The device has a keyboard. It isn't a good keyboard, but even so it's a whole lot better than the keyboard on the iPhone - and the lack of a keyboard is a significant part of the reason I don't have an iPhone.
Have you used the iPhone's keyboard? I bought an iPhone on day-one (my Sony Ericsson T610 died a week before the iPhone's release) and while I was waiting on an AT&T salesperson to ring me up, I checked out their demo units. I'd never typed on a phone's QWERTY keyboard before in my life since I was coming from a T610.
I decided to jump in with both thumbs and immediately fired up the Notes application to test out the keyboard. I quickly typed out a sentence as fast as I could and when I looked to see how close my results were I was only off by one letter.
The iPhone is what has made me realize that I have NEVER touch-typed in my life and that all this time all I was doing was typing by muscle-memory. I can easily type on the iPhone without looking at the keyboard at all with great results. And, the excellent bonus for me is that I'm not pounding my thumbs and fingers into hard little keys that make my fingertips sore if I use the keyboard too much.
And if, as claimed, the device has good Microsoft Exchange support, then for many commercial users it's one better than the iPhone on that count as well.
How so? I have two friends that use their iPhone with their work Exchange accounts and they have no complaints.
the iPhone, despite being very pretty, isn't actually a very good telephone - contacts management is poor, reception is poor, battery life isn't good, sound quality is so-so
How would you improve contacts management? I think the iPhone is close to perfect in that arena. I don't have Exchange but I do have MobileMe so I get the same sort of updates to my contacts over the air that my friends get through Exchange. I can quickly get to the right contact in my list of 55 and if I want to I can search search my contacts easily by name and company.
I don't have an iPhone 3G, but I have no issues with the battery. I'm a fairly heavy user (podcasts, music, web browsing, e-mail, Twitter) and I can get two-days use out of it at times. Worse case scenario for me is that I need to recharge at the end of the day. Obviously, the 3G has shorter battery life if you're using the 3G radio, but that isn't unique to the iPhone.