Tech Magazine

The Best iPhone Alternatives

Posted on the 12 October 2011 by Nerdywerds @NerdyWerds

These are the best alternatives to an iPhone


  • Android
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Blackberry
  • Wrap up

Apparently the advice to possibly wait for a month or two before getting your iPhone 4S was not well received. Apple's newest smart phone shattered records by having over one million pre-orders in the first 24 hours. There are skeptics that would remind us that this is the first iPhone to be released to the top three carriers and possibly people wanting to get their hands on the last device Steve Jobs was involved with, though I don't believe he will ever stop influencing Apple. Whatever the reason, these are staggering numbers.

With carriers selling out of these babies left and right, what is a person to do with their pending upgrade? Or what about the people that just plain don't want an iPhone? If you're not getting an iPhone, for whatever reason, but you'd still like to, or have to, get a new phone, we're going to go over the "best of the rest". As much I as I don't like considering Android a part of "the rest" Android doesn't do million pre-order devices. So read on for the best that Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 have to offer.

This baby is my pick for best phone currently on the market


Android has emerged as the most serious contender to the smart phone throne. Android's market share continues to go up as more and more people go Google. There are a number of excellent phones in the Android lineup, but there are only two phones that have the specs to go toe to toe with the iPhone 4S. And really, why would you go Android if you were getting an inferior phone, right? I've only experienced one of these two phones, so we're going to talk about it. That phone is the new Samsung galaxy S II.

The original Galaxy S line was widely considered to be the first real threat to Apple in the smart phone game. Actually, the two companies, Samsung and Apple, are locked in litigation over the design of the Galaxy S. This is really the only phone that has an answer for the hardware in an iPhone. They both feature blazing fast dual core processors. The Galaxy S II has a 1.2 GHz dual core brain while the iPhone 4S is rumored to have been clocked at 800 MHz per core. Before you let your imagination run wide, this does not translate to a win for the Galaxy S II necessarily. Accord to Engadget, the iPhone 4S' processor outperforms the Samsung's by a pretty decent margin. Take this with a grain of salt; iPhone is running the most recent version of it's OS while the Galaxy is a couple of versions behind. The iPhone 4S has 512 MB of RAM while the Galaxy s II is sporting a full gig.

The screen is a great strength of both devices. Apple has the now famous "Retina" display, which boast a resolution of 960x640 pixels. This display registers 3.5 inches and is backlit by LED. The Galaxy S II has Samsung's proprietary Super AMOLED plus display at 800x480 pixels. The screen is a solid 4.27 inches. The Galaxy S II may not have the resolution of the iPhone 4S, but it does allegedly have better visibility in the sun. I'm slightly inclined to agree, but both are at the top of the heap in the sun. I'm inclined to give the edge to the Samsung in the display department. I thought the iPhone 4, which has the same display as the 4S, had a very solid display, but I just think the Galaxy S II is a bit better. This is kind of like splitting hairs though, they're both great.

The Galaxy S II has an 8MP camera with an LED flash. IT records 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and has all the bells and whistles you'd expect. It has a 2MP front facing camera for video chatting and things like that. If you're not going iPhone, this would be my recommendation. I feel like it is the best of the non iPhone world. A close second, and deserving of an honorable mention is the Droid Bionic on Verizon. It is right up there with the Galaxy S II and the iPhone, and was the second Android device that could rival the hardware in an iPhone.

Windows Phone 7 is an excellent mobile platform

Windows Phone 7

Windows was a bit of a late arrival to the current mobile phone war zone. They've been putting out mobile OS's for a while now, but until Windows Phone 7 they weren't really that relevant in my opinion. But with iPhone and Android pushing the envelop, and taking a lot of market share, Windows had to respond. And I honestly think they've done an excellent job. Windows Phone 7 has a unique user interface and experience and works as well as I'd hoped it would. The "Metro UI" definitely takes some getting used to, but the "Live Tiles" are pretty neat. The total user experience is fast and enjoyable, and, much to my delight, no blue screens so far.

Recommending a Windows Phone is made a bit more difficult because of the current lack of products. Windows recently announced a major update to the OS named "Mango" and many of the best phones are going to run that. Problem is, they're not out yet. It's been rumored to be releasing every week since the beginning of September, but I've yet to see it. So we're going to split this recommendation between current WP7 phones and upcoming Mango phones.

My favorite current WP7 phone is the HTC HD7. The HD7 is a bit older, it released in the later portion of 2010, but it is still an excellent phone. It has a 4.3 inch 800x480 pixel display. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor which offers up a very smooth experience. It has a 5MP camera with a dual LED flash. It can record 720p HD video as well. I've been tempted on several occasion to go pick this bad boy up because of the overall experience. It's hard for me to point to something and say "this is why I like this device". It doesn't have a Retina or Super AMOLED display, or a dual core processor or huge app market to point to. I think, for me, the overall user experience is what kept me coming back; which is a big compliment to the Windows Phone 7 OS.

Looking into my crystal ball, I think the Samsung Focus S will be the best upcoming Mango device. It will have a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.4 GHz single core processor and an 8 MP rear facing camera. It also has a 1.3 MP front facing camera to take advantage of the Skype integration. This guy has the same screen as the Galaxy S II and promises to be just as beautiful to look at. This should be out in time for the holiday season and is definitely worth a look.

Blackberry is banking on the business crowd liking this device


Blackberry was, at one point, the undisputed king of the smart phone. They were so dominant that "Blackberry" became interchangeable with smart phone. But since Apple entered the game, and then Android, Blackberry has seen it's market share fall, and it's relevance slip too. But there are still millions of people out there that swear by and rely on Blackberry. So for you good people, there is the Bold 9900. This is Blackberry newest and greatest offering.

The Bold 9900 houses a 640x480 pixel display, which is the highest resolution Blackberry has offered to date. It's nothing to write home about, particularly when compared to the other phones we've mentioned; but it's solid for a Blackberry. Blackberry's aren't really meant to be entertainment juggernaut's; they're business phones. So if you're looking for an every day, play on Facebook kind of phone, you should look at the above phones. The Bold 9900 also has a lackluster 5MP camera that records 720p video. Again, these devices aren't really built to compete with iPhone, Android or WP7.

The Bold 9900 is lightning fast thanks to a 1.2 GHz dual core processor and 8GB of memory. Blackberry's OS is well built and very smooth to use. Apps and menus launch immediately and the combination of touch screen and track ball make navigation a breeze. The Bold is a ruthlessly efficient business device. Email and Blackberry messenger work great with no added bells or whistles. If an iPhone "just works" a Blackberry "just gets the job done".

Wrap Up

For many of you, this article is irrelevant; you're getting an iPhone. But for those that couldn't get a pre-order and don't want to wait, these are all excellent phones. I'm partial to Android and highly recommend the Galaxy S II, but you can't go wrong with any of them. No matter what way you go, it's an exciting time to be a consumer and these phones are helping usher in more and more advanced times. Thanks for reading and enjoy your new phone!

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics