NYT: Samsung cannot compete, Apple’s iPhone 5s is by far the world’s best smartphone

“Over the last couple weeks, many of my colleagues in the tech press have published reviews of the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s newest top-of-the-line smartphone,” Farhad Manjoo reports for The New York Times. “Samsung seems to have done just enough with the S5 to stay ahead of every other Android phone maker… The upshot of all these reviews is that if you’re looking for the best Android phone, Samsung’s is the one to buy.”

“While there are probably some people who go out to shop for the best Android phone, I suspect that most people want to know which phone is best of all, whatever operating system it runs,” Manjoo reports. “In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Apple’s six-month-old flagship device and the champion to beat?”

“The answer: Not very well,” Manjoo reports. “I’ve been using the new Samsung for about three weeks, and while I do think it is the best Android phone you can buy, it sure isn’t the best phone on the market. By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind. If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone 5S.”

“For many people, there will only be a single obvious reason to buy the Galaxy S5 over the iPhone 5S: The Samsung phone has a much bigger screen,” Manjoo reports. “Size isn’t an objective advantage but rather a matter of preference — some people like big phones and some people like small ones. For the next few months, for big-phone lovers, Samsung’s massive size will make it the clear winner. Yet that points to a looming problem for Samsung. News reports and common sense suggest that Apple will almost certainly unveil a bigger iPhone later this year. If you assume that everything else about the iPhone-versus-Galaxy matchup will remain the same after the size increase, it means that Samsung will lose its single greatest advantage over Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Crappy Android phones will always fare poorly when compared to the one true innovator’s revolutionary iPhones.

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  1. If Samsuck can’t compete with the iPhone 5S then what can they do with the iPhone 6? Are they aware of the bloodshed that will soon reign upon them? Are they prepared for the earthquake that will leave their already shaky foundation asunder? There’s a storm coming, and the pain and misery inflicted upon them will be like nothing they’ve ever experienced.

  2. I though going from the 4s to the 5s would make me hate the bigger size, but it didn’t. Although, I wouldn’t want my phone to be any bigger. I will say, I think the 4s size was nicer. But with the 5s being thinner and lighter, the extra screen real-estate didn’t matter much to me. I’m really enjoying the 5s.

  3. Impossible!!! The iPhone 5s has iOS 7 on it. iOS 7 is horrible, so it must follow then that the iPhone 5s is also horrible!

    iOS 7 is so horrible in fact that it’s tantamount to Tim and Jony Ive clubbing baby seals just for the fun of it, so clearly the iPhone 5 isn’t really better than the Galaxy S5. In fact, the horror that is iOS 7 is obviously just a copy of the S5.

    So offended am I, my self-important sensibilities so violated by iOS 7, that I must make at least a couple of comments about in every single story on MDN, no matter how tangentially related to iOS 7.


    1. ecrabb, the iPhone 5s has the processor power to manage iOS7. Now that one can turn off some of the pointless graphics distractions, make the font more legible, etc, the iPhone 5S with iOS7 is a fast, powerful, responsive, mostly legible phone. As long as one can put up with the flat graphics ugliness and horrible calendar UI, the phone itself is stellar. This is entirely due to hardware and OS architecture, not GUI.

      The same can’t be said for 32-bit phones attempting to run iOS7. For those, the attempt to run the latest/most bloated version of iOS results in relatively poor performance and a noticeable battery life degradation. There is absolutely no practical reason why Apple should have ever tricked legacy iOS users to upgrade to a less efficient iOS version without allowing them the freedom to revert back to the OS originally shipped on their 32-bit iOS devices.

      Furthermore, no amount of name calling or sarcasm by rabid Apple fanboys against normal Apple fans who actually have fact-based criticisms of Apple’s many recent mis-steps will ever change the facts. iOS7 _does_ suck for many users. It is merely tolerated by most everyone with an older iPhone, and lauded by practically nobody, even a lot of Apple employees. iOS7 is capable, but far from great, on the iPhone 5S.

      1. iOS 7 works beautifully on my wife’s iPhone 4s. No, it’s not as snappy as my iPhone 5, but it never was. It’s still very decent and totally acceptable for a 2+ year-old device.

        On older 32-bit devices, I agree it’s pretty slow, but then those devices have had FOUR major iOS revisions since they shipped. They’re getting old and will need to be replaced sooner than later. I won’t defend Apple’s practice of preventing the ability to roll-back to an older operating system, but since I don’t work for Apple’s engineering department, I can’t say whether there’s a practical reason or not.

        I love the new Calendar.app, and so do many others, so clearly that’s just a taste/preference issue. You may not like it, but there’s nothing “horrible” about it. In fact, very little of the hyperbole I’ve seen from the iOS 7 detractors is even remotely “fact-based”. Most of it is opinion, or worse, hand-waving about colors and icons, and “lines”, and less about real usability issues, much of which has been resolved in updates.

        1. So what your are trying to say is that pro-iOS7 hyperbole is acceptable, but little things like sluggishness, battery life, legibility, intuitiveness of GUI, and so forth are not issues to be taken seriously? Put down the kool aid, my friend, you have lost all objectivity.

          1. Well, for starters, this is MacDailyNews, in essence a fan site. Just as there will be pro-Ford hyperbole on a Mustang forum, there will be pro-iOS7 hyperbole here, so of course it’s acceptable.

            I would also add that the idea that a pro-iOS 7 position must be one of a “Kool-Aid drinker”, while the anti-iOS 7 position is one of legitimate objectivity is completely without merit. Speaking of lack of objectivity.

            That being said, I have no problem with respectful, insightful, legitimate critique. In my years as a registered poster on this site, I’ve been plenty critical of Apple on a wide variety of issues, so it’s quite clear I don’t “drink the kool aid”.

            I also have no problem with opinion, as long as it isn’t presented as fact. “I hate the look/feel of iOS 7” would be perfectly acceptable discourse here. “iOS 7 is illegible, unintuitive, and just all-around terrible” is nothing more than one person’s opinion. Using technical terms doesn’t make one’s opinionated position any more factual.

            On several occasions, I’ve asked the iOS 7 detractors to put up or shut up, and they fail to deliver every time. Give me specific, concrete examples of something that’s illegible or unintuitive. The few times somebody has responded, it comes down to “this one icon in this one app” or something along those lines.

            Further, virtually all the critique that has been leveled at iOS 7 has also been leveled at each and every version of iOS 7 since the beginning, save for possibly the light typography and the brightly-colored icons. More to the point, every single new major release since it least iOS 3 or 4 has been accompanied by all manner of hand-waving about battery life, sluggishness, changes to the GUI, syncing, and a number other number of issues. Some concerns were (and yes, are) truly legitimate, while some were isolated but made to sound more serious than they were.

            Given all that, and absent any evidence to the contrary, the iOS 7 detractors appear to me to be a very vocal minority in a sea of people that genuinely like or even love iOS 7.

            1. OK @ecrabb, you’re on.

              7 is the ugliest OS produced in the history of Apple.

              7 is confusing. My 82 year old mother and 7 year old niece could not understand the esoteric flat icons. Prompting my niece to say, “why did they take away X …”

              7 design is all over the map. If you make a living in graphic design like I do, I count a mishmash of styles that are inconsistent. 6 was Steve’s drum tight vision and consistent in visual style.

              7 icon design reveals some as simply generic outline shapes around for centuries that do advance graphic design.

              7 parallax effect made my mother sick. Her first Apple product, made apologies and turned it off for her.

              7 maps the small roads are so light in some views that render them totally useless.

              7 thin fonts are illegible for older eyes. Particularly in sunlight.

              7 weather icons are unoriginal, fine. But a chore to figure out unlike the illustrative illustrations in 6 that left no one confused in all age groups.

              7 calendars disappoint.

              7 maps do not include small streams and creeks. Only rivers the size of the Mississippi, et al. Google maps is superior in this regard.

              7 is flat, copied, boring, sterile, aloof, COLD and at the end of the day nothing to write home about or hang in the National Art Gallery in D.C.

              Wait! I take that back. The museum next door hangs FLAT Mondrian lines on square white canvas and has its share of oohs and aahs customers. Alrighty, then.

              As I have written on this forum several times. If you love 7, wonderful and good 4U.

              Others do not and I am amazed options do not exist.

              To sandbag the dim bulbs clutching adoption rate numbers, listen up.

              Do you have an Apple choice? No, you do not.

              Nuff said, peace. 🙂

              –Apple user since The Kevin Costner commercial first purchase

            2. Well, some of your points are facts — but I do not think you know what “fact” means, nor what ecrabb meant.

              That you hate it is a statement about your emotional reaction, but, in that, is still a statement of fact. Ugliest, unoriginal, disappoint, flat, sterile, aloof, cold are not facts.

              On “unoriginal” — does everything have to be an astounding revolution?

              And one point I keep coming back to – inevitably, when a movie wants to portray futuristic, it’s always with clean minimalism. And it certainly is never with green felt or faux leather.

            3. Certainly mixed a few opinions with mostly facts.

              Although, the ones you pointed out may not be concrete conclusive, but I’ll bet the farm most objective folks would agree.

            4. These evaluations – “Ugliest, unoriginal, disappoint, flat, sterile, aloof, cold” are not facts, nor objective. They are the very epitome of SUBjective.

            5. Well, for starters I have posted a very detailed sober counterpoint rebuttal to @ecrabb and MDN has not published my opinion.

              Well fanboys, what can I say? Enjoy.

            6. Six year olds do not have the acquired life skills or necessary faculties to articulate a detailed critique.

              But six year olds are capable of calling people names.

      2. I have an original iPad and an iPad Air… at first it took a little getting used to all the wireframe flat icons, but now it’s virtually second nature to look for them… there is no comparison for me between the old and the new. The old, while full of shiny reflections and faux simulations of leather grain and 3D textures, just feels old now, like an old study full of leather chairs and whiskey decanters… comfortable, but not modern. iOS7 just has a no-nonesense feel to it that once you get the hang of it is much more efficient and snappy. It will only get better, and those who can’t stand it either haven’t really figured out the flow or are hung up on what a button looks like. Granted, iOS7 might not be as “intuitive” for a beginner, but it’s a much better tool for anyone who can learn a few basics, and certainly for the serious user. I’d not want to go back. There’s something simple and clean and more consistent about 7 that has it’s own aesthetic pleasure… the OS just gets out of your way a lot more, skips the flourishes, bells and whistles. It night not be everyone’s taste, but I prefer my beverages to be lighter with higher notes, rather than heavy, sweet and syrupy.

  4. Androids biggest problem is not the hardware, but the OS itself. There isn’t just one Android OS. There are many incarnations that call themselves Android OS. The biggest problem is that all of these are open and NOT secure. The apps that you can get are not reviewed or checked at all so the apps are NOT secure. What it basically comes down to is crappy OS, outdated OS, crappy Apps. That in combination with all the crap each phone maker throws into the mix and you have and even bigger piece of crap that in most cases can’t be updated and the phone supplier definitely won’t offer you any updates for the OS either.

  5. When Apple releases the new iPhone, it better keep its existing size. Then release a bigger version for those that want oversized phones. These two moves will be a one two knockout punch on SamSMUG and Google rip off artist.

    1. My guess is that’s exactly what they’ll do. The 5c and 5s will remain as entry-level and mid-range phones, while the slightly bigger 6 will become the new premium phone.

      I would imaging they’d then look at sales data and decide whether the larger form factor will become standard, or whether the next-gen phone (6s?) will have two sizes to incorporate new technology.

    2. It may not need to keep its existing size. An ultra-thin 4.7 inch iPhone with nearly zero side bezel should make for a very comfortable device.

      Regardless, Jony knows what he’s doing.

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