Comparing Smartphones

I think this is a pretty good, and fair comparison. I have familiarity with having supported and used all of these platforms except for the Palm Pre. Surprisingly, the iPhone integrates the best with a Microsoft Exchange environment, with the Android OS being a close second. Blackberrys are generally the business standard, and they are bloody awful as far as I’m concerned. Popular Mechanics misses what to me is the biggest drawback of the iPhone, is that it’s only available on AT&T, who’s network is just atrocious.

I’ve been a Smartphone user back since the days of the early Treo’s, and was a Palm Pilot user before that. Back then, Palms used Graffiti, which completely screwed up your brain when it came to handwriting. But it was more reliable than the Newton’s handwriting recognition, which actually wasn’t too bad for what it was trying to do. The Newton was too big to carry around, however, which was its main drawback.

Palm was the real innovator in the handheld computer category early on, and I liked the Treo better than the early Blackberries, but the Blackberries quickly got better. No one really got the Smartphone genre right until Apple did with the iPhone. As much I like Bitter’s Android, and as much as an improvement as Windows Phone 7 will probably be, most of the user interface ideas had their genesis in the iPhone. Apple’s always been the big innovator in technology when it comes to designing user interfaces and devices, but stage two of that has traditionally involved everyone else copying their ideas and crushing them with cheaper products. In this market, Apple’s not necessarily going to get crushed on price, but they could be crushed on the “price” of being tied to AT&T and the restricted nature of their App Store.

7 thoughts on “Comparing Smartphones”

  1. Their big drawback on the Android platform is the app store, and I don’t really consider that a huge loss. Yes, apps make the phone. But, pretty much everything I might want is already out there. More importantly, it’s growing at a pretty rapid pace, so any major competition issues should be worked out within the life of my contract.

  2. However, my iPhone has not one, but TWO different shot timers on it right now, and there’s a couple of nifty ballistics calculators available for it as well. With all that, and a camera and voice memos to record my suckitude, my iPhone is becoming a very useful training tool on the range.

  3. I love my Palm Pre.

    Palm’s WebOS app selection is fairly thin right now, but keep in mind that it hasn’t even been out for full a year yet. Like Android, Palm doesn’t restrict app development like Apple does. Palm also will work with people trying to hack the system to enhance it, instead of deliberately trying to lock them out like Apple does. Anyone can sign up as a developer and download the SDK and emulator, and they even have an online Flash based app development environment.

    The app selection will grow pretty quickly, especially since the “Homebrew” community is both pretty active and encouraged by Palm.

    Also, the OS gets updated pretty frequently. In the 10 months since it was released, there have been 11 updates, including 4 “major” updates.

  4. If the iPhone was available on the Sprint network, I would have considered it as an option when my Treo died. I am not switching to AT&Ts network. I’ve been with Sprint for over 10 years, I am happy with my service. I’ve never had a bad customer service experience with them (I have heard horror stories about AT&T though)

    I debated between the Pre, the Pixi and the Centro. The overwhelming majority of the employees at the Sprint store had Pre’s so that tipped the balanced.

  5. Due to idiocy in HR I had to abandon my 3 year old blackberry and go to an iPhone 3GS 32. I like several features on the iPhone, but from the point of view of using it as a PDA it kind of sucks for two reasons.

    It has a crappy alarm double beep for appointments that can’t be changed without jailbreaking. Furthermore the default is to not alarm and you can’t change that.

    There is no option to set a phone number to never ring, which kind of sucks when I get some idiot trying to fax me. For 8 hours. Every 10 minutes.

  6. The Nokia N8x0 series is pretty much what I find ideal. Open Linux-based environment, real file manager, terminal access, SSH, touch-oriented desktop style OS, the N810 had a real keyboard, bluetooth, expandable with SD or MiniSD cards (and SDHC), lots of other things. They only thing they DIDN’T have was a phone. The N900 fixed that, but apparently they still haven’t made an agreement with a carrier to have it subsidized. I have an N810, which I use as a mobile computer and media device. Sure, the battery isn’t as long as an Ipod Touch, but I don’t expect it to be when I’m watching movies. It can listen to music for two days straight, which is fine for me.

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