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.
Ah yes, time for the next crop of “xxxxx phones will beat the iPhone”. And like the other competitors they will fall in the iPhones shadow. People like the iPhone because it’s simple, thin and easy to use. When you get a iphone it comes with 5-6 apps and you buy the rest. Throwing numerous gadgets onto a phone won’t persuade users to use your phone.
I wonder what the battery life on the Galaxy Beam is going to be during a presentation?
Battery life was my first thought as well.
Who needs a 41 megapixel camera?
Who needs a projector built in their phone?
The market for these so called iphone killers will be small.
Not very long...
You could have 100 zillion gabillion pixels and it won't make a good photo if you don't have optics good enough to take a shot that's any better at that resolution. How are they going to fit (and pay for) a lens of sufficient quality in a cell phone to make 41 megapixels any better than 6-8MP?? Typical geek think -- improving the specs on the digital electronic stuff will somehow make a better product without thinking about the mechanical, real-world, meat-space parts of the equation.
The battery is rated at 2000 mAh which gives a lot of hours if you are not using the projector, but then I’m not sure that the projector would be feasible for other than on the spot, short presentations.
Perhaps, but I’m thinking that if the electronics are capable, the mechanics will follow.
Some people will buy a particular phone for a particular gadget, the products will fill a niche.
My particular issue is, as I get older, I have a hard time reading from a little screen. One of those phones with a 5” screen is looking pretty good to me.
I don’t know, unless they’ve made some serious cost and quality advances in lens-making. Maybe.
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.
What none of these phones have is iOS. I don’t trust any device that requires a Google account for optimum use. I would consider a RIM Playbook if they added 3G and a no contract phone deal for a modest surcharge. HP’s Web OS coulda been a player. But no Android for me.
Why does anyone need all of the bells, whistles, and apps on an iPhone? What bright, shiny new and overpriced features will the next iPhone or iPad3 have?
bleeech.....sometimes too much is just too much
Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy which has been good. Got a hold of a friend's iPhone and found it anything but easy compared to the Droid OS. Smaller screen, more searching through menus. Really couldn't see why anyone would pick that phone other than name recognition.
The kind of overpriced features that will make millions of people want to have one.
Exactly. After a threshold, the quality and size of the lens the dominant factor in picture quality.
I like the projector; I’ll let the early adopters pay for the R&D because you can be sure that this will lead to a new generation of small, cheap projectors that could make big-screen TVs obsolete.
Most smartphones can be tethered to a PC. My Samsung Galaxy can be tethered via USB or can also function as a mobile wifi hotspot. That’s how I stayed online last month after I moved and was waiting for my new internet connection to be activated. Not as fast as cable or DSL but it did the job.
My 14MP Nikon digital takes better pictures than my (surprisingly good) 8MP Android, but it has a Nikor glass lens that’s probably 10 times the diameter and thickness of the one in the phone. To take a photo worthy of 41MP, imagine the lens you’re going to need, and the percentage increase in size and/or cost (some tradeoff between the two, but at levels of both I can’t see how they could make work in a cell phone).
41MP may be twice the bandwidth of professional cameras or whatever, but I bet the lens alone on those cameras costs about 20 cell phones worth.
One question for all of these phones ... how’s the battery life?
Then take a look at this: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android
Unbuntu Linux will be installed along side of Android on a phone that can also be connected to a keyboard and screen. Carry a complete desktop operating system in your pocket.
Those kinds of features won’t guarantee anyone will make millions, success takes talents that utilize what is available and does not rely on flashy new apps make things happen.
Most of those who make millions on the new iPhone or iPad will be the primary stockholders who know that right now, flash and glitter sells.
I never understood the appeal of smartphones until my carrier gave me a free Galaxy when my contract came up for renewal, but I was hooked on it after a day. Best free apps and websites:
Google Sky Map: Uses accelerometer and GPS, hold it over your head and all stars, planets and constellations are labelled, also has a search feature to home in on an object.
nextbus.com: Gives an ETA of buses enroute to the nearest stops, updated in real time, for transit services that track their vehicles with GPS. Works in most major cities.
http://www.nationalpost.com/m/todays-paper/index.html: Arguably the best newspaper in the world, all articles from the print edition are posted online six days per week. I find reading on my mobile device is a lot more comfortable than using my PC.
Yup. Verizon won’t let me tether my smartphone to a tablet without paying a $20 monthly fee. I mainly want it so the kids can watch Netflix on long rides.
I had the iPhone 4 for over a year but wanted to upgrade to 4G internet. I liked the phone but wanted faster data transfer capability for work. I thought the 4S had to have it, but no. Then I compared it to the Driod Razr 4G. It was no contest and blew away iPhone in every single category.
I got the Razr. It is thinner, much much faster, longest battery life in the industry, feels more solid and has a much bigger screen. I thought it was just as easy to use and was ready to go as soon as I charged it. If you can read, you can use it. I never asked for help or opened a manual. Yes, it came with a few apps that I would never use but I uninstalled them in less than one minute.
Also, it is far easier to develop your own software for Android and you dont have to submit it to apple for approval.
I have a Verizon "Grandfathered" Unlimited Data plan, and I received a message last month informing me that I was in the top 5% of data users, and they were going to start throttling my download rate. So much for unlimited...
It was Netflix. It works great, until they catch up with you.
That is a SPECTACULAR application, featuring an incredible marriage of technologies (actually we use a similar program on the iPAD-much better than the smaller phone screen). Took it on our trip to Tahiti to navigate the unfamiliar southern hemisphere skies.
So is the National Post readable for rock-ribbed conservatives, or am I going to have my usual blood pressure spike when reading typical journalistic output?
-——It was Netflix. It works great, until they catch up with you-——
LOL. Ok, I admit it, sometimes I’m stuck in the car waiting for my wife and daughters to emerge from tjmaxx...
So, next year’s mobile devices are better than last year’s iPhones?
41 megapixels is pretty cool, but what about the lens? Giving a camera 41 megapixels without a big quality lens to let in the light and capture a distortion free image, is akin to putting an expensive sports car engine into a Smart Car.
The article discussed some specially made Zeiss lens for it, but don’t know about specs. If anybody can make the right lens for it, though, I’d say Zeiss could.
—I wonder what the battery life on the Galaxy Beam is going to be during a presentation?—
Not an issue. You plug it in.
Keep your projector and uber-camera phones ... I’ll take a Nokia Lumia 900 please.
My question would be how long the projector bulb lasts...
I can usually plug in the phone for power...
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.