Cage Fight: iPhone vs. Android G1 vs. Blackberry Storm
By Robert McMillen
In this corner, weighing in at 4.7 ounces with tilt technology is the Apple of almost everyone’s eye, the iPhone. And in this corner, weighing in at 5.6 ounces with a cool flip screen is Android, don’t call me a mindless robot, G1. And in the final corner, weighing in at a whopping 5.5 ounces with a screen that feels like a keyboard, but isn’t, I give you Blackberry, the “perfect” stormmmmmm (Echo, echo, echo).
Here is the question of the week. iphone has been out for over a year, Google’s G1 has been released in the past month, and just in time for Christmas we have the Storm from Blackberry. Which is the right “smart phone” for you?
First off, let me define what a smart phone is. Of course it’s a telephone like any other cell phone, but it also has additional features. These features are constantly being re- defined as new technologies become available. But the basics are the ability to surf the web on a tiny browser, check and send email, and sync calendars and contacts.
There are lots of other smart phones out there, but these are the ones to beat. Nokia makes an iPhone killer that doesn’t even maim. Also, Microsoft’s Mobile 7 has lost its luster. That doesn’t mean it, or any other product, couldn’t make a comeback. Apple’s Newton lost out to Palm, and look how the tables have turned since then.
So here are the pros and cons of these three hot! hot! hot! smart phones. I hope this helps you decide which one fits your needs best.
iPhone- This is the best selling smart phone in the world. It has many pleasing features that make it good for consumers and business users. Here is the breakdown:
Screen size- 3.5”
Weight- 4.7 ounces
Phone service provider- AT&T
Pros- Easy to use and learn. Huge application store for games, utilities, and thousands more. Makes great use of tilt technology for switching from vertical to horizontal that also applies to games and other programs. It can use Microsoft Exchange for email and open Word, Excel, and Adobe files. It has lots of flash drive space, and a decent camera. It has a built-in iPod. The internet speed at 3G is great. There is a great GPS that’s free (unlike some regular cell phones which charge a monthly fee).
Cons- Applications are more expensive because they aren’t open source. Dealing with Apple for problems is not a fun experience. The texting application is a little awkward. Typing on the keyboard is close to a nightmare (keep it short and you’ll be fine). There is no video and the camera has no zoom capability. The memory is fixed so there is no memory card expansion. Apple is slow to admit problems and fix them. With the 2.2 update we finally get to turn off the type ahead and spell check feature which drove me nuts. You can’t pull the SIM card out and swap it with another phone. No USB ports.
Android G1- This is Google’s smart phone using the new Android operating system. It’s completely open source, which means any developer can see all the code to make modifications more easily than a closed system. The G1 was born for the sole purpose of killing off the iPhone like the Monkeys were meant to kill off the Beatles in the 1960’s. It will likely have the same results.
Screen size- 3.2”
Weight- 5.6 ounces
Phone service provider- TMobile
Pros- Applications are also open source and will be less expensive than Apple’s. The camera has 3.2 MP compared to the iPhone's 2.0 MP. The slide out keyboard makes it easier to type longer messages with less mistakes. Has an expansion slot for more memory that’s removable. Supposed longer battery life, but this is arguable based on what type of work you do on it. Can be unlocked for $35 to change carriers. GPS Navigation.
Cons- TMobile is the service provider. Not nearly as many (or as cool) applications available at this time as the iPhone, but that gap will shrink over time. It’s heavier. The slide out keyboard makes it bigger and bulkier.
The Blackberry Storm- The Blackberry Storm was designed because, for the first time since Blackberry’s inception, they have started to lose market share to Apple. For years, Blackberry had no real competition and their phones reflected this. They had black and white screens, and had a horrible thumb wheel and keyboard in a pancake style phone. Now all of a sudden they have a decent phone. It reminds me of 100 years of bland non innovative Ma Bell service until the government introduced competition in 1980 by breaking them up.
Screen size- 3.25”
Weight- 5.5 ounces-
Phone service provider- Verizon
Pros- It has a zoom lens on a very good camera. Video capture. Micro USB port. Point to click makes it easier to type messages with its on screen keyboard. GPS navigation.
Cons- Only one GB of on board memory, but can be expanded. Very limited applications and they have to be installed on the small on board RAM. Having to deal with BB service can be a problem when they have one of their frequent outages on a nationwide scale. More expensive monthly service. Heavy phone. More difficult to browse the web than the competition.
Conclusion- For ease of use and great applications it’s the iPhone. For open source and a great future, its going to be Android. For legacy Blackberry users who like a better camera and video, then it is Blackberry.
What would I do? I would get the iPhone now, the Android in two years after it’s had time to mature, and use the Blackberry to either video my kid’s birthdays or just use as a doorstop. Oh wait, scratch that. I would give the Storm to my brother because I don’t like him. He used to eat all my favorite popsicles.
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