Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Less Android Phones Please!



Hello everyone!  It's not very often I talk against anything Android and maybe even say some good things about Apple but sometimes it has to be done.  Although technically my issues here are not with Android but with Android phone manufacturers.  

Google likes to say how they hate the word Fragmentation and how there really isn't any.  I call bullshit on that, Google just accept it, the current status of Android phones is kind of a mess.  One of the reasons I love Android is because of the fact that you can find it in so many different devices, so you are bound to find a device that works best for you instead of being forced to used the 1 device a company provides.  The Apple iPhone may be a very nice device but if you don't like the look or feel of it then too bad.  

However the problem is that we have all these companies making a new phone every other week now!  For the most part I honestly don't expect my phone to made as high quality as an iPhone 4 because chances are I'm going to be changing it within a year anyway.  But I do expect that phone to be a top of the line phone for at least a year!  

Let me use the current Droid Razr as an example.  A very nice phone, better made than most Android phones you see out there.  Just came out in November 2011.  During CES 2012 they announce the Droid Razr MAXX.  Which is the exact same phone but with a MUCH better battery.  You really have to wonder why is it that the Droid Razr Maxx wasn't the original Droid Razr??  Why in the world would you release a phone only to release a better version of the same phone 2 months later??  You can also argue that the Droid Razr itself was a mistake since it had only been a couple of months since the Droid Bionic had come out which was supposed to be a Motorola flagship phone.  

Motorola did say during CES 2012 that they plan on releasing less phones this year.  I hope they are right because frankly it's getting impossible to keep track of all these phones.  They and Samsung and other companies need to learn to only have about 3 phones per year.  Yes kind of how Apple does it but instead of just the one option you provide 3.  

1. A High end Phone with all the bells and whistles. 
2. A Middle ground Phone, something like last years high end phone but cheaper. 
3. The cheap phone, not cheap quality but just cheaper components.  

You could even throw in a 4th and just have it be a version of the middle ground phone with a slide out physical keyboard if you want.  But really that should be it!

But I said that options was part of the beauty of Android, how is 4 phones a year so much better than what iPhone has?   Well, for starters 4 phones is a lot more than 1.  But then you have to remember that LG would have their own 4 phones, and so would Samsung and Sony and HTC and so on.  So it would still be a LOT of phones, but still a lot less than what you find out there now.  

If all these companies were to focus on just 3 or 4 phones a year I am sure they would be able to make much better quality phones as far as looks and feel go.  

Next they need to pick a brand and stick with it.  I'm so sick and tired of all these different names for the same phone in different carriers.  I'm also sick and tired of all these little changes to a phone for specific carriers as well.  How for example a Phone may be 1.2 gigahertz for one carrier but then 1.5 for another.  It just makes no sense to me.  

Before Christmas someone wanted me to give them my opinion on the Motorola Electrify for US Cellular.  I had to look it up because I had no idea what this phone was, had never heard of it.  It took a while but I finally realized that the Electrify was simply what I knew as the Photon 4G.  It just wasn't 4G because US Cellular doesn't offer 4G.  But would it have killed them to call it the Motorola Photon?  

Another Good example is the Samsung Galaxy S phones.  When the original Galaxy S phones came out here is what their names were based on carrier: 

T-Mobile: Samsung Vibrant.  But later they released a 4G version which they actually called Samsung Galaxy S 4G. 

AT&T: Samsung Captivate. 

Sprint: Samsung Epic 4G

Verizon: Samsung Fascinate, then there was the smaller version Samsung Continuum and then there was the Samsung Stratosphere which was more like Sprints Epic 4G. . . 

Almost every single one of these phones different in some way.  How are people supposed to keep track of this?? 

Things went a little better with the Galaxy S II but not by much: 

T-Mobile: Samsung Galaxy S II
AT&T: Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (4G version), Samsung Captivate Glide (Keyboard)
Sprint: Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
Verizon: Didn't even get it. 

I applaud Samsung for trying to keep a specific line of phones but they need to work with the Carriers to control the naming better.  If Apple can cell the Apple iPhone on all carriers under the same name then I don't see why there can't just be "Galaxy S II".  And for the love of God just make them all the same. 

According to Motorola the reason they need to keep changing Android themselves by using things like Motoblur or Sense or Touchwiz is because the carriers want phones that look different.  I can't blame the carriers when you are releasing 100 phones a year.  But if these manufacturers were to focus on 3 phones a year, I'm sure they could make each one stand out on it's own way.  

Written by: Javier Torres
Anarchy Live.com