Samsung’s Galaxy S phone looks like a winner, and it's in the league of such competition as the popular Apple iPhone 4G. Samsung advertises the new Galaxy as the most powerful multimedia smartphone ever.
If either of these handsets appears promising for your work, should you join the throngs of iPhone 4G buyers, or wait for the Samsung Galaxy S lineup? Here's what sets the two hyped smartphones apart.
The iPhone 4, at $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB, remains available only with AT&T service--despite rumors that Verizon will support it--a barrier if you want a flashy new handset but hold a contract with a different provider. The Galaxy S, on the other hand, is available this summer from five wireless providers, each releasing and servicing the device under a different alias and form.
T-Mobile is calling its Galaxy S the Samsung Vibrant, and will start selling it July 21 for $199. The Verizon version is called the Fascinate, release date and price still unknown. Sprint has chosen the name Epic 4G, U.S. Cellular is undecided on a name, and AT&T is going with the Samsung Captivate--prices and release dates also unknown. Each vendor will offer the Samsung Galaxy’s standard features plus a few extra, custom bells and whistles to set their devices apart from the others.
The Samsung Galaxy S phones and the Apple iPhone 4 all feature multitouch screens, 5MP cameras, GPS, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Each handset offers different, yet comparable operating systems and processors. The Galaxy uses the Android 2.1 (upgradeable to yet-unveiled 2.2) OS and the iPhone uses Apple’s iOS4. The iPhone has the 1GHz Apple A4 processor and the Galaxy comes equipped with the 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor.
Each device scores winning points in several other areas; for example, the Galaxy uses a Capacitive Super AMOLED display and the iPhone comes with the Capacitive Retina IPS display; however, the resolution on the iPhone is 640x960 pixels and the Galaxy only provides 480x800 pixels.
Differences in Core Features
Internal memory includes 16GB or 32GB on the iPhone, and a smaller 8GB or 16GB on the Galaxy, but only the Galaxy can be expanded another 32GB through a microSD card slot.
For the office, the Samsung Galaxy S series can handle the work. The capability to store more music and photos, unless you're in the entertainment business, or own a music store or a photo studio, is just icing on the cake. The real benefit is that since the phone can hold so much data, you can travel with the assurance that everything you need is on it.
The Galaxy S touts better Bluetooth--3.0 with A2DP on the Galaxy, and 2.1 with A2DP on the iPhone. The Galaxy also has an FM radio and Adobe Flash support with the 2.2 update; the iPhone lacks both.
As far as size and weight, the differences are negligible. The iPhone wins on size with dimensions of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm, compared to the Galaxy’s 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9mm. But, the Galaxy weighs less at 118 grams, while the iPhone is 137 grams.
Apple says talk time is up to seven hours with 300 hours of standby time. Samsung claims 6.5 hours of talk time and 576 standby hours.
Buyers of the iPhone 4G, however, are already suffering due to an antenna issue that is causing calls to drop over the globe. The antenna on this device is a thin band that wraps around the phone. When users hold the phone a certain way, their hands block the antenna and they lose the signal. The other issue is that the iPhone overheats and drops calls, freezes apps, and creates several other navigational problems.
Apple will definitely lose points on these problems. We won't know until the Galaxy S models reach the masses if similar glitches would mar it.
It wouldn't be fair to compare devices and mention all of the Galaxy S's hot features without the glitches. Critics of the Galaxy S line say it has a cheap plastic case with noisy buttons that vibrate, a weaker GPS signal than expected, and some downloading problems. However, the GPS and download issues seem to be a local concern, which Samsung has supposedly already addressed.
Galaxy Carrier Variations
As T-Mobile‘s Vibrant, the Galaxy comes pre-loaded with Amazon Kindle for Android and a MobiTV app for live and on-demand programming, plus an external 2GB memory card. This carrier also provides its HSPA+ network, which is claiming 4G-equivalent speeds.
Sprint is advertising a front-facing camera for video calling capabilities and a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard on its Epic 4G. So far, US Cellular has mentioned enhanced touchscreen options for its Galaxy S version, but that’s all I have heard to date. However, I am certain the other service providers will unveil other special features with their releases.
As far as comparing individual applications for each phone, you'll have to research based on the phone, OS, and service provider. One cool Android app that 's great for typing in a rush is Swype, which would enable you to glide your fingers across the Galaxy S touchscreen keyboard to spell words rather than tapping on the screen, as with usual usage or with the iPhone.
For the office, the Samsung Galaxy S expanded memory slot is a plus. In addition, the TV-out support on the Galaxy means you can display a slide-show presentation from your phone, say, to any of your clients' televisions. And we thought the iPads and netbooks were efficient. In addition, the Galaxy's camera takes 720p HD videos, so you could, for instance, point and shoot videos of seminars, training events, conferences, sales meetings, negotiations, depositions, and then press a few buttons and send the videos back to the office or to another customer.
Before you make a company-wide purchase, though, be sure to closely examine the service provider’s special features, prices, and service plans. Amazon Kindle, a slide-out keyboard, or enhanced touchscreen options on a Galaxy model might be enough reason for some to change carriers or phones. The available business apps for the Android or iOS4 should also factor into any buying decision.
And, if all else fails to impress, there’s always Blackberry.