BUSAN, South Korea – So, you are sitting on the telephonic fence as to which smart phone you should buy. A lot of us are dumb about such things, so we turn to our friends. Well, it turns out, a lot of them are dumb too, and considering the money you’re gonna shell out, you should consult a professional. That is not me — but I occasionally read, so I’ll take a shot at it.
Your first concern should be the two-year contract. Are you ready for that kind of commitment? Furthermore, as an expat here in Korea, there is an additional worry: Will the relationship you have with the necessary Korean co-signer endure as long as the two-year contract required?
If you are OK with with this level of subordination, then you really should get a smart phone. Why not? It’s an extra 5 to 10 bucks more a week, and is a requirement on your tech-evolution check list.
Now, the question is: Which of the two should you dedicate your life to? Here are the basic comparisons.
The most obvious difference you notice with the two phones side-by-side, is that the screen on the Galaxy S runs a half inch larger. While the iPhone sports the best screen resolution out there, and the near impossibility of seeing a pixel even with the phone right up in your face, the 4-inch “Amoled”screen on the Galaxy S has one advantage that all the resolution in the world will not help you with: video play. The iPhone 4 screen is stunning for its clarity, but the Galaxy S, with the larger view, is much better suited for video playback. The problem for 3.5 inch screens, like iPhone, is fitting the 16:9 aspect ratio of wide-screen movies. The display has only the choice to zoom in on center (thus losing the sides) or compress. Either way, not good. Winner: Galaxy S
Korea is the kingdom of self pics. If you want to do as the Romans, or if you just want something you can quickly upload to Facebook to show people what an interesting life you lead, then the camera is important on your phone. Both the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S have a high quality, 5-megapixel camera, and both have lenses in the front and the back for video calling. The iPhone has a flash, which is absent on the Galaxy S. This is good for those low-light Facebook moments of your interesting life in the pub. Winner: iPhone.
A slam against Apple since its founding, has been the control-freak nature of the company. While they have been known to produce some crappy secondary software, Apple has always made cutting-edge OS’s, regardless of the platform they run on. The race for the coolest new user-friendly OS is always a race for second, following Apple. The Galaxy S has Google Android which is solid, but suffers under the weight of Apple’s massive App Store. Android is catching up, but they’re still not there yet in terms of app selection. On the plus side, Android gives you an egalitarian feeling from knowing you are using a more democratic operating system, and not living under the hegemonic regime of a Steve Job’s dictatorship.
None really, but what did you expect in a 600-word article? They are are both solid, reliable phones and you should buy one of them. No matter which one you choose, you will be better off than you are now with that cup-and-string-flip-phone sitting in your pocket or purse.
Live a little.
Busan Haps Recommended Apps
Angry Birds (For the destructive ornithologist lurking deep within us all)
Dictionary.com (For you English teachers who don’t want to get caught with your brains down)
Shazam (For those who don’t know that Gangster’s Paradise is not the original cut)
Wikipedia (For those who get caught with their pants down, and want to fight their way back into respectability with trivial knowledge on the history of public indecency)
Flashlight (For those, like myself who get off on things that are bright and glowing–like the exchange rate)