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Premium Smartphone Buying Guide: PART I

I see  many people are confused (many of my friends) regarding what smartphone to buy, or what not to. Finally, I see them going for Lumia or Blackberry in vain. In this series of posts, I'd make an effort to explain what to buy, and more importantly, how to buy!

I'm comparing the following phones in this review-


iPhone 5
iPhone 5C
iPhone 5S
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 5


HTC One Max
Sony Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Sony Xperia Z1
Nokia Lumia 1020

Considering the length of the article, I've splitted the content in two parts, and here is your PART1.

iPhone 5 is a great smartphone when it comes to providing a simplified ecosystem, where everything is just a tap away. No concept of app drawer; No botheration of understanding complicated features and definitely a good buy for a person who has got heavier pockets, and has a taste for hassle free smartphoning. It features an aluminium body, and an impressive camera, which was one of the best at it's debut time.
Rating- 7/10

iPhone 5C is very similar to almost a year old iPhone 5, but with a plastic body in place of the aluminium. This plastic is not to be confused with cheaper looking plastic found in the Samsung flagship devices (not Note 3) as it is a rugged plastic very less prone to scratches. The thickness increased from 7.6 mm to 9 mm as trade-off. This model replaces the (now discontinued) iPhone 5. Everything else seems the same.
Rating- 7.5/10

iPhone 5S is the current flagship of the Cupertino company. iPhone 5S is a tad more expensive than iPhone 5. With an improved camera, fingerprint reader, and the gimmicky 64-bit processor, the good just got better. The company says it features a new camera sensor that increases the area available for pixels by 15 per cent, has slightly larger pixels, and sports an aperture of f/2.2 which lets in 33% more light. The iPhone 5S camera also includes a new True Tone flash, that is made up of two LEDs, one white and another amber. Finally, it also features auto image stabilization and faster autofocus and improved software algorithms.
Evidently, it has the second best smrtphone-camera in the market, seconded by the Nokia Lumia 1020.
Rating- 9/10

That was all good, now let's flip the coin. Being a smartphone user for about 3 years, I've used 3 of them, and all were from Android. The reason is attributed to not only the unaffordable obsession of iPhone, but also to it's limited nature. Lack of a micro SD slot, and Bluetooth transfer only to another Apple device, were the game-changers (Ironically, my new smartphone does not feature micro SD expansion). On the other hand, the Android handsets are cheaper; affordable to be decent. Android itself is Open Source, provides much more customization and personalized user experience.
Also note that none of the above iPhone comes with FM Radio, and removable battery, and majority of the content is 'paid' on the 'App Store', unlike many of the freemium apps found in the 'Play Store'.

The battle turns to Android vs iOS.

Samsung Galaxy S4 when it was launched was a pretty decent, if not mind blowing smartphone. Even now it's got stakes in the Top 10 smartphones list. It features a great hardware, the 'best' 13 MP sensor on a phone, and a great processor. Featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3 within just 7.9mm thin chassis, it also sports Super AMOLED Full HD display. The front camera is also capable of recording 1080p videos for those Skype or Hangouts sessions, needless to mention of the rear beast. It also comes out with a host of sensors like compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture, to name a few, that are utilized by it's TouchWiz UI. Battery life is just-sufficient to make you last throughout the day. As of now, it stands out much better than the iPhone 5 or 5C.
Rating- 8/10

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a mid-end phablet featuring 1.6 GHz Quad Core Processor and 2 gigs of RAM. Bundled with S pen, it has got some amazing stylus capabilities like note taking, editing photos, to name a few. With 720p display and 5.5 in screen, it also has enough battery to make you going throughout the day. Using it single-handedly would bother the most, unless you've got some extra large hands like Michael Phelps, making it a less of commoner's choice. However if you're into watching movies or web browsing, or reading, this large screen would appeal you.
Rating- 7/10

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is currently the best piece of hardware available on a smartphone (or a phablet) on any platform. Samsung has managed to increase the screen size of it's Note 2, without increasing the overall dimensions, which is pretty awesome. Featuring the ultrafast 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 Quad Core processor (Exynos 1.9 Ghz Quad + 1.3 GHz Quad, in some variants), Super AMOLED Full HD display, USB 3.0 connectivity, and an insane 3 gigs of RAM, it outshines any damn phone, in terms of specs and benchmarks alike. One thing I liked the most, is that it comes with leather stiching on the back, which is a bold move from Samsung's 'infamous' cheap looking plastic. It comes out with Android 4.3 out of the box, an improved stylus, and a host of sensors that also came with the Samsung Galaxy S4. All this but at a hefty price tag of 45k, it craves a second thought over the Google-boy, the Nexus 5.
Rating- 9.5/10

Google Nexus 4 is a great phone at just 22k price. Featuring a 1.5 Ghz Quad Core processor, and 2 gigs of RAM ensures it's smooth performance. Although Google has officially discontinued it, it'd be available with online retailers for a while. At this price, it's a steal, outsmarting any other competitor. I'd recommend it over the Samsung Galaxy S3.
My friend has got this, I will say that it has a great battery life over it's 720p display!
Rating- 7.5/10

Google Nexus 5 is the latest Google flagship, and the very first to feature the sweetness of Android 4.4 Kitkat out of the box. It features the Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz Quad Core processor, which is extremely responsive, in one word. There are no lags, anywhere. Starting at just 30k, it is the best handset you could buy at this time-it's about half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with not much of a difference. It has the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the front with premium looking plastic on the back. 8 MP Camera with OIS, 2 gigs of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, 1080p screen, Android KitKat, and an excellent CPU- look there we got a strong contender for the iPhone 5S. It's only shortcoming is it's battery, which is just mediocre, approximately half of the Nexus 4 (I'm not good at Math)- see if it's a dealbreaker for you?
Rating- 9/10

P.S. I got one for myself, and I strongly recommend this device.

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This post first appeared on Android And Rooting, please read the originial post: here

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Premium Smartphone Buying Guide: PART I


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