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back to article Ten of the best... iPhone beaters

The iPhone 3G S is now upon us, bringing with it incredible new things like MMS, video recording, laptop tethering, stereo Bluetooth and the marvel of cut and paste. Hang on. Haven't other smartphones been doing this sort of thing for ages? While iPhone mania shows no sign of dissipating among the faithful, another big …

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It's been asked, however

Where's the Touch Pro 2?

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Grenade

horses for courses

when it comes to picking a phone (or any other product really) I generally look for something that satisfies the need for which I am buying it. For a phone I want (in order):

Good phone (calls, texting, MMS - in that order)

Customisation (ring tones, themes, home screen - I want it to feel like *my* device)

Good camera (can't be arsed to carry a separate digicam all the time)

Non-network based mapping

Connectivity (bluetooth, wifi etc)

Web (rocking horse poo)

Email (golden rocking horse poo)

Music player

Oh and yes i want a physical keypad. I cannot stand doing text input on a touchscreen, tried it on multiple devices and I loathe it with a passion that is almost holy.

So looking at all the above shockingly enough the iPhone isn't the best fit for MY* needs. I know. I know. This means that I need to go to the White Room for "re-education"

What it does mean however is that my current N95 fits the bill in most every respect, sure its not perfect, The tendency of the text client to slowdown when I get above about 2000 message in my inbox is a pain in the ass, it would be nice to change the snooze length on the alarm (you let me change EVERYTHING else but not that??) and yes occasionally it gets confused and thinks my photos need to be upside-down (N95 users will know what I mean) but they aren't deal-breakers by any means. Oh and because its not got all the Beautiful People(TM) falling over themselves to hand over wodges of money I got a contract that suits my high need for minutes/texts at a very reasonable price without forking over anything for the phone!

May you all find your perfect phone!

*Your needs may vary

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Grenade

All bets are off

Wait until you can try the HTC Hero. I'm currently trialling it for one of the UK networks and you are going to love it. How can you take my word for that? Because I'm an Apple fan-boi and I'm thinking I prefer the Hero to my iPhone...!!!

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Stop

RE: K800i

I'm going to go a bit further, and say that the K800i is the best phone I've ever actually owned.

With the screen brightness at 50%, which is still very bright, the phone lasts me 4 to 5 days with calls, texts, and messing about on the internet using opera mini, which with the zoom on the new version is a joy to use.

Most of Sony Ericsson's newer phones still use mostly the same hardware as this, but use cheaper processor chips, so that's why the K800i, especially with the latest firmware release a few months ago, is faster than those! Which works out great for videos, applications, games and using the internet, but not good for the upgrade cycle. I quit my contract to keep this thing, as I realized I had found the phone I can live with for many years until it eventually dies.

I want to make an important point: WHY ARE YOU ALL SO CONCERNED WITH WLAN?!?! You do know that in many other countries, unlimited or very generous data charges are cheap, ie: £5 to £10 per month equivalent?

Why should you be turning off pictures on your web browser on your phone? Don't the networks *want* you to be at least on a package that makes you use the internet on your phone, or download applications, etc? It's crazy!

WLAN is free, and I don't think so many people here can be bothered paying subscription charges to BT and the like to get wireless access. Admittedly phones suffer in the battery life department whilst using 3G, but with opera mini and just normal GPRS, I still find it acceptable, given it's a phone, and very usable.

The networks in the UK are crazy, I've been around the world, and nobody's bothered with wireless WLAN on their phone, because data is included for them in a package. That's why in Japan and China people can use the internet on the subway or bus to work, and not worry about the cost of downloading pictures.

It's craziness!!!!

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N97

Nokia's first touch phone is the Nokia 5800 which also seems a much better spec than the iphone 3gs

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@Ancient Oracle funkie

"I remember the original iPod (yes, I am that old). A lovely looking piece of kit but hampered by DRM issues and a distinct lack of features."

Clearly, your memory is failing. The original iPod - the 5 Gigabyte one with the mechanical scroll wheel - was unhampered by DRM... because, well, DRM didn't exist. The iTunes Music Store didn't exist.

iTunes was a software product that ran under Apple's OS9, and soon after, OS X, and was ostensibly there to manage MP3s on your Mac. It was there to rip your CDs to AAC or MP3 - neither with DRM. AAC tracks and MP3s could be moved to devices that supported them. (IIRC, early versions of iTunes didn't even rip to AAC, hence some of my music is still in it's mp3 format). The 1st gen iPod appeared some time after iTunes was introduced.

Features? Well, autosyncing over 400mb/s firewire was /slightly/ quicker than 12mb/s USB 1.1 (the only option on other players at the time unless you count SD players). I'd say that was a feature. Physically smaller than the competition? Feature. A pleasure to use? Feature. 40 channel equaliser? Er, ya got me there.

Sorry for the history lesson, but it annoys me when people lay the whole DRM issue at Apples doorstep, when in fact it was instigated by the record industry so that Apple (and others) could sell music online. And everyone knows that.

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@Defiant

Yeah, but it's still a S60 device. My E51 is S60 and the browsing is less than stellar. Plus, while you can get an HTC Magic for free on a £30 18 month contract, you can't get an N97 until you hit £45 24 month (At least from Phones4U, where I went yesterday to look at both of these phones).

YMMV

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Grenade

Know what you are talking about

@The Original Ash

Yes it's an S60 device & yes that OS has had problems and I should know because my last 4 or 5 phones have used it. The problem here though is you are knocking the s60 5th edition without knowing the score because this baby really is much, much better. The speed is near enough instant and smooth & packed with features. Also I'm not tied down to Apple!

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Jobs Halo

@AC re: K800i

Yes, the K800i was/is a great phone. It was by far the best phone I had ever owned until I switched to my iPhone 3G. Since doing so the only thing I've occasionally missed is the great camera, but not much TBH. The K800i camera might blow the doors off the camera in the iPhone but it's still just a toy compared with any real camera, even a point and shoot cheapie. So, for the typical "taking a pic for an MMS" usage a phone camera gets the iPhone camera is as adequate as that on the K800i or any other phone camera.

"messing about on the internet using opera mini, which with the zoom on the new version is a joy to use." and "with opera mini and just normal GPRS, I still find it acceptable".

You are joking aren't you?? Granted, Opera Mini is about as good as mobile browsing can get on a screen the size of a postage stamp but it's still a huge chore. To be used only when there's absolutely no alternative. Mobile browsing with Safari on iPhone however is just amazing, as good as using the browser on your PC or Mac. The same can be said for e-mail. Yes, it worked, painfully, on the K800i, but on the iPhone it's pretty much as good as on a PC. When I'm at home I frequently check my mail and surf the net on my iPhone rather than walk 5 yards to the iMac sitting in my office.

Videos on the K800i?? Watching them? See "postage stamp screen" above. Since I've had my iPhone I've been able to watch entire series (like Lost, Alias etc) on the train to work. You really lose nothing compared to watching them on TV.

Oh, and about people's WLAN "obsession". Guess what? My iPhone contract with Vodafone in Portugal gives me a 500Mb monthly data limit. That's perfectly fine for daily surfing (and yes, we can surf the net on the metro here) but you'll soon blow it if you watch a few YouTube vids or use streaming radio, so yes, WLAN is very important.

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The only contender for me

I would have gone for an iphone 3GS but for the same reason as tomjol (too pricey for the minutes and texts and phone you get) I didn't.

I went for the HTC Magic. Certainly it's got failings but email and internet are great on this. I hardly use gmail or thunderbird on my PC anymore. And pretty much every app I've tried work great and the integration is really good, if not perfect. It shines for the same reason that the iPhone shines, if maybe a little less brightly : outstanding usability. My Nokia E71 did more out of the box but despite being a great phone, was a pain to use by comparison. Also the Magic benefits from the same promise of ongoing OS updates as the iPhone but without ever having to connect it to a PC.

Sadly it doesn't look as good as the iphone but much to my liking, doesn't attract much attention.

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Not likely.

Nothing will ever be as good as the iPhone.

Practically ALL the touchscreen phones can beat the iPhone in terms of specs. However none of them have the same mad cult of followers - hence difficult to beat.

I however think almost all touchscreen phones are better than the iPhone, especially in terms of price.

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HTC Touch Pro 2

I didn't buy an iPhone for the sole reason I have an iPod Touch and didn't want to replace it. It's a lovely device but I bought the HTC Touch Pro 2 instead for Outlook and multiple input options.

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