As regular readers of this tome know, I've been and android advocate for quite some time. I have access to an android tablet, as well as two android phones, and I've used them in anger for quite a while now - which is why I feel qualified to make the following statement...
Android (as a phone operating system) is crap.
There - I've said it. Yes, it really is a big pile of pants now, so what has made me change my mind? Let me regale the story....
9 months ago I moved from a pay and go setup for my phone (at the time, a Sony Xperia Mini Pro android based setup) to a contract, and got a new phone as part of the deal, a Samsung Galaxy Ace. My wife, who moved onto a contract at the same time, chose to stick with Blackberry, and got a 9320.
In the last 9 months, I have sworn about lack of android updates for my phone. I have fought with a system that can sometimes take over a minute just to make a phone call. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to get voice dialing working, and to get a decent signal in some areas. In short, I was at the end of my tether.
To cap it all, I went to a medieval fair, and tried to take some pictures - now remember than my
Galaxy has a good camera, but it took so long to set the camera up that
I lost the shots - my wife on the other hand, had taken 5 shots using
her Blackberry, and pretty good they were too.
Last week in desperation, I tried putting my Sim into a battered old Blackberry 8250 that we had lying about the house, and the difference was astounding. My calls were clearer, I had more signal, making a call was measured in seconds (not minutes), and I could also voice dial whilst connected to a hands free headset. In short, this knackered old blackberry smart phone wiped the floor with my Samsung.
Don't get me wrong, not everything in the garden is Rosy. At the moment, I'm still having to use the Samsung as I need email access, and I can't get the Blackberry set up on Virgin for some reason, but it goes to show that as phones have progressed, sometimes android has not followed. You could blame this on inferior hardware (and you might have a point), but I believe that android has come too far, too fast - and the cracks are showing. At the end of the day, if even the most basic android phone can't compete with a knackered, water soaked old Blackberry on equal terms, then something is fundamentally wrong.
Yes, android has more apps, but apps can't save a platform. If a phone can't be used as a phone, then it's useless - phone manufacturers please note. I'm currently looking at getting a second hand virgin Blackberry to replace my android phone - because it works as a phone first, and a "smart phone" second - but does both jobs beautifully...