With Samsung’s previous flagship device, the Galaxy S4, the phone seems to have it all — top end specs, a beautiful display, and of course, a top tier processor.
Then there’s the version of TouchWiz UI itself. Jam packed with countless space age bells and whistles, it comes with all the software one might ever need. Air Gestures allow you to scroll without even needing to touch the screen, and Air view lets you view all the pictures in an album by hovering your finger over the said album.
Even the camera goes beyond the normal hardware upgrades of gigantic numbers of pixels. It sports a “drama mode” to shoot up to 100 frames per second, and also including the utility of being able to locally remove a “photo bomber” from a picture.
That’s not to say though, that it is lacking in the hardware department. Equipped with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, the snappy quad-core 1.9GHz CPU and Adreno 320 GPU push graphic processing and general performance to the limits. Its gorgeously stunning 5-inch high resolution super AMOLED 1080p screen 441 ppi screen and a microSD slot that allows you to easily expand the 16 or 32 GB of built in storage by up to 128 GB.
Then there is its rival, the aluminum-bodied iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s sports an A7 processor and M7 coprocessor chip for general processing and motion processing respectively. The A7 chip is touted as, and indeed it is, the only 64-bit capable mobile chip anywhere.
The A7 works in tandem with the M7 chip to give users a smooth experience, as the A7 is not bogged down by motion data, and thus has surplus processing power to keep the user experience of the iPhone liquid smooth.
The new Touch ID – the new software touch that works together with the built in thumbprint-scanner home button – allows for extra layers of security, and gives 5s users everywhere the comfort of knowing that their phone is safe from prying eyes. Unlock the phone, and your eyes will be assaulted by a myriad of colours as the 4-inch Retina display works its magic, giving you arguably the best viewing experience anywhere.
Now the 2 tech giants, the 2 heavyweights have shown their hand and thrown their punches, but concession must be given to the much less popular, much smaller market shareholder — Nokia. Prior to its acquisition by Microsoft for a measly 7.2 billion, it once held the largest market share in the world.
Yet now, the Finnish company, once a giant, collapsed into the arms of its partner, tech giant Microsoft. Their partnership has no doubt churned out some good devices. The 1320, 1520 and the 1020 have been stunningly good devices. The 1320 in particular has shown its worth.
With a 6-inch, HD 720p IPS LCD display at 245 ppi, the dual core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 400, an Adreno 305 GPU — this phablet is no slouch either, in its own respect. Coupled with the WP 8.1 OS, the device is truly a treat to use.
However, looking at all these devices, I can’t help but feel: Could there be something more? No doubt all these devices are great, but they all individually lack something, and each have their own merits.
Nokia for instance has a great UI, but is paired with a cripplingly bad ecosystem of apps. iPhones have long proven to have great build quality, but lack much in the way of utility, and has a keyboard leaving something to be desired.
Android phones, have always had top-of-the-line specs and components, yet they are notoriously bogged down by bloatware, and have a tendency to get laggy, especially after long periods of use. They are also victim to (Samsung, I’m looking at you) not-so-top-quality build materials.
Why not a collaboration? The 3 parties, working hand-in-hand, would produce a phone so mind-blowingly good, it would blow all current and near-future models from all 3 parties right out of the water. Here is what I propose:
BUILD MATERIALS AND EXTERNAL HARDWARE DESIGN (APPLE)
As mentioned in the section earlier, Apple has long been touted for its stunning hardware. The US-based company, originally famous for its Mac and following that, the iPhone, iPad and the iPod. And it does deliver indeed. Externally at least, the phone is a masterpiece of design, a work of art crafted by great minds and equally great hands.
It’s anodized, round-edged rectangular body has a certain feel about it, a very premium and classy feel to it. It has among the most premium of build materials, and coupled with a well-thought out design, results in a phone that’s great to hold and even greater to look at.
USER INTERFACE – WHAT YOU SEE (WINDOWS PHONE)
The Metro User Interface (UI) sported by all Windows Phone devices is, by all standards and measures, a treat, both in terms of usability and looks. Its minimalist styling coupled with its sheer simplicity and intuitiveness make it winning in the UI department.
Its monochromatic design with a splash of colour here and there make it very visually appealing. It also makes very efficient use of the small amount of RAM that typically comes in WP devices. However, it has long been hampered by functionality and customisability issues.
Many functions have been locked out for third-party developers, and Microsoft have not released even basic applications for functionalities such as a data counter until it was deep into its foray in the smartphone market. This has resulted in a UI that works great, looks great, feels great, but doesn’t do a whole lot. However, to supplement all that, we bring in our last and final party: Android.
SOFTWARE ELEMENTS AND POWER (ANDROID)
Android users have always had one bragging point, above all else: it was that their phone could be customised, with a little bit of work, to look like any of the other players’ smartphones.
The UI as well as behavioural settings could be tweaked to allow the phone to respond and feel the same as either an Apple or WP device. However, Android phones have long been synonymous with bloatware, and have been plagued with persistent inefficient RAM allocation issues.
In a Samsung phone, it comes with a Swiss army knife-like array of functions, space age bells and whistles and software. This has resulted in the large amount of RAM being used for things that, honestly, people may never use. However, the customisability, much like the “add new homescreen” button, is a big plus.
It allows for every phone to be unique to the user, and that each phone can be exactly the way you want it. All the features and software that you will use, and none of which you don’t. This results in a whole new, redefined user experience, as no RAM is wasted, and no functions left out.
There you have it. The three big players in today’s smartphone world, the good, the bad and the potential of each of the big boys, and the potential masterpiece that could culminate if they all contributed to working toward one great phone.