What smartphone should I buy?

Episode 1104 (1:53:09)

Tom from Azusa, CA
Motorola Moto X

Tom hasn't had a cellphone in a few years and he's looking at getting the Samsung Galaxy S5. He also sees that it's waterproof. Is that true? Leo says no, it's not water "proof". It's water resistant.

Tom is wondering if an LG G3 would be a better choice because it has a higher resolution screen. Leo says that resolution isn't as important as what carrier he's on and what he's doing with it. Most phones have great resolution these days and if he already can't see the pixels, then more resolution isn't going to make a difference. In most areas of the country, Verizon and AT&T are equal. T-Mobile is a good alternative. But he shouldn't pick the phone until he decides on the carrier. Then comes the choice of Apple, Android and Windows.

Leo says that Windows Phones are great first time smartphones, but he'll grow out of it pretty fast. Apple's iPhone is really a better choice because it has a great eco system. Samsung spends billions in advertising and that's largely why there's more Android phones, but that doesn't mean they're better. The Motorola Moto X, the HTC One, and the LG G3 are better Android phones.

If Tom will be using it for watching videos, the best sound is the HTC One with it's dual front facing speakers and gorgeous screen. And having a phone that allows him to swap out batteries is a nice, handy feature. Samsung has that capability. The LG G3 is a nice phone, but the buttons in the back are odd.

Best battery life? The Droid Maxx has the most battery life. The HTC One has about 16 hours on a single charge. Leo's holding out for Motorola Moto X+1, the follow up to the MotoX, which had a poor camera and a rather low resolution screen. But with Lenovo buying Motorola, look for it to go up in quality.

The chatroom says that Consumer Reports calls the Galaxy S5 the best, but Leo doesn't think so. Maybe spec-wise, but he says the interface is pretty lousy.