Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shopping! ...for Cell Phones!

If you walk into your local mobile provider's store today (or Best Buy, if you prefer, you know, actual unbiased information) because it's time to upgrade your phone, you really only have two reasonable options:

The HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Last weekend, I was faced with just such a choice.  So what did I go for?  Let's break down the options.

image via Sprint
HTC has always been an underdog in the cell phone market- they make decent phones, but they've never been able to beat out the other major manufacturers.  Some say it's because they spend nearly no money on advertising, whereas the other heavy-hitters throw all they have at clever commercials and brand recognition.

Slick advertising or no, this phone is a game changer for HTC.  First of all, it's beautiful- a sleek, metal, one-piece design just looks...futuristic.  That sounds cheesy, but it's true.  Then it's got all the little bells and whistles to make it really stand out from the pack- front-facing speakers that really, honestly do make an amazing difference in sound quality, and brand-new camera technology that takes arguably the best pictures of any cell phone ever.

But there have to be cons, right?

Unfortunately, yes- and they're actually pretty big cons.  Although this phone sports a 2300mAh battery, that battery is impossible to get to.  Remember how I said it's beautiful?  Well that solid case means you can't open it to replace the battery.  Now, extreme optimists will tell you that it's highly unlikely that you'll ever have to replace a battery like this.  I'm proof of this, actually- my HTC EVO 4G lasted 2 years on its battery.  After one year, I thought it was starting to die and bought a replacement, but it never actually went kaput.  So maybe I could make it to my next upgrade with no need for a replacement.  But what if something happens?  What if you've got some sort of faulty battery that poops out just after your warranty runs up?  Or what if your phone sits in the sun for too long and overheats?  How do you replace the battery? send it back to HTC and they charge you butt loads of money to replace it for you.  Butt loads, I tell you.

But maybe you've never had a phone battery completely die out on you before, so you figure this one will be even better.  Sounds like the perfect phone, right?

Well, there's one more con.  For some ridiculous reason, this phone has no expandable storage.  There is no micro-SD slot.  You're stuck with the storage on the phone- not that 32GB is anything to snub your nose at, but still, if you need more room...tough luck.  Sometimes "more room" isn't the issue, though.  If a phone is completely destroyed- drowned in water, dropped from a great height, or smashed with a hammer- it's highly likely that among the wreckage, you'll be able to salvage the micro-SD card because it's so darn tiny.  And then anything you've saved on it- photos or video clips that are probably not saved anywhere else- is also salvaged.  Of course, the lack of expandable storage in the One is probably due to the fact that they expect everyone to use some sort of cloud storage nowadays and literally not store anything locally.  So be sure to back up everything every time you snap a photo!

image via Sprint
Now in my opinion, this is a beautiful phone.  Apparently not beautiful enough for some, though.  Gadget critics the internet over have stated time and time again that Samsung loses this round to HTC, and more often than not, they point to the aluminum case of the One over the plastic of the S4.

Well, I'm sorry folks, but I don't buy smartphones on looks alone- which is why I'm not an Apple person.  (Although who am I kidding- iPhones aren't all that aesthetically pleasing either).  So yeah, I'll settle for the "less-pretty" plastic if I have to.

Because frankly...I'm a sucker for a removable battery and expandable storage.  It's that simple.  I want to be able to change my battery if I absolutely have to- or even just pop it out if it feels like it's starting to get to hot- and I want to be able to save things to a memory card which can be removed and transferred to another device, in addition to cloud storage options.

Also, even though I lived for 2 years with HTC's version of Android...I like the Samsung flavor better.  It's got fewer ridiculous hiccups and seems to be more customizable. 

And the camera?  It's a freaking cell phone camera- and it's good enough for me.  I took some great pictures at a concert this weekend!

So yeah, spoilers- I bought the Samsung Galaxy S4.  It's a wonderful size- huge screen, but it still fits comfortably in my tiny hand.  It's wicked fast (did I just say wicked?) and just  AND I CAN POP IN A BIGGER STORAGE CARD ANY TIME I DAMN WELL PLEASE.

So, how about you- the One or the Galaxy S4?  Or something else entirely?

Much love,
The Geeks

*This post is in no way sponsored by Samsung.  I just really like my new phone!


  1. I will be shopping for a new phone in September. I'm torn between another Android phone or getting an iPhone. After reading this I think I might consider the is nice having the removable SD card. I'm so disgusted with my Droid Bionic that I was all ready to go Apple but now I may reconsider :-)

    1. Whatever you do, don't go Apple! lol I'm fully on team Samsung now. My HTC EVO served me well but Samsung phones are just so much...I don't know...*better*. Good thing I'm not a real tech writer as I'm obviously pretty bad at it lol