3 Comparison Points of Windows Mobile OS vs. Android

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By Vittorio Hernandez | November 16, 2011 6:20 PM EST

Now is the era of the smartphone. A lot of people have made the shift from their older model mobile phones to high-end touchscreen ones.

However, some consumers are still balking at making the shift, at the risk of using models near extinction. Among the reasons these people cite are the lack of knowledge about smartphone, particularly its capabilities and prices.

A number of the new smartphones out in the market have Android as its operating system. The Android had actually been around for a while, developed by Google. It is known for being an "open-application" which grants users freedom to use and download the application on their mobile devices, most of the time free.

Android allows also various customisation and modification of the phone displays, screens, and programs, giving the smartphone owner more flexibility.

The Windows Mobile OS came in early 2000. It powered several pocket PCs and recently reached the smartphone system. Windows Mobile is known for its being "actively-sync" to do almost everything. It allows users to get live updates from chats, emails and messages in one program or view. It also allows sync of music, gaming and other multimedia programs from the local gallery to online sites. In addition, Microsoft Office is a built-in feature which allows users to view or edit documents, spreadsheets and Powerpoint pages on their smartphones just like on their PCs.

To help people decide which is better for their needs, here are three points of comparison for entry-level units of both OS for the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Mini and the Windows Mobile-powered HTC 7 Trophy

First Point - Price

The Samsung Galaxy Mini costs about $164.99. For that price, buyers get a smartphone with stylish design that weighs only 105g. Its display is 3.14 inches, but considered by many users as great for watching movies and viewing images. It has 160MB of internal memory that can be expanded up to 32GB using an external card. The 600MHz processor and 384RAM run this device.

The HTC 7 Trophy costs about $549.99. It features 3.8 inches of screen display, Gorilla Glass - which is a very resistant glass - and weighs 140g. It has 8GB of internal memory but has no card slot for expansion. The 1GHz processor and 576RAM run this device. Its screen is much larger than the Mini, has more space firsthand and runs much faster. The downside is the owner cannot expand it if he needs more storage for files, videos or music, and would need to erase current files to make space for new ones. The price is a little high if compared with its features and speed.

Second Point - Durability

The test of a smartphones' durability is if the unit will survive for two years or how long would it last given the owner's style of use. In testing for durability, materials used to make the device and how the design will resist impact to pressure or fall count.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini is virtually made of plastic, most of its parts, which is the main reason for its light weight and cost-effective advantage. The glass is not reinforced with anything to endure for long against scratches and damage, which makes the screen protector a necessity. Its plastic body provides protection for simple falls to the ground.

The HTC 7 Trophy has a metal body and its screen is made of Gorilla Glass. That explains the device's high price. The Gorilla Glass resists scratches and even the impact of falling to the ground. The metal parts resist impact damage, but add to its weight. In comparison to the Galaxy, this device is more durable but could be cumbersome to some users because of its heavy weight.

Third Point - Applications and Specialty

These two phones are not for people who limit their use of phones to text and voice calls. If these two features are a phone owner's only key use, don't bother switching to a smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Mini is powered by Android and in general it allows open application use via the Android Market. Owners can download hundreds of applications which this device can run and override some of its normal operation. The Android OS allows various personalisation and customisation of the device, and gives the owner the ability to make it unique internally compared to other smartphones.

An example of this open application style is the MX Video Player. Ordinarily, the Mini cannot open .avi video files (a movie format type) and opens .mp4 videos converted by Samsung Kies in PC. It could be troublesome because if the owner wants to view a movie from torrent and its .avi is about 700MB it has to be converted to the Galaxy Mini format, eating time and effort. The solution is to download the MX Video Player in the Market, open it, and follow instructions on how to get the codec (video decoder). The .avi files can then be watched without the hassle of conversion.

Another feature of Android is the ability to change how the smartphone looks. The Galaxy Mini, despite its great look, could be boring for some owners in the long run. One option is to customise it. The phone doesn't have any default option for it, which disallows shifting the homescreen to landscape view or changing the scrolling effects.  However, the owner could go to the Market, search for LAUNCHER and pick the one that will work for the unit. A good choice is the GO Launcher EX which allows modification of scrolling and has effects such as the SPHERE in which the icons turn around like a globe when the owner touches it.

The HTC 7 Trophy is powered by Windows Phone. Modifications are not yet as extensive as the Android but there are several things that Windows can do. Hubs are applications which allows user to access different files or activities in one area. The OS does the filtering for the owner rather than having to look for it. An example is the Picture Hub in which the device's camera, photo gallery and social site pictures are interconnected to each other in one area. The owner can easily modify and edit it without having to browse different programs.

Another feature is the entertainment aspect. Although the Android has a lot of games in the Market, it follows the strict rule of memory, specs, and Android version, making some games inaccessible to some devices. In Windows, the games area is supplied by one application, the XBOX Live, which is an arcade that allows the owner to play solo or multiplay online with XBOX games. XBOX fanatics will surely love this feature. Music and videos are also connected to its hubs and are updated with new applications, TV shows, movies and more.

The Android gives its users freedom of movement via application, browsing, entertainment, and personalisation. It supersedes the natural limitation of the device which otherwise the specs cannot normally do due to the OS' flexibility and versatility. However, the Android only allows business-related applications and advanced entertainment capabilities to higher-end devices, depending on its carrier. By price, the Android ranges from affordable to expensive ones, varies from vendor to vendor, but provides the prospective buyer the freedom to select his retailer.

The Windows Mobile grants users ultimate synchronisation of social sites, entertainment, gaming and business-related activities. The OS naturally classifies each of the users' need within "hubs" to lessen the trouble for compatibility. It allows business-related applications to be easily viewed and modified without much need for a PC to be carried all the time. However, Windows Mobile locks to Windows, similar to IOS, with the exception of access to any Microsoft Windows-operated computer. The cost of owning one is rather higher compared to an Android, and only few vendors sell the device.

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