Once I first heard of Android some time ago I got a bad gut feeling of what was about happen. Open source is wonderful in many areas but it do have a big drawback which may impose a problem when moved over to a set hardware-configuration which a handheld phone will show. All manufacturers want to brand the system a bit, painting it in a color they decided and finally choose the pattern on the ribbon of the package. I talk of version, versions, versions.
I own a HTC Hero which was delivered with a branded system using Android 1.5 as main operating system. At almost the same time it was released there was also a release of Android 1.6. Since then version 2.0 have emerged and the rumour is now of a soon to be released Android 2.1. At this time HTC have updated their branded version of the system and are today running their HTC Hero on – Android 1.5. They have not had the time or want to keep the device updated with the system as the later continued it’s life-cycle which is a shame I say. I still have to linger in the shadows with my old and grey version 1.5 in my phone when I see what shiny bits are out there in the updated version.
Ever since the iPhone was released every technology-magazine and their dog have written articles about what device is the iPhone-killer and listed the specifications for hardware and that it runs Android and what not. But it seem that most articles forget what it was that I think is one of the biggest aspects on why the iPhone did manage to get a wide range of people to cherish it like they do. It brings no fuzz, you run it and it works. If you need to update it then do so at the same time you synchronize it. And if there is a new version of the iPhone operating system released, then you can just grab it and continue the ride. No thoughts and discussions about whether this update is for my device or not. It simply is. And here the Android system lacks a bunch.
Last I heard was that my HTC Hero should receive it’s longed for update for Android now in the spring. Before that it was said to come for Christmas. Before that sometime in early December. Somewhat I’ve stopped to wait for this update. I guess it will come eventually.
Some week ago I wrote an article on the battle between the Apple iPhone and the HTC Hero. Daily Mail has run their own battle now and gave the HTC a really good review. There were a number of different prices including ‘Gadget of the year’ and ‘Phone of the year’. The iPhone keep the royal crown for yet another year but the Hero did get a medal for the ‘Best Gadget 2009’ which is quite impressing!
The iPhone didn’t go away without a price though. ‘Phone of the year’ was awarded the now highly awarded smartphone together with the readers choice for ‘Gadget of the year’.
From my perspective I have to say that I still like both phones but had some problems just the last days with the push-sync in my Hero. I did fiddle a bit with the network-settings last week to cut down on roaming though so it might be that I am all to blame myself.
SO I AM ONE of the lucky few who got my hands on both an iPhone and a HTC Hero. This makes it possible to actually compare the two phones on a day to day basis to see which one of them makes the best handheld.
TO START OFF by some numbers and comparisons the iPhone is the expensive one of the two. The HTC is running Android and the iPhone is running the iPhone OS. They have about the same screen, the same size and the same battery-times. But I have to say that the battery in the HTC actually delivers a bit more punch then the one in the iPhone. Battery between the two is quite hard to compare though because I use different things on the two phones. For example I run my Facebook-app on the iPhone which makes me use that phone more then the HTC (yeah I know, I should be ashamed).
SO WHAT ARE the pros and cons after just a weekend with the HTC and about a month with the iPhone? Well first I have to say that the camera on the HTC feels quite a bit better then the iPhone equivalent.
+ Personalization, you can change about everything
– Trackball, no use really with a touchscreen this good
– Android store, hard to find what you’re looking for but good when you find it
I WILL DO MY BEST to revisit this comparison when I’ve been using both phones for a bit longer. Most likely will there be more features or lack thereof I will find until then. But as for now, I have to say that the iPhone still is the champion of smartphones out there, even though it is one of the most expensive ones.