Jan 11, 2013
Strategy: Smartphone Smackdown: Galaxy Note II vs. Lumia 920 vs. iPhone 5
While Apple set the standard for smartphone features and performance, Google and its hardware partners aren’t sitting still. Today the gap between the latest iPhone and Android devices is vanishingly thin; just how narrow will become apparent as we take a closer look at Samsung’s Galaxy Note II — one of the first high-end phones equipped with Android’s latest and best release, 4.1, affectionately known as Jelly Bean.
Although sales statistics say it’s a two-platform race, with a recent third-quarter estimate showing iOS and Android control about 95% of the U.S. smartphone market, Microsoft is making a last-ditch attempt at mobile relevance with Windows Phone 8. We’ll look at the flagship phone from Nokia, the Lumia 920, that showcases the new OS to see if Windows Phone has a shot or if Microsoft will remain shackled to its PC legacy.
Our hands-on testing shows that, at least at the high end, Android has effectively pulled even with the iPhone in performance and smooth, responsive UI, while the “app gap” is rapidly closing. While the Lumia is also a fine piece of hardware, it’s paired with an OS that eschews established smartphone conventions by mirroring the UI made famous (or infamous) by Windows 8 PCs. It’s fresh and different, but often not in a good way, while the app selection is slim by comparison.
The iPhone remains competitive and packs a lot of power into a small package, but users who don’t need the thinnest, lightest device and aren’t married to Apple’s ecosystem will find decent performance, beautiful screens and high-res cameras on both competitors. (S6261212)