Here’s your chance to help me decide on which new smartphone to get

Motorola Droid MaxxSamsung S4iphone 5I am a big fan of crowdsourcing.  Not for everything as sometimes you need to just go your own way and forsake popular opinion.  At least that’s what I do sometimes.    However when it comes to deciding on a new smartphone I believe the collective wisdom of the crowd is the best option for having a solid amount of data on which to make a decision.   So here I am asking you for your comment on the three options that I have selected in order to narrow the field.

I am also interested in having this be an open conversation and what I ask is that if you do care to comment and or simply offer an opinion to please do that on my blog itself such that everyone can read what everyone else is offering.   Of course it will be a sad thing if I only get one or two comments; which is a risk I am wiling to take.   This is merely a request as often people make comments on my blog on the social network in which they received the feed and I am always grateful for any one who actually reads and comments so it’s my hope to really have this be an interesting and lively conversation.

Background:  I have been using a Google Motorola (yes I am aware that Google sold Motorola to Lenovo last week) Droid Razr for the past nearly 2 years.  What drew me to that model was it’s compact nature as it fits in my pocket rather easily – more so than an iPhone by a bit, and I wanted to try the Android OS.   In general the phone itself is pretty good although I did plug in an operating system called Aviate about six months ago, (which probably has impacted performance) but I do like the interface more than the factory set Droid OS.    The phone today just does not perform well and I am not sure if it is the Aviate OS, the fact that the phone is now old, or both.  Or neither.

My choices:

Motorola Droid Maxx – same size as my current phone.  But my Motorola experience has been just ok.

Samsung S4 – the S4 is the right size as the S5 is just too big.

iPhone 5 – everyone in my office (except for one) uses an iPhone.  We all work on Macs.  There are many good reasons that an iPhone makes sense but the fact that so many of us do not use the Android platform makes me concerned that we will not have much first-hand experience in the Android OS which is still extremely popular.  How will we know what people are experiencing if we are all fish in the same pond?

So there you have it – three distinct choices, price wise the iPhone is the most expensive which should be taken into consideration.  The Motorola phone and Samsung are similarly priced.

Which should I choose?   And what are the reasons?  I will post the results here on my blog as well.  And if you have a different suggestion I will be interested to read them.  Xiaomi? Huawei?  Lumina?  I have considered those but for various reasons have eliminated them.

I will decide by February 15 and thank you for indulging my request!

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver, baseball lover
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16 Responses to Here’s your chance to help me decide on which new smartphone to get

  1. Great idea to crowdsource this. The overbias of individuals gets equalized by the volume of comments. I won’t tell you which one to get but I have an iPhone 5s. I use it as a storage device for my music, texting, phone calls. I have it set up for email, but I actually rarely use it for that. I prefer my iPad mini for email. That being said, if storing music isn’t important and you’re not trying to synchronize your email/calendar etc. with your Mac computer at work then go for the Samsung.


  2. Nader Ashway says:

    Mark – you know my bias is towards iPhone. Not just because I’m an Apple devotee, but because of the myriad ways in which it can integrate seamlessly into your work environment. With an iPhone, you can sync directly to your work machine, (or via the cloud) and all your documents, music, emails and texts will be easily accessible across your devices. Plus, iOS still has the broadest app marketplace (choices, free options, upgrades, etc.) and now that they have a deal with China Mobile, you won’t have any issues when you travel East.

    But do this: wait until the summer, and start your experience with iPhone 6 and a matching iWatch!


  3. Jim Fennell says:


    You can’t go wrong with the iPhone. I recently upgraded from the 4s to the 5s and am very pleased with it. My son got the 2-1/2 year old 4s and it still works fine.

    As Nader mentioned, the Apple ecosystem is well integrated and even extends beyond their hardware into Windows based computers. Since Apple controls both the hardware and software for their devices, the user experience is far more intuitive and reliable than with other systems I’ve used. No messing around, it just works.

    Regarding Android, just buy a cheap tablet if you want to keep up with it. I have one but rarely use it because my iPad is easier and more capable.

    Good luck!



  4. Pete Jaffe says:

    I have a droid Razr Max HD. I bought it for the battery life (I get about 2 to 3 days on a charge) and have been very happy with it. I find part of your wording humorous “he Android OS which is still extremely popular”, you make it sound like it is fading instead of growing rapidly. I think Apple products are fine, but mostly (other than their phones) very overpriced. Android downside is the fragmentation. I got Nexis 5’s for other members of my family and they are very nice, no bloatware but that means you have to load some apps that you take for granted from the telco vendors. Personally I like the android interface better because i have more control over how it looks and how I use it. I really like the Maxx battery and native GPS. I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of your choices. I have a nexus 7 that I love but was shocked to find I really like some of the windows tablets by dell. I assumed Microsoft has killed themselves in that market (surface is overpriced) but the third part manufacturers have made some nice tablets with good price points.


    • markkolier says:

      First of all thanks for reading and for the comment Pete and I am also glad my comment amused you although that wasn’t my intention. Working daily in the Apple lovers club has the Kool-Aid in the room but I am just not ready to drink it yet. And Jim’s comment on a Nexus tablet may offer me a way to have day to day activity with the Android system if I do end up with an iPhone – 5, 5s , 6 or otherwise. Funny how Apple lovers pass off the higher expense so easily as – ‘well it’s just better’. Price does matter – price+value is always the real issue.


  5. I used Android phones up until mid last year when my service provider left the market. Personally I really liked the Android phones I had used and my last one had a keyboard which I much perferred to typing on glass. On the other hand, synching it with my Mac OS computers always seemed a problem. It reminded me of old Windows XP issues where I had to develop endless “Work Arounds” to get anything to work or synch. My iPhone 5 is perfectly fine for the most part, I don’t particularly like it any better or worse than the Androids with the exception of typing on glass. But I love how everything synchs so easily now. I think Jim up above has the right advice for you, get the newest iPhone but keep a cheap tab around if being up on the latest Android software and capabilities is important to the business. I had no problem giving it up as it didn’t matter to me.


  6. My turn.

    I’ll admit. At first, I was not a fan of the Android platform, especially since it was a different experience across devices due to how each OEM customizes the software. However, it has made some serious progress as a mobile software, and OEMs don’t have to customize it as much to improve the experience. But that’s where it ends. Outside of your phone, the Google ecosystem isn’t great unless you’re using Google all over.

    Yes, the iPhone and iOS are missing some new technologies that the new generation of Android phones have. Those technologies are mostly novelties that you will only use occasionally, and your life isn’t terrible without them. (But how often does anyone use Siri either?) Like others said above, it’s the integration with other devices that makes Apple and iOS such a draw. Games and the millions of other apps are great extras (which Android also has), but when it comes down to it, your phone is a productivity machine. The standard Calendar, Mail, and Messaging apps connect so seamlessly with your iMac (and iCloud if you don’t have a Mac) that they’re hard to top. Your AppleID gives you an easy way to connect all of these devices. As long as you take the correct steps to set it all up in the beginning, you won’t have to worry about it down the road.

    As Nader said, I’m waiting for the iPhone 6 (or whatever they decide to call it). I’m also considering purchasing a Moto X or an older Galaxy to have an Android device for messing around with.


    • markkolier says:

      Thanks for your descriptive and interesting comments Mike. And the ease of integration is a powerful lure in an Apple based office. One thing that did strike me was that you noted ‘…the Google ecosystem isn’t great unless you’re using Google all over.’ Wouldn’t that be the same with the Apple ecosystem?


      • Sorry I didn’t see this until just now.

        What I meant by that comment was that Gmail, Google Calendar/Contacts/Drive is fantastic if you’re using Gmail. If you’re not using Gmail as your primary email (or are using more than one email account), the Google ecosystem gets a little clunky.

        iCloud includes Mail, Contacts, and Calendar (though no cloud storage like Drive, so I’ll give them that), but if you’re not using iCloud for Mail or Calendar, the others don’t really suffer. Each element can stand on their own pretty well, unified by your AppleID.


      • markkolier says:

        Thanks for the thought Mike,

        That Gmail is normally not the only email that people use is probably the case so your comment on clunkiness does resonate. It is not an easy choice and I am still waffling. The Apple platform has a little bit of the Roach Motel model. People check in but they don’t check out. At least not easily from the Apple platform..


  7. Pete Jaffe says:

    I find the “The standard Calendar, Mail, and Messaging apps connect so seamlessly with your iMac” to be a classic fan-boy view (the Apple world is all that matters). I am sure the iphone syncs much better with Mac’s and ipads, however the android syncs cleanly and easily with exchange, google, yahoo, outlook and almost every other mail/calendar service prevalent in the world today. In fact, iphones do not sync as well with things NOT apple. Lot’s of people where I work have all kinds of goofy issues between exchange and their iphone. Kind of tough in a non-stand alone (read corporate) environment where things are server based (apple is not in that market). Apple products are great as long as your whole ecosystem is Apple, outside of that there is occasional trouble.


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