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  • omega12 - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    "Apple is the first company I've seen to take the pace of innovation offered by Moore's Law and pair it with an equally aggressive expected upgrade cycle."

    Last time i checked their hardware was not exactly up to date so I don't think you can say they are the kind that follows Moore's Law closely. Aggressive upgrade cycle they do have though.
    Maybe you meant that with each upgrade they usually change their core hardware? But then again that's hardly the case. I don't get it.
  • sprockkets - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    I think Moore and his law need to die. This isn't even cpus we are talking about, and Anand even referenced the stupid law when referring to SSDs.

    For that matter, if they really were following Moore's law they would upgrade like every 18 months, not 12, and others upgrade like every 6 months. And those ARM cpus are not getting upgrades solely based on litho process improvements either.
  • foolsgambit11 - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Moore's Law is often used a simple shorthand for referring to the rapid pace of technological innovation, and that's how it was used here. But given that, Moore's Law originally only said that the number of transistors that can be fit on a given size of silicon will double roughly every 18-24 months (Moore used different numbers at different times). So it applies equally well to SSDs. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    I meant from an end user standpoint. The typical PC upgrade cycle is 3 - 5 years, Apple's sales strategy seems to be to shorten that cycle fairly aggressively.

    The holy grail a decade ago was selling PCs like cars - a new one every model year. Apple has effectively done that. It's great for Apple's bottom line for sure.

    Take care,
  • StormyParis - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Indeed, the car model-year explanation makes a lot more sense. People like getting stuff that is "new", it's an easy-to-grok upgrade cycle, and, thanks to technological progress, PC model-years mean more than cosmetics changes, which are what most car model-years are about.

    I'm wondering why most brands don't go with the yearly line-up refresh, probably towards the end of summer. I'm guessing PC companies still mainly see themselves as tech-driven, or even component-driven, which kinda explains why Apple is making a killing.
  • Pirks - Sunday, December 05, 2010 - link

    "why most brands don't go with the yearly line-up refresh, probably towards the end of summer"

    That's because most brands are run by the Mototrolls and frobitches of the world.
  • wyvernknight - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Wow, its pirks, the persistent apple-lover from dailytech. Long time since i read one of your comments! Reply
  • Exelius - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Apple's hardware was pretty up to date when it was released; which was quite a while ago. The trick for Apple is that they underclock everything to achieve excellent battery life.

    Mobile hardware goes out of date pretty quickly; but I still wouldn't say the iPhone 4 is exactly ancient. They release one hardware upgrade and several software upgrades per year.

    If you mean stuff other than the iPhone, then sure. But I'm not really sure they need to be the latest-and-greatest; the MBP is still easily the best selling laptop in the world and when you compare the MBP to truly comparable laptops, it's not poorly priced. Try to find a laptop with high-res, quality 15" screen, discrete switchable GPU, i5 or i7 and 5+ hours battery life... The entire package is what's important.

    It's almost to Apple's advantage to sell slightly out-of-date components, so you buy a new one every year... Compare this with a company like Dell, HP or Acer where they release a new product every week, so the end-users know that whenever they want to upgrade, there will be a new product there for them to buy. With Apple, you try to time your purchase right after a major announcement.
  • mfenn - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    The Youtube video on page 9 is marked as private. :( Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Works fine for me, but not in the embedded player. You have to double click it to open it in youtube. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    Any news on the Omnia 7's US release date? I'd love to get my hands on one, as it's the only WP7 phone I'm really very interested in. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    I think 4" is the minimum size I'd buy. When I use the Galaxy S I always feel like just
    a little extra room would make using it perfect. But hey, maybe you're right and that's
    not true for WP7; I've never used it. I still think 4" is the minimum size though. I'm 6'4"
    and an athletic 240lbs and I have very large hands.

    I think EVERY phone should have an SD slot, prefferably not micro, but if they must.
    I mean, is it really that hard to fit a full size SD card slot in there? THey're not
    very big.

    I like the brushed metal design of the LG over plastic any day on any electronic anything.

    A good screen can never be understated, good on ya Samsung. AMOLED FTW!

    I like the 3 main buttons to be physical, personal preference here.

    I really like the apps LG includes.

    I want all the camera option of LG and Samsung Standard on all WP7 phones.

    You dogs like to eat plants:) Hahaha, that one runs off with the stick so the other just keeps on
    eating grass.

    Have you guys ever looked into reviewing anything from Archos. They make a bunch of handheld
    smart phone like devices that would be great for people who don't wanna be locked into
    paying 100+ per month to use it. I've never used any of their stuff so I'd like a
    good thourough review, who else could I ask really? They also have Windows 7 Tablet
    that if it's done well could combat the ipad and galaxy tab.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    There are reviews of Archos units around, just have to look a little more. General opinion (which I agree with based on my Archos 5 IMT) is great hardware paired up with flaky software. They also have a bad habit of promising things in software and then never delivering.

    And yes, a full-size SD slot would be huge on something smartphone sized, I would much rather have the microSD slot and have she space saved over SD used for a thinner device or a larger battery or something.

    I like the ability handset makers currently have in Android to customize the OS, IMO allows it to be much better tailored toward individual markets. For example, on Windows phone I would have no interest in the Zune anything or Xbox anything, so it would suck to have a significant portion of the UI devoted to that. What I would love is if Android phones were able to (without rooting) dual-boot whatever the current vanilla flavor of Android is as well as whatever the customized version their phone maker came up with, have the choice of which experience they want. I do like that carrier programs can be easily removed in Windows phone though.
  • Voldenuit - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    The lack of mountable storage on WP7 is a deal killer for me.

    Anyone who's used a phone has probably experienced times when the on board (micro or otherwise) SD card simply refused to read. On a normal phone, you can usually fix this by removing and reinserting the card, or cleaning the contacts.

    If a WP7 phone ever loses touch with its SD card storage (dust, dirt, loose contact, etc), it will corrupt your whole filesystem. This is a major failure in robust design.

    Right now, I'd go so far as to avoid any WP7 phones that have an SD slot.
  • MGSsancho - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    You can remove and reinsert the same SD card no problem, the issue you are referring to is booting the phone with out the original SD card.

    I will agree with you sometimes you need to force reboot the phone but usually a simple removal works and others you need to remove/reinsert the memory card.
  • Voldenuit - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Cool, that's good to know.

    I'm still waiting for the Nokia N8 review on Anandtech. We're on AT&T, and their phone selection is rubbish, so I'm thinking of buying my own unlocked phone and adding it to the plan.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Well, wasn't the internal card on the HTC Surround under a cover? Reply
  • bobjones32 - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Thanks, Anand, as usual. Great reviews on WP7.

    I've owned a Samsung Focus for about two weeks now and in general agree with everything said here and elsewhere.

    I've been an iPhone user for more than 2 years, and loved it. I know iOS inside and out, and thoroughly enjoy the application ecosystem. But my contract was up, I was going to spend ~$200 either way, so I figured I'd give WP7 a shot and keep my iPhone to use as an iPod Touch so I could continue using all my games and applications.

    For all the bitching and moaning about the obvious things lacking, or how the back button behavior is "confusing", it's been nearly perfect for me. The back button always does exactly what I want it to do at a certain time, and even after using iOS for 2+ years, I don't really miss copy+past, fast app switching, or certain background processes at all.

    Here's hoping that the updates are fast and significant next year!
  • ryedizzel - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Another excellent review and the video was really helpful in understanding the navigation/ visual effects you talked about. Keep up the good work and hopefully MS adds the ability to do WiFi tethering- that's the only reason I would choose Android right now over Win7 and iOS. Reply
  • popej_ - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    "AMOLED displays are truly off when displaying black, so you technically get infinite contrast ratio."

    Well, no. You simply don't include reflected light into measurement. That way you can't measure AMOLED, transflective LCD, e-ink or compare matte with glossy screen. So what does remain? Maybe it is time to change your measurement to something more usable, that will correlate with real life?
  • sprockkets - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Or maybe you can comprehend that light that is picked up from an LCD in their measurements is the LCD trying to mask the BACKLIGHT and why they can never be as black as an OLED screen? Reply
  • popej_ - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Do you know what is transflective LCD? That kind of screen can be perfectly visible in full sunlight without any backlight at all. You can get the same useless black measurement as for AMOLED :) Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    My understanding was that transflective screens generally are worse on battery due to the need to power the backlight through the additional transflective layer. For a phone that was going to be used extensively outside it might be worth it, for a lot it wouldn't.

    Also I don't think most users are confusing reflections on a glossy screen with bad black levels.
  • banvetor - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand, thanks for the great review, as always. These 2 phones are exactly the ones I was setting my eyes on, and I feel I'm leaning towards Optimus 7 (since I live in Italy).

    Anyway, I posted this on Brian's HTC Surround review, but I figure I should ask the same to you also... could you give some details on the usability of each mobile OS when you DO NOT have a data plan?

    I currently don't own a data plan, and actually don't plan on owning one... my main uses for my smartphone are music, taking photos, and some more occasional web browsing and e-mail checking when there is wi-fi or when I really need to (in which case I pay for the KB of data).

    My main issue when switching from my current Nokia N96 to WP7 (I think I sit exactly with the people you mentioned on the first page, not really sold on Android and not wanting to jump into the Apple ecosystem) is how dependent this modern mobile OSes are on a always-on data connection. For instance, I'm guessing that Zune Pass will not be so useful to me, but maybe you can store some songs on the phone to listen to while offline... On Nokia even the maps are offline stored, but I guess this is too much to ask to these new OSes ;)

    Anyway, it would be great if you could post some of your findings about this on your next reviews...

    Many thanks!
  • tipoo - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    I'm surprised that even the BB Torch and the Dell Streak running 1.6 beat these phones on the benchmark page, despite their faster hardware. Since this is a new product for Microsoft I won't rag on them for this, but it does look like some browser performance optimization is needed. Reply
  • JimmiG - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    The poor battery life of the Focus makes it very hard for me to recommend it to anyone. I know how frustrating it can be, since I have an HTC Desire, probably comparable to the Nexus One... Not being able to use the phone for what you want because you need to take a call in the afternoon and need to make sure there's some battery left, or having the phone die on you after 3/4ths of the commute home in the afternoon...that can be very annoying.. and the Focus is even worse. If I were buying a WP7 phone right now, I'd go with the LG for the battery life. Reply
  • Enrox - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    3 are the apps preinstalled but there are 7 more available in the dedicated LG app store in the markatplace. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    I'm just curious whether your performance benchmarks for Apple's devices have been updated to use the latest iOS 4.2.1? I was interested in seeing if iOS 4.2.1 improves performance and/or battery life compared to iOS 4.1. iOS 4.1 used a Safari based on Safari 4's WebKit while iOS 4.2.1 comes with Safari 5 so it should offer much improved JavaScript performance. It would be useful if you included the iOS version number in brackets for your charts as you do for Android phones. Reply
  • VashHT - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    I was wondering what brightness levels you guys used for the browsing test. On the focus I found that the low brightness level was a lot brighter than low on the HD7 and very usable for daily use (unless you're in the sun). I'd be interested to see how the the brightness level affects the battery life of the focus. Reply
  • Esteban2 - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Anand, nice job with review. I think it is one of the best I've seen and I've seen just about every one.

    I think you left out one important missing feature--Visual Voicemail. I was about to buy a Samsung Focus (who cares about cut and paste??) when I realized there was no Visual Voicemail. Honestly after almost 3 years with an iPhone I had forgotten about voicemail was like but this brought back the horrors very quickly. Another important missing feature--a favorites list. When you want to make a phone to someone you frequently call you don't want to go to contact list and all the mess of facebook postings, etc that you're forced to with WP7.

    Anyway, I'm hanging on to my iPhone 3G for now and waiting to see when Microsoft updates and brings Visual voicemail. Honestly, I can't understand why this feature is missing it seems so basic but I actually like the OS so will keep watching and waiting for now. If not there in 6 months I may have to bite the bullet and go with iPhone 4.
  • tonyfreak215 - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    You can pin a contact to the Main page. Just hold your finger on the contact and "Pin to start" Reply
  • EddyKilowatt - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    During OLED's multi-year gestation, we saw lots of fetching display pics, though always with the text disclaimer "life of the organic emitters, however, remains a stumbling block".

    But now that products are on the shelves, the most penetrating journalism one can read about OLEDs amounts to, basically, "ohhhh... shiny!".

    What is the backstory with OLED lifetime... was there a fundamental breakthrough that made it a non-problem, or was it merely increased "enough" that vendors think consumers will shrug and buy new toys when the old ones fade? Will today's eye-catching saturated colors look like old faded jeans at this time next year?
  • sviola - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Well, considering that people change cellphones in a 2-year schedule (usually when the plan is over), I don't think that the lifetime of the screen on a cellphone would matter much (2-year lifetime is around 17,5k hours if left on 24/7 - and I think Samsung AMOLED has a lifetime of 50k hours, which would translate to 5yr and 8mo of 24/7). Reply
  • xBabyJesus - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Anand, any chance you could do an update with read/write latency tests for a few flash cards? Apparently the sequential transfer speed (Class 2, 4, 6, etc) is pretty meaningless but the random read latency is make-or-break for Focus. Reply

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