November 26th, 2011


Decisions, decisions...

I currently have a "dumb" phone that's on its last legs. I'm looking at upgrading to either an iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy. My service provider is AT&T, and yes, I'm way overdue for my upgrade. Here's what I care about:
  • Ease of use.
    I expect there to be a learning curve, especially since I'll no longer be able to dial by feel. Which is easier to use as a phone, including the speaker feature?
  • Searching while talking.
    Can I look up stuff on my smartphone while I'm talking on it? If so, how awkward is it?
  • PDA functionality.
    Let me be blunt: I Miss My Palm Zire 72. I want to be able to use my smartphone as a calendar, alarm clock with customized alarms, and as a list-tracker. Do either have apps that can do this? My iPod Touch's alarm clock is way too soft to wake me up; I've heard the iPhone is way better this way, though. I have no experience with the Android platform.
  • Available apps.
    What's out there for each platform? I know I can run apps on an iPhone that'll save me money (which will help offset the monthly data fee). Do these exist for the Android?
  • Upgradability.
    Can I upgrade the hardware or software at all? The iPhone appears to be software upgradeable but not hardware upgradeable, while the Galaxy appears to be the other way around. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
  • Battery life.
    How do they compare?
  • Tethering.
    I'm going to have to pay for a measured service plan no matter how I roll it, so how easy is it to use either one as a MiFi hotspot? Yes, this is very important to me.
  • "Regret factor."
    Will I still feel good about this phone a year from now? I like buying tech gear that's going to last me a while and keep me happy, which means I tend to go for the top of the line.
  • Other stuff.
    Since I don't have a smartphone, I don't know what I'm missing or what to look for beyond what I've mentioned.
So...which is better, and why?