Apple Iphone 5 vs. Moto Razr M vs. HTC One S

Watching the keynote for the Apple Iphone 5 announcement was a mixture of annoyance (at the blatant cult-like manipulation) and interest. They did do some innovating, about the same amount as Amazon in its latest release.

Apple Iphone 5- White

Iphone 5 Specs

The Iphone 5 form factor is impressive, but also largely predictable, since Apple has to support at least one of the legacy dimensions of the display, otherwise all apps have to be redesigned and published. Keeping the width to 640px makes the most sense as well, since it distinguishes itself from the larger display Android devices which are much wider as well as taller.

The 1gb ram is a bit of a ripoff. The 16gb/32gb/64gb is fine for size, but again no inexpensive microSD available. The 8mp camera is good, but no real breakthroughs other than some nice software touchups, and of course thinner.

The games and the video is going to be nice, and iOS 6 is likely an improvement.

  • Size: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
  • Weight: 112 g
  • Display Type: LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Display Size: 640 x 1136 pixels, 4.0 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)

Motorola Razr M Specs

The Motorola Razr M (aka Motorola Droid Razr M in the US) has an advantage of a 4.3" screen in roughly the same sized body. The display is ~256ppi instead of ~326ppi, but the reality is that it is not possible to tell the difference when held the appropriate distance away from the face. I've been using ~250ppi phones for a while and they are sufficient, while those around the ~200-225ppi do actually show pixel edges (e.g., the Samsung Galaxy SII).

Ships with Android ICS and Jellybean by year end. Likely Cyanogenmod and other 3rd party ROMs will be available in short order.

Same kind of processor performance, similar 8mp camera but front facing 0.3mp instead of the Iphone 720p HD camera.

  • Size: 122.5 x 60.9 x 8.3 mm
  • Weight: 126 g
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Display Size: 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)

About 10% heavier, 1% shorter, 4% wider, and 10% thicker. The question comes down to camera performance and price, as far as I can tell. Since I live in Thailand, by price I mean real, retail price, not carrier subsidies.

Yes, there are some software items that make one ecosystem preferable to another, but both ecosystems are fairly functional (e.g., shared tabs in Safari, but can get that in Chrome as well). Since I use iTunes Match, it would be nice to have access to all my music in the cloud, but I have found that manual sync with DoubleTwist to an Android with 16gb storage is fine for a sufficient set of playlists.

With either of these phones I think there is a win for the consumer in functionality, size, performance.

Motorola Razr M-1

  • Update 14-Sep-2012: Just found out that the Super AMOLED on the Motorola Razr M is what is called the PenTile display, which basically sucks. That's a no-go. Also, the pricing for the Iphone 5 in Thailand will probably be around 23,900 THB for 16gb, 27,500 THB for 32gb and 31,500 THB for 64gb. These numbers are based on converting the prices which are already listed on the Singapore Apple store, and which match approximately for the Iphone 4 and 4S with currency conversion. That's just ridiculously expensive. Ok, so I've got to keep looking for my next phone, which will likely not be the Iphone 5. The HTC One S is looking good...

  • Second Update 14-Sep-2012: I went to my favorite computer/mobile vendor and they have the HTC One S for 14,900 THB, which is 3,000 THB off of the list price. That's about $484 USD. Compared with the $776 USD for the 16gb Iphone 5. The HTC One S is 62% the cost of the Iphone 5. Also, I can buy it now, and from a trusted vendor, from whom I got my HTC Desire around 18 months ago for 13,500 THB. Hmmmm...


Nice review on Engadget.


  • Size: 130.9 x 65 x 7.8 mm
  • Weight: 119.5 g
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Display Size: 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)

This one is definitely bigger: 6% taller, 11% wider, 6% thicker, and 5% heavier than the Iphone 5. But also about 9% more screen real estate, and nearly 40% less expensive.

Here is how to root the HTC One S.