My relationship with my HTC One M8 was solid. We grew up together, evolved together (in other words, I’d had an HTC One M7 previously, and I loved that too). It was, perhaps, a little too tall for me. But on the inside, it was almost perfect. We got on brilliantly.
I loved its Android operating system (after all, it has been in my life since 2009 — as has HTC — when I bought the second ever Android flagship phone, the HTC G2 Touch).
Then in September, came this shining beauty. Slim body. Perfectly formed. Irresistibly attractive. The iPhone 6 was just so hot. I was dazzled. I never thought I’d be so shallow.
To be honest, we don’t actually get along that well. There are things about it I hate. You know, annoying stuff that really gets on my nerves — the phone equivalent of never hanging out the washing.
No smart dialler. It takes me several taps just to find someone in my contacts book on iOS.
No decent calendar app (and if you say Sunrise, I’m going to throttle you). I’ve had to settle for Readdle when really I miss Android’s Business Calendar Pro.
I miss it terribly.
No offline Gmail. So when I’m underground I can’t read my messages in the app.
But then my iPhone makes one wink of its camera and I forget all our incompatible personality traits again. The hardware is just so good.
Yet, that’s not enough for complete divorce. There are some apps I’ve purposely never logged into on my iPhone — thereby keeping essential ties to my HTC One M8.
Yes, I know that smartphone problems are, by their very nature, first world problems. But I can’t be the only one out there with this one.
Apple fangirls will be oblivious to the attractions of Android and particularly of HTC — an ailing brand that, despite producing excellent handsets, made losses in 2013.
But the HTC One M8 was repeatedly voted the best phone of 2014. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a last year it won the Global Mobile Award for Best Smartphone. At the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards in October it won Phone of the Year.
Recently released results for the fourth quarter of 2014 show that HTC is finally profitable again. Techradar still rates it as the top phone in the world today — ahead of the iPhone 6 — describing it as “a phone that has barely any flaws”.
As for Apple’s offering — I barely need to say anything at all. When it comes to design, its phones are unbeatable. Yesterday’s profit figures of nearly £12 billion — the largest quarterly profits ever made by a public company thanks almost exclusively to the iPhone — show that Apple knows how to make an outstanding product.
So will HTC and Android win me back? Well there’s always the HTC One M9: coming soon — according to rumours — at Mobile World Congress in March. I’m saving a space in my heart — and my handbag.
Quick look: iPhone 6
Love it: Everything about it is beautiful. You just want to keep turning it over and over in your hands, it feels so precious. It’s the Goldilocks phone. Not too big (whatever the iPhone 5S devotees say), not too small — just right.
Sod what anyone says about lower-res. The iPhone 6 takes super sharp pictures — even with the front-facing camera. Plus, the slo-mo and time lapse functions are a lot of fun.
Hate it: Such great hardware is let down by iOS. Surely smart dialling (where tapping in the first couple of letters using the dial pad brings up a contact integrated, merged and linked with all your social networks) should be standard? Though third-party app developers such as Brewster have made attempts, they haven’t got it right. Plus, iOS won’t let you download audio and video files directly from links or change your ringtone to an audio file of your own without plugging in to a PC or Mac — which I don’t own.
Quick look: HTC One M8
Love it: People always complain the layers of software that manufacturers add on top of Android but unlike Samsung Touchwiz, HTC Sense has a reasonably light touch, meaning it’s pretty close to the vanilla Android system.
Simple extras such as its excellent smart dial and social network integration, (which it has had for years) are totally worth having. And then there’s dot view — an retro 8-bit where you can answer calls through your phone case. It’s neat.
Meanwhile, everything just works better on Android. Swiftkey’s keyboard is mediocre on the iPhone but brilliant on Android. Even more basic, on Android I can send WhatsApp messages while offline or an SMS when in a dead zone that will dispatch automatically once I get a connection. Try that on iOS: you can’t.
Hate it: It’s too damn big, too damn heavy. What can I say? I’m a fattist.
Jasmine also weighed in the new City Mapper rival, Moovit.