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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Battles of Droids!


"These are not the droids you are looking for!"
Wait wait, I think screwed up the punch line. Anyway welcome fellas.

Today we will be discussing on Android, pros,  cons, different flavors of it and amazing mobiles which house this  "the future OS!"

Android has 5 big releases in terms of update from 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 for mobiles. Even 3.0  is round the corner becoming the base for all Android based tablets. MotoXoom from Motorola as of now host this OS which will be in partnership with Verizon in USA and was showcased at CES 2011, it's also called " Ipad killer" , well I don't !

Open source, free available OS in market is Android from Google. So every company out there from big players like HTC, Motorola, Samsung to small players like LG, Micromax, Spice and Videocon are now using Android in their mobiles.
          Well I wouldn't know how many of you would buy Spice and Micromax droid phones!?  Every user like to have something which has been well established in market already, which leaves the big
players like HTC Samsung Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Motorola is just entering the Indian market, with their recent releases like Milestone, Blackflip and Defy . Sony Ericsson has its own releases like Xperia series which includes, Xperia 8, 10 and Arc. Similarly we have Venue and Streak from Dell which are also good but not worth the price.

Even LG has its own series Optimus ! However, every upgrade in this series comes up with slight improvement from the previous. For Indian market, I think they are doing good if you ask me! because the price range is affordable and they are doing a real good job right now!  I kind of pity Ericsson users as they are far behind when it comes to updates! It's been months now, that Froyo 2.2 has already made itself into most mobiles while Xperia users are still in 2.1, considering Xperia series as their major release for 2010.

Samsung also few releases like Galaxy series, mainly Galaxy 3,Galaxy 5 and Galaxy S. Even though every company has released many models, variations bundled with Network operators like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint in US and O2 and Vodafone in UK, there are only a few of them available for us in India.

And we are down to the last and biggest player in droid  battle HTC. HTC had too many releases last 2010. A Taiwan based company, HTC is very famous when it comes windows mobiles for corporate world, not to forget the very famous HTC touch 3d flow and HTC touch sense, which is fashioned in every HTC phone these days be it Windows or Android. And yes HTC had major releases in India as well.
So what makes these phone special when all have Android as their OS? Aren't they all same ?

Yes and No!

Yes because of OS, they all capable of supporting same kind of applications and  similar interface possible.
No,  because of the hardware, they come up with!

Think of it as your computer/laptop. And android as your OS, and you got different OSs from Windows XP to Vista to 7. Similarly when it comes to hardware, you have factors like RAM, memory, graphics card, screen size. Similarly for mobiles things that matter would be processor, screen size and resolution,  UI(user interface) and update ability.( Check out my last Post for further info on specs)

UI is one of most important factor when it comes to mobiles because that's how a user will interact with phone. Samsung got Touch Wiz UI, Motorola got Motoblur and HTC has Touch Sense. Check out the different UIs along with their functionalities.


HTC Touch Sense
Samsung Galaxy S



The reason I said HTC touch sense as the best was because HTC was able build one UI without widgets or apps, which could give user a experience at 3d level which included features like weather, contacts, messages, mails, internet, gallery and even the social network updates at just swipe of your finger. However there is down side to this where you cannot remove the default screens, but you can add new screens to your liking and arrange in order of your liking.

MotoBlur
While UIs from Samsung and Motorola lets you add widgets to additional home screens. This is good in a way because user can download apps from internet. You can Google and you will find thousands of them. However it could be cumbersome as user has to sit and download and figure out which one to use. Another downside to this is that, some apps are optimized to certain resolution. If your mobile has a higher or lower screen resolution then it would impact the working of your mobile . It could draw a lot of juice from your batter or your processor. There are applications for every mobile out there but they may not be optimized again. I would like to share one cool feature of Motorola's Motoblur UI. This particular UI lets you resize the widgets that have been installed on the home screen. And Samsung Touch wiz UI lets you add screens up to 10 of 'em which is cool as it can hold up most of the widgets in it.

Finally most important factor would be ability to update to the latest. We don't want to be stuck to 2.1 while world is running on 2.3 or more with cooler and better features!

Android! The future of Mobility.

So what are these features which makes Android the best? well here is some insight on what it can do.
Top 5 reasons why Android is the best.
1) Android is open source. The folks behind it, don't care if you hack the phone which you paid for!
2) Android apps store ! Thousands of free apps, widgets!
3) Android supports Flash 10.1 which means You can hit the web, all of it! You don't need another app to run a website !
4) Real Multitasking of applications is available, apps here are free do their thing like programs on a computer.

AND  
5)  Google search through Voice has been available since initial release. Voice actions for calling, texting, navigation etc. are supported on Android 2.2 onwards.
5.1)  Android can use video/still cameras, touch screens, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, proximity and pressure sensors, thermometers, accelerated 2D bit blits (with hardware orientation, scaling, pixel format conversion) and accelerated 3D graphics.
5.2)  Android supports connectivity technologies including GSM/EDGE, IDEN, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE, and WiMAX.
5.3)  Android supports the following audio/video/still media formats: WebM, H.263, H.264 , MPEG-4 SP, AMR, AMR-WB, AAC, HE-AAC , MP3, MIDI, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP. That's like, every available format out there.

So it supports everything that is out there and possibly can host some more new features in it! We might be this close to be the most advanced race in the universe.. Oh wait I can't show my thumb and forefinger holding close to each other !
 Based on the availability, features and cost structures I have narrowed down to a list which I think are really good w.r.t India market.

In no particular order;
1) Samsung Galaxy S
2) LG Optimus
3) Motorola Milestone
4) HTC Desire
5) Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

For tech specs, please visit www.gsmarena.com or www.fonearena.com
And well I believe I have tried my best to make this as simple as possible and put most of it on the table!
comments, suggestions, questions.. Hit me !

Signing off~


Sources: Wiki, Google and Blogs, Gsmarena, fonearena and cnet.com