Alternatives to the iPhone 5

Since the iPhone 5 has been officially unveiled, I’m positive I’ve felt the collective buzz of anticipation from Apple fans everywhere. That, or I’ve been drinking a bit too much caffeine. Either way, on September 21st, the lines of people waiting to get their hands on the newest iPhone will be impressive, perhaps more so than the phone itself.
This is how I see it: iPhones are like Call of Duty.

Every year or so, a new Call of Duty game is released and it’s always a huge seller. It’s basically the same game with a few tweaks here and there. But people don’t buy the game because it’s going to be something new and groundbreaking, they buy it because all their friends are going to buy it and they already know how to play.

There are a lot of great phones out there and a few more will be released soon for the holidays. So whether you’re in the market for something new or you’d like to stick with something familiar, here are a couple phones that compete with the iPhone 5.

Nokia Lumia 920 


My first cell phone was a Nokia. It was basically a brick that could make phone calls. Man, that thing was indestructible. Obviously, Nokia has come a long way and their newest edition is the Lumia 920. It’s so new, in fact, that we aren’t sure which carriers will have the phone or which colors will be available but that’s okay because what we do know is pretty amazing.

First off, the phone uses an incredible new display technology, PureMotion HD+, which automatically adjusts the display in sunlight to decrease glare, provides really deep blacks, and allows for super smooth scrolling. It’s looking to be the leading display on the smartphone market.

The once popular Nokia is betting on the Windows system to compete with Apple and Android. While Windows Phone 8 hasn’t actually been available to play with yet, we do know the new start screen looks sleek and super efficient.

The phone also features Qi wireless charging, which is really convenient, and Nokia exclusives like Nokia Maps and Nokia Music. The 8.7 megapixel camera uses Pureview Technology to give you better low light performance and video image stabilization. Basically, if you’re into the latest and greatest, this is the phone to keep a lookout for.

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD

Remember when iPhone users used to brag about battery life? It seemed to be one of the few things they had to fall back on but those days are long gone. Motorola, who hasn’t had a hit in the world of smartphones since the release of the Razr in 2004, is bringing its A-game. With its new owner Google Inc. now at the reigns, Motorola is hoping to jump back in the market with three newly released Razr models.

The Droid Razr Maxx HD, the big brother of the group, is leading the way in battery life with a whopping 3,300mAh battery. What does that mean? Well it’s about 21 hours of talk time or 10 hours of video streaming. To put that into perspective, the iPhone 5 is capable of 8 hours of talk time. The bigger battery does add a bit more bulk to the phone but it also comes with a large, bright 4.7 inch display to make up for it.

With Google now owning Motorola, you would think the Verizon exclusive phone would launch with Jelly Bean, Android’s latest OS update, but it won’t. Instead, the phone ships with Ice Cream Sandwich and a promise of a quick update to Jelly Bean.

The phone also comes with its signature Kevlar backing, an 8 megapixel rear camera, quick and smooth navigation thanks to its dual-core S4 setup, and Chrome as its default browser.


When it was time for me to upgrade from my beloved HTC Droid Incredible, I really had my eye on the HTC One X but alas, it is an AT&T exclusive and I’ve sold my soul to Verizon.

What got me hooked on HTC was its interface and this was largely due to Sense, a proprietary skin. In the One X, the new and improved Sense 4 works with Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich to deliver a lighter, cleaner platform. With its 4.7 inch display, it comes across beautifully.

This is a phone that’s proud of its 8 megapixel camera as it sits right in the middle of its white polycarbonate shell. The camera is very quick to start up and low light performance is impressive due to a fast f/2.0 lens and backside illuminated sensor.

The only downfall of this phone is the battery, which only allows about 12 hours of moderate use.

Samsung Galaxy S3

The phone I ended up upgrading to was the Galaxy S3 and boy, am I glad I did. This baby boasts a 4.8 inch HD AMOLED screen which always gets a reaction out of people who see it. It’s great for watching videos, reading, looking at pictures of cats, and composing messages. And while it has the biggest screen of the phones I compared here, the phone still comfortably fits in my pocket.

But seriously, this is a great phone. I love that its 2,100 mAh battery is still removable. Call me old school, but I really like knowing that if one day my phone goes crazy, I could always remove the battery and shut it off completely before restarting.

The Galaxy S3’s camera has a sensor that offers the same 8 megapixels as the iPhone 5, plus it features cool shooting modes like panorama and multi-shot burst mode.

Something the iPhone has yet to even explore that the Galaxy S3 has is NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC makes it possible to pay for purchases and share content across phones. It’s an entire category of software capability that the new iPhone missed out on.

This phone offers a rich and customizable Android 4.0 interface so you can basically make your phone look however you’d like. Right now, mine is sporting a cute Panda theme.


The smartphone market is getting more and more competitive and you’re sure to find something you like. Figure out what’s more important to you and pick a phone that has the best specs in that area, whether it be battery life, megapixels, a big display, or a clean operating system. If you still aren’t into these phones, I guess you could always hold out till next year for the new Blackberry, or a few weeks for another new iPhone.


  1. What do you think of the siri-like functionality on the Samsung S3? Do you use it?

  2. To be honest I don't use it that often. I have messed with it a little bit, but I don't use it regularly. I have heard reviews that Siri for iPhone is more complex than S Voice so if that's something you would be into, you should take that into consideration when picking your phone. Thanks for the question, Ann!