I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago and posted a note about it on my Facebook page. Within a few minutes I was asked why I didn’t buy an iPhone. My glib answer was because I didn’t want an inferior phone. Now that I’ve had the chance to spend more time with the new phone, I’m going to explain in more detail why I feel my HTC Evo 4G LTE is far superior to the iPhone 4s.
I’m sure there are those who will claim I hate Apple. Actually, I have great respect for the company. They have created an ecosystem that is pure genius because it makes it quite difficult to move to another ecosystem. Apple’s marketing and design skills are second to none in the market today. Having smart leaders who have created an extremely profitable product is not a reason for me to choose an iPhone.
The most visible difference between the two is the size of the screen with the Evo 4G LTE having a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 4s having a 3.5 inch screen. GottaBe Mobile did a review of the two phones that includes a photo comparison showing the drastic difference between the two phones. Rumors of the next iPhone are rampant and there is suggestion the screen may grow to 4 inches in size. Supposedly Apple feels anything larger is too big for some hands. My hands aren’t very large and I have no problem holding the Evo 4G LTE in my hands. One of the biggest limitations Apple imposes is in designing a single device to meet the needs of everyone.
Just because a screen is bigger, does not necessarily make it better. Apple has heavily promoted the concept of a Retina Display. To put things into numbers, the screen resolution of the iPhone is 328 pixels per inch and the dimensions are 960 x 640 pixels. The larger display of the Evo 4G LTE weighs in at only 312 pixels per inch so the pixels are not as tightly packed as on the iPhone though the difference is very small. While it isn’t as high of a resolution, it does have more pixels with dimensions of 1080 x 720 (720p HD). I’ve certainly done no side-by-side comparisons, but I find the quality of the images on screen to be really good. For me, the larger screen played a large part in my decision.
Clearly the size of screen is much larger on the Evo 4G LTE, but we haven’t discussed the thickness of the two devices. They are very close with the Evo 4G LTE being .35 inches thick and the iPhone 4s being .37 inches thick. For me, they are both really thin and the difference is too small for my hands to notice. To me it is pretty amazing that the Evo 4G LTE weighs less than the iPhone 4s (4.7 ounces to 4.9) given the size difference of the screens. I’m not sure I’d notice the difference there either.
Each of the phones comes with 16 GB of storage space in the default configuration sold for the $199 subsidized price. The difference appears when you want to increase the storage space. A 32 GB microSD card can be added to the Evo 4G LTE for around $40 from various online outlets. Going to only a total of 32 GB on the iPhone 4s would add $100 to the cost. Given that I already had a 32 GB microSD card from my previous phone (the HTC Evo 4G), there was no extra cost for me.
A big differentiator at some point may be the speed of the network, but it makes no difference today. I’m a Sprint customer and have no desire to switch carriers. Therefore both phones are running off of Sprint’s 3G network today. When Sprint launches their LTE network, the Evo 4G LTE will take advantage of it where the iPhone 4s will not. Sure, future iPhones may also support LTE. They don’t exist now and would only make the phones equal again. Yes, I would love more speed. The reality is that I rarely do things where it would make a huge difference like streaming audio or video. While in my office, the wireless router is only a few feet away so I get great speed the vast majority of the time.
There is no way for me to compare the battery life of the two devices. I can only compare my current Evo 4G LTE to my previous Evo 4G. On most days with the older Evo my battery was fairly well drained by the end of a day. Since getting the Evo 4G LTE, there are rarely days where the battery indicator shows less than 80% full when I plug it in at night. Do I use my phone as heavily as others? No, I don’t. I just know the battery life is far superior in the new Evo and the old one was good enough for me. Even better is the fact that the battery can be replaced by end users. With an iPhone 4s, you have to take the phone to a service center for battery replacement which also increases the cost of a new battery.
There are huge debates over how many hundreds of thousands of apps are available on iOS and Android. I will certainly concede that Apple leads in sheer numbers. Yet I’ve never felt like I was missing out on an app. With the apps supplied on the Evo and those I’ve downloaded, I can do much more than I need.
I’m sure there is also debate of the quality of the camera included for stills and videos. I love to take photos and certainly take my fair share with the Evo 4G LTE. I find it does a great job. If the images are truly important to me, I bring either my point and shoot or my DSLR with me. If you look through the GottaBe Mobile review mentioned earlier, they find each device is better than the other in different photo functions. For me, this isn’t a big differentiator.
I got an iPod a few years ago. For me, the iPod’s only purpose is playing music even though it can run most apps. That also means I use iTunes to manage my music and have a bunch of playlists created. That certainly seems to give the iPhone a huge advantage and admittedly I felt that way before buying the Evo 4G LTE. It was a pleasant surprise that the HTC Sync software automatically moved my iTunes playlists to the Evo. Now when I work out, I use my Evo instead of the iPod to rock out.
My contacts and calendar all sit on my computer in Microsoft Outlook. Being a graphics guy, I have attached photos to many of people I interact with on a regular basis. Again I use HTC Sync to push this data to my phone. Within a few minutes of unpacking the new Evo, all of my data was on the phone and ready to use. As I haven’t tried to push my data to an iPhone, I can’t make a fair comparison. I know it couldn’t be much easier than what I already have.
One of the coolest features of the Evo is the inclusion of a kickstand to prop it up for viewing. That is something you won’t find on an iPhone so the Evo certainly has the advantage here.
For all of the reasons given, I find the Evo 4G LTE to be a far superior choice for me than the iPhone 4s. Your needs in a phone may be different and hopefully the information I’ve provided will allow you to choose the phone that best meets your needs.