The Digital Skeptic: Mobile Tech That Moves Markets
Galaxy Nexus from Google ($399, unlocked)
Never mind that Google(GOOG) remains a world-beater in Web software. When it comes to making real things that move, Google makes Kodak look like Instagram. Face it: Larry, Sergey and Eric simply cannot get out of their own combined ways when it comes to portable devices. And if you doubt that, I have two words for you: Galaxy Nexus. Sure, this device was made in partnership with the simply brilliant Samsung, but it still sets the bar for boring. There are plenty of nice features: the Android 4.0 operating system, a virtual wallet and the great camera. But it matters not. The Nexus is duulllll.
Keep in mind, all bets may be off with Google's blockbuster purchase of Motorola's(MOT) mobile unit. The Web giant might prove it can shed its smug "brillianter than thou" vibe and actually serve mobile operators such as Verizon(VZ) , AT&T(T) and Sprint(S) . But until then it should pay nicely to be dubious about Google's mobile hardware future.
Samsung Galaxy S III ($199 for 16 GB with two-year contract)
It's this simple: Samsung has done some brilliant work with the Galaxy S III. First of all, this device smokes similar units from makers such as LG, HTC and Nokia(NOK) . It's big. It's fast. It's really easy to use. And the display is terrific. I will leave out all the geek hardcore here, since who really cares, but the fact is, Apple better have one heck of a phone coming with the iPhone 5. If you factor in processing, features and the overall experience, Apple is going to have a real competitor on its hands with the S III.
Factor in that Samsung makes this phone available to all domestic operators, so many, many phones will ship, and Samsung clearly has a hit on its hand. If you can figure out a way to bet sensibly on Samsung -- this monster of a company can be surprisingly irritating to invest in via the London Stock Exchange via American Depositary Receipts -- as of now, the Galaxy S III is market moving pick.