Skip to comments.Rise of the Extreme iPhone-Killer Super-Phones!
Posted on 03/01/2012 8:01:59 AM PST by ShadowAce
The current crop of iPhone killers failed to kill the Apple iPhone.
Many of the iPhones competitors are really great phones with incredible screens, amazing cameras, powerful processors and advanced user interfaces. On most specs, the iPhone has been bested by several competitors. But still the iPhone reigns supreme in the market.
Apple made more money on iPhones alone in Q4 than Microsoft did on every product it sells.
What will it take to stop the mighty iPhone?
Dont look now, but the competition is getting ready to hit Apples super-villain iPhone with something akin to the X Men or the Avengers -- a group of mutant super-phones with unprecedented powers and capabilities that vastly exceed anything that has ever been put into any phone ever.
Here is the breathtakingly new crop of extreme super-phones designed to blow the iPhone away:
Wait, a 41-megapixel camera phone? Come on! Thats almost twice as many megapixels as the highly coveted (and uber expensive) Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera used by professional photographers and even blockbuster Hollywood movie makers.
The Symbian-based Nokia 808 PureView is a super phone with a camera in a league of its own. But its not what you think.
In normal mode, all those megapixels arent used as they would be with a normal camera. Instead, Nokia uses them for an oversampling technology they called PureView. Combined with the built-in f2.4 Carl Zeiss lens, the PureView takes amazing pictures.
PureView works by combing light from seven pixels into one pixel on the image, for a nearly noiseless image of breathtaking quality.
Or, you can turn off oversampling and just take gigantic pictures -- or instead of using a camera with a large zoom lens, you can just zoom in on the pixels. It also takes 1080p video, which is pretty crazy for a phone.
For people who like to take great pictures -- and who doesnt? -- the Nokia 808 PureView blows away the iPhone with five times the pixels and some really advanced optics and technology. Expect to pay about $600 for the phone unlocked when it ships in May.
Nokia 808 Pureview
The Samsung Galaxy Beam represents the Holy Grail mobile device for mobile professionals who present.
The Galaxy Beam functions as a full-featured Android camera phone. But when you need to make your pitch, just pull out the phone and cast your PowerPoint on any nearby surface. The phone will project a reasonably bright 50-inch wide screen with 15 lumens of output.
And its not just for business. The phone could double as a big-screen TV for starving students, or any number of uses whenever groups want to view pictures, video, TV or movies.
And for people who present, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is way better than an iPhone.
The Galaxy Beam will be the first ever mainstream projector phone available in the United States. Expect it to ship this summer.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
Phone: ASUS Padfone
Smartphone electronics are more powerful than even tablets or laptops were just a few years ago.
The ASUS Padfone is an Android smart phone that plugs into a tablet with a screen the same size as an iPad (10.1 inches). When you do so, the phone now becomes the engine for the multi-touch tablet.
The Padfone takes advantage of the brand new Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, which can re-size itself on the fly. You can also use an optional stylus, aping the functionality of very expensive Windows Tablet PCs.
If thats not crazy enough, the tablet clips onto a full-size keyboard doc, resulting in what looks like a full featured laptop. Again, its all powered by the phone.
Many gadget-happy mobile users have a phone, a tablet and a laptop. Although no pricing has been announced, the ASUS Padfone with all the trimmings will certainly be way, way cheaper than buying an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.
The Padfone should be available by summer.
The Danish company Lumigon plans to ship an Android phone called the T2. In addition to looking like a sleek Euro-designed piece of stainless-steel eye candy, the T2 doubles as a universal remote control.
You program it by pointing it at each existing remote control, pressing a button on the remote, then telling the phone which button you pressed. Once programmed, your phone controls your TV and other remotely controllable home appliances just like their dedicated remotes did.
The phone also uses in-the-air gestures like a Wii remote. For example, you can turn the volume up by raising the phone, or go to the next track on an album by moving the phone to the right.
The T2 will ship later this year in Nordic countries, then spread outward from there, arriving in the United States at some unknown date in the future.
These three extreme super-phones are not just a little better. Theyre WAY ahead of the iPhone in specific applications that really matter to people. And theyre just part of the overwhelming assault the iPhone is facing this year from powerful competition.
For example, LG is preparing to ship a no-glasses 3D smart phone called the LG Optimus 3D Max.
LG also announced what it claims is the fastest smartphone in history: The LG Optimus 4X HD. The quad-core phone is as powerful as a PC, according to the company.
If you like the idea of a smartphone PC, youll love the upcoming Ubuntu for Android. The software will turn Android phones into a dual-boot phone and PC.
The way it works is that the installation puts Ubuntu Linux and Android side-by-side on the phone. The phone continues to function normally. But when you plug it into a PC monitor, keyboard and mouse -- or a TV -- Linux and Android both run off the same kernel, and the phone becomes a PC.
Your apps, files and content all function on the big screen, and with keyboard and mouse, but in a Linux environment rather than Android.
The smartphone space is about to launch into crazy new territory with these extreme super-phones.
The iPhone is a mainstream, mass-market phone. And the extreme super-phones are niche products for people with specific needs or obsessions. But together, the new generation of extreme super-phones will be very hard for the iPhone to compete with all by itself.
And whether the iPhone wins or loses, its clear that users are the big winners -- especially power-hungry users who want unprecedented capabilities in the pocket device they carry everywhere.
The Post is centre-right, free market capitalist, founded by Conrad Black who writes a weekly column from prison. Best writers are Terence Corcoran, Christie Blatchford, Rex Murphy and George Jonas.
Apple's Achilles' heel has always been the way they act as gatekeepers, which discourages developers. As a developer myself, why would I purchase an SDK when the Windows SDK is free and covers >90% of users? I'm now getting into mobile development and I'm not bothering with iOS because everything needed to develop an Android app (Java IDE, Android kit and virtual machine for testing) is free and a developer account on Android Market is also free, with Google handling all sales transactions on a commission-only basis.
I can pretty much guarantee that the bulb is an LED that would probably outlive the phone itself.
Thanks for the ping.
Root your phone and you can tether all you want for free.
I just Googled “root android” and found this:
If you do get caught in a boot loop, you may have to connect your phone to your computer and rewrite some code, but if you are patient and willing to do some more reading, you will almost always be able to find a way to at least restore your phone to its original state (read more on where that help comes from in the next section).
The downside seems to outweigh the upside. I’m not a big computer guy...
It’s pretty hard to mess up rooting your phone and rooting is well worth it. That is....if your phone can be rooted.
Pixel count is irrelevant these days. What matters is pixel quality, and the iPhone is one of the best for that. Unless Nokia has made an imaging breakthrough I haven't heard about, these pixels will be much noisier than the iPhone's.
Extreme feature: built-in projector!
Very cool, for that small market segment.
Extreme feature: Its a phone, tablet and laptop in one!
These combo ideas haven't taken off so far, so it will be a wonder if Asus can do it.
Extreme feature: Functions as a universal remote with in-air gestures
Way too much of a gimmick as the main feature for a phone. You can already by IR attachments for others to do the same thing for those times you actually want your phone to work as an IR remote.
Theyre WAY ahead of the iPhone in specific applications that really matter to people.
Specific applications that really matter to small groups of people. There's not one feature listed that I want in a phone, at least not built-in, adding to the bulk.
For example, LG is preparing to ship a no-glasses 3D smart phone called the LG Optimus 3D Max.
Wow, it'll be as exciting as the Nintendo 3DS, in other words, not.
LG also announced what it claims is the fastest smartphone in history: The LG Optimus 4X HD.
The Tegra 3 is a pretty cool idea with that one low-power core. However, while its CPU performance runs between on-par to much faster than Apple's year-old A5, that old chip still beats the Tegra on GPU performance.
Their real problem in comparison to other phones isn’t the optics, but the sensors. The smaller the sensor cells get, the more noise they produce. That Canon they use for comparison has a 36×24mm sensor size, about the size of good-old 35mm film. High-end phone cameras like the iPhone have around 4.5x3.4mm sensors, less than 1/50th the sensor area of that 21 MP DSLR. Nokia is packing twice the sensor cells in that tiny area, unless a huge chunk of the phone’s space is dedicated to the camera sensor.
It’s a pretty big sensor, more in the range of a point and shoot camera than the sensors found in phones.
From what I’ve read, as a 41 MP camera, it is pretty bad after some data crunching sampling from that 41 MP, it creates 8 MP pictures that are better than any phone on the market. I didn’t look at the samples so take that for what it’s worth.
Initially most thought it would be a failure. It succeeded by being better, not just in the hardware, but the entire ecosystem.
but if they dont stay ahead with actual performance, the brand will die.
As I noted, the brand-new fastest Tegra 3 runs from about equal to to maybe twice as fast as the iPhone in CPU, but actually lags behind in GPU. And it's 4-core at a much higher clock, so don't believe numbers. I'd say Apple is staying competitive on performance, and nobody else yet has such a high-resolution screen, which is great for my eyes.
I thought the 4S had to have it, but no.
Apple won't go LTE untill the battery suckage has been worked out, and there's a small-enough chip to fit in the iPhone.
Then I compared it to the Driod Razr 4G. It was no contest and blew away iPhone in every single category.
I was recently ready to upgrade my Android and looked at the Razr seriously. No chance once I held one, way too big to be a phone, and same low-res screen (the iPhone actually has more display pixels at its smaller size). I did like the backing material though, wish the iPhone had that instead of glass on the back. And I have no need for LTE right now, so that's not a killer feature for me.
It is thinner, much much faster, longest battery life in the industry, feels more solid and has a much bigger screen.
Thinner at thinnest point, thicker at thickest point. It is slightly faster in CPU tasks than the iPhone, and the GPU is far slower (and the iPhone offloads a lot of tasks to the GPU to make things faster). Battery life depends on your use.
With the iPhone I also get automatic syncing of contacts and other info with my computer (clicked on a signature block in Mail on the Mac to make a contact out of it, and there it was on my phone). I am also loving iTunes match, now no matter where I am 40 GB of music is there at 256 Kbps AAC.
Also, it is far easier to develop your own software for Android and you dont have to submit it to apple for approval.
Having worked on both, I'd say iOS is easier. I'm not really a fan of Objective C or Java, but the APIs on iOS just rock, especially for making dual-use programs for iPhone and iPad. Also, Apple provides a very high-speed, pro-level development environment for free, you only need to pay to actually put stuff on the store. The approval aspect has its pluses and minuses for everybody, and can be argued either way.
I’m web surfing at this very moment on my Android 4g Razr plugged into a 10.1” screen Lapdock 100, which has a notebook sized keyboard and a finger mouse pad. Very nice, I rarely need to fire up the desktop PC anymore. My phone still functions as a phone when plugged into the lapdock, which has dual speakers...nothing great as speakers go but nice nonetheless. The lapdock has its own chargeable battery which also charges your phone as you use it.
Oh, and there is no tethering charges or any sort of monthly fee to use your phone in the Lapdock. The speed of the 4g Razr is incredible so there’s no waiting when web surfing or playing youtubes, etc. All good, no meaningful downside that I’ve experienced after a couple of months using the Razr and the Lapdock as my PC. Now, for heavy Word or Excel docs I still would use my desktop PC, but really I do next to nothing at home that requires the higher end Office software. I’m still learning the Quickoffice s/w that comes on the Razr.
The models designed for women oughta have a steam iron built in, me thinks, to iron their men’s shirts and ties.
Some of the best digital photos I ever took were with an old Sony Mavica that used a floppy disk for storage. Could take only 14 pictures per disk on high-res, so obviously the images were about 100k.
But some were very good indeed, even when projected.
That sounds much more realistic. And that's not a bad thing to do, either, but if you're going to do it, don't call it a "41MP camera", say "our 8MP camera blows everyone else's away".
My gripe with the wife's iPhone is that it's "simple and easy to use" in the way Apple wants you to use it. Stray off their path and it's a b!tch.
Great device for non-technically inclined people (like my wife), but when one is used to having full control of their system using an iPhone is frustrating.
Example: my wife would like to have a copy of our vacation pictures (taken with a digital camera) on her iPhone. No problem, I think; there's a DCIM/100Apple folder on the phone visible when I plug it into my Ubuntu machine. Oh, except the iPhone by itself will not scan that folder for pictures; it uses sqlite to track the photos so unlike inexpensive digital cameras, one can't simply copy digital images onto the phone. Ditto with digital music. In both cases one must do the transfer via iTunes which means my PC must do some of the heavy lifting for the iPhone.
Good for some, I guess.
“I like the ASUS Pad Phone concept, because I will be able to use one Wireless Data plan for all of my devices. Right now, I do not have Wireless Data on my tablet or laptop, because there is a separate charge for each account, which is far more expenses than the devices, over time.”
Plan for Asus to do it right. I have had an Asus netbook, and an Asus laptop and both are great.
Their idea seems attractive. A person would carry their computer cpu/storage in the small format of a smartphone body, and attach peripheral keypads, displays as needed.
Large volume storage moves to the “cloud.”
I now use an HTC Evo 4G which has never had problems in 15 months.
I like that when I take a picture on the iPhone, it’s available on the computer. When I plug a digital camera into iPhoto and upload some, or drop some photos onto iPhoto, the photos are available on the iPhone.
No iTunes, no syncing, but the Photo Stream feature of iCloud.
Yeah, too easy I guess.
The problem many people have with Apple is that we’re used to doing things the hard way. Why should we be looking for a DCIM folder? Why should we even have to know what that folder is or why it’s named that, what’s a THM file, why there’s a WAV file in my photos folder, etc. I had this problem in the beginning installing an UPS — that I could just plug it in and it would automatically work didn’t occur to me after having recently installed the same model on the Windows box.
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