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  • t_yamamoto - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    I think you guys may have gotten the pricing wrong, as the 5c is supposed to be 100 dollars cheaper than the 5s. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    Eep. Good catch. Thank you. Reply
  • MatthiasP - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    If your plan all along was to buy an iPhone 5 then you should go and get it as long as you can, it is cheaper, lighter and has the way more premium design. Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    That was really quick!!

    "Personally I’d prefer the iPhone 5s simply because of its more modern platform, even if I were recommending a device for someone else not as concerned with performance."

    Apple built the iPhone 5c for this exact reason!! More profits if customers buy 5S!!
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Are the prices of the 5s inflated compared to previous years smartphone launches? I remember them being the same, so your argument makes no sense. Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    5s likely has higher margins than the 5c. I think that's where he was going, but he's still wrong. Reply
  • Crono - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    Wow, back-to-back reviews.

    The 5c isn't likely to appeal to as many AT readers as the general public, but it's good to see the comparison versus other devices so I know whether to recommend it or not to friends and family who "must" get an Apple device.

    Appreciate the hard work, Anand. :)
  • BreakingBones - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    Wow, looking at these numbers, Intel must be worried. Their window of opportunity is closing quick. Next year, the A8 might even surpass any Atom upgrade Intel plans to put out. Intel would have needed a few years of performance lead for developers to migrate all the native GL game code over to x86. Now, with the 64-bit Arm, they're likely gonna say it's wasted effort to port over to x86. Reply
  • teiglin - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Not sure I see the comparison. Certainly the A7 is impressive compared to Bay Trail but is Apple really going to start selling their silicon to other OEMs or even enterprise customers? I see the competition for Bay Trail as MSM8974, Cortex A57, or Kabini in the tablet space.

    As for next year, it seems a bit premature to judge. We know very little about Airmont and even less about the CPUs that will be in Apple's A8, and it'd take quite a shift from Apple to really place them as competitors (some unholy combination of iPad and Macbook Airs maybe?).
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    This. Intel announced its first real push into mobile devices last week, and Apple can merely match their performance on the CPU side. The GPU side of things is easily fixed by them in the future, as they just need to see their mistake, recognize it, and correct their course. Stamp out some more EUs on Airmont (3x what Bay Trail has, so 12 total), while using the updated architecture found in either Haswell or Broadwell, and they'd be fine for next year. That's assuming that the CPU side holds up. Since it's Intel, I'd say that's a safe bet. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    And you think this is an okay situation, where Apple, not known for being a CPU powerhouse, can match Intel now for the past 3 years since they started designing their own CPUs? And of course, that anything Intel can do to beef up their GPU, Apple can too?

    Saying that Intel's CPU side 'holds up' means there's no advantage to actually using Bay Trail or Airmont since both Apple and Qualcomm can be expected to match Intel for the next year or so. The A7 is only on 28nm and can still proceed to 24nm or 20nm in the next year.
  • tdawg - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Apple SoC's only matter in Apple hardware, since they're not furnishing SoC's for Samsung, HTC, etc. For those that choose to live outside the Apple ecosystem, their SoC ultimately doesn't matter apart from driving others to create competitive options for non-Apple devices. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    The point still stands; next quarter Qualcomm or Samsung will have something that matches the A7, and those two directly compete with Intel. If Apple can do it, so can ARM, Samsung, or Qualcomm. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    And so can Intel, who's (finally) moving Atom to a faster update cycle of tick/tocks a-la-iCore and who has access to smaller nodes and better fabs than any of the competition. They're not exactly in trouble, they're just not clearly in the lead like they've managed to be in the PC over the last few years. That's not exactly a bad thing for the consumer either... Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Of course it's not bad for the consumer, it's just a bad place for Intel. They can fend off one AMD, but can they deal with six of them? Ironically enough, they are in the same market position as Apple, peddling expensive and premium parts in a market dominated by lower cost options. The difference being that Apple isn't late to the market and happens to have a sizable portion of the market with only one real competitor, Samsung. Intel is late (rather, they didn't invest in Atom for six years), a tiny fraction of the market (Apple at least has 13%) and Intel has competitors in AMD, Rockchip, Mediatek, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and even Apple since Apple can decide to buy vs build; the iPhone really only has competition in the premium space from Samsung. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I don't know about Apple only having one competitor in the premium space... It's more like Apple only having one real competitor in the PR war zone for consumer mindshare... :P I'm surprised Samsung hasn't been more reliant on their own designs, if Qualcomm can screw up one or two generations and then dominate the next two I think Intel still has more than a fighting chance. I'd be worried if I was NV tho... Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Yet if you look at industry profits, Samsung is the only one making more than 4% of the profit. None of the others make even that much.

    If Qualcomm screws up, guess how many others happen to have ARM products? TI, NVIDIA, Samsung, and even AMD. Intel can't win just because Qualcomm screws up.

    Likewise, if Qualcomm screws up it gives Apple an opening to sell more smartphones because none of the others are close to Apple in terms of performance except, as previously mentioned, Samsung.
  • Impulses - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    The Qualcomm reference was in regards to the last couple of years rather than what could potentially happen btw (they fell behind after the original Snapdragon, NV and others got lots of design wins for a while, then Qualcomm came back with a vengeance over the last two generations of phones). Doesn't change either argument much tho. Altho I'd argue smartphone performance is reaching that plateau PCs reached a few years ago where it's good for most, tablets on the other hand... Reply
  • ClockworkPirate - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Doesn't x86 already have DX, OpenGL, etc? Those should still apply to SoC graphics, no? Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    It does. There's still some work Intel needs to do on how Bay Trail works with Dalvik in terms of performance, but other than that, they're good to go with most every app out there. Reply
  • bootareen - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    Is it possible to determine who manufactured the screen? I find it ironic the 5c has the best screen of any Retina device. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    At the moment, not without taking it apart (which we can't do). A jailbreak could change that though. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Out of the handful of devices tested by Anandtech. Doesn't mean squat, really. :) Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    Based on how close the battery life numbers of the 5c turned out to the iPhone 5 it looks like Apple kept the A6 at 32nm and didn't shrink it to 28nm. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    I expect that to happen next year. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    If they keep the A6 around for another year, that would be a huge disappointment. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Why? The 2010 A4 was sold up until September 2013. The A6 isn't even a year old! Reply
  • pankajparikh - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Does the new iPhone support LTE in India? Based on your review it looks like it doesn't- please confirm? Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Both 5c and 5s support TDD Band 40, which is what Reliance-Jio and Airtel are coming up with. And Videocon as well FDD Band 3. So short answer : Yes. Reply
  • breja - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    benchmarks are great but Apple has a lower resolution = better results! Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    I do find it a bit hypocritical that when Samsung releases a plastic phone, Anand and Brian tear it to shreds for the plastic casing. When Apple releases a plastic phone, it's a point that's barely mentioned and never mentioned negatively.

    Frankly, unless a phone's casing adversely impacts its functionality, it has no bearing on whether I, and I suspect many others will buy it. For many, actual functionality is far more important than aesthetics.

    Apple's phones are all missing core functionality that exists in every Samsung product and products from many other vendors. Key among these missing features are removable batteries and expandable memory. In this review, Apple doesn't receive a ding for either of those shortcomings.

    One might say the industry has become so inured to Apple's lack of removable batteries and expandable memory that it would almost be sacrilege to mention those shortcomings. In truth, Apple's refusal to provide those features is a far more legitimate critique than the continual knocking of Samsung for its plastic casings.

    A metal case on a phone is little different to leather seats in a car. Both look nice, but have reduced functionality as compared to their less costly counterparts. Quite unlike the clear cut functional shortcoming of this phone. No, Apple will never add these features, but their stubborn refusal to deliver them doesn't deserve a free pass from reviewers.

    One imagines that for most readers here, smart phones are far more computing devices than fashion accessories. Yet that fact seems conspicuously lost on Anand and Brian.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Plastic isn't the main problem, build quality is.

    Nobody would ever ding Nokia for their plastic construction. The Lumia is built like a tank. I haven't gotten my hands on a 5C but by all accounts it is also solid.

    The GS3 and GS4 are probably the worst constructed high end smartphones right now. Any drop test on Youtube shows both of them to be very flimsy compared to phones by Nokia or Apple.

    Samsung has gimmick features to fill up bulletpoints but they consistently miss the mark on construction, component quality, and usability (TouchWiz is still godawful). Apple, Nokia, and HTC don't get marked down on materials and build quality because they actually make good hardware.

    As for things like battery life, a non-replaceable iPhone 5C battery with nearly double the LTE browse time of a GS4 with a replaceable battery is good, no? Why carry spare batteries when you don't need any at all? That's as practical an advantage as I can think of.

    I guess marketing is why Samsung has so many defenders. The high end Galaxy devices are so obviously second rate when put next to other comparably priced phones.
  • Dentons - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    You clearly haven't used the Galaxy Note II. There's nothing at all flimsy about its casing. It doesn't flex, it doesn't twist. It's as solid as they get. You're basing your analysis on YouTube drop tests? Truly? I've dropped mine onto pavement more times than I'd like. Not a scratch on it.

    My anecdotal evidence means as much as yours. Unless drop tests are repeated many times in lab environments, they are purely anecdotal, a matter of luck as much as anything else.

    You conveniently forget that the fronts of all these phones are made of a nearly identical type of glass. Even Gorilla glass can shatter from a 1 meter drop onto pavement. The luck of the drop can as easily destroy the screen of an Apple phone as any other.

    Samsung's rear plastic casing is inexpensive and user replaceable. If it does happen to crack, it's a $5 part the user can easily snap into place. If the case of this Apple phone is cracked, it requires a trip to the service center with a cost at least 20 time greater, perhaps a lot more.

    What's more interesting than Samsung's defenders are those who blindly ignore Apple's decision to leave out much desired features like spare batteries and microSD expansion.

    Why give Apple a free pass on the lack of actual features that customers desire, while hammering Samsung on something as trivial as perceived, slightly lesser quality plastic. In fact, many would strongly argue that Samsung's latest plastic cases are every bit the quality of those made by Nokia and Apple.
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Meh, personally I've learned to live without a removable battery (USB battery packs are actually preferable at times) and I'm even adjusting to the lack of removable media as it's something my next phone probably won't have (been using USB OTG and DB/Drive more, ordered an OTG mSD reader too)...

    Editorially speaking tho, it's plainly obvious to any enthusiast that those two things aren't available here or even in most competing models outside of Samsung's, what more is there to say about it? It's not like there's a final review score they should be taking points off over this or something... It's pretty much a deal with it kind of situation.

    As far as the build goes... I think build quality is one thing and finish and on hand feel are another. The former is harder to judge without disassembly and/or drop tests (and those are hard to replicate even if they had the budget for it)... There's no doubt that unibody phones would probably do better regardless of the material used tho.

    Finish and feel are easier to judge since it's subjective, this is where I'd agree that they gave the 5c a big pass. It might feel solid and well put together,but it's still glossy smudgeprone plastic that feels cheaper than a variety of other possible finishes (and it's such a small thing to tweak... I'd think). The word glossy was used once in the article during a passing mention of the finish without dwelling on anyone who's done plastic/polycarb phones with a more preferable outside treatment (Nokia, HTC, Moto).
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    "It's kind of a deal with it situation" is a copout. As far as the removable back/battery goes, I don't think it is a huge deal, but the lack of expandable storage is apparently purely a ploy to get you to either use their cloud services, buy a higher GB model (big ripoff for the memory upgrades on the new iPhone), or have to buy a next gen model sooner. This also goes for Google's decision to not have expandable storage as well although at least they only charge you $40-$50 for each extra 16 GB instead of $100. I think that's the blatant ripoff on memory upgrade bothers me the most about these new iPhones - that's definitely a lot more annoying than the lack of expandable memory. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    You're conflating build quality with toughness. I don't think many out there would actually claim that they prefer Samsung's build quality over Apple's or Nokia's. I own a note II and I sure don't. But it is quite sturdy. I have dropped it on the pavement a couple times and have had no issues. Its lack of scratches bests the rest of my family's iPhone 5s, which all have scratches on their aluminum exteriors.

    If there have been rigorous drop tests with large samples which show that Samsung phones are more prone to breaking in falls, then I'll stand corrected. Until then, it's a question of whether feel in the hand is more important than what the phone can do. For me, the latter is much more important while for others the former is or they prefer both how the iPhone feels and what it can do. Good for all of us that we have these choices.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Build quality is an important metric of a phone nowadays, whether you personally care about it or not. It's not about it being a "fashion accessory". I don't care what other people think of my phone's aesthetics, feel, or ergonomics, but I certainly do care what *I* think about those things.

    And there's no question that Samsung's plastic casings are pretty crap compared to other, higher-quality plastic designs produced by Nokia, for example (and now Apple, of course). You may feel that's an acceptable compromise in exchange for a removable battery and microSD slot. It's great that you have that option. I personally couldn't care less about a removable battery. A microSD slot is always nice, but, on a phone, I find that 32GB is more than adequate currently and really would rarely, if ever, actually use it even if my phone had one.

    Of course, you could rightly point out that, with Apple, you have to add $100 to the cost of their devices to get to 32GB.

    Disclaimer: I'm not an Apple apologist. I don't own an iPhone and have no plans to own one anytime in the future. I am, in fact, pretty underwhelmed and uninterested in the 5s and 5c.
  • Dentons - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    You're not talking build quality, you're talking fashion. If you value aesthetics so highly over functionality, it is by definition a Fashion Accessory, whether or not you're doing it to impress others.

    By calling Samsung's phone casinsg crap, you prove you haven't used their latest models. Even saying 'latest' is a stretch. The Note II is nearly a year old, it doesn't flex at all. The case is as solid as Nokia's or Apple's.

    The larger issues of one of reviewer hypocrisy. When Anandtech reviews Samsung phones, they can't shut up about Samsung's plastic. At the same time, they give Samsung no almost no credit for continuing to feature spare batteries and microSD expansion.

    When Apple releases a plastic phone, Andtech barely mentions the plastic casing and never, ever criticizes apple for the lack of a spare battery or memory expansion.

    I don't think this hypocrisy is by design, it is simply a reflection consumer expectations and Apple's astro-turf marketing. Tech journalists never expect Apple to add those much desired features, so they don't criticize Apple for not having included them. These journalists have similarly bought into the meme of Samsung's "inferior" plastic cases, so are likely to play into that when writing a review.

    My take is that Anandtech and many other reviewers are played like fiddles by Apple's marketing department. Kudos to Apple, not so much to Anandtech.
  • EnzoFX - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Your ignorant self can't seem to understand that plastic can be done well. Whether you like it or not, the vast general consensus agrees that Samsung does NOT do plastic well. Get over it. Secondly, good for you that you love your microSD cards and removable batteries, but again your ignorance gets the best of you. Most, most people do not care about those things. You are in an extreme minority that it's ridiculous to tout them as necessary features. I'm glad Samsung is able to cater to you, but don't kid yourself, move on, stop spreading ignorance, etc. Reply
  • ammar.m - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    You're confusing built quality and looks with the material in use. There are tons of ways plastic can be used and made to look and feel. Samsung just choses the shittest way of the bunch. Nokia Lumia phones are plastic too FYI and you've never seen anyone complain about their built. That is because they do it correctly. Reply
  • Calista - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Fully agree, using a HTC phone made of mostly plastic right now and it's built like a tank. No flex, no squeaking. It feels just as well made as say the iPhone 5 even if it's lacking a bit of the design flair of the latter. All this while still using a replaceable battery. So yes, Samsung do have a cheap feeling among their phones. Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    You clearly haven't used Samsung's latest phones. The Note II case is as solid as plastic phones get. Every bit as solid as a Lumia.

    I don't know why you don't like Samsung phones, but it clearly isn't the reason you've stated.
  • Allicox - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Apple is better! It looks better and it isn't confusing. This is about the new apple phones. If you like the HTC go talk on there page. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    If you can't handle a civil discussion then AT isn't for you, perhaps Engadget? Comparisons are always relevant, good or bad. Reply
  • mporter - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    It's a great device, there's no denying that.. but I don't see how you could justify spending so much on a phone when you could get so much more for your money.. for example the HTC One - Reply
  • Vjgoh - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    A long feature list doesn't necessarily make a great phone. The Galaxy S4 has more 'features' than an HTC One, but I'm of the opinion that you'd have to be crazy to pick the Samsung.

    The 5c has a few things going for it that close the gap:
    - iWork is now free ($40 value, if you decide to take all of them)
    - Service is a well known strength of Apple. If you've got trouble, it's easier to get help.
    - The AppleCare+ warranty is pretty nice (but it costs $100 up front)
    - The Apple App Store still has better apps. That's a mildly subjective call, but most dual users of Android/iOS that I know agree with the statement.
    - The accessories market for any iPhone is huge.
    - Resale value of Apple products is high

    So while on a spec-for-spec basis, I can't argue, the intangibles can really stack up for some people. Not everyone needs as much phone as the One provides and like the ease of use, reduced complexity/customization and high levels of service that they get from Apple.
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    Hmmm let's see.
    -apple throwing in a suite of overly priced underperforming apps, of which there are comparable or better free apps on android? I hardly think that can be counted as a plus. It can be counted an Apple's favorite strategy of overcharging for something and then lowering the price to make it seem like a deal. Also I've never been more frustrated than I was trying to use iWork, etc.
    -Apple's service is good but it will cost you an arm and a leg which eats into the resale value
    -better apps? You can plausibly claim that in the tablet space perhaps but it is a tired and outdated argument in the phone space. You know you're reaching for an argument when that's all you can come up with other than they're giving you iWork, etc for free...
    -accessories... Maybe apple is better there.. Not really sure because I don't care... If they're coming from apple itself, again it'll cost an arm and a leg and eat into the resale money you're planning on. See the $39 case for the 5c. Anyone spending $40 on a little flap of plastic has too much money and/or too little sense.
    -resale... See all the points above
    -you conspicuously failed to mention a huge difference between the HTC one and the iPhone 5c and 5s which is not a gimmick at all: the iPhone's tiny low rez screen and unnecessarily large bezels.... The screen is one of the most important things about the phone since it is the way we interface with it
    -also the construction of the one is nicer than the iPhone 5C
    -camera is better on the one... The 5c has the same camera as the 5 which was good but HTC really did an excellent job with their camera
    -also I can't remember off the top of my head but doesn't the $550 one come with 32 GB? On phones with no good external storage, 32 GB should be the bare minimum for a high end phone. 16 GB is 2012 as is ripping consumers off by charging them $100 for each extra 16 GB
    -I'm tired of making this list haha but you get the point... if anand's theory that people don't cross shop is true, then this discussion is moot, but my recent personal observations are that my iOS friends are getting increasingly restless. I've been asked about other options several times in the last half year. The market results will confirm or disconfirm this.
  • xmen77 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Apple please do in the next iPhone:
    4.5 inch screen
    The thin bezels
    At least 720p resolution
    In 2 or 1.5 times more than the current camera sensor
    Aspherical lenses in the lens
    Optical stabilization
    Support for 4K video to zoom during video recording
    12 MP for the zoom during shooting
    4 GB of RAM for 64 bit processor
    4 cores (they are more effective than the 2 very powerful)
    Dynamically change the
    If you do I will definitely buy it and I will advertise it in all the social networks and sites as the best smartphone
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    Sounds like a big improvement. I approve. But I still couldn't stomach iOS after tasting a modicum of freedom. Maybe I could if iOS would let me set my default keyboard, video player, etc. That's a pipe dream, though. Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    I don't buy that the plastic case does anything substantial to lower the costs. If you look at the BOM of the iPhone 5 the costs of the case are buried somewhere in the about $5 of overall construction. I would be very surprised if the actual cost delta between the 5/5s case and the 5c case would be much more than maybe $2 or $3.

    Apple just needed to have a cheaper looking device to sell it at a lower margin without having people wonder about the margins of the more expensive model. It's all about spreading your product palette a bit.

    It's still hideously expensive, though. As usual people don't feel this in the US ($99 on contract isn't that much), but in Europe the 16 GB 5c is at €599 unlocked (that's $800!). I can get a Nexus 7 AND a Galaxy S3 for that. Or a Nexus 7 32 GB LTE and a nice Nokia Lumia. The iPhone 5c will not help Apple with market share (and market power) outside of the US. In China iOS is at 4.8% right now and falling. Guess what platform new apps come out for?

    To be honest think pricing the 5c at $299 unlocked (and free with a contract) would have been Apple's last chance to turn the ship around. It would have meant much smaller margins but soaring market share (and with that iOS becoming relevant in markets it just isn't right now). Without that iOS will continue to shrink into a luxury niche. The golden bling 5s seems to symbolize this very nicely.

    Still, nice phone, I actually like the white one. Not for that kind of money though. Apple is focussing on insane profits instead of market share and while this may be good for them (at least in the short run) it's not good for me.

    To the "plastic" question: You people are crazy. Good construction is good construction, no matter if you use plastic, metal or glass.
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    That's why their share price tanked after the 5s/5c announcement. Analysts were expecting them to get competitive in emerging markets, but the 5c does nothing of the sort. It's not cheap, and the 5s is worth the extra $100 even looking at it purely from a future proofing standpoint. Reply
  • Deelron - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Analysts then obviously know jack about Apple and how they operate if they truly expected that. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Yeah really, they've been a premium hardware company that enjoys high margins for the past decade or longer... Everything else they've done has been in support of selling more premium hardware. Why would that change now? They haven't gone after lower cost laptop markets even as OS X adoption and their general market share rose a bit, not sure why they would at this point with the iPhone. It'd probably take some other external shakeup of the US mobile market for them to change course and chase market share... And Tmo's recent waves aren't quite it. Reply
  • mwildtech - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Muah Muah kiss that Apple butt.....I can see the 5s, but this? come on.... Reply
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Usability? On a Samsung phone? The number of pointless features on the 4 was high even by Samsung's low standards. Trying to get Eye scrolling, Smart Stay, S Assist and Tap to Top to reliably work is an exercise in futility as they exist only to drive Samsung's product launches and aren't fit for every day usage. I dumped the Galaxy 3 for an iPhone5 mainly due to:

    -Cheap-feeling, flexing plastic construction
    -Awful screen with wrong colours and fuzzy text
    -Samsung makes features which are either never going to be used (Photo sharing) or just don't work reliably like S Assist. Faced with that, why wouldn't you just buy a Nexus??

    Two of those relate to poor material choice, and all three are usability related. This makes me less inclined to buy a non Apple device as it is clear to me that if one wants decent build quality and design, and good choice of materials, everybody else (perhaps barring HTC, which I wouldn't consider due to their perilous financial position) is on a race to the bottom.
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    HTC's had it's fair share of software design and usability missteps... And I say that as someone who's had three HTC phones in a row that I rather liked (still on the EVO LTE), I actually don't even mind Sense that much and I've kept stock-based Sense ROMs on my last two (obviously rooted) phones.

    They've definitely made odd choices at times tho, like dumping the multitasking button, messing with wifi sleep functionality in a non-transparent way, completely messing up the multi-tasking UI on the previous version of Sense (the cards were pointless UI gloss reminiscent of even older versions of Sense), etc. Most of the stuff I liked in Sense has been integrated into stock Android whole hog anyway, outside of the camera interface.

    If you want clean software design I'd say Moto's more restrained attempts over the last two generations are actually ahead of HTC or anyone else on Android. The Moto X has just a couple of small but very useful additions to stock Android but they had similarly clean phones last year (just not on every carrier)... Plus they're clearly not going anywhere now that they're part of Google. Haven't been exposed to LG much, can't possibly be worse than Samsung tho.

    I don't know that everyone else is necessarily going Samsung's way with build design... Moto's doing their own thing quite successfully IMO, the X is one of the nicer feeling phones out there. The Optimus G was clearly a different direction for LG (even if it mimicked the iPhone 4 design). I do hope HTC survives...
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    And I dumped my iPhone 5 after six tortured months for a note II despite the iPhone's superior construction, so what's your point? An individual's whims don't really mean anything. The question is how the market collectively is reacting, and iOS has been losing market share. It'd be nice to see how it breaks down in the high end market to settle claims about all the android gains being feature phones. It will also be interesting to see whether these new apple devices have an impact on market share. Reply
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    I completely agree, the HTC One is a beautifully designed phone making use of premium materials, but it isn't running native Android (pricey Play Edition excepted) and you still have the intangibles of not having as good an App Store as iOS, the free high quality Apps Apple now bundles and all the rest. HTC's awful financial position is the final nail in the coffin. For me most Android phones apart from Nexus are play devices, a device I like to play with and tweak, but if I was to buy a phone for daily use, it will still be an iPhone largely due to the Apple ecosystem on iCloud and iTunes Match etc. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    The 'better app store' argument is simply no longer true. It's still plausible with regard to tablets but not with phones. It is a vestige of 2011 and apparently what people reach for when they've come to the end of the line. I've used an iPhone from Nov 2012-Apr 2013 and a note II since then and the selection, cost, and quality of apps is a complete wash IME. Yes it's only my opinion, but at least I've used iOS' and android's app stores on phones (tablets are not the same) for a significant period of time recently, unlike the people who just parrot this tired 'Apple's app store is better' who I suspect have probably not ever extensively and continuously used an android phone.

    Plus you have to consider that the bigger, higher rez screens on android flagships allow one to use and enjoy the apps more. Now that more and more android phones are coming out with the ability to have multiple windows open and even to resize them, you can even run your apps in a window the same size as an iPhone screen if you're so inclined, but that's not your only option. There's no reason to not have a small screen option for those who want it, but there's also no reason to dictate to your user base that they must all use one size phone. Apple was smart enough to realize they were wrong with the 10" tablet and when they made a mini, people bought it in droves despite its mediocre guts and screen. So what's with the reluctance in the phone space? Anyway I'm getting off topic. /soapbox
  • designerfx - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    when are you guys going to review the new droid line, especially the maxx? Reply
  • ds1111 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    You guys rock! best review I've seen on the internet. Many thanks! Reply
  • hafizmajid - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    the new celular antenia is a big plus as dropped calls and no signal in poor signal areas is a major issue on the iphone 5 for some users. Reply
  • hafizmajid - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    the pricing on iphone products have been softer over the last few months compaired to the last few years. they maybe runing out of large markets to enter and are reaching saturation. also the older iphones because there is so much demand in the second hand phone market is hitting saturation. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Hasn't pricing for iPhones been constant since pretty much the start or does the full off contract price actually ebb up and down outside the US? Reply
  • comomolo - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Why do you use different sets of phones for the comparison tables? I find it suspiciously convenient that you leave Samsung SuperAMOLED screens out of the lower blacks table... Reply
  • Becherovka05 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    4 battery life test so fast! how do they do it? have 4 phones? Reply
  • TheTinCity - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - link

    My 5c is so far so good, but you have go to read these reviews from others who bought it: - this helped me make an easy decision. Reply
  • katherine0james - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    my parents in-law recently got an awesome red Lincoln MKS Sedan just by part time work online. site here..>... Reply
  • alison_lenihan - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    what Eric said I am shocked that some people can profit $4550 in one month on the computer. see post....>>... Reply

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