I need a new cell phone.
October 9, 2011 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I need a new cell phone. I've narrowed it down to a Nokia N8 or a Samsung Galaxy S II. Which should I go with?

I'm one of those grumpy non-Apple people so an iphone is no go.
posted by librarianbryan to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The N8 is a dead end. Get the Samsung, but watch this video first

Hitler reacts to the iPhone 4S
posted by Oktober at 7:54 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, the Nokia runs Symbian (which is on its way out in favor of the new Windows phone OS, not clear if N8 will make the transition or not) and the Samsung runs Android. So the key question is which of those two ecosystems you wish to join for a commitment that may well outlast this particular phone or be very painful to change. I love Nokia phones, and still limp a Symbian phone along as my primary phone, but the path is clearly coming to an end. The N8 is a fantastic device, with a far better camera than one can get on *any* other smartphone at present, including the Iphone 4S. Nokia phones are engineered to incredible specs.

Samsung/Android fans say the same about the Galaxy S II. Android is obviously a better medium-term bet.
posted by spitbull at 7:57 AM on October 9, 2011

Or what Oktober said.
posted by spitbull at 7:57 AM on October 9, 2011

Samsung over the Nokia these days, (I used to swear by Nokia but not any more)... I'm waiting for the Nexus Prime / Galaxy (the next 'Google' phone also made by Samsung) due later this month before deciding between that and the S II though.
posted by dirm at 8:00 AM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I really like my Galaxy. I don't know if it has the best camera available, but it takes quite good photos -- more than good enough for anything I want cameraphone photos of, anyhow. (I have the last generation Galaxy, fwiw.)

But before you go to Galaxy, try to install Kies on your computer. I have been entirely unable to do so (on two different OSes) and have been stuck unable to backup or update my phone. (This is not crucial because everything I care about is synced via google, but annoying because I want to update the OS.)
posted by jeather at 8:03 AM on October 9, 2011

Galaxy S II.
posted by TrinsicWS at 8:10 AM on October 9, 2011

Galaxy S II, or wait for Samsung and Google to announce the Nexus Prime/Nexus Galaxy, whatever they're calling it. I think that's the best idea.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:13 AM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just FYI, the next Samsung Nexus phone might be a Verizon exclusive for a few months prior to other carriers getting versions of it.

I think the only advantage the Nokia N8 has over the Galaxy is its camera, which is probably about the best smartphone camera available now. Otherwise, the Android market has far better selection of apps (almost on par with iTunes). The Galaxy has a bigger and better screen, a user-replaceable battery, Google Maps GPS navigation, better hardware specs, just to name a few. The Galaxy S was mostly better than the N8, but the Galaxy S II beats it hands down.

If you want a point-and-shoot camera with a phone, get the N8. Otherwise, the Galaxy (and its camera is pretty good).
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:54 AM on October 9, 2011

Can you give us more info on what you need? Do you want a phone that takes great pictures, or do you want a small computer that happens to make phone calls? Are apps important to you?
posted by modernserf at 8:56 AM on October 9, 2011

I have a Galaxy S II and I’m pretty pleased with it. The screen is amazing, the battery life isn't bad, the camera is great, and I really like Android.

If your computer can't use Kies, the debugging mode on the Galaxy is great for transferring music/photos etc. (As described here.)

Actually, thinking about it, I should note that there is one fairly significant problem; the last four times I've been lost and needed to use the maps feature, the phone has decided there's not enough signal (even though I have four bars) and it doesn't work.

So Friday night led to half an hour of me wandering round in the pouring rain, totally lost. THANKS, PHONE. But this is probably a problem with my network, not with the phone itself. Still...grr, never had this problem with the iPhone on the same network.

I would still definitely recommend the Galaxy S II, though.
posted by badmoonrising at 9:00 AM on October 9, 2011

I have a Galaxy S II and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
posted by Amalie-Suzette at 9:30 AM on October 9, 2011

Nokia does not seem to be in a good place as a company, and Symbian is definitely a dying OS. I'd go with the Galaxy -- even if Apple does kick Samsung's arse in court, there will still be an Android infrastructure in the forseeable future.
posted by Alterscape at 10:13 AM on October 9, 2011

I have an Evo 4G, but the Galaxy S II has me a little jealous...
posted by erstwhile at 10:18 AM on October 9, 2011

The difference between app libraries of the Nokia and Samsung is pretty much Beta cassette vs DVD, respectively.

Depending on your carrier the Galaxy S II screen sizes differ- AT&T has the smaller model. Many people like the huge screen of the Infuse, some don't.

Also, try a Windows phone. Just try it.
posted by tremspeed at 8:40 PM on October 9, 2011

S II is a nice piece of hardware, but it has shoddy battery. My boss has it; he is usually out of juice by 4PM even after a full night's charge.

If you'd like to take a look at Nokia, I'd suggest that you wait till the end of the month. There's a very good chance that there are at least three new models coming out in NokiaWorld; at the very least, you'd have a greater choice.
posted by the cydonian at 1:42 AM on October 10, 2011

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