Vector 4: Brian Klug compares Apples to Androids

Vector is a new Mobile Nations podcast that takes the most important topics in technology today, focuses on them from interesting angles, and then discusses the hell out of them. On today's episode, Brian Klug of AnandTech talks to Rene about the relative strengths and weaknesses of iOS and Android, including specs, battery life, interface, and more, including the new Nexus 7 and Moto X (with wood veneer!). Warning: Brian is super nerdy, and super critical, so take a deep breath, open Wikipedia, and hit play!

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Vector 4: Brian Klug compares Apples to Androids

49 Comments

I'm not a fan of the IPhone. At all. But I do enjoy the Macbook pro retina and will be picking up the iPad 5 this Christmas. Android all the way on phones though!

Posted via the Android Central App on my Note 2

same here but i enjoy android on phones and tablet but will pick up macbook pro when the new retina is released.

There's also the Chromebook Pixel you know? Apple had a big impact in the industry... Once Apple gets to the average consumer, their pretty much slaves. If you ask someone with an iPhone what's the best phone out right now (spec-wise), most of them would say iPhone 5.

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Is this going up on stitcher? I'm on the mobile app and can't listen to this via the android central app.

Posted via Android Central App

Seriously none of the links posted in this article are working for me. Anyone else having this issue?

Posted via Android Central App

The HTML5 player doesn't play nicely with Firefox, but the download directly link should work in any browser.

No need to be rude, though :(

Are you kidding me? Klug is the best! And I find Rene to be fair and balanced.

Don't know if we are nerds, but certainly we are phone enthusiasts, if you are not willing to take the time and help a link work, why even bother coming to the site?

Just because you limited yourself to one ecosystem, you dismissed two of the most knowledgeable people in the tech reporting field?!

Shame, I have a ipad 2, asus infinity, a nook color, nexus 7, a droid bionic and my laptop is a Windows machine.

And guess what, I enjoy all of them! And this android versus x is fraking stupid. Time for you to leave the Frackville and enjoy the fruits of all ecosystems.

Posted via Android Central App

Ok really I'm not understanding everybody's hate on the Tegra3 in my Nexus 7. Seriously. Games play great, app performance is far more than adequate... what on Earth is so wrong with the Tegra3? Every time I hear any of us nerds talking about the new N7 they're like "ZOMG and thank God it's not a Tegra 3! What a POS!"

Confused... ?

+1 on your comment.

Personally my N7 1.0 is still my goto device and I have zero issues with it, especially now after the 4.3 update. I'm hanging on to this one for another year, just don't see a need to replace yet.

Although if you recall from last year, its the same song pretty much.

"Thank god the Nexus will come with the Tegra3! The Tegra2 sucks!"

Posted via Android Central App

Great point. I just find it odd that here we are listening to these guys talk about the point of diminishing returns when it comes to CPUs and GPUs getter better, and then they're slamming the Tegra3. A CPU only needs to not get in my way for a few years. That's all we need in tablets and phones. Make the CPU fast enough to not bog me down when I'm trying to do whatever I want on the device, and I'm good for years!

Of course, "whatever I want" is relative to each person, but really? How much horsepower is too much horsepower in a device that clearly has its limits for other reasons? Sure, there's probably one guy out there who is trying to do CAD with a WACOM thing hacked into his tablet. He could probably use more RAM and CPU cores. But that's retarded.

Agreed as well.

There was some validity to taking a piss at the Tegra2 as they billed it as a multimedia powerhouse, then released it without NEON support so it was incapable of doing hardware playback of hi res mp4 video. Other than that, it worked fine.

The Tegra3 on the N7 seems to work just fine though. Admittedly, the S4 processor in my GSIII phone (out about the same time) seems to render webpages slightly faster, but that's the only real difference I can tell between the two in real world usage.

People just like to complain about things. Once something takes hold it is a self-reinforcing repetition... bloggers like to repeat those complaints so that they appear to be topical in their blogs, and then blog readers repeat the same complaints so they can appear to be "in the know."

-Suntan

Because it's not the newest thing? (I also have the old Nexus 7 and have zero issues with it, and no lag I've ever seen)

I completely agree. Before purchasing the 2013 Nexus 7, I was seriously considering buying a used 2012 version off of Craigslist. It's not a bad tablet, all of a sudden; and the Tegra 3 can certainly hold its own.

Posted via Android Central App

You're right. It's not a bad tablet all of a sudden. It's been bad for a while now, IMO. I'm definitely not one to dismiss a device for old specs, but I will for bad performance. Heck, the new Nexus 7 has last year's processor and I'm okay with that.

My Nexus 7 has been really slow lately. Wiping my entire device before installing 4.3 barely helped, if at all. It's smooth right after it boots up, until I start browsing the web for a little while. Then it randomly freezes up for a second or two sometimes, it lags, nothing stays open in the background, and how it responds to touch just doesn't feel right.

If the new Nexus 7 was just faster at opening apps and web pages, I'd be perfectly fine with my current one. It's the performance issues that make me want to upgrade.

When you see so many people who do not have your same issues, though, surely you have to concede the possibility that the problem lies not in the tablet hardware, but in something you have done to the software. Maybe the problem is caused by an app you have installed that is badly coded and is chewing up processor time in the background? Or maybe it is a hardware defect causing the problem. All I can do from here is guess.

But you can't make a blanket statement that all N7 1.0 tablets are crap just because you have a problem with yours.

You're absolutely correct, but we live in a consumerist culture where designed obsolescence is a factor in just about every consumer product on the shelves. If it' not the newest thing, it's crap.

I find it hard to believe you have never seen a stutter or lag on your N7. You must have nothing installed on it.

The issue with stutter on the N7 1.0 was not "how much" was installed on it, but constantly installing and uninstalling, or modifying the data on the internal storage a lot, which could be caused by certain apps.

The lag issue was due to the lack of support for the Trim command, which was a big oversight IMO, but that meant that only certain usage cases developed the problem and it was not something that *all* N7 users experienced. Android 4.3 should have resolved this issue.

My hypothesis:

Tegra 3 was alright, but not without it's own set of issues. First things that comes to mind was the single-channel memory controller is a huge botttleneck, then the storage controller isn't that great, followed by a GPU thats just ok unless you program specifically for it, followed by a 4+1 core setup that just was cool in theory, but was average in practice. Then once you take into account nexus driver support and the fact that nvidia tends to charge alot for its products, I can totally see how qualcomm wound up in this years 7. Then there is the timing issue. Even if they wanted to roll Tegra 4, seeing as how there aren't any other products with it, you can't help but wonder if its late.

All that said, I feel it was the best thing we had at the time and totally fit the job.

I agree with all of your points. And in usability, none of these matter that much because the CPU/GPU are not getting in the way of usage. It could be powered by a friggin gerbil for all I care - just don't let that gerbil get in the way of me pulling up a map. Or checking email. Or entertaining the kids with a game.

The cost argument makes sense, too - and I'm absolutely not arguing any of the reasons that they went with Qualcomm for the new N7. I'm arguing the people who want us consumers to believe that the old N7 is crap now. It wasn't crap before, and it's not crap now.

Your absolutely right. Even though the new one is out, the previous one still holds its own. I kinda liken it to comparing the iPad 2 to the iPad 3/4. Not the absolute best, but still very good

Just a couple of corrections:

1) the big.LITTLE CPU (4+1) setup was for better battery life, not performance.
2) The nVidia Shield is powered by the Tegra 4, so there are devices on the market with that chip.

I agree with you on everything else. You have to remember though that, even though you did have to program specifically for it, when the Tegra 2 first came out the stuff that could be done on a Tegra GPU were things that no other mobile graphics chip supported. I think that race has started to balance out a bit, now, and nVidia is losing some of their edge in that department.

"Then once you take into account nexus driver support and the fact that nvidia tends to charge alot for its products, I can totally see how qualcomm wound up in this years 7."

Nvidia plays ball when it comes to driver support. Qualcomm not so much. JBQ quit AOSP because of how stubborn Qualcomm is.

That said, it's pretty easy to see that Qualcomm was their only real choice at the time for NN7.

Interesting discussion. Glad I listened even though lots of acronyms and (I think?) chip names zoomed way over my head.

The "do benchmarks matter?" debate seems a very close analogue to the "should we have high-stakes testing?" debate in education. Both are deeply dependent on what we're testing, how we're testing, what decisions the results of those tests are driving, and how to deal with cheating.

Posted via Android Central App

I just got the Note 8.0 and it is so fast and fluid and I love the larger screen...use to have the galaxy tab 2 7.0 and this is so much nicer. Even the camera is pretty good. I compared the new Nexus 7 with the Note 8 for about 30 minutes at Best Buy and decided on the Note 8.0 because of the size, the thinness, fluid transitions.

This guy Rene Ritchie is a moron! It's hard to listen to someone so obviously biased, though he is trying to hide the fact and I can imagine he thinks that he is being really "clever".

Everybody is biased. You're statement above just shows a different bias (and your name calling and personal attacks makes it a pretty disappointing one).

While you might not like my opinions on everything, I've owned at least one Android device since the G1, loved the Nexus One, and currently have an N7 (2012) and N4. I like the HTC One a lot as well, and will probably pass on the Moto X to get the GPe edition.

That's the power of Android, and it comes at a price. I can love some devices and not others, and I can understand that every benefit comes at a cost. 

For some people, the frustrating lack of functionality in iOS makes Android a much better option. For other people, the frustrating interface issues with Android make iOS a better option. Likewise, within Android, there are tradeoffs between even the major flagship devices.

I'm not clever because I give an honest opinion based on my experience, which when it comes to smartphones goes back to the Treo 600. I'm clever because I don't have to be a dick in comments.

Join me, would you? :)

I stand by my assessment based on your weighted questions and the fact that you have owned at least one android device doesn't change that. I apologise for calling you a moron, I just couldn't think of a nicer way of saying what I was feeling, which is a reflection on myself. No worse than being called a dick, but that was in retaliation I suppose!
In truth I am really disappointed that this whole apple vs android nonsense ever started and I hate to see it perpetuated in any way. Again I apologise for insulting you.

Lol. Well put, Rene. You're correct that everyone has some level of bias, but I have always found you to be fair in your assessments, even if I didn't agree with them 100%. And you prove your class and cleverness every time you respond to someone like this :)

In fairness admonishing someone for name calling and then indulging in name calling yourself is hypercritical and neither classy nor clever.

And what do you mean by "someone like this" if you don't mind me asking? :-)

On placebo battery saving, GPS is only activated when you use a service which calls for it... But 'Google Now' calls for GPS in the background constantly. How else does it know what you're doing and where you're going before you know, yourself?

Well, I don't know about constantly, but certainly more often than GPS would be pinged otherwise. It's probably like a check every 5 minutes or so.

And I don't know that GPS within itself is a huge battery drain, since it's not having to transmit anything, which is usually where your radios suck down juice. I could be wrong on that one, though. I welcome anyone with more detailed knowledge to correct me.

For anyone who doesn't know how GPS works:

GPS satellites constantly transmit a tiny packet of data which contains the exact time that the data was transmitted and the geo-stationary position of the satellite. The GPS receiver on your phone receives this packet, compares the time stored in the packet against the current time on the phone, and then does some math to determine how for away the satellite is based on the known speed at which radio waves travel. You're really never "communicating" with GPS satellites, only "listening". By getting packets from three of more satellites, your GPS chip can determine where you are in relation to the satellites. So, *just* getting a GPS location fix only takes a few seconds, requires zero transmission, and doesn't involve a lot of computing.

In my own experience, I don't see any significant difference in battery life between leaving the GPS radio turned on all the time, or turning it off.

And, just to clarify, I meant I could be wrong about GPS not sucking down much juice. I know it doesn't have to transmit anything. I worded that very badly :)

By 'constantly', I didn't mean non-stop, even though that is pretty much the definition. Maybe I should have used a different choice of words.

Anyhow, we really don't know how often Google Now calls for GPS but I can say it's enough, based on the fact that my battery life went to shit when I started using Google Now on my last phone. And I had most cards turned off. When I got rid of Google Now, the battery life went back to normal.

Of course there are several different variables so everyone's real world experience can be slightly different. Different hardware, different connections like wifi hotspots, signal strength, etc. I drive around a lot during the work day so I'm sure it hit my battery harder than it would hit a stationary person who's usually connected to wifi.

Speaking about the general smartphone user, any given person could have granted permission for any number of apps to use gps. Sometimes apps they don't actively use, but pull gps data in the background. This can really add up. For some of them, turning off gps will make a noticeable difference in their battery life.

So, even though in some cases keeping gps turned on probably doesn't affect a given persons battery life much at all, that generalization can't be made when talking about smartphone users in general.

I stand by my assessment based on your weighted questions and the fact that you have owned at least one android device doesn't change that. I apologise for calling you a moron, I just couldn't think of a nicer way of saying what I was feeling, which is a reflection on myself. No worse than being called a dick, but that was in retaliation I suppose!
In truth I am really disappointed that this whole apple vs android nonsense ever started and I hate to see it perpetuated in any way. Again I apologise for insulting you.