Which Smartphone to buy
With such a diversity of smartphones on the market, it’s easy for the consumer to feel overwhelmed when faced with making a decision. Information about these phones is everywhere, but parsing it down into real, applicable selling points can be challenging. Today, I’m going to take a look at three of the major contenders to have recently debuted on the market, each with their own benefits and shortcomings: the Droid X, iPhone 4, and Blackberry Torch 8900.
The Droid X, available on the Verizon wireless market, runs on the Android platform, as the name might imply. When lined up beside the other two phones, its size is immediately apparent; it boasts a generous 4.3in touchscreen. Some will value this increase in workspace, but others may find the size a bit cumbersome in a phone. It has four physical buttons at the bottom of the screen, for ease of navigation.
It is Bluetooth-enabled and comes with both GPS and Wi-fi, and it has the added benefit of doubling as a mobile hotspot for up to five devices at a time. The mobile hotspot feature does require an additional monthly fee. The phone runs at 3G speed, which some may not favor, while others find it sufficient for typical use.
The Droid X offers both a virtual keyboard and Swype, a method of typing by dragging a finger across the desired letters. Once the technique has been practiced, Swype is considerably faster for most users than punching each virtual key individually. Those who spend time texting or sending correspondence may find this feature to be an advantage.
The camera is a hefty 8.0 megapixels, with dual LED flash, and it has the ability to record 720p video. It comes with an HDMI port, giving users the ability to connect the phone directly to a television for playback of recorded or downloaded HD video. It does not have a front-facing camera, as some other models may offer.
The Android Market is available and provides hundreds of thousands of applications for download.
The iPhone 4, available on both Verizon and AT&T wireless markets, is a marked upgrade from its Apple predecessors. Physically, the shape has been altered somewhat; it is slightly narrower than the iPhone 3, and the flattened back means that it doesn’t rock back and forth when placed on a desk. Even the antenna was redesigned and now wraps around the outside of the phone in a slick silver trim. The display is a reasonable 3.5in display, but nothing is lost by this fact. The iPhone 4 touts a “Retina Display,” advertised as being beyond what the human eye can discern, and the images are vibrant.
Like other contemporary smartphones, it has Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-fi. It runs at 4G speeds, the fastest available through wireless carriers. The keyboard is a standard virtual keyboard, as found on many models, though Swype is not supported. The battery, as in previous models, is not removable.
The camera is a 5.0 megapixel model that can be found on both sides of the phone, front- and rear-facing. The front-facing camera enables customers to take advantage of the “FaceTime” feature, offering video calling over Wi-fi. It has the capability of recording in 720p, and both videos and photos are clear and crisp. Rounding out the multimedia offerings, it offers an iPod player for music playback and can be synced to an iTunes account.
The iPhone App Store is available and the number of offerings edge out the Android Market, just barely.
The Blackberry Torch 9800, available on the AT&T wireless market, is the only of the three smartphones to feature a slide-out keyboard, which is a huge selling point for those who’d rather not fuss with the included touchscreen keyboard. Its efficient design and modest 3.2in touchscreen keep up the Blackberry reputation of being a phone for getting things done.
It offers a back-facing 5.0 megapixel camera capable of utilitarian VGA recording. A full-featured music player is offered, along with streaming radio. Multimedia isn’t Blackberry’s focus, but the brand makes an admirable debut into the multimedia smartphone realm with the Blackberry Torch 9800.
The Blackberry App World just opened in April 2011, so the number of applications offered is still meager, and it will take some time before App World becomes as robust as its counterparts. Nevertheless, there can be found a wide range of applications similar to the what may be found in other markets.
Each of these three phones has something to offer, depending on what you’re looking for in a smartphone. Whether you’re looking for video calling, HD video recording, widescreen playback, or simply a business-like phone with a snappy touchscreen and a few more features, there’s a phone here for you.