Monday, June 14, 2010

Why I Choose Android HTC EVO Over iPhone 4

I just agonized over my next smart phone decision and I thought I should share.  I am out of contract with AT&T on my iPhone 3G.  I had always intended to wait for the expected June announcement of the next generation iPhone, and so I did.  In the meantime, HTC/Sprint announced the new EVO.  Of course, right on schedule, Apple introduced the iPhone 4.

I agonized over the choice between the EVo and iPhone 4.  It came down to the following:
  • iPhone's lack of support for Google Services-In particular, the rejection of the Google Voice app for the iPhone really irked me last year.
  • The iPhone 4 just didn't wow me that much.  Yes, it is a snazzy piece of hardware, but I'm not swayed by sexy, because I know that today's sexy phone is tomorrow's clunky beast.
  • Sprint EVO's availability on a carrier other than AT&T
  • EVO equation: 4G+1GHz Snapdragon processor=FAST!
  • The Sprint EVO can serve as a WIFI hotspot (for an extra fee) for multiple devices.  That's awesome!  The next generation iPhone has tethering 'capability' for a single device but AT&T doesn't offer it yet.
  • I'm a tinkerer.  I don't mind messing around with a phone.  If I were recommending a smartphone to my wife or mother, I would tell them to stick with iPhone, with its "it just works" usability.  That sort of slickness is cool, but ultimately just not as important to me.
  • The only area where the iPhone seems to be superior is number of apps and games.  I researched the former, and all of my key apps are available now or in beta for android.  As for the latter, I don't really play games on my phone.
With all of those things in EVO's favor, it seems like it was a no brainer.  Still, it was a tough choice.  The deciding factor was
really the rejection of Google Voice.  More precisely, the rejection of the Google Voice application demonstrated to me that Apple is committed to being proprietary and anti-competitive.  In their iPhone 4 announcement, they stated that their new videoconferencing feature "facetime" will have open standards.  I'll believe it when I see it.  I already can have open standard videoconferencing via Skype and Qik.

Ironically, this choice means that I will likely be using iTunes much less (in favor of Amazon's MP3 store) and will definitely not be going with a mobileme account.  I wonder if I am the minority, or will rejecting the Google Voice app (and the corresponding anti-competitive tactics and closed standards) have similar widespread repercussions across their user base?

Now all that being said, I haven't actually started using the EVO yet, though I have used other HTC Android phones and I have sense of what to expect.  I will post my thoughts after I have a chance to tinker.

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