The Macalope: The superior phone


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Let’s face it, iPhone 5 owners: The Samsung Galaxy S4 is whatever character Benedict Cumberbatch is in the new Star Trek movie.

Better at everything.

(And, well, yes, also not quite here yet.)

For proof, Business Insider’s Kevin Smith takes us on a one-sided romp through a Samsung press release, in slideshow format (no link, but tip o’ the antlers to Jonathan Seff).

“10 Ways Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Is Better Than The iPhone 5.”

Not better at being available to buy right now, of course, but other than that …

Meanwhile, writing for NBC, Avram Piltch could only come up with five ways the S4 is better than the iPhone 5 and he missed an opportunity by not making them into a slideshow, but he still gets bonus points for cranking the hyperbole up to 11.

“5 ways the Galaxy S 4 makes the iPhone 5 look ancient” (again, no link, but tip o’ the antlers to Peter Dufault).

Ancient. A phone fit for the pharaohs. You need to carbon date this phone to find out how old it is.

So, how is the S4 better? Well, what better way to prove a phone’s superiority than to run through a one-sided list of features?!

The S4 is faster on benchmarks! You know how much regular users love to run benchmarking software, right? Oooh, man, they can’t stop! Why always with the benchmarking software, regular users?! Yeah, sure, the iPhone feels faster than it benchmarks because of the tight integration between iOS and the hardware, but that’s just Apple fanboi talk!

But speed’s not the only thing. The S4 lets you swap out the battery! It lets you swap out the memory card! It’s large enough to serve cheese and fruit on! Can you imagine serving cheese and fruit on a phone that’s also serving up a game of Fruit Ninja?! CAN YOU?! Of course not! Because you can’t do that on an iPhone 5!

Truth be told, Smith couldn’t actually come up with ten distinct items. He double-dipped, saying first that  the S4 was just faster, then later saying its greater amount of RAM would make the phone faster. The Macalope knows you’re under editorial guidelines to come up with ten ad-impression-boosting items, Kevin, but “faster” and “faster” are still the same thing.

Both Smith and Piltch also cite software features that other, less link-baity observers think most users are unlikely to ever use.

Is the Galaxy S4 a good phone? Probably. Sure. Heck if the Macalope knows, really. He hasn’t laid eyes or hoof on one. It does seem like a nice upgrade to an already good phone. And the world is certainly big enough to accommodate both it and the iPhone 5.

We’ve been through this a million times by now. A list of features is meaningless. (OK, it’s almost meaningless.) Apple products almost always provide a wildly better user experience than a list of features would indicate.

Whether Cumberbatch is playing Khan Noonien Singh or some other better-than-human bad guy in Star Trek Into Darkness, there’s one thing we know: He’ll still get his superior butt handed to him by James T. Kirk (spoiler!). Not to beat a metaphorical horse to death, but better on paper doesn’t always translate into better in action.

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