Help me buy a new smartphone that is iphone-like

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vistadude, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Help me find a phone that's awesome like my iPhone 3G. I just moved to an area where AT&T coverage is not good in my home. I bought a microcell, but the voice quality and lag are a bit annoying. My AT&T contract ends near Christmas time, but ideally, I won't buy a new phone until February. Verizon has good coverage where I live, and my company gives me a 18% discount, so I'll likely get Verizon service.

    Help me choose a phone which best meets the below features and is as close to iphone-like as possible. Obviously most phones won't have all the features, but hopefully one has many of the features.

    Here's what features are most important:

    1) Size, feel, and build quality: I want something about the size of an iphone, not a huge 4 or 5 inch screen, something close to 3.5 inches is fine.
    2) Good on-screen keyboard. The phone can also have a slider in addition, but I like on-screen better. The keyboard should be able to rotate to portrait for the web browser, email, and sms. I don't care if it does landscape, so long as landscape is not the only option for the critical built-in apps.
    3) A great web browser: one that is as compatible or close to Safari
    4) Downloadable ESPN podcasts either through the browser or a music app/store
    5) Email support for pop3, imap, gmail, and basic exchange (email only for exchange is fine).
    6) Good gmail experience in the web browser
    7) Contact syncing with windows contacts or outlook. This can be a one-time sync.
    8) If it has multitasking, it shouldn't require a paid app for task managing
    9) For the camera, I don't care as long as it's better than the iphone 3G's ancient camera
    10) I don't want cloud sync for contacts, email, etc. Those should all be local for privacy reasons.
    11) I don't care about games at all

    Apps that are absolutely required:
    1) Google maps
    2) Text Plus ( I know android has this, but not sure which phones it's compatible with
    3) Facebook, but not integrated into contacts or home screen, something that's a separate app like the iphone app.
    4) ESPN scorecenter or similar score alert app
    5) AIM/MSN/Google IM with push notifications

    Apps that I would like:
    1) Opera Mini
    2) Skype with 3G and wifi support, ideally not using my minutes (I can use my iphone in airplane mode if necessary)
    3) A good weather app like weatherbug
    4) YouTube with the full video collection (not a crippled version)

    So the phones that look best for me are

    1) Motorola Droid 2 (Verizon): Has most of what I want and a slide out keyboard, not too thick, decent build quality, but not sure how intuitive Android is. Also it's expensive at $230 for a 1-year contract. I can spend the money if it's justified.

    2) Palm Pre Plus (Verizon): Has some of the features I want, not sure about the apps. It also comes with free tethering up to 5 GB. Has good/easy multitasking, but no on screen keyboard and it's quite old. It's the cheapest of the smartphones at $70 for a 1 year contract. Is an updated version coming out anytime soon?

    3) HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon): Probably the fastest and sleakest phone, but the screen is not good outdoors, sorta cheap feel with the plastic, and not sure how intuitive android is. The optical joystick is interesting. The price is expensive at $270 for a 1-year contract.

    4) Verizon iPhone, doubt this is coming out, but maybe it's worth it to wait until after x-mas at least.

    5) Anything else coming out soon?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Well, the list of phones you have are what I was going to say, however if you plan on getting it until next year, most of these phone will feel old by then. Best to ask this question next Jan. But from the rumore and stuff on the interwebs, keep an eye on windows phone 7 devices and a new webos phone coming out later this year. Also how is your coverage with tmobile? You could unlock your current iPhone and use their service if it's better than AT&T.
  3. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Thank you for the quick reply Fernandez21,

    My coverage with T-mobile is great at home, but bad at work. They also don't have 3G, but I guess it's worth a shot to unlock my phone. I'm just worred if I unlock my phone, and later need to do a software update, I'll be screwed because I won't be able to activate with a T-mobile SIM.

    With At&t coverage is bad at home but great at work. At&T is actually very good almost everywhere in the area i'm at except home...

    Verizon seems to be good at home and work... but tbh I hate not having a GSM phone.
  4. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    T-Mobile dont have 3G :confused:

    Thats news to me. Seems to be working on my phone.
  5. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    iPhone 4.

    Kidding. I'd wait for Palm's next phone, the Palm Pre Plus feels really outdated. A HTC Droid Incredible is a solid choice. I'm sure there will be some good Windows Phone 7 phones, too. If you can wait, I'd buy a phone at the end of the year when a new Palm phone is out and Windows Phone 7 phones are released. Otherwise, the HTC Incredible should be good.
  6. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    It's too early to think of an specific model, by January there is probably an updated version of all of those and some brand spanking new ones; so far an android phone would be the better system for you as they stand today (after the iPhone of course;))
  7. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Funny guy...
    If you read, the OP was posting in reference to the other MR member suggestion of unlocking his iPhone to use in T-Mobile, and the iPhone if you didn't know can only run T-mobile EDGE network...
  8. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    Oh, gotcha...i did know that because i used my iPhone on TMo.
  9. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I guess the other thing I'm kinda worried about is support. It looks like the android manufacturers come with out a new phone every month and seems to leave the older ones in the dust. Apple at least supports their iphones for two major upgrades, at least sdk-wise and to some degree feature-wise.

    I wonder if motorola even supports the original droid after 1 year.
  10. clarknick67 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
  11. UCLAKoolman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    They do still support older devices, at least for a year or so after its release. My friend's Droid just recently received the latest official firmware update. That phone just feels like ancient technology compared to the iPhone 4 though. Sadly all the Droid 2 reviews were pretty terrible, so I'd steer clear of that one. Its looking like the only real good Android phones lately have been the Galaxy S devices, but their GPS functionality has been broken on all but the Epic 4G on Sprint. Verizon is looking to get their version soon, so maybe check that out.

    On Verizon the Droid Incredible looks pretty cool right now. They have the Droid X as well, but it's way too big for my tastes. When you see someone holding it up to their face it looks like they're talking into a tablet. Video capture and camera quality is sub par as well, even though they boast the larger megapixels.

    There may be a CDMA iPhone 4 in January anyways, so that'd be your best bet. It sure sucks when you can't get service at your own place. Ironically Verizon has terrible service where I live, while AT&T works perfectly.
  12. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Cool, I better wait and see what's offered in the next few months. There probably will be new phones offered in time for the holidays, even windows vista based phones :)

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