New Tool Tuesday: Which Smartphone?

A few weeks ago, Lucas dropped his iPhone. And because he doesn’t have a crazy smartphone flak jacket like I do (I have the incredibly awesome but super bulky Otterbox) the screen smashed to bits.

Lucky for him (or unlucky, maybe), the phone still works…it’s just very, very difficult to read the screen. Being the budget conscious people we are, he’s stuck waiting until we qualify for phone upgrades next month. (Yes, I know we could pay to have the screen replaced but it’s about $80.)

That means that I get to start my my every-two-year research project on what phone to get. We are iPhone people, and it would be tough to talk us out of just getting the latest and greatest version. But do we wait for the iPhone 5 in October? Do we get the iPhone 4 with more space? Do we make the switch to Droid?

Enter: Versus IO, a website I found first on Lifehacker. Versus IO lets you compare two smartphones head to head, and ranks them based on the number of checks in the “pro” column.

For example, I decided to compare the Apple iPhone 5 32G to the Droid Razr Maxx.

The website compares everything from screen size and operating system to camera and sound quality.

For example, the iPhone wins for OS updates, upload speeds and camera, but the Droid wins for battery power, screen size and an HDMI output. That means that even though the website thinks the iPhone is a better pick, I can rank it based on what really matters to me.

The only thing I wish were there is pricing — I would love to have this be complete one-stop shopping but as it is, if I think the iPhone is a better choice for features and then find out that this model is $400 more than the Droid, that would change my mind.

Overall, though, this is a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that can definitely help narrow things down when you’re smartphone shopping.



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  1. says

    I swear by my Otterbox iPhone cover. It’s worth the bulkiness to ensure the extra protection for an expensive purchase! I’ve had my iPhone for almost a year now and am very happy that I switched from the Droids. Good luck with the phone shopping.

  2. says

    I heard great things about the Samsung Galaxy S3, and comparing it side by side with the iphone, it really blows it out of the water… I do like the Apple interface though, and since I just paid a FORTUNE for my iPhone (I had to buy it unlocked by the factory in order for it to work here in the Philippines AND still have a warranty), so I’m still happy with it, but my husband still hasn’t jumped on the smartphone wagon…

  3. says

    this is EXACTLY what I needed right now! My iphone 4 just stopped working the other day. Everything is fine except I can’t make phone calls. Minor detail! So i’m debating whether to get a 4 for cheap, upgrade to the 4S, switch to Droid, or find an interim solution to tide me over until the 5 comes out. This will definitely help!

    I didn’t know they had released specs on the 5!

  4. says

    Dan did the same thing as Lucas and has been using his shattered phone since March! We’re waiting until the new phone comes out (projecting in October – we’ll see) and he’ll take my 4s and I’ll get the new phone. Are you on AT&T or Verizon? I have a 3GS Lucas could use, but it’s with AT&T. Dan refuses to take the time to switch it. (Of course, this is also the same person who rode around for 2 summers without air conditioning in his car — and it only took $120 to fix).

  5. says

    Katie, my son had a droid and the battery was awful. He actually went back to his old iPhone and just had the home button replaced and the screen replaced. Good as new for $75. He has never been happier

  6. says

    Cool! I’m going to share this with my husband and sons, who all have different smart phones. I still have a “dumb” phone that is almost 3 years old and I expect I’ll have to replace it any time now. Have you read Steve Jobs biography? It was fascinating. And I don’t own an “i” anything.

  7. says

    I have the Razr Maxx and seriously couldn’t be happier with it. Sure, the Droid OS (I’m running Icecream Sandwich) is not quite as “sleek” as iOS but the phone is very hardy and everything runs really well on it. My sister an iPhone (not sure which generation though) the week after I got the Razr Maxx and I can see a HUGE difference in the picture quality, with the Maxx coming out on top. Same for videos.

    The most important factor for me though is the battery life. I started out with the Galaxy Nexus & would suck that battery dry in about 3 hours – drove me crazy. My husband got the Razr Maxx at the same time I got the Galaxy Nexux & he was nice enough to trade with me after about a week since I use the “smartphone” parts much more often than he does. Only once in the 4 months that I’ve had the Razr Maxx have I gotten a low battery warning – and that was on a day that we were in the car for several hours and I played on the phone the whole time (without a car charger). Even then, I never got it past 25% battery life.

    Have fun picking!

  8. Amanda S. says

    Just in case you want to fix the screen for less $, there is an iphone repair place on East Colonial Drive. I have used it twice for screen repairs and once for other repairs. I think they only charge $30-35 for screen repair, but you could call and ask. Takes about 15 minutes or so. Their website is Never had a wait. Just popped in and 15 minutes later I was on my way.

    And I would definitely upgrade to the iPhone 5. 😉

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