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The Verge: The Best Smartphone Money Can Buy


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#1 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 11 2014 - 08:31 AM

Very interesting read


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#2 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 11 2014 - 08:50 AM

It's just someone's opinion based on what matters to him, nothing more.  The comments about the Samsung "plasticky" case have never mattered to me, because I NEVER use a phone "naked".  I ALWAYS put it in a TPU/plastic case, which completely changes the feel.



#3 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 11 2014 - 11:44 AM

Robert,

 

I do agree -- and should have included in the first post -- that this is one

person's opinion.

 

I also put my Samsung android in a really nice case which gives it a

completely different feel.


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#4 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 11 2014 - 12:24 PM

Meh, regardless of who won I keep remembering that in a peeing contest everyone gets wet and they all stink. I don't think crowning a best here is good for anyone except Verge's hit count and fanboy trash talking.

With regards to the comments above, I agree about the subjective vs objective scoring, but regardless of how you feel about the feel of the materials you can't ignore the actual quality of the materials used. Apple clearly values using high quality components where others do not and that adds to the BOM. Even if you don't see it, those are still there.

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#5 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 11 2014 - 01:52 PM

Even if you don't see it, those are still there.

If you don't see it or feel it, and it doesn't affect use of the phone, it means nothing.



#6 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 11 2014 - 04:56 PM

Clearly we disagree. If my Maserati goes 185, and I lost my license, now I don't drive, it's still a supercar.

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#7 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 11 2014 - 06:28 PM

I have no idea what analogy you're trying to make.  If an iphone is a Maserati, then a Galaxy s5 is a Lamborghini.  IOW, at least as much a "supercar" under the hood.  Comments about the case are analogous to commenting about the looks of the car.



#8 of 20 Hanson

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Posted June 12 2014 - 05:01 AM

Regardless of how you feel about the feel of the materials you can't ignore the actual quality of the materials used. Apple clearly values using high quality components where others do not and that adds to the BOM.

 

And that's why it costs more to build the iPhone 5S than the Galaxy S5.  Oh, wait...

 

Teardown_Galaxy_S5_parts_cost_21_more_than_for_iPhone_5S



#9 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 12 2014 - 06:34 AM

I have no idea what analogy you're trying to make.  If an iphone is a Maserati, then a Galaxy s5 is a Lamborghini.  IOW, at least as much a "supercar" under the hood.  Comments about the case are analogous to commenting about the looks of the car.


I'm not comparing one supercar to another. I'm saying (and forgive the confusing use of Joe Walsh lyrics above) is that even if you don't use a particular aspect of a product that doesn't make it any less valuable or useful for that purpose to others. It might be useless to YOU but the intrinsic value is still there. Waving them off because you personally don't take advantage of it seems counterproductive to me. As I said, we disagree here. I appreciate fine materials engineering and what it is costing Apple to use state of the art production techniques, others don't but the costs are still what they are.

Hanson, good point, I hadn't actually compared the S5s costs, but note that the S5 is behind the HTC in Verge's rankings. What's the cost difference between those two? This is kinda my point tho, the BOM costs aren't the only consideration, the holistic gestalt of a device consists of both objective and subjective features AND costs. What does it cost a vendor to design new materials engineering that nobody else has done before? What are they doing besides just integrating parts from thousands of vendors? Does the whole device match up components that well suited to each other and work together well, or do they put a top of the line engine on cheap wheels... Etc...

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#10 of 20 Hanson

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Posted June 12 2014 - 07:51 AM

The Verge has a hard on for Samsung bashing like many tech journalists who are self-styled aesthetes and design mavens. As I pointed out in the Surface 3 review, The Verge described the Surface Pro 3 as "thin and light" (one of the pluses) while the lighter and thinner Galaxy Note Pro was somehow "big and heavy" (a huge negative). There is zero objectivity when it comes to Samsung on The Verge.



#11 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 12 2014 - 09:11 AM

Thanks for the warning, Hanson.

 

Even I, being squarely in the Android camp (at the moment) was

trying to be fair when I presented that article for discussion.


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#12 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 12 2014 - 11:14 AM

Or, you know, it was two different writers comparing two similar devices that are aimed at being used very differently. The Note Pro is designed to be used handheld and like a tablet and MS is positioning the Surface as a laptop replacement.

The Verge has definitely dived in my opinion over the last year (in particular their front page is nearly unreadable and certainly there is no way to get just a simple list of their new stories like a firehose, Techmeme style. Aesthetes? Pshaw), but finding any over arching bias from them is pretty incredulous. Each of their writers has their preferences but that's the same the world over.

"Out with the laptop"
http://www.theverge....note-pro-review

"This tablet wants to replace your laptop"
http://www.theverge....ce-pro-3-review

Again, this is making my argument for me. Trying to crown a 'winner' in this realm is madness when the devices might look similar but have different design goals and completely opposite marketing strategies.

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#13 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 12 2014 - 12:05 PM

even if you don't use a particular aspect of a product that doesn't make it any less valuable or useful for that purpose to others. It might be useless to YOU but the intrinsic value is still there. Waving them off because you personally don't take advantage of it seems counterproductive to me. As I said, we disagree here.
 

I think you're contradicting yourself, Sam.  You say things have "intrinsic value" (actually, they don't.  They only have the value that people ascribe to them), but you also talk about how much "others"  value them.  You also complain about "waving off" things if they have no value to someone, yet you ignore the fact that the Verge writer does exactly the same thing (such as waving off a larger screen size, replaceable battery, etc.).



#14 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 12 2014 - 12:08 PM

So what you are saying is you don't believe that steel and glass have more intrinsic value than plastic?

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#15 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 12 2014 - 12:12 PM

So what you are saying is you don't believe that steel and glass have more intrinsic value than plastic?

Steel and glass have more value than plastic if people value them more than plastic.  There's NOTHING "intrinsic" about it.  Steel isn't even necessarily preferable from an objective material standpoint.  Quote from the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers):

 

Polymer science has advanced to the point where vendors can compound a variety of plastic materials with specific fillers and reinforcements that provide a tremendous amount of structural integrity. Plastic can be as strong as metal with proper material selection paired with design optimization, and weigh far less.

 

This means that you're reduced to saying you like steel because it "looks or feels nicer", which is, of course, a purely subjective statement.  As for plastic vs glass, last time I looked, all the high end Android phones use Gorilla glass.

 

Even the "look and feel" aspect goes away once you put a case on a phone.  How much different does this:

 

41nudix3N0L.jpg

 

"look and feel" from this

 

13357_02.jpg



#16 of 20 Hanson

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Posted June 12 2014 - 12:15 PM

I think the biggest problem with the article is that is should be entitled, "The Best Smartphone in David Pierce's Opinion". And yes, he really does fancy himself an aesthete. There are other sites that poll their various writers for articles like this instead of making it all about one guy's opinion.



#17 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 12 2014 - 12:24 PM

Of course, the only meaningful poll is what people buy, not what some writer opines.

#18 of 20 Sam Posten

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Posted June 12 2014 - 06:38 PM

Huzzah, we all agree on those last two posts at least.

Robert: Talking about glass backs here not the fronts. I think we know where everyone stands and aren't going to change anyone's opinions.

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#19 of 20 RobertR

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Posted June 12 2014 - 06:59 PM

Robert: Talking about glass backs here not the fronts.

The same comments apply to glass concerning material properties vs. purely subjective preferences.



#20 of 20 Scott Merryfield

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Posted June 18 2014 - 10:48 AM

So, he rates the Moto X as an "8.0", and then rates the Droid Maxx, which is basically the same phone with a much better battery, as a "6.0"?  Um, I think I'll pass on this guy's opinions.

 

BTW, my wife has a Moto X and I have a Maxx, so I am quite familiar with both phones.






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