Sunday, 7 August 2011

Real Life Answers to Age Old Questions

You know that age old question that bugs us all, which smartphone we should put our hands on? I assume we all know the question "deteriorates" into choosing between two candidates - the Android on one side and the iPhone on the other. But where do we go from here?
There are arguments aplenty in favor of each side. Currently, my Android experience is making me more appreciative of the iPhone; with iOS5's release coming up and its partial release from the shackles of iTunes I am definitely leaning there. Or am I?
I suspect the argument would be automatically resolved for me once the practical matter of finances enters the picture. Let's look at the candidates to compare:
  • iPhone: The cheapest reasonable plan you can get for the iPhone, from the likes of Virgin Mobile, would cost you $1200 over two years. It would give you something like 300mb of data per month and enough calls to satisfy reasonable chattering instincts. Note I doubt this plan would be available at the release of the iPhone 5, predicted around September; there will probably be a period where you'll have to pay much more.
  • Android: The strongest phone out there at the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S II featuring a dual core CPU, currently sells for $655 unlocked (see here for example). I suspect you will need to pay a bit for shipping on top.
    If you were to take the unlocked phone to TPG or Amaysim and pay them $15 a month you will get plenty of calls as well as 1gb of downloads.
The math is simple: over two years, an iPhone would cost $1200 whereas an Android giving more value for money would cost less than $1050. On top of that, neither TPG nor Amaysim require any commitments, so you're not truly locked with them for two years the way an iPhone locks you down.
Granted, there are good reasons for paying more and going with Telstra's superior reception; I don't think I can justify the cost for myself. Those financial difference, the $150 saved and the freedom to move where the wind blows, will probably win the day for the Android with me.

Image copyrights: Samsung


wile.e.coyote said...

Or you can get Amazon's Samsung generation I for US430$.
Use the wi-fi at work and home for data transfer and use 3G as low as possible.
That's US46$ a month for 2 years for me

Moshe Reuveni said...

1. You're not comparing Apples to apples here. There are better phones around than the Samsung Galaxy S for less money; the point was to offer a valid competitor to the iPhone 5.
2. If you don't want to use 3G, get an iPod Touch. I thought the entire point of these phones is that you have the Internet with you everywhere you go.