Thanks to changing my cellular provider recently, I am now currently using an Android device. To be exact the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I previously owned a HTC Arrive for Sprint which even though it was a rather large device, the OS easily made up for the hardware’s shortcomings. So now that I am with a better provider than Sprint, I can more easily switch between devices and see how each one stacks up in my day to day use.

To begin with I will start this several part comparison with my initial first impressions of moving from Windows Phone to Android.

Home Screens

Both home screens offer quick buttons to the essential application any smartphone needs such as the obvious phone functionality, messaging, email, and the internet. The big difference here lies in how each approach this interface. Below are screenshots from both Android 4.1 and WP 7.5 courtesy of Wikipedia.

The big difference here to me is the way the information is presented about what I have missed or need to be notified about. The Android platform is taking me a little getting used to, but it is nice to have everything put into the notifications area at the top to see what I have missed. With Windows Phone 7.5 I will see what I missed on my locked screen for a few core applications and then once the phone is unlocked, each individual tile has the ability to show me any information I choose for it to display.

Personally I tend to prefer how clean the Windows Phone looks. Many criticize it for being too boring, which I admit it does force you currently to use large tiles, but it presents the information cleaner and quicker than my android does right now. Also come Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 this issue of large tiles will be gone.

Battery Life

While I understand my old HTC Arrive was only a single core processor and a smaller screen, it did manage to last easily a day to a day and a half. My new Samsung Galaxy Nexus tends to have trouble making it through the entire day on one charge. I am currently getting close to 11-12 hours on a charge with light use and closer to 9 hours on a charge with normal use for me. The one part where Android is beating the current Windows Phone 7.5 is in how it displays the battery usage. Currently in WP7 you have to goto the Battery Saver menu under Settings and there it will display a percentage of the battery left, but that is all. With Android I am able to see a fairly complete breakdown of how my battery has been draining and what apps used what percentage of the battery charge. Check out the screenshots from above to get the idea on how WP7 is a little behind in this part.

Well that is all for this part of my rough comparison of the two mobile platforms. Check back soon for more as I begin to examine each of the platforms strengths and weaknesses more.

I hope to soon get my hands on the SDK for Android and seeing how that handles compared to the Windows Phone SDK which is amazingly powerful and polished.