The Evo 4G LTE is one of the best phones to land on Sprint shelves in a while, but that’s not to say it has no competition over at the Yellow carrier. The Galaxy Nexus has propped itself up as the Android phone to beat, while the iPhone 4S is available at the same price: $ 199.
So what will it take to pass up the iPhone and the GalNex for the latest iteration of the Evo line?
We’ve put together this head-to-head chart to answer just such a question.
As you can see, specs between the Evo and the GalNex are quite similar. The only noticeable differences come by way of UI and design language. If a pure Android experience is what you’re looking for, I would definitely recommend the Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
But there are also some HTC fans out there who happen to love the Sense UI, in which case the Evo would likely be the right choice. The design language is rather strong on the Evo 4G LTE, with soft touch gray, red metal, and shiny black plastic comprising the backside of the handset. The GalNex is a bit more reserved.
And still, there’s the iPhone 4S to consider. Sure, the display is much smaller (3.5-in vs 4.65/.7-in), but the Retina display easily rivals much larger 720p displays. And few can resist the beautiful minimalist design of the iPhone and the intuitive functionality of iOS.
Luckily, the decision is yours and not mine. Enjoy!
Hands-on initial impressions of the Evo 4G LTE can be found here, and a full review will go live in the next couple days. Stay tuned!
“iCloud not enough?” Microsoft asks on a new promotional page that aims to persuade Mac users to try SkyDrive, its cloud storage solution. While SkyDrive is nowhere near as automatic as iCloud for storing and syncing files, it does offer 7GB of free storage (25GB if you got in early), perfect integration with the Microsoft Office suite, and the ability to sync and share notes out of the box for free using OneNote. iCloud, in comparison, syncs notes but does not let you share or access them from the web. Also, SkyDrive (like Dropbox) can handle all sorts of files while iCloud sticks to iWork documents and files inside apps like iA Writer — there’s no real file system for storing your files in the cloud. Microsoft even provides a…
The HTC Titan II has already gone through the Fly or Die ringer, but the real determining factor for these phones is the level of competition surrounding them. In the case of the Titan II, the HTC/Microsoft partnership is most threatened by more HTC and Windows-powered phones, namely the Lumia 900 and the HTC One X.
So what do these phones have that the Titan lacks? How does the Titan wipe up the floor with them?
Well, that’s why I’m here, and why we’ve made this lovely graphic for you.
Truth be told, specs really don’t matter anymore, especially specs like processor clock speed and (I’m sorry to say it) megapixel count on cameras. What really matters is your preferred operating system, display size/resolution, and comfort with design.
When weighing these three phones against each other, the similarities are abundant, as are the subtle differences. For example, the Lumia 900 will net you $ 100 less than either of the other two phones. At the same time, it’s a touch smaller than the Titan and the One X, and if you prefer HTC hardware to Nokia’s then that doesn’t really matter.
I happen to be a pretty huge fan of the Lumia 900 simply because Windows Phone can pull off its stupid 480×800 resolution requirement on a 4.3-inch screen much better than it can on the Titan’s 4.7-inch display. Past that, the phones are quite similar. The Lumia feels a bit more premium in the hand, yet HTC does an excellent job of making even their plastic phones feel high-end.
If Windows Phone is your flavor, this is definitely a tough call. Good luck.
If it’s HTC that tickles your fancy, it all comes down to the OS. Do you prefer Sense 4 on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, or would you prefer to play with Microsoft. The One X specs slap down the Titan II like Daniel LaRusso at the beginning of The Karate Kid, but as I mentioned earlier, specs matter less and less these days. Where you’ll really win with the One X is the 4.7-inch 720p display. If you can tote it around comfortably, it really doesn’t get much better than that.
The ball is in your court, my dear readers. Choose wisely.
I’ve been fiddling around with the HTC One S for a few days now, and I have to say it’s stolen a little piece of my heart. The hardware is just about perfect, with a 4.3-inch qHD display and a slender aluminum unibody shell, and software like HTC’s Sense 4 overlay and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich only sweeten the deal.
But, as per usual, there’s plenty to consider out there. The wide world of mobile only grows wider by the second, with hot new phones launching left and right. Just today, Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus and the LG Viper landed on store shelves, and lest we forget that the iPhone 4S is ready and waiting while the One X is mere days away.
So many options.
To help, we’ve put the One S up against it’s greatest competitors, the HTC One X and the iPhone 4S, in a spec showdown. Who will come out on top? Well, my dear readers, that ball is in your court.
Admittedly, the One S has lesser specs than both the One X and the iPhone 4S, but it makes up for these inadequacies in the little things. And it’s the little things that count, right?
The iPhone 4S has the superior display, to be sure, and the One X is a close second to Apple’s precious in terms of ppi, but there’s something to be said for screen size. The 4.3-inch display on the One S is juuust right, as Goldilocks would say, and the phone feels super comfortable in the hand.
This is because HTC found a way to walk that fine line between being lightweight and feeling cheap. It’s quietly brilliant.
Of course, the brilliance of iOS can’t be had on the One S, nor can Apple’s premium design or 64GB of onboard storage. But maybe Apple isn’t your favorite flavor.
Might I suggest the One X? Especially if you’re an AT&T loyalist — the One S is only available at T-Mobile for the time being. This phone is for the giant-handed Android fan who appreciates a solid design and a well-spec’d device.
Luckily, pricing is about the same across the board here, so it really comes down to what suits you best.
What’ll it be, guys?
Yep, I’m writing another post on the Lumia 900. It’ll be my fourth in the span of 24 hours, but there’s just so much to talk about.
So after receiving a fly and a die, getting checked out by our camera crew, and being weighed by yours truly, we’re putting the Lumia 900 up against baby brother Lumia 800 and the titan of smartphones: the iPhone 4S.
Which will come out victorious? Well, that all depends on what you need and want, so let’s not beat around the bush any longer.
If you’re new to the world of smartphones, the Lumia 900 was built specifically for you. Sure, I’d prefer a smaller display to go along with that resolution (480×800), and the specs themselves are what you’d find on a phone from last year, but I can promise you that performance is a dream on this bad boy.
Plus, Windows Phone brings a welcome option to those of us who are sick of Android and iOS. Oh, and did I mention that you can nab this phone for $ 100 on-contract from AT&T, complete with 4G LTE connectivity? Nokia and Microsoft have managed to strike an astounding balance between performance and price with the 900.
But perhaps you prefer a smaller display. The Lumia 800 has everything that the 900 has save for a 4G radio, however, the Lumia 800 display measures in at 3.7-inches as opposed to the 4.3-inch Lumia 900. The only catch is that you’ll have to pick up the Lumia 800 at a Microsoft store as a part of a ridiculously pricey bundle.
For $ 899, you’ll get an unlocked handset, along with a Nokia Play 360 Bluetooth speaker, Nokia Purity HD headphones and a Luna Bluetooth headset. If you actually want all that stuff, the value proposition isn’t so bad, but otherwise I’d say to pass.
Then, of course, there’s the iPhone 4S. What can be said other than that it’s an exceptional device? But, there are plenty of us who are ready for a change in the OS department, and the iPhone 5 will be out in a few months anyways. That will significantly downgrade the iPhone 4S’s cool point status. Past that, the most basic iPhone 4S costs double what the 900 does — prices start at $ 199 for the 16GB model.
Obviously, the decision is yours, dear readers. But I depart with one final request: please just consider Windows Phone. You don’t have to buy it — hell, you don’t even have to like it — but giving it a chance in your mind will allow for the emergence of a third mobile ecosystem. And as competition grows, our phones will only get better and better.
Check out all of our Lumia 900 review posts here.
The LG Spectrum isn’t necessarily my favorite phone. It’s got pretty nice specs and a killer screen, but there’s something to be said about the way a phone draws you in from across the room. I don’t mean to get all romantic or dramatic about it, but it’s still true: appearance matters. Windows Phones have that engaging, compelling live tile interface. The iPhone has its stunning design and piano black shine. Motorola’s Razr has that crazy thin profile, and Samsung has the ultimate combo in the form of its Galaxy series: giant, gorgeous screens with beautiful design.
LG doesn’t really have that, and this is particularly apparent on the Spectrum. I’ve been spending the past few weeks with it (full review to follow), and despite the fact that it’s pretty slick, has a gorgeous display, and packs badass specs, I can’t get over the fact that it’s ugly.
But maybe you like the specs, and just want something that’s as similar as possible to the Spectrum. Or maybe you want the latest and greatest? Well, that’s why we put together this here infographic which pits the LG Spectrum against the Nitro HD and the Galaxy Nexus.
Here’s my two-cents: the Nitro HD has almost all the same specs, but better. By that, I mean that the back panel has this textured plastic to it, which actually makes for a more premium feel in the hand. Plus, the Nitro HD has dropped from its $ 250 price point to just $ 100 at AT&T.
Of course, not all of us are AT&T subs and so a Verizon option is necessary. Might I recommend the Galaxy Nexus, Android’s flagship and by far one of the coolest phones we’ve seen all year. It sports an even bigger 720p display at 4.65 inches and comes locked and loaded with the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Or maybe you just want to check out how the LG Spectrum matches up against the competition.
Either way, we’re here for you:
If last week’s showdown between the Droid 4, Droid 3, and iPhone 4S didn’t get your blood pumping, prepare yourself for the heavyweight round. We’ve got the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note going up against the Dell Streak and the beastly Galaxy Nexus.
Obviously the Streak is a somewhat older device, but it’s very similar in size to the Note which should give former Streak owners a good idea of what to expect out of the Note. Meanwhile, the GalNex is yet another huge screen that Note enthusiasts are probably considering, as well.
The Streak is just a hair thicker than the Note, at 10mm compared to the Note’s 9.7mm waist line, and sports a smaller 5-inch screen. The Streak can also be used with a capacitive stylus, though it really can’t compete with the pressure-sensitive Wacom-style S Pen. And to be quite honest, the Streak can’t compare with the Note in terms of performance either.
That’s not to say the Streak is a bad phone, but it’s simply too outdated to show any real competition in the spec department. For example, the 5-inch Streak display only has a resolution of 480×800 while the Note boasts a 1280×800 resolution on a 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen. The Note is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor whereas the Streak runs on a 1GHz single-core processor.
So again, the Streak is duking it out based on size similarities rather than performance, but the Galaxy Nexus is a different story.
Anyone who’s interested in the Galaxy Note is down for a giant screen, which means the Ice Cream Sandwich-flavored Galaxy Nexus is probably in the running too. Obviously the G-Nex doesn’t have a special stylus like the Note, but it does have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which could be way more valuable than an S Pen, especially for you die-hard phandroids. (Who knows when ICS will come to the Note?)
The Nexus is a bit smaller than the Note (but what isn’t?), measuring 8.9mm thick and boasting a 4.65-inch 720p display. That means pixel density on the GalNex is far greater than that of the Note — a difference of 316ppi vs. 285ppi. The Note has a better spec’d camera at 8-megapixels vs. 5-megapixels but that’s not the best determiner of quality. To be honest, neither camera is all that inspiring but the fact that the GalNex camera allows for so many extra cool features (like facial unlock and Google Hangouts) perhaps gives it a leg up.
At the same price, I’d have to say the value return is likely better on the Nexus unless your profession really calls for that S Pen functionality. As I mentioned in our initial impressions video, the Note’s S Pen only seems worthwhile in a few very specific circumstances. It’s fun and all that jazz, but doesn’t bring with it the same varied functionality as ICS.
As you’ll notice quite quickly from this infographic, we’re pitting the Droid 4 against its predecessor, the Droid 3, along with the iPhone 4S. For anyone who isn’t a die-hard Android fan, the iPhone 4S usually comes into the equation when it comes time to upgrade hardware. Since many of our reviews will be of Android devices (and Windows Phone) rather than iOS, we wanted to make sure to let you visualize the differences between the handset we’re reviewing and its biggest competitors.
Sorry for the announcement, but the boring part is over. Onward!
As you can see from our infographic, the Droid 4 is a solid step up from the Droid 3. It packs LTE, touts 1GB of RAM, has a bigger battery, and a front-facing camera. You’ll also see that Moto (awesomely) made the Droid 4 bigger than the Droid 3, while being lighter all at the same time.
As far as the iPhone 4S vs. Droid 4 comparison goes, these are two very different beasts. Obviously the Droid 4′s claim to fame is its physical QWERTY, which is fantastic, while the iPhone 4S’s big name feature is Siri. Clearly, these are two very different methods of interaction with your phone, so it’ll come down to what you need most.
Both the Droid 3 and the Droid 4 retail for $ 199.99 on-contract, though you can pick up the Droid 4 from Amazon for a cool $ 99. The iPhone 4S can be had for $ 200 on-contract, but that’ll only get you the 16GB version, while the $ 199 Droid 4 packs an extra 32GB of memory via a microSD card.
Gallery: Motorola Droid RAZR comparison shots
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With HD video recording, great image quality, and a solid selection of lenses, the Nikon D5100 and Canon T3i are on the top of a lot of wish lists out there. For people already in the Canon or Nikon camp (full disclosure: I’m a Canon man), the choice is obvious if an upgrade is in their future, but for the less dogmatic and new recruits to the DSLR crowd, it’s not nearly as clear-cut. $ 800 buys you a lot of camera either way.
Pixel peepers will want to check out the reliable and exhaustive reviews at DP Review (here and here) and other photography-centric sites where systematic checks on image quality are conducted, but I wanted to just put these two worthy devices head to head and see not just how they compare technically but in everyday use.
Before I get into my anecdotal review, let’s just review the major specs on the two cameras.
So, nothing decisive. Nikon has an edge in its autofocus system and (ostensibly) ISO capability, and Canon has a couple more megapixels and a slightly better LCD. But they’re close enough that it’s no way to determine which to get.
Yet one of these must be the better camera, or at least certain types of shooters might reasonably prefer one or the other. I’m going to look at a few of the major differentiating points that you wouldn’t really think about unless you had the camera in your hands. Note that these points are not necessarily new with these cameras! The primary change in these two models is the addition of an articulating LCD. Otherwise they’re very similar to their predecessors. But since these are the newest models and are likely to make the prospective DSLR-buyer lose some sleep (as they are both excellent values), a straight comparison seems in order. This is a practical comparison focusing on things consumer commonly care about.
Both cameras were tested using their kit lenses and processed in Adobe Lightroom. And the lenses form as good a place to start as any, as a large amount of first-time DSLR buyers stick with the kit lens at least for the starting period.
The T3i comes with an 18-135 F/3.5-5.6. The D5100 has an 18-55 F/3.5-5.6. Both have optical image stabilization, which helps keep longer exposures sharp (I wouldn’t trust it below 1/20th of a second) but can’t really help in really bad light.
The Canon lens is the more practical choice here. While neither one is any great shakes optically and you lose light really quick when zooming in, the Canon has two advantages over the Nikon: first, that extra bit on the long end is really handy if you only have the one lens. It’s quite a decent telephoto length, suitable for getting wildlife, birds, and so on at middle distance. The same object at the end of the Nikon focal length would have less clarity in most situations. Second, the Canon lens, while somewhat larger, has all internal elements — meaning nothing on the outside moves except the switches and rings. The Nikon, on the other hand, has a telescoping front element that moves in and out with both focus and zoom, and manual focusing spins the whole barrel. It feels a bit chintzy, like it couldn’t handle a good ding on a doorframe, and it’s poking out of the front all day long.
For what it’s worth, though, my brief tests showed the Nikon lens performed better optically. At 100%, the Canon shots showed significantly more fringing in bright light. Not something you’d notice if you were to shrink the pictures by a bit, but certainly worth mentioning.
Something that would have been nice to have on both lenses would be maximum aperture indicators on the zoom dial, but that’s uncommon anyway and the in-viewfinder info is sufficient.
Both viewfinders are run-of-the-mill pentamirror, so neither has a major advantage over the other. But they’re not identical. The rubber eye rest is slightly different but comfortable on both. Neither sticks out far so you’ll be rubbing your nose on the screen no matter what.
The Nikon’s viewfinder shows more of the image than the Canon — that is, given the same focal length on the lens, the Nikon shows more of what will actually be captured. It’s only perhaps 3% more (by my estimate) but it’s noticeable if you’re looking for it.
That said, I like the readout in the Canon viewfinder better; it seems to me to be brighter and more readable. The autofocus points are much more visible on the Canon viewfinder, which is a matter of taste really. The Canon has a circle for showing where center-weighted exposure will limit itself to, which is handy.
Canon’s LCD is the same size but slightly higher-resolution (720×480 instead of 640×480), and has the advantage of being natively 3:2. I find this makes images a little nicer to review, but both screens are way better than the 480×320 screens we had just a couple years ago. The Canon’s also seems to me to look ever so slightly sharper; I could read the title of a book ten feet from me at 18mm on the Canon just barely, but on the Nikon I couldn’t make it out.
Both screens articulate out to the left and then spin 270 degrees vertically. Action on both is smooth and they booth seem about as sturdy as a built-in articulating LCD should. Both lock down securely with either the LCD or plastic back outwards. However, the Canon’s has a cutout “handle” on the right, and the Nikon has two small grips on the top and bottom. Canon’s works best for grabbing with your thumb, and I found it more convenient than the two-finger pinching grab for the Nikon. That’s another matter of taste but I definitely preferred the thumb grip.
Apart from the normal differences in Canon/Nikon layouts, the latest Canons have in addition a sculpted shape and are nearly flush with the body. The D5100′s buttons are all circular, though of various “depths.” Both have a mix of clicking and non-clicking buttons, and the general rule seems to be that any buttons that directly affect the photo don’t click.
The Canon’s buttons were more consistent in their feel, but they’re so nearly flush that some can be difficult to identify in the dark or without taking your eye from the viewfinder. Its directional buttons are certainly better, though: Nikon’s circular D-pad feels soft. I prefer Nikon’s silvered, more vertical shutter button, though, and that’s certainly the button you’ll be using the most.
As a Canon user, I’ve grown used to the jog dial being under my index finger, but whether you like it better there than under your thumb is something for you to figure out on your own. Canon’s mode dial is far larger, which I find helpful, though it stops at A-Dep (why not manual?) and mode, and Nikon’s just keeps spinning. Knowing the position of the dial relative to the ends can be a time saver.
One thing the T3i has that the D5100 doesn’t is a dedicated ISO control button. On the D5100, you have to go one step into the menu to select a different ISO, while on the T3i it’s just one button press. This is strange to me because Nikon has a finer grain of control on the ISO and you’d think they’d want to have that out there. I’d trade the “info” button for ISO in a second.
As for the interface on the screen: Nikon’s graphical representation and primary-stats-central look is attractive and nice for people who aren’t used to SLR controls — but it seems a bit flashy and secondary information isn’t quite as clearly ascertained at a quick glance.
The D5100 has a great little snappy lever that switches you in and out of LV. The Canon has a dedicated (circular) button. The D5100 gets into LV much more quickly, too — I’d say a quarter of a second, while the Canon takes a half. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s truly noticeable and may affect your usage of that mode.
Once in LV, both cameras are sluggish on autofocus. The Nikon seemed to make its mind up more quickly, though, while the Canon took several extra steps, making a labored clicking noise. Manual focus is still probably your best option, but they’re getting better and Nikon is certainly the winner here.
The T3i is an ounce lighter than the Nikon, but it’s also larger and much more aggressively sculpted on the right side (though it’s difficult to tell from the pictures). Those with larger hands will appreciate this, as it provides more real estate in general, but neither camera is big enough for big hands. I’ve got good-sized hands and I’ve been shooting on a Rebel for years, but it’s not for everyone. Nikon has a bigger lip poking out under the shutter but overall Canon has more going on.
Canon also put more sculpting into the right rear and left front sides. The T3i has a texture, grippy material in both places and a sort of valley that your thumb goes in while holding the camera normally.
The flaps and doors covering the ports and such aren’t exactly leagues apart quality-wise, but the Nikon’s SD door springs up, and all its ports are under a single flap, both of which I think give it an edge.
Canon has a dedicated movie mode on the mode dial, while Nikon has you record using a separate button while in Live View. There are merits to both of these (especially considering how fast Nikon jumps into LV), but being able to boot straight into video-shooting mode is handy if you’re doing primarily video content.
As for formats, it’s a toss-up. In 1080p the cameras have the same framerates but Nikon has the advantage of two quality settings. Both produce quite huge files. At 720p, Nikon uses the more common 24 or 30 frames as options, while Canon has 50 and 60fps. On one hand, the Nikon formats are more easy to use for normal shooting, while on the other, 60fps works as a sort of poor man’s slow motion, slowing things down by a half or more depending on how you display it. But then Nikon goes and messes things up by having the low-quality option be 640×424 instead of the standard (and 4:3) 640×480. That’s 3:2 more or less, but 16:9 and 4:3 are much more commonly used for video.
Nikon has some in-camera effects like “miniature” and “Night Vision,” but to be perfectly honest I think if you’re shooting video with your DSLR you’re far less likely to want in-camera effects. At the very least a new amateur video editor will put things in iMovie or the like, where these effects are better, more adjustable, and don’t bog down the camera (as some of them do). That said, being able to see the scene in black and white could be handy.
While DP Review’s charts will tell you far more about this than my little dabblings here, it can’t hurt to have a few real-world comparison shots you can pore over if you like. The cameras were set to the exact same exposure settings and set to go straight to large JPEG (no RAW performance data for you). I do want to mention, though, that on “manual” mode, the Nikon kept changing the exposure I’d set it to. I really don’t know why in manual mode it would change anything at all.
Here you have the ideal lighting situation: nothing moving, nice fast shutter and medium aperture. I set both cameras to 1/500th at f/9 and 200 ISO. If you download the 100% one you can really see the differences in CA.
T3i (left) – D5100 (right)
Next, in the same bright circumstances, a shot using the most automatic mode. Again I think the win goes to Nikon, due to some excessive processing on Canon’s part.
And here’s a low-light situation, at ISO 3200. Neither one performs particularly well in resolving the spider’s details (they were in fact in focus), but the Canon is certainly a more usable shot.
T3i (left) – D5100 (right)Conclusion
I can’t tell you which of these cameras will feel better to shoot. But let’s just run down the cameras’ strengths really quick. Some of these are just my opinion, obviously, but I think it’s legit to say when something seemed truly preferable to me.
- Somewhat sharper, more convenient LCD
- Aggressive shape more suitable for larger hands
- Controls more ergonomic
- More all-purpose kit lens
- 60fps video recording and 4:3 VGA mode
- More convenient as an primary video device
- Supports more in-production lenses
- More compact, definitely feels smaller
- Better viewfinder coverage
- Faster entry and better performance in Live View
- Single flap for I/O ports
- Scene modes and quality control in video
- Higher ISOs available (though not necessarily practical)
- Quick setting of single autofocus points
Look at those lists and see if anything catches your eye. Because these are both excellent cameras and either way you’re going to get a lot for your money. If I had to choose, I’d say that the Canon is a better buy: the kit lens, more versatile video, and a more serious-feeling body. That said, the Nikon is definitely more compact, and for some, its video options may be better.
Note: if you decide to go with the T3i, consider whether you could go with the T2i. The articulating screen is really the only major feature missing (the D5100 is more of a step up from its kid brother), so you could save quite a bit of money on getting a T2i body-only and use it to pick up a nicer lens. Just an idea.
Product page: Canon T3i Product page: Nikon D5100