The iPhone and the Blackberry
For some people, internet on the go is no longer a luxury. Business people and technology enthusiasts nowadays feel the need to be connected at all times. There are several phones that allow you to use normal internet features on the go, however the current top choices for a consumer are probably the iPhone and the Blackberry. Whilst being very distinct from each other, both the iPhone and the Blackberry, offer a great and reliable way to stay connected on the road.
The problem that a client faces when the need arises for this on-the-go internet connectivity is: Which of these devices should I buy? – It’s not an easy question because this depends entirely on your needs. This article is aimed to clear out any confusion between those devices so a consumer can make an informed decision.
For the purpose of this review, I’ll be comparing a Blackberry Curve 8900 Smartphone and an Apple iPhone 3G
The Blackberry looks more like a typical phone with a large 2.4” standard high quality screen and hardware QWERTY keyboard on the front and on the sides plus a nifty track ball style controller in the centre.
The iPhone is dominated by a huge 3.5” high quality touch screen and just one button at the bottom of the screen, and a couple of buttons on the sides.
Both devices are meticulously designed and both look and feel really good and solid. The major difference between the devices is the design and the way the user navigates through the interface. The blackberry offers a more standard button/track ball driven navigation whilst the iPhone is completely touch screen driven.
The data input/navigation of these two phones is probably one of the features that you would need to consider when trying to choose between those devices. Some people would prefer the hardware keyboard, whilst others prefer the more high tech approach of a soft, on screen keyboard. Personally, I prefer the hardware keypad, since once you get used to it, you can write emails and messages without even looking at the keyboard. On the other hand, typing on the on screen keyboard without looking is virtually impossible since there is no feel of a button being pressed and therefore you wouldn’t know if you are pressing a button or not.
Both devices offer a really neat and well designed user interface however on this front, most people probably feel that the iPhone’s interface is probably one of the best. The iPhone has a powerful internal graphics engine that gives it the ability to display an incredible level of detail previously impossible on a phone. The iPhone’s interface is incredibly simple to use, intuitive and looks very sleek and glossy with nice fading and sliding effects. No other phone so far has managed to replicate this type of interface. The blackberry interface on the other hand is far more professional looking and serious, but unfortunately has a slight learning curve. This approach would probably appeal more to the serious business users.
Both devices offer a great and reliable way to be able to send and receive email on the go. Both devices are perfectly capable of connecting to a multitude of email systems and online email services. This is however an area where the Blackberry absolutely rules the pack. The blackberry allows a user to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Environment and make use of most of the features usually available in an Exchange environment. The phone can synchronise to an Exchange corporate directory and also synchronises your personal schedule with your Microsoft Outlook. With the blackberry you can also open and make basic editing to Word and Excel files – which is definitely a very handy feature for a business oriented person..
Internet browsing is the top and most commendable feature of the iPhone. With its Safari web browser, the iPhone offers amazing web browsing capabilities, and is able to render all sorts of websites with very few problems. Since the iPhone has a much larger screen, it allows to a far better website visibility, and the orientation sensor also allows you to view the websites horizontally by tilting the phone sideways. It also allows you to zoom into the page for clearer visibility. On the other hand, the Blackberry does fail to load some websites, and also sometimes formatting the website incorrectly. It should be noted however that both phones do not support flash content. Both phones will fail to display flash animated content.
Both phones offer a vast range of connectivity options. Both offer USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. On a downside, both the the Blackberry and iPhone USB ports are not standard USB cables, so if you need to connect the phone on a USB connection, you would need to carry the original cable with you. Another note on Bluetooth, the iPhone’s Bluetooth cannot be used for data transport. It’s only good to use for audio headsets.
Both phones are very flexible and allow for future updating and additions. Both offer an application store where a user is able to browse through a list of applications and purchase and download any applications that the user needs. The iPhone’s application store is huge, and the list of applications that are available for purchase is endless. The Blackberry version of the application store is still in its early stages, and therefore the list of applications is much smaller. This is however growing very rapidly, and will surely have a very large application database very soon.
Along side the phone’s applications such as media player and GPS maps, the Blackberry also has a built in 3.2 MP photo/video camera with flash. The iPhone 3G only has a 2MP camera, with no flash, and no video recording options. The iPhone, also lacks MMS capabilities. (Video capture modes and MMS capabilities have now been introduced in the new iPhone 3Gs) A fact worth mentioning also is that the blackberry has longer battery life.
As previously stated, it’s only a personal choice on which is the best device for you. I would recommend that when one is interested into purchasing one of the devices, one would go to his service provider to try out both phones and ask any questions you might have to the sales people. I’m sure they can ask you the right questions to help you make an educated purchase.