June 14 2010|01.58 PM UTC

Erik Chang

iPhone 4 vs EVO 4G: Total Cost of Ownership

Category: WirelessTags: , , ,


The iPhone 4, EVO 4G, Droid Incredible, and Google Nexus One; when it comes to choosing a smartphone, there are several worthy competitors on the market to consider. It is important to compare the key features that each phone and its carrier offer before making a decision. By looking at the chart below, you can compare pricing, plans and smartphone features and decide which phone will best suit your individual needs.

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Smartphones: The New Generation

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Editor’s note: Though the category is listed as “unlimited plan,” you should note that due to AT&T’s recent data service pricing change, they’re no longer offering unlimited data plan for new subscribers. Instead, new users will have the option to a 2 GB plan for $25 or a 200 MB plan for $15. This is rather unfortunate as other carriers may soon adopt AT&T’s tiered rate for data service, and the current a la carte pricing may not really reflect what the average user needs (it’s either too much data given, or not enough).

This cost comparison is also specifically tailored for a balance mix of users. Obviously, if you’re a gadget geek, you know each phone’s specifications and dimensions by heart, but if you’re just average Joe, you may not care if the phone is powered by a Qualcomm 1 GHz Snapdragon or its competitor sports the similar ARM-based Cortex-A8 CPU packaged with a PowerVR SGX graphics chip.

Graphic Compare Notes:

Unlimited plan – Unlimited plan is the maximum plan you can get with each respective carrier to get the maximum service coverage as a new service subscriber.

Minimum plan – Minimum plan is the lowest voice plan you can subscribe to while still retaining all smartphone usage feature (data & messaging). Note: We’re considering changing AT&T’s minimum data plan to the 2 GB offering instead of the 200 MB plan to better match competitor’s offering.

Noteworthy Phone/Carrier Features:

If you’re not familiar with the cell phones below, you should note that the EVO 4G is the only smartphone listed with 4G network speed, though coverage is limited nationwide, and you’ll be required to pay an additional $10 data surcharge. Having said that, you can enable the EVO 4G to utilize its mobile hotspot, allowing you to connect up to eight device. Why pay for AT&T’s questionable $25 3G connection on your iPad when you can just WiFi hotspot with your EVO 4G?

The iPhone 4 is not a 4G device, it is the 4th generation iPhone (hence iPhone 4). Though it has the highest resolution on all the phones listed below, it’s also the phone with the smallest screen size (3.5 inches vs. 4.3 inches is a big difference, so we encourage you to see the difference in person if possible). Having said that, the iPhone 4 comes with Apple’s lovly marketing jargon of “retina display” — which in essence is just very sharp display: an in-plane switching (IPS), thin film transistor (TFT), LCD screen. IPS LCDs certainly aren’t magically produced in recent days, and have been around in many displays for awhile (though at a heavy price). The difference in sharpness though is evident and a majority of users will notice the difference.

The Droid Incredible, Nexus One, and EVO 4G are all made by HTC, so you’ll find some similar aspect to them across the board. All of the phone sports Google’s Android operating system, and in essence is much more “open” in respective to what an end-user and developer can do to the phone. On the other hand, with an iPhone, you’ll be subjected to certain restrictions Apple/AT&T may place on the device (e.g., though the hardware is fully capable, you will not be able to tether your iPhone 4 to an iPad). It’s a personal preference on what type of experience you prefer and enjoy. While many users and developers may dislike Apple’s App Store environment and policy (I’m personally one of them), the average user can certainly appreciate a user experience that’s tightly controlled to engineer the best possible experience — with the recently announced news of 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 (even though with the heavy glitch and server meltdown), there’s obviously a heavy demand for Apple’s latest smartphone. Feel free to check the links after the comparison graphic below for more detail on each respective phones!

More Links and Resources:

CNET’s coverage on the Apple iPhone 4. A decent, well-rounded review on the EVO 4G from CNET. Engadget’s Droid Incredible review (in brief, it was one of the best Android phone offering right before the release of EVO 4G). You’ll find a nice consolidation of review from PC World on Google’s Nexus One.

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{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr.Causality June 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Why does everyone keep calling it the 4g. It doesn’t support 4g speeds. It’s version 4, the iPhone 4, not the 4g. There’s too much confusion about the actual name of this phone.

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Mr. Simplicity June 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm

It is called 4g because it is the 4th generation.

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mr. some word that ends in ity June 23, 2010 at 8:38 am

It’s not called the iPhone 4G at all. It’s called the iPhone 4.

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James June 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

It is not called the 4G. It is the iPhone 4. Anyone calling it the 4G is just being lazy.

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Dave June 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Well, 200 meg data is kinda off there buddy you need to pick the highest plan since everyone else offers unlimited data. I would hate for someone to go out and buy the iphone4g and later find out they can only stream like 10 youtube videos.

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Greg June 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Slightly misleading…
Since AT&T changed their data tiers, you can’t say they have ‘unlimited’ anymore…

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pete June 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

FYI the iPhone4 isn’t 4g.

Only the EVO is in this comparison, surely that deserves some sort of note (and a fix of your headline).

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dave June 16, 2010 at 1:34 am

He doesn’t say anywhere that it is 4G! nor does the headline.

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AlefSin June 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

you left out T-Mobile’s HTC HD2

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Yeah, unfortunately not a super popular phone right now. Don’t get me wrong, not trying to hate on Windows Mobile phones, it’s definitely a nicely spec’ed phone that’s very similar to the Nexus One, Incredible, (and I guess many HTC phones).

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Anonymous June 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Htc produces the worst phones! Hands down. I have had a BB, iPhone 3gs ( current) and an HTC mogul. The mogul was a terrible phone. So bad I will NEVER consider anything they produce.

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ohnoitsaspider June 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

You can’t say all that about HTC about one phone. Yeah, the Mogul may have been bad but Sprint was in charge of a lot of the design. HTC phones nowadays are far superior to the old ones with some of the biggest screens you can get, capacitive finger-friendly touchscreens and great hardware features.

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tmobile blows June 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

thats because t-mobile is by far the absolute worst service provider available.

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DigitalChris June 16, 2010 at 7:07 am

I’m very happy with TMobile. I have unlimited voice and data and it works pretty much everywhere I go.

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paulbelo June 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Well… of course the iphone wins again! I’m personally an Android user and I love it. Lets face it; it goes like this: The iphone ‘just works’, no different from a MAC computer. Android takes legwork to get it tuned just right, no different from a PC.

In regards to the Cell Carrier Plans- one item needs correction. The low cost plan for Sprint = 79.99 month, is much different from the other low cost plans.
The 450 minutes, applies to calls on land lines. Mobile to mobile calling is unlimited (regardless of which carrier you call/or calls received). And for that price you get ALL the stuff you need/want – unlike AT&T and Verizon that will now serve you ‘A al carte’ with their low cost plans – all the other stuff that you don’t get that you do from Sprint. Don’t know much about T-Mobile’s plan (to lazy to look it up right now).

So if you will not or do not enjoy tinkering, as is Android (your missing out). If you have the $$$ and just want it all to work, get the iphone. AT&T and Verizon are crooks. If you travel (a lot, I mean a lot) or live in an area where you don’t get Sprint or T-Mobile service, I understand why you would use those carriers. For the rest of you the iphone is not worth the $$$ unless of course you got the funds (if you do, get both, the iphone and Android). For me (and I know there are many of you out there too); that are frugal or just plain poor, we will stick with Android and we love it and we will not get an iphone – because, being a part of the masses is lame and expensive…

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PhoneSnobb June 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Hey you forgot to mention the face that there is no way that the Apple app store will be able to keep up with the open source backed Android market, and the easy to hack or root interface that is totally created by HTC, who should I mention create the first Android phone, and is responsible for the bulk of the Android phones on the market to date. I think the Android market is producing apps at a rate of 5 to 1 in comparison to the Apple app store. Most of the buyers need to realize that the current Android phones on the market can only get better with each release of a new Android Os, where as the Apple users will have to wait until the next Apple release.

Right now the Evo is running Android 2.1, but when 2.2 comes out for the Evo the battery life will increase, as it did with the Nexus. Not to mention the fact that another release which will be 3.0 is soon to follow.

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Jay Couture June 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the Android built on a modified Linux kernel, a Google OS running Java? Hopefully they did not bastardize this enough to make it like a windows OS, that would be sacrilege! I am not sure about the stability of the OS but from reviews I have heard it is quite a bit like Linux in it’s stability and versatility, (also it’s complexity if you are a newbie who is trying to hack it).

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Aaron Shafer June 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Where are you getting this info from? AT&T is by far the most expensive! You are omitting the face that you get unlimited text with the others while you get 0 with the iPhone. I have an iPhone and G1 with T-Mobile. I get 450 minutes with unlimited MTM, N&W, text, data for 59.99 a month and that’s with NO CONTRACT! My total minimum annual cost is 719.98! Shame on you

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Aaron,

Slightly confused by your internet rage. All plans & rates are from their respective carriers. We did not omit the fact that it cost extra to get unlimited text with AT&T. The price is factored in.

This is the total cost of ownership with phone price included (hence annual cost may be different than yours). While having an unlocked iPhone on a carrier of your choice can definitely be key to savings (assuming that’s what you meant there), most average users won’t be able to deal with jailbreaking/unlocking their respective phones easily. The AT&T minimum plan may appear to be the “cheapest” simply because the “cheapest” data plan is the now tiered 200 MB data plan. Hope this clear things up a bit!

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The Truth June 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

how is the price factored in? The basic plan on the iphone is $39.99 (450 minutes) + $25.00 (used to be $30 for unlimited data). Take that and add $20.00 for unlimited texting and what do you come up with? $84.99…Sprint’s similiar plan is $79.99 (if you go with the EVO 4G).

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Is the issue with the $74.99 price? Again, it’s the 200 MB plan we’ve used as part of the “minimum” plan listed (at $15 vs the 2GB $25 plan you’ve mentioned). Hence, $74.99. It may appear to be cheaper, but it certainly isn’t the best deal for many people. Sprint’s offering is very decent, considering it’s $69.99 (+$10 for 4G).

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Trevor June 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Just a FYI, that additional $10/month fee for “4G” in states like California where they have no 4G coverage, the sales staff are calling it an “access fee” for websites they currently don’t offer access to with other phones. I think it’s BS, but that’s their sales pitch in the Sprint store. I wasn’t wild about being charged $10 more a month over my “Unlimited” plan, for still having the same speed “limitations”.

Kevin June 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

You acknowledge the fact that the Nexus 1 is $529 off contract but failed to factor in that if you buy it off contract your minimum plan for 500mins + Unlimited text +unlimited data is only $59.99/mo. That makes the lowest 2 year TCO of 1968.76. You should update your graph.

Aaron Shafer June 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

There is no internet rage here. I’m just pointing out that it seems like you’re comparing apples to oranges. Your placing the iPhone along side other phones from other carriers that offer more from minimum to unlimited plans. If someone who was ignorant to this fact looks at this chart, they will assume that the iPhone is the best choice. It appears that the iPhone is the best deal while in reality it’s the absolute worst deal. Case in point is that the other carriers offer more for less. Albeit the iPhone is the best (in my opinion) AT&T will empty your pockets.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Understandable. I apologize for saying “internet rage,” it was more of a bad joke than anything else. I think we probably should do a better job highlighting the fact that it’s “ONLY” 200 MB that a user will get, or change it to the 2 GB data plan to better closely match with what other carriers are offering.

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Richard H June 23, 2010 at 9:24 am

I am not sure how 200MB is considered a data plan at all. It really seems like a trap. I think even a light user would pretty quickly exceed that and end up paying overage fees. I know it’s available, but it’s not really appropriate for anyone who does much other than email and check the weather.

But. thanks for putting this together! (My beef is with AT&T for even insulting us with a 200mb data plan)

JC June 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Your stats about memory on the Incredible are incorrect. The Incredible has 8GB of onboard storage with the ability to add a 32GB micro-sd. Your total possible should read 40GB and not 32GB.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Good catch. Wording there should be (expandable with an additional 32 GB).

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Mike June 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Having had an iPhone with unlimited and switched to VZW for Android, I agree that this is improperly skewed as ATT was far more expensive. Also, is there a way to factor in the price of rage since ATT drops calls multiple times EVERYDAY to the point you smash your phone and have to replace it?

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Unfortunately we should all know by now that the iPhone is great for all things, except for making calls (on AT&T anyways). By the way, not sure how AT&T is skewed since they’re the second highest priced plan (in terms of “unlimited” pricing), and their unlimited isn’t really unlimited anyways since the maximum data plan you can initially subscribe is the 2 GB monthly one.

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Tom June 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

His “internet rage” is justified. There are huge omissions from this comparison chart:

1. You left out that the EVO 4G Sprint $80/month plan with 450 minutes lets you have UNLIMITED calls to any mobile phone, on any carrier.

This is a huge money saver. Sprint’s “nights” also start at 7pm as opposed to AT&T’s 9pm.

2. You also left out that with the EVO, USB data tethering is FREE. Only the WiFi hotspot is $30 extra.

On the iPhone, USB tethering will be $30 extra. And once you change your plan to add tethering, you can no longer get unlimited data.

3. You should also list the huge differences in Early Termination Fees between carriers, since AT&T raised its fee to be substantially higher than its competitors’ ETFs.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Good points Tom and those definitely should be in part of the blog posts editorial content. Unfortunately we couldn’t fit all possible pros and cons for each respective phone and carriers. Will highlight some points here in an update to the post, and definitely consider adding early termination fees to future comparison graphics (for example, Sprint has a much more favorable cancellation policy vs. other carriers).

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johnrussel June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Wow you’re not smart are you? The censor/lens in the iPhone are superior quality, giving better pic/vid quality. Megapixels mean nothing. And the iPhone can act as a hotspot, just not in the US yet with at&t. (Though they say this is coming real soon)

Also, the 4G speeds have proven to be no more faster than 3G in almost all cases.

Do some research first…

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Scott June 16, 2010 at 4:56 am

The EVO can be used as a hot spot as well. And 4G is definitely faster. I have an EVO, switched from an iPhone. I compared both side by side.

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Blake June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

So you have the category titled “Unlimited Plan” – yet AT&T doesn’t offer an unlimited plan. It does specify only 2 GB of data per month under the price, but still calling it an unlimited plan is misleading. If you start to factor in any usage above and beyond the 2 GB of data allocated in the plan, total cost of ownership skyrockets for anyone wanting to maximize their iPhone usage with data-intensive apps like Netflix, Pandora, etc.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I’ll add a note explaining the “unlimited plan” category in the blog post (and in future graphics) so that people will understand that its the “maximum” plan you can subscribe to when you first sign up with a carrier. Agree that if you go over the 2 GB cap, pricing can get ridiculously expensive. Though I think it’s unfortunate that AT&T switched to a tier plan structure for their data service, they do have a point that 95% of their users uses less than 2 GB data per month.

Of course, you can also argue that because of the many network issue AT&T may have, people are barely using their data plan…

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Leo June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Great matchup, but you should add rows for processor type/speed, wireless n support, total memory, front facing camera, camera flash, removable memory stick, and tethering capabilities/cost. Also you should distinguish between iPhone’s multitasking solution and “true” multitasking as they are not created equal (for better or for worse). It’d also be noteworthy to mention android’s free turn by turn software in the GPS column as its generally a must have for GPS enabled phones and it’s not cheap.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Solid points, Leo. I think tethering/wifi/hotspot capabilities are definitely things the average users may be interested in. We thought about adding more detail but didn’t want to info-overload things too. Our previous comparison graphics have variety of degree of information (for example, we’ve listed formatting support, GPS turn-by-turn features, etc.) and we’ve adjusted the latest graphics based on previous feedbacks; so we definitely appreciate your feedback.

What will probably work better for more technical details is if we clarify things more in the text section, and link to relevant resources/articles that further explains how an iOS does multitasking vs. Android.

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Keith June 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

The EVO battery life, as stated by the manufacturer, is a gross exaggeration. I have a friend who went to Google I/O and got one there, and he’s had extensive experience with the phone’s battery life. In a word: it’s awful. He’s lucky to get 8 hours out of a single charge, and most of that is on standby. It appears to be a software problem, but until it’s fixed, this phone doesn’t match up with the others.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

That’s definitely an issue that’s been heavily reported. A quick search on Google for “EVO 4G battery…” will yield thousands of listings for people with battery life issue. Hopefully a firmware/software update will resolve it but this is definitely a factor some people should keep in mind when considering the EVO 4G.

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Jon June 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Screensize is misleading. Iphone has the smallest screen, but the way you have screen resolution and then size in small print below it makes it seem like the iphone somehow has the largest screen.
Makes me wonder if there’s bias?

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Good point, we probably should have resolution as the smaller font (or equal sizing), I’ll see if we can have that updated within a reasonable time. There’s really no bias here, I personally don’t prefer the iPhone. *shrug* Others at BillShrink sport one, but we have variety of phone users here, mostly BlackBerries with some iPhone & Android devices mixed in. Don’t think there’s any Windows Mobile users though.. heh (perhaps some WebOS though).

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Blake June 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

What kind of caching are you using for this WordPress blog? I first try to post a comment and it says “Slow down, you’re posting too quickly,” when it was my first ever comment here. Then I refresh, post it again, and it seemingly takes my comment, but then it doesn’t show up in the comment section. So I try and post it again and it tells me “Duplicate comment detected.” But my comment is shown nowhere on the page. I know you might be trying to avoid a server collapse, but the settings for caching are screwed up.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

The blog’s actually deployed on multiple servers so that’s definitely an issue we need to address in the future (sometimes you may be seeing a version being served to you by a different server). Comments are also sometimes held in moderation, and you’re right that sometimes it’s to avoid a hit to server (especially to certain Digg prone and comparison posts such as this where people will always be upset). There should be a notice telling you that your comment may have been held for moderation, if not then that’s definitely something we’ll check into.

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Blake June 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

There was no message about moderation, but I definitely appreciate you taking the time to reply to all these comments :)

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Do’h. You’re welcome and thanks for the notice. Will see if we can fix that commenting moderation issue.

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AussiePunk June 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

You should put Tethering on there. iPhone yes/2GB, Verizon Incredible not yet, Sprint Evo yes/unlimited, Nexus One yes/?.

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Tumbleweed June 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

EVO 4G has a 1.3mp front-facing camera, iPhone 4 has a VGA front-facing camera. Others: no front-facing camera. EVO 4G has dual-LED flash, iPhone 4 has single-LED flash. Not sure about the others.

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Abtin Shakouri June 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I think you need to add the fact that the Sprint’s minimum plan includes unlimited anytime Mobile-to-Mobile.

I have had the plan for the past year, and honestly it feels unlimited to me. Who really has a landline anymore? I think within one month, out of the 450 landline minutes I get, I use at most 100 or so.

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James Hoiby June 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Jeez folks, give it a break. BillShrink guy does a good job comparing difficult-to-compare plans from different carriers and all anyone can do is whine. EVERY single comment so far is a compaint! (I guess you could say I’m complaining about the complainers?)

THANK YOU BillShrink Guy for putting this chart together.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Thanks! No worries though as there’s many valid concerns and we’ve done this dance a few times before. We always welcome constructive criticism, and try to work these comparison graphics out as best as we can while balancing information for the average people, the fanboys, and the technically proficient.

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Rich June 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Perhaps you could be a bit more clear on your criteria for ‘Minimum plans’. For example, if you buy the Nexus One unlocked you can use whatever plan you want, so technically $29.99 for 500 minutes of voice would be their minimum plan.

Also, the price you have listed for the minimum, $79.99, is incorrect. The ‘Even More Plus’ plan, 500 Minutes Talk + Unlimited Text + Unlimited Web, comes in at $59.99. This is stated on the t-mobile website.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Actually the price there is based on the specific plan you get if you order the Google Nexus One through Google’s website and if you want to use it with T-Mobile (unfortunately you can’t choose any other plans from T-Mobile if you want to purchase a subsidized phone). Apologize for the confusion based on the way we’ve structured it. Think of it this way, this is a total cost of ownership comparison for anyone without a cell phone plan at any of these carriers and the comparison may make more sense.

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Rich June 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I understand what you are saying, but correct me if I’m wrong, the Nexus One is offered from Google completely unlocked and contract-free, right?

$79.99 is the recommended plan for the unsubsidized phone on T-mobile, but not a requirement or even the minimum. You could use your phone on a voice-only plan or on Flexplay and pay a lot less. My point is the minimum price listed in the diagram is misleading.

Buying the unsubsidized model, you are in no way forced to use the $79 plan. You can use whatever plan T-mobile offers.

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BillShrink Guy June 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

$79.99 is the plan you must get for the subsidized phone, but yes definitely for the unsubsidized phone, you can get whatever plan you want. We’ll definitely clear up our criteria for “minimum plan.” In this scenario, we mean “minimum” as in minimum voice but still retaining all smartphone features (unlimited data + messaging). We wanted to compare “minimum plan” WITH contract, and balance it across carriers as much as possible. In the Nexus One’s case, they’re definitely the odd-man out (in a good sense), you can easily choose to use it with T-Mobile or AT&T.

For those that may be curious, the Google Nexus One with a T-Mobile 500 minute Even More Plus plan (w/ ulimited data + messaging) cost $59.99, across a 24 month period, plus the $529 cost of the phone, would be $1,969. It’s definitely cheaper than the subsidized phone (kind of makes subsidizing moot point). I’ll see if we can update this to somehow make it more clear or go with the no contract option for both Nexus One plan listing in the graphics.

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Dick Wall June 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

A fairer comparison would be this:

N1 bought outright, with 500 minutes, minimum unlimited data and text plan, including tethering (in Froyo) would be $1969 as you say.

The closest equivalent to this with the iPhone is:

450 minutes + 2Gb data + tethering + unlimited messaging = $104.99 a month. Ignoring activation but factoring in the $199 for the 16 Gb phone, you get $2719 – that’s $750 more, and with slightly less minutes, data etc.

I picked up a 16 gig micro SD card for mine for $30, bringing my total for 2 years to $1999, still $720 less than the closest iPhone equivalent. I find the comparison chart a little inaccurate on the facts (the “cheapest” N1 + t-mobile plan is nothing of the sort), but also very misleading (the deal you get with Apple/AT&T is considerably worse).

Nelson June 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

Another saving possible to make it even cheaper would be dropping messaging for a Google Voice only option.

west June 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

the slanted Evo 4G doesn’t do it’s screen justice! its screen is a beast vs others :)

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JeffR June 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Aside from what everyone’s pointed out, I wanted to be the one voice in the wilderness saying thanks for trying to condense this info. I bought a TMO N1 a few months ago based on a spreadsheet I did thinking it would be simple. It turned out it was a beast and tested my limited excel ability.

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wise June 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm

iphone sucks..

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Mike June 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

You’re forgetting some key specifications on these phones here. The most glaring being battery life. Try comparing the talk-time, stand-by time and application time for these phones. I’ve wanted a new smartphone for years, but I’ve yet to find one that can match the battery life of the extended battery on my original BlackJack. Since my BlackJack can do almost anything these can (people tend to forget that ALOT of the “apps” for these are updated/ported WM/CE programs made more accessible and pretty) with the exception of Wi-Fi. Which, if any, of these can give me a week to ten days away from my charger?

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JeffR June 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Sorry the BlackJack is nothing like these in the feel you get from the device. User interface is name of the game and why there’s so many apps being created every day. Non-touchscreen devices just don’t compete in this space anymore.

That being said, you’re right in none of these will come close to giving you that kind of run time – maybe if you turn everything off you’d get 4-5 days, but you won’t be able to use it. These are charge every night devices – maybe you could squeak 2 days out of it with light usage. I recommend planning on a plugin or getting an emergency (battery) charger.

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Devin June 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I’m starting to wonder of the EVO’s from Google io were defective or something, as my EVO(which I’m posting on right now) gets around the same battery life that friends iPhone 3G gets, If not better. I feel as if enough time yawn’t passed to Jude the battery life just yet

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nobody June 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

@Mike, hey buddy. Take a look at row #2.

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Tux` June 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

You should update this and add T-Mobile’s HTC HD2.

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zodoor June 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

WTF???? how could you put out such a crap. You didn’t even mention the xyz and the fact that you can’t attach abc to the lmnop’s floppy slot, Useless totally useless.
Just wanted to fit ,sorry
other than that I guess it wasn’t to bad a comparison.
Oh so is Verizon thinking of allowing tethering for the incredible ? is the phone capable of it?
Hey B.S.G. If things get to rough for ya here, you can stay at my house for a couple of days.
Later haters

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BillShrink Guy June 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

The Droid Incredible, like all the recent Android powered phone, is fully capable of tethering. If a particular Android 2.1+ phone doesn’t come with the software already, you can always get PDAnet to enable tethering (you’ll have to root the phone though). Verzion does allow the Droid Incredible to be officially tethered if you go with a $15 or $30 plan (currently discounted at $10 and $25, I believe). The price of the tethering depends on your current cell phone plan (I know, confusing).

Lastly, thanks for the kind words. Offer of free lodging from a random person on the interweb? Sweeeet. Don’t see how this could possibly go wrong!

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RICHAO June 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Erik,

Thanks for taking the time to chart this out. With ATT making all these changes lately I’ve been wondering what to do. I’ve been out of a contract for a while and want to make a wise decision when I upgrade my family to a 2 year joke to save a couple C notes on hardware.

This helps and I’m probably going to go with the crummy ATT network just for the cheeky device.

They got us over a barrel this time.

Thanks again,
Richao

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Erik Chang June 16, 2010 at 10:43 am

Richao, not a problem! As BSG have mentioned, we tried to balance it out as much as possible. While AT&T’s data offering leaves plenty to be desired, if you want an iPhone 4, there really isn’t a choice in the matter. I personally don’t like the tiered data rate (or at least, the current amount they’re offering), but for some people, it could be a big saving vs. being forced into an unlimited plan.

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at@t June 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Sprint it the best deal…
450 mins to LAN LINES unlimited to ALL cell phones. Who calls lan lines (at least that much) anymore?

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phone guy June 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Thanks for putting this together!

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Bob@yahoo.fr June 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

Feature is’nt everything when comparing phones. Apples needing to control the whole system (hardware, OS, Software, software distrubition ) is a strong drawback. What about the freedom to install whatever you want even if it’s not approved by Apple ? Too much power in the same hand is’nt the best for customers.

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Leavin' Sprint June 16, 2010 at 5:09 am

They need another chart for family plans. That’s where Sprint is completely messed up.

For the minimum family plan I can get by with (over two years including the cost of the phone):

AT&T and two iPhones & one basic phone: $3160 ($115*24 + $400)
Sprint and two EVOs & one basic phone: $4480 ($170*24 + $400)

Granted, that’s only 550 minutes , 200 texts and 200 MB of data on one iPhone, 2GB on the other iPhone vs. 1500 minutes and unlimited data & texting on Sprint (on all three phones). But I don’t need that many minutes, or unlimited texting or data, and only “need” two smart phones. Sprint just doesn’t offer any flexibility on family plans, but offer a good deal if you have multiple smart phones and need a lot of minutes.

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Andy June 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

What are you talking about?

Sprint family share plan out weights ATT.

Sprints family Share plan is for unlimited text , data , and 1500 shared minted for $129 this includes 2 lines. How is that more expensive than ATT?

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Luke June 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm

If you have 4 lines with sprint, you can get each line for approximately $42.50 before taxes and fees. There is an extra $10 for the evo but still a better deal in my opinion.

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Leavin' Sprint June 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Let me clarify: for ME, AT&T will be cheaper.

Sprint’s family plans are great if you need 1500 minutes & unlimited data and texting. I don’t. I need a couple of hundred voice minutes shared between two smart phones and one basic phone . I don’t need unlimited texting; two hundred texts on one line will be more than adequate. After speaking with several co-workers that have iPhones, I’m convinced 2 GB of data will be fine for me.

Sprint’s cheapest family plan for a smartphone is $130. Add $20 more for the third line and add $20 more for two EVOs; that totals $170.

On AT&T I can get 550 minutes for $60 for two lines; add $10 for the third line, $25 for a 2GB data plan, $15 for a 200 MB data plan (my wife works from home & can use wifi most of the time) and $5 for 200 texts. That’s a total of $115 for AT&T, a savings of $55 per month.

BTW, I’m not an iPhone lover or a Sprint hater. I’ve been with Sprint for 12 years and don’t really have any complaints about them. But their lack of pricing options for smartphones for families is a problem for me.

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Dom June 16, 2010 at 5:37 am

Wow, all the fanboys are jumping down your throat, but this is a nice infographic. Obviously, you can’t fit every detail of every plan on there, but I thought you did a great job giving a clear snapshot. Also, how do you have the patience to respond to some of these knuckleheads?

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Legato1983 June 16, 2010 at 5:56 am

This comparison is so biased that it’s just way too easy to see through. How about the screen size of the Evo 4g? The YES/NO to the fact that it is 4G.

I don’t know where you get your data from, but AT&T is by far the most expensive, while Sprint is far cheaper.

Hopefully people don’t actually follow this chart because it’s mostly garbage.

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Mike June 16, 2010 at 6:41 am

Um….

HDMI out?

Wireless router?

Tethering cost?

Unlimited data plans?

Unlimited mobile to mobile?

Are you purposely leaving out all the reasons why the HTC Evo is a much better deal or was that on accident?

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Phill June 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

You might want to note that the iPhone will not have true multitasking. Apparently according to the iPhone spec sheet, unless the app is updated/developed with OS4 in mind, the program/app won’t be able to recognize the new OS ‘Multitasking’ feature.

Source: http://www.tuaw.com/2010/06/14/multitasking-in-ios4-is-not-a-magical-sparkle-pony/

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paulbelo June 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hello I wrote you at midnight last night and you did not post me. i compared the iphone to Android. I am hurt. Why not me? Some people had rude comments; I put a lot of thought and work into my post… why mister???

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BillShrink Guy June 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

paulbelo, your comment is right here in the threaded comment reply that you’ve submit to, just FYI.

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scott June 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I’m amazed that there is no mention of the HTC EVO being a WiMAX enabled phone. It’s the only phone on the list capable of up to 6MB/s broadband speeds. It’s an entirely different network, the Clearwire network, which is the first mobile data network that was built for data and not voice.
How can you compare that with the paltry 1.5MB/s maximum of the iphone?

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ducky June 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Scott that would be nice if they had 6 megabytes per second. I believe you mean 6 megabits? From what I hear that was only in selective areas that even came close to that speed.

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Kevin June 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

HSPA+ on t-mo is capable of up to 21mbps… Practical throughput of more like 7mbps is being deployed in several US cities. Nexus one is HSPA+ ready.

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Keith June 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

Apple vs Droid, does it really matter? If you like Apple go ahead and bite; if you like a droid, then buzz along. In the great scheme of life, we live, we die and the phone stays behind….

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Idiot June 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm

You have a few details wrong with the Nexus One:
1. The Nexus One is available for $529 unlocked.
2. The Nexus One also comes with Google Voice which allows free calling to any phone in the US.
3. T-Mobile offers data plans from $40 which can be used with Google Voice to get unlimited calling, texting and data.
4. The same plan offered for the $180 Nexus One is available for $20 less with the unlocked Nexus One (Even More Plus 500 w/ Unlimited Data) and no contract.

That makes the total cost over 24 months
for the data plan with Google Voice:
$529+ $35 activation + $40/month + Google Voice= $1524
for the Even More Plus 500:
$529+ $35 activation + $69/month= $2220

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Jason June 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

Google Voice does NOT let you make free phone calls. It isn’t VOIP, you are using minutes. I tested this the moment I got a gvoice number. To get free calling using google voice you’d have to use another free calling service like sipgate (not available on mobile).

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Craig V June 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Idiot is right, you can get a data and minimum voice package on Sprint and Verizon and have Good Voice take care of the rest by not having to pay for minutes or text messages. The overall price should come around $70 a month ($40 voice + $30 data) on Verizon, or about $1880 overall 24 months. Other carriers may be even cheaper, for instance on T-Mobile, voice is not required.

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Ramond de Vrede June 23, 2010 at 5:51 am

I think the iPhone 4 will be my first iPhone. Since the introduction of the mobile OS of Microsoft I’ve enjoyed using them. I’m happy with my WM6.5 device now. BUT… For some months I’m using the iPad and it convinced me I can do whatever I want on an Apple device. I want a iPhone 4 :)

The apps are great, stable, nice design… I’m ready…

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Don June 23, 2010 at 8:35 am

Actually, you got the pricing on the EVO wrong- the cheapest plan available is the $69.99 everything data 450 plan, plus the mandatory $9.99 monthly ‘advanced data’ fee from Sprint. Everything data 450 is part of any mobile, anytime- meaning those minutes are only counted when you call landlines. Based on this correct information, that would make the EVO the cheapest minimum monthly price at 79.98.
http://shop.sprint.com/NASApp/onlinestore/en/Action/DisplayPlans

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Matt Maher June 23, 2010 at 8:50 am

Pardon my confusion, but I wonder if you kind of contradicted yourself at the end there. On the “Minimum Plans” you give the star to the Nexus One. I presume that is because for $5 more a month you get unlimited data vs 200MB of data. That’s fine, I don’t argue with that.

But then on the “Minimum Plan Total Costs,” you give the star to the iPhone, despite it only being $100 less than the Nexus One, which is right around the difference of $5 a month.

Am I missing something?

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Chris June 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

You could get no messaging plan at all for the iPhone in the “Minimum Plan” row. That would drop the price by $20 to $54.99/mo.

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awesomerobot June 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

You star the Nexus One’s minimum monthly plan price, but then star the iPhone’s plan for the total minimum plans total cost?

I understand that you listed the minimum costs – but it’s kind of silly to include AT&T’s ridiculous 200MB option. I think it would be better to compare the minimums with at least the same feature set. Also, you may be trying to keep to the true minimum, but then why add the $20 to the AT&T plan for texting when adding an additional feature precludes the plan from the “minimum”?

Do you see the failure in logic here? You’re listing the lowest data plan in an effort to shoot for minimum, but you add a non-required texting plan to balance out the feature set – Wouldn’t it make sense to either show the plan without the texting to make it the absolute minimum or show the plan with the same level of data usage to put it on par with the other offerings?

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Chris June 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

you prob should also mention the iphone is the only one with a second front facing camera / video conferencing.. and the addition of a gyroscope.

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Jim June 23, 2010 at 9:54 am

I wish you’d exclude the iPhone from the Unlimited categories. It is not unlimited and should not be compared just exclude it, put a big asterix, or put a big “screw you AT&T” in the column.

If you want to use real numbers then show AT&T’s “unlimited” data plan by adding the maximum overage fees added on every single month.

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Sam June 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

Just for comparison, here is the pricing for the UK version of the HTC Incredible (the HTC Desire) on T-Mobile… this is the pricing I recently purchased the device at off the T-Mobile UK website as a new customer.

Phone: £129
24 month Plan: £15/month (300 minutes, 2GB data, unlimited calls to landlines, unlimited texts)

(Plan is roughly equivalent to the “minimum” plans above, but may have fewer bundled minutes depending upon your calling pattern)

Total cost: (£15*24)+£129 = £489 = Approx $730 USD

More than 70% cheaper than your Incredible listed above. And the UK prices I’ve quoted INCLUDE all sales taxes and incidental charges, which US carriers normally don’t include.

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Sgt. Pepper June 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

I love the comments from non-iPhone owners who seem threatened by Apple (which has a large investment by MicroSoft). You make it seem like multi-tasking on the iPhone won’t happen because the app will need updated to the new OS for it to work. Hmmm, I’m sure if you don’t program a droid phone properly it too will not multitask. I have the 3G version and I update my software several times a week because all the developers feel compelled to give users the best experience possible. So I’d bet very few apps won’t allow for multitasking at launch. I frankly have little need for it. I get my calls just fine breaking in on my games/net surfing. I may forget something is running and it will kill the battery while I do something else. It’s overrated, but the iPhone will soon have it anyway.

I assume most droid users are not Mac owners. Therefore they feel loyal to MS and other companies who need each other to keep things going for a large group of people. They constantly need to tweak and prod to keep things going well on their devices. My time is money. Add up the time spent tweaking your droids versus me just synching my iPhone for the latest updates and my iPhone gets cheaper.

I understand not everyone wants an iPhone. But not everyone needs texting either. I do think AT&T underestimated how popular the iPhone would be and how large it’s loyal Apple base would be. They now feel the need to limit users with these new plans. I guess I’m grandfathered in with mine and I hope it applies when I upgrade to a newer iPhone eventually. If not, I’ll not buy a data plan. I’ll just use the wifi part since I do at home anyway.

And yes, I don’t like that Apple talked about upgrading your phone easily because it has no buttons to limit what an app can do. Then they release small upgrades every year. But that’s all established phones. Always hanging a carrot to make you upgrade. My last phone was a Razor! Boy how Motorola has lost their niche so quickly.

Anyway, the point of this chart I thought was to help someone not already invested make a decision. Think about it. The more apps you buy, the more invested you are to that device. You’ll always find a “selling point” or a favorite app that makes the difference for you. The rest is just hype which is funny because the companies listed throughout this whole post don’t have to spend another dime to gain your support or mine. I’m sold/invested in my iPhone as you are to your phone. If the iPhone switched networks I might consider the switch. Otherwise, I doubt I’ll consider the switch to a different phone. Certainly not for video. I have several video cameras for quality video. Certainly not for texting. That’s why I have email and a phone! lol Certainly not for the camera. I have a Digital SLR for taking real images. The iPhone camera is nice for “instant pictures” to post to FaceBook. lol With good lighting they are actually nice but no comparison to the right focal length and apperture.

So relax and enjoy your phones! Whatever kind you have.

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