Digital Crave

5 hot alternatives to iPhone 5

Digital Crave

After many months of rumors, speculation and leaked info, the most anticipated device of 2012 is finally here.

On one hand, Apple's iPhone 5 (from $199 on 2-year plan) doesn't mess what made its predecessors so sought after — it's still a sleek, all-touch device with an intuitive interface, countless apps and smooth synchronization with services like iTunes and iCloud — but along with a redesigned body and larger screen, Apple has bumped up the specs just enough to get fan boys (and girls) drooling. Click here if you haven't read what iPhone 5 offers, out Sept. 21.

As popular as iPhone is — selling more than 25 million handsets worldwide last quarter alone (and iPhone 5 pre-orders topping 2 million in its first 24 hours) — they're not the only game in town. In fact, many of today's Android phones can outperform iPhone 5, feature for feature, plus Google's mobile platform is far less restrictive than Apple's iOS. Microsoft and Research in Motion are also cooking up some compelling iPhone alternatives with its Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 OS smartphones, respectively.

Another consideration: not everyone can buy an iPhone even if they want one, maybe because their carrier doesn't support it (T-Mobile, for one) or perhaps the cost of Apple's phone is prohibitive to some (just like their Macs).

And so the following is a look at a few competing smartphones that not only challenge iPhone 5 on a few fronts, but even outshine Apple's iconic device. Note: some of these smartphones aren't yet available at retail, but we've gotten our hands on 'em.

View gallery

.
Motorola Droid Razr
If you want a killer screen, consider: Motorola Droid Razr HD

For the first time in iPhone's 5-year history, Apple has bumped up the screen size to 4-inches. It's a taller (not wider) display that now delivers a true widescreen presentation when held sideways (16:9 aspect ratio, like your HDTV, when held sideways).

The new 4-inch still employs Apple's "Retina" technology, which refers to the fact the human eye can't distinguish the millions of individual dots (pixels) that make up the text and images.

But those looking for a gorgeous screen might instead consider the upcoming Moto Droid Razr HD, an Android-powered phone unveiled on September 5.

Due out this fall on Verizon, this Droid boasts a 4.7-inch 720p HD screen with 1,280 x 720 resolution (iPhone 5's screen tops out at 1,136 x 640 resolution). The Razr HD's display also spans edge to edge, with just a little bit of bezel surrounding it.

As with the previous Razr, this new phone — measuring 131.9mm tall, 67.9 mm wide and a svelte 8.4mm thin -- can take a beating with its durable Kevlar fiber and Corning Gorilla glass.

View gallery

.
Nokia Lumia
If you want a solid cameraphone, consider: Nokia Lumia 920

OK, let's get the obvious out of the way: Microsoft and Nokia screwed up by using a doctored promo video to showcase the photography and video recording capabilities of its upcoming Lumia 920, a next-generation Windows Phone 8 device. But make no mistake — this camera rocks, if our hands-on time with it following the September 5 event in NYC is any indication.

On paper, it doesn't look vastly different than iPhone's iSight camera; both the Nokia Lumia 920 and iPhone 5 have an 8-megapixel real-facing camera (3264 x 2448 pixels) with autofocus and LED flash.

But the Lumia's PureView camera offers exceptional low-light performance (taking in up to 5 times more light than other smartphone cameras), optical (not digital) image stabilization and support for a number of filters, special effects and other fun things you can do with your photos while taking them (or afterwards). At Nokia's event, one live demo involved removing unwanted people in a scene so you can see the background unobstructed.

View gallery

.
Samsung Galaxy III
If you want a long-lasting battery, consider: Samsung Galaxy S III

As awesome as the iPhone is, battery life remains its Achilles' heel. In other words, what's the point in being able to do so much if you're looking for an AC outlet by the mid-afternoon?

Hopefully the iPhone 5 will have a better battery (or better battery management) than the iPhone 4S, but if you want a smartphone today that can truly last all day, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S III (from $199.99 on 2-year plan).

Apple says iPhone 5 can last 225 hours standby and delivers 8 hours talk time (on 3G). Claims were similar for iPhone 4S but I wasn't alone in saying I got nowhere near this amount of talk time, even by dimming the screen, turning off push mail and disabling some radios while not in use such as Bluetooth and GPS.

By comparison, Samsung Galaxy S III offers — get this — 790 hours of standby and 11:40 hours talk time (3G). Remarkably, this is with this Android's massive 4.8-inch screen, NFC (near field communications) radio and LTE 4G connectivity.

Oh, and unlike the iPhone, the Galaxy S III's massive 2,100 mAh battery is removable, too, just in case a serious traveler wants to keep a spare handy.

View gallery

.
HTC One
If you want a great-sounding phone, consider: HTC One X

iPhone was born out of the iPod, and thus music is a big part of its heritage and current appeal -- including iTunes integration. But other smartphones rival against the iPhone in the sound department, including AT&T's HTC One X ($99 on 2-year term).

This Android phone rocks, in part, due to Beats Audio processing. Whether you're listening to your tunes the way they were downloaded, side-loaded or streamed onto the smartphone (including built-in apps like MOG and TuneIn Radio) or you've chosen to tweak the sound with various equalizer presets and settings, music sounds great with the bundled black earbuds -- or better yet, with pricier over-the-ear headphones. (For equalizer options, try the Sweetener profile for well-balanced lows, mids and highs.)

An HTC exclusive (HTC owns 51 percent of Beats, after all), the Beats Audio technology sounds impressive even when playing games, watching videos or listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

Heck, even phone calls seem loud and clear on the HTC One X, if anyone still talks on their smartphone these days.

View gallery

.
Sony Xperia
If you want a powerful smartphone that doesn't break the bank, consider: Sony Mobile Xperia ion

It's no secret Sony is playing catch-up in the smartphone space as the company finds itself, but don't dismiss the impressive Xperia ion as a powerful and versatile Android phone for half the cost of iPhone 5.

On sale for $99.99 on a 2-year AT&T contract, Sony's first LTE phone delivers broadband-like speeds in select markets. Its 4.6-inch screen is more than a half-inch larger than iPhone 5 (and it's very purty, too) and unlike Apple's device you can expand its memory via up to 32GB microSD cards.

Other impressive features include a 12-megapixel camera (with 1080p video capture and 3D sweep panorama mode), 1900 mAh battery or up to 10 hours of talk time an exclusive media apps such as Sony's Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited.

OK, so its processor can't compare to iPhone 5 and it's an outdated Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) platform is a bit of a disappointment, but at least Xperia ion users can access to the Google Play store (formerly Android Market) and its more than 500,000 downloads.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • “I Think I’m Going to Hang It Up, LOL”: Aaron Hernandez Note to Prison Boyfriend

      Aaron Hernandez knew his prison boyfriend before either of them was locked up, says the attorney for that inmate.

      Newsweek
    • On his birthday, his 13-year-old sister hugged him. Then he shot her in the head

      On Martaevious Santiago’s 17th birthday, he shot his 13-year-old sister in the back of the head. She had just hugged him in the kitchen of the family’s Florida City home, police said. As they separated and Tedra King walked away, Martaevious pointed a loaded semiautomatic handgun at her. Then he pulled the trigger and killed her. Martaevious told police it was an accident. The shooting happened Tuesday night inside a modest Florida City subdivision called Washington Park. Outside the home on Wednesday, shocked family members — some on the way to identify the young girl’s body at the morgue — demanded privacy. “Everybody that knows a word of prayer, please pray for the Bess family,” close family

      Miami Herald q
    • United Airlines offers $10,000 for passengers to give up seats on overbooked flights

      United Airlines has announced sweeping changes on how it "respects its customers" following the infamous moment when a passenger was forcibly dragged off an overbooked flight. The company made a total of 10 "substantial" changes to how they will manage customer experience after a video seen across the world showed David Dao being forcibly dragged screaming from an overbooked flight in Chicago in what resulted in a PR disaster for the airline. The changes include limiting the use of law enforcement officials on board flights to safety and security issues only, as well as increasing the compensation incentive for passengers to voluntarily give up their seats on overbooked flights to $10,000 (£7,700).

      International Business Times
    • Even Donald Trump's birthday tweet to Melania has a factual error it in

      Our Tweeter in Chief Donald Trump, is known for playing fast and loose with facts, but you'd think a birthday message to his wife would be a nice softball. He can garner a few awws and then move on.  Nope. SEE ALSO: The only Melania in the White House is this photograph On Wednesday, Melania Trump celebrated her birthday. And like most loved ones do on their spouse's birthday, Donald Trump took to Twitter to send his best wishes to his wife. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our @FLOTUS, Melania! https://t.co/rYYp51mxDQ pic.twitter.com/np7KYHglSv — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2017 However, when it came to the graphics, there was a ball drop. Or a star drop, if you will. If you look closely you'll notice that the flag in that graphics package only has 39 stars, which leaves out quite a number of states.  And because nothing escapes the internet, Twitter definitely noticed. There are only 39 stars on that flag, sir. https://t.co/KATgoLIQUv — Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) April 27, 2017 This is so weird: The American flag on @FLOTUS Melania Trump's birthday card only has 39 stars. H/t: @eventsforgood pic.twitter.com/IYd2hdOXGJ — Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) April 27, 2017 Very weird. Since the 39 star flag was never official since we went from 38 to 42 states in 1890. https://t.co/TG5JWAPOA3 — MyNinjaTurtle (@MyNinjaTurtle) April 27, 2017 @chrislhayes Wonder which 11 states are slated for destruction? #39StarFlag pic.twitter.com/KKkIS1ElZB — kathy greenstone (@KathyGreenstone) April 27, 2017 To make matters even more worse, this is not the first time Donald Trump has shared the 39-star flag. As MSNBC's Chris Hayes pointed out, Donald Trump also shared the flag at the end of the video welcoming freed Egyptian American Aya Hijazi who was imprisoned in Cairo. @christinawilkie @FLOTUS @eventsforgood IT'S THE SAME FLAG IN THE END OF THIS VIDEO!!!! https://t.co/jZOSS7VjNh — Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 27, 2017 Someone in the WH graphics operation has a 39-star flag saved on their computer as the current flag and is using it everything! — Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 27, 2017 For reference, Mr. President, we've never actually had a 39-star flag in the history of the United States.  The design was actually created in 1889 when flag makers were anticipating the addition of the Dakotas to the United states. Flag makers incorrectly assumed that what we know as North Dakota and South Dakota would be admitted to the US as only one state, not two. The New York Times notes:  Long story short, flag makers jumped the gun, so now 39-star flag was never an official flag. They are now just collectors items. Note: there was never an official 39-star flag, but some folks thought there would be 39 states in 1889, so some flags were actually created — Brian Ruh (@brianruh) September 5, 2016 WE NEVER EVEN HAD A 39 STAR FLAG https://t.co/XpMS0LMd97 — SheriffFruitfly (@sherifffruitfly) April 27, 2017 Now, to be fair, this is probably just a graphic design mistake from the White House art department, not a comment on how many states Trump wishes we had. But the fact stands: The. President. Of. The. United. States. Tweeted. A. Fake. Flag. Happy Birthday, Melania!

      Mashable
    • What It's Like to Live With Treacher Collins

      "What I really think has had the most impact on me is the realization that I'm 34 years old and I've never had a boyfriend."

      Cosmopolitan
    • Mom Tells Teachers Her Daughter Is "Done" With Homework in Bold Email

      If you ever worried about why your child was coming home with hours upon hours of homework each night, Bunmi Laditan — the mom behind The Honest Toddler blog — can not only relate, but she can also serve as a reminder that you have the power to put a stop to it. "My kid is done with homework," she wrote in a heated Facebook post. "I just sent an email to her school letting her know she's all done. I said 'drastically reduce' but I was trying to be polite because she's finished." She noted how her 10-year-old daughter, Maya — who is in school from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. and still has two to three hours of homework each evening — "loves learning" but has become more and more stressed by school. She's

      PopSugar q
    • The crucial money decision Elon Musk made when he was broke

      Tesla founder Elon Musk is currently worth more than $13 billion — much of it due to a crucial decision he was forced to make 7 years ago.

      CNBC
    • 11 Banana Cake Recipes That Blow Banana Bread Out of the Water (12 photos)

      Why make banana bread when you can make a banana cake instead? From Country Living

      Country Living 50 min ago
    • Bravo Renews Five ‘Real Housewives’ Series, ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ 12 More Shows

      Bravo announced renewals for 18 of their shows on Thursday, including most of the popular “Real Housewives” series and “Vanderpump Rules.” Joining the previously announced renewals of scripted series “Imposters” and “Odd Mom Out” as well as unscripted shows “Top Chef” and “Million Dollar Listing New York,” the network confirmed new season orders for: “The Real Housewives of Orange County;” “Shahs of Sunset;” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey;” “Flipping Out;” “Don’t Be Tardy;” “Married to Medicine;” “Below Deck;” “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles;” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta;” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills;” “The Real Housewives of Dallas;” “Inside the Actor’s Studio;” “Summer

      Variety q
    • Boy, 17, Arrested In Shooting Death Of His 13-Year-Old Sister: Cops

      The Florida brother told authorities it was an accident.

      Inside Edition
    • Aaron Hernandez’s Estate Is At $0; Fiancée Has Offer On North Attleboro Home

      Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée has an offer on his former home in North Attleboro, Mass., and a court gave her the right to close the deal as soon as possible after she and her attorney filed an affadavit Wednesday. There have been questions surrounding the estate of the former New England Patriots tight end, who recently committed suicide in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center where he was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd, and according to court records obtained by the Boston Herald, his estate is down to zero. Because of this, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez will be able to seal the deal by Friday when the offer expires. Jenkins Hernandez won’t necessarily see much of the money from the house, though, as proceeds already have been attached to a wrongful death lawsuit Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, filed against Hernandez in 2013.

      New England Sports Network q
    • United Airlines: Giant rabbit's mysterious death sends Twitter hopping with hilarious memes

      A giant 10-month-old continental rabbit named Simon, set to become the biggest in the world, was mysteriously found dead after a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago on Monday (24 April). Edwards said the giant rabbit was being delivered to its new owner – a celebrity whom she did not identify. The animal was found dead in the cargo hold where it was placed after the plane landed in Chicago.

      International Business Times
    • Ivanka Trump wishes Melania Trump a happy birthday: See the message

      First Daughter Ivanka Trump made sure to send a special message to her stepmother, Melania Trump via social media as the former model turned 47 on Wednesday. Alongside a photo of the glamorous First Lady with husband Donald, Ivanka tweeted: "Happy Birthday to our First Lady (and my incredible step-mom!) Melania Trump. A wonderful example of kindness and grace for us all! Wishing you an amazing year to come!" The President also tweeted to wish his wife many happy returns, writing: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our @FLOTUS, Melania," accompanied with a photo of them waving to the crowds during his inauguration.

      hello!
    • Missing Man`s Body Found Encased in Concrete

      Police say the body of a Missouri man who had reportedly walked away from an assisted living center was found in a shipping container filled with cement.

      Tribune
    • People
    • Russian Navy Ship Sinks Off The Turkish Coast After Crashing Into Cargo Vessel

      A Russian naval intelligence ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock and all 78 personnel on board were evacuated, Turkey's coastal safety authority said. It occurred 18 miles (29 km) from Kilyos village on the Black Sea coast just north of Istanbul, broadcaster NTV said. Turkish authorities dispatched a tugboat and three fast rescue vessels, the coastal safety authority said.

      Newsweek
    • Warriors, Charles Barkley and Bob Ley pay tribute to fired ESPN workers

      Charles Barkley said he had worked closely with ESPN journalists down the years. After a tumultuous day at ESPN, in which the broadcaster laid off around 100 employees on Wednesday, including some of the network’s most popular on-air and online personalities, tributes were paid to those who lost their jobs. Perhaps the most striking came from the Golden State Warriors.

      The Guardian
    • “80 sets of invisible eyes rolling”: senators unimpressed by White House North Korea brief

      Wednesday afternoon, nearly the entire membership of the US Senate packed into a bus and headed to the White House grounds for an unprecedented classified briefing from top Trump administration officials on North Korea policy. Such a huge meeting, on such a volatile topic, had people wondering — was the United States about to announce some risky new policy on North Korea? According to senators who attended the briefing, it was a whole lot of nothing.

      Vox.com q
    • Missing Toddler Found Dead After She Vanished While Playing in Yard

      One-year-old Semaj Crosby was found dead in a Joliet, Ill., home.

      Inside Edition
    • Attorney for Aaron Hernandez's prison 'brother' adds new wrinkles to suicide mystery

      The attorney for a prison associate of Aaron Hernandez has answered some questions about Hernandez's suicide, but raised others.

      Yahoo Sports