New phone phun

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 10:26 PM | comments: 0

I figured I'd wait to hear what Apple was doing with the next iPhone before writing some thoughts on the smart phone scene. Not that I expected anything that would sway me toward buying an iPhone, but I felt it was important to see the whole scene.

The new iPhone is thinner, faster and bigger, and supports LTE. It comes with iOS 6, which is also a big set of incremental improvements. I have to say that it's the first iPhone that doesn't have a gee-whiz feature set over the previous version. In fact, a lot of what's new is just catching up to what some of the Android, and even some of the WP 7.5 phones, already have. The world is understandably annoyed that they ditched the dock connector in favor of some new proprietary connector that's not the micro-USB that every other phone for the last six years has used.

My issue isn't so much the hardware as much as I just don't like iOS the way I used to. I don't feel like it has evolved, particularly as it should have on a phone. Yes, that perception is colored by using Windows Phone for the last two years.

Android phones have a lot of interesting hardware choices, but the fragmentation and inconsistent support by the carriers concerns me. The OS feels very me-too to iOS, only without the stronger sandboxing and protection against rogue apps.

Windows Phone, until last spring, suffered from the opposite problem of the other two platforms. I loved the OS, but the hardware was a big pile of suck. The Samsung I've been using has been OK in terms of the screen, but I was never crazy about it. Finally, Nokia started making some really solid phones, and Samsung caught up too.

There were two solid announcements, one from Samsung, with a beautiful device, and another from Nokia which makes improvements on the Lumia from earlier this year. The new 920 really sealed it for me when they revealed it had an f/2 lens with optical image stabilization. Hopefully the image quality matches the specs. Nokia is bundling a lot of exclusive apps, too. And it comes in red. :)

I'm sold on the platform, and I'm pretty thrilled to see a variation on it coming to tablets. My only concern is the apparent late finish of the OS. I'm disappointed that the phone folks in Redmond seem to be working more like Office and not like the agile parts of DevDiv.


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