Written by Geoff Vaughan in Gadgets
Viewed by 294 readers since 02-06-2009
These days, it seems that one could almost replace their laptop with a phone, if they had the right one. Current smart phones can do many things a computer can, including web surfing with a full browser, email, GPS navigation with maps, and a host of other capabilities, all in a package small enough to fit into your pocket. And the latest generation of technology for mobile networking, 3G, is only helping to move progress along, as it has enabled much faster data speeds than ever before over the cellular network. There are several phones on the market that support this technology.
Although there have been many copycats since it first came on the market, the Apple iPhone 3G is still the king of this realm. The iPhone comes with several applications built in, including Safari, which has been Apple’s web browser for years. This browser takes mobile browsing a step further, as it actually shows full-sized web pages as they would appear on a computer. It also has an email application that supports not only the popular webmail providers, but also most other POP3 email servers, such as with corporate email. The maps application is nice, as it uses Google Maps as a backdrop, and also integrates an internal GPS to double as a navigation system. The 2.0 megapixel camera is just pedestrian when compared to some other phones out there, but it still takes nice pictures for a cell phone. And it wouldn’t be complete without every teenager’s favorite pastime, SMS. In my opinion, the default threaded view, where all the incoming and outgoing messages to and from one person are grouped together, is an improvement over the old style of inbox/outbox texting. There are others, however, who disagree because despite many, many online complaints, you still can’t delete a single message in a thread; you have to delete the whole thread. There are many other features that would take me all day to describe, but the bottom line is that no other phone has equaled the iPhone so far.
A recent addition to the 3G club is the BlackBerry Storm. This phone has really given the iPhone a run for its money, as it incorporates many of the features that have made the iPhone so popular. Web browsing? Check. Email? Check. Wi-Fi? Uh… no. That’s one difference between the two phones, and a pretty big one in my opinion. Many of the other applications are very similar though, as it has GPS, a maps application, access to corporate email, and a media player, among a myriad of other applications. One check mark in the Blackberry’s column is that it has a better camera at 3.2 megapixels, and it also takes videos, which is something the iPhone does not support. That is, non-jailbroken iPhones don’t support it, wink, wink. And another feature on the Storm that is lacking on the iPhone is that you can increase its memory by inserting a microSD card.
In places where the iPhone lacks, the Storm excels, and vice-versa.
Both of these devices are strong 3G phones, and although I own an iPhone 3G right now, I could see myself being happy with either one as my primary phone/PDA.