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ref: -0 tags: date: 01-09-2022 19:04 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

The Sony Xperia XZ1 compact is a better phone than an Apple iPhone 12 mini

I don't normally write any personal options here -- just half-finished paper notes riddled with typos (haha) -- but this one has been bothering me for a while.

November 2020 I purchased an iPhone 12 mini to replace my aging Sony Xperia XZ1 compact. (Thinking of staying with Android, I tried out a Samsung S10e as well, but didn't like it.) Having owned and used the iPhone for a year and change, I still prefer the Sony. Here is why:

  • Touch screen
    • The iPhone is MUCH more sensitive to sweat than the Sony
    • This is the biggest problem, since I like to move (hike, bike, kayak etc), it lives in my pocket, and inevitably gets a bit of condensation or water on it.
    • The ipPhone screen is rendered frustrating to use with even an imperceptible bit of moisture on it.
      • Do iPhone users not sweat?
      • Frequently I can't even select the camera app! Or switch to maps!
        • A halfway fix is to turn the screen off then on again. Halfway.
    • The Sony, in comparison, is relatively robust, and works even to the point where there were droplets of water on it.
  • Size
    • They are both about the same size with a case, Sony is 129 x 65 x 9.3 mm ; iPhone mini is 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4mm.
    • This size is absolutely perfect and manufacturers need to make more phones with these dimensions!
    • If anything, the iPhone is better here -- the rounded corners are nice.
  • Battery
    • Hands down, the Sony. Lasts >=2x as long as the iPhone.
  • Processor
    • Both are fast enough.
  • Software
    • Apple is not an ecosystem. No. It's a walled garden where a select few plants may grow. You do what Apple wants you to do.
      • E.g. want to use any Google apps on iPhone? No problem! Want to use any Apple apps on Android or web or PC? Nope, sorry, you have to buy a $$$ MacBook pro.
    • Ok, the privacy on an iPhone is nice. Modulo that bit where they scanned our photos.
      • As well as the ability to manage notifications & basically turn them all off :)
    • There are many more apps on Android, and they are much less restricted in what they can do.
      • For example, recently we were in the desert & wanted a map of where the cell signal was strong, for remote-working. This is easy on Android (there is an app for it).
        • This is impossible on iPhone (the apps don't have access to the information).
      • Second example, you can ssh into an Android and use that to download large files (e.g. packages, datasets) to avoid using limited tethering data.
        • This is also impossible on iPhone.
    • Why does iMessage make all texts from Android users yucky green? Why is there zero option to change this?
    • Why does iMessage send very low resolution photos to my friends and family using Android? It sends beautiful full-res photos to other Apple phones.
    • Why is there no web interface to iMessage?
      • Ugh, this iPhone is such an elitist snob.
    • You can double-tap on the square in Android to quickly switch between apps, which is great.
    • Apple noticeably auto-corrects to a smaller vocabulary than desired. Android is less invasive in this respect.
  • Cell signal
    • They are similarly unreliable, though the iPhone has 5G & many more wireless band, which is great.
    • Still, frequently I'll have one-two bars of connectivity & yet Google Maps will say "you are offline". This is much less frequent on the Sony.
  • Screen
    • iPhone screen is better.
  • Camera
    • iPhone camera is very very much better.
  • Speaker
    • iPhone speaker much better. But it sure burns the battery.
  • Wifi
    • iPhone will periodically disconnect from Wifi when on Facetime calls. Sony doesn't do this.
      • Facetime only works with Apple devices.
  • Price
    • Sony wins
  • Unlock
    • Face unlock is a cool idea, but we all wear masks now.
    • The Sony has a fingerprint sensor, which is better.
      • In the case where I'm moving (and possibly sweaty), Android is smart enough to allow quick unlock, for access to the camera app or maps. Great feature.

Summary: I'll try to get my moneys worth out of the iPhone; when it dies, will buy the smallest waterproof Android phone that supports my carrier's bands.