"iPhone killers" reviewed in WSJ

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macaddicted, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. macaddicted macrumors regular

    macaddicted

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    #1
    Ahead of the iPhone, Other Makers Offer Some Quality Devices

    PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY
    By WALTER S. MOSSBERG

    © Dow Jones & Company 2007

    Despite the feverish hype around Apple's forthcoming $499 iPhone, which goes on sale next week, the established makers of smart phones aren't idle. They continue to turn out new models capable of not only making voice calls and exchanging text messages, but of handling email, surfing the Web, taking pictures, and playing music and video.

    In fact, this category is getting so crowded that it's hard to follow all of the contenders. T-Mobile and Sprint, for example, have just announced very similar smart phones running Microsoft's latest Windows Mobile software. Both feature horizontal keyboards that slide out from beneath the screen. The T-Mobile Wing costs $299 after various rebates, while the Sprint Mogul, which runs on a faster network, costs $399.

    But I've been testing two other new smart phones that I find especially interesting. One is the latest attempt by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion to appeal to consumers. The other is a high-resolution camera phone by Nokia, which costs more than even the iPhone.

    The new BlackBerry Curve 8300, sold by AT&T, is sort of a cross between the maker's low-end consumer-oriented Pearl and its larger, more traditional models like the 8800 series. It costs $199 after rebate, with a two-year contract.

    Unlike the Pearl, which manages its slender size by sporting only a squished keyboard where two letters must share each key, the Curve has a full, if slightly compressed, keyboard. I found it no problem to use accurately. It does, however, use the Pearl-like trackball instead of the famous BlackBerry side-mounted wheel.

    To accommodate the keyboard and a wider screen, the Curve is wider and a bit thicker than the Pearl, and has more of the traditional BlackBerry look. And it's over 20% heavier. But it's narrower, shorter and lighter than the 8800, though a bit thicker.

    The silver-colored Curve doesn't boast any technological breakthroughs. It's mostly an attempt to bring the BlackBerry's email capabilities to a model that doesn't compromise the keyboard the way the Pearl did. It has all the traditional BlackBerry features, plus a two-megapixel camera, a slot for a memory card, and the ability to play music and videos.

    In my tests, I had no trouble at all sending and receiving email on the Curve, taking or displaying pictures, or playing music. I was able to move over some songs and pictures from my own computer, and they displayed and played as promised. Voice quality was fine, and phone talk time is about four hours -- reasonable but not outstanding.

    In a welcome move, the Curve has a standard headphone jack, capable of playing music in stereo and handling phone calls. It also includes Bluetooth for wireless headsets and use in cars, but it doesn't have Wi-Fi wireless networking. It also runs on AT&T's relatively slow EDGE network instead of the carrier's faster data network. And the Web browser is mediocre.

    The Nokia N95 lacks a full keyboard, physical or virtual and its email is primitive, but that's not its main purpose. This device is the best combination of a camera and a phone I've ever tested, and includes a long list of other media features.

    The camera boasts five megapixel resolution, highly unusual for a phone, and it takes marvelous photos. When I transferred my shots to my computer, they were large, sharp and vivid, just as if they'd come from a standard camera. The camera has Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, multiple flash settings and various scene settings. It also has a burst mode capable of taking six shots in rapid sequence.

    But getting such a good camera in a phone will set you back a whopping $749. And you can't buy it through any phone carrier, only from Nokia's Web site (nseries.com1) or from various electronics stores. You have to buy a phone plan separately.

    Like the Curve, the N95 has good voice quality, but runs on the slow EDGE network, though a future version could support faster networks. Unlike the BlackBerry, the current N95 also can use Wi-Fi networks. Battery life is only fair: 3.5 hours of talk time. While Nokia touts the phone's Web browser, I found it to be unimpressive. But the phone includes GPS mapping, with optional navigation. It also accepts memory cards for storage.

    Physically, the N95 is small, but chunky; on one side, it looks like a plum-colored camera. If you slide its screen in one direction, the keypad is revealed. Sliding it the opposite way reveals standard controls for playing music and video clips. I was able to move pictures and songs from my computer, but the songs failed to display album covers when played.

    For $749, you could buy the Curve and a very nice digital camera. But the N95 is for photo enthusiasts who want an all-in-one device. The Curve is a more mainstream smart phone that aims for a balance of features at a low price.
     
  2. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    #2
    LOL WALTER S. MOSSBERG, maybe he doesn’t know that other countries exist.

    The US has some of the lowest tech phones on the face of the planet, even India has WAY more advanced phones, YES INDIA

    The BB curve is not really an iPhone competitor as with any blackberry product, BB's are for business plain and simple, they can email like nothing else (they support up to 10 different exchange accounts on some models), their other functionality is totally crippled including Bluetooth for security reasons. Which is why the us gov uses these, they are SECURE. (funny, us gov using Canadian products)

    Anyways, yes the N95 is somewhat of a competitor, but the N95 is free with an 18mo contract overseas, I don’t even think you can get the N95 from a north American provider, not to mention it will be locked down.

    Want a real comparison?
    [​IMG]

    Proof the n95 is free, the contract is not too expensive considering the iPhone contract ALSO requires a data + voice plan as well as 24mo and not 18mo

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Gonzlobo Suspended

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    #3
    The n95 is available at dell (I believe)

    (here's hoping apple/att doesn't issue any deal breakers over the next few days, or I might choose the nokia).
     
  4. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    #4
    yeah but dell is not a wireless carrier, although dell's price is pretty competative for a major business, the N95 is avalible for $650-$700 at other retail stores.

    by why bother, the only thing the N95 has over the HTC TyTN is the camera.

    the tytn is $418 now unlocked, unbranded (CID and SIM unlocked)
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #5
    To state the obvious, Walt writes for a US audience. For them, there is no such thing as either a carrier who will sell them a N95, much less a carrier that will give it to them for free in exchange for an 18 month contract, so Walt's article is spot on.
     
  6. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Apple are out the starting blocks and the rest of the field are still in the locker room asking 'what kind of race are we in again?'

    HAHAHHAAHH iphone killer - it's hilarious...
     
  7. kamiboy macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2007
    #7
    Bwa ha ha ha ha, ain't that the truth. Dry spec comparison sheats aren't going to "kill" anything. I terms of, for a lack of a better word, sex-appeal nothing, NOTHING can touch the God Machine.
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #8
    :rolleyes:

    iPhoneism...just as bad as every other religion.
     
  9. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

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    #9
    You said it!! They still don't even 'get the ipod' 5 years down the line, so how they are they going to 'kill the iphone' I'll never know!

    Let's just take a look at the 'specs' the competition don't want to see in the papers!!


    O/S - OSX - the worlds best operating system. I can't even begin to stipulate the advantages of this - suffice to say NO COMPANY in the world is ever gonna catch this up!!

    PC Media Client - iTunes - the worlds best media administration and media store application

    Application list - Ipod - the worlds best media player in it's best incarnation yet - Safari ' the worlds best browser' - Mail - a truly great email client - Youtube - the worlds best video portal -

    Screen - highest resolution ppi screen with OSX transitions, text, image and video rendering - multi-touch interface

    I mean it's just ludicrous how amazing this piece of kit is - I genuinely think ordinary folks just don't know what the 'frig the iphone' really is and that the PC/crap tech industries are desperate that they don't 'figure out that it's not a phone it's a portable computer that makes calls!'...

    old mossburger better be careful he doesn't try and 'make a point' by giving a crud review cos when ordinary folk figure out 'this is like 'the future man. in my hands right now' the guy will never hae any credibility ever again...all these folks are betting their turdy journalistic reputations that the iphone is going to suck - I think they're fools for doing that!!..utter fools...
     
  10. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #10
    A 'portable computer' is a bit much. A super awesome phone that has a built in iPod and internet, absolutely. It will dominate that aspect of the mobile business. An Ultra-portable it is not. We have enough iPhone bashers out there right now, let's not give them fuel for the fire by calling the iPhone something it's not.
     
  11. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    #11
    i didnt think anyone could possibly be that brainwashed. oh well learn something new everyday.

    the iphone resolution is no where near the highest when VGA mobile phones have been out for 3 years.

    640x480 > 480x320 (which isnt even a 4:3 resolution, its 3:2)
     
  12. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    #12
    i take it you buy cars according to the color of paint?

    if it doesnt have the numbers on paper, its not going to make it up with looks
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13

    He'd probably also buy a Lamborghini with a Yugo engine in it....a decent analogy for the iPhone.

    Oh, ok, I'll concede that maybe the iPhone has something a bit better in int, like a Hyundai engine :rolleyes:
     
  14. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    #14
    i think hyundai gets their engines from mitsubishi, so.. a lambo with a mitsu engine, it "may" be ok.... like it can move but grossly underpowered (underfeatured)
     
  15. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It's nice to get some mid-afternoon jokes here on the MacRumors forum. Thanks for lightening up the mood!
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #16

    they used to, don't any more, they build there own. I actually have a Hyundai and it's an excellent car (never given me any trouble) but I just used Hyundai because everyone thinks they're crap

    I could've used Ford :D
     
  17. pr5owner macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2007
    #17
    the new tibby looks nice actually, i wanted one when i got my car now but it was too small at the back. i really dont have any brand name loyalty, if the product is good with decent backup (warranty, Customer service, etc) then its a good product, doesnt matter what name they slapped on. half the cars out there the manufacturer doesnt even make.

    EX: ford fusion, escape, mazda6, mazda tribute, are all made by auto alliance
    vibe = matrix, vue = hoge poge of parts from gm, honda and some other people.
     
  18. kamiboy macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I hate cars, they are big, noisy and they pollute, so I take the buss. If I where to buy a car the only two numbers that would matter would be fuel efficiency and price. Obviously I would not get one if m$ had been anywhere near it unless suicide had suddenly stricken my fancy, same as with anything else really.
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #19

    yep, I got an 04 Tibby. And yeah, absolutely no room in the backseat :D
     
  20. StrayRooster macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2007
    #20
    pr5owner, i see you on Howard Forums too. You are truly just bitter.

    All those "killers" you posted in the pics above all run crappy Windows Mobile. No one said that the iPhone is doing anything amazing in terms of hardware. It stresses software. Good, solid software.

    You really are the definition of FUD.
     
  21. LoganT macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Not biased at all.
     
  22. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #22
    My dad has had quite a few smartphones over the years (from multiple brands) and I have to agree that they all look shoddy, especially when compared with the iPhone...

    While his Nokia now has Google Earth and Google Maps, the inteerface is clunky and horrible...
     
  23. LoganT macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Here's what I think. I think Apple is seriously limiting the potential of the iPhone. I think from a software standpoint the iPhone is great. From a hardware standpoint, not so much. I mean, why wouldn't they put in 3G? It makes absolutely no sense that they wouldn't put this in (and don't say it doesn't matter, if Apple had put it in the iPhone, you guys would be loving it). If it's anyone who is spreading FUD it's Apple. Third party applications are not going to take down the whole network. You guys have to stop making excuses for Apple, not everyone is out to get them.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #24
    Windows Mobile is good, solid software. It's awesome. Does everything the stupid iPhone does and then some, such as MMS, 3rd party apps, Java and Flash
     
  25. applehero macrumors 6502

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    #25
    And crash, and crash, and freeze up, and crash, and crash, and freeze up, etc....

    These are not features of the iPhone, WM exclusive.
     

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