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Why Android?


Consumer Reports put this phone on the "not recommended" list.
Laugh more
Network & hardware choicesDo you want to use a network other than AT&T? Do you want a phone with a bigger screen? Do you want a phone with a physical keyboard? Or maybe one with a faster processor and more internal memory? There are quite a few phones out there using the Android OS.
Bigger screen
Want a screen bigger than the iPhone 4's 3.5-inch screen? Yes the iPhone 4 has a crazy clear (high dpi and high resolution) screen but it is squint time when packed into 3.5" of space. Many Android phones have larger than 3.5" screens.
Better web browsing
In benchmark after benchmark [on high-end Android 2.1 and 2.2 phones] the stock Android browser is faster than the stock iPhone 4 browser. Also: Flash works on Android but not on iPhones. For Apple, this is not a matter of "coming soon", either. Steve Jobs has promised "no Flash". His reasons: security risk, slow performance, battery drain, and porn. Running Flash on a Nexus One has shown these concerns to be groundless.
WidgetsSmall applications that reference glanceable information without the need to launch an app. It's a core part of the Android experience. Quickly see Facebook or Twitter feed, news headlines, weather, stock reports and other snippets of information customized to your liking. There's nothing like it for iOS yet.
Removable batteryHaving an extra battery can prove useful for many reasons, including:
- using phone at a picnic or BBQ as the music source (attached to portable speakers);
- travel & camping; and
- leaving home for the day to do errands and phone is half charged.
NotificationsEven hardcore Apple fans have admitted the notification system is still superior in Android. The notification tray at the top of the screen is unobtrusive, consistent, and easy to use.
True multitasking

Wired magazine sums it up well here
In Android, when you switch away from an application, it will continue to do whatever it was doing (upload, download, install, update, music, phone call, etc.).

Comments from a couple iPhone users:

Almost nothing was changed by this "new" multi-tasking feature other than music in the background. May be a big deal for Pandora and slacker people but I use a calendar app and quick docs and they both have to re-open and refresh each time I re-launch them from the task bar. It truly is a "recently used list" rather than a multi-tasking list. I wish it only showed the apps that are actually doing something in the background.

I just started noticing this problem, primarily with weather apps. If left in a saved state, the weather displayed may be hours or days old and they do not have a refresh button. So you either have to change your location and then change it back or close the app and relaunch.

More control, more open
The nature of the Android OS is that it's inherently more open than Apple's iOS platform. That means if you want to install apps that aren't in the Android app store you can. For iPhone users, unless you're willing to jailbreak your device, you're pretty much going to use whatever Apple has approved for you. Want to use a cool keyboard replacement like Swype? Easy on Android, not possible without hacking on iPhone.
Open file system
Plug your Android phone into any computer via USB cable you see every folder, and you can drag & drop MP3s, JPGs, AVIs, Flash movies & games, etc. back and forth! No need for iTunes or any other software. You can connect an Android phone to anything that will use USB (car stereo, DVD player, TV, PC, etc.) and it will play media that is on the phone.
Tethering out of the box
With a few clicks, your phone becomes a router (wireless or wired, up to you) so that nearby computers can use your 3G (or 4G if you are using certain Sprint Android phones) to connect to the Internet. AT&T charges $45 for iPhone tethering, Spring $10 for EVO, T-Mobile free for Nexus One.
Voice recognition/ input
Every text field in every app on this phone, you can choose to talk instead of type!
Turn by turn navigation
The free, stock Google Maps has a turn by turn navigation that works as well as any Tom Tom or Telenav.
"Update all"
Button in the Android Marketplace to instantly update all your apps at once.
Install apps to SD card
Choice to install apps to SD card instead of phone's onboard memory, which pretty much removes limitations on size and number of apps when you consider most apps designed for phones are pretty small
Gmail advantage
If you use Gmail, Android phones sync seamlessly with your Google contacts, calendars, maps, and many other Google features.
Video calling
At this time, 7/8/2010, two Android phones support video calling, the EVO 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S. They both have a higher resolution front-facing camera than the iPhone and you can use either 4G, or WiFi to do your video chatting while the iPhone 4 currently limits you to using WiFi for video chat.

New high-end Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S with 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, front-facing video camera (on some), Hummingbird processor (see "power/speed" below), and thin profile. A variation of this phone is coming out on every network:

Epic 4G
Internal Memory
Comes with
(Micro SD)
Camera Flash
Front-facing cam
Mobile hotspot

POWER/SPEED as of 7/8/2010
Current high end Android phones have either the Snapdragon or the Hummingbird processor. The Hummingbird (found in some Android Samsung phones) is newer and faster. Both run at 1ghz.

Latest & fastest Android OS is version 2.2. Only a couple phones, including the Nexus One are so far running 2.2. Big changes (including addition of JIT compiler) were made between 2.1 and 2.2 that affect speed. A review of 2.2 here:

The Nexus One has the Snapdragon processor. And even though this is the slower of the two processors, it is *fast*!

For the curious, here are some benchmark results:

V8 BENCHMARK (higher score is better)
Snapdragon/Android 2.2287.0 points
iPhone 483.4 points
Snapdragon/Android 2.165.0 points
iPhone 3GS
49.3 points

SUNSPIDER BENCHMARK (smaller is better)
Snapdragon/Android 2.25.8 seconds
iPhone 4
10.9 seconds
iPhone 3GS
14.2 seconds
Snapdragon/Android 2.114.3 seconds

Note: the above benchmarks do not include Hummingbird combined with Android 2.2 because Hummingbird-equipped phones using 2.2 are just barely coming out. They used a Nexus One for these tests.

LINPACK (higher is better)
Snapdragon/Android 2.2
45.0 Mflops
iPhone 4
36.2 Mflops
iPhone 3GS
27.3 Mflops
EVO-Snapdragon/Android 2.1
6.7 Mflops

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