Sony recently announced it’s newest Android phone which is supposed to compete with the best Android-powered phones from Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC, blah blah blah. Am I supposed to be impressed?
While some people have pegged me as an Android-basher (especially after this article), I’m truly not. I’d give any Android a fair chance at dethroning the iPhone as my phone of choice (though admittedly it would take a lot as I’m pretty entrenched in my ways, but even I recently asked whether or not Apple had lost it’s magic) and just recently I received an HTC 1X+ for review which I have to say has some impressive features (more on that soon).
But here’s the thing: all these different Android phones are not exciting, to me. Sure, you can vary the hardware; stick in a better camera, cram in some additional memory and processing power, make a phone with a form factor as thin as a piece of paper… but the OS is basically the same. Of course different manufacturers overlay proprietary levels of code to make it feel a bit different, but cmon–this is nothing groundbreaking.
All I’m saying is I want to see something really new, really different. I, personally, wish there were more OS choices in the mobile world. For that reason (and pretty much that reason alone at this point), I’m excited about Ubuntu’s entry into the phone market. I like the fact that Microsoft is at least in the fray and I am a bit sad that WebOS didn’t have a brighter future.
So, what I like about Apple’s approach is that they have one phone model that gets updated and refreshed not a myriad of also-rans flooding the market. The Android options, to me, aren’t different enough to justify their existence. Even Google itself, with the purchase of Motorola, understands that owning the “whole widget” offers big benefits. I’d really like to see some scrappy startups take on the hardware and software side of making something truly new, a really different option, in the mobile space. Sure, it’s risky, and yeah, it would be incredibly expensive, but consumers want real choices, not veneers. Yes, carriers sell A LOT of Android phones… but if someone isn’t going to buy an Apple device and wants a smartphone… there’s not a lot to choose from outside of Android.
So, I don’t really care about Sony’s new phone. It’s slim and it has a nice camera… that’s not enough to make me want to switch, just enough to make me start to get drowsy even as I type this…