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Mid-afternoon yesterday, at the close of Mobile World Congress, several awards were announced. Of those awards, one of them sort of surprised me, as it did many others as well. At the Global Mobile Awards for 2011, Apple's iPhone 4 was dubbed “Best Mobile Device." The iPhone 4 originally launched on AT&T's network in late June of last year. Eight months after its release, it is still being named “best device” and taking home awards to a company that didn't even attend the event. So how is it that the iPhone still takes home the crown?

The iPhone 4's specifications – which are hard to directly compare due Apple's unwillingness to release technical info – aren't groundbreaking. They weren't groundbreaking when the device launched, save for the Retina display (326 ppi) and bringing on the front-facing camera revolution in the States. The display is tiny in comparison to many Android and Windows devices and with a non-replaceable battery, fixed internal memory, and a proprietary charging port, there were few improvements over the previous versions. It isn't likely these things are ever going to change, but my guess is the iPhone will remain popular for years to come.

Even the software has lost a lot of luster over the past year. Apple's iPhone operating system, or iOS, is starting to become dated among all of the other rapidly improving mobile platforms. It has an archaic and obtrusive notification system, a mediocre form of multitasking, and an overly bland, icon-only user interface. The one benefit to iOS is the 300,000+ applications in the App Store. To be honest though, that number is just a gimmick. Once you enter App Store, you will find hundreds and hundreds of duplicate applications and thousands of pointless, low-quality apps, much like other mobile application stores.

Up until last week, I wasn't a big fan of the iPhone. I had one before, but I was still too captivated by Android and the limitless customization options to worry about iOS. Then, I would have been up in arms over this award. After buying a Verizon iPhone 4 and giving it another go, my perspective has changed.

What it ultimately boils down to is quality. Quality in the experience you have when using the iPhone and the quality in the build of the hardware. Its beauty lies within its simplicity and the consistency you get out of using it. By consistency, I mean that in a week of use, the device has yet to slow down or show any lag, nothing has crashed on me, and I've experienced no random reboots. These issues don't really bug me anymore, but they exist on Android, more so than on iOS.

I've used a lot of Android devices (nearing 30) and none of the hardware compares to that of the iPhone. The only Android phone to date that I would even say comes close is the Nexus One (and its next of kin the Desire), but even it had cheaper aspects like the display, sporadic capacitive buttons, and multi-touch issues.

I expect a lashing from all the Android fans that will read this. Don't get me wrong, I love Android. I've been using it for a year and a half and I don't plan on stopping now. The software is undoubtedly more functional, more powerful, and more fun to use. But it isn't as polished or smooth as iOS. The same goes for hardware. More buttons allows for more functional use, but the hardware of Android devices varies and doesn't quite stand up to the quality of the iPhone.

The iPhone may have taken home the crown for MWC 2011, but if Apple doesn't bring the heat this year, an Android device may steal the "Best Mobile Device" title in 2012. The build of flagship Android devices is improving and specifications are undoubtedly surpassing those of the iPhone. It's tough to say how this year will pan out though. We've already seen several bizarre phones and the iPhone 5 still isn't here yet. Next year's title is up for grabs, which manufacturer and OS is going to step up to the challenge?


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97 Reactions to this post

"Is the iPhone still the best device after all this time?"


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Dylan Epling iphone 4 jailbreak is better,but android has a lot more features then a normal iphone 4 no jailbreak.
Jeff Ritter Of course it is and the android fanboys as usual can't stand it.
Harith Iman iPhone
Christopher Castano I'll take my multi-OS HTC HD2 over an iPhone ANY day.
Jason Mason HTC EVO all the way,once that EVO2 drop its game over once again
Joshua Light Until android improves battery life iOS wins.
Eric Kroh it never was...whats rated as the "best" anyways?
Gerardo Ortega Google HTC vs Apple lawsuit
Luis Montoya no..... It never was
Gerardo Ortega Apple is the one who copied HTC that's why they are in courts.
Michael Milkiewicz Take my Nexus one over the I phone. Apple has too much control. Prefer a phone I can change battery myself. Love android apps
Athier Mohammed no the iphone actualy has alot of probelms like frezzing during txts, shutingdown and not coming back one so its an ok phone on certan stand points and it has its cons
Joel Gomez It wasn't really a good device. Media loved it.despite of all lacking features people loved it because it was the first smartphone they ever had.because of this it became popular.it has catched up but still no flash.the antenna was a gamble turned out to be overlooked bad design. There are a lot of better phones out there. It looks good though but its supposed to be a good phone.how ironic.
Tony Ward No way, if you have a small brain and want something simple the a iPhone is for you. If you want a phone that is fast and customermizable then get a android, the choice is yours. I owned both and in all honestly I find the iPhone a very boring phone.
L.c. Tooflyforafullname Carter I have never owned an iphone but I hear its the best. And if google actually made an android phone I think it would be a beast.
Tim Anello Someone one at Apple paid off the judges is what I suspect.Aspire 4G
Xingchi Ding PS: wrote above common on WP7
Xingchi Ding Of fucking course, man, at least they get update, fix bugs, al apps runs, not like the others.
Greg Alexander When you take EVERYTHING into account, as a total package, then iPhone wins... Easily. The proof of the pudding is how many expert tech bloggers have an iPhone 4 as their personal device. So many do, it's crazy. Remember, these guys see the latest and greatest every week.
Jason Fischer Hell no. You have to be intellectually inept to be amazed by it. Android 4 life.
Eric Kroh Still?..when was the "had been" idea?
Ahmed Jamal Ibraihimi Ya it is, the opinion if consumer don't matter, if iPhone wasn't a great phone then why wud every manufacturer is launching sum 'iPhone killers' every yr.? Why aren't they launching Android killer or symbian killer or Rim killer or web os killer or WP7 killer......... IPhone is great phone for the ease of use,and jailbreaking opens up the vast world of what u can do with iPhone, and jailbreaking never affects any functionality of iPhone, but if u r rooting android devices they simply loose some functionalities, like some loose calling facility, while some looses wifi, and some sum other thngs.....
Jamel Pegues Htc evo all day iphone sucks to many restrictions
Jorge Hugo Galindo IPhone = boring and lame ass OS that's been the same for ages. HTC EVO / ANDROID = more flexibility better UI and in some cases with sense UI. You can do just as much on a stock HTC EVO as a jailbroken iPhone. Don't even get me started on what I can do on a rooted HTC EVO it will just make any iPhone fanboy cry.
Kamal Halder Its the feel which matters, bust Samsung Galaxy S is far better than Iphone.. Iphone feels good and solid in hand.
Emross Mariano Hell no. Iphone is overrated, insanely expensive, almost all good apps are paid unlike android they have free apps that are better than iphones os.
Justin Peahi iOS>android!!! Google is over rated garbage in steamy poo filled sack of yuk yuk!!!!
Prabhath Jay i phone is nothing compared to Samsung Galaxy S 1 and 2
Alex Toma Samsung Galaxy S is the best smartphone...Android is better than iOS
Marti Ruiz Dual core supersmartphone rocks bay
DomiNyc Turner No. Ppl say it is because it's successful and marketed well. That doesn't make it the best. Heck, cigarettes are successful. I'm gonna say it's the most successful phone but the best??? No.
Jamal Khan I think its not as good as it used to be.dual core android phnes r going to be way faster then iphones and not supporting flash just kills it for me
Gabriel Sotomayor why would i be in jail when i can be free?? just my tought
Bill Bell EVO baby!!!
Muzammil Syed Yess ....iPhone Iz Da Best Fone ...EVAR !!
Chris Taylor HTC Evo 4G all they way!
RockinRose Wolf Donnell Well any good Android phone
Benjamin Gehlke Even the iPhone 3G is still the best smart phone.
RockinRose Wolf Donnell EVO all the way
Sharon Nightingale iPhone will always win!!!!!!!
Monique Renee Heidenberg Sorry for all the typos lol
Jamel Taylor Im an android fan but I think RIM and PDAs open the doors for all these iphones,androids and webOs devices.
Monique Renee Heidenberg No. Android is way better. And to the one comment I saw about ppl hating on the iPhone cuz they can't afford is bullshit. Us android fans are just not stupid and smart but getting free thing and not blowing are money a a pos iPhone or their apps. Android is the best. Deal with it.
Marti Ruiz I think iphone is for people who just make phone call o sent sms o check social hub android is something more
Anh-Tuan Le MDA! C'mon guys
Nathan Sherlock Heeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllll nnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooo!!!!!!
Anh-Tuan Le Newton!
Anh-Tuan Le How quickly we forget. MOTO RAZR. Never Forget!!!
Marti Ruiz No there is more powerful android smartphone the only thing i like of the iphone is the screen ,os not
Terrance Thompson Did you say droid? Yuper
George Espinosa iPhone is a great phone and always will be and I can say the same for Android. To each it's own really...the simplicity of the iPhone and how everything is made for the iPhone can pull some people into the apple world. Android with it's open base and the ability to run like a mini laptop can pull some people into the Android world. Both have good and bad things about them. I personally like the iPhone because anywhere you go or buy has iPhone/iPod made for it. Companies make apps for the iPhone more than they do for Android. Updates is as simple as a click...when there's an update, every iPhone owner gets it. With Android, you're at the mercy of the carrier of when they will release the update...
Matt Davis Yes it is. To me it is. I dont need to jailbreak my phone legally (or illegally). I really dont like android. So iphone is perfect for everyone, they just have to use it for a week.
William Serrano No, it isn't. How could something that can barely be relied upon as a phone that literally just got a camera flash, folders, and multitasking in its fourth iteration be the best anything? If anything it's the best at hyping its common features as innovative and intuitive, making them seem as though they've never before appeared on any other phone before. Give me a break. It's clear Android is the future. The OEMs and carriers are the ones that hold it back by releasing custom UIs they adequately support.
Kevin Woods Samsung Galaxy S Mesmerize is better Android ALL THE WAY...
Melvin Lim Linux based operating system!!!
Jason Schuler It's an EVOlution
Teron Facey The iPhone is overrated watch Apple come out with the iPhone 4 Nano. Once again It's the same thing but smaller. Would you waste money just get the same phone?
David Brand G2 is the best, at least till the G3 comes out
Nelson Tam Noway, eat money monster
Jason Ramos The iPhone is so 2007. iOS desperately needs an overhaul
Max Wilson Try going to worldstarhiphop.com or any other flash rich website on an iPhone or iPad then do it on an Android device......Apple can't come close without flash. Android is the new king.
Jay Perez ANDROID FOR LIFE!!
Jeffrey Vivar Android > iOS
Darren Kanabrocki Android lag will be a thing of the past...if you want a toy that makes calls get an iPhone! Running gingerbread on g2 already,ull steam ahead android!!!!!
Max Wilson What a joke.....all Apple fanboys voting I guess.
Teron Facey Once the iPhone gets flash that will be the day. The iPhone just a toy in my eyes.
Nick Koval Oh its a car...
Alexandro Lai Yes I'm pretty sure it is!
Jim Nguyen Overrated? Lmfao. Didn't know hippies used cell phones... Another Windows vs Mac war, only this time, it's google vs apple. There will never be a ending.
Benjamin Padilla One word "NO"
Gabriel Sotomayor As an ex iphone user ill say no , its an overrated device just because its apple...
Karan Lamba Hell ya it is
Nick Koval Whats that?????
Ai Nguyen android is a broke man's iPhone. android sucks and it will always suck. iPhone paved way for all the shitty android phones out there. if there wasn't a iPhone android would have never existed. android is CRAP thats why it didn't win the award. iPhone FTW. fuck that shitty retarded android.
Darryl Mouzone I don't know why phonedog brings out questions like this because the comments are always going to be biased based on a person's preference. Android fanboys will say no and iPhone fanboys will say yes. There really isn't going to be a fairly unbiased comment and it's mostly going to be one side bashing the other. Besides there are a lot more important things to get worked up over than a smartphone.
Abdallah Mroue Droid 2 global is where its at
Johnny Lucas Kalliantasis I would have to say No!
Steven Crisostomo Crapple iphone are shitty, evo 10x better
Israel Leiva Naw. EVO & Thunderbolt are.
Tony Ward Not by the looks of the latest sales in the us and uk, android is on too many devices now and with apple only having 4 devices and android having just under 100, android will win. What do people want, a phone with 300,000 apps and only 4 (maybe 5) models to choose from with very limited customization or over 90 phones with 250,000 apps and 100% customization and cheaper to buy? What would you get? Only fanboys buy the iPhone these days.
Jimmy Morales Jr Y'all are fuckin stupid iPhone is the best device ..why too many niggas hate
John Whyteowle Humes iPhone 4. A lot of copy cats only one original
Juwon Howard If you like been locked into only adding shit through itunes then yeah. But if you like free open source with FLASH for the web browser NOOO!
Jonathan Hayes Soon the droid bionic or atrix will take that crown :)
Brad Freeman iPhone is a good phone but android has officially taken over
Roberto C Gtz iphone sucks :)




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