Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

Summary: Mobile technology, smartphones in particular, are very personal devices. The fact of the matter is that no matter how personal these phones become, there is no perfect device nor platform for everyone.

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Mobile technology, smartphones in particular, are very personal devices. I suspect it's because anything used repeatedly during the day, up close at that, invokes a very personal experience. The personal nature of smartphones is evident in any article on the web dealing with one phone or another. The comment section for such articles immediately becomes a shouting match over which platform is best. The fact of the matter is that no matter how personal these phones become, there is no perfect device nor platform for everyone.

Everybody uses smartphones differently, and how they use them determines which platform or phone is the best fit for them. Some folks primarily use smartphones for phone calls, if you can believe that. For those folks the smartphones that don't do voice calls well, and there are more of those than there should be, don't qualify as a good fit. It doesn't matter how fancy a phone/platform may be, if the basic needs of the individual user aren't being met then they fall short.

Case in point: my 17-year old stepson, a typical teenager in every respect, a kid who loves gadgetry, uses an old Nokia smartphone (I forget which one) by choice. He is in the unusual position of getting early exposure to nearly every top-of-the-line smartphone that comes into my office, and he is duly impressed by many of them. But when it comes to his choice of smartphone for everyday use, the old Nokia wins hands-down. Why is that? According to him because it does phone calls and text messaging very well. Those are his top two uses for a phone, and all of the fancy smartphones he's tried fall short compared to that Nokia with its nice keyboard.

It is important for each individual to understand what uses of a phone are important to fit their lifestyle, and go with that no matter how public pressure tells them otherwise. It doesn't matter if a particular smartphone is cool, or has state-of-the-art features; it only matters if it does what you need, and does it well.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    My first smartphone was for work about 6 years ago when they were just hitting the market. We went through several platforms and manufacturers so I was exposed to many. The ones I like best have a physical keyboard as I tend to use my smartphone for alot of email, text, forums (using it now for this post), facebook, twitter etc. I have tried several platforms that are just touchscreen, but I just don't like that format. So when the original Motorola Droid came out I got it on launch day. Upgraded to the Droid 2 Global when it came out too. Really like this phone, it does everything well for me. Can't wait for the Droid 3. Just hope its 4G!
    tgschmidt
    • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

      @tgschmidt

      That goes for me to - very pleased with my Desire Z. Phone calls and texting are what I do most of so a proper qwerty keyboard and decent call quality are a must for my personal needs. I like having a touch screen but I would not wish to be dependent on one, hence phones like iPhone, Galaxy S, Desire HD, Mozart etc. would simply be no good for me - without my being in any way "tribal" in my attitudes towards iOS, Android or WP 7.
      FrederickLeeson
      • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

        @FrederickLeeson

        It is indeed refreshing to read an article where one device is not touted as "the best" and where the author understands that personal needs and usage styles are the primary consideration when deciding on which device to purchase. Well done!
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • True indeed

    And you can extend that to desktops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets or whatever. If it does what you need it to do, and does it well, you have found the right device for you. And that is the only thing that matters.

    And all the fan boys can just shut up and go home.
    Economister
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    Annoyance..... the picture of the smartphones is lame.
    Show a real lineup including a large screen Android device or Windows device.....

    Outside you are so right.
    example: my daughter has an older iphone I gave her and while she likes the phone she prefers her old MotoQ because text/calls are her thing....
    my son likes his Captivate better - it has swype and a bigger screen..

    true - one size does not fit all :)
    rhonin
  • And "EVERY' smartphone is a compromise.

    It's just a matter of finding which set of compromises effects you personally the least negatively.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    Wow, what a refreshing breathe of fresh air. Now all you have to do is convince the other pundits of the fact that one size does not fit all.
    jkohut
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    To me, I like Windows Mobile (6.1, but wish I had 6.5) because of the ability to do Outlook sync. I primarily use my Pharos Traveler 619 for texting, but since it has Wi-Fi, it'd be nice to do Internet surfing, but not that much. Speaking of Outlook synchronizing, I like the fact that I can view tasks, calendar events, text messages, and any other things that I need, which is nice compared to that style of widgets in Android.<br><br>As for moving to Windows Phone 7, I really don't bother with that, even though Microsoft is taking a "one-size-fits-all" approach, which does not fit well with me, like not being able to side-load applications and a departure from Windows Mobile. Plus, I certainly don't like tiles, no matter how useful they are. So, I'd like to come to a conclusion that while Apple iPhone is more restrictive than Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7 is too restrictive for me.<br><br>If I want to go with Android, I'd rather have a very pure Android experience, which my first preference is Nexus S with a very large screen, but I'd like to have a slide-out keyboard with it; however, I can live with that. But if only I have the money to afford to buy the unlocked phone, as I spent about seventy dollars for Pharos Traveler 619 and that I'm using text message only service (400 message plan) from qwert (www.qwertcorp.com). Of course, I'll miss out in full Exchange sync capabilities, though, such as the ability to sync notes, tasks, and since I've tried the Android 2.1 emulator, I did miss out in folder hierarachy.<br><br>Anyway, that's it for smartphones. For mobile Internet capability, I use T-Mobile WebConnect 5GB Overage Free Plan with T-Mobile Rocket HSPA+ (I only get like HSDPA when I was in Orlando from Tallahassee, FL). I currently have Acer Aspire One AOA150 with Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1 and I wiped out the Windows XP recovery partition. I'm currently holding on to my money and get a new tablet next year with AMD Fusion APU built-in (28nm manufacturing tech).

    Oh, my first smartphone is an Alltel UTStarCom PPC-6700 Windows Mobile smartphone that I bought as of late 2005 and that platform is perfect for me, even before the pre-iPhone days. In my opinion, I still continue to like Windows Mobile more than Android. I really don't like manufacturers that stiffle my pure Android experience with custom themes and lots of crap in a smartphone. Call me an old folk, though. *sigh*
    Grayson Peddie
    • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

      @Grayson Peddie

      As someone who used Windows Mobile from the beginning on an O2 and after various updates to phones and to 6.5, I think I'd suggest you might reconsider WP7. My WP7 phone synchs with my Exchange server and all my outlook mail is there. Tiles are just better. It may take you a while to realise it, but having hubs and dynamic tiles work a whole lot better than a crowded desktop.

      The only thing I miss from my Windows Mobile is the stylus and handwriting recognition, but for all other functions WP7 is vastly superior.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

        @tonymcs@... Sure, if I can root a Windows Phone 7 phone and if I can replace the theme of Windows Phone 7 with Windows Mobile 6.5. Besides, I consider Windows Mobile 6.5 an upgrade from Windows Phone 7. I can try it as much as I can, but all I can say is that the graphical user interface is too bland for my taste.<br><br>I will wait for Windows Phone 8 with NO RESTRICTIONS WHATSOEVER FROM MICROSOFT (sorry for my yelling, but Windows Phone 7 is not like what Windows Mobile is all about...FREEDOM FROM RESTRICTIONS!!! :) Oh yes, I do cringe when I am suggested to get Windows Phone 7...restrictions, restrictions, restrictions... *sigh*
        Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    What? Are you out of your mind? EVERYONE knows iOSAndroidWP7 is the best and most perfect... the other guys all suck... /sarcasm and antifanboi rant.

    Well written article! Well written indeed.
    athynz
    • Are you out of your mind?

      @athynz

      EVERYBODY knows that WebOS is the BEST ;-)
      Economister
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    Smartphones have been an interesting gadget to be kept by anyone. There is true competition to retain customers. But still new things always make people like that.<br><a href="http://www.ommrudraksha.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ommrudraksha.com</a>
    rudraksha1
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    Very good article and well written. Could you please update the picture with Original Palm, WP7 phone and WM6.5 phones also, then it would make it complete.
    Ram U
    • Message has been deleted.

      Return_of_the_jedi
      • Message has been deleted.

        Will Farrell
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    My first smartphone was the Motorola E680i. I loved it to death. It took the full size SD cards, had Real Player on it on top of a .ogg player I found for it. It had a AM/FM tuner, full touchscreen, and was built on a Linux OS. It was just an all around awesome phone, but eventually the batteries died out and didn't last very long. I still have the phone and it still works great!

    After that I got my LG KF750 Secret (Slider phone). That thing was great. Carbon fiber backing, tempered glass, 5MP camera that took the best pictures, I haven't found a phone that takes better pictures of videos yet, plus a front facing camera, accelerometer, and even had an option to turn it into a full touch screen. Another wonderful phone that never saw distribution in this country.

    After that I got my 3GS and my iPhone 4. I am hooked.
    Bates_
  • RE: Smartphone platform wars: One size doesn't fit all

    I will wait for Windows Phone 8
    http://www.ommrudraksha.com/contactus.aspx
    rudraksha1