I use a “Smartphone”, one of these devices that, while being a phone, is also a computer. I’ve been one since their inception, back when a company called Palm decided to combine the capabilities of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) with the ability to place and receive calls. Their Smartphone, the Treo, is still available these days, but it faces stiff competition in the marketplace from the iPhone, the Blackberry, a bunch of different models that run Windows Mobile, and even one from everyone’s favorite search engine, Google.
If you haven’t seen an iPhone, then it’s time to come out from under that rock. Apple has created another device that has the masses clamoring to get their hands on one, and with good reason. The darn thing works, it looks good, and it’s easy to use. Now in its second iteration, Apple fixed some bugs, added some functionality, and now it’s a phone that even business folks can use. There are drawbacks, of course, and one of the biggest gripes is the lack of a removable battery. The iPhone uses a lot of juice, as does any phone that features a touchscreen-only interface. You’ll find yourself plugging in your iPhone to charge well before the end of the day, and that can prove inconvenient for travelers. Another big issue deals with the fact that you have to have service with AT&T to use the iPhone, and that exclusivity has caused a number of folks to forego this awesome new Smartphone, myself included.
I use Sprint, and my choices for smart phones are many. A great number of devices run the Windows Mobile operating system (OS) and of these, I’ve had a few phones from HTC and I find them to be quite buggy. I’ve had three different models from HTC, each supposedly better than the last, and after the “third strike,” I switched to a different manufacturer. My current Smartphone is a Palm Treo Pro, which also runs on the Windows OS. Palm still makes a solid product, and I have nothing bad to say about mine. The newest model, the Treo Pre, runs the new Palm OS, but with any new technology it always helps to wait and see and let them work the bugs out first.
The other big contender in the battle for Smartphone supremacy is the Blackberry. Originally targeted for business users, it offers solid performance through the Blackberry OS, and millions of users can’t be wrong. With good battery life, an easy to use keyboard, and integration with most email and computer OS’s, there is a Blackberry model for almost every budget. The lower price on certain models has expanded their user base, and you can get a Blackberry from almost every wireless carrier, making it a great choice for a reliable Smartphone.
I’ll go ahead and mention the Google Android OS, which powers the Google G1 Smartphone. While Google certainly rules the search engine marketplace, they have a ways to go with the Smartphone industry. The initial model has some quirks, and I’d wait until they iron out the wrinkles before adopting this particular phone.
All of the phones mentioned will accomplish the goal of keeping you productive while you are mobile, but if I had to choose just one, that iPhone sure is pretty…