I'm looking for a smartphone: either an iPhone or an Android. Here are my requirements:

  1. Contacts must fully sync with Google Contacts. That means that whenever I add a contact in Gmail, it must show up automatically in the phone's contacts. The reverse must be true as well.
  2. Calendar must fully sync with Google Calendar.
  3. Access Google Docs easily, preferably without third-party apps.
  4. An app that makes use of Google maps for navigation.
  5. Good support for Chinese input software, including both pinyin and handwriting.

In short, I want a small device that allows me to access the Internet in any way at any time (I will get a phone plan that includes unlimited Internet access). All the data should be stored in the cloud rather than on the local device.

Can an iPhone do all the above? Or is an Android a better choice because the OS is done by Google?

Another issue: how good is the iPhone's hardware? The hardware on my last smartphone (a Dopod with Win Mobile 5) fell apart ( both in terms of speed and hardware) after a year of use. Do iPhones have similar problems?

2 Answers 2


I have an iPhone 4. I love it. Google has a sync service for iPhone which will do #1 and #2. Your desire #3 is easily done through the browser. There's a built-in google maps app to fulfill your wish #4.

So, the iPhone can do what you want.

That said, it sounds like you want an Android.

EDIT, since you asked about hardware

After over 2 years of use, most of it without a case, except for a few minor scratches my iPhone 3G is fine. The only thing even close to degradation is a barely noticeable "stickiness" to the front main button.

My new iPhone 4 seems just as solidly built. I can't imagine these things falling apart without some sort of abuse.

  • The built-in maps app (of iOS 4) is not a good navigation tool. You must manually forward each step when you have passed it with your car.
    – Martin
    Sep 28, 2010 at 7:34
  • @gphoppe, how about the responsiveness of the phone? Does it degrade over time?
    – Graviton
    Sep 28, 2010 at 8:26

I own both an iPhone 4 and a Nexus One.


  • Syncs with Google Contacts via the Address Book. You can set this option in iTunesitem
  • Syncs with Google Calendar via iCal. You can set this option in iTunes
  • You can access Google Docs through the browser now that they support native iPhone & iPad browsing. 3rd partyapps provide a better experience
  • There is a built in Maps application that does Google Maps well. No turn by turn navigation however.
  • Not sure about Chinese input support

Note: Contacts/Calendar/Mail can all be synced to Google if you setup your account as an Exchange account. This is very simple to do.

Android Syncs with Google Services right off the bat. I noticed the "experience" on the iPhone is richer.

It is up to you whether or not you prefer features, to user experience.

  • "experience" is richer... care to elaborate? And how about the responsiveness of both phones? Does it degrade over time?
    – Graviton
    Sep 29, 2010 at 0:52
  • There are more apps in the iPhone AppStore than there are apps in the Android Market. I've found iPhone apps to be more polished, meaning more functionality, better graphics, attention to detail. Neither of them degrade in performance over time. Android performance can degrade if you use too many widgets on your home screen. Sep 29, 2010 at 5:42

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