Friday's probably going to be a huge day for smartphone sales, so Q&A website Fixya.com decided to give holiday shoppers a helping hand by pointing out the major issues with some of the most popular smartphones on the market: the iPhone 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the Moto X and the HTC One.
Seeing that we're a bunch of Apple fanbois and fangrrls here, we'll talk about the failings of the other phones first before pointing out the issues with the iPhone 5s. To begin with, Samsung's Galaxy S 4 has problems with overheating -- primarily due to the fact that it is made from plastic that doesn't dissipate heat all that well. The Galaxy S 4 is also known for "severe battery drain over the course of a given day" and a darker-than-usual display.
According to gripes from Fixya's readers, the Moto X suffers from a lack of local storage. It has the least on-board storage of all competing smartphones, and like the iPhone, has no way to increase storage with a memory card. Like the Galaxy S 4, the Moto X's display has issues. In this case, it has "text pixelation and saturation (overly bright colors)," partially due to the 720p display's fairly low resolution. Camera quality is also listed as a turnoff, with Fixya saying that "the Moto X is likely not going to be a popular phone with consumers who are heavy camera and photography users."
For the HTC One, battery life is awful -- according to Fixya, that's due to the "big screen and fast processor." It also takes a long time to recharge, with users reporting that it takes as long as five hours to charge up. HTC One users also report a "subtle hiss in the background while making phone calls and ... when listening to music." The phone also has problems shooting images in the middle of the day (they're too saturated), but does quite well in low-light conditions.
So what do people report as their main gripes with the iPhone 5s? Battery life still haunts users, particularly when using location services regularly. Fixya offers a disclaimer on the next "issue," fingerprint passwords through Touch ID. Apparently a number of users were concerned that their fingerprints were being shared with the NSA, but as Fixya points out, "Apple stores the fingerprint password on an A7 chip on the actual phone device and does not upload that data to iCloud or share it with any other apps." The final issue for some iPhone 5s users appears to be display size, with some people feeling that the 4-inch display is small in comparison with other phones on the market.
Choose wisely when making your selection of a smartphone as a gift for yourself or others. We know what we'd pick, but you may have reasons to wander off of the Apple orchard for a phone. Don't say that TUAW and Fixya didn't warn you...