For those of you who missed the first parts of the Lowyat.NET Great Big Android Phone Shootout, you can catch all the parts in our links below:
And after days of testing, writing and even one of the writers falling asleep at the keyboard while compiling results *cough*Chapree*cough*, we have finally concluded our Lowyat.NET Great Big Android Phone Shootout. Today the editorial team chooses their favorite phones from each tier of testing (with the exception of the first for obvious reasons). Each of the members of the editorial team had a hand in the testing and the results were all up to their own interpretations of what they wanted out of a phone from that category. While there have been phones that were released recently that were not in the test, we have kept it to phones that we had in for review. In the future we will take the date we have and most definitely use it for future shootouts!
Read what the editorial team had to say after the jump!
Value for money mid-range smartphone
I get very sour when I think of this and how the LG Optimus L7 cheated my feelings. The L7 was my definite pick when I first saw it thanks to a nice design that is not too slim and more importantly, a large display – the largest in its range at least – but alas, nothing’s perfect and the L7 lacks in its performance, terribly. So at the end of the day, I’ll pick the Sony Xperia U in this range – after it gets its ICS update of course – because of the transparent bar below that light up. I know it’s nothing significant, it doesn’t affect the device in any way, but at least it has something different that makes it stand out from the rest.
Mid-range got money but not much to spend
I’ll tell you what I won’t pick in this range, price plays a very important role in this category and paying RM1,699 for a phone running on Android Froyo with a laggy performance, lousy camera and only a 1Ghz single core processor is definitely not worth it. While the Yes Eclipse is very exclusive because you can enjoy all the Yes services on the phone, I still cannot justify paying such an amount for it when you can top up another RM200 and you can get the HTC One S.
So the battle in this category boils down to the Sony Xperia P and Huawei Honor, a tough battle in deed. The most attractive part of the Huawei Honor is its price point of only RM1,099, RM400 cheaper than the Xperia P but considering all things, I’ll pick the Xperia P for its better processor, larger internal storage, better camera and of course, a fancier display – Sony White Magic.
Finally, we’ve reached the hardest part of all, picking between the current two hottest devices in the market, the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s a hard pick but if I were forced to choose one, I’ll pick the HTC One X for a few reasons starting off with the fact that it’s cheaper. Retailing at RM2,099, it may only be RM100 cheaper than the S3, but it comes with 32GB of internal storage so you won’t need to buy any extra memory card. Secondly, I’ve been using Samsung devices for quite some time now and it’s nice to use HTC Sense 4.0 interface for a change. Finally the last reason would be because I own a HTC One X. To be fair, I bought it before the announcement of the S3 so my impulse purchase was definitely not a One X vs S3 thing.
We had a great range of phones in with the LYNGBAPS and choosing my favorites was a harder task in some categories than others. Each of the phones did exhibit a good feature or 2 (with the exception of ONE handset, I’ll keep you guessing which one) that made choosing between them a little difficult. For the first category – The “Value-For-Money-Entry-Level-Smartphone” Group – For me the choice was pretty tough. I loved the build of the One V, the fancy LED band of the One U and the overall performance of the Sola but there can be only one. For me, my pick was the Sony Xperia Sola. The overall performance and the VERY surprising performance of the camera was exactly what one is looking for in such a category. The Xperia Solawas also my surprise pick of the whole review, showing that the selling point on the phone (floating touch) need not necessarily play a part in its overall performance.
In the next tier of testing – The “Mid-Range-Got-Money-But-Not-So-Much-To-Spend” group – for me the choice was obvious. The Xperia P outperformed the other 2 in just about all ways, and for me, did show why it was about RM400 more than the Honor. The design of the phone was very true to Sony Mobile’s aesthetic and the Unibody finish was great. The WhiteMagic display was just the icing on the cake proving to be the most vivid and vibrant of the 3 as well. No surprises here for me, if you’ve got RM1,500 to spend, use it on the Xperia P.
The last (but in by no means least) tier we tested proved to be the hardest for me to choose between. Both of the phones were incredible performers in all the tests we ran. To be honest, I was about to cop out and say I liked both, or that I wanted a combination of both to be my ideal smartphone, but that’s not what you want to hear. You want a choice, so my choice went to the Samsung Galaxy S3. Before you get your pitchforks out, I have a lot of love for the One X and it pains me to choose between 2 phones which I had an amazing time with. It’s like asking to choose between your 2 favorite kids (or prospective girlfriends/boyfriends), both have incredible pros and cons but in the end it comes down to the little things. For me, it came down to the camera. While the f/2.0 lens did give some great results, I think the SGS3 did show consistently better results to my eye and coupled with the Exynos processor, it was a pleasure to use. I kind of wish however, the SGS3 had Sense 4 in it instead of touchwiz but… Okay I better stop before I change my mind!
With Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, you pretty much get what you paid for in an inexpensive entry-level smartphone that might be lacking in terms of performance by today ís standard but nevertheless, it is still able to fulfill all your digital lifestyle needs such as e-mail, Internet browsing and social network. If you are really desperate for a smartphone but not able or unwilling to pay for higher price tag, this device is catered for you.
Category 2: One V
Even though I can’t deny that Sony Xperia Sola is the clear winner in the RM 600 to RM 1,000 category based on the criteria that we have touched in this shootout, my personal choice goes to the HTC One V. Despite having the same RM 999 price tag as the dual-core equipped Xperia Sola, I’m more in favor of One V’s brushed metal unibody design and its HTC Sense user interface.
In addition to that, One V also comes with Android 4.0 out of the box although frankly speaking, it is just a matter of time before Xperia Sola receives it as well. Tough decision indeed but for now, I’m sticking with HTC One V as my personal choice.
Category 3: Huawei Honor
In the RM 1,000 to RM 1,999 category, my personal verdict goes to the Huawei Honor mainly due to its RM 1,099 price tag and high capacity battery. While the Honor is certainly not as power packed as the dual-core equipped Sony Xperia P but its single-core 1.40GHz processor is not too shabby as well and you can’t really argue about Honor’s humongous 1,930mAh battery versus Xperia P’s rather puny 1,305mAh battery.
Category 4: HTC One X
It is certainly hard to choose between the two devices in our high-end category since their performance and features are almost identical to each other but if you ask me, the HTC One X is my personal choice. Just like the HTC One V earlier, HTC One X’s unibody design and its HTC Sense user interface played important role in determining my verdict but other than that, I’m also in favour of One X’s Super LCD 2 display which I felt has more vibrant colors than the Samsung Galaxy S III’s Super AMOLED display.