Wall of Androids

It's high time we talk about the way we act and represent ourselves, both here at Android Central and across the intertubes.  Cruise through any smartphone forums or blog comments, and you'll soon see a common theme.  We like to argue, sometimes to the point of acting the fool.  I'll admit -- I can get a bit snarky, and have probably caused an admin or two more trouble than I should, so I'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular.  But I can bet that anytime I'm reading a story about LTE, I'll see people digging about price or downtime.  Or if it's about the EVO 3D, I'll read how Sprint's coverage "sucks."  I won't even get started on what a T-Mobile- or AT&T-based story turns into.  Well, here's a hint:

We're all wrong.

We love to interact with you guys (yet sometimes we're so busy we don't have time to), and we get the same questions quite a bit -- is X phone better than Y, or should I switch to carrier Z?  Well, there is no answer to that.  What works best for me, isn't going to work best for you.  If that were true, Google would be selling 400,000 copies of the Nexus S per day, and T-Mobile's tiny network would assplode.  Yes, I know it has no SD card slot, it's not HSPA+, has no notification light, and is made of "cheap feeling" plastic.  But I don't care -- it's what I like.  Just like you enjoy your Evo 4G on Sprint.  Or your Thunderbolt on Verizon, or your Atrix 4G on AT&T.  Different strokes for different folks and all that. 

We're lucky here because we get to play with a lot of new Android phones, and we have all learned just why there are so many different makes and models.  Choice.  There's something for everyone, and none of the choices are wrong.  In fact, maybe none of the Android choices are for you, and that's OK.  My point is, I can't decide what works best for you -- whether it be the best network, the best phone, or the best tablet.  We're here to guide as best we can with device reviews, talk about apps, and even news about bugs and problems, but in the end you'll figure out what seems best for you, and that's what counts.  So rock that Backflip or Droid Charge with pride, it's all good.


Reader comments

Editorial: My dog's better than your dog -- but only to me


1st... very well written, Jerry. I hope that some of those people you're talking about read this and finally get it

They will read it, understand it, and within a week; forget it.

I have seen similar posts on auto forums (my Chevy is better than your Ford and someone's Dodge is better than both), on gun forums (my Sig is better than your H&K and someone's Glock is supposedly better than all). I guess it is the nature of the beast. People will usually (no always) state their "dog" is better than your dog.

One reason is they don't want to admit they purchased an item that does not hold up to what they expected.

along with it taking different strokes to run the world, you also have to take the good and take the bad, there you have, the facts of life.

thanks for taking time to let some people know that what you have is good for you, but maybe not me...

Untrue. My dog is clearly, objectively, better than yours. I can support this conclusion with data, in which I can show that my dog turns the awesome up to 11.

As for my smartphone: I like it as well.

Good article.

I'm visiting my Dad right now and yesterday I was talking to my family here about the Evo 3D. I'm trying to convince my Dad to get it for me (Poor college kid) and I'm talking about it a lot. I showed it to him and he thinks it's cool, but expensive and my sister wants it. I showed my stepmother too, but she just wasn't into it. We all have the Hero and we pretty much got it right before it started hitting bargain bins. My Dad and Stepmother are still running 1.5 because there is no OTA update like in later updates. They both hate the Hero because it's so slow and whatever. It's really not for them.

I showed my stepmother the Evo 3D, but it's still not the right thing for her. She likes the iPhone and I agree that it is more her style. Now, I'll never have an iPhone, but I'll admit that Android isn't for everyone.

Choice is the one constant in human existence....

New born babies all the way to old people have that given right, and its the only one no one can take away.
Don't get mad when people choose or choose not to exercise this GOD given right.
And lastly, don't get mad when your choices lead you one place and someone else's choices leads them somewhere else.

Amen brotha!

I also think a Nexus phone with T-Mobile is the bees knees. And I also think that Verizon is a soulless money sucking vampire disguised as a carrier. Yet I'm totally fine with my mom having a plan with them. Why? Because it's the only carrier that has service where she works 8 hours a day. Same for my dad, who has an iPhone. Androids are better imo but he would get a stroke if he tried to use one. The iPhone is clearly a better choice for him.

I think everyone has different needs and limitations, and the best phone for them will depend on their circumstances.

Are some phones objectively better than others? Yes. Our job as tech enthusiasts is to point out those subtle differences in specs or plans and make it clear for the rest of the people who read these blogs and our comments. I have nothing against healthy debate of which phone has better features or performance.

What I do have a problem with is when we as Android fans become rabid fanboys, whether it's phone fans, carrier fans, or even operating system fans. It's petty and small minded. Not everyone has the exact same circumstances as you. And until you realize that and relax, anyone that blankly states that their phone/carrier/OS is absolutely the best just sounds immature and ignorant, like all the other fanboys we despise. Don't turn our forums and blogs into shouting contests. There are plenty of phones and intertubes for everyone to get along.

So let's start acting like we are the better guys with the better phones. Eventually people will figure it out when they are given accurate and complete information. Thank You Jerry, awesome post.

Well, I don't know what you are talking about... I have the Evo 3D, which is clearly the best phone over anything else due to come out this year... And then there is everything else.

OK, I'm just playin...LOL! I may have said an offensive thing or two (But mostly pointed toward iOS folk) but, I feel like it is my personal duty at times to shoot down ignorance when I see it being spread and touted as fact. I cannot let such things stand.

Jerry is right of course... As Android fans and owners, we shouldn't be shooting one another down because of the device we chose or prefer. That is the beauty of Android. It offers choice because there is no such thing as one size fits all. Android offers us choice of Network, screen size, software Keyboard, hardware keyboard, 4G technology, screen technology, Processor technology, UI customization and so much more. We, as Android users should be able to discuss those differences and preferences without being torn apart.

While I agree in general, I have to point out that Manufacturers and Carriers EARN their reputations by their long term history of actions, in-action, and policies, and they should expect to live with the reputation they worked hard (or not hard enough) to build.

Without this understanding of carrier and manufacturer responsibility and reputation there can be no such thing as smart shopping, no basis for product comparisons, no need for AC, and no need for forums.

Each new baby born gets equal rights and equal respect.

But phones and devices are saddled with the reputations of their makers and carriers. This is not UNFAIR, it is precisely what both makers and carriers want and strive for. We should grant them their wishes.

That is true, but a lot of the actions (especially ones that we here generally perceive as negative) that lead to the carriers/manufactures reputations simply don't matter to some people. To me, Motorola's thankfully abandoned bootloader-locking policy is really unattractive and I considered it a pretty big strike against Motol's reputation. Same goes for Apple's draconian app store policies. I've certainly talked a fair amount of shit about those things here in the comments and in personal conversations, but to a lot of people, those things don't affect the companies' reputations at all because they are not relevant to their personal experiences with the devices. The only thing I think can really be universally applied is customer service, and even that doesn't really generalize. I've had nothing but great experiences with AT&T customer service since 2003, but I hear horror stories from other people that would scare me off if I weren't already a satisfied customer.

I agree that most things that make our blood boil on a tech blog don't matter to most users. But it still counts. Sure maybe the average consumer doesn't care about locked bootloaders and froyos and gingerbreads and ice creams. But we care. And when those average consumers are looking for advice about a smartphone who do they ask? They ask their tech savvy friends (that's us).

On numerous occasions I have talked people into and out of certain phones and operating systems. Verizon or Apple might spend billions on advertising and flashy in store displays. But when it really counts, consumers ask their friends who know about technology, and they listen to us more than Verizon or Apple. So maybe consumers don't care, but we do, and consumers trust our opinions, so these small changes make a big difference.

That is why I own a new Sensation on the Nations fastest HSPA+ Network (T-Mobile) and a Thunderbolt on the fastest and newest 4G market (Verizon).
PS My T-Mobile HSPA+ Network gets faster daily. During the heat of the day I'm getting over 9.5 MB down and around 3.2 MB up. That is pretty damn fast for any Network.

Good article, I basically agree with it, as there are things like a camera phone which I never use on my phone, ever, and I could care less how inferior a phone's camera is--while other people would. Still, I do think there are some things which are just "wrong" regardless of whether or not certain people care.

The lack of a notification light is one of those (although, thankfully, the NoLED app helps mitigate that). Other people may not care, but it ought to be there whether they care or not. It's totally ridiculous that I should have to "wake up" my phone just to know that someone tried to call, text, email etc. That's very basic & fundamental--phones are supposed to alert you that someone has tried to contact you. If the phone, while powered on, is sitting there lifeless like an amoeba blob that you have to wake up to see that you missed a call, that's just wrong, no matter who doesn't care. (Again, thankfully the NoLED app helps take care of that.)

Much of what's wrong with an iPhone is like that, too. It was just plain wrong that it didn't have copy & paste (it does now of course), irrespective of who said "I don't care" at the time it STILL should've had it. A smartphone is not a smartphone if it doesn't have copy & paste, I don't care who says they don't care about the feature. (Thus, to me, the initial Windows 7 platform which didn't have copy-paste was not a "legitimate" platform period because of that one thing.) Ditto the non-replaceable battery--regardless if 85% of the people "don't care" whether or not they can change the battery, you still ought to be able to. If I can buy a $5 Family Dollar watch that has user-replaceable batteries, then a $200-400 phone sure as heck ought to be that way. Same goes with having to use iTunes with everything you do with it.

In like manner, it was inferior design, period, that made my Samsung Captivate a total head-case with its GPS. I tried EVERYTHING articles & forum posters etc told me, and no matter--it took FOREVER to obtain a fix on where I was and could lose that fix in no time--and take forever to get it back. Even if someone who owns a Captivate never uses the GPS and so "doesn't care," it STILL ought to do a better job than that anyway.

Perfect example of differences...

To me, there is nothing *stupider* than a notification light. I have no desire to keep checking and staring at my phone all day. What is needed is a repeating *audible* reminder that you missed something. Why Android hasn't figured this out yet, I will never understand. Even my ancient digital pager does it.

Thankfully, there are apps that can do it. Not perfectly, but it beats the alternatives- missing everything important, or obsessively looking for a damn light all day long.

I somewhat agree. The main thing is this--without a notification light or audible alert etc, SOMETHING, your phone's full LCD screen has to be fully "awake" for you to know anything. The idea is supposed to be that you can just leave your phone clipped on your hip or laying on your desk etc and you'd STILL know if someone has called. Too many current phones, out of box, operate in such a way that you have to be USING the phone just to know that you missed a call etc, and that's just ridiculous.

What might be right for you, may not be right for some! Exactly I agree but may I also suggest getting rid of the thumbs up, thumbs down rating. I believe that starts some friction, also. * I'm happy* !

This is one of the reasons I love Android. Everyone can choose the phone they want unlike iPhone where there's only one choice. Instead of bashing our Android brethren, embrace them.

Well well said. I've always said that the "problem" is that we all have different criteria for what's best and, even when we're using the same criteria, we weight it differently. For instance, which is better, raw computing power, long battery life, or pocketability? Each one pushes in a somewhat different direction.
As others have said, it's one of the things I like about Android: It's not a "one size fits all" or worse a "we'll tell you what you should like" "solution." It's very flexible framework.

My whole family wife son and me are on Android because that's what I like thank god they don't care about apple. The wife has the LG G2X T-mobile the kid has the LG Optimus V Virgin mobile I have the HTC EVO 3D Sprint.

As with everything from electronics to clothing what is the best is what you choose to be the best until you change your mind about it. Then that will be the best.

but Jerry how do really feel about the soon to be greatest Android phone ever the Droid Bionic? not even a nexus can touch that.

Love this editorial, but I think the problem is too much choice. Research shows that people become confused, anxious, and depressed when presented with too much choice. Our brains have trouble negotiating more than 3-5 choices.

You can alleviate this as an individual by starting with the OS choice> manufacturer> model.

While more than five choices (android models) is probably too much, only one choice (ahem iphone) or two choices (dem vs rep) is not enough.

The four-choice carrier market here in the US works ok--better than perhaps somewhere like australia where Telstra reigns and has relegated their competitors to less competitive frequency bands.

Thank you for this post. I join AC to get updates on news thing in the world of Android, but I shake my head at many of the comments. We are in a technological world that our parents could only dream about and instead of being thankful that our world has gotten much smaller, many people use it as an excuse to become trolls and idiots. Woo-Sahhhh!

Awesome article! Quite overdue too. I'm still very pleased with my MyTouch 3G Slide and not giving the 4G Slide or any higher-end phone a thought. Why? Because the 3G Slide with its lower-end feature set has done EVERYTHING I have needed it to do in the months I have had it.

I hope you all find the device that handles everything you throw at it, be it an HTC Sensation, Droid Bionic, Samsung Replenish, LG Optimus One or anything in between.

I agree 100%.. but some people have nothing going on in their lives so arguing on blogs make for a fun time for them.. I usually just scroll on by those comments...

Beautifully written. Although I will admit that since switching to sprint I do miss tmobile 3g coverage :/

This article should pop up every time someone logs onto these forums. I am really disappointed about how people have been conducting themselves lately. I enjoy reading about all different types of phones and gadgets just to educate myself. We all have opinions and choices and that is as it should be. But if I post how much I love my EVO 3D, it is just downright rude and quite honestly makes me mad (even though I know the person is just trying to start a "fight) when I get the inevitable "You must be an idiot who came from a crappy phone and don't know any better" response. Ummm...I know what I like and what works well for ME. I came from an EVO 4G and passed it on to my husband when I got my 3D. If you have a Nexus and enjoy the "pure" Google experience, great! If you prefer Verizon and your Thunderbolt, fantastic! I am glad that there are lots of different phones and carriers so that there is something for everyone. But please, respect other peoples' choices.

Very nice article. I agree with one of the readers earlier who said this should pop up everytime someone comes to a site. I read several forums and blogs and yet this is not the first time someone has mentioned this and I've posted about it myself but it needs to be said. Not only between android fans but phone fans period. I have friends and co-workers with Iphones and how I don't bash the phone we have all agreed it is not the phone for me. What I can't stand is to read arguments about this phone is better and this carrier is better. Better for who? The only thing that is true is whatever phone and carrier you have is best for you so don't claim what is best for you is best overall.


Thank you for posting this Jerry!! I've been saying this in posts since my BB days. Whenever I see a "What phone should I get" post I always tell them that that can't be answered by anyone but themselves. I know we all love our phones so much that sometimes we want to defend it to teh death :p

I have a friend that always says to me "My phone is the best phone out there!" I always reply with "To you that may be true but you can't say that for everyone." He never wants to hear it for some reason.

This is the dumbest thing I've ever read on the internet. Of course the Evo 3D is the best thing since sliced bread and the microprocessor. Anyone that thinks otherwise is a ridiculous fool straight out of Arthur's Court!! What you all need to realize is that of course you're wrong, and I'm not, and the sooner we can all come to this understanding the sooner we can go on with showing TIPB what utter followers they are. </sarcasm>

Good post Jerry.

Thanks Jerry, spot on.
It is not what is the best, its about what is best for ones self. I don't slam i OS or the hardware it is attached to.
I don't prefer a BMW over a Vega, my Toyota truck serves me well.
I prefer the openness of Android, and being a cheap skate, I love the free apps in the market.
When I bought my new phone, I considered Apple, although briefly, but it did not offer the options I was comfortable with. I could have waited for the Samsung G2 to hit the market, but why? I got the Samsung Charge (and am tickled I did). Firstly, because I love Droid, my first phone was the original Droid. I don't require 1080 out or HDMI, but I did want 4g, and because my eyes aren't what they used to be, I wanted a larger display. I don't need the biggest, baddest phone on the street, I need a phone I can work with and is user friendly.
This constant bickering of who is better, Apple or Android is stale. Both systems have their pros and cons, every handset is different. The important thing is, what works best for you?

Short version: "Be Nice"

--Proudly rocking Droid Charge (per Jerry's instruction) in TN, haha

My 2nd post, sorry if I'm overdoing it.

I somewhat agree with the article, but I also somewhat disagree. For one, some things ARE inferior, period, it does not matter if someone else "doesn't care." To wit: obviously in terms of overall power & capability, a flip-phone is inferior to a smartphone. That's just a fact, you can say "not for how I use it" all you want to, and it doesn't make someone who prefers a flip-phone an "idiot," but it's just a FACT--in terms of overall functionality, flip-phone is inferior, period.

In like manner, maybe all the people who buy into that whole Apple nonsense "don't care" that you can't change the battery yourself, but it is a FACT that being unable to change the battery yourself is an inferior design. And frankly, on some level, maybe that certain people "don't care" makes it arguably the case that, frankly, some people ARE being idiots for allowing their apathy to cause the rest of us who DO care to have to tolerate an inferior design.

Second, I think it's fun to have these debates at times, even when they can turn into arguments--up to a point, anyway. As one example, I think it's just nuts for people to seriously factor a phone's APPEARANCE and for it to be such a big deal that manufacturers even make it a priority, even if it spoils the functionality of the device. I used to spare no words in saying that I thought people who bought Motorola Razr phones were "idiots"--and yes, I PROUDLY used that word--since they seemed to buy them almost exclusively based on how "pretty" they were. It may be "what matters to me," frankly--I don't care, it's still silly to buy a phone based on its looks, and I won't hesitate to say this. A phone is a PHONE, not a woman in a bikini at the pool--WHO CARES what it LOOKS like?

I think it's ESPECIALLY worthwhile to do so if you think such preferences on the part of other persons is making it hard to get the sort of phone YOU like. For instance, I would love a modern MP3 player which has a black & white screen instead of a color one, so I can see it in the bright daylight without having to cup my hand around it. But because people demanded their MP3 players also had to play video clips & they wanted the displays to be "pretty," I can't find such a player anymore. (Again with buying a product based on its looks.) So I'm going to state my opinion that having a "pretty" display instead of a "legible" one is, well, an idiotic point of view, I could care less what someone else thinks.

Also, the iPod Shuffle not having a display--and people buy that thing? Sorry, but I do think that's stupid. I mean come on--it's one thing to allow for some variances in "what matters to you doesn't matter to me," but gee whiz--designing a player that doesn't even display the song that's playing? What next, are we going to design a car with no steering wheel and no speedometer but then stand up for people who buy it because "what matters to you may not matter to them?" Oh come on.