Ok, first, let us begin with a disclaimer. I have not actually handled either one of these phones. I’ve just been reading about them for the past 3 months. Actually, longer if we are just speaking of the Streak (since January when it was known as the Mini 5). Also, as anyone who knows me can attest, the Streak will be my immediate next phone. That is not to say I won’t have plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with the 4G iPhone, but my purchase decision has already been made.
So, why am I not so impressed (especially given that my previous phone was an Iphone)? If we compare the design of the two phones, the 4G is just another iteration on the iPhone. Cleaner – yes. A Thinner? Definitely. Faster – uh huh. But these are all ho-hum to be expected changes. You don’t release another version of a phone that is worse than the previous.
So, incremental improvements aside, the fundamental difference between the 4G and 3GS is a front facing camera and higher resolution better view display. The display improvement is big enough that it cannot be lumped in as a incremental improvement (like styling, extra mic for noise cancelling, improved camera resolution, etc). So, that plus of course, a new OS – which is just again improvements over the old – so you’re not going to be seeing lots of new mindblowing things, mostly things that with the new hardware make everything work better and more smoothly.
So, if you were blown away by the iphone but had a few nagging issues that kept it from being the perfect device for you, yes, the 4G is definitely worth the upgrade. But that isn’t me. When it got down to it, I did 5 main things on my iPhone.
- Check and respond to email.
- Casual web browsing and some youtube when out at a bar.
- Facebook, IM, and about 2 games.
- Txting and phone calls
- Output video and music to my car
Even with the gaming – which I actually thought would be a big part of my iPhone usage – I ended up mainly only playing games when I was around my (at the time) gf’s iPhone. I’d jailbroken/unlocked mine and played around with other things, but mostly I ended up using that for UI tweaks and so that I could enable MMS on my unlocked phone. Being able to ssh to/from the phone was a bit useful but that was still mostly a useful trick I could do.
Given that there is only so much you can do with the actual process of making phone calls and sending txt messages, the dominating aspects of my use are interaction with the web and email. Since I am a heavy dual core thinkpad tablet user – and it is light enough that I have no real issues carrying it around throughout the day (and I have two batteries so I can go approx 6 hours at 80% brightness with wifi running) crunching through lots of open tabs, One Note, perhaps another office app, and matlab all running, my actual phone use was just when making calls, txting, in transit somewhere or out at a bar or away from home but not at school.
Given that essentially my life is mostly spent either at home or school and only an idiot would use a phone for entertainment when larger screened more powerful computing devices are present, there is really only a small subset of my life for a third device. As you can imagine, an iPad definitely doesn’t fit – too large. I’m not carrying one to the bar or gym. Any place else that I could be where I would/could use an iPad, my tablet is already there. What would be the point.
So, if I were to get a new phone, what would I prioritize? Well, look at my above list. Like it or not, google has the upper hand in implementing email access. Like I mentioned, phone and texting aren’t rocket science and everyone has gone the way of threaded conversations, so essentially my experience would be the same whether I’m on Apple or elsewhere. Access to social networking is roughly independent of platform since they all develop their own apps and game wise – I barely play at all – so again not a big deal.
So, the only other differentiator aside from using a google vs MS vs Apple email implementation would be in screen size/performance and media playback. Since I’m relatively agnostic to my media sources (ie I’m not tied to iTunes), my choices are either the larger 5 screen display of the Streak or higher resolution display of the 4G. Given that most of my time will be spent staring and interacting with the screen, that I have big hands, and I disliked the time I spent zooming in and out on the iPhone. . . my choice is relatively clear.
The Dell Streak just fits me more. So, this explains my decision. Now, just so you know, I from time to time will respond to what I see as blind devotion to all things Apple by attempting to destroy arguments as to why the 4G is better than anything else out there, even though I have clearly outlined here that such arguments are inherently faulty since what is more important now is the particular usage scenario for a given person. I tend to hold off making that point until the other side devolves to emotional responses (my usual cue that there is no further point in actually continuing an argument with someone) unless I’m feeling particularly evil. Since I don’t express an emotional response, if I don’t do this, I essentially keep the other side from ever getting closure.