It seems that the guys at Apple are at their old game again. If there’s one thing that Apple has been exceptionally good at, it’s keeping us guessing while managing to “leak” information to keep our mouths watering.

With all the hype surrounding the iPhone 5, one device that manages to spark similar interest among mobile phone enthusiasts is the HTC Vigor, also rumored to be called the HTC DROID Incredible HD, the HTC Thunderbolt 2, or the HTC Rezound.  Information about HTC’s latest offering is much more forthright. This is probably the reason why so many techies are genuinely excited about the HTC Vigor.

The two are awesomely powerful devices, and to see them clash in an epic battle would truly bewilder us.  But, which of the two will survive such fight?


One of the things that have kept me glued all these years to my laptop is its finely tuned processor that leaves mobile phones in the dust. But, after looking at the processors of both the iPhone 5 and the HTC Vigor, one of the questions that keep bugging me is how they manage to squeeze all this computing power in such a small space.

Leaked pictures of the upcoming HTC Vigor

The iPhone ships with the A5 processor which is technically the same engine that powers the iPad 2. It’s a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU equipped with a NEON SIMD accelerator and a dual-core PowerVR SGX542MP2 GPU.

This configuration effectively doubles the phone’s computing power, enabling it to perform multiple processes simultaneously. Processor speed is rated between 1.2 to 1.5 GHZ with 1 GB RAM. The iPhone 5 is rumored to come with a dynamic power management system which automatically adjusts speed to save precious battery juice.

The alleged benchmarks of the upcoming HTC Vigor, and considering it has a 1280x720 HD Display, score a rather impressive 36.7 Frames per second

On the other hand, the HTC Vigor will run on a 1.5-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Other goodies include  HTC’s newest user interface, HTC Sense 3.5 and support for Verizon’s 4G LTE.  Those are just the tip of the iceberg, as far as leaked HTC Vigor specs are concerned.

Result: Draw

Both phones’ processors are rated at 1.5 GHz, which evens them out. The key here is getting developers to create apps designed to optimize each phone’s computing power. Smoother-running apps do not only depend on the amount of juice a phone squeezes out of its battery but also on how well-designed the apps are to operate on a phone’s platform.

Form Factor

Thinner and wider–this seems to be the news coming out of Apple’s latest offering. Gone, too, are the sharp edges–and their departure has set the iPhone 5 apart from its siblings. The guys at Apple seem to have increased the amount of display estate available for its display, making it a tad easier for the eyes to view streaming videos. This should also come as a welcome reprieve for those of us who have more than average finger sizes, if only to make navigation easier.

The iPhone 5 has also managed to shed some inches off its waist, giving it a slimmer figure. I just hope that it doesn’t go the way of the iPod Touch. Those devices just don’t have the solid feel that a well-built device gives.

Just like its iPhone counterpart, the HTC Vigor has not undergone any major cosmetic upgrades from its predecessors. In fact, leak photos suggest that it actually looks and feels very much like the HTC DROID Incredible, a fact that sparked rumors of a rebrand into the HTC DROID Incredible HD.  The HTC Vigor still has the bulky, solid feel to it–which is quite a welcome for those who have learned to love the look and feel of popular HTC handsets.

Result: iPhone 5 Advantage

If there is one advantage that the iPhone 5 is certainly enjoying over the HTC Vigor,it’s definitely Apple’s iconic branding. Pull out an iPhone and it’s easily recognizable as an iPhone because of its shape. The HTC Vigor, on the other hand, has a long way to go in terms of building a mobile phone that can be considered iconic.


One of things that have truly ignited mobile phone enthusiasts’ interest in the HTC Vigor is the introduction of the Beats Audio system. This is supposedly one of the first HTC smartphones to feature this sound system.  If you prefer a slightly less-powerful Beats-capable HTC smartphone, HTC has already officially launched one: the HTC Sensation XE.

A 2-megapixel camera secondary camera and an 8-megapixel main camera form the backbone of the HTC Vigor’s image-capturing capability.

The iPhone 5's camera?

In comparison, the iPhone 5 is rumored to sport cameras with the same megapixel ratings as those on the HTC Vigor. The camera, in my opinion, is an area where the iPhone has been always been playing catch-up with its competitors. Most of the high-end Android phones have been sporting 8-megapixel shooters for the past year.

Result: HTC Vigor Advantage

Apple has always been a popular multimedia platform. It has managed to dish out more-than-decent sound quality, making it one of the best music devices in the market. But, the prospect of having Beats Audio technology factory-installed on the HTC Vigor and the option of coupling this with its aftermarket Beats by Dr. Dre headsets are an ear-popping delight.

I’ve never been a fellow to fall for megapixels either–and I suggest that neither should you. I’ve seen shooters capture images despite the cameras’ lower pixelage.  Ask any professional photographer worth his or her salt, and the pro would tell you that megapixelage is not the only determining factor for quality shots.


Make no mistake, folks–the HTC Vigor and the iPhone 5 are hotly anticipated devices for the last quarter of 2011 (although they are not the only ones).  But, the two will have to compete in other areas, too, not just in specs and hardware.  Apps, for example.

Apps, in my opinion, will be one of the pivotal standards that make or break a mobile phone. Apple has some pretty good apps in its market, but the problem is that these are mostly paid apps. In my opinion, Android Apps are the way to go. I wouldn’t spend extra dollars just to get an app after spending US$300 just to get my hands on any mobile phone–iPhone or not.

The two devices will have to fight each other in terms of data network connectivity, though it seems the HTC Vigor has the upper hand here.  While apparently Apple may have forgone 4G LTE connectivity owing to Apple’s stubborn unwillingness to make design exceptions, the HTC Vigor looks like it will indeed be a blazing-fast 4G device.  Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 will most likely have longer battery life–presumably at the cost of slower connectivity.  (Yeah, LTE radios do gobble up a substantial amount of power.)

As for screen size and display, we leave the ultimate judgment to you.  Though, note that the display resolution on the HTC Vigor will be higher than that on the iPhone 5.  The HTC Vigor’s screen will be substantially bigger as well. Though the screen size debate is a matter of personal preference, those who have ever handled a 4-inch device (or bigger) know it’s hard to go back to anything smaller.

HTC seems to have pulled all the stops out with the HTC Vigor, but the iPhone 5 will likely draw record sales, as the number of Apple loyalists is strong, and Apple has worked hard to get the iPhone on hundreds of carriers worldwide.

So, we bring this question to you, dear reader — which one will it be? iPhone 5 with Apple’s latest build of iOS, or the HTC Vigor with Ice Cream Sandwich soon to follow?

Competition in the mobile space has intensified to such incredible heights that we are all winners here. Smartphones–no wait, superphones–are here to stay and will only continue to get better as each year passes. Each of these new devices heralds a new generation of performance, functionality, and overall awesomeness.

Which one will you be picking up?

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