tear drop form factor and a 4" screen.
- I'm not a mobile gamer so the 7x faster graphics don't appeal to me.
- The updated camera does even though any mobile phone never replace a good dedicated camera.
-The glass back bothers me. I know too many people that have cracked the front or back from accidental drops. I'm not keen on putting a giant ugly Otterbox on a pretty phone either. I don't really mind light form fitting cases but not sure they would protect well enough.

As far as the SGii goes the general build quality makes me ill. Sure it thin as can be and sleek but when you see the battery cover removed on a video and its curved because the plastic is so thin and flimsy it doesn't give you an impression of quality. I'm still a little burned by the Samsung Impression I had years ago that was crap.... the camera seems to be on par with the current iPhone 4 depending on reviewer.
-don't like the built quality even though it's on par with other phones besides the iPhone
-don't like the lack of docks and accessories (a bit of an issue for me and part of the reason Im considering the iPhone. The Altec Lansing imt810)
-never been a huge fan of Samsung.They are good at lots of frosting on a mediocre pastry....

I currently have an EVO 4G android phone with a 4.3" screen. I have no problems with it other than my own inability to type efficiently on a touch screen, which is the biggest doubt I have about going to a 3.5" screen. I mostly txt and typically use less than a GB a month in data. It will reboot itself once a week on average. Not ever have owned an iPhone I can't say its as stable or less stable. If I were guessing I would bet on the iPhone being more stable as Apple has complete control and android is at the mercy of each handset manufacturer as well as carrier. Scrolling through pictures on my phone tends to be laggy at times compared to the iPhones / iPods I've played with. I'm guessing its because Apple devices rely on faster internal memory vs my run-of-the-mill 16GB SDHC card "external" access.

I'm waiting on the Nexus Prime announcement the 11th. If it's Verizon only, it will be irrelevant to me. My only options are Sprint and AT&T for 3g service since i live in nowhere. I'm really hoping it's an option as I think it will be the best phone for me. I'm still on the fence with the SGii vs 4s. In your case I think either device would do well for you. Go hand le the SGii and good luck to you.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:38 pm

thanks all. great responses.

I have spent time on the Galaxy 1 (and was not un-impressed) but it sounds like spending an hour at the AT&T molesting the Galaxy 2 may show what a year can do. i was not aware of the nexus so it looks like i should at least wait for an announcement before doing anything.

Based on what y'all have said and posts you have referenced, it sounds like samsung will spend some time getting ice cream float to work on the new phone but may not spend as much time getting to work on older models. the current version of ginger bread house does not support dual core, that comes with ice cream cone
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:15 pm

Without adding too much, i think the Droid Bionic is a better comparable to the S2
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:40 pm

pikaporeon wrote:Without adding too much, i think the Droid Bionic is a better comparable to the S2
In my opinion, I would hold off from the Bionic due to it's display. The pentile matrix display that it uses is horrendous when compared to the iPhone's Retina display and the Super AMOLED that Samsung uses. However, the rest of the phone is great and is a force to be reckoned with. Also, the Bionic is for Verizon only, and hiro_pro appears to want to stay on AT&T since he gets a nice discount.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:50 pm

I was considering a Moto Photon due to a better radio until i read about the pentile display. While some may be fine with them i thought it looked like something I wouldnt want to live with long term vs the Samsung and Apple displays.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:19 pm

JdL wrote:The other part of the story is the OS. Android has been reknown for having beefier hardware and better tech specs, but because of [a multitude of excuses], it has also been notorious for having a variety of performance problems ranging from SCROLLING (how basic is that??) to MULTITASKING to network performance etc.


Scrolling on the SGS2 is hardware accelerated, and silky smooth. Web pages are GPU rendered as textures and also silky smooth.

Bought the SGS2 for the wife on the weekend, it's a pretty nice phone. High points are the screen (gorgeous SAMOLED+) and the size/weight. Samsung has done a great job with Touchwiz 4.0, offering a very user-friendly, cohesive UI with some nice touches. Little touches include wrap-around home screens (something that's always annoyed me with Android) and being able to adjust brightness by holding and scrolling near the status bar (very useful when you step out into sunlight, for instance). It also has a great Task Manager with a(n optional) homescreen widget that tells you how many active apps you're running and lets you kill processes painlessly.

Battery life has been decent (all day charge with lots of streaming music and gaming), and outside of one hiccup (phone started getting sluggish and required a reboot), we haven't run into any other stability issues.

The two phones (SGS2, iPh4S) are very comparable, and what one gains on the swings (faster CPU on SGS2) you lose on the roundabouts (faster GPU on iPh4S). They're both about the same size, weight and have similar cameras (8MP, f/2.8 on SGS2, f/2.4 on iPh4S). The iPhone does have a much richer aftermarket accessories ecosystem, but the SGS2 may be more customisable (3 keyboard layouts to choose from, more access to file formats).

I'd say it boils down to the software. If you're heavily invested in the App store, it might not make sense to switch platforms and have to re-buy (or relearn) all your apps. On the other hand, switching to Android gives you Flash (although more and more sites are switching to HTML5 these days). If you do switch, I think the SGS2 is one of the better (if not the best) Android handsets out at the moment, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The last option of course is to just keep the iPhone 3GS and load iOS 5 on it. You might want to do that anyway to see if it cures the upgrade itch.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:51 pm

Voldenuit wrote:The last option of course is to just keep the iPhone 3GS and load iOS 5 on it. You might want to do that anyway to see if it cures the upgrade itch.

a lithium battery is good for 300 to 500 charges or about 3 years. my battery is not doing me any favors and i do not want to think about my wife (who occasionally forgets you have to charge electronics) driving around with her old phone. i know the lack of a replaceable battery is a negative for the iphone and the cost of replacing the battery makes upgrading seem like the cheaper option.

here is another huge disadvantage of the iphone. i have lived through several OS upgrades and every new feature and every upgrade slows the iphone down. i would be suprised if the 3Gs run much faster than a rotary phone after the next upgrade (picture a fiat trying to tow a double-wide uphill).
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:26 pm

hiro_pro wrote:a lithium battery is good for 300 to 500 charges or about 3 years. my battery is not doing me any favors and i do not want to think about my wife (who occasionally forgets you have to charge electronics) driving around with her old phone. i know the lack of a replaceable battery is a negative for the iphone and the cost of replacing the battery makes upgrading seem like the cheaper option.


Good point. However, replacement batteries for the iP3GS aren't very expensive - you can get a reputable battery for ~$24 and roll the dice with Chinese batteries for under $10. Still, I completely understand if you want to get a newer, faster phone with a fresher battery.

If you're considering battery longevity as a deciding factor between the iP4S and SGS2, the iphone battery will probably last longer since it needs to be recharged less often than the SGS2. However, that balances against the ease of replacing the battery on the SGS2, so the two phones more or less match out again.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:05 pm

I finally settled on the s2 over iphone 4/4s and other androids, but I'm going to wait until the Google Nexus Prime is announced before I buy anything.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:27 pm

StuffMaster wrote:I finally settled on the s2 over iphone 4/4s and other androids, but I'm going to wait until the Google Nexus Prime is announced before I buy anything.
Wise decision.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:13 pm

More Nexus Prime rumours: http://www.gsmarena.com/source_close_to ... s-3239.php

I honestly think that this one is too good to be true.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:32 pm

I'll be getting an iPhone 4S. 'Nuff said.

I simply want the device to work and do its job well. The iPhone excels at that. I don't want to excessively tweak it. I don't want to kill apps to maintain battery life. I don't want to have to track down extensions and keep track of esoteric OS updates just to get or keep the functionality I'm looking for. The fragmentation of the Android market is one of its Achilles heals.

That said, the Galaxy S is definitely an excellent phone. The best Droid on the market IMHO. But I'll stick with my iPhone.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:30 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:More Nexus Prime rumours: http://www.gsmarena.com/source_close_to ... s-3239.php

I honestly think that this one is too good to be true.


Really hard to believe that will be the phone announced on Tuesday. Despite the fact that Google has said TI would be the launch platform for ICS, that 1.5GHz Exynos isn't supposed to even sample until this quarter. Would be cool though.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:28 am

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/07/samsung-and-google-postpone-ice-cream-sandwich-and-galaxy-nexus/

Launch "postphoned" :( I was looking forward to that too. Even though there was a good chance it would be out of reach for me on Verizon I was going to wait before making a decision to ease my conscience lol.

I'm actually leaning more towards the iPhone at the moment due to wanting one of these. http://www.alteclansing.com/ae/us/ipod-iphone-speakers/mix-boombox-imt810/invt/imt810/

While it does have options to attach other devices to it via cable I could use the iPhone has an alarm clock etc or use pandora etc.... This is the area where the iPhone has the biggest advantage. It's actually the only area my Android phone lacks (that applies to me) There's a way around it of course but I would have to endure a mess of wires to keep the phone charging while in use etc.

I havent got to play with the SGII yet. Part of the reason I'm considering the iPhone is because I would like to experience something new / different if im going to be locked into another contract. Decisions decisions.... :)
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:05 am

I have owned both. Android has some great features, but it looks like iOS5 will bring some of those to the iPhones. I eventually switched to an iPhone 4 when Verizon started offering the device. My previous device was a Samsung Fascinate. Unfortunately, I will now never buy another Samsung + Verizon device. Both parties are to blame as Verizon has to wrap all their crap software with the software and Samsung is slow to update. My choice is the iPhone because the basic features of a phone just work, calling, scrolling, etc. The only thing I miss is navigation. Google nav is the best out there, period. The screen size doesn't bother me as if I need to watch a movie on the go I will pull out a tablet. The larger phones also don't fit in my pocket as well as the iPhone. Dual core androids are horrible with battery life and the only one that has improved is the Bionic. Do yourself a favor and get the iPhone 4s, you will not be disappointed.

P.S. I am a PC Windows user and not an Apple fanboy.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:01 am

It'll be really nice putting iOS 5 on our iPads & iPhones at work. Honestly, I can't believe it's taken them this long to get a global notification manager in place. That is the single most annoying thing about working with the iPad, clearing all my appointment notifications at the end of the day because I was sitting at my computer.

Nexus Prime definitely looks interesting, and definitely worth while waiting for before pulling the trigger on any phone. However, I don't think it'll really change anything about the android vs. iOS debate.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:25 pm

chrissodey wrote:The only thing I miss is navigation. Google nav is the best out there, period.

TomTom for the iPhone is pretty darn good. And if you don't like the price, it frequently goes on sale -- wait til the holidays.
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:49 am

Have you picked up a phone yet hiro_pro? Was wondering how your experience has been etc. Thanks
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Re: iPhone 4s vs. Samsung Galaxy S2

Postposted on Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:03 am

Yes. I made a decision. and thanks everyone for the great input.

the other day i was out for my morning run. i had to stop for a traffic light which gave another runner time to ask me a question. i was of course tuned into my audiobook (Jeff Shaara- Final Storm) and not into the world running with my UE triple.fi 10's planted deep in the ears . i had to unplug the earplugs from the phone to stop the track without losing my place (i cant use the ones with the push button because i sweat too much and short the button). i answered his question and with a quick double click i was able to start the book back up.

it doesnt sound like a lot but the iphone lets me get to the mp3 player features faster than the androids. between workouts and my commute i spend over two hours a day listening to music, audiobooks, and most importantly the TR podcasts :wink: . I couldnt ignore the feature. my friend in the same position but with a droid and uses two different players: one for music and the other for books. even he had to admit that getting to his tunes was more of an exercise especially when your phone is in an armband.

the other issue i had was the iphone comes with 64gb of internal memory compared to the 16gb in the galaxy. i know i can add a 32gb card but i have found that those external cards eventually fail. i have had a number of cards fail in the last 10 years using various devices and each time it was apin try to restore or replace the data. i have found that devices that work beyond the first week tend to last much longer.

Sooooo based on the ease of activating the mp3 player and the larger internal memory i bought the iphone 4s 64 gb black. unfortunately i ordered it friday afternoon so i probably wont see it for another 3 weeks. thanks at&t for not telling me you were already backordered. i'll try to give a rundown on any new features worth mentioning once i give the new phone the once over.

ps. i did find the samsung had some clear advantages. the larger screen made navagation a lot easier. i like the calander screen on the droid better because i could quickly see my days meetings without opening my calendar. i like google calendar better in how you can add other calendars (must haves include the DC United , and Auburn and VA Tech football schedules). i have not found a way to bring those calanders into outlook or onto my iphone. but i have put those calendars on friends android phones.
i7-930, GA-X58A-UD3R, Agility 2 240GB, 2 TB WD Black *2 mirror, ATI 5850 1 GB, 12GB (3*4GB)
hiro_pro
Gerbil
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:20 am
Location: DC

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