(Left to right: Palm Treo 650, HTC Touch Diamond, Nokia E61, Nokia E71, Samsung Tocco)
We at last100 love the iPhone as much as the next person. Yet I remain convinced that for all of Apple’s innovation – especially on the mobile browsing front and major improvements in usability – the iPhone in its current incarnation will have significant but limited appeal. There’s only one iPhone, and in the smartphone market, one size doesn’t fit all.
Case in point: I love a QWERTY thumboard. Although the iPhone’s virtual keyboard is the best of its kind, it isn’t a real keyboard. And in the words of Duncan Bannatyne from the TV program Dragon’s Den, for that reason, and that reason alone. I’m out.
The iPhone’s camera is nothing to call home about too, and there’s no video recording capability either. Enter Nokia’s N95 which excels at media production. On the other hand, if you want a real choice of third-party apps, Windows Mobile and now the iPhone is where the action is at.
I’m also noticing a blurring of the lines between so-called smartphones – once the realm of business or power users only – and what are termed ‘feature phones’, which often focus on either music, video playback, photography or gaming. Smartphones are getting more consumer friendly, and feature phones are getting smarter. As an example, just yesterday I took loan of a Samsung Tocco. Along with its iPhone-like finger friendly interface, it offers ‘smart’ features such as email, full web browsing, an RSS reader, calendar etc, along with a generous 5 megapixel camera, the standard music and video playback functionality, and even a basic video editor. The only thing that stops it from being classified as a smart phone in our eyes is the lack of third-party applications aside from Java games (as far as I could tell), and perhaps the omission of Wi-Fi.
In the next few weeks, we’ll publish reviews of Nokia’s new ‘Blackberry killer’ the E71, the Samsung Tocco (mentioned above), and the successor to the N95, Nokia’s soon-to-be released N96. We’re also trying to source a Blackberry Bold. All very different devices, and proof that one size doesn’t fit all.
Now, where’s my iPhone nano with a slide out QWERTY thumboard?