Good morning TH. I have my two year upgrade with Verizon on February 1st. I'm currently using an old LG ENV3 with Voice & Text only, no data. I don't really know much about smartphones, just that whatever I get will last me until February 1, 2015 when I upgrade again.
Ranking of usage:
Web browsing & App usage (banking, email & google mostly)
Youtube / Netflix videos (very little usage)
I am not very familiar with any of those phones. Too big for my taste and very shortly I will be dumping Verizon for Virgin Mobile; cheaper plans, but much more limited selection of phones. No 4G LTE phone either; just the 4G WIMAX which is being phased out.
It has been said that the iPhone is a great smartphone for dumb people because it is so easy to use. Never played with one, but at least before Steve Jobs died Apple had a reputation for releasing products that worked seamlessly or at least very well. The most obvious sore thumb is when Apple released it's own version of maps in competition with Google's Map. Needless to say there were flaws. Apple Map will pulled, the owners were then allowed to download a map app from it's competitors (like Google) and the director in charge of the Apple Map app was quickly shown the door... Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook probably made sure the door hit the director on his way out.
Probably the most striking phone in your list is the Droid DNA. That is simply due to the fact that it has a 1920x1080 resolution screen. It sounds impressive and it actually is impressive. But it is probably a bit difficult to read things w/o having to zoom in. I suppose it's great for games and movies. Browsing the web as well since you can see a lot of info on the screen at once due to the HD resolution... assuming you vision is at least very good. The one big drag is battery life. It takes a lot of power to push that many pixels even when not playing a game. I believe I read somewhere that doing a mix of playing games, watching a movie and surfing the net, battery life came in well under 5 hours of continual usage. All things considering I don't think it's that bad.
I know someone with a Samsung Note II. He loves it because he can write notes on it. He says it's great for writing down very quickly rather quickly and letting the handwriting recognition software convert to text rather fumbling around with the onscreen keyboard. He said that feature alone made it worth buying. The large screen also makes it pretty easy to read books as well.
Can't say much about the Samsung Galaxy III other than many reviews an posted opinions state it is an iPhone-killer.
I appreciate your input jaguarskx. Personally I'm leaning more towards the Note II because it's marketed as a Smartphone / Tablet hybrid. That would allow me to leave my laptop at home (I hope, I think) and be more mobile. I have a desktop for gaming and an older Core 2 Duo 2.2ghz laptop for my mobile needs.
But then again, for pure awesomeness, the Droid DNA takes the cake. My friends keep telling me to get the iPhone but that's because they all have the 4, 4S or 5 and have never used Android. Plus I'm kind of a cheap a** and I like free apps.
Edit: Is there another phone that you would recommend? Price not being an issue, the 2 year upgrade knocks everything down to $199 or less.
Sorry, like I said, I am not really familiar with the phones currently available. I am personally hoping that Boost / Virgin will have a 4G LTE Android phone with a 4" screen; slightly larger is fine... and I mean slightly...
No need for a large phone or a "phablet", I just received my Nexus 7.
Last time I've checked the Note was selling for $299 with a 2 year contract.
Smartphones combine the versatility of cell phones, gaming consoles, PDAs, and personal computers into one hand held device. Several manufacturers are getting involved in the smartphone race, offering consumers a variety models and operating systems. Whether we need it for personal or business use, we can find a smartphone to customize that meets our needs. Games, photo utilities, online magazines and interactive reference apps can help enhance how we use our smartphone.