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Smartphone Shootout 201

An anonymous reader writes "InformationWeek's David DeJean makes the mistake of trying to compare the experience of Web surfing on a BlackBerry, Palm, and HTC smartphones to the experience on the iPhone. According to the DeJean, the three don't come close, but it's very interesting to read about the pros and cons of what can (and can't) be done with current mobile hardware and software."
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Smartphone Shootout

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  • I've posted around this topic before. While it might be an interesting technical and "can we do it" discussion, ultimately (IMO) the "smaller is better" and "everything in one device" approach seems doomed to fail.

    I liken it to the early days of cell phones (albeit not tiny) where it was new, it was exciting, and vendors were rushing to flood the market, while consumers were rushing to get their new status gadget.

    However, instead of making better and better phones, the trend is to cram more crap into the

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by danbert8 ( 1024253 )
      I agree. What is the point of it being a phone? I'd rather have a tablet PC or an ultra small laptop if I was going to be doing web browsing. And not only have a real browser, but a real operating system. Not to mention no problems with memory limitations, a much larger screen, an actual keyboard, a mouse, and NO CONTRACT!

      What I want from a phone is to make phone calls, and every once in awhile, check the time. But apparently, they don't make those phones in the US anymore. I can't even get a
      • by Zelos ( 1050172 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:39AM (#20141827)
        There are hundreds of phones that basically just make phone calls. And there are plenty of phones that can do most of the fancy stuff, but are still small, simple and easy to use (like my Nokia 6300). If I want a new ringtone I just bluetooth the mp3/4 across. I can't believe that *all* those phones aren't available in the US.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mattatwork ( 988481 )

          If I want a new ringtone I just bluetooth the mp3/4 across. I can't believe that *all* those phones aren't available in the US.

          Ringtones are a big money maker for the cell companies and for the recording industry. My wife and I upgraded our phones with verizon and were shocked at how much it cost to download one simple ringtone (it was like 2 or 3 dollars!). I'd imagine with all the P2P sharing/piracy of music, the RIAA or someone else related to the recording industry has probably shut down the possibility of freely sharing music between your PC and your phone in the US....

          • I can't use my own ringtones on my TMobile Samsung T509... I have to pay $2.50 for a ringtone that I can't hear before I buy. It usually is some shitty part of the song, too. I can buy the same song on itunes for 99 cents.

            Also, they look for any excuse they can find to make you connect to the net. Often times just doing it without asking, which of course costs me money. They also recently rearranged their content pages for downloading ringtones. I now have to click about 7 or 8 links before I can buy
            • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @12:32PM (#20144235)

              This situation is bullshit, but what can I do?

              What, are you kidding? Quit buying ringtones, stupid!

              Consumer whores like you are what enable the industry to be as screwed up as it is!

              • Amen to that! It boggles my mind to think that ringtones are a multi-billion dollar "industry". Preying on ignorance should not be the core business model of a service provider. I wish I could make my phone service decisions based on the merits of the various options, rather than just trying to pick the one that screws me over in the least obtrusive ways.

                If San Francisco gets municipal wifi (heck, even if they don't, there's probably already enough free & open access points where I spend most of my t
            • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

              This situation is bullshit, but what can I do?

              Um...buy a better phone and service that doesn't lock you into that BS? My Treo 650 can use any MIDI file (or, with the free MiniTones [download.com], any MP3 file) as a ringtone. The two I'm using now were ripped from my MythTV box and put on an SD card, but downloading them wouldn't cost anything extra because my service plan includes unlimited data.

      • The iPhone *is* a real tablet computer running a real operating system. It is crippled a bit, yes, but some of us would like to have a couple key features without having to haul a laptop around.

        Oh, yeah, and if you haul around that laptop and want mobile internet access, you're going to have to go through those cell phone companies and sign a contract.

        • The iPhone *is* a real tablet computer running a real operating system.

          well tablet computer, is an attempt at comparing it to a Personal computer? to me the iphone is more a cool web appliance/phone, not a Personal computer. except for promising hacks, you can't load a program onto the iPhone, correct? Being able to hack it, just brings it up to par with say a Tivo, IE it may become a appliance that can be hacked, but is a Tivo also a Personal Computer? Being able to do fancy stuff in a web-page doesn't

          • Your Archos device, as far as I know, isn't running general purpose (though modified) OS. Just because Apple hasn't opened the iPhone to 3rd party developers doesn't mean that there isn't a full SDK somewhere that allows you to make desktop-type applications for it.

            It's a real computer, but just a closed platform. Those are different sorts of distinctions. I could make a closed platform desktop system and not allow people to write their own applications, but if it ran on a desktop chipset, had all the d

      • Pocket Space (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brunes69 ( 86786 )
        Because real people like me who don't wear jackets don't want to have to have TWO things on their belt. One is bad enough.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:35AM (#20141785)

      Do people really need to be that connected? Probably not.

      I think the question you meant to ask is, "do I really need to be that connected." You probably answered correctly.

      But what about the question you actually asked? Do people need to be that connected? Well I really need to be that connected and I chose my phone with that in mind. If a lot of other people agree with me, they'll make a similar choice. If no one felt they needed this, these platforms would die out, wouldn't they? But that's not really happening, is it?
    • by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:03AM (#20142079)
      I'm willing to bet you've never used an iPhone day to day for any signifcant amount of time.

      I've had mine for a few weeks now. I use it for movies, music, my primary camera, and it is also my primary Internet connection because I have moral objections to giving comcast money. It is, of course my only phone as well.

      I've never even come close to draining the battery in a single day, even using it to browse for hours while listening to music, or streaming h264 video over wifi, using it as a phone, etc.

      Your claims are based entrely on uninformed opinion, and NOT any sort of experience or fact.

      Also, the browsing experience is perfectly fine. The ability to easily and autmatically zoom to content negates the claim of screen real estate. Everything can be as large or as small as you like.

      In short, you are a well spoken troll, but a troll nonetheless.
      • Also, the browsing experience is perfectly fine. The ability to easily and autmatically zoom to content negates the claim of screen real estate. Everything can be as large or as small as you like.

        I wonder if there is a similar sort of implementation for Pocket PC. I have a Fujitsu LOOX, which has a 640x480 4" screen, but using Pocket Internet Explorer (even with an add-on that allows for multiple browser windows) is still clunky and frustrating in general. A browser that could zoom in or out using the stylu

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:04AM (#20142091) Homepage

      I have to disagree with you. The problem with the "all-in-one" model has traditionally been that you get a device that's a not-even-jack of all trades, master of nothing. There's a tremendous effort to cram everything possible into one device without any good design on how to have these features coexist. The result, in my assessment, has always been a device that isn't truly worth carrying around.

      I've tried using devices from Palm, Blackberry, and Microsoft, and in each case I feel that same annoyance-- it does a lot of things, but does each of them too poorly. And they're big and clunky. Now, I have an iPhone, and it doesn't do everything, but what it does it does pretty well. Many have complained the that the touch screen interface would make it hard to type, but for the most part those complaints weren't made from experience. The touch screen, for the most part, has successfully navigated the interface problem of having all-in-one devices. Instead of trying to come up with one set of buttons that serves all the different functions, you make the buttons change depending on what you're doing.

      You complain about the battery, but as an iPhone owner, I'll tell you that I regularly go a full day or two without charging it. That's not the best battery lifetime I've ever gotten, but it's acceptable. Admittedly, I mostly use the phone, PIM, and iPod functions. I don't really use it to watch video very often, and I only use the internet capabilities for the built-in e-mail client. Every once in a while, when I'm caught in a bind and need access to some particular bit of information, I'll use the web browser, and that's it.

      As far as mobile web browsing goes, no, you don't really need 24/7 connectivity, and if you need to do very much, it's better to use a desktop client. However, now that I have a web browser in my pocket, I can tell you that I do find it more useful than I would have thought. I've been in situations where I couldn't find the location of something or I needed to find someone's phone number, and I was able to fetch that information on my iPhone web browser pretty easily. I would have otherwise been pretty lost, and had to wait until I found an internet connection to find the thing I was looking for, so the whole thing was really helpful.

      And though I wouldn't advise using the iPhone on EDGE for heavy everyday surfing, it really will work in a pinch. You'll be able to load a real website, the website will render properly most of the time, and it isn't entirely frustrating to browse around a little. Using the web browser in short bursts won't drain your battery too terribly quickly. EDGE is slow and uses more battery than WiFi, but like I said, it'll do if you really need a web page or two right then.

      So if all you're saying is that the iPhone isn't a good replacement for your laptop or desktop computer, I'll go along with that. But if you're saying it isn't useful to have your e-mail client, MP3 player, web browser, calendar, address book, Google maps, digital camera, and cell phone be all in one slim, easy to use device, then I think you're crazy. If you think the iPhone doesn't execute this decently well for most people's uses, then I think you're either biased or ignorant.

      I guess you could also argue that we should all slow down, stop using our fancy gadgets and doodads, and just not be "connected" most of the time. Do most of us absolutely "need" a cellphone? I guess not. Human civilization went for a long time without any internet or telephones at all. But all things considered, I'd rather have a cell phone than a landline, and I'd rather have mobile e-mail than not. Ideally, in my mind, I wouldn't have to have a "phone" at all, but I could have a wireless IM/VOIP/e-mail device. However, you need ubiquitous wireless internet access in order to do that, and nobody is really providing that yet except cell phone companies. Cell phone companies won't sell a IM/VOIP/e-mail device unless it's also a phone.

    • by abes ( 82351 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:16AM (#20142267) Homepage
      How useful such a device is to you definately depends on your lifestyle, where you live, and personal preferences. With that said, while I do not expect to do the same type of work on my iphone as my laptop, they both occupy two different needs of mine. Living in NYC requires me to look random things up when I'm walking around. The iPhone is perfect for this. Or random conversations where some rnd factoid was needed, it sre beats pulling out a laptop.

      So, yeah not as good as a full-fledged computer for some things, but it's not supposed to be a replacement. That's one of the reasons I never understood all the complaints about the speed of edge. Sure, faster is better, but realistically the amount of web browsing you are going to do is more limited by the small size of it than anything. If you are doing a massive amount of web browsing, then do yourself a favor and get a real computer. If, on the other hand, you are waiting for someone who is late (everyone is around here), if's f'ing great.

      Also, in my personal experience, the battery life is great. Which in part due to the lower speed edge chip.
    • by HardCase ( 14757 )
      I've got a Cingular 8525. I really want to like it, especially since it wasn't exactly cheap (although the iPhone makes it seem that way). But I just don't. It does a lot of things, but none of them well. It's a passable, but inconvenient phone. It's a passable but inconvenient palmtop computer. It's a passable, but inconvenient internet appliance.

      In the end, the 8525 sits in my desk drawer and I use my old Razr instead. It's a crappy Internet phone, has no chance at doing the palmtop thing, but it's
    • How connected do we have to be? I would say, not very as I hate other things in the outside world arbitrarily connecting to ME.

      However - the thing I find useful about devices like the iPhone is being able to arbitrarily connect to the outside world at a time of my choosing. I love to be able to review maps, or do quick lookups, or glance at email (again when I want - I have even disabled automatic updates of email as I don't like the hourly chime that I have new mail). That is what connectivity was suppo
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      This can be asked for all communication. Is the horse really necessary? Why can't notes wait to be walked to the next village. Is the telegraph really necessary? Does anyone really need real time stock quotes. Is a dedicated phone line between the home and office really necessary? Is there any news that can't wait for the morning, or a telegraph delivery, or a taxi ride. Is the cell phone necessary. Can't people make plans before they separate?

      The only reason any of this technology is necessary is

    • by *weasel ( 174362 )

      ultimately (IMO) the "smaller is better" and "everything in one device" approach seems doomed to fail. ...Do people really need to be that connected? Probably not.

      Do you need to be that connected so you can browse the web? Maybe not. But sending and receiving communications in whatever format you want: be it email, voice, txt, pics, chat and/or videochat? That's the purpose of cell phones, taken to its logical conclusion in the digital age.

      And if you're going to give people workable email and videochat, wh

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 )

      Do people really need to be that connected? Probably not.

      And do those same people really need to be contactable 24 hours a day? If not, then they do not even need a mobile phone in the first place.

      Seriously, this is the same argument that people use against mobile/cell phones before they actually own one. But once they get used to having one (and to leaving it turned on all the time - yes Mum, I'm talking to you) then most people get dependant on the technology. I find now that I feel terribly isolated

      • Did anyone else read that Nokia 9300 review that Gadget Guy linked to and have their brain start to hurt? It reads like it was originally written in Japanese, then sequentially babelfished to German, Spanish, Korean, and finally to 18th Century English (does Babelfish have such an option?). Bizarre.

        How else would you get passages like these:

        But the manufacturers decreased the motion and made it minimum in the device. That means that when typing you won't feel the pressure at all and your finger rests on t

  • Conclusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ ( 415866 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:24AM (#20141667)
    Print page:
    http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printableArt icle.jhtml?articleID=201202372 [informationweek.com]

    Funny:
    One thing that became obvious to me as I looked at these various Web interfaces is that data speed isn't as important as good software.

    You think????

    The good news, as you might expect, is the Apple iPhone. The genius of Apple is its ability, over and over again, to completely reinvent, from the ground up, the user interface for hardware, and to support it with brilliant software. Web browsing on the iPhone is a paradigm shift, a completely different experience -- just as the BlackBerry was, in its time, a paradigm shift.

    The elements of the technology that makes the iPhone so different will find their way into other devices, just as the BlackBerry's thumbpad and push e-mail have become more or less standard on smartphones. Touchscreens and direct interaction with the Web page will become standards of their own sort because they've come along just in time as computing, both personal and business, moves to the Web.


    I've stated this to many people who've asked me about the iPhone. Even if it FAILS, it's technology, features, etc. will be copied into many other phones.
    • type=unsafe

      What? Sticking something into a blender is NC-17 now? Crazy Americans...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        Videos from that site are divided into 'try it at home' (safe) and 'don't try it at home' (unsafe). Blending fruit to make a drink is safe. Blending a crowbar to make iron filings is not.
  • Nokia E70 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:25AM (#20141677)
    What about the NokiaE70 [thebestpag...iverse.net] (this
    links to Maddox's comparison between E70 & IPhone.
    • Re:Nokia E70 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duranaki ( 776224 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:45AM (#20141901)
      What? What is this strange Symbian and Series 60 you speak of? The most prolific smart phone in the world based on an OS designed from the ground up as a mobile connected OS? Never heard of it.
    • Re:Nokia E70 (Score:5, Informative)

      by weave ( 48069 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @11:22AM (#20143197) Journal
      I have a Nokia N95 -- I was wondering why they avoided any phones running the latest S60 series browser too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by popo ( 107611 )
      I have a Nokia E61 (Symbian60) running Opera (not Opera Mini, which blows except for the speed increase of the proxy servers) and I have to say IMHO it beats the pants off anything on Blackberry or Treo. The wifi+ smooth scrolling and fullscreen options makes for an amazing browsing experience -- and it does a great job re-rendering pages for the small screen.

      I'd also like to point out that the year is 2007 and I just PURCHASED MY FIRST WEB BROWSER (Opera for the E61). I never in my life thought I'd actua
  • Darn (Score:3, Funny)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:29AM (#20141721) Homepage Journal
    When I read the title I was hoping to see a video of smartphones getting shot to pieces. Damn!
  • by Shoeler ( 180797 ) * on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:33AM (#20141761)
    I've got both a Blackberry 8700g and an iPhone - the former used for work e-mail and the latter for personal stuff. Before I got the iPhone, I loved my Blackberry. It was a big improvement over my RAZR at the time, and fairly fast due to the server-side processing of the websites I visited with it.

    Then I got the iPhone and now I'm probably going to dump my Blackberry. Having and using the iPhone has soured my Blackberry experience. I'm now tired of seeing the HTML in e-mails instead of viewing the full e-mail. (For those of you without a Blackberry, it absolutely sucks at HTML mail - it displays all the code instead of stripping it out, FWIW, I use the client-side push instead of server-side push so that may be the problem) Having the iPhone and seeing e-mail as it was meant to be seen changed that.

    Similarly the mostly-full version of Safari has changed my usage of the Blackberry's crippled browser.

    As the article states, the iPhone is not without its problems. Safari crashes (I've never seen the Blackberry browser ever crash) semi-often, say once every 2-3 days in my usage, and its lack of Flash support is annoying. I haven't missed Java yet.

    Data speed is it's albatross, but with the "real" web, I've personally been able to look beyond its mobile speed deficiency. When it's on a fast Wifi network, it REALLY shines and I'm still amazed by how well it does in rendering sites. Youtube has never looked better.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For those of you without a Blackberry, it absolutely sucks at HTML mail - it displays all the code instead of stripping it out, FWIW, I use the client-side push instead of server-side push so that may be the problem)

      Sounds like a problem on your client-side push setup. Whenever I see a message on or touched by a BlackBerry, it is completely stripped of all HTML. Same with Exchange Direct Push (unless you're running the latest software, which supports HTML email.)

    • Have you applied the iPhone 1.0.1 update yet? Its made Safari a LOT more stable for me. Takes about a week for it to crash for me now. When it starts getting crashy by the way just power down and then turn on the phone again.
      • by Shoeler ( 180797 ) *
        Yup - and it crashed more often before for sure. I may even have over-stated the crashiness of it now.
  • FIGHT (Score:4, Funny)

    by hxnwix ( 652290 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:34AM (#20141777) Journal
    Oh no, this isn't even fair. *cringe* *WinCE*
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:37AM (#20141805)
    Browsing the internet on a phone is like taking a road trip on a moped.
    • Damn, wish I had mod points.... Seriously, I don't "browse" the web on my phone. I look up sports scores, sometimes Google search for some particulr piece of information, and watch MLB.com's play-by when I'm not at home ot listen to the game on the radio. It's....a phone. With internet access. It's not a browser.
    • by adisakp ( 705706 )
      Browsing the internet on a phone is like taking a road trip on a moped.

      The iPhone is probably one of the first phone devices to actually have a usable web-browser. I played with it in the store for quite a bit and found that their rendering engine is capable of displaying full pages with correct layouy by drawing the webpage at a higher resolution internally and scales down with anti-aliasing. You can see pages as they were designed (for the most part) and very easily zoom in and out. It's better than
  • Biased (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesertBlade ( 741219 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:38AM (#20141819)
    I only use mobile browsing to look up addresses and checking the news. Using beyond411 on the blackberry makes searches fast and easy.

    Even before the review starts it defends the iPhone with it's virtual keyboard and then how it's screen is in a class by itself.
    • by darrylo ( 97569 )

      True, true.

      However, a big advantage of the iPhone is that you can do more. Want to know what movies are showing and where? Look it up. Want to know a store's hours? Look it up. Yada, etc. (Admittedly, the recent appearance of iPhone-optimized web pages do help a lot.)

      "But I can call up XXX and just ask", some people will say. Sure, you can make a phone call. You can also do that while sitting at your computer. So, why don't you? :-)

  • by lottameez ( 816335 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:48AM (#20141931)
    My attention span doesn't last th
  • by espergreen ( 849246 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @09:49AM (#20141943) Homepage
    Not strictly a phone, but the nokia n800 has the best portable web I have experienced. 800x480 resolution combined with Opera works great for everything, including AJAX applications such as gmail.
    • by Paul Carver ( 4555 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:01AM (#20142063)
      I just bought a Nokia 770, the previous generation of the n800 but with a much more reasonable price. It works ok on many sites, but struggles with Slashdot's commenting system. Collapsed comments don't open up when you click them. Any iPhone owners want to comment on how the iPhone handles a slashdot comments page with a couple hundred comments?

      The Nokia 770's sceen resolution blows the iPhone away, but the screen is physically much smaller than I had thought it would be. It's actually almost identical in size to the screen on the Palm TX although much higher resolution.

      • by thedbp ( 443047 )
        about 90% of my slashdot browsing is now on my iPhone. Works like a charm every time.
      • I bought one myself last week. You can't argue with ~£70 (~$140). It has the nicest screen i've seen on any portable, bar none. Works fine with slashdot for me... do you have the latest update for the OS?
      • I don't own one, but I was trying one out in the Apple store (out of curiousity only, it's too rich for my blood) and tried looking at Slashdot. As far as I could tell, it seemed to work just fine. I looked at some of the comments and then started to add a comment of my own. I struggled a bit with the typing interface, but most reports seem to indicated that with time it's a decent interface.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Any iPhone owners want to comment on how the iPhone handles a slashdot comments page with a couple hundred comments?

        I am away from home a lot and got the iPhone in part to keep up with Slashdot, CNN, etc. It's great if you keep in mind that it's not supposed to replace a laptop or desktop for browsing. The browsing experience in my opinion is far better than other smartphones I have used.

        To answer your question about large Slashdot pages, it has some strange behavior when loading any large page. It bring
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I am very interested in OpenMoko [openmoko.com] and the Nokia Maemo Garage [maemo.org]. Both the Nokia Internet Tablet and the OpenMoko are Arm based and perhaps the leap from one to the other would not be so great.

      If the openmoko could run the apps that have been ported to Maemo it would be awesome.

      I use my 770 for GPS primarily, but it is a pretty decent gizmo for quite a few different apps.
  • The phones are starting to be over-engineered like BMW with its POS iDrive. If you need to surf, get a fracken laptop. The more crap they try to shoehorn into the PHONE the more they compromise telephony ease of use.
  • The Palm smartphones were well on their way to getting Linux running all their HW, even before they started running a version of Windows. Is it done yet?

    I haven't heard about Blackberry/Linux. And though I'd guess there's no iPhone/Linux yet, it seems inevitable.

    Is there somewhere to look that shows which of these top smartphone HW platforms are most fully exploited by running Linux on them, so we can do whatever we want with our phones?
  • by smurfsurf ( 892933 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:40AM (#20142621)
    Most webpages are designed to be shown in 1280x1024? And these fit on a 15" monitor?

    Yeah right. What wonderland is he living in?
    • by Maserati ( 8679 )
      Laptop screens run at about that resolution these days. A MacBook Pro (15.4") runs at 1440x900, A ThinkPad T-series with 15.4" display runs at 1680x1050.

      Had to download a PDF to get the detailed specs from Lenovo's website.
    • by drew ( 2081 )
      I used to run 1600x1200 on a 15" MAG, so it's definitely possible, although I must have been far more tolerant of low refresh rates back then. I've also had a Dell Inspiron with a 1600x1200 15-point-something screen. It was actually very surprising to me that I couldn't find a full 1600x1200 LCD smaller than 20" when I started looking to replace my aging CRT at home.
  • by mritunjai ( 518932 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:41AM (#20142629) Homepage
    Looking at comments about PDAs and their functionality (or the lack of it), I'd like to share my experience too.

    I'm a software engineer and need to be connected most of the times. Recently, I was in a situation where I had to be in hospital for around a month to attend to my father, and let me tell you, the laptops don't really last much without a power outlet and Wifi isn't ubiquitous. Its anoter thing in normal life to drive to starbucks and check news and mail while sipping coffee, and its another thing to attend to client calls and mails while sitting at place you don't want yourself and your family to be in! The irony is, it is these places that you'd need the connectivity the most! You can drive to another coffee shop, if the connectivity sucks, you can't go around shifting to other hospitals for the same reasons!

    I have a Sony Ericsson W800i NON-smartphone. The phone only supports basic GPRS (think 48kbps, yep thats bits), and I'm glad that I'd found the combination that served me well for all my business needs and enabled me to attend the family at the same time.

    1. Get Gmail mobile app: Its a Java MIDP application, and it just bulldozes all email clients out there. Nothing like to be able to access all your mails even if you have low speed connecivity.

    2. Get Opera Mini: This (Java MIDP) application lets you use even secured sites. Can't tell you how many times it saved my ass. Being able to watch Youtube in free time is one thing, being able to access online banking site when you most need it is another!

    3. Inbuilt IMAP/POP email client with SSL: You want instant email, its there. The client doesn't suck that much and it gets the job (notifying you of mail) done pretty well. You can use it to have always on access to your corporate account.

    In short, Java on mobiles absolutely rocks and serves pretty well. iPhone has that one down for me (and the reason I'd stay away from it). Get the basic "life-saver" apps first and setup well, and *only* then look for frills like flash, 3G (basic GPRS is ubiquitous, never found a place where it doesn't work!) and touch screens.

    Oh, and choose your phone well. If your phone has tendency to lock-up thrice a day, or your browser crashes randomly, you might find it very disappointing on the rainy day!

    - Akhilesh
    • But all the things you mentioned - the iPhone does already. Mail.app hooks easily to GMail or you can just use the web interface, and it supports SSL for bank use.

      I am a big fan of Java and third party apps as well, but the iPhone includes enough functionality I do not need them.

      Oh, and choose your phone well. If your phone has tendency to lock-up thrice a day, or your browser crashes randomly, you might find it very disappointing on the rainy day!

      Which is, again, why the iPhone is so nice - because instea
      • Mail.app hooks easily to GMail or you can just use the web interface, and it supports SSL for bank use.


        GMails pop interface is useless. It ignores your filters, and for some reason it pops sent mail as new incoming mail.

        The web interface can't interface with your phone. Like having the option of calling someone who just sent you an email.

        That's why people use the gmail java app.. it's gmail designed specifically for phones.
        • The web interface can't interface with your phone. Like having the option of calling someone who just sent you an email.

          If they are a contact with a phone number, the iPhone can dial them directly from the contact page (or any page that displays the phone number). It recognizes phone numbers and allwso you to click to dial (confirming you really want to place a call first, of course)

          That's why people use the gmail java app.. it's gmail designed specifically for phones.

          The web browser is also specifically d
  • They ravage the Treo for it's craptacular "Blazer" browser, and they should. It is useless and worthless, it hides menus (forcing me to email my login and pw to my brother so he could enable POP on gmail for me so I could use the POP client on my phone) and wont let me press buttons like "submit" or "reply" in myspace.

    But once you install JVM and Opera, everything changes.

    Sure, I can't really expect them to hack each phone before reviewing it, and I guess I should blame Palm for not including a real browse
    • But once you install JVM and Opera, everything changes.


      What do you mean? After I installed Opera, all I get is a bunch of halfway rendered, mostly unusable pages.

      Slashdot works fine, but don't try to login to ebay or any other javascript heavy site. Not to mention the browser is slow as molasses. You know it's struggling when
      crap blazer runs faster.

  • Nokia e61i (Score:4, Informative)

    by JosefAssad ( 1138611 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @10:43AM (#20142661) Homepage
    I'm not sure why the Nokia e61i was left out. I've never been a big cell phone freak; I moved up to an e61i after some twelve years of el cheapo nokias. QWERTY, excellent battery life, briliant screen (even in direct sunlight), wifi, superb call quality, superb speakerphone, the web browsing is a dream (has this handy zoom out feature, and when you scroll for a long time it zooms out also; totally usable). Dammit, it even has a 2 mp camera, blackberry software (though I don't use bb) and... here's the cracker, PYTHON! Doesn't get much more smart phone than that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by simong ( 32944 )
      Seconded, it's the best phone I've had, and I've been through assorted smartphones and PDA/phone combinations in the last few years. The built in browser is fine, Opera is better. There's a strong developer community around Symbian S60 and within Nokia with such apps as streaming radio and podcasts. On a good data tariff it makes a pretty good 3G modem too.
  • ... is the way that, if you look at a plain-vanilla HTML page--one without a single table or div anywhere, like this ebook of The Invisible Man [gutenberg.org]--it INSISTS on showing you a shrunken version that you've got to zoom in and scroll around to read, or turn the iPhone sideways. Why, when faced with such a page, can't it just present you a 100% view at 320px wide? Looking at plain pages like that (and yes, there are plenty, especially ones that I use for work--I've put lots of documentation online in the plainest
  • The Sprint PPC-6700 has been a godsend for me.

    It has an extremely active community that has constantly back ported new windows mobile features into customized roms to flash your phone with. Goto the HTC Apache forum at ppc-geeks, http://www.ppcgeeks.com/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=6eba 1082d61ffec1693259b6d3560f0c [ppcgeeks.com]

    Load up windows live search and get localized search results for restaurants, stores, anything. Add in a Blue-Tooth GPS receiver and get search results by distance from your present location.

    • I managed to snag one of these a few weeks ago when Sprint dropped the price to $100 after rebate. Only one store in my area had any left, and I got the last one. :) My Treo 650 was starting to show its age, so got the PPC-6700. So far, quite happy. It doesn't feel as solid as the Treo, but the keyboard is much more usable. I discovered the community and installed a custom ROM and everything works great. One of these days, I'll get a bluetooth GPS receiver.

      I'm no Microsoft fan, but PocketPC/Windows Mo
  • by Com2Kid ( 142006 ) <com2kidSPAMLESS@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#20143525) Homepage Journal
    Heaven forbid anyone ever compare Apple's $500 wonder to a like-priced device from another manufacturer. Why does everyone coo over the cruddy screen, when I can get 640x480 and 800x480 screens on other smart phones?

    T-Mobile Ameo [pdadb.net], 640x480 screen and real 3G broadband speeds.

    Or wait awhile and pick up a phone in the I-Mate Ultra [pdadb.net] line. They all look sexy, and they all have a screen that blows the iPhone out of the water. And of course they all support real 3G speeds as well.

    Or heck, just never get lost again [mobileplanet.com].

    All those prices by the way? Unlocked phones. If you are going to sign up for a contract, why pay $500 for a phone, when you can get a high quality (albeit not top of the line) Windows Mobile phone for under $100.

    Hell, don't like Windows Mobile? Go with Symbian. They have some high-res devices that are a lot cheaper than $500.

    For $500 you could almost BUILD your own cell phone and get something far more capable then what Apple is dishing out. Does anybody know of an after market supplier of GSM or CDMA chips? :-D

    • Holy mackerel, you're not comparing a device that is 3.8 x 5.25 x .5 INCHES to the iPhone, are you?

      I got a chance to use one those suckers in a focus group. Yes the resolution is high, but it's larger than a paperback! If I am going to have something that large, why not just carry a small laptop with a 3G card? The form factor made no sense, and the way the whole UMPC idea has died on the vine means not many other people see the sense in it either.

      Also, the one I used was terribly choppy in terms of res
  • So I have one of these. One of the strongest uses I've had of its browser was this weekend, helping a buddy out w/ house refurbishing out in the sticks, actually his parents house. No wifi there, but I could touch base with the online world at night... yes I could have lived without it, but it was nice to have.
  • Hold on, you can shoot with these things? Or is that for the US market only?
  • Call me when the iPhone can do the following-
    • allow you to use any song from your collection as a ringtone.
    • allow you to share content-be it tones, music, pictures or video-over wifi/bluetooth with other devices/smartphone users.
    • Let you simply use that entire 8 GB storage as a portable drive and copy whatever stuff u want onto it.(can it?)
    • allow you to use any operator you like without having to be shackled to AT&T
    • allow you to use any 3rd party application WITHOUT having to hack the firmware or do an

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