The Best Smart Phone Today

Smartphone #3: On Choosing iPhone 3GS over the Palm Pre and others

I wanted to document my decision, because I made it with a lot of research and care.  As you may know, I am very interested in mobile computing, both for my personal use and as a research topic. I was an early adopter of smartphone technology, signing up for the $400 Palm Treo 600 WAY back in the day (November 2003) on Sprint. After years and years of this phone, I bought its successor, the Palm Treo 700P in Summer 2006 on Verizon. Again, pricey! BOTH of these phones have been terrific, and the name “Treo-man” has been applied to me and my superhero abilities using these smartphones. I knew from early on that smartphones would change the nature of computing and work.

What the Treos have had right from the beginning is: responsiveness, qwerty keyboard and support for one-handed use.  What they have lacked is: a decent camera, wifi, an attractive UI and capacity to hold lots of music/apps.  The Treos really helped to start the smartphone landscape, and the current leader, iPhone owes a lot to their design: touchscreen, and open applications. Unfortunately, the Palm company has been unable to innovate as quickly as RIM and Apple. They were overtaken and surpassed over the last few years.

Saturday, however, may have marked a new beginning for Palm. The MUCH-anticipated Pre reminds me of the best of Palm’s creativity- new form factor, nice keyboard, great display and best of all WebOS. The new Palm OS promises integration of  a lot of the tools I already use.  There is no doubt it is cool. I wanted it, badly, and my contract with Verizon is up.

But, there is a problem- Palm has made an exclusive agreement with Sprint to sell this phone. Because it runs CDMA, it could potentially only work under Sprint and Verizon. The rumors suggest it may be out on Verizon late, late this year and/or a simpler candybar version (Eos) on GSM networks (AT&T, etc) coming out later this year. Sprint was never my favorite back in the day, and the thought of returning was not attractive, but I still considered it.

And then there is the fact that I am part of a family, and soon all the contracts will be up. Staying with Verizon would be fine (and I like the early renewal options) BUT the choice of phones is much much worse than AT&T. The fam simply could not find good alternatives to stay with Verizon, and honestly neither could I! I could downgrade/lateral move to the Palm Centro. I considered lots of different Blackberries, but I don’t care for their user interface (especially moving the cursor).

In the end, I discovered that AT&T offers the same discount for me as Verizon, so I took a look and found MUCH better choices not only for me but for the whole family. Now, I could choose the Nokia E71X, or even the N97. But I looked and looked and read and researched (thanks engadget.com especially). I almost bought an iPhone 3G last week (HUGE POTENTIAL MISTAKE!) after asking lots of friends about theirs.

Yesterday, I watched the liveblog of the Apple WWDC, and I was sold on the iPhone 3GS with iPhone OS 3.0.  It definitely will lead the pack in terms of hardware, and the applications are unrivaled. The interface I will just get used to like the millions of others.

My conclusion has been echoed all over the place: The Best Smart Phone Today is Apple iPhone 3GS.


One Response to “The Best Smart Phone Today”

  • B. Franklin Says:

    ‘t use laptop sleeves, but this one is very nice, and with such a small computer I feel like it is necessary.

    As far as speed goes, this netbook performs pretty well. The only problems that I have run into are streaming high definition videos from either YouTube or HULU, but many more powerful computers struggle with the same thing. As far as processor speed goes, it has a single 1.66GHz processor, as compared to two >2.0GHz processors in most full speed laptops. This means that speed is going to be less than half of a standard laptop. However, for what netbooks are made for (portability, internet, office applications) you won’t notice much difference. I wouldn’t try running any high-end games or image/video editing software on it. Overall though, I am happy with the performance. It works great for streaming music through Pandora. Also, the 160GB hard drive leaves plenty of space to store your music/video/picture collection.

    So, for the money I think that this is the best netbook for the

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