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9/14/2012
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5 Alternatives To The Apple iPhone 5

Before you decide on an iPhone 5, check out the top smartphone alternatives.

iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Preorders for the iPhone 5 are underway, and show that despite some disappointment with the device's features (or lack thereof), it's going to be popular. But not everyone likes Apple, iOS, or the iPhone. The good news is the competitive smartphone market offers plenty of alternatives to Apple's latest and greatest.

If you need a new device, consider these top choices from the top five carriers in the U.S.: AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless. These devices are available today.

1. AT&T. AT&T is sort of home base for the iPhone because it had an exclusive deal to sell the device until February 2011. But AT&T sells gobs of other smartphones.

The HTC One X, though a few months old, is still my top choice of smart devices from AT&T. In fact, it is my daily driver. Everything about the One X is fantastic, from the look and feel, to the performance and features. It has a large HD display, excellent 8-megapixel camera, and, of course, LTE 4G. It's also a steal at $99.

2. MetroPCS. MetroPCS is the country's fifth largest wireless network operator and offers prepaid service. That means you might pay a little bit more for the phone up front, but you'll more than make up for it with cheaper service.

[ For more on the smartphone of the hour, read Apple iPhone 5 Still Delivers A Few Surprises. ]

The LG Motion 4G is an excellent choice. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and comes in a compact little shell. It has a 3.5-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, a dual-core 1.2-GHz processor, and, of course, LTE 4G. The best part? It costs only $149 and doesn't require a contract.

3. Sprint. Sprint, number three in the market, is fighting its two larger rivals with everything it's got. The result? Its plans offer a lot of value--such as unlimited data--and a clean conscience, thanks to its environmentally friendly efforts. Its LTE 4G network is just getting underway, but it already has a few solid choices.

The Motorola Photon Q, for example, is a great alternative to the iPhone 5 for Sprint customers. It runs the latest version of Android, offers a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a dual-core processor, and an 8-megapixel camera. The screen looks great, and performance of this device is top-notch. It costs $199 with a new contract.

4. T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile is the fourth-largest network operator in the U.S. and doesn't yet offer LTE 4G. It will next year. In the meantime, it has a ripping fast HSPA+ network.

The Samsung Galaxy S III performs very well on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. The GS3 is one of the best Android 4.0 smartphones available and offers plenty of advanced features. It has a luscious 4.8-inch display, powerful 8-megapixel camera, capable dual-core processor, and plenty of software goodies. It's a bargain at $199.

5. Verizon Wireless. Verizon is the largest operator in the U.S. at the moment and offers a broad array of smartphones. Its LTE 4G network is the most pervasive and very fast.

The brand-new Motorola Droid Razr M is an impressive addition to Verizon's lineup. Motorola took everything that was attractive about last year's Razr and made it smaller. The Razr M might be billed as a mid-range device, but don't let its $99 price fool you. It's the best phone Motorola has delivered this year. It has a 4.3-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera, Android 4.0, and a raging dual-core processor.

Down the road, there will be other phones to consider, but we don't know when they will be available. The Nokia Lumia 920, for instance, looks like it will be a good smartphone alternative to the iPhone 5, but it probably won't be available until November. Same goes for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This follow-up phablet is like a GS3 on steroids, and the 5.5-inch screen offers an amazing canvas on which to scribble notes with the S Pen stylus. Late October is the earliest the Note 2 will reach the U.S. No carriers have announced support for these devices yet, so it is unclear where they will be sold.

Download the debut issue of InformationWeek's Must Reads, a compendium of our best recent coverage on enterprise mobility in our new easy-to-read and -navigate Web format. Included in this issue of Must Reads: 6 keys to a flexible mobile device management strategy; why you need an enterprise app store; and Google points to the future of mobile. (Free registration required.)

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Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/16/2012 | 12:00:45 PM
re: 5 Alternatives To The Apple iPhone 5
Apple is counting on Sheeple to upgrade every time they stamp a new name on their old news. Hopefully more like RudiX are learning you do not have to follow blindly and buy, buy, buy every time a new phone hits the street. There's not one thing I can't do with my Droid RAZR that an iToy user can do with their phone and I can swap out memory sticks for essentially UNLIMITED memory options. Apple has lost all avenues to steal ideas from so they have to sue to stop from losing their market share which is, from some reports down to 20% or so of the smartphone market compared to Android which is outselling Apple 2 or 3:1 every day. By 2015 the iToy will be relegated to the zelots and the rest of us will be on Androd, but let's also not forget Windows 8 Mobile which has received almost universal positive reviews even from the most anti-Windows reviewers. If MS does their job right by 2015 the 2 horse race may just be Google & Microsoft, but I'm sure Apple will sue both of them too.
RudiX
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RudiX,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/15/2012 | 2:18:43 PM
re: 5 Alternatives To The Apple iPhone 5
After reading what has been written about the iPhone5, I just don't see any justification for upgrading our iPhone 4Ss which are just a year old. Perhaps when the iPhone6 is introduced and Apple decides to do some serious work on the device I'll feel differently. But this go-around call me disappointed. On the other hand, I've saved at least $400 by sitting this round out.
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