Android Agony

Why My Mom Bought an Android, Returned It, and Got an iPhone

unhappy android Why My Mom Bought an Android, Returned It, and Got an iPhone

What has become of me?

This is a guest post by Ben Duchac. You can find his work here.

The other day I bought the newest, fanciest flagship Android phone for my mother and it was an unmitigated disaster. She has an iPhone now, which she loves, and when I read that 30-40 percent of Android devices are being returned, I honestly wasn’t surprised.

With a user experience as bad as I saw on a brand new Android device, I’m considering an iOS device for my next phone, and I’m a big Android fanboy and proud PC owner. Of course, that 40 percent number is very hard to verify and I’d guess that it’s a bit of an exaggeration – but still, something is rotten in Android town.

So my mom needed a new phone and she was game for an Android – she had been envying my HTC Incredible for about a year and was tired of her aging feature phone. She’s pretty tech savvy –uses Gmail, has a Tumblr, does most of her emailing on an iPad– so after some discussion we decided that Android was the way to go. The integrated Google search, Gmail, gChat, and much richer maps functionality seemed to trump the UI functionality and app selection of the iPhone 4 for her needs. A trip to the Verizon store later, we came home with a Samsung Charge. The giant screen was brilliant. The 4G was blisteringly fast. The camera had more megapixels than was reasonable. The phone was an absolute nightmare to use.

From the second we turned it on, the user experience was astonishingly bad. Want to activate your phone? Take the battery out, write down a series of minuscule numbers that you find on the phone and on the SIM card, then enter them into Verizon’s barely-functional site. Once you’ve got it hooked up, navigate the opaque first time setup, if it doesn’t crash while you’re entering your information (it did – twice). Once you’re done with the setup, enjoy the apps that Verizon and Samsung think you should use: a terrible golf game, a Samsung branded Twitter client, Verizon’s half-baked navigation app.

Seeing the basically useless state of the phone on initial boot, I told my mother that I’d take the phone for an hour or so and give it back to her “cleaned up.” I deleted apps. I configured notifications. I set up accounts. None of it was easy, and every step of the way I ran into really bizarre problems. The elegant Google widgets that come with stock Android were stripped out of the phone. The camera app, besides looking like it had been designed in 1995, just wouldn’t rotate when I turned the phone on its side. Apps that worked on my Droid Incredible crashed as soon as I opened them on the Charge. After about an hour of poking and prodding the battery had dropped from 95% to 50%. Completely frustrated, I turned to the internet, where confused users were posting questions with titles like “Should my battery last more than 6 hours?” and “I think my phone is broken…”

The ever-helpful internet didn’t have much to offer. “I’ve been really loving this phone ever since I rooted it and installed a customized and stripped down ROM,” one user wrote – “It gets rid of all the VZW crap and makes the phone work like it was intended to.”

I’m sorry what? To make the phone work right I have to possibly void the warranty or brick the phone and load a customized operating system? I refuse. I loaded my mom’s phone with the same apps that I had used with success and told her to let me know if she had any problems. I told her that if the battery seemed to be running low she could turn off the mobile network and use Wi-Fi as much as possible. The broken camera meant that all MMS messages had to be sent in the horizontal position (preposterous) and since the Tumblr app didn’t work on her phone she had to use a third-party app to send posts. We replaced the hideous Samsung messaging app with something moderately better, and did what we could to mitigate the embarrassing robots-glass-metal-explosions aesthetic that Verizon has decided will sell smartphones.

Long story short, nothing helped. The phone would spontaneously get scorching hot, discharging its battery from full to a quarter in a couple hours. Basic system functions, like adding contacts or sending images were often nonfunctional or required complex workarounds. I spent many more hours with task managers, with replacements to almost every app that came with the phone – and nothing helped. Many times I wanted to throw the phone out the window – beautiful screen and all.

A friend of mine has a Nexus S and it is a pleasure to use. The UI is elegant and functional. The battery lasts for days. In short, it is everything that the Charge wasn’t. I’d love to see Google somehow mandate the stock Android experience on all phones, or somehow rigorously test all new phones before they could be launched. Why not standardize and mandate one or two excellent cameras, and then open source the drivers? Why not certify and approve a few of the best components and then place some sort of “premium Android experience” certification label on phones that pass tests and use components approved by Google? Right now it’s a crapshoot out there when you want a new Android phone, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

I love my phone and use it all the time. For my next phone I’m hoping to get another Android, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying any of the phones in Verizon stores. People keep saying that if users don’t want branded Android experiences that they will vote with their wallets, but for most users, there isn’t a pure Android experience available for wallet-voting. I’m going to hold on to my trusty Incredible for now, but I worry about the future.

And my mom? She got an iPhone and she loves it. It just works.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well I will never get an iPhone but this is sure depressing…

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Don’t you have all this smartphone gear built right into your Ironman suit?

      1. Anonymous says:

         No…but I do think that would sell actually.

      2. Anonymous says:

         This is like what happens when NYMag runs an article about the Alex Jones crazies.  Loving the dialogue on this.  Didn’t predict it.

  2. loofmodnar says:

    Like any tech device you should check out reviews before you buy something. Is it ideal that there’s so many bad devices out there? No, frankly it sucks but a few minutes of research before buying something can save you a huge headache. 

    Also, if you bought it at the Verizon store why didn’t you activate it while you were there?

    1. Anonymous says:

      He and his mother were trying to save the $20.00 activation fee.  Verizon used to push this feature, but have all but given up on trying to convince Android owners that it is a necessary step to perform in store.  This particular point should have never made it into a journalistic article, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the phone or operating system.

      1. It may not have anything to do with the Phone or Operating System, but it does have a massive impact on the end to end customer experience… 

  3. 1_player says:

    If your friend has a Nexus S and works wonderfully, why did you buy a crappy, branded Samsung Charge? If you’re a tech savvy user you’re supposed to do some research before buying.

    Sorry for being naïve, in Europe we’re not used to this kind of phone contamination by carriers. 

    1. Anonymous says:

      Have you ever tried the Orange Android phones ? 
      My father recently bought a Samsung Galaxy S from Orange. The whole user experience was crappy thanks to Orange: the default email client did not work (or occasionally) and it could not be uninstalled; the SD card could not be mounted like a hard drive i had to use the Orange synchronization app to copy files to it, many settings were locked or unavailable…. 
      Even if my father did not return his phone, i came to the same conclusion as this post’s author.  He should have bought an iPhone.
      I am myself an Android early adopter and i like it but only the raw version or versions like Cyanogenmod (which is excellent btw). Some customized versions like the ones produced by Orange should be banned by Google.

    2. Anonymous says:

      “in Europe we’re not used to this kind of phone contamination by carriers.”

      Must depend where in Europe, because I certainly am.

  4. guest says:

    have you considered a win phone 7 ? 

    1. Talesin BatBat says:

      No. And neither has anyone else.

    2. Tom says:

      they still make phones?

  5. Ted Tso says:

    “Why not certify and approve a few of the best components and then place some sort of “premium Android experience” certification label on phones that pass tests and use components approved by google?”

    There is such a label.  It’s “Nexus”.   :-)

    1. Anonymous says:

      That can’t seriously be the answer.    If so, the Android project is a failure;  Apple’s vertically-integrated model is the answer and Google’s Nexus line is a copy of that model.

      Any serious answers to how Android can succeed and rise above the Samsung Charges of this world?

      1. Guest says:

        Apple’s model gave us locked-down hardware, a single carrier to choose from for years, only one source to get apps from (and if the one you wanted was given the thumbs down by Jobs, too bad), and handsets that cost twice as much or more than comparable ones.

        I realize having to do a little research on Howard Forums or even Consumer Reports to see if a given handset sucks might be alien to Apple users, but come on. And before you say “well, I don’t have to research,” how’d you like that antenna snafu?

      2. How do you like the fact that despite the media bullshit, nobody actually cared about the alleged “antenna snafu” enough to stop the iPhone 4 from STILL being the world’s top-selling smartphone a full year after its original release?

      3. Anonymous says:

        Yes, I feel so locked down and inhibited by having only 400,000 apps.  That App Store is just so damn restrictive. /s

        Honestly, I just have to laugh at this point from such a tired complaint.

      4. Bob B says:

        but but but the Android Market is so OPEN! 

        Ah, that probably explains the ever increasing frequency of malware showing up int he Android world. 

      5. Anonymous says:

        “and handsets that cost twice as much or more than comparable ones.”

        That’s not even the case in the crazily distorted US phone market.

      6. Chris Norman says:

        There was a group of people out there that bought Microsoft Kin phones, Motorola Backflips, and some people are still buying Nokia phones running Symbian. I know one person who is still rocking a Treo (and I make fun of her everytime she tries to use it). Expecting the average consumer to research a consumer electronics purchase before they walk into a store is rich. So that is exactly why most of these phones sell in the first place. There are tons of people out there that don’t know anything, and they are being sold phones by people that don’t really know that much more than the average consumer does.

      7. Divebus says:

        What handset comparable to a 3GS costs $25? No fair rooting it either.

  6. This article should be, why my mom bought a samsung charge and returned it

    1. Anonymous says:

       From Cornell?

    2. Yodo says:

      Why? Android phones suck.

      1. bryce says:

        Because the problems the author encountered were all specific to the samsung charge. He even admits that he used a phone with stock android and loved it. The author should have investigated the phone a little more before buying tbqh.

      2. Prof. Peabody says:

        If you read the article, you will find that not all the bad experiences he is talking about are related to that particular phone, some are more general.  

      3. Bob B says:

        Not entirely.. many of them (and the half baked solutions) are found across the board with Android devices.

        The most common answer to Android problems is “you need to root your phone.” That should tell you right there that there is a big problem. It’s like the arguments about Linux distributions in the mid 90s. “Oh, that problem with foolib++? Your distro sucks.. you need to switch to $OTHER_DISTRO.” 
        Same thing happening with Android now. 

        I had problems with Android that rooting my phone wouldn’t help.. like the completely non-functional email client that failed at such simple tasks as “move message to other folder.” Since it couldn’t manage this task, it would just lose the email forever.. Friends I have now are frequently having problems with MMS. problems with the gmail app. problems with the browser. problems with the Android Market. My iPhone using friends? No issues. Android friends? Many problems… to which they end up being told “root your phone.”

         

      4. Frabelt says:

        Its the nature of the android ecosystem that allows problems like this. Thats why the title of the article is appropriate.

      5. Anonymous says:

        You’re missing the point, I think. Sure, the author *should* have investigated more before making the purchase. But the big takeaway is, there is no singular “Android experience” because nobody is taking ownership of it, so instead of creating a standard for expected level of user experience, it’s basically an anti-seal of quality – it’s an invitation for carriers and manufactures to eff it up. 

        Sure, the customizability creates the possibility of awesomeness. But chances are, you’re getting a cheaply built, incredibly flawed machine that tries hard to be heavy on features and specs, sacrificing usability and battery life.

      6. Guest says:

        And “eff it up” they are, at an astounding rate. But I really think Google could give a crap if they (manufacturers/carriers) do, really. They make no money on the free AndroidOS other than info collecting. It does have me thinking about going with a company whose bread and butter are tied to the OS, just makes for a better experience. I know i’m I’m feeling a lot less of that Android ‘freedom’ out my Android devices that can’t get certain features the others get and have had for awhile across their products – and not have some update break it suddenly, or only have it work on 3 devices out of 10. (Hello, Netflix/Hulu)

      7. Fanboy says:

        hold up dawg… have you heard of the Nexus? it was the sheezy like 2 years ago.  wow you’re hard to please.

      8. Andrew Wood says:

        TWO YEARS AGO?  And my nexus suffered from the same instability and crap battery life that the Charge does above.

    3. Yash says:

      Absolutely. Blame Samsung and Verizon for selling you a crappy device. I bought a Nexus S few days ago and I am absolutely loving it!

      1. Dale P says:

        Judging by the article, he placed the blame for the phone sucking on Verizon and Samsung in the main, but also Google for not enforcing more rigid standards. This is exactly my issue with Android. As he says, it is a real crapshoot whether you are going to get a good experience or an utterly terrible experience with Android.

        Microsoft’s approach with Windows Phone 7 is definitely the best of both worlds – the multiple devices, carriers and price points of Android with a more clearly-defined set of specs that comes from Apple’s approach.

      2. It’s not reasonable to praise this as an approach until we see that it works. Not much evidence of that so far. They’ve sold what, 640K units? (Nice symmetry there with MS DOS and all…)

        We all want MS to be a strong competitor, to force Apple and Google to up their game, but wishing is not the same as reality…

      3. Dale P says:

        Being an iPhone user, I have no vested interest in Microsoft being successful, per sé, but their approach cuts right down the middle.

      4. Guest says:

        Microsoft may be slow getting out of the gate but the fact is damn near everyone still runs a Windows notebook or PC, so it’s not real hard to imagine them in a catch-up and surpass scenario. Especially with the way Android is being handled; it’s currently mirroring its roots in Linux: The Market is full of apps that most function or act like they are in a very buggy, beta-form, along with some just being abandoned outright by the developer.

        It looks exactly like the desktop experience landscape you’ll find using Linux. I know, been shuffling around on PC distros for several years now and I find plenty of the same crapware on apt-get and the Software centers of Ubuntu. Only difference is Android at times gets an app from the source itself (Like Pandora, for example) instead of some half-baked workaround of a piece of software that generally breaks, like “Pithos” (for using Pandora server) on Ubuntu.

        Android keeps travelling that tired, old road of Linux that appeals to no one else but guys that wanna type out an entire directory string to view a photo instead of just simply clicking an icon, then they will be doomed to extinction by the day to day users who are using another OS in the not too distant future. And Ballmer would be all too happy to initiate the proceedings, I’m sure.

    4. Guest says:

      why not read the article – he does say he would like google to enforce some standards for android so that everyone would receive the same user experience…

      1. Anon says:

        It seems to be they’re saying “Get it functional and stable, and then let us customize it…”

        But it hasn’t been working that way, has it?  It reminds me of that quote (forget who said it) that “…the difference between theory and practice is that, in theory, there is no difference, but in practice, there is.”

        As has been noted before, the “open” part of Android applies only to the OEMs and the carriers, and to a much lesser extent (to the point of being a meaningless distinction, IMHO) to those able to jailbreak or root their phones.

        If you want it “open”, you get variegated user experiences, crapware and junk.  This  is no surprise as it closely resembles what has become of the PC user experience.  We’ve seen this movie before.

        Now they want some enforcement of standards, but claim it isn’t going back on being “open”.  Perhaps, I would give them the benefit of the doubt and read what they’re saying as they want a measured balance between the two.  But given the nature of the OEMs and the carriers, I just don’t think it’s likely, and that it’s very naive to expect it.

    5. Terrin Bell says:

      No the article should have been called, “Why I Screwed up and Allowed my Mom to Purchase an Android based Phone when my Mom was Happily using an iPad.”

      I honestly can’t think of one reason why somebody would do that. I get some people prefer Android (for reasons I don’t understand). To each their own. Your mom, however, was already invested in one system and was comfortable on it. Unless her job required her to be familiar with different technology, why would she want to maintain two ecosystems?

      You did her a disservice by not taking her situation into account. 

      1. Anonymous says:

        This is exactly what I thought when I got to the sentence that read she uses email on her iPad.

  7. anon says:

    So it sounds like a good portion of your complaints have to do with Verizon rather than Android itself….

    1. xp84 says:

      To be fair, without Verizon’s multi-year all-out marketing blitz for Android (or in their tacky branding, “Droid”), the platform would be a pretty big failure in the US. Verizon has always been the biggest cheerleader for Android, and probably has sold more Android phones in the US than any other carrier. Maybe even all other carriers combined. Verizon basically IS Android in the US.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I’d say the battery life is the biggest complaint.

  8. Jason Pant says:

    I really think you should change your title. It’s not Android’s fault that Verizon screws up the software and sells shitty phones manufactured by Samsung. I still have my Nexus One which to this day is still one of the best phones I’ve ever used.

    Maybe an iPhone is a better choice for your mom, but don’t point the finger at great software when it’s obviously not to blame.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Well but it’s kind of fair.  Because with the iPhone you don’t need to do that research.  The software isn’t to blame, but the branding is.

      1. Tariq Kamal says:

        Well, frankly it wasn’t very useful. Here I was, expecting to hear about actual UI issues about Android, except that in the end the culprit was Verizon. Like I give a crap what the horrible American phone companies do to their users.

      2. Anonymous says:

        It’s a core issue with Android, it’s in its license.

      3. Yeah, because this doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world, right? No where else do you see Android phones that come preloaded with ridiculous “themes” and skins from the phone manufacturer and hard to remove crapware applied by the carrier. Right? ….

      4. Tariq Kamal says:

        No, no where else in the world do you get to choose between two shitty service providers.

        PS: we don’t. Ha-ha-ha-ha! Neener, neener, neener!

      5. Jason Pant says:

        Yes, but if I buy a Hewlet-Packard branded PC which we all know bundles crapware and modifies the software, I can’t very well blame the Windows software installed now can I?

      6. Anonymous says:

         I’m saying Android won’t be successful in the long run when average consumers can’t safely buy one but they can safely buy an iPhone.  It’ll be a Betamax.

      7. Sami Samhuri says:

        It could be argued that MS doesn’t care enough about Windows to prevent it being ruined by OEMs that ship it. Google can call it “open” if they want but at the end of the day the average Android phone sold delivers a bad experience and the average iPhone sold delivers the opposite. Apple really cares about the end user’s experience, they care enough to ensure it’s not ruined.

        I think Google does actually care because stock Android is getting better each year. I guess the cat’s out of the bag and they can’t really do anything about it at this point. I think one of Google’s mistakes was allowing carriers to use the Android brand on their customized handsets. It’s diluting the brand and making it rather meaningless since you can pick up a Samsung “Android” phone and HTC “Android” phone and have a totally different experience. They may as well be called “Linux” phones.

      8. Anonymous says:

        That’s like saying one of Apple’s mistakes was that they went with AT&T exclusively when it was actually a crucial compromise they had to make to establish their platform. Same with Android’s carrier dealings.

      9. Terrin Bell says:

        I don’t agree with that. Apple had to make a deal with the devil. Namely, in order to get control of the user experience, it had to sell itself to AT&T for number of years. Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all were desperate to stop the flood of customers moving to AT&T, so those carriers embraced Android. 

        Google simply did not make it a point of demanding control of the user experience. That stands in contrast to it’s business model. Google is an advertising company where those paying for ads are the customers. Apple is a hardware company where those paying for the hardware are the customers.

        Further, Apple doesn’t include ads with any of its products. 

      10. Anonymous says:

        People hate Windows installs full of bloatware just as much as they hate ff-ed up Android phones, so with your comment, you are actually confirming exactly what this article is about. This is not a blame game, and it’s also not about how *you* research every Android phone on the market before deciding which one you buy. The article is about the observation that most Android phones are crap, and many people buy them and end up with a crap phone they hate.

        That said, my personal opinion is that, in fact, you *can* blame Google and Android for all the bad Android phones on the market. In their greed to have more eyeballs on their ads, Google simply allows carriers to abuse their OS, and put their own interests above customer ones. Google not only *allows* this, they even *encourage* it, by handing full control of the OS over to phone manufacturers and carriers. 

        No matter how much you hate iPhones, you should applaud Apple for going to battle with carriers and not allowing them to sell iPhones with *any* form of carrier customizations. Apple could have sold twice as much iPhones by just throwing it on the market like Google does with the Android OS, but they chose not to, which benefits their customers when it comes to user experience.

      11. Sebastian Wicker says:

        Even though it’s still the carrier’s fault, not android’s. Because if the carrier cared about their customer they wouldn’t have done shit with their android phones!

      12. xp84 says:

        > the carrier’s fault, not android’s
        I understand the point you’re trying to make, but the same company (Verizon) sells the iPhone with none of that garbage that they put on their “Droids.” Why? Because Apple insists that they do not. So the only difference between the two platforms is: Google does NOT insist on a good user experience. And that’s why the Samsung Charge experience sucks.

      13. Prof. Peabody says:

        And if Android cared about it’s customers, it wouldn’t let the carriers ruin the experience.  Your arguing nonsense here.  

        The faults are on many levels as described in the article, but if you have to pick someone to blame in a situation like that, you have to go to the top of the pyramid and the people presumably “in control” of the OS.  Google.  

        Apple spends an absolutely huge amount of time ensuring that the carriers don’t ruin the experience of the iPhone and it’s a constant battle.  Google basically does very little in this regard and this is what happens.

      14. Anonymous says:

        Right on, but one step further.  The problem is that Google’s “customers” are not the end-users of the phone.  The customers are advertisers and the goods being sold are personal data of the users.

      15. Viridian says:

        Absolutely spot on. Google’s customers are the ADVERTISERS; users (and their personal data) are the PRODUCT that Google sells to them, using the carriers as conduits. I agree with the many comments that Google should be standing up to the manufacturers and carriers to ensure a more uniform user experience. The fact that they have not is telling.

        I remember last year participating in a discussion about Android, during which I commented about my concern that the platform would not be able to avoid fragmentation, given the free rein manufacturers and carriers had to modify it as they saw fit. I was immediately set upon as an “Apple fanboi”, among much nastier things, and accused of trolling, even though I have never even used an iPhone. I’m saddened to see that my prediction has come to pass, and that the undeniable technical merits of Android are being sidelined by mounting user frustration with the crappy add-ons and bloatware.

        Average, non-technical users have no patience whatsoever with jumping through the many hoops the author experienced with Verizon and his mother’s Samsung Charge, and the vast majority of them don’t go out of their way to research a phone on the Web, much less hang around Android forums; the ysimply look at the models their carrier has available and choose one. Increasingly it’s becoming a hit or miss proposition, and word of mouth from negative experiences serves only to damage the general public perception of Android. Google is entirely to blame that this is happening.

      16. Anonymous says:

        “Apple spends an absolutely huge amount of time ensuring that the carriers don’t ruin the experience of the iPhone…”

        Can you cite a source for this? As far as I know, it’s carriers that are chasing Apple, not the other way around.  Apple has never allowed carriers control over the UI, and carriers know it.  Apple doesn’t have to sepend any time enforcing this policy.

      17. Ben Liong says:

        When the first iPhone came out didn’t Steve Jobs say that AT&T took a huge chance with them by letting Apple have control over things that usually carriers would have controls?

        Verizon passed the original iPhone because of Apple’s demand for control

      18. Anonymous says:

        Yes, 5 years ago Apple had to convince AT&T to give up some control.  But that was then. They haven’t had to spend any time convincing carriers since the original iPhone became such a huge hit, and started driving lots of high-data-using customers to carriers.

      19. Anonymous says:

        The thing is, most customers probably won’t make such a fine distinction as to who is at fault. All they will think is, “I bought and android phone and it sucks.”  This is a problem for Google no matter who is  ultimately at fault for the bad experience.

      20. Rob Moir says:

        Well here in the uk the same carriers that put that crap onto android phones aren’t putting it onto iphones, because they *can’t*.

        They used to put ‘branding’ onto windows mobile 5 / 6 devices too and you’d end up having to install a custom ROM to get a decent phone then too, so yes the carriers are to blame for abusing the phones but the vendors are also to blame for allowing it to happen.

      21. Guest says:

        So tell me again about that stellar and user-loving experience that nobody hates called “iTunes” again, hmm?

      22. Anonymous says:

        Use EPHPod

      23. Anonymous says:

        I love iTunes. I have everything in one place: media store, device configuration, music, movies, apps, photo sync and most importantly: back-up (only exception: books – gotta love Amazon and Kindle – but not for movies – tried it via our Tivo HD and it was a terrible experience). We share everything between 2 Apple TVs, 2 iPads and 2 iPhones (20,000 songs and 50+ playlists, over 300 movies and over 800 TV shows, thousands of photos – some RAW and +100 apps – I have a 8 TB Drobo w SW RAID). Just restored my wife’s iPhone after it bricked because I pulled by accident the cable during an update. Can’t wait for OTA syncing ;)

        Honestly: when did you back-up the last time your phone or the phone of a loved one that you own as “technical support”? Comes automatically when you sync with iTunes (which I do may be once every two months – mostly for sharing playlists, photos or an OS update).

        BTW: I tried things first with a Windows centric approach but configuring and making work together all the different software pieces and devices killed me. I spent much too much time on forums trying to find out why this time the media player did not play nice with the TV and the PC. I know I submitted to Apple but the user experience is great: it is basically only plugging in cables and I have 98% of what I needed/wanted – without the pain. Please don’t come with price: $99 Apple TV? $999 MB Air? Top of the line Android phones are not much cheaper than the Apple iPhone. Not to talk about hours or better days not spent on Internet forums trouble shooting stuff.

        There are more reasons than marketing why Apple is making all this money. Next time you read about USER EXPERIENCE (same across devices and device generations)  please try to understand what the author is trying to say. They are not just trolls. 

      24. DoubleTwist says:

        Most people love iTunes because it can:

        –  easily manage iOS devices and iPods (i know the Android and Pre managers are pretty sweet)
        –  wirelessly stream media all over your house (i am sure other devices have an Airplay alternative)
        –  automatically and wirelessly share media between computers (thumbsticks are pretty cool, too)
        –  purchase most popular content on computer, TV, or your iOS device (but be respectful of your hotel, and don’t rent a $4 movie on your iPad when you should be paying $20 on the tiny hotel TV)
        –  automatically and wirelessly keep iOS devices and computer purchases in sync (it’s a bit eery when I purchase a new song on my iPad and its already on my phone when I get in the car)
        –  redownload music, apps, and (now, apparently) TV shows that you purchased as many times as you want (damn, i lost that album, i guess i have to download it for free again)
        –  automatically create a genius playlist from one song (keep it secret. your dinner party guests will be insulted if they learn you only spent two seconds creating that playlist for them)
        – automatically organize music by metadata (i mostly listen to a smart playlist with just my latest 100 songs of  a certain genre, but make sure you listen to your old stuff, too)In what ways has iTunes 10 disappointed you?

      25. Anonymous says:

        Oh, your username is DoubleTwist. You win +9001 internetz, good sir.

      26. DroidDudddeeee says:

        I have a droid charge, and I found a website that completely solves all battery life problems. http://droidchargebatterylifesolution.wordpress.com

    2. Ben Popper says:

      You are missing the point of the story. Google allows its partners to modify Android and the result is terrible phones. 
      The author clearly loves Android, owns an Android phone, and wants to buy a new one. 

      This post could title Samsung, Verizon, Motorola, etc. The common thread is Android. 

      1. Sriyegna says:

        The point of android is to be open sourced… Thus anyone can do whatever they want. If it was closed source like iOS, it would have as many limitations as an iphone does.

      2. xp84 says:

        Bingo! Which is why Android (IN GENERAL, not in every case) will always suck. Carriers get their retarded dirty little fingers all over it and make it crappy. Google won’t stand up to the carriers because then maybe the carriers wouldn’t give Android the constant top-billing it has enjoyed since the very beginning. By contrast, Apple seemed to decide from the beginning that the carriers can either meet all Apple’s demands or fuck off. Hence, NO carrier preinstalled garbage,  no ugly-ass logos inside or out, every phone ships stock.

        Anyway, you can find a few Android phones that don’t suck (stock, vanilla Android) but the ones that will be pushed a lot harder, and will always be more plentiful, are the ones that prioritize the interests of the carrier.

      3. Fanboy says:

        The limitation is that it’s a horrible user experience.  Hey let’s open source my toaster and let vendors do whatever they want and see if it can still make toast while it lets me make NFC payments for coffee.  Hold up.. it’s rebooting again (my bad).  Glad it’s “open source” -lol

      4. kaze says:

        I agree with your analogy. Shitty Open Source stuff is fine as long as its free. The moment you make users PAY for untested substandard crap, it becomes a violation of customer rights.

      5. Darwin says:

        Open source? Enjoying the Google kool aid?
        First much Android code is not open source. Second the point of Android is to allow Google to send you ads and monetize your personal information. Everything else is a far distant second.
        The standard Google os is laggy even on dual core procs. Bloatware just makes a bad situation worse. But enjoy your bloatware, malware, poor quality and limited apps, poor quality hardware and service and support. Because Google told you it’s open. Heh. Hilarious.

      6. Nick Bauman says:

        Darwin you are ill informed, check your facts, sir. Android is open source. It’s even Apache-licensed, probably the most permissive form of open source licensing under the sun.

        http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html

      7. Prof. Peabody says:

        Only parts of the OS are open source actually.  Look it up yourself.  

      8. Somedude says:

        Not really,

        http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2011/tc20110324_269784.htm

        Notice 3.x is missing here: http://source.android.com/source/overview.html

        And although you can check out and contribute back to the SDK, you cannot do so with the NDK. 

        Finally, you are not allowed to futz with the google created apps. 

      9. Anonymous says:

        Cool. Then, all I have to do is manufacture my own hardware and start my own wireless company with worldwide coverage, and we’re all set! The Power of Open.

      10. Guest says:

         Whatever it is still crap.. as in crapola , worthless, crappy, smelly, stupid.. who cares if it’s “open” or not.. the OS is crap.

      11. His Shadow says:

        Oh yeah. The iPhone is sooooooooo limited. Like, you can’t root an iPhone like you can a Android. And why do you root your Android phone? So that the fucking thing will work.

        Or you could just buy a phone that works in the first place.

        No, I don’t give a shit about animated wallpapers or even cycling wallpapers or 50 bazillion themes. I care about functionality, stability and consistency.

      12. Anonymous says:

        “Like, you can’t root an iPhone like you can a Android.”
        iPhone jailbreaking is considered illicit by Apple; rooting on Android is not. I don’t know how more clear-cut to make this to you.

      13. Terrin Bell says:

        Right that is why many services on Android you can’t use if the phone is rooted. 

      14. Anonymous says:

        Like?

      15. Scruff says:

        Hulu, Netflix, et al.

      16. Anonymous says:

        “The point of android is to be open sourced.”

        Really? Find me a link for the source code for Android 3.0, or any later version!

        The name Android has to be licensed from Google, and doing so requires including certain Google apps. If Google wanted to say, “no 3rd party UI,” they certainly have the contractual power to enforce that.  In fact, they’re being sued for threatening to issue a “stop ship” order to prevent Motorola from shipping an Android phone using an app that competes with Google: http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/02/skyhook-vs-google-defense-of-open.html

      17. Anonymous says:

        Wait, the point of Android is to be open sourced? So open source zealotry first, functionality second? Got it! 

        And iPhone limitations? Look, every consumer device has limitations. What sets you apart are the choices you make. Apple happened to make compromises that the tech community whine about, but consumers couldn’t give two beans about. But sure, by all means, hold on to the dogma and don’t worry about the user experience.

    3. Anonymous says:

      If it was all Verizon’s fault, then why does the iPhone work just fine on Verizon’s network? Apple said no to Verizon’s crapware, the Android makers would not or could not.

    4. Do you think the consumer cares who is to blame for which part of the software when she buys a new smartphone? This article is about a real life user experience of buying and using a brand new Android phone. And the uncomfortable truth is that in many cases it just plain sucks.
      Samsung is the worlds leading manufacturer of Android phones and Verizon is the largest mobile carrier in the US. They aught to know what they’re doing. Let’s stop making accuses for them.
      When the user experience suck it sucks! 

      1. aMoLk says:

        Agreed.

    5. Terrin Bell says:

      I do not get the thrill for the Nexus One. My Co-Worker owns one. Every other day, it seems she asks me to try and solve some problem. I play with the OS occasionally to try and solve these various issues for her. For instance, the other day she couldn’t get it to ring even though the preferences were set correctly. It took pulling the battery out to solve the issue. 

      My problem with the Nexus One is HTC makes cheap hardware. It is made with low quality feeling plastic, the weight doesn’t feel right, and the whole thing is put together in a rather flimsy manner. Then again, I am comparing it to the iPhone, which is made from expensive feeling materials, is weighted better, and is solid. This isn’t a knock on Android, just a knock on HTC as a hardware manufacturer. 

      1. TheTruth says:

        I have an extreme disdain for HTC (having owned an HTC Hero)….pure junk.

    6. Guest says:

      Modification is the whole basis of Linux. Debian which springs for Ubuntu, which springs forth Mint, etc. etc. Everybody is always screwing or tweaking on it or doing their own flavor of a distro, in the meantime breaking any hope in hell of some kind of cohesive experience for a user. Hell, they can’t even decide on a universal software package system for it, even that has to be an unnecessarily complicated matter worthy of Tylenol ingestion. Can’t just have .exe, it’s got to be .tar, .rpm, .deb, blah, blah blah

  9. Acemunroe says:

    Get an HTC, WHILE YOU STILL CAN

  10. Clabber grrl says:

    My mom bought a $3,000 SLR camera and she couldn’t figure out how to use it, all those f-stops and focusing and stuff, she had to read a big thick book to figure it all out. Then she returned it and bought a $30 phone with a camera in it, and it JUST WORKS. The people who make SLR cameras just don’t get it. 

    1. Ben Alabaster says:

      Au contraire, it’s the people buying SLR cameras that don’t get it. It’s like buying a car with stick shift (manual to English folk) when you’ve only ever driven automatic. You don’t buy an SLR unless you’re willing to put the time and effort in to learn how to use it and what it’s used for. I have two cameras, my iPhone does just work, but it will never get the kind of shots I get with my SLR – I wouldn’t trade my SLR for the world… well, maybe I’d trade it for a better SLR with more f-stops and focusing and stuff.

      1. John Roberts says:

        He was being facetious mate…

      2. Duggbert says:

        Just a thought, but if apple had room for a 55-200 mm lens and a 3/4″ CCD, it’d probably take pix as well as a dslr in auto model.

    2. Anonymous says:

      If your Mom’s camera phone takes decent pictures in low-light flash-unfriendly conditions like school plays I’d like to know the brand.  I’ve reconciled to failing in this.

    3. Anonymous says:

      Horrible analogy. Almost any DSLR can, in about 10 seconds be as useful (if more bulky) than a $30 Point -n-shoot… just set the dial to “auto-everything” and it will take very decent pictures.

      Having to root the camera and install unofficial firmware just to be able to get reasonable defaults? That’s the analogy here.

      1. Fidel Ramos says:

        Just FYI, pro DSLR don’t have an “auto-everything” mode, they’re manual and you must know what you’re doing, which implies many many hours, *gasp*, learning new things.

      2. Alan Shutko says:

        Pro DSLRs have had auto-everything since the first time they put the D in SLR. Go look at the specs for the D3x:

        51-point Multi-CAM3500FX autofocus systemScene Recognition System for more accurate AF, AE, and AWB resultsActive D-Lighting for complete control over highlight and shadow detail

      3. Aurellia says:

        My D3S says otherwise.  It even comes out of the box preset with auto everything turned on.  They call it program mode.  Now why someone would buy a D3S and use it this way is an interesting question but it is possible

      4. Anonymous says:

        That’s silly. If  my photo-noob friend wants to take some shots, I can just set it the DSLR to ‘P’ (for program) and hand it over. It becomes a simple point and click operation.

      5. His Shadow says:

        Nice try, but bullshit. Not only is your claim wrong, but it further botches an already bad analogy. There is no “Pro” phone market. Smartphones and feature phones. pretending that having to endlessly fuck around with a horrible UI and badly designed applications is “learning” is more of that ‘spergtard nonsense that tries to pretend that spec obsessed tinkerers are any meaningful demographic with “skills” who deserve to be catered to. They don’t, and thank Odin that Apple is around to show people how technology should work for normal people.

      6. Garegin16 says:

        “They don’t, and thank Odin that Apple is around to show people how technology should work for normal people.”you nailed it. it’s appes philosophy that wins. try setting up pxeinstall/netinstall on a win server and a os server and come back to me with the results.

    4. Realtor NYC says:

      My dad bought a $300,000 3 bedroom house with 3 bedrooms and 3 restrooms and he couldn’t figure out which bedroom to sleep in and which restroom to take a dump in, so he sold the house and lives in a cardboard box on Fourth and Platte. He sleeps on the floor and takes a dump in the public restroom. So simple. The people who build 3 bedroom houses just don’t get it.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Thank you for demonstrating the logical fallacy of the inappropriate analogy. 

        The author of the article is a fan of Android and far above average in his understanding of mobile technology. To make your analogy more apt, we would have to make your dad an architect and a home builder. Under those circumstances, if he were unable to figure out which bedroom to sleep in and which restroom to take a dump in one could reasonably assume that the fault lay with home rather than the homeowner.

        You display the hubris of the technoratti. You understand your phone therefore if others don’t, they must be dumb or, using your analogy they must be the mobile “homeless”. Don’t ever assume that everybody is just like you. It just ain’t so. The truth is that most mobile phone users are not like you, they do not want to learn about their phone, they just want to use it. You consider this “dumbing down” the phone. I consider this making the phone more useful.

        Your dad bought a $300,000, 3 bedroom house with 3 bedrooms and 3 restrooms. There were no doors or windows to the bedrooms and bathrooms had to be “configured” using a large, dense manual and tools obtainable only from an expert plumber. Your dad wisely decided that a 300,000 home shouldn’t have such limitations, got his money back and bought an Apple home instead. The people who compare an Android phone to a 300,000 dollar home just don’t get it.

      2. Huey says:

        Your analogy would work if an iPhone is two cans and some string tied to an abacus.

    5. xp84 says:

      Maybe that stupid analogy would work if both cameras cost the same, both were targeted at regular consumers, and the DSLR couldn’t properly take pictures without crashing and running its batteries down twice a day.

      I think trying to claim that an Android phone is some kind of “professional grade” phone for “Phone professionals” actually just proves how big of a problem Android has with user experience–the lesson here is that unless using a phone is your profession and you’re an expert at configuring phones, you should avoid Android like the plague. Quite a fitting analogy.

    6. Rob Moir says:

      Nice straw man argument you’ve got there. Make it yourself?

    7. Are you suggesting that Samsungs and Verizons bloatware bugging down some Android phones  is somehow comparable to learning how to use a DSLR? Really? … 

    8. aMoLk says:

      I’m sorry your mom’s just stupid. Why did she buy a $3000 DSLR, when she didn’t even know what DSLRs are?

  11. guest says:

    Yeah all the 4g phones have issues with battery life at the moment – the iphone doesn’t even do 4g.

    If I were you I would have bought a droid incredible 2 first instead, especially since the droid incredible is the one you had that she liked.

    But yes, since she already has an ipad, which is still just a big iphone, of course she’d be comfortable with an iphone. 

    1. Not your granma says:

      I had a droid incredible, that thing sucked big time

    2. Anonymous says:

      “all the 4g phones have issues with battery life… the iphone doesn’t even do 4g.”
      Apple competitors don’t seem to mind making phones with crummy battery life. Apple does mind, and that’s why they won’t make them until the technology catches up with user expectations.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Androids are great, 4G phones on the other hand still are not.  All of them suffer from poor battery life and, as they are still very new, poor applications compatibility.

    The battery problems you write about, and just about every other problem you’ve experienced, are a Samsung problem and the Charge phone specifically.   Lumping all android experiences together because your new phone wasn’t what you expected is childish.  On one hand you praise android (the device you yourself use), and the very next breath sees you trashing that very same platform.

    Whether you like it or not, Android is winning the mobile phone wars.  Most people want to be able to do more with their device than Apple is willing to allow.  You state that your mom is tech savy yet needed you to setup things like ringers and notifications?  Android is so easy to use my 6yr old niece can figure it out.  She can even assign accounts, and change all of the features you said you had to do for your “tech savy” mother.  I would like to point out that neither of you are tech savy.  Grow up.

    1. xp84 says:

      > Most people want to be able to do more with their device than Apple is willing to allow.
      Oh bollocks. Show me 10 randomly chosen Android users and I’ll show you:
      * 4 people who wanted an iPhone but couldn’t get one on Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile back when they bought it,
      * 5 people who considered other platforms but who chose Android because it was under $100 or Buy-one-get-one-free.
      * 1 phone nerd who hates Apple and loves to dick around with ROMs and rooting and assorted fun stuff, and who would feel limited by the supposed “restrictions” that iOS has.

      I’m saying that I doubt even 10% of Android users even know what restrictions iOS has, or have ever done anything on their phones they couldn’t do in a completely supported way on ANY platform. You undoubtedly hang out all day on tech sites and with other “phone experts” so you have a ridiculously distorted view the motives of “Most People.”

      In my experience so far it seems like about 30% of Android users hate their phones, and can’t wait to switch to something else once their two year contract is up. Remember, Android has barely been around long enough for most people to have even had the chance to decide whether to buy a second one. As these contracts start to expire we will see the real moment of truth–whether Android can add enough new users to stem the losses from the people running for the exits at their first opportunity after years of crashing and awkward, poorly-done, carrier-tampered UI.

      1. None says:

        ” or have ever done anything on their phones they couldn’t do in a completely supported way on ANY platform.”
        Bluetooth file transfer?

      2. Deano says:

        Or really, really hate itunes with a passion (drag and drop)

      3. Anonymous says:

        > whether Android can add enough new users to stem the losses from the people running for the exits at their first opportunity 

        Thing is that unless Apple decides to introduce a budget phone the majority of android users won’t have an exit.  WP7 is DoA as is WebOS.  Symbian is not only dead but buried.  The only competitors to Android at the low end are Bada and various non-google android forks.

      4. Anonymous says:

        “unless Apple decides to introduce a budget phone”
        Doesn’t $49 count as a budget phone?

        http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC555?mco=MjI4NTM2MzI

      5. Anonymous says:

        Ouch. Truth hurts.

    2. Your nephew says:

      What exactly do people want to do with their devices that apple doesn’t allow?

  13. Ivan Sergeyenko says:

    Great post, except that I don’t buy the “Nexus S and it is a pleasure to use” part. Had Nexus since April. It’s slow, buggy, and the battery barely lasts through a day of occasional use.

  14. This is a depressing but certainly very accurate account of the sad state the current operator-led mobile phone industry. And it also highlights another reason (and the main reason in my opinion) why the iPhone has been so successful. 

    I ran into exactly what you described (again) a few months ago after having bought a ZTE Blade from Orange (the Orange San Francisco). They turned what was a perfectly decent phone into a buggy and completely unusable piece of rubbish. All the built-in Google apps had been replaced with horrendous and barely functioning Orange branded apps. Even the Market had been replaced with an Orange market, containing nothing but a miserable selection of ridiculously overpriced junk. 

    It was so bad that I left the phone lying on my desk, unused, for a month because the phone was just plain unusable. I eventually took an evening off to research how to flash a generic firmware onto it and finally got a working phone after flashing it with a proper firmware. 

    It’s worth pointing out that what what you’re describing isn’t specific to Android. Here in Europe at least, your experience is what you get when buying any smarpthone from a mobile phone operator, apart from the iPhone. And it’s not a new thing either. It’s been the case since the first mainstream smartphones were released some 10 years ago. 

    Of course, some operators are worse than others. You can also sometimes get lucky and get a model that the operator didn’t butcher for some reason but that’s the exception rather than the rule. And, yes, you can always buy a SIM-free smarpthone but most people can’t afford the up-front cost.   

    We won’t even go into OS updates, another huge failure.

    In my opinion, even more than their work on the UI, the fact that Apple somehow convinced operators to not touch their OS was the key to the iPhone success. It allows Apple to control the all-important first impression the people get when they first switch on the device. 

    This also gives Apple a competitive advantage that’s far greater than any piece of technology: Apple is actually able to ensure that their customers are happy with their products. Although this sounds crazy, no other manufacturer or OS vendor in the industry has any control on the end-user experience (although Microsoft might with Windows Phone – haven’t looked at it in details yet). The end-user experience is in the hands of the mobile phone operators – and they’re doing a spectacularly bad job at it. 

    As long as Apple can keep this competitive advantage, they’ll keep doing well.

    1. Ramana says:

      WRT to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, you are correct. They have locked down the OS quite a bit from manufacturer and carrier interference. Best of all, whatever limited changes can be made can be easily and completely reversed.

  15. A+ Camero says:

    Well, at the end it does not seem to be an problem of Andriod. The whole issue you described is clarly a fault of VZN and Samsung. I myself use a small Huawei Ideos and it works like a charm, even the default setup was nearby perfect.

  16. Peter B says:

    HELP another iPhone slave,
    PANIC .. they dont think buy everything from 1 company, think that it is for their good.
    They got brainwashed and even think they are cool because they like to be as zombies follow the stupid mass consumers.

    Remember Apple is NOT a religion, its a company with a huge MARKETING department !!!
    They like you to think they are gods..but is cheap plastics for cash!

    1. Astening says:

      And google is somehow different?

      1. Anonymous says:

        Maybe Android phones are made of expensive plastics?

    2. Anonymous says:

      Strange – my iPhone 4 is all glass and metall.

  17. Howie says:

    I have a Motorola Droid (the original one) and I love it. Phones made by HTC and Motorola seem to be pretty good. A lot of my friends have Droid series phones, and they generally don’t have many complaints about them (other than battery life, of course).

  18. TK says:

    I agree that this is 75% a rant at Verizon gimping an otherwise good phone, but look at it from a consumer perspective:

    *Android phones I buy might be broken when I pull it out of the box, this won’t happen with an iPhone
    * Android phones I buy might have apps that I don’t want and can’t get rid of, this won’t happen with an iPhone (barring REAL system apps obviously.. you can’t get rid of the phone dialer or SMS apps on either platform. I’m referring to things like the unremovable games or blockbuster or… yeah)

    With regard to apps crashing (the other 25% of the rant), this is a real problem with the entire Android ecosystem, the hardware fragmentation. And unless Google does something drastic, it’s going to continue to get worse.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Real essential systems apps like “Stocks” :p

      1. Anonymous says:

        you showed him.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This reads as a problem with Verizon rather than with Android. Maybe things are different here in Europe, but “activation” is generally painless (With my t-mobile contract here I didn’t even need to activate the phone, it just had standard HTC stuff on it).

    1. Anonymous says:

      Well, it sounds like a problem with an Android phone on Verizon-since AFAIK the iPhone she got and love is still on Verizon.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Presumably because ‘activation’ of an iphone is completely independent of any carrier (it’s done through iTunes until iOS 5).

  20. Anonymous says:

    You perfectly summarized why despite sounding much better on paper, Android phone are not the same category of gadgets at all as the iPhone. The hardware is cheap and breaks easily, there is no standard for battery consumption, carrier/manufacturer apps are pure terror, most most basic functions lags and crashes. 

    Basically comes down to the basic idea that Apple doesn’t ship junk

    1. Fanboy says:

      i dunno about not shipping junk as AAPL had some issues with products in the past but i would like to think that instead of the normal product development lifecycle of “marketing to consumer” or worse “engineering to consumer” there is an intermediary layer in there that has veto power on bad ideas from both.  let’s call it “industrial design” or “product development” layer that just about any company that has consumer facing products should have.  so let’s hope that every product going out to the consumer at least spends a few hours in the hands of a designer analyzing and buffing what the product does well and nixing the things that it doesn’t do well.  i think that GOOG has too much of an engineering culture to incorporate human or industrial factors into their designs yet.  makes sense considering they got a lot of mileage out of all that technical strength but until they get a little more anthropomorphic they are going to continue to struggle in consumer land.

      1. Mark Mayer says:

        The big difference is that Apple *starts* iPhone development at the industrial design layer. It’s the foundation. To be clear, we’re not talking about how pretty the phone’s case is, we’re talking about the total experience of using the phone. Apple’s designers are part engineer and the engineers are part designer. At the very least, each understands the other’s job and they work together. This is Apple’s secret sauce. The marketing, while top notch, doesn’t explain the success of the product.

        I’m not privy to how a Samsung or others design their phones, but it’s clear that it is nothing like the above. Letting the carriers eff with the software is the opposite of unifying the parts into a harmonious whole experience. They could design the best phone in the world, but it’s just about guaranteed to be a bad experience for many users if the carriers interfere.

        Apple has had some problems in the past, but I think those problems are either far in the past or vastly overblown. “Antennae-gate” was turned out to be a non-issue for the majority of iPhone users and was merely useful as ammo among the Google/Android religionists and pundits seeking page views.

        Please note: I’m not saying all Android phones are bad. On the contrary! But so long as there are a sizable number of hard to use, crippled, or broken Android phones, this is going to reflect poorly on Android in general. If half of Android phones are good enough (or better), that’s still half that are not, and that will send users into the arms of Apple.

  21. Alok Saboo says:

    So you are using your observation of one device that does not even have stock Android to generalize across all the Android devices. 

    Firstly, you should have done your homework before buying a device. Did you even look at reviews of the particular device before buying it. Google sure develops the OS, but has little control on what goes inside each device. Not all devices are the same. You cannot blame Android for your lack of efforts. 

    There are definitely some kinks that need to be ironed out in the Android sphere and Google is making solid progress here. Google is working towards standardizing the user experience across devices and has put in the required restrictions and is well on its way for world domination.

    1. Ben Duchac says:

      Yes, you are correct that this single device doesn’t fully reflect the Android experience, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t reflect poorly on the Android experience. My mom wanted an Android phone, I did some research and bought what my carrier said was their best phone. My mother now refers to the phone as “that terrible android” and will never go back. Even if the Charge isn’t the best phone out there, it indicates a real problem that the whole ecosystem has – which is that if you buy an Android device, you aren’t guaranteed the great Android experience. And that’s too bad.

      1. Alok Saboo says:

        I completely understand and appreciate your situation. But I am not sure if it is Google (Android) that we should be blaming here. 

        What we are witnessing here is a very classic marketing problem (which is what I research) – whom do people blame in case of such problems? For example, Microsoft takes all the heat for slowing down of Windows over time, even though it is caused by all other factors such as installing crapware, cookies, etc. 

        In the event of such problems, consumers normally blame the most salient party, which in this case happens to be Google. In fact, this is the exact problem that Apple wanted to get away by owning the entire value chain. Whatever happens on your Apple device is controlled by Apple. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Android. 

        That is also the major reason why Nokia went for Microsoft instead of Android, which I always thought was a superior choice for Nokia.

      2. xp84 says:

        >  I am not sure if it is Google (Android) that we should be blaming here. 

        Apple proved that you can stand up to carriers and say “Our way or fuck off.” They successfully dictated terms to AT&T and then they did it again with Verizon, possibly the most arrogant and anti-consumer company history has ever seen. I’m guessing Apple was willing to walk away from any deal that compromised the user experience quality they wanted. Google was obviously not as concerned.

        You can point the finger at Verizon, and they are giant bastards, but the blame rests with Google for not demanding better the way Apple already did years ago. Google just won’t do it because they think they stand to make more money by being in bed with the carriers. Specifically, they want the carriers to push users away from iPhone and into Android because then the carrier gets to own every piece of the UI and control everything, rather than being a commodity provider of data and voice, like they are with iOS.

      3. Alok Saboo says:

        Please note that it is not Google who can demand better deals from the carriers. The negotiations with the carriers falls under the purview of the handset manufacturers. Clearly none of the Android  handset manufacturers are as powerful as Apple to have such an influence. 

      4. Guest says:

        +1 to this.

        A disappointingly common, ignorant oversimplification of the situation is that Google can some how leapfrog HTC/Samsung/Motorola and say “now you have to do this a certain way.”

        Not to mention the fact that Google isn’t even creating the updates for all of the Android powered handsets out there.

      5. dexter says:

        Didn’t AT&T dictate alot of stuff on the iPhone when it came out? Features and apps that couldn’t be used unless you where on WiFi!? Skype and stuff like that.
        That’s bending over for the operator…

      6. Anonymous says:

        Not that I recall. Do you have a source?

      7. Anonymous says:

        Google demonstrated with skyhook that if they really don’t want something to be on an android phone they can stop it.

  22. Granma says:

    I think it depends on how confortable you are with new technos…

    It’s well known that iphone is better suited for old people for instance than android phones.

    I personnly own a Nexus S and that’s the best phone that I have ever had but of course to take full advantage of it you have to know how to deal with new technos.. otherwise you better have to go for your granma’s iphone :D

    1. Your nephew says:

      So android is cooler cos you have to be a techno wiz to drive it? And techno wiz’s are cooler than your average granma?

      1. Mark Mayer says:

        He (or she) didn’t say that or even imply that. All he said that is the iPhone is better suited for those without technical knowledge or those that can’t be bothered. Old people are certainly a large subset of this, and I think he/she is a little off base by suggesting all old people are like this, or that it’s only old people . . . but he/she does have a point.

        He/she also said that the Nexus S is the best phone he/she ever owned, but he/she had the skills to take fullest advantage of it. He gave a friendly poke at those of us who might prefer “granma’s phone :D”. Was the poke what has you so upset?

    2. someToast says:

      I think it depends on how confortable you are with new technos…It’s well known that Mac is better suited for old people for instance than DOS.I personnly own a Leading Edge and that’s the best PC that I have ever had but of course to take full advantage of it you have to know how to deal with new technos.. otherwise you better have to go for your granma’s Mac :D
      Nice to see that nearly 30 years in and nothing has changed.

  23. Tim Hodge says:

    Not sure why you own an HTC and you let your mom buy a Samsung.  Seriously?  Get her an EVO (from Sprint) and she’ll be just fine with Android.  When I bought mine I was posting to FB and checking email before I even got to my car.

    1. Anonymous says:

      This bugged me too.  Why not get her an HTC as well?  Or even a Nexus as you said a friend of yours has one and it’s a joy to use?

      1. jon says:

        what hit me right away was he said she has an iPad. If she has an iPad, she immediately knows how to use an iPhone. Zero learning curve. Why didn’t she get an iPhone?

  24. Mike Phage says:

    I have had the same experience from phones that have the android platform, but also have “additional company”  software added. I final just decided to get the Nexus S and it just works. Maybe a few of the cell phone providers will read this and get the following strait forward message. If it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it !!!!! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    The irony of a phone called the “Charge” that has a battery life of 6 hours is amusing to me. At least no one can claim false advertising.

  26. You are blaming android for verizon’s problems? You didn’t try the charge before you bought it like any normal person would? You use an android and you didn’t think that the fact that it was so difficult to get this up and running was a verizon problem and not an android problem?

    It would ypbe fine if you would have ended up with an iPhone if you had considered the above. Bottom line, you didn’t advise your mom properly and you weren’t a smart buyer.

    1. Anonymous says:

       How do you try it before you buy it?

      1. MostlyNerd says:

        You don’t get to play around with a demo piece to check what crapware is already put in it? If not, then you can always do a little research online to check whats good or bad about the phone. That’s what a smart buyer would do. Not just go to the store, look at a box and decide. Right?

      2. Anonymous says:

        Do you have any idea how rare live demo phones really are at retail, aside from going to the Apple store to test drive an iPhone?

      3. MostlyNerd says:

        Interesting. Well that sucks for you them. All our retail stores, especially the ones focused on mobiles, have live demo pieces of all smart phones they sell.
        You can play around with it, compare with other phones, even open it up and check on ease of battery, sim, sd card replacement.

      4. Lol I had an android, I’d never go back to it after getting my iPhone, it rocks.

    2. I’ve tried it and cant say Ive had any problems with it ironman, what are you suggesting? xanax side effects

  27. fr gough says:

    Pre-iPhone, carriers decided what OS you got. Decided what apps were on the phone, decided what features got activated, and decided when or even if your phone got updated.

    iPhone freed you from that. Android, the “open” OS, put you right back in that box. To the cheers of fandroids everywhere.

  28. Waterlovinguy says:

    Shouldn’ t this be a Samsung rant not a Android rant. I miss my iPhone and iTunes about as much as I miss a migraine.

  29. Ivan Dilber says:

    This is a problem with Verizon & Samsung, not Android phones in general… I’ve got my second HTC recently and on the both phones everything worked perfectly from the minute one. It looks great, it works great, compared to iPhone it far more flexible and less annoying.. App market sucks compared to Apple’s App store, but you loose interest in all those apps after a first few weeks anyway, so no big deal…

  30. Gustavo Pinsard says:

    If the Galaxy S works so great, why didn’t you select that in the first place?  Also, if you love your Incredible so much, why didn’t you select one of these for your mom?

    This article just seems to be totally fake.  And just for the record, I own an iPhone 4, meaning, I’m not simply taking any side here, for granted.  I’m making a simple, rational consideration.

    Geez…

  31. joshaidan says:

    Sounds similar to the Microsoft experience. Software that wasn’t designed for the hardware, varying user experience from vendor to vendor.

  32. Anonymous says:

    ADW Launcher as the default home? Probably wouldn’t have solved everything but as an Android fan that you say you are, then you should know that TouchWiz does suck compared to Sense and stock. 

  33. David Bitter says:

    This is why Apple captured two thirds of available mobile phone profits in Q2. Apple has complete control of the device and the OS, so they will continue to stay on top… for awhile. Eventually, however, others will really figure out how to make things work better and with a more open platform. It will take time and lot of bad experiences, but it will eventually happen. 

    1. Fanboy says:

      if you don’t mind me noting that they have complete control of the “user experience” at least they do everything they can to provide a consistent and contrived user experience.  if there’s one thing that isn’t consistent on the android that’s user experience.  typical of many google products though,like i said it makes sense when your biggest customer is advertisers.  meanwhile consumers are returning their google TVs and android tablet sales are in the toilet.

  34. Timbo White says:

    Agreed.  I just switched from an iPhone 3GS to the Droid 3.  I’m no Apple fanboi, but compared to the iPhone, the user experience is awful.  The user interface in non-intuitive.   Less settings are available for things like calendar (no CALDAV support?), email, etc.  Phone spontaneously reboots a few times a day.  I can’t change my google account password, so gtalk continously tries to authenticate and fails. 

    The android OS still has a long way to go.  The only thing it’s got is that it’s more or less open.  Even though the bootloader on the Droid 3 is locked.

  35. Fanboy says:

    I think GOOG needs to step it up in the design department.  It’s great to have a culture of engineers and technophiles when your customers are advertisers but when you are dealing with consumer-land then you need to pay a little more attention to detail.  I got a droid-x when i switched to Verizon after using an iPhone for years and so far the only thing i hate more than the droid-x is AT&T.  *sigh*

  36. SteveCobra says:

    This has nothing to do with Android the operating system and everything to do with crappy Carriers f’ing up the vanilla Android experience. As you stated, if you had gotten her a good phone (Nexus S) she would have been a lot happier.

  37. Ihavenone says:

    “The 4G was blisteringly fast.” You don’t have 4G in America. Only us Europeans have 4G.

  38. Guest says:

    Seems like it’s Verzion mostly and not android. Research the phone you are about to buy. I had no issues due to this.

    1. Ben Duchac says:

      “And then there’s the cost: $300 on-contract puts the 32GB Charge in an unfortunate tie for the position of Verizon’s most expensive smartphone. That tie is, of course, with Apple’s 32GB iPhone 4. That’s $50 more than the Thunderbolt, which also comes with the same number of gee bees. Worth the extra? Given the battery life and display improvements here, we’d be inclined to say yes.” 

      -from the Engadget review of the Charge… so what research should I have done? And is that really reasonable to expect from the layperson who wants a smartphone?

      1. Anonymous says:

        Your logic is completely flawed. If your mother loved your HTC phone, you should have got her an HTC phone.

        It’s simple logic.

      2. Prof. Peabody says:

        This is a BS reply, and you have no idea what logic is apparently.  

        Ben is right.  The Charge is the current top of the line phone that they are pushing and it got great reviews, that is more research than the average person does right there and for the actual experience to be 360 degrees off of that is a real problem.  

        Everyone here is so jazzed up on Android they are not seeing what’s really happening here.  Take your blinders off for a moment and admit that there are serious problems with the Android experience for the average or even above average consumer.  It’s pretty clear there are.  

      3. Super Tino says:

        You mean 180 degrees, right?

      4. Mark Mayer says:

        180° is opposite. 360° is right where you’re supposed to be.

    2. Ben Duchac says:

      “And then there’s the cost: $300 on-contract puts the 32GB Charge in an unfortunate tie for the position of Verizon’s most expensive smartphone. That tie is, of course, with Apple’s 32GB iPhone 4. That’s $50 more than the Thunderbolt, which also comes with the same number of gee bees. Worth the extra? Given the battery life and display improvements here, we’d be inclined to say yes.” 

      -from the Engadget review of the Charge… so what research should I have done? And is that really reasonable to expect from the layperson who wants a smartphone?

  39. Hussam says:

    This is where I think Microsoft’s approach is right with their WP7. They have stricter regulations on OEMs and a more coherent experience across devices.

  40. james snyder says:

    If you entered the IMEI via a web page to activate the phone you completely ignored the instruction included with the phone.  I don’t feel a bit sorry for you if you can’t follow the basic instructions that are on the phone when you unbox it, plus on a poster type quick guide and in the detailed manual.  Also the Charge blows, check some reviews next time you go to spend several hundred dollars on something.

    So if the point of this opinion piece is that if you can’t take any responsibility for your own experience then yes you might be better with an iPhone.  But if you want to have some control of that user experience then a little research and thinking goes a long way.

    1. Guest says:

      Maybe the point of this opinion piece is that people shouldn’t have to “take responsibility for their own experience”.  What experience?  It’s a phone, not a vacation.

      Most people just want a phone that works.  whatever other arguments you might like to offer, for those people, iPhone > Android.

  41. John Roberts says:

    Newsflash: Your mum isn’t tech-savvy because she sends email, uses Tumblr and has an iPad… basically she can fill out a form in a content management system for Tumblr, and any idiot can use an iPad and… sending email? wow…come on.
    Sure the particular phone you’re talking about may have a crappy execution of Android, but I’ve had many and Android isn’t difficult to use. Perhaps stay away from Verizon rather than Android.

    1. Erer says:

      I don’t think you understand what tech-savvy means, mate.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Indeed, especially when applied to the Mom subspecies.  Mine felt she’d made tremendous strides when she figured out how to play freecell. Bless her :)

  42. This is exactly why I got a WP7!

  43. This is exactly why I got a WP7, I was tired of the iPhone mind you I had the first gen and paid 600 bucks for it. I am a sucker for a sweet UI and functionality and the WP7 does exactly that.

  44. Dean Collins says:

    ha ha better to need to configure apps to your liking then be locked into an OS where you cant even load your own apps.

  45. Bing says:

    The title should be, why not to buy a  Verizon phone where it’s OS is not controlled by the designers, instead of by the SP which doesn’t know what it’s doing.

    This isn’t a bash on Android. This is a bash on the Samsung Charge and the fact that Google doesn’t have the power over their OS that Apple does. But isn’t that part of the whole point of why Android is awesome? It’s open source, so people can do with it what they would like. Except it cuts both ways, Verizon and other SPs do some really stupid crap to it.

    1. Guest says:

      Here’s a thought:  Ask the user if she thinks android is awesome.

  46. Eric Wallin says:

    I bought an Android and returned it for a Windows Phone.  Good decision so far.

  47. Bing says:

    And I don’t like how the article has it’s title because it’s a complete fabrication and a bunch of horse-shit. It’s trying to play this off as Android versus iPhone in a battle won by iPhone. As a geek, you failed your mother by failing to do your research on the Charge. It has numerous reviews that begin and end with “horrid.”

    1. Anonymous says:

      But the “general” consensus is that this is a well reviewed phone and a flagship Android device? 

  48. Anonymous says:

    The lesson here is not to buy a Samsung phone unless it starts with “Nexus.”

  49. Alvaro says:

    Yes, you should change the title as it’s totally misleading. Please dont’t do it to bring traffic. It lowers your blog value.

  50. Android says:

    Nice try, Steve Jobs.

  51. Rick Wilson says:

    Yes, Verizon bloatware is bad just as bad as AT&T. TMO is not as bad but at least with Sprint they are giving their android customers an option to remove the bloatware.

    This story has SO many holes in it, don’t know where to start.

  52. Ahem. Excuse me if you live in the US and cellphone carriers get to f#ck you in the ass with pre-installed apps. In Romania, we don’t have those.
    Also, excuse me if you have never heard of the Internet. You can check if a cellphone is worth the money or not. In Romania, we google something before we purchase it.
    And it seems that you do not know the difference between cellphones and OSs. It’s not Android’s fault that the cellphone you have bought is cr@p or that your carrier wants to buttrape you. It’s an open OS, so it’s not up to them.
    I’ve seen the same discussions regarding PCs and Macs. It’s exactly the same: not my problem that you buy an overpriced PC, instead of building your own tank of a computer, more powerful than any Mac. So what if Windows crashes more often that Mac OS X? It works on computers of any kind, not just on Macs.
    Get your head out of your butt and think clearly for a second…

  53. James says:

    What you actually mean is, my Mom bought a crappy Verizon-polluted handset, and realised she wanted a handset where Verizon couldn’t get its dirty mitts on it.

    1. Guest says:

      No, what he meant was that his mom wanted a smartphone.  She bought an android based phone, and it sucked.

      She bought an iPhone and it didn’t suck.

      That is all.

      Bottom line:  buy an iPhone, it won’t suck.  Buy an android phone and it might.

  54. Hayden Evans says:

    Device manufactures have ruined the Android platform.

  55. Andrew McCann says:

    been using a driod incredible since last August and love it to death

  56. Anonymous says:

    article summary: “i have a great android phone but instead of buying another one, i didn’t do any research and just bought whatever i saw at the store. it sucked so again instead of doing some research or just buying another of mine, i gave up and bought something completely different.”

    the only conclusion that can be drawn from this article is that the author is lazy and/or dumb. you annoyed me and wasted my time.

  57. Fanboy says:

    I love how the default response to “Android user experience sucks” is “get a Nexus”… so it’s Nexus or crap?  Let’s rename this blog “get a nexus or stay the eff away from android” -lol

    1. MostlyNerd says:

      Isnt that what apple says about iOS as well?

      1. Anonymous says:

        How the hell does that even make any sense? Are you speaking English? Have you been drinking? Did you suffer a stroke?

      2. MostlyNerd says:

        Apple says, if you dont like iOS, dont buy it.

  58. Anonymous says:

    The guy owns and loves a Incredible – but his mom gets some phone neither is familiar with.  Yeah, big surprise that didn’t work out well.  Next time stick to the phone with a proven track record.

  59. Metalchild95 says:

    Well, maybe iPhone 5 will actually have an antenna that works.  That might help in getting some people back from Android.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ha Ha, that’s funny.
      Even if the antenna gate issue was BS.

  60. Guest says:

    In theory I like the idea of hardware providers and network providers being able to modify Android, because they _can_ upgrade functionality based on their hardware or networks.  However, I also think every Android user should have the option of using a stock version of Android, with the ability to update whenever a new version of Anrdroid is published.

  61. Your mum loved your HTC Incredible, so you bought her a Samsung Charge.  SMH.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Best post in this thread. 

    2. Telepresence says:

       They don’t make the Incredible any more, and the Charge is supposedly better than the Incredible 2.  He wanted to get her the “best” Android phone Verizon had.  In terms of age, power, specs, etc, that’s the Charge.

  62. dexter says:

    How did your mom activate her iPhone?
    Did you check for updates for the Charge?

    And as pointed out, the Nexus series Is the verified by Google line.
    Wallet-voting doesn’t have to involve pure Android, just don’t by polluted phones. If it works here in Europe, it should work in the US..

  63. JobWaltz.com says:

    It took 6 months of updates and an extended battery to make my Droid Pro usable.

  64. Zzz says:

    Does most of her emailing on an iPad…so you decided to get her an android? 

    Fuck. Wit.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Lots of iPad owners are also android owners, in fact US samsung smartphone owners are more likely to own an iPad than iPhone owners.  I have no idea why this might be.

      http://www.comscoredatamine.com/2011/04/rim-smartphone-users-least-likely-to-own-ipad-in-europe/

      1. Anonymous says:

        Probably because their horrible experience with Samsung’s garbage phones, they know better than to buy an Android tablet, or they wanted a tablet and didn’t feel like waiting for vapors for the first year the iPad was out.

  65. Smartphone says:

    OK, first thing that in this story that says that this is bullshit… “write down a series of minuscule numbers that you find on the phone and on the SIM card”. Sorry, but Verizon DOES NOT USE SIM CARDS.
    Verizon is on the CDMA network which does not use SIM based authentication… that would be the GSM networks of AT&T and T-Mobile… maybe you should do some actual research about what you are talking about before you prove yourself an idiot.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but Verizon does use SIM cards…… for their LTE phones…. which would include the Droid Charge.

      Well this is super awkward.

      Before yelling at someone to check THEIR facts, please check your own.

      Thank you, come again.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Before you call the author an idiot, you probably should do a little research.  The 4G network indeed uses a SIM card.  Here’s a link to the manual so you can see for yourself (p. 6):

      http://cache.vzw.com/multimedia/mim/sam_charge/charge_manual.pdf

      So who is the idiot?

    3. FactCheck says:

      4G LTE phones use SIM cards, even on Verizon.

    4. Anonymous says:

      Your username says smartphone. What are you then, a smartphone from 2006?

  66. Guest says:

    Stupid person using a Smartphone… typical

  67. Anonymous says:

    Stupid article from a jerk

    1. Anonymous says:

      You wrote an article? Where is it?

  68. Dsmccleod says:

    Pure Android experience..Google Nexus S..love it.

  69. Abid says:

    Sounds like Linux Distros all over again

  70. Anonymous says:

    http://www.360onlinemall.com/

    Gucci , Louis Vuitton , Nike Free on sale.

  71. Guest says:

    “[my mom] does most of her emailing on an iPad– so after some discussion we decided that Android was the way to go.”  -FAIL

  72. Loli says:

    typical android crap. nothing new.

  73. Sdkljdsfljdfksad says:

    Wow, electronics industry repeating the same mistake as they did with windows.
    PEOPLE DON’T WANT YOUR BLOATED CRAPWARE! We just want the plain OS and then install our own apps on it.

  74. James Clark says:

    So to summarise you had a bad consumer experience? If you liked your HTC so much, why not get another one of them?

    To use a car analogy – Some Chryslers used to have brilliant Mercedes engines in them. The chassis, steering, suspension etc were all Chrysler and were lousy, so the car was lousy… but the engine when used in a Mercedes car was brilliant. Just as you wouldn’t blame the engine because it’s in a lousy car, don’t blame Android because it’s in a lousy phone.

    1. Anonymous says:

      No, the point is: No matter how good the components are in theory, if it is a lousy car, it’s a lousy car. Apologizing for a lousy car by saying some other hypothetical car might be OK is meaninglessly.

  75. Maktal says:

    No matter how much will be spoken in defence of pathetic and cheap Android. A quality less piece of shit *will* remain a quality less piece of shit.

  76. Anonymous says:

    That 30-40% return rate was “some” models, I imagine charge and thunderbolt I know for sure. 4G is terrible idea. This is why aapl will never have it on iphone 5. 

  77. @danielblogs (twitter) says:

    Rooting an android phone will make you lose your warranty but you can still return it to its original state which keeps the warranty. And just because one android phone sucks for you doesn’t mean they all sucks. My friend has the htc evo 4g and he loves it.

  78. Nick Bauman says:

    I think you can blame Verizon for this, not Android. I just got a Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V for my daughter. Nothing like that happened. Everything worked great. The only problem we had was setting up Google Voice because she was having trouble understanding what Google Voice does (how it works) so she could control it / set it up to her liking. And it cost less than half of an iPhone, did not have a contract and the month-to-month fees are also about half. I think most of the problems you have had with the phone can be identified by the carrier’s baloney. Verizon is one of the biggest corporations in the world, so it’s easy for such a large corporation to get disconnected from reality and think their offal doesn’t smell.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Not the most uncommon experience, I’m afraid. My experience with the droid 2 wasn’t that bad, but it really pales in comparison to how a smart phone should work. I’ve had multiple times recently where it spontaneously reboots itself for no good reason.

    Or, my favorite: I was trying to listening to music on it and it wasn’t playing. There just wasn’t any sound coming out. Not the biggest of deal, but it was when got to a meeting late (had class) and turned my phone off after going in. Bad idea. The music started to play. At full volume. I ripped the battery out faster than you could’ve turned your head. There’s really no reason it shouldn’t have been able to play the music, but there’s clearly bugs in the software. And I don’t remember the last time I had an update. It’s still on 2.2.

    I mean seriously. How does Motorola / VZ put out such crappy phones? There’s other stories, I’m sure, but I won’t be getting another droid 2.

  80. Michael Langford says:

    Android’s brand is sullied by the crap phones with things installed on them, shitty specs, etc. 

    They need to have a certification that clearly marks out devices that are meeting some bar of quality. The android name doesn’t mean shit while phones such as the Charge are called the same thing as the quality android phones out there.

  81. Foymaster says:

    HTC is pretty close to a “stock android experience” their phones are reliable impressive and the UI is very good.  Also, I’m going to agree with other people commenting and say that this is a straight up moan about a bad product you were sold. It’s like buying a rotten orange and saying that you don’t know if you’ll ever buy one again because you hated that one so much. Irresponsible journalism, you shouldn’t be writing.

  82. Thomas Cameron says:

     This is a *horribly* misleading article. It’s like saying “I bought a truck and had problems with it, so all trucks suck, you should always buy a car instead.”

    What a load of crap. My wife and I have owned several HTC Android phones between us, and never, ever had the issues you’ve had. I’ve got scads of coworkers who’ve owned Motorola Android phones and not seen the issues you describe. I’ve heard lots of issues about Samsungs, so I totally believe the experience you had with the Charge, but DAMN, man, in the freaking article you talked about your positive experience with the Incredible!

    That’s an *awfully* broad brush you’re painting with, there, bud. To blithely infer that all Android phones suck and you should go with iPhone makes me wonder who you are and for whom you’re paid to shill.

    1. Ryan Lindsley says:

      That’s not what the article is about.  Stop hating.  It’s about carrier freedom to tinker with a good OS is making for a crappy experience.  The whole point is that the Android experience can be varied from carrier to carrier, from device to device.  Some offer better experiences than others.  Most recommend rooting to get the best experience.   It’s not bashing Android, calm down.

  83. Terry Smith says:

    I just know there’s some MBA behind this. The engineers know what to do but this punk kid overruled them with focus group findings.

  84. Jim says:

    Your mother’s phone blew because Verizon fucked it up with their shit ROM. Everyone here that says giving open-source freedom ruins Android is an idiot. Root the god damn phone and install a ROM that isn’t full of bloat-ware or just delete the bloat-ware and remove the adds. If you fuck it up and are afraid the warranty won’t cover it, brick it and tell them that it died overnight.

    1. Caligula says:

      Heh and crap like this is one reason the Android has such a high return rate :-)

      Don’t like the way it works, just “brick it and tell them it died overnight”.  The screwed up part is that this is probably the BEST advice for an Android workaround I’ve heard so far.

  85. Dave4321 says:

    The article should be called. How I was able to write for site and not know how to do basic research on a phone before I bought it. If you had bothered to read reviews of the charge first, you would have known the limitations and how to fix them. Not to mention staying away from Samsung who makes great screens, but that’s about it.

  86. sarah says:

    funny, almost everyone I know who bought an iPhone eventually moved to Android and are now much happier. They all slate the iPhone. They, of course, are not all my mother. They’re a cross-section of people, scientists, techies, mechs, artists, musos, nurses etc. Not one of them has had the problem you mention and ironically, the most common phrase they use to explain how they feel about the Android is “it just works”.

    are you sure you’re not just one of those short sighted anal biased fanbois who slate anything that isn’t Apple ? Androids have been the market leader for 3 years now (IPhones in at 5). I think this blog is fiction.

    1. Jason says:

      ” scientists, techies, mechs, artists, musos, nurses”

      So, all poor people then?

  87. Richard says:

    I have  sympathy with this. I think it’s an extreme example, but while I’m really happy with my Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S), I would probably advise my parents to get iPhones as they are less tech savvy people.

    The Galaxy S is great now but I’ve had to do two pretty fiddly firmware upgrades to get it working smoothly. Also my phone was bought unlocked so no crap from the carrier. The Samsung ‘crapware’ isn’t actually too bad.

    I’d recommend Android to anyone with a bit of tech know-how, but otherwise Apple is probably the better choice.

    1. Simeon Nasilowski says:

      I’d recommend Android to anyone with a bit of tech know-how *AND* who wants to mess around with their phone. To anyone who just wants to use it I would recommend an iPhone.

  88. Guestguy says:

    Ok, really? This is journalism? This is a single bad user experience from someone who has no idea. As other commentators have pointed out, you could have had VZW activate your phone for you if you are uncomfortable with or don’t know what an ESN or MEID number is. You also don’t have to look at the sticker under the battery. It is right in the phone status info, which you can view before you activate. Also, VZW phones do not have a SIM card as they are not GSM phones, but CDMA. The rest of your complaints are with the specific applications that the manufacture of your handset put in, not android itself. Yes, android demands some small amount of research and knowhow, and for this you get options and “freedom” of choice. I think that its worth it. For you and your mum? Go with what Steve thinks is best for you.

    1. FactChecker says:

      4G LTE phones like the Samsung Charge use a SIM card, even on Verizon.  LTE is not CDMA.  Please check your facts before posting.

  89. foxwolfblood says:

    all the problems i read are verizons fault.

    1. Anonymous says:

      SO should we all feel better that it’s Verizon and not Google. Right. Users don’t care. 

  90. AustinS says:

    Wait, your mom already owned an iPad and you recommended Android?

    1. Anonymous Twitterati says:

      This is the same problem people have with used car salesmen: you’re selling her on something YOU want her to buy versus getting her into something that meets her needs.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Exactly this, I can imagine him talking her into Android being the best solution for her when it blatantly wasn’t

    2. Anonymous says:

      That was my first though. Odd decision.

      1. D R says:

        Yeah, not only does Android work differently, but with an iPhone, some of the apps she may have purchased for her iPad will also work on the iPhone as well [as maybe 50% of iPad apps are universal].

    3. Guest says:

      The only issue I have with Apple is them giving a smidge of a functional upgrade and then charging you up the ass on an annual basis for it to have the so-called ‘innovative latest and greatest.’  And really, is things like adding ports and sd card slots onto their tablets so you can expand memory really going to pose a threat to the closed ecosystem? What really kills me is that fools are going to line up to pay all over again for a brand new i4S just to get a processor and a digital assistant feature. It just never ends….

      1. TheTruth says:

        You are wrong on this.   Apple supports their devices much longer than all the Android manufacturers.   Think about it…iOS5 was released and it supported the 3GS phone (a phone that’s more than 2 generations behind and is > 2 years old).    Do you hear of any Android manufacturers supporting their phones for more than 6 months?

  91. Anonymous says:

    The problem with Android is that the hardware manufacturers do not want to be generic phone device makers.  They want to differentiate themselves in order to compete successfully in the smartphone market.

    However, to differentiate themselves, they have to muck up and lock down the Android OS, install their own version of the user interface, and install crappy apps that you can’t remove.  They also encrypt the OS so you cannot modify the system.

    This is why the experience is so poor for Android phone users – other than the ones who use the generic Android OS, which is few and far between.

    I wonder why the author did not purchase a Droid Incredible for his mom since he likes it so much????

    Oh.  It is no longer available.  

    The other problem with Android is that there is a new version of the smartphone every single month.  It is the flavor of the month phone.  Thus, over time, incompatibilities occur between the new versions.

    1. Mark says:

      That’s right. Google, Samsung and Verizon are each competing with one another to “own” Android users. Because Android is free, they each need to suck income out of the user by forcing use of ad-infested apps that generate revenue to their balance sheet. Because Android is “open”, they can each dick around with the user experience to jam the user down the path they need them to take.

      1. Ben Longo says:

        Then they should compete on hardware, hardly anyone is clearly winning on that side. With software UI, Google is more than capable.

      2. Anonymous says:

        Well it may be free from Google’s point of view, but it’s Microsoft that’s making da money on each Android device. That’s what you can do when you have the power of Microsoft.

    2. Paat says:

      Totally agreed with you, I’m a proud owner of Nexus One and I didn’t have these problems at all.

  92. Analog File says:

    Interesting. I keep hearing that the Android market is not fragmented and keep reading about Android fans that bash Apple for wanting to be in control instead of being open.

    However when someone (an Android fan) writes an article about troubles with an Android phone, the responses are that this is not “an Android Phone” but “Samsung’s Android Phone sold by Verizon” and there is much cheering the idea that Google should exert much more control on the hardware and software configurations.

    I have neither an Android nor an iPhone and do not plan to buy a new phone for the next 3 or 4 years so, as far as I’m concerned, you can flame away as much as you want but please, whatever your “side” is, try to be minimally consistent and avoid contradictions.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you have a “smart” phone?

      1. Nobody Special says:

        My guess is the same reason I don’t have one – data plans for any smartphone, regardless of OS, are just unaffordable for many of us.  At least in the US.

    2. Vera Comment says:

      when the OS is open you need to expect contradictions. The OP’s experience with the nexus is great, but it’s not with a Sammy, Verizon, customized skin.

      if google were to dictate standards,  it’s not open.

      1. Anonymous says:

        So “open” leads to a fragmented market where users can’t expect even reasonably decent experience, where software compatibility is essentially “buyer beware” and there isn’t any sort of threshold for quality of the experience. It seems to me, at least for the mass consumer market, “open” is a terrible. 

      2. JG says:

        Yep.  This is the fatal mismatch Android has with the current majority phone/tablet market which is Late Adoption: the majority are “mom” type customers not geek customers who actually like, let alone can, do hardcore hacking to get things working to a baseline level.  The majority rules because the size of the demographic and their wallets.  It’s not hard to predict how this will end.

        I am a “Mac/Ios” but competition is necessary.  Sadly, Android is mismatched and misfiring on absolutely all cylinders as a competitor.  Make a list of all the things you could do wrong and Android HW+SW +distributors are doing them all in exactly the worst-case way.  Very sad.  I’d love to have two (or more) vendors in the market that simply execute on the user experience as well as Apple does.  No problem at all with that. 

      3. Anonymous says:

        So “open” leads to a clusterfuck where the user has to be enough of a nerd to understand what version of Android hasn’t been butchered to fuck? Otherwise they risk wasting their money on trash that barely works.

        Yeah “open” is great

      4. Guest says:

        “So “open” leads to a clusterfuck where the user has to be enough of a nerd to understand what version of Android hasn’t been butchered to fuck? Otherwise they risk wasting their money on trash that barely works.Yeah “open” is great”Welcome to Linux…

      5. shawnde says:

        I think you missed the point entirely …. the poster is pointing out the inconsistency or double-standards in the Android fan arguments ….  On one hand, they want selection and choice and variety, and on the other they want homogeneity and uniform experiences.  These two ends of the spectrum are juxtaposed and mutually exclusive; i.e. YOU CAN”T HAVE BOTH.  We didn’t have it the PC world, and that is far more mature compared to smartphones.  You’re never going to have it on Android …. especially when you have a third player in the game …. namely the carrier :-)

      6. freediverx says:

        If Google were to dictate standards, it’s not open… it would just work. In other words, Apple’s way.

  93. Feldman says:

    If you’re Mom already had an iPad, you messed up by not getting her an iPhone. She was already familiar with an Apple product and you went and threw her a loop. Bad son.

  94. Anonymous says:

    The complaint, and the responses to it, are illustrative. Android advocates are tinkerers. Most people aren’t. A (well-configured) Android is like a Lotus Elise to iOS’s BMW M3 – it takes a very particular type of people to buy the former over the latter. And an Android sodomised by a tag-team of a moron operator with a moron manufacturer is just an atrocity.

    The author is right – Google should do more to keep its partners from spoiling its excellent mobile OS, as most people do not care who is at fault when their experience is full of frustrations.

  95. Drummertist says:

    Apple took the power away from the carriers and manufacturers. They were trying to dismantle the use of crapware, skins, etc. What did Google do with Android? They gave it all back. This is why I will never support Android devices. I think it’s disgusting.

    1. CP says:

      “When technology delivers basic needs, user experience dominates” – Don Norman, The Invisible Computer.

      Does everyone understand this now?

    2. Anonymous says:

      Google had better watch out, Microsoft is coming up the rear, after sitting back and watching and learning, which they can do. Come on Google, at least make the Nexus S  a ‘world’ phone (I know there is another model released now). Anyway iOS for me, MeeGo second (wish Microsoft didn’t kill it, well, almost has).

      1. Guest says:

        Microsoft isn’t coming up on anybody’s rear except to mount them and “root” them in their arse… Microsoft is the biggest, most bloated tub of crap ever.. You are an idiot if you think otherwise.

    3. Steven says:

      Apple also took the power away from users.  Good for them!

  96. Anonymous says:

    You’re on to something with needing some kind of test kit for Android (similar to the Java test kit, Linux SLB, or Unix compliance tests). I don’t think every phone needs to pass it (that would remove much of the attraction of Android to manufacturers and networks) but they need something like the distinction between Chromium and Chrome – a ‘Certified Android’ program. 

    And Google wouldn’t even need to run it themselves, just define it, with suitable threats for anyone abusing it. It should be a proper marketing name, not ‘Certified Android’. And advertised heavily enough that users know to demand it.

    Q. How much of this problem is the networks, not manufacturers?? 

  97. Anonymous says:

    Android = A wonderful platform if your a geek and want to tinker, A terrible platform if you want to turn it on and have it just work.  This is why WindowsPhone7 has a chance.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Until the thing needs an update…

  98. Okay, maybe I am naive, but how would rooting an Android phone void the warranty?  Isn’t the whole deal here supposed to be “open” and you can use the phone and/or the OS any old way you want?  Or is the whole “open = make blah blah blah” a load of hooey?  What is going on?

    1. Anonymous says:

      The warranty is whatever the carrier or manufacturer says it is. That means they don’t have to service it if you do something they don’t want, like changing the ROM that they’ve loaded up with lots of advertising apps. If you don’t like it, you can always buy a different phone. 

      1. Anonymous says:

        Do you mean like a Nexus? Are those the only phones you’re allowed to play with like that?

  99. Elder Norm says:

    People want Google to make Android standard with the features THEY want…  But if you somehow do that, just what makes one phone company any different than another company???

    Verizon wants to SELL you STUFF…  They have no interest in your likes or dislikes…. Just give them your money.   ATT is right up there too.     

    Apple said,,,, Let us handle all the little stuff and just make things work.  PERIOD… and they did. 

    Just a thought,
    en

  100. Anonymous says:

    Going with Samsung was the mistake. Should have stayed with HTC.

  101. Anonymous says:

    lol@android-

  102. Mike Bell says:

    Android’s garbage.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Your post is garbage.

  103. Anonymous says:

    Your Mom has an iPad so resumably knows her way around iOS and has probably purchased apps. And you decide she needs an Android phone, not an iPhone?

    Can you not see where this purchase was flawed from the very beginning? Of course, after using an iPad, she is going to prefer the iPhone.

  104. Warren says:

    “I’d love to see Google somehow mandate the stock Android experience on all phones, or somehow rigorously test all new phones before they could be launched.”

    You mean like the “walled garden” Apple uses that everyone hates so much, because it isn’t “open” like Android?

  105. Frabelt says:

    Therein is the problem of android. With no rules, there ia no consistency, and for most people who just want their shit to work, the majority of android phones are a non-starter. I’m a programmer and I prefer the iPhone to any android phone.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Google has little motivation to verify android phones, adding a stamp of approval on those that are decent. Why? Google already has what it wants: use their phones, give personal identification, and get their ads. Google’s indifference to its own marketplace problems evidences this. Oh, and the burgeoning malware issues, too.
    That 550,00 activations per day included the author’s mom, and all those other 30-40% who tried their android phones, and then returned them.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Funny how a platform can 30-40 percent reruns and still see massive growth, as shown by monthly NPD, Comscore and Nielsen data. Apparently they are returning their Android phones for another Android phone. More likely, the totally unsupported by data or even a source 30-40 percent return rate was FUD. That makes you somewhat of a tool for using it in your post.

      1. Caligula says:

        The returns effect neither Google or Samsung, but rather the carriers who “supply” these phones to their users on a “discounted” basis with their contract.  The carriers, or rather their third party “insurance” companies are the ones that have to churn broken and “repaired” phones to the customers through their warranty centers.  Once the phones are out of Samsungs hands they have made DARN sure they can’t be returned, and Google gets its royalties as the phones leave the factory.  No losses to the big players since you have to pay your carrier if your phone is broken or not.

        Remember, many of those returns aren’t specifically because people don’t like Android OS, but because MANY phones are of substandard quality or have implementations of Android that are tailored to their limited capabilities in terms of CPU power versus battery life (e.g. they wont include any iterative software such as games) or other “issues” with their operation.  When you go installing apps past their baseline you are increasingly likely to install one that will “break” the phone. 

        Since Apple, unlike Google, controls what goes on SUPPORTED phones (not that once you Jailbreak an iOS device you’re on your own), and since they know the hardware capability of EVERY phone that runs their OS, they can avoid those incompatibilities.
         

      2. Anonymous says:

        Somehow you managed to ignore the point of there being absolutely no proof to validate those numbers. Canalyst released data yesterday showing Android reaching about 50% of the global smartphone marketshare. That dosnt happen if 30-40% of phones were being returned. Carriers would not continue to sell such products, and if you hadn’t noticed, Android is taking up more and more shelf space in the stores, not less. Insurers would not continue with such losses either. The story was bunk. You would be well served to admit it, and admit that Android is totally dominating instead up trying to generate FUD because you don’t like it.

        http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/02/canalys-android-rules-the-smartphone-world-samsung-couldve-do/

  107. Terrin Bell says:

    I am confused, why would anybody get an Android phone for somebody who already is happily using an iPad? That makes zero sense unless some other factor like carrier lock in applies. All the applications are cross compatible. Further, Apple has made it easy to carry over information from one iOS device to another. This will even be more the case when iCloud comes out. 

    It seems you did your mother a disservice but pushing the Android device. Why would she want to manage two different operating systems?

  108. Me says:

    Half of the post has nothing to do with Android, but a broken Verizon, Samsung process/product.
    With “smart phones” moving from iOS (iPad) to Android has a learning curve.

    1. Again, it has *everything* to do with Android. It doesn’t matter if they’re different companies, to the consumer, Verizon and Samsung are part of the Android experience (and yes, it’s fair to bitch about AT&T when talking about the iPhone because the carrier is part of the platform experience).

      Verizon and Samsung fuck shit up because the Android model enables the fuck up of shit.

  109. Norm Walker says:

    I have been an Android user since the orginal Motorola Droid came it in November of 2009.  It was an amazing phone that was a breath of fresh air!  Android came out swinging and the surge of support for it is still going amazingly strong.   The only thing that is going to hurt it is all of the carriers putting their crapware, and the Manufacturers putting skins over Android.  Still the best phone I ever used was my HTC G2 which was a stock Android phone same as the original Droid.

  110. Joshua Singer says:

    This doesn’t sound like a problem with android, it sounds like a problem with that particular phone and that version of Samsung’s Touchwiz GUI.

    1. But that’s exactly the problem with Android. Google is happy to have devices marketed as “Android phones” and cheerfully announce all their “Android activations”, yet is happy to let handset makers put out substandard devices and carriers install crapware. 

    2. But that’s exactly the problem with Android. Google is happy to have devices marketed as “Android phones” and cheerfully announce all their “Android activations”, yet is happy to let handset makers put out substandard devices and carriers install crapware. 

  111. The Gnome says:

    It just works…   if more of the rooting fandroids understood this we could just get along.   

    P.S. Give up on the dumb “open” crap too, that ship sailed a year or more ago…

  112. MostlyNerd says:

    This post is just troll bait. When your mom is used to an iPad, why would you move her away from the familiar? Did you feel that she would do better on the Android?

    Its all about comfort. Not everyone wants to try out new things when it comes to technology. If they have found their comfort zone, let them be. I use a lot of different platforms (Android, iOS, BlackBerry) and thats my need.

    Also, you dont have to like one or the other. I like both Android and iOS, and there are aspects of both that I would like to see changed.

  113. Kenlowric says:

    yeah but that damn I phone please.  you cant exchange the memory out of it and you can’t share music or anything else unless you are on your apple account.  You don’t even get the whole logo for as much money as apple is!!!!  Give the whole apple or no apple at all! 

    1. Anonymous says:

      Wow. You’re a moron.

  114. Allen says:

    ” I’d love to see Google somehow mandate the stock Android experience on all phones, or somehow rigorously test all new phones before they could be launched. ”   – That’s the closed ecosystem. It’s called the iPhone.  Also, why in the world would you recommend android to someone who has an iPad and is happy with it?  Why NOT get the iPhone and have apps purchased flow back and forth between the two with zero learning curve and better battery life?  I know I sound apple fan boyish here (I prefer Android) but if someone is already doing the Apple thing, especially a parent, keep it simple stupid.

  115. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious! Proves exactly why the iPhone and Apple taking control away from carriers is such a good thing.

    No idea why people wilfully pay money for trash like this. Also no idea why you didn’t just get her an iPhone if she’s happy and comfortable with her iPad

  116. Anonymous says:

    If your mother does her emailing on an iPad, surely the most sensible, least conflicted way forward is to have an iPhone – I don’t care what any Android fan has to say, nothing beats the straightforward way iOS just works

  117. Nicholas Orr says:

    Samsung Galaxy S II is awesome. Found a ROM with up to date bits and bobs on the XDA forums and never looked back. Android really suits people who like to fiddle. You don’t want to fiddle, then buy an iPhone. I’d never recommend an Android device over an iPhone to someone who doesn’t use Google and who just wants the phone to make phone calls…

    Sounds like the issue in this article is Verizon and Samsung’s device. Since when did Android phones need to be activated? you just put the sim card in and turn it on…

    Buy your Samsung Android device in vanilla flavour (it has samsung branding not network branding) and use custom ROMs :)

  118. Anonymous says:

    This is a good scenario, you ask yourself “which phone should I recommend to a person that is not an engineer and does not use Google in every aspect of his live?” I have to be impartial and recommend an iPhone. 
    Is just work, and you always get the latest and greatest apps first, they work also.

  119. I just created a linux distro. What, it sucks? Don’t blame me, blame linux for being open-source at the first place. You should have sticked to Windows.

  120. Tojiro says:

    I’m very glad to see that the right people are fingered in this article. Android is a beautiful, elegant system with a couple of quirks, (but then again, the same thing describes iOS). The problem is that nobody sells an Android Phone. (Especially not Verizon, who seems obsessed with making their own products look bad) You can get Android+Blur phones, or Android+Touchwiz phones, or Android+Sense phones, but never a good old stock Android phone. And NONE of the manufacturer variants work as well as stock Android.

    The sad thing is that most media outlets don’t know the difference, so what gets reported is that “Android” is a slow, buggy, confusing mess in contrast to iOSes clean simplicity. Of course, from the consumer standpoint that’s about all the options that we’re ever given. *sigh* Google absolutely must do something to save the image of it’s mobile OS before the carriers and manufacturers trample it to death and move on to the next shiny thing that catches their eye.

  121. ahow628 says:

    Haha! I can’t believe you quoted TechCrunch. That was your first mistake.

  122. Qweawd says:

    This is all subjective crap and none of it is true, such as having to write down numbers from behind the battery and it being a hassle to activate. You’re garbage fyi.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Personal experiences and reaction to them are, by their nature, subjective. Is subjectivity wrong somehow?

  123. Thinkflight says:

    I had an almost identical experience with both of my parents and android phones. Both of them are now on the iPhone 4 and loving it. When in return from this trip… Im trading out my HTC thunderbolt ASAP.

    My mother and I have been through a collective 15 android phones in a year and a half. Vzw even upgraded us to new models due to all the issues. Constant hardware failures, as well as stock rom glitches makes the phones un usable for day to day use. I must say, I think a lot of the issues with the hardware we saw was due to vzw not fully checking their refurbished phones which were our replacements when the initial phones broke.

    I totally understand this authors frustration at the 4g sim card. I’m constantly taking the sim card/battery out due to not being able to place phone calls (read – fast buys signal). This is currently the only “known” fix for a 4g issue, so the vzw techs tell me. This combined with random reboots in the middle of phone calls, usually with my boss… I’ve had issues with the HTC software (which makes new mail folders in my gmail inbox that are required to be there if you use their mail client) where it has deleted my entire gmail emails and folders… To which HTC says “sorry, must be a bug… Should have it ironed out next upgrade.”

    All of which has caused me to rename my HTC thunderbolt to… HTC thunderturd

    I’m replacing it with an iPhone when I get back… Because they just work… 99% of the time, unlike my thunderturd

  124. I hate my Incredible. It has been NOTHING but an INCREDIBLE headache.  I am not sure why I keep getting the bad ones but so far I have had to turn it in three times for a new (refurbished one) and whenever I get used to it and get over the hate part of the love/hate relationship.  I get the same buggy thing.  I have factory reset it because I do not want to turn it back in and be with out another phone.  I HATE IT!!!! Grrr.  

  125. A.J. Graham says:

    While I do enjoy Android I know very well what he means. I am currently on the Droid X and if I stay with Android it will be a Nexus device….maybe HTC but even that will be a stretch. It is sad to see the kind of experiences Android fragmentation is causing because at heart it is a great OS. 

  126. BrinkMedia says:

    This is a great review, thanks for this.  I love the last line and completely agree (and also agree with everyone saying that an iPhone seemed like somewhat of a no-brainer considering she was already familiar with the layout of the iPad).

  127. Heavylildude says:

    Another classic of why I recommend less android.. but I kept my friends envying mine :) Android is an absolute perfect for geeks and super users. I just still don’t think its for the faint hearted yet :) Not everyone need a super device :)

  128. Fraiche says:

    I returned my Android for a Blackberry and am happy for now. At least the BB Phone can make phone calls. There are plenty of solutions for Android. It helps if your unemployed and have the time to search them all out. I have a job and I need my phone to work. I’m getting the iPhone 5 the second it arrives

  129. Chris says:

    I have a HTC d Desire HD. Seems your issue there was purely choice of hardware provider. Same as sOX can be better or worse than a Mac, an Android device can be better or worse than an iPhone. If Apple let me transparently swap in awesome components like Swype I might be more tempted.

  130. Philip Schiffer says:

    This articles title is totally misleading: Its entirely your fault for using a crappy provider with a crappy device and not checking before buying…

  131. Philip says:

    This articles title is totally misleading: Its entirely your fault for using a crappy provider with a crappy device and not checking before buying…

  132. Zach Orum says:

    This sounds like Verizon’s fault, not Droid’s.

  133. JustAnotherAnalyst says:

    I enjoy the back and forth of all the comments on this. I am also enjoying the Chevy vs Ford, approach with the “unbiased” remarks in this thread. I have read all the comments (many have so much to say) and understand many of the points, and agree to disagree with so many as well.

    First and foremost, this whole article is a Phone review, not a Phone OS review. There are so many mistakes many have already pointed out. First, as it’s already been pointed out, he talked his mom into an Android device when she was already familiar and comfortable with a iOS device. It’s nice to think of how many options are available to her and how all this “integrated” functionality is available to meet her needs. A good sales person listens to the needs of the customer and meets those needs with something applicable. It should have been obvious to go the iOS route for her to keep functionality and interface familiar. I enjoy Android and all the features and functionality as much as the next Android user and love what you can do with it. She is not that customer.

    Second, manufacturers and resellers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc…) have contracts with each other to market these phones with certain features and applications installed and activated. They lock them down, strip them down, bloat them up, and fancy them to any degree they can to create different markets and feature packs. Some, such as Verizon, think they have the software figured out for exactly what the user needs. Others, like AT&T, think they know the hardware best. So far, the best two players in the Phone market, not including iPhones, are T-Mobile and Sprint with their approach. They are not free from faults but they do many things better than the others. As some say with the Microsoft Smart Phone approach, so, too, do T-Mobile and Sprint walkt the middle line. The software experience in most of the examples are due to bad decisions made by the manufacturer and vendor. Google is still at fault for some things but this whole experience is being generalized to target them and it’s not a “blame Google” issue.

    Third, like the vendors and manufacturers, Google, also, has contracts. Everyone is mentioning how Apple has standards and locks the iOS and hardware down so the user can’t encounter these issues. This approach appeals to it’s own market. However, many fail to realize that Google has a contract out with manufacturers and vendors to create “Google Experience Phones” that do exactly what everyone is talking about to most points. They require certain specs be met, certain functionality exist, certain apps be restricted and removed, all Android default apps be applied and integration points met. They work to make sure these phones meet the correct expectations to provide a desired experience. Feel free to Bing it and see the “Google Experience Phones.” Experience phones have the Google logo on them to distinguish them and they do what they are designed to do: deliver a specific experience.

    Google has been doing this “phone thing” for much less time than Apple. They have rapidly expanded and hit adoption levels that have left Apple trying to catch up. Apple still does what it does really well but the mass appeal of the Android experience has rocketed this OS to the top of the chain. As with any rapid growth spurt, there are severe growing pains. As any business owner knows, there is a rapid growth phase followed by a stabilization phase and Google is moving into that stage. Remember, Apple wasn’t always the giant they are today; they went through similar pains (they are no longer Apple Computers, Inc.)

    I have been in electronic sales for over 10 years dealing primarily with mobile and computer electronics. Every person has their own market they fit into. As a hardware and software developer, technical analyst, and very tech-saavy individual, I like environments I can manipulate to fit my needs since nothing ever does 100%. Every person is not me and that is something many fail to ever realize. The iPhone fills its market needs very well and has the fans to show for it. However, Android does as well and because of the tight competition between these two, many seem to only focus on downfalls and shortcomings. My wife is not tech saavy at all but she owns a HTC Evo 4g on the Sprint network and she had it customized to her liking with hundreds of useful apps (to her) on it within the first few weeks of owning it. She set it up herself, synchronized her own GMail account with it, and uses it more than her laptop every day. Many of my friends with iPads enjoy their iPhones and the integration with iTunes available to both devices as well as the ability to go from one device to the other and have the same interface. They are not looking to customize the experience or have something that behaves different than others; they are not techies by any means.

    Each person needs to evaluate their needs, their current life-style, and focus on what they want to do tomorrow, not today. If you identify your needs and buy a product that will deliver the experience you are looking for, you can avoid situations like the one the OP describes 9 times out of 10. Don’t buy something based on someone elses experience; test it for yourself and make sure you know what you are looking for. And remember, not all bad experience are because Apple or Google “suck.”

  134. Jonathan lambert says:

    I had the exact same experience when inboight an android. It’s great if you want to root and clean and then resetup. No thanks! You’re right on with certification. Less choiceand a better out of box experience should be the baseline. I went looking for a modern nexus, and ended up with three android science projects and lost days of my life before giving up and going back to the iPhone 4 and it’s crappy keyboard. I couldn’t be happier! It just works!

  135. TxAg60 says:

    This story is repeated time and again. Never met an iPhone owner that was not happy – no in love – with their iPhone

    1. JustAnotherAnalyst says:

      Then you are not looking or listening. There are people on both sides on the spectrum that will be unhappy and you will never please the masses. “If you try to please everyone, you will please no-one.” – It holds true and it is why there are specific products for each market and person out there. I know plenty of people who have become frustrated with their iPhones and the functionality they wish they had, who have made the jump to an Android device. I also know plenty of people who have left Android and jumped to iPhone for a more simplified experience. It all comes down to the type of user. If you surround yourself with people who perfectly fit the iPhone market, and they all have iPhones, you will probably hear limited complaints. If you do the same with the Android users, the same will hold true. If you expose yourself to enough of a mass containing users all over the spectrum, I bet you will find a better spread of results.

      It still comes down to the old “Ford v. Chevy” argument.  No one will ever be satisfied with seeing both sides of the argument because both sides will always have passionate users. That’s the beauty of the market and these technologies.

  136. Pghpa65 says:

    ahh, if you bought the phone at a Verizon store, why didn’t they activate the phone? 
    Every phone I have ever bought from Verizon,going back 15 years,  they did all that
    setting up at the store.  The same with anyone else I asked in the office that has Verizon.

    Something does not seem correct with this article, how much actually happened?
    Should be a movie writer…

  137. Some Guy You Don't Know says:

    I call shenanigans. Verizon phones have never used SIM cards.

    1. verizon 4G LTE phones use a sim card.

  138. Excuse me, but there are many more phones out there, which work perfectly fine, and in a lot of people’s opinions, even better than the iPhone. What problems your mother had were completely based on that one phone, and Verizon’s website has nothing to do with Android itself. One phone, one experience, doesn’t speak for every experience, or every phone, because there is not just one experience, not just one phone: THAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH APPLE.

  139. Anonymous says:

    And in a little while she’ll be saying “I could have gotten a Windows Phone 7″

  140. Wandaa says:

    This article should be “Why my mom got a Iphone and proceeded to ram it up my ass while I fingered her clit”

  141. anonymous says:

    Yeah…Verizon is pretty horrible. Go get an Android phone from T-Mobile, it will trump your iShit any day. I recently was provided an iPhone by my employer, so I got rid of my G2 from T-Mobile. I now feel like I have the worst phone in the world, and am going to be only using my AT&T iPhone for work, once I get a good phone again.

  142. Brent Mifsud says:

    I have done the same thing. Just got the 4S. My nexus s in no way lasted days. But it was a better experience overall than what you had. Many apps crashed though, got frustrated with android. Loving iOS apps work, no freezing Or crashing (unless the app has not been updated for iOS 5 yet). Loving it. I do miss the google integration and widgets though.

  143. Dasdasdasd says:

    Why the hell does he worry theres this new better phoen called AN I PHONE ANDROIDS SUCK COMPARED TO IT

  144. Anonymous says:

    Your note near the end that you’d “love to see Google somehow mandate the stock Android experience on all phones… standardize and mandate one or two excellent cameras… place some sort of “premium Android experience” certification label on phones that pass tests and use components approved by Google” really got me going. You do realize, don’t you, that that is EXACTLY what Apple has done with the iPhone, and it’s exactly why the entire user experience of the iPhone works, where the Droid experience in all its various guises, just doesn’t. It’s not that Apple guys are wizards, it’s that they have created a structure where they can mandate compliance with certain aspects of their technology, and if you don’t like it, you don’t play. It’s very simply a technology management issue, and it WORKS.

  145. That is why customer loves to buy iPhone.. and not to buy Android… and windows Phone 7 is getting chances now…

  146. A guy who experiences says:

    Wow I’m really surprised by most of the comments said on this article. First of all, the author obviously messed up by not doing his research and by not even FULLY trying out his phone. I’m also surprised as to how many iPhone users are saying that Android is basically locked because of some simple Linux coding that’s missing. Well ask me this, how come when I walk around campus (UNCC and NC State) I see more Android phones in everyones hands and when I asked did you root your phone the majority of them basically said “What is root?” and yet when I ask a iPhone users why his phone looks so much better than an Android they simply reply I jailbroke it… Seems to me Apple has lots of features and unnecessary blocks on their phone compared to Android.

    And by-the-way, I do own both phones and I love Android by far, and yes I do simple Java and C++(fails) programming on these devices. Apple is so easy to program and use they really should just give every child under twelve to play on these child like devices.

  147. well, to put it bluntly, your post is a mix of misunderstandings, ignorance & outright lies. BTW sending emails on an ipad doesnt make you tech savvy. the first clue was when you lied about taking the phone & replacing the apps that came with the phone. without root, you can not remove the pre-installed apps called “bloatware”. if you have a google gmail account then why didnt you enter it during setup? its easy enough to sign in with your existing account, then all your contacts are synced automatically with your device. i could go on & tear pretty much everything you have posted apart but it wouyldnt educate you, i get the impression from your lies & rhetoric that you are just another apple fanboi with a small amount of tech savvy,,, enough to get you into trouble. just a tip, before posting things full of opinions & outright lies you might want to think that there are those of us that know better & will call you out on such things.

  148. Alex Inaus says:

    I have a couple of Android devices and they are simply crap. I am trying to get rid of it but it is worthless because  they depreciate like a brick. Never again Android.

  149. David Ebl says:

    I bought an android phone just yesterday. I have had no problems except for when installing a large game over 400MB, I had to leave the phone on that screen to finish the download. It sounds more like crappy service from Verizon.

  150. Costelmarin11 says:

    Clearly Iphones are more efficient and good then any android phones.. http://www.ccmp3.net

  151. Johndoe says:

    It seems to me that the problem is not the Android platform, but the Verizon.
     I had Galaxy II, now Optimus Black, both with stock ROMs, both are great (especially Optimus) and for neither I had to  go through any sort of registration process. Somehow they both even got all my contacts automagically.

  152. Anonymous says:

    I actually returned iP4 for SGS2. But I do agree that for someone like your mom, iPhones are better suited. However, I actually found a lot of the UI elements on iOS very frustrating. Icons for example are obviously well “designed” meaning aesthetically they are pleasing to look at. However, they look so much alike due to the identical shapes and sizes. Android icons are definitely ugly but for me different shapes and simpler colors make it so much easier to find one you need. 

    Widgets are indeed overrated in many use cases. However, power widgets, weather widgets, etc. are actually helpful. I use them all the time. Android’s dedicated buttons also help speed up your navigation and get things done faster. For example, if you are in an app and by some operation taken to another app. You want to back out to the original app, you have to double tap and switch to that app in iOS, whereas on Android you just tap the back button. Also, the soft back button on iOS never brings you back to the previous app, it bumps you up one level in the app you are currently in. Also, the iOS soft back button is always on the upper left corner, which is the farthest corner to reach with your right thumb. This was very annoying. Another UI feature that I hated on iOS was transition animations. They are very slow and no way to make them faster or just outright go away. Android has an option to do this. I turn them all off so I can navigate faster. 

    In terms of battery life, I think most of the complaints stem from some bloatware that drains battery out of the box. This is indeed a problem, although I never personally encountered this. But my personal experience with iP4 in terms of battery life was not an improvement over any Android phone I had including SGS2. I got about 15 hours of modest use out of iP4. I can pretty much imagine how iPhone users claim 2 days of usage by using a smartphone like a feature phone. My friends who own an iPhone also tell me that they charge their phone daily, so it wasn’t just me.

    Finally, the UI polish that iPhone users boast I think stems from the fact that iOS tends to simplify a single UI view by getting rid of extra menus and list items. For example, the App Store only lods 25 items in a single column then the user tells it to load more items by explicitly pressing load more button at the end. On the other hand, Android Market loads a lot more pictures and items and load more items automatically as the user scrolls down. I personally don’t like the way iOS handles the UI rendering as it slows down my navigation speed. For me stutter is okay as long as overall loading of the items take less time and let me navigate faster. It also depends on individual app. For example, words with friends on iOS loads very slowly and stutters pretty badly before loading is finished. This is pretty much the same on Android. So it goes to show that it’s not the core OS architecture that slows things down. It’s just how individual apps are written.

  153. Anonymous says:

    I actually returned iP4 for SGS2. But I do agree that for someone like your mom, iPhones are better suited. However, I actually found a lot of the UI elements on iOS very frustrating. Icons for example are obviously well “designed” meaning aesthetically they are pleasing to look at. However, they look so much alike due to the identical shapes and sizes. Android icons are definitely ugly but for me different shapes and simpler colors make it so much easier to find one you need. 

    Widgets are indeed overrated in many use cases. However, power widgets, weather widgets, etc. are actually helpful. I use them all the time. Android’s dedicated buttons also help speed up your navigation and get things done faster. For example, if you are in an app and by some operation taken to another app. You want to back out to the original app, you have to double tap and switch to that app in iOS, whereas on Android you just tap the back button. Also, the soft back button on iOS never brings you back to the previous app, it bumps you up one level in the app you are currently in. Also, the iOS soft back button is always on the upper left corner, which is the farthest corner to reach with your right thumb. This was very annoying. Another UI feature that I hated on iOS was transition animations. They are very slow and no way to make them faster or just outright go away. Android has an option to do this. I turn them all off so I can navigate faster. 

    In terms of battery life, I think most of the complaints stem from some bloatware that drains battery out of the box. This is indeed a problem, although I never personally encountered this. But my personal experience with iP4 in terms of battery life was not an improvement over any Android phone I had including SGS2. I got about 15 hours of modest use out of iP4. I can pretty much imagine how iPhone users claim 2 days of usage by using a smartphone like a feature phone. My friends who own an iPhone also tell me that they charge their phone daily, so it wasn’t just me.

    Finally, the UI polish that iPhone users boast I think stems from the fact that iOS tends to simplify a single UI view by getting rid of extra menus and list items. For example, the App Store only lods 25 items in a single column then the user tells it to load more items by explicitly pressing load more button at the end. On the other hand, Android Market loads a lot more pictures and items and load more items automatically as the user scrolls down. I personally don’t like the way iOS handles the UI rendering as it slows down my navigation speed. For me stutter is okay as long as overall loading of the items take less time and let me navigate faster. It also depends on individual app. For example, words with friends on iOS loads very slowly and stutters pretty badly before loading is finished. This is pretty much the same on Android. So it goes to show that it’s not the core OS architecture that slows things down. It’s just how individual apps are written.

  154. Taranakicomputers says:

    I started off on iOS 4 years ago, and recently decided to purchase a Sony tablet S running android 3.2.1 and boy do I regret not getting an iPad instead. Why? The Android apps are crap. its absolutely true. So to all those android fanboys who swayed me into buying an android….thanks for nothing. Biggest regret.

  155. Do not buy – AT&T Go Phone U8652 Fusion Android manufactured by Huawei are total junk –I bought one for my grand-daughter as a gift from Wal-Mart. The screen started to crack apart and continued until it covered the entire screen with cracks… I contacted the manufacturer – they will not fix or replace it – they said Wal-Mart should have offered me a warranty – Wal-Mart did not offer any such thing…they told me to call AT&T – I did and they don’t fix them and said Huawei Go Phones had no business telling me to call them…They gave me a number for a private cell phone repair place -I called and the service tech said the phones are Trash and it would cost more to fix it than what I orginally paid.

  156. PhoneNerd says:

    FAKE ARTICLE! FAKE ARTICLE! FAKE ARTICLE! FAKE ARTICLE! FAKE ARTICLE!

    im sorry but this article is written by someone just wanting to hate on android. htc incredible DOES NOT USE A SIM CARD LIKE THIS PERSON CLAIMS!! i quote from the article

    “write down a series of minuscule numbers that you find on the phone and on the SIM card”

    i repeat, htc incredible does NOT use a sim card, so that right there automatically tells u this person does NOT know what he is taking about

  157. Steve says:

    Samsung-Google galaxy nexus 
    I just got one and i am very dissapointed.
    Yes the 720p amoled screen is the best on any phone.
    The camera is ok, the google maps and earth with multitouch is good.

    Whats Bad then.
    The phone speaker volume is really weak even on highest settings – forget about using it hands free, and if you want to hear it ring don’t walk into another room. !

    You can’t transfer files between it and pc as It does not support usb mass storage emulation. This is the year 2012 usb storage has been around for over 10 years and they don’t support it !. This means it will not operate with  devices like playstation, media players, Media TV’s or MAC. Instead you need to get special software for your pc 
    this may come with windows 7 if you have new PC. There is no micro SD card slot on this phone so you cant transfer files that way either.

    It has MASSIVE Privacy issues as the calendar refuses to work unless you have a gmail sync account yes your calendar is practically being made public ! someone else said “Android is to allow Google to send you ads and monetize your personal information. Everything else is a far distant second.”

    The Device encryption feature fails to work and after waiting an hour for the process to complete it turns the phone into an emergency only mode device the unlock failed to work and the only way out is a hard reset loosing all data and settings. !

    The downloadable apps and games i tried are mostly poorly written so what if there are 400000 of them, good ones are almost non existent, of the 30 something tetris clones all are poorly designed. The google book reader and others i tried are are useless unless you happen to have magnifying glass as none  support the multi touch pinch to zoom, pann or scroll in fact the only thing they can do is change pages. Font so small it can’t be legible to many people. As for multi touch capable applications virtually non existent from what I have seen.

    The incuded headphones simply are a joke only way to keep them in your ears is by continually holding them with your hands or they fall right out.  

    The display theme uses an amoled power sapping white background when it’s not even necessary and no way to fix giving a short battery life.

    Data entry is inaccurate as the buttons are too small and there seems to be no predictive data entry capability even my 6 year old Samsung flipout does better. In sideways orientation the keys are bigger but any error and the correction editing features are not very good with cursor movement is poorly designed and font too small to position to edit easily.

    The youtube feature does not reliably maximise to full screen mode and sometimes uses are less for no apparent reason and that’s in sideways mode – what is the point of a big screen when the view won’t use it fully.

    The phone also seems to lock or turn it’s self off spontaneously ?
    It’s sides are quite slippery so you really need two hands to use it properly or will risk it sliding away, though some kind of grip sleeve may help with that at least.

    The high res screen is good but they have failed to make the bios system fonts larger so i end up with eye strain in the bios reset mode and some people would probably need a magnifying glass to read it.

    The font setting to large font does not seem to affect the apps including the apps store it’s self so the high res screen can makes it very difficult to read.

    The operating system soft buttons steal some of the screen width which i would have preferred to be able to swipe hide and use the full screen.

  158. amber says:

    i personally own a droid charge and i love it i am also an apple user however i have had to send my charge back twice because of it being a defective phone.  however i find that android is easier to use and cleaner in general than apple and i havent rooted my phone at all.  i get at least a day and a half on my battery life and thats when i use it a lot.  one other thing thats bad about apple is that they are money hungry everything they have is so expensive and is ok quality and i used to work at a cellphone place nine times out of ten i have had die hard apple users set on getting the newest iphone leave the store with an android phone so this person probably just had a defective phone.

  159. Jhogg39 says:

    I agree that androids are terrible hate to say it ive had nothing but problems out of my droid 2. Im currently on my 4th one in little over a year. These phones are ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. Possessed. 3 of the 4 droid 2 ive had have been posessed and now I fear my 4th one is doing it. The power button no longer works on it so I can never turn the screen off and once the phone dies I have to plug it up to my USB on my computer to boot it back up again. The facebook app on the droid 2 is broken, along with the youtube app. The navigation built into it is a giant joke. The battery life is terrible on it. The phone gets burning hot for no apparent reason and this is when it isnt even plugged up to anything. The screen goes crazy all the time. The camera on the phone takes the most hideous pictures ive ever seen on any cell phone camera. Like everyone else says the only solution I get on the internet is Root your phone. No thanks its already a pain in the neck just going to verizon to get any information out of them imagine if ive voided my warrenty. Verizon claims they fix my phone everytime I go in when in reality they make me stand there while they claim its all the apps on my phone causing these problems. Which I have probably 2 to 3 appps installed that didnt come on the phone. So when I take it to verizon all they do is delete all my stuff give the phone back and an hr later all the problems start again. My next cell phone will most definatley be an iPHONE i rather pay then have a terrible phone where everything is kinda free.

  160. Jhogg39 says:

    I agree that androids are terrible hate to say it ive had nothing but problems out of my droid 2. Im currently on my 4th one in little over a year. These phones are ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. Possessed. 3 of the 4 droid 2 ive had have been posessed and now I fear my 4th one is doing it. The power button no longer works on it so I can never turn the screen off and once the phone dies I have to plug it up to my USB on my computer to boot it back up again. The facebook app on the droid 2 is broken, along with the youtube app. The navigation built into it is a giant joke. The battery life is terrible on it. The phone gets burning hot for no apparent reason and this is when it isnt even plugged up to anything. The screen goes crazy all the time. The camera on the phone takes the most hideous pictures ive ever seen on any cell phone camera. Like everyone else says the only solution I get on the internet is Root your phone. No thanks its already a pain in the neck just going to verizon to get any information out of them imagine if ive voided my warrenty. Verizon claims they fix my phone everytime I go in when in reality they make me stand there while they claim its all the apps on my phone causing these problems. Which I have probably 2 to 3 appps installed that didnt come on the phone. So when I take it to verizon all they do is delete all my stuff give the phone back and an hr later all the problems start again. My next cell phone will most definatley be an iPHONE i rather pay then have a terrible phone where everything is kinda free.

  161. TekGirl says:

    - activation of phone (verizon prob)
    – half baked apps (according to author)(samsung & verizon prob)
    – google widgets stripped, camera apps, crashing apps (samsung & Charge prob)
    – get rid of VZW crap (verizon prob) (in fact the user was happy with android rooted)
    – battery life, broken camera app, apps not working, samsung messaging (Samsung & Charge prob)
    – hot phone, battery problem, etc. (Samsung & Charge prob)
    – Friend happy with Nexus S, why not mandate hardware (excuse me this is android)
    – guy said he would not feel comfortable buying the phones from Verizon (me too)
    This is not an article about android problems. Even though some comments want you to believe it. Its about whether you should buy from Verizon (I have Sprint(love it)), buy samsung (i didn’t, I bought HTC, very happy), or buy the Charge (I have the HTC EVO Shift, very happy).

  162. Not Patrick James Kelley says:

    Why your mom bought an Android and returned it? Because she’s a ducking idiot.

  163. Cyborg says:

    Android = Techies
    IOS = Idiots like your mama

  164. Hiya People says:

    Samsung has a somehow does not keep to the original android interface. If you want a good company with good android phones (Most of them are good) Go with HTC

  165. Trisweb says:

    “I’d love to see Google somehow mandate the stock Android experience on all phones” – YES. Thank you. 
    This article isn’t about Android sucking, or the iPhone being better—it’s about Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, whoever—believing they can somehow improve the UI by adding and bloating and customizing it for their malformed mutated corporate “brand” that’s completely flawed.

    Beautiful, wonderful, insightful article, and all too true. The takeaway is that all Android phones need to have a consistent user experience. Then people will finally start seeing Android for what it is—which is quite good, in fact.

  166. Anonymous says:

    I moved to Android after my Iphone 3G was virtually “left by the side of the road” by IOS 4 that rendered it a freezing, lagging mess. My choice was to jailbreak it and downgrade back to 3, buy a new Iphone, or move to Android. No phone is perfect, they all have problems that must be weighed against the benefits. If you love your HTC, why not just get her one of those? HTC has probably one of the smoothest skins out of the box. Touch-wiz, not so much.

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