Samsung’s Galaxy S II has got a brilliant screen, great performance – no question at all, but it also has inferior ease-of-use (on my scale) and it’s just a bit flimsy.
But is it an Apple iPhone crusher? Unlikely. It comes down to your religion: Android or Apple iOS. It comes to aesthetics versus weight. It comes down to intuitiveness. It comes to down to having a fiddle with the Galaxy S II and seeing how it feels.
And it comes down to whether this week’s hype is better than next week’s hype.
Our expert on this, Ross Catanzariti at PC World, swears the Galaxy S II is bloody brilliant – maybe even the best smartphone ever but, you know, when I first picked it up, I went ‘oh, that’s light’, then I went ‘oh, that’s plasticy’, then I went ‘oh, the screen is really really good’. Then I fiddled and decided I didn’t like the interface. All this in a few minutes, mind you.
I should declare here and now: I own an iPhone 4 – and I wanted to hate it when I got it a few months ago. My wife has been attached to her iPhone 3GS for a year or so and everybody else around me has been oozing iPhone lurve. It was an entirely irrational case of being ornery, particularly as – tech-wise – we’re an all Apple family.
So I tried to hate the iPhone 4. And I failed. It’s bloody awesome. I’m no technical guru but even I could work out how to use it, the apps are fantastic, and bugger the heaviness - it looks and feels great. I’m hooked.
And here’s the point while the Galaxy S II is very good – maybe even great – we’re talking personal taste and degrees of bestness now.
Next week and the month after and the week after that a new bunch of smartphones is going to rollout, some better than others, but at least one or two are going to be greeted with the same kind of hype … until eventually iPhone 5 is released. When? How? Pick your rumour. Anyway, it will probably sell 10 billion in its first week and that will be the end of the story.
Let’s face it, stats wise, Samsung’s aim to sell 10 million Galaxy S II’s by the end of the year, while laudable, is hardly rocking the boat when Apple flogs off 14.1 million iPhones in a quarter. And the Android apps range just doesn’t compete with Apple’s mighty Apps Store – selection- or safety-wise.
It’s a game really. Your job is picking the winner that suits you or your company (if you’re taking a mobile option). But don’t be swayed by all the hyperbole. Go out and just play with half-a-dozen smartphones for 10 minutes each. You’ll soon work out what suits your purposes and tastes.
ARN's Hafizah Osman summed it up perfectly - she owns an iPhone 4 but has been road-testing the Samsung: "It feels like I'm cheating on my iPhone," she said, guilt choking her voice.
I reckon iPhone has this Android covered.