back to article iPhone v Pre - the celebrity smartphone deathmatch

Two top-of-the-line smartphones were released in June: the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS. If you're eyeing them, you'll have to choose one or the other - no one in their right mind owns more than one smartphone. So which one is worthy of your pocket or purse? To answer this question - and since it can be easily argued that I'm …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    DXO Labs

    After having experienced DXO's attempts at providing imaging solutions for serious photography, I'd say their involvement with the Pre has to rate as a negative. They certainly know how to pile on the hype though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ummm...

    You can delete (and move) multiple emails at a time on the iPhone. That was added back in 2.0. No need to delete them one by one - just tap the edit button in the message list.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    So it's iPhone vs Pre because...?

    "But first a bit of business to ward off enraged fans of the BlackBerry Storm, HTC Magic, Nokia N97, Samsung Omnia, LG Viewty, and others - or, for that matter, even connoisseurs of a finally aged Motorola MicroTAC. Yes, there are other fine phones in the world, but this article isn't about them. This is a point-by-point smackdown: the Palm Pre versus the iPhone 3GS."

    So your reason for it being an iPhone vs Pre comparison is because it is an iPhone vs Pre comparison...

    What logic. What a defence. You must win so many discussions with that.

    Oh, and didn't you read/notice the "Ten of the best... iPhone beaters" article on here only a couple of days ago? Which included the iPhone and ummm Pre...

    Honestly, are you guys getting kick backs for every time you w*nk on about the iPhone? Is it a slow news week cos you can't justify a Jackson story like the rest of the planet?

    Come on, admit it... Which one of you has no longer got a liver?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Jeff Fraser

    iPhone Calendar

    Just a note... the iPhone calendar does have the ability to display a daily calendar...

  6. James O'Brien
    Pint

    Wow Rik

    Normally I would have to say your a fanboi for Apple. But to be honest this is one of the best and unbiased reviews(?) I have read from anyone in a long time. I commend you Rik for what is a rather

    well written and unobjective approach to this. I may not agree with what you say 99% of the time because of you sounding biased as all hell but this, I have to say, may make me not hate you so much :P

    Hats off to you Rik, keep it coming and I may not bitch about your articles so much.

    /This beer is for you.

  7. Thomas Davie
    Flame

    Very odd music playback score?

    Your music playback section universally falls on the iPhone side, until you hit the fact that the pre can get back to the music player in one click fewer than the iPhone can (or rather, a click, rather than a double click). I really don't get how that tallies up? Is a single click really that much more efficient than a double click? So much more important that it trumps people who listen to classical music actually being able to select a composer; being able to use playlists you create on the device, and having a better speaker?

    Finally, hey... you have a multitasking section... that's what it's for, if the pre's multitasking really is that much of an advantage. Oh, you did? Good, leave it there :)

  8. Antidisestablishmentarianist
    Troll

    @So it's iPhone vs Pre because...?

    Not sulking in the corner I hope?

  9. Ty
    Jobs Halo

    hheheh funny

    In less than a year no one will remember what a Pre is!

    The iPhone however will be the dominant mobile computing platform for years to come.

    What a stupid article.

    N97?! ROFL

  10. Chris Beach

    Keyboard = Full Screen

    grr, another one! Yet another review that fails to point out one big advantage/disadvantage to physical v virtual keyboards. The display! On every virtual keyboard to date you loose anywhere from 33-70% of the screen.

    Which means all the fancy UI gets covered and you get about 2-4 lines of text in, just like an old school nokia ...wonderful progress that!

    The Pre's keyboard may not be the best but at least you can still see the email/text/web page your typing your reply to!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Have to agree with AC @ 05:12

    When are you guys going to start acting consistently? Why not do a 4-way review comparing the four (now) major smartphone platforms (Android/Magic, WinMo/TPro2, iPhone, Palm Pre)? You could even include a blackberry.

    Plus this review is full of vague subjective rubbish. For example:

    "Battery: Although I didn't run any well-defined benchmark testing" WTF? You also go on to rate the pre because it has a removable battery. Who cares? How many people actually buy a replacement or 2nd battery for their smartphones? Maybe 5%? It's utterly irrelevant - all that counts is battery life, period.

    "Now that that's over with, let's admit that there's no competition in this category at all. The iPhone has over 50,000 third-party apps available in the iTunes App Store, and Palm hasn't even released a Pre SDK yet." Okay, so there's no SDK, but it's a NEW PRODUCT. D'uh. Go and see the rate of change of iPhone apps for the last 2 years. Android is following a similar trend. Palm will probably be the same.

    "That said, if you're in your right mind you're going to buy only one smartphone." Yes, probably the iPhone. Or maybe an HTC Magic or a Hero. Or maybe a Touch Pro 2. Oh, wait, that's not one smartphone, that's 3.

    Come on el reg, just put the kleenex away and start treating the iPhone as "one of the options", not "the only option".

  12. Paul 25
    Pint

    @bazza

    No, because no-one charges you a monthly fee to use your Mac.

    Remember, Apple gets a slice of your iPhone contract every month (at least from some carriers).

    It's the same reason that you had to pay for the OS update for the iPod Touch.

    Paul

  13. Vyktureous

    Omission?

    I think the cost of owning each one should be part of the deathmatch/smackdown.

    Is it worth saving $1200 in a two year contract/period on a Palm pre?

  14. David Love

    A third option

    Well balanced, well written. Thanks.

    Now I'm inspired to..., just hang on to my iPhone 3G.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Cue the comments...

    "iphone is overpriced vs xxxxx"

    - god, not this again.

    "but my xxxx can do yyyyy, and the iphone can't - it must be rubbish"

    - Good for you. Top trumps was never my games anyway; let me respond with....zzzzzz.....

    "The iphone can't even do MMS or cut-and-paste"

    - So what if they were late with it; it's there now, innit?

    "The iphone's got a Non-removable battery, and therefore the spawn of Satan"

    -...again....zzzzz....in other news 98% of consumers don't replace their batteries. Kudos on you getting into the 2%. How's the weather up there?

    "The iphone..."

    - You know what? I can't be bothered. It's transparently obvious you won't let this lie, so I think I'll just respond with *meh*.

    envy? Jealously? Can't stand to admit that actually, Apple might have done ok? Oh yes, I can smell it from here.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Play/Pause question

    The iPhone can pause with a click of the button on the headset - which is pretty quick.

  17. Steve Evans

    What?

    No mention of the "likely to spontaneously combust, and as you can't remove the battery, you're gonna have to chuck the whole thing into a bucket of sand and watch it melt." category?

    Re the iPhone apps... 50,000 apps... Woo... How many of them are actually useful?!

    Plus, would a Pre owner, unlike a Jesus phone owner, be allowed to have an app showing naked boobies on the phone he owns and has paid for?

  18. Greg J Preece

    @AC 7:09

    It's fantastic watching you argue with yourself...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Great article

    Glad to see some honest reporting instead of what you get in the business rags. This is what I expect from el Reg. Concise, to the point, not afraid to have informed opinions/judgments.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    inaccurate

    "Two top-of-the-line smartphones were released in June"

    If you live in a selected pre launch country. iPhone avail in Australia, Pre nowhere to be seen. Pity.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Missed the most important comparison

    The iPhone and the Pre may be the saviours of humanity, best thing since sliced bread blah blah blah, but unless you reference the network, any comparison is pointless. As I understand it, in the UK and Ireland the Pre is going to be an 02 exclusive, along with the iPhone, which means I can't have either, so Blackberry or Android "win".

  22. Danny 14 Silver badge

    Although its no blackberry or WM phone..

    How about ease of use in connecting to IMAP sources and syncing with exchange servers? As our company refuses to pay blackberry tax we are pretty much forced to use WM phones to get our OMA IMAP fix.

  23. MarkC

    O2 a problem

    Just thought I'd point out that where I live the IPhone is a non starter because there is no O2 coverage. Until its available on other networks I won't be getting one

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Excellent but not perfect

    This was an excellent article, well written even if US spellings and terms were annoying (come on, who in Europe understood "My fingers are as insensitive as keilbasa." ?).

    I disagree with the battery comment (I've never replaced a cellphone battery, and I've been using mobile phones since 1991 so get used to charging my phone overnight.).

    I also think the article has a couple of flaws:

    1) Battery life - I'd like to understand if multitasking on the Pre does indeed reduce battery life significantly

    2) Cost/availability - I don't know how much a Pre would cost over a 2 year period or when it's going to be available in the UK or Europe

    3) Other features - e.g. what about this new "Touchstone" technology with the Pre - is it any good ?

    Other than that, this article did indeed seem unbiased and was enjoyable to read. As a side point, the review of the Pre and Apple camera phones needs amending to point out the Pre was defective.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multi-tasking

    The article perpetuates a misconception about the iPhone OS (that it isn't very capable of multi-tasking). This is patently false - it is OS X for fucks sake, so it is incredibly **capable** of multi-tasking. What it isn't currently **able** to do is multi-task other than for a few select apps because Apple made the (correct at the time) design choices to restrict it for the sake of (a) application stability (due to much more severe CPU and RAM constraints than are available in the Pré and 3GS) and (b) security. Regardless of the limitations it imposes one of the huge bonuses the one sandboxed app at a time paradigm provides is rock solid security. Prediction - the Pré will be a lot, lot easier to hack than the iPhone at next years pwn2own contest.

    What is apparent is that with the original iPhone release and 3G release, the hardware was not capable enough to support what is presumably a "heavier" OS than the Pré's. I imagine that the 3GS is likely to be able to support multi-tasking apps absolutely fine once Apple releases an iPhone OS version with the restriction lifted, probably next year or the one after that.

    Anyway, a good review other than that one point. However, the advantage for multi-tasking still lies with the Pré in spite of what I wrote above. Security has suffered for it though.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Cue the comments / AC

    That was quite a long 'meh'.

  27. Bakaman
    Thumb Down

    aPPZ

    i dont know how you can compare 3rd Appz with a phone that been out for years and and one that hasnt ?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    RE: What?

    Steve Evans wrote: "No mention of the "likely to spontaneously combust, and as you can't remove the battery, you're gonna have to chuck the whole thing into a bucket of sand and watch it melt." category?

    Umm, it gets a little hot but these "melting" rumours were fuelled by the moron who kept his under his pillow playing tunes all night.

    If you're that stupid then a good burning now and again might be what you need to learn your lesson...

    Fire because there isn't any, it's all a myth

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's all get along!

    The iPhone is great. Pound for pound it's probably the best consumer device you can buy - the apex of hardware, software and infrastructure integration, for the moment. Well done Apple.

    Knowing this, I still don't have one and I'm going to be first in line for a GSM Pre once it's available unlocked on these shores.

    Silly? Maybe, but I guess we just like what we like.

  30. Richard 20
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Rik

    Great article Rik. A comparative review of genuine utility and even-handedness. So much better than the usual Register review-fare. Please take note El Reg.

  31. Nicholas Wright
    WTF?

    You call this a review?

    You laugh at application availabity for Palm Pre...

    ... yet the iPhone has been out for 2 years or so?

    You think that might be the reason?

  32. Dax Farrer
    Stop

    @AC 6:46

    Lets not include the Blackberry, as the Storm is absolutley crap.

  33. mccp

    @ Danny 14

    I set up my iPhone with our Exchange server in 30 seconds, syncing works perfectly. My previous phone (Sony Ericsson w950i) took half a day to get working and still had trouble with the SSL certificates. IMAP with Google is even easier.

  34. Matt Vernon 1
    Troll

    Replacing batteries

    Just a point, batteries (in my opinion) tend to be the first part of the phone to go so if you're going to keep your phone for 2 / 3 years and not upgrade it to the latest and greatest model as soon as it is released being able to change the battery is going to be a big plus.....

  35. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Thanks for this - *perfect* timing

    You covered more or less all the points I was looking at, and with the encryption and the ability to remotely reformat the phone it is now possible to go for decent business use (although I will not use the locator - I'm not fond of an uncontrolled 3rd party keeping location data as I don't know what they do with it.

    I have a personal phone, Sony Ericsson p1i, and 3G iPhone supplied by the company I'm contracting to. As the company contract is ending I have to hand the 3G back, and the v3 upgrade has made it useful. The aging p1i has UIQ 3 which is no longer supported, so I think I'll shell out for the 3G S at the end of its contract, also because I've been an iPod user for quite a while, and the iPhone can live in a suit pocket without making it hang too much.

    The only remaining challenge for me is to find a replacement for the Most Useful App Ever on the p1i: the business card OCR program. It can extract contact data from an amazing amount of formats, but I suspect that may already be somewhere on the app store - just haven't looked yet.

    Oh, and the p1i camera makes better pics than the 3G manages, I hope the one in the *G S is doing a better job than the 3G..

    Last but not least, the iPhone has an app called TapForms - IMHO an absolute winner. A simple but usable database has been lacking from most platforms for quite some time, and TapForms appears to fit the bill, although I hope they bring out a PC and Mac desktop companion soon. It's IMHO excellent stuff , and the first time I have seen something that rivals the usability of what Psion supplied on the Organiser II all the way up to the S5.

    So there - iPhone for me. Yes, I know I'll pay extra per month, to me that is worth it.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fed up

    with iphone vs' pre

    here, in camera comparisson article...

    how about somethign else for a change...

  37. Bad Beaver
    FAIL

    C'mon!

    Folks, I really, REALLY don't care whether you like the keyboard or not. Both implementations will have their individual pros and cons, it's all up to personal preference. What would actually be relevant information: does the Pre or the latest iPhone FINALLY manage to sync and display calendar and contact CATEGORIES (say from iCal and Address Book or whatever) properly? It is quite important to be able to tell things apart.

  38. Vasilis

    Would love to disagree...

    I enjoyed reading this article very much however I hate to point out that the review is iphone biased. I will explain my thoughts.

    - Size & Weight

    Pre is not pocketable? So you rather fit a soap dish than a soap in your pocket? Very much doubt that. Pre wins

    - Fit & Finish

    Pre may feel more plastic (iphone has it better here) but when it comes looking at the screen there are screen film covers. I have one for all my phones, my ipod, and if I had an iphone I would get one for it too. Also the glass makes the device more heavy. Pre wins

    - Keyboard

    Well you moan here about not being able to rotate the screen. Fair enough. However when you rotate the screen and have the virtual keyboard out how much of the screen is actually visible. Cause when you are viewing a movie you do not use the keyboard. Draw.

    - Display

    iphone has a bigger screen but again it comes down to the soap dish vs soap principle. How many of you take your iphone to the pub and sit down with it being in your pocket? Cause none of my friends who own one can do that. Draw.

    - USB Drive

    Agree here. Isn't it annoying to be limited on how to use your device? Pre wins.

    - Battery

    You change change your battery? You break down in the middle of nowhere and you forgot to recharge your phone. You are doomed !!! Pre wins.

    - Still camera & Image Playback

    I agree with you here. I hate pre-rendered images. I hope Palm release a fix on adjusting the sharpness here or maybe some 3rd party app will fix it. iPhone wins.

    - Video capture

    Palm got it all wrong here. Again Im waiting for a free hack to fix this. iPhone wins.

    - Video Playback

    I would expect some hardware comparison here and some benchmarks really. What is not mentioned is that the WebOS is based on a linux core so more codex will be supported. I do not think this easy to do on the iPhone. Draw for the moment.

    - Audio Recording

    Palm needs to look at these small things. I agree it is retarded. iPhone wins but wait a month and there will be an app for this like on older Palms.

    - Audio Playback

    Agree with you.

    - Phone Operation

    The ring tone can be changed. Also you have vibration. Regarding the visual voicemail notifications it does NOT supported by most carriers. How many times have you been roaming where you can use that feature? That is false. I think that the best way to do this is to incorporate both methods. The "old style" is so 20th century? Well aren't all phones using the same style? I wonder why....support is the answer. Pre wins.

    - Multitasking

    Welcome to the king of devices. True multitasking finally arrives on a handheld device. Pre wins.

    - User Interface

    I think the Palm interface is better designed. There is a "home" button on the pre too. Because apple was making mac OS for years it doesn't mean by default they can design a better gui for a handheld device. This is a myth. At the end of the day Palm was making PDA's since 1996. Pre wins.

    - Searchability

    I do not like how you do not have much control over synergy. However it is a great way to merge contacts. Universal search can be modified to add new search engines and sites etc. Nothing out there can beat those two features. This is so PC like. Sorry to say this but what kind of "retard" would just search on the word "in" ? What do you expect to get back when you type "in" into Google? =) Pre wins.

    - Apps & SDK

    Impossible to compare since iphone has been out for a few years while the Pre just got launched. However do you go via microsoft when you buy apps for your pc? Why does Apple have to control what you can add onto your phone? This is the most ridiculous way to distribute and "approve" software. Also there is no mention about the Classic app. For all current Palm users out there it means that you have access to your legacy apps (1million vs 50000? Don't make me laugh...). New applications will follow too. Since this comparison is a punch under the belt, then I have to break your ankles !!! Pre wins.

    Am I bias for the Pre? Maybe...for years I have waited for a killer PDA/Phone device. iPhone never did it for me, neither did the Blackberry's. I do have an ipod and I did have a mac so it's nothing against Apple. Simply when it comes to PDA's the King is back and that is Palm. This is not an iphone killer. It is a phone with very good PDA capabilities. Something that the Treo's failed to deliver. The Pre may not be the best device for the "everyday" user and your friend's may have found it hard to get used of it. It's like comparing Linux with Windows OS. We all know Windows and can use it, but which one would you put in a Nuclear Reactor? =)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @Steve Evans

    Clearly you are not a fan of Apple or their products. That's fine. It is after all your right, except - you've no idea about how the Pre actually functions other than conjecture and hearsay on teh interweb (evidently, the same is true about the iPhone). First, if a handset is "likely to spontaneously combust", then chucking it in a bucket of sand regardless of the brand is all you can do. I certainly wouldn't risk 2nd and 3rd degree burns removing the battery - perhaps you didn't think that through. This whole user replaceable battery stuff is just bollocks frankly. Battery technology is improving at an incredible rate, and the need to replace batteries is diminishing year on year. Environmentally, this is a good thing. Yes, they could do with holding charge longer - but that's as much to do with component engineering as anything else. I have found that the phone does get warm when using it for extended periods - then so do other small devices (and not so small - my 17" Dell notebook can be used to fry eggs after 30 minutes of net surfing on battery...). Certainly the majority of mobile phones I've owned have got really hot when I've had call longer then 10 minutes. The reasons for this are easily understood with GCSE level physics...

    Second - the App store. Have you ever looked (it's obvious that you haven't tried any iPhone apps) at the App store? There are plenty of professional based and extremely good quality apps on the App store. Yes you have to pay for some of them. It's funny that the "loads of applications" argument is leveraged when Windows vs. Mac argument is in full swing as a reason why Windows is better, but the minute it's used in Apple's favour we get a sarcastic "Woo..." Double standards? Again, your views seem to be based on hearsay and conjecture rather than ant kind of fact, but I understand how that would undermine your "Apple are evil - everyone should use Linux/Microsoft" rhetoric. I haven't seen anyone call it a "jesusphone" for ages...

    It would have been nice to see the Reg handle the initial release of the iPhone with the same "hey - it's the first release so well cut 'em some slack" style unbiased review. After all, Palm have been boasting about how great a device the Pre is - and I personally don't doubt that it *will* be. I suppose that it's not editorial policy though, is it? To be fair, the review is reasonably unbiased, with a few misnomers already pointed out. It's nice to see something coming to market that'll give iPhone a run for it's money. It can only be good for the consumer.

  40. Michael Brown

    @Steve Evans

    "Re the iPhone apps... 50,000 apps... Woo... How many of them are actually useful?!"

    Thousands of them. The point is there are so many apps in the AppStore that there's almost certainly one (probably more than one) that exists for anything "useful" you might want to have an app for.

    "Plus, would a Pre owner, unlike a Jesus phone owner, be allowed to have an app showing naked boobies on the phone he owns and has paid for?"

    So, an app that shows naked boobies is an example of what you consider a "useful" app??

  41. sleepy

    multitasking

    Of course the iPhone has a multitasking OS. 99% of users don't even know what that means, and it's not appropriate to let them start and forget numerous applications which then flatten the battery unexpectedly. The geek Reg reader can just jailbreak. For the kind of obsessive control freak who always has a fully charged spare battery in his pocket and thinks changing batteries is convenient, the Pre has a small advantage. (several battery-cum case products are available for iPhone, so all is not lost).

    WebOS only runs Javascript apps. Good luck rewriting your app (eg turn by turn navigation) in Javascript.

  42. HotSoup
    Boffin

    Balanced review

    Pretty good attempt at a balanced review, and one i heartily agree with. iPhone is an excellent bit of kit.

    Now go review the Samsung S8000!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone Background Apps

    I thought it was a good article but I think you've skipped over the reason why the iPhone doesn't allow multiple apps to be running at the same time. Of course there are few apps that run in the background by default (iPod, Mail etc), Apple specifically stated that they didn't want to allow multiple applications running in the background because it would be a drain on the battery. Plus it's a security risk etc. That was a pain for a while, but now that OS 3.0 supports push notifications you can get the effect of background applications without the drain on resources.

    For example, I have BeeJive installed on my iPhone which allows me to chat via MSN. Before I had to either keep the app open constantly or have it push an email alert notifying me that I'd received new messages (which was never instantaneous). With OS 3.0, an alert will instantly pop up on my screen as soon as someone messages me, even if I haven't got the app open. Personally I think that's far better than having to actively keep certain apps running in the background (indeed, what if you forgot to launch the app if you rebooted your phone? With the iPhone that wouldn't be an issue as you'd get the push notification regardless).

  44. Soruk
    Stop

    J2ME

    Does the Palm run J2ME apps?

  45. Mark Greenwood

    Keyboards

    Surely the keyboard thing trumps everything? I've tried the Pre; seeing as you have to do most things using the keyboard, and using the keyboard is akin to hammering pinheads with a sledgehammer, I really don't care what it can do because making it do them is excruciating.

    The iPhone on the other hand, as someone has already commented, may have a nice useable keyboard but you can't see what you're typing when you're using it.

    They're both shite.

    I'll stick with my ancient LG with its keys so big an arthritic elephant could dial numbers. That's what I call a useable UI.

  46. Dave Ross
    Thumb Down

    iPhone KB?

    The iPhone KB is still anything but perfect as far as rotating into landscape goes. It may rotate very nicely when it comes to most things but there are still the odd few (for instance, entering passwords) places where it doesn't. Why is this? I was praying for this with 3.0 and still not there.

    In the end, the 3.0 update turned out to be a bit disapointing really.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Fanboys on both sides

    "Your music playback section universally falls on the iPhone side, until you hit the fact that the pre can get back to the music player in one click fewer than the iPhone can"

    Oh come on, that's hardly the same thing. Double-click just brings up the play/pause/next/previous controls. You can't really use the iPod app to browse your music etc without quitting the app you're in. Let's be honest, you and I would love the iPhone to multitask like the Pre does.

    "i dont know how you can compare 3rd Appz with a phone that been out for years and and one that hasnt ?"

    Give me strength. How about comparing the situation as it stands today? Otherwise, what's the bloody point in a comparative review? If I want to run 3rd party apps, it's a nonsense to rate the Pre as highly as the iPhone based upon what may happen in the future.

    It's like saying application availability isn't an advantage for Windows over, say, Haiku because Haiku's only been around for a while and doesn't have many developers yet. It's a lame argument that only the most biased commentator would adopt.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Melting

    "Umm, it gets a little hot but these "melting" rumours were fuelled by the moron who kept his under his pillow playing tunes all night."

    It may be a myth but you're doing your argument no good. I wouldn't consider myself a moron if I fell asleep with music playing, and I wouldn't be impressed with my phone if it melted doing so!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iYawn

    "But first a bit of business to ward off enraged fans of the BlackBerry Storm, HTC Magic, Nokia N97, Samsung Omnia, LG Viewty, and others - or, for that matter, even connoisseurs of a finally aged Motorola MicroTAC. Yes, there are other fine phones in the world, but this article isn't about them."

    Because , uh they might show up some of the shortcomings of the iphone ? Admittedly - I only have the "old" 3g ... but still severely lacking on some areas.

  50. Mark Jan

    Fingers

    Rik, if you're comparing your fingers' insensitivity to that of a smoked sausage of Polish origin, the word is "kielbasa".

    Nice article by the way.

    Where oh where did Nokia lose it...?

  51. Ken Ryan 1

    Contact/Calendar sync?

    I have a Touch, a TX and a cell phone and would love to combine them.

    Thing that stops me from getting the iphone is the complete inability to sync calendar and contacts with any programs I actually use. No outlook here, no Mac, so much for syncing to the ipod. Yes there are kludges, I eventually got my calendar over via Google and some bridges. Contacts no chance.

    So what's the story for the Pre? Is there hope there?

  52. Michael C

    @Danny

    If you're using IMAP for mobile Exchange access, you're doing it wrong...

    ActiveSync config on an iPhone is a snap. I don't know what the Pre can and can't do. I agree, standing up BES is simply a tax we're not willing to pay for our 14,000 users.

    Now, if you;re in an environment that falls under DISA, DOD STIG, or other heavy security requirements, then by the letter of the law, not only are you required to use Win Mobile 6+, but you also need 3rd party security servers and per-phone apps, and an seperate server for device auditing. And oh yea, PED are forbidden too...

    Apple, when are you going to add native support for the Exchange 2007 features that will allow your device to pass DISA STIG? Do this and you;ll instantly become the Exchange Admin's prefered device (and cost about $160 per phone less to deploy in 3rd party software and server licensing than WinMobile per 5,000 users).

  53. Lutin

    Good article

    I am generally an apple hater and would have loved for the Pre to come out on top, but I can't argue with the conclusions of this article or its reasoning behind them.

    Very nice article.

  54. Thomas Davie
    Happy

    @Danny 14

    Why on earth would you be restricted to WiMo? The iPhone has POP, IMAP and Exchange support built in.

  55. IPB
    Jobs Halo

    Time for a confession

    I have a T-Mobile G1. I love it. It's a great phone and does everything the iPhone does and a couple of things it can't. I'll defend it to the death and I hold out great hope for Android.

    However, recently my girlfriend's crappy Nokia died a final death so I bought her an iPhone 3G S. It's amazing, a stunning handset, great app store and the browser rocks. Apps not running in the background doesn't seem to be a massive issue.

    The thing that really sold me is that while there are many things that the G1 does just as well as the iPhone, the iPhone does them with way more style.

    I'd quite happily own two smart phones....

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    'Undocumented feature'?

    Right there in the iPhone user manual:

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/iphone_user_guide.pdf

    "Displaying playback controls at any time

    You can display playback controls at any time when you’re listening to music and using another application—or even when iPhone is locked—by double-clicking the Home button (see “Home Button” on page 95). If iPhone is active, the playback controls appear over the application you’re using. After using the controls, you can close them or tap Music to go to the Now Playing screen. If iPhone is locked, the controls appear onscreen, then disappear automatically after you finish using them."

    Also you can browse other songs in the album of the song you are listening to by tapping the Track List button at the top of the screen.

    As for 'rare birds' that use the Genius (which is very useful for finding similar music to the track you are listening to) or On the Go (which again is a custom playlist made up on the fly without having to sync), or even the ratings, music within the universal search, full searchability of the music tracks, shake to shuffle etc .... I disagree. They are useful and very important features!

    Now go back and re-write that section.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone

    Now with overheating, yellow screen tint and case discolouration. Great.

    Only Apple - phones for the hard of thinking.

  58. Michael C
    Stop

    Multitasking

    The iPhoine DOES multitask.... Mail, SMS, MMS, iPod, phone, mobileme sync, push service, all run in the background, as does the notification service.

    What else WOULD you run in the background? Chat? no... you only need notifications of an incoming message, you don't need the entire app footprint in RAM using battery power to maintain a heartbeat to the server... Web pages cached remain whether the app is active or not. Games save to a sleep state and can resume where they left off, as can most other apps. When you're not actively using them, as long as you can resume where you left off, what's the big deal???

    I admit, the iPod interface could use some "plug-ins" letting things like Pandora run in the background THROUGH the iPod interface instead of needing to be their own who applications, but that's something completely possible in the future. That said, how long do you think Pandora will play in the background while you're doing something else in the foreground?

    I WOULD like the ability to queue a large download in one app, switch to another, then come back and find my download done (this works in mail, but not in Safari). This however is apparently being addressed.

  59. captain veg

    Surprising

    My Palm Centro does voice memo recording, takes videos, auto-completes URLs in the browser... so it's surprising that they are missing from the Pre. I imagine they will appear soon.

    -A.

  60. Bad Beaver

    @ Mark Jan

    "Where oh where did Nokia lose it...?"

    Did they? Maybe in the N Series, but definitely not when it comes to E Series phones. It's a different market from the all-dancing devices, but at end of the day there are a lot of people who just want a well made phone that just works. I can even use my E51 with just one hand, a feat neither Apple nor Palm can deliver.

  61. Michael C

    @ Vasilis (and rick)

    Size and weight: A "soap dish" it might be, wider and longer, but it;s SO much thinner, and it;s rounded profile makes it VERY easy to get in and out of my pocket, and in fact, it spends MOST of it;s life in my shirt pocket... I hardly notice it.

    Fit and Finish: Why do I need to buy a screen protector??? If Apple can make a smudge free scratch proof screen, why can't Palm? Why should I spend money (regularly) on covers? Also, they weight EXACTLY THE SAME, so no, the glass is NOT a disadvantage for Apple.

    Keyboard: Though i do prefer tactile keyboards, I have gotten VERY used to the iPhones virtual keyboard, and it's very good spelling prediciton. Not being able to type sideways on the pre by itself is a nonstarter for me. Their decision to not have the keyboard slide out in landscape is the single dumbest move they made, and if people who hate the iPhone keyboard think the Pre's is worse, victor iPhone.

    Display: the 0.x in larger screen DOES make a difference. Also it being smudge free doesn't hurt. I keep it in my pocket all the time, including at happy hour at the pub, as does nearly all of the IT staff here as the iPhone outnumbers ALL other smart phones combined in a survey of our 130 man systems team and 2300 person IT department. If you don;t like it in your pocket, it;s slimmer profile gives it a win on your belt clip... lett likely to bump into things.

    USB: um... I have an 8GB USB drive on my keychain that cost $30. Adding that to my iPhone would have cost $100 at the time ($100 for 16GB now). Also, I can't very easily LOAN my iPoone to people, and anything I carry on a portable drive is usually NOT phone data. I can sync any files I want to the iPone REMOTELY from my home PC through FREE software, and can VNC into it directly anytime I want from the phone... Other than video, music, messages, notes, what files WOULD i put on the phne that can't cust as easily go on cheaper USB flash???? This is a pointless argument.

    Battery: hmmm.. have am I more likely to have in the middle of nowhere: My charging cable or dock from my car and a handy USB port or ANYONE with an iPod cable handy, or a battery that I'm far more likely to 1) leave at home anyway, or 2) find is dead since I'll rearely switch to it, and 3) ISN'T YET AVAILABLE IN STORES and costs 4x what a charging cable does, and weighs more too! 2% of people use a spare. Why? the phone, undcer heavy use, lasts 24 hours, and is rarely far from a $9 charging cable that's universal to all iPods and Apple devices... i own 7 charging cables/docks, and the total of them cost less than 1 spare battery i couldn't even buy yet for the Pre that UI'd never have with me in a charged state anyway.

    Video playback: Codecs? well, since there's no SDK, don;t hold your breath. And any file you have on your PC, there's a free converter to an iPhone compatible format anyway.... (which does play more than just the Apple file format, just not AVI and WMV).

    Audio Playback: So, you're telling me that the genious function wasn't an automatic win for Apple here??? Not HAVEING to manage playlists to get a good mix on the fly with a few clicks on the device was not considdered a HUGE advantage???? Oh, and when Apple breaks the iTunes Pre hack, what then for your Pre?

    Phone: Contact management is easier. Integration with phone numbers on web pages is better. it has complete voice control over the phone (and nearly everythign else). Scrolling for a contact is easier. The interface looks better. I CAN do a quick and effective search, contacts are not jumbled together in a massive single unfoormatted list, in nearly every way, the iPhoine is better. Visual voicemail, when not available, falls back to traditional voicemail, so it DOES have both worlds, the Pre does not. Winner Apple. On voice quality: tie.

    Multitaskeing: Name a single app you need to use in the background on an iPhone that either doesn't already, could easily be handled by simple notifications without backgrounding, or can simply be put to sleep and resumed. EVERY app on the iphone can support notifacations, resume in place without first having to force a "save", or can already be backgrounded. The ONLY limitation (promised to be fixed by 3.2 at the latest) is that only 1 web site can be processing a download at a time. The Pre also has this limitation currently. This is a NON argument.

    Interface: Did you READ the review of the Pre's OS interface????? It's CRAP! Disorganized, complicated to navigate, requires more clicks, limits lists of apps to 9, limits number of app pages, doens't support landscape in most apps, is slow to respond, is buggy... Maybe when the web OS is at version 3 it will compete, but even iPone OS 1.0 was MUCH more eveolved than the Pre's release. Granting Palm a win because they've been developing PDA OS's longer? um... Remember the Newton? Predated the entire Palm company by several years....

    Search: I CAN use any search engine (for the web) on the iPhone. We're not talking about that. We're talking about the ability to search what's on the PHONE. Can't search e-amil. Pre looses. period. 1 pane for search on iPhone, returns everything. (in real time btw, have to hit "search" button on Pre to start getting results, and some results are only available when you have a signal!!!) App developers can tie into search as well, and make their data searchible. Oh, i can also seartch BY VOICE COMAND on the iPhone... (google app).

    Apps: 1: there is no PRE SDK yet... 2: there were only 29,000 unique Palm apps released in it;s 10 year OS history. Apple has 50,000 and growing at a pace to double that in a year. 3: most Palm apps were $19-49 each, iPhone apps average $2-3. Even Full blown office apps are only $10-20. The EXPENSIVE games are $5-10, including titles that sell for $30 for the DS. 4: The old app emulator? have you seen the reviews? most apps don't work anyway since it can only run basic apps, and no apps that require hardware level support requirements (most video players, networking apps, games except simple ones, don't work). If you HAVE a large investment in Palm apps, maybe it's worth it, if those apps are compatible, but 90% of them could probably be completely replaced with about $30 spent in the app store... This does not include jailbreak apps for the iPhone that are rerally cool and free.

    Lets add a few Rick missed:

    Voice control: Oops, not on the pre...

    GPS support: It's there, in basic maps on the Pre. No TomTom/Garmin/etc turn-by-turn app. Might come later, but I'm never going to buy a device on promises...

    Support: Walk into an Apple store, even with an out-of-waranty iPhone, and they'll not only help you, but not only myself, but several co-workers have had their out-of-waranty devices replaced free by Apple. The wealth of user information, and friendlieness of Apple support ius FAR better than Palm has ever been. Palm actually CHARGES for application based (non hardware issue) support calls...

    Remote: The device controlls AppleTV and iTunes remotels. RDP and VNC apps are available to control PCs remotely as well.

    Sync: Syncs not only with iTunes natively, and Exchange servers natively, and nearly every e-mail provider iether through Push, POP, or IMAP, but it also syncs IN REAL TIME, wirelessly, with MobileMe and with several iPhone apps (including free ones).

    Major socail site support: Loading video from the device direct to YouTube or FaceBook? Oops, not on the pre, not ever since it can't do video. Sync with mobile me sites and share pictures in real time with other people, not on the Pre. Loopt, Facebook, and a dozen other services native app support? Apple yes, Pre no.

    Security: Proven in pwn2own: Apple yes, Pre no. Since loading 3rd party unscanned code is possible, even through remote connections, the Pre looks like it will be pretty easy to hack... And since ALL that dat ais automatically pulled from so many sites and services, and not secured in a walled off database, it will be THE choice for hackers to go after with identity theft mobile viruses...

    Ubiquity: There are 20+ million iPhone/touch users. Ask nearly anyone and they'll not only recomend apps to you, they'll share tips, tricks, and more. There's a thriving online community, and the app ratings are usually spot on except on the first day or two after release. Going anywhere, I can ask 3-4 people and find someone with a charging cable handy. Walking into any store I can find the cables, docks, devices, cases, and more. The Pre, only sold at Sprint, has no stuff at Walmarts and Bestbuy's, and if I can't find a Sprint store (closest one is 30 minutes across town from me) I can't replace broken/lost accessories. Also, apps I buy for the phone ALSO work on the Wife's iPod, as do all the devices I've bought for the phone. It's a universal platform.

    Nike support: Not only is their the FREE trial guru which I use biking and hiking to track my progress, but with nike+, now i don't need my iPod and my phone, and at 4.8oz, I've had no complaints running with it on my arm in the gym.

    Video Out: I can connect my iPhone to an HDTV with a $30 cable. Several portable TVs actually INCLUDE iPod docs, and many 30" Plus flat panels are starting to as well. What can the Pre do???

  62. Alex Osmond
    Thumb Up

    More like this please

    Good article.

    I'd like to see more of these sort of comparisons, ideally focussing on the different OSes available. Perhaps because I have been reliant on Palm OS in the past it would be good to be backing something with a longer term future when I next switch.

    WebOS is on my list of possibles, but if the Pre handset is a weakness the OS may not get the chance to survive for long.

  63. Jimbo 7

    to Michael C

    "I agree, standing up BES is simply a tax we're not willing to pay for our 14,000 users."

    Did you compare the features? BES is not cheap, but does quite a lot of stuff. Say that you don't need the features, don't call it a tax.

    Can I ask a question? How much does it cost to deploy iPhone to 14,000 users, setup group based iPhone policies (like strong password policy, disabling camera, ...) and push custom apps to their phone over the air?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Bad Beaver

    Quote: C'mon! #

    By Bad Beaver Posted Wednesday 1st July 2009 10:23 GMT

    Folks, I really, REALLY don't care whether you like the keyboard or not. Both implementations will have their individual pros and cons, it's all up to personal preference. What would actually be relevant information: does the Pre or the latest iPhone FINALLY manage to sync and display calendar and contact CATEGORIES (say from iCal and Address Book or whatever) properly? It is quite important to be able to tell things apart.

    Jesus, mate, where have you been the past year and more? The iPhone has been doing this since OS 2.0 nevermind OS 3.0. The Pré probably does it out of the box.

    Wrt to Keyboards and typing:

    iPhone OS 3.0 saw some small but important improvements here - when you reach the edge of the screen while typing, the content will now scroll as you type so that your text always remains onscreen. Also, you can now drag around the screen regardless of whether you are typing or not. In other words, you CAN always see what you are typing.

    One major advantage that the virtual keyboard has over hardware ones that isn't mentioned in the article is the ability to switch between languages with complete ease. If you are multi-lingual then it is trivial to go between e.g. the English and French or Japanese input methods. With a hardware keyboard you are stuck with the one you get. Additionally, inputting accents or symbols is a complete piece of piss on the virtual keyboard and a disaster on a hardware one.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Still no ideal update

    Meh, both are nice in ways but neither fit the bill for me (old N95-8G owner here). I do a lot of hiking & camping so need a replaceable battery. I use Viewranger when hiking but also run Garmin, CoPilot, and Nokia Maps (also occasionally use Sygic and Navigon) for road trips where I don't have wifi or 3g, so I need proper gps s/w, Google Maps doesn't cut it in the boondocks of Spain or Mauritania.

    Multitasking is vital in order to run gps and play music, run Joiku hotspot, SportsTracker, StepCounter, Viewranger, CallFilter, T9Nav, torrent, etc etc in umpteen different combinations as required.

    Capacitive screens are almost entirely useless to me because I use the phone on a motorbike wearing gloves and contained in a waterproof flexible-screen case (Aquabox), same on the mountainbike.

    Wish list.....

    High res screen, preferably resistive.

    Removable battery.

    32gig storage (whether by sd card, built-in, or a combination of both makes no diff).

    Stereo bluetooth (FM transmitter would be a bonus).

    5mp+ camera

    Multitasking.

    A built-in browser is ok only if it supports flash, but a choice is preferable (Opera Mobile, Skyfire, Fennec etc).

    Standalone road gps apps (Garmin, Tom Tom, CoPilot etc).

    Standalone hiking gps apps (Viewranger, etc)

    Wifi s/w (such as Joiku).

    Fitness s/w (with similar functionality to Nokias Sportstracker, Wellness Diary, Stepcounter)

    Functionality rules, I don't care how pretty the UI is if it can't do the tasks I want.

    Nothing seems to have the combination of h/w and apps I want, unless someone can correct me? i.e..

    The IPhone has some proper gps apps coming but I dislike their philosophy, the locked down app-store, non-removable battery, poor camera, lack of proper multitasking, and carrier lock-in (in Ireland).

    The Pre hasn't got the apps (currently), the storage or the camera.

    Android has got some equivalents to the Nokia fitness s/w, but lacks proper gps s/w (afaik) and the h/w to date has been poor (the Hero might be the first decent set).

    Win-mo has possibly got the apps and the freedom (xda), some handsets have great specs in terms of processing power and screens, but all seem to have poor cameras (plus I also dislike MS!!).

    So basically I want an N95 8GB equivalent with higher res touchscreen and updated cpu, the N97 had been looking promising but lack of ram and updated cpu/gpu knocks it out of contention. The Samsung I8910 currently looks the most promising but has a capacitive screen so I'm not sure I could live with that on the bikes, but I should probably be pulling over anyway to adjust the gps etc ;-)

    Other than that I don't see anything out there suitable at the minute. Anyone ??

  66. Andy Baird

    Multitasking

    A point that seems to be widely misunderstood is that all of APPLE'S iPhone apps are multitasking when they need to be. It's only THIRD-PARTY apps that can't (at least for now) run in the background on an iPhone.

    Of course, the Pre *has* no third-party apps. So what it boils down to is that "as supplied*, both devices are fully multitasking.

    Thus to be fair, you should have declared a tie in this category, while noting that *future* third-party Pre apps, if and when they arrive, may be able to multitask. (It's generally regarded as likely that future third-party iPhone apps will also be allowed this ability.)

    Andy Baird

  67. James Katt

    The iPhone 3GS Rules, Slays the Pre

    Battery life on the Pre is laughable. You have to carry an extra battery along with the Pre to equal the iPhone. With the iPhone, you can also carry an external battery if you want it to last a lot longer. In this scenario, the iPhone wins by a long short.

    Software and Ecosystem - the Pre will NEVER catch up to the iPhone. Just look at the iPod and all its competition. None were ever able to create a viable ecosystem.

    The iPod Touch is a HUGE complement and weapon to the iPhone. The iPod Touch doubles the effective market for iPhone apps. This kills any other platform. Soon, Apple will add a camera/video phone to the iPod Touch. This kills the competition.

    The iPhone/iPod Touch not only competes against the smartphones, they compete against: The handheld gaming market (Nintendo DS/Sony Playstation), the small camera market (Sony, Canon, Nikon). the pocket Video Camcorder Market. The iPhone is a viable competitor against these products and thus can do much more than the Pre. The iPhone kills the Pre.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WTF?!

    I will admit to hating Apple. Out of hand and probably irrationally. But I am going to buy an iPhone.

    The iPhone has been out for a number of years and the competition have been fucking pathetic. A complete waste of space.

    How many years has it been and we get half-arsed attempts from other manufacturers that tick some but not all of the iPhone's boxes. They may do one *1* or *2* things extra and they think that that's won them the war. What the galloping fuck!? They're like a bunch of fucking kids bringing their crayon drawings to their parents to be stuck on the fridge.

    So fuck them, I'm turning my normal Apple ire against the competition and spurring them on by buying the competition.

  69. Dave 142

    pocket

    "by double-clicking the Home button (see “Home Button” on page 95)."

    thanks for that. guess I should have read the manual because that's pretty useful

    As for keeping the iPhone in your pocket you guys are talking rubbish. I keep mine in my pocket fine even when I'm cycling and it's not broken or uncomfortable. The reason people get it out and put it on the table is to show off!

  70. Ted
    Boffin

    Ask Apple's Enterprise Group...

    @ Michael C

    Nobody here is going to know for sure, so depending on your country, you'll need to ask Apple's Enterprise Group that question.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/

    Here are all Apple's International Phone Numbers:

    http://www.apple.com/support/contact/phone_contacts.html

    Just say you are considering deploying 14,000 iPhones, and they will get you in contact with the correct group.

  71. Sekundra
    Jobs Horns

    AC - "WTF?!"

    Yup. Pretty much word for word how I feel. You can only be bothered to let RIM, SE, Nokia etc. try for so long when you get fed up with waiting....

    End of this month, contract renewal, that's it. Jobs 1 - SE (in my case) 0.

    Icon because that's the point really.

  72. Michael Brown

    @James Katt

    Agree with pretty much all of your post but there is no way that the iPhone (any version) competes remotely with "Sony, Canon, Nikon" in the "small camera market". Even the cheapest and most basic camera from Sony, Canon or Nikon utterly annihilates the iPhone camera (and any other phone camera for that matter) in terms of picture quality, and I don't see that changing in the near future. I don't care how many mega-pixels a phone camera has, because with the crappy little lenses that they are obliged to use the image will always be utter shite.

  73. Michael C

    @Ted

    Genuinely, thanks you... Posts as straightforward and helpful as yours are rare.

    Of course, I already did that, but was kind of hoping others might too :)

    Anyway, Thanks.

  74. Michael C

    @ Anonymous wish list

    Fitness apps: iFitness, GymBuddy, Trail Guru (free), also 3G S works with nike+ now too. There are MANY more fitness apps out there, these are just the ones I use on the iPhone.

    You don;t need a removable battery, you "might" need an external battery charger. More likely, you need a charging cable ($9). I've had very few days that I ran my battery dead before bed time, and I use the phone heavily. I charge it at work via USB, and dock it next to the TV in the living room when I'm not using it, but many days, that's just unnecessary. 20 minutes of charging and I can go 5 more hours of playing music. Adding a replaceable battery, why? If it;s defective, they'll replace it for you. Having one that clips in only adds weight, bulk, and contacts that can go bad. Also, dropping a LiIon or LiPo battery is BAD, and the cause of most phone fires.

    32GB done. Stereo Bluetooth, done. GPS, coming (from TomTom, AT&T Nav is already available)

    high res screen: just how many pixels DO you want in a 3.x in device??? As it is, they're smaller than the eye can see unaided at 2 feet (typical viewing distance from face). It supports progressive output to a TV, so with the right files, you can watch in 720i. What more do you want?

    5+ MP? Without a mechanical lense? on a 0.25in die? The doise would be rediculous... Have you seen the size of the 5MP lenses on camera phones that take good pictures??? They're massive, and obtrusive, and still take crappier pictures than $40 point-n-shoot cameras. If you want quality pictures, bring a real camera... The new 3MP shoots nice pics that also print nice. Without a REAL flash (no LED flashes do NOT count), low light pictures are going to suck, and they'll suck WORSE at 5MP, if you understand optics and CCD technology...

    Multitasking: All the iPhone apps (and the forthcoming TomTom GPS software) do multitask. Name an app other than mail, messaging, music, GPS, phone, nike+, and background dowloading, that you need to have running, using CPU and RAM? Anything else can simply use the notification service, or can "suspend" and close. If all the apps can resume where you left off, and any app that collects alerts can, and the core functions for realtime use all background already, what's left? You're not running a torrent client on your phone.... What are you doing, wardriving? get a netbook if you need more, geeze.

    Flash is dead. Long Live WebKit and HTML 5. We can get better quality video now with less bandwidth and without the CPU and RAM burdens of flash. The new open web standards combined with Java replace evernything else.

    Hiking apps: There are several. I use Trailguru (free). There's also Park Maps, Path Tracker, Trail behind, the list goes on... many are free, most are 0.99. There's also a slew of state park maps, not to mention google...

    Joiku? You mean wifi sharing? Well, good luck getting AT&T to let you do that. Then again, I've been in VERY few places where I'd use my notebook where wifi wasn't simply generally available. Since I have an iPhone and AT&T service at home, I get free wifi access at most airports, startbucks, McDonalds, and all other AT&T hotspots, not to mention everywhere else it;s just generally free... I'm not even considdereing using tethering. That was a big deal a few years ago when finding WiFi was difficult. Now its easy...

    Everyone's beating up Apple on carrier lock-in, but try buying a Pre from someone other than sprint. Try buying a Storm from multiple vendors. Every major hot new device is locked in. until the FTC does somhing about it (fingers TIGHTLY crossed, candles and incents burning, live chicken on standby...) you're just screwed from ALL of them... You Can allways buy it at full proce ($599) and take it to anyone that supports 3G...

    There is no perfect device. I'm not even saying the iPhone is the best device or OS, just that currently, for me, it is, and many of the concerns expressed by others like yourself are simply misinformed FUD. Given the iPhone has the best (and cheapest by far) apps, decent plans (compared to the competition which ALL have higgher costing data plans, unless you can tolerate Sprint and having a phone that CAN'T be brought to another network later, which i can't). The iPhone is mature, stable, a great gaming platform, and continuing to improve. Apps are cheap and pleantiful. The interface is nice enough to look at and actually works, backgrounding is a non-issue. ...plus, in a few months, when either Verizon or Tmobile releases the iPhone as well, AT&T's plan prices will drop to Sprint's $99 all inclusive level overnight... and the existing plan states you can switch plans with no contract penalty (other than potentially loosing some rollover minutes, which won;t matter if you go unlimited).

  75. Tim Miller
    FAIL

    @Vasilis

    And you're accusing the article of bias?

    - Size & Weight

    Pre is not pocketable? So you rather fit a soap dish than a soap in your pocket? Very much doubt that. Pre wins

    I used to have an N95 - quite a lot smaller than the iPhone, but a bit thicker. The iPhone is almost invisible in my pocket in comparison. It makes a huge difference.

    - Keyboard

    Well you moan here about not being able to rotate the screen. Fair enough. However when you rotate the screen and have the virtual keyboard out how much of the screen is actually visible. Cause when you are viewing a movie you do not use the keyboard. Draw.

    When you're watching a film you don't have the keyboard up, so that doesn't make a difference. What does make a difference is the fact that the buttons are not tiny. I have a Treo Pro for work, which has bigger buttons than the Pre, and it's uncomfy to type on. To the extent that if I'm writing a long email, I'll write it on my iPhone and send it to my work account, then forward it on from there.

    - Display

    iphone has a bigger screen but again it comes down to the soap dish vs soap principle. How many of you take your iphone to the pub and sit down with it being in your pocket? Cause none of my friends who own one can do that. Draw.

    Your friends need to get better fitting clothes. I do exactly that, as do many of my friends.

    - Phone Operation

    The ring tone can be changed. Also you have vibration. Regarding the visual voicemail notifications it does NOT supported by most carriers. How many times have you been roaming where you can use that feature? That is false. I think that the best way to do this is to incorporate both methods. The "old style" is so 20th century? Well aren't all phones using the same style? I wonder why....support is the answer. Pre wins.

    I have been roaming with my iPhone quite extensively. Visual voicemail has worked in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Iceland, France, Germany, the US, Austria, and even Wales. When it's not working, you get the old style dialing a voicemail number. So it's doing exactly what you suggest: both methods. Unlike the Pre.

    Searchability

    I do not like how you do not have much control over synergy. However it is a great way to merge contacts. Universal search can be modified to add new search engines and sites etc. Nothing out there can beat those two features. This is so PC like. Sorry to say this but what kind of "retard" would just search on the word "in" ? What do you expect to get back when you type "in" into Google? =) Pre wins.

    The review talks about searching the phone, not the web. You've not actually used an iPhone, have you?

    Dearie me.

  76. Tim Miller

    @Ken Ryan 1

    "Thing that stops me from getting the iphone is the complete inability to sync calendar and contacts with any programs I actually use. No outlook here, no Mac, so much for syncing to the ipod. Yes there are kludges, I eventually got my calendar over via Google and some bridges. Contacts no chance."

    Google Contacts Sync works fine on the iPhone - what problem are you having?

  77. Ted
    Boffin

    Larger Enterprise Purchases

    @ Michael C

    No problem, if you didn't get the response you were looking for, go up the chain. Call Apple "directly" until you find the group or person that will answer all of your questions and take your order. Apple is about 16,000 people (minus the Store staff) so it can take several calls, but anyone calling with a request for 14,000 units of anything, will be taken care of quite quickly...

    Call 408 996-1010 - that is the main switchboard, explain your request and you'll be routed to the appropriate group or person.

    http://www.apple.com/contact/

  78. Steve Coburn

    Will Palm Support the Pre in 2 Years Time?

    To all the potential owners of a Pre. Looking at Palm's track record for supporting PDAs (still no Vista Support for most models) do you really expect them to support the Pre in 2 years time?

  79. Eric Dennis
    Jobs Halo

    What's the diff?

    Do port websites look better on one or the other? Which one is AT&T going to offer me as a free upgrade when my two year contract is up? THAT is all that really matters to me. Besides, AT&T will never let the PRE onto it's network and the Pre doesn't record video. Now all I need is to synch with MS Outlook at work and it's a done deal for me. Which one does that??

  80. MikeCorris
    Linux

    @Tim Miller

    "even Wales" lol

  81. Paul E

    Thank to reading your review

    I have ordered myself an HTC Hero running Android.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Michael C

    Thank you for the list of hiking and fitness apps. Some seem to be good enough to supplant the Nokia sports tracking and fitness offerings, but I can't see any that provide European ordnance survey maps.

    However I'm not spreading FUD, what a ridiculous statement to make. I've knocked out the IPhone from a possible list of replacements simply because it doesn't match my requirements, the same as the others I listed. I choose the tool best suited for the job and couldn't care less about fanboyism or brand loyalty so that's just daft. Read again what I said, the Iphone is nice but fails for me on several important points, i.e.

    I require a removable battery for when I have no access to power, i.e. none whatsoever, e.g. out in the wilderness, be it a desert, the Scandanavian tundra, or miles any from anywhere. Four or five spare batteries is the only way to go in these situations.

    Capacitive is virtually useless to me, I don't want to be taking off gloves at -20c. Neither do I want to have to pull over to the side of the road everytime I want to adjust or acknowledge something, a message/warning/whatever.

    420x380 is sufficient res for my needs, it doesn't have to be 800x600 etc. My N95 is only 320x240 which is inadequate for easily viewing webpages so I'm using the term high-res relative to that. Even if flash is technically dead/superceded, many sites still use it and if a browser can't view it then it's no good to me. If I'm not allowed a choice of alternate browsers depending upon my browsing requirements then a phone is no good to me.

    I am a part-time photographer and perfectly understand the limitations of phone cameras. My N95 takes 5mp pics which are perfectly adequate for my needs when travelling, the IPhone doesn't (I haven't used a 3GS yet so can't speak about that). I have seen 8mp shots from the I8910 and N86 which are very good.

    The point being that convergence is very important to me in the interests of space and weight. I don't want to be carrying a dedicated camera, gps and netbook and associated chargers etc, if I don't have to, I already have several of each and the N95 has replaced them for much of what I do.

    Of course it's not as good as a standalone unit, but that's missing the point, it's sufficiently good that I can already live with the compromises, but two years later some things can be improved (primarily a higher res screen and more storage).

    These can easily be accomplished at this stage and yet nobody has come up with something good enough, e.g. the N97 has the storage and screen, but somehow manages to have less ram available and I believe it lacks a gpu, so it's useless when running the number of apps I do and is probably slower at gps rendering etc.

    I don't live in the States so AT&T, Sprint etc are completely irrelevant to me, I live in Europe and buy unlocked. I don't live in a city so wifi is not readily available when I'm at home, neither is it most of time I'm travelling. AT&T navigation is useless since I'm not in the States, and Tom Tom doesn't appear to have been released yet. I've had it on my N95 for years and it's only one of several gps apps I run because the quality of maps and routing varies tremendously betwen the various offerings depending on what country I'm in.

    Once again, I recognise the IPhone is nice but that non-removable battery is a killer for me, the camera isn't good enough, I'm extremely lairy of capacitive for reasons already listed, and it doesn't yet provide the gps/mapping options that I require. Is that FUD ? No, it's being realistic. The same goes for the exisiting Android phones, the Palm Pre, Blackberry etc.

    Stop looking at this from a US-centric viewpoint, a city-dweller viewpoint or whatever and try not to be so defensive about your IPhone, it may do what you want but, once again, it doesn't do what I want, and saying such is not bias or FUD, it's merely a statement of fact.

  83. Simon R. Bone
    WTF?

    Microtac madness

    all well and good.... but following the link are you telling me I was constantly extracting the fiddly aeriel on my Motorola in the early 90's all those times FOR NO REASON WHATSOVER??!!

  84. Ian 11

    You missed an important category

    You missed the "Fire hazard" category.

    As there have been reports of iPhone 3GS becoming too hot to hold and getting so hot they actually glow with the heat I think it's safe to say the Pre wins this one, and frankly it's such an important category in general it's enough to swing a win to the Pre overall.

    What use is a phone if it risks setting on fire as the iPhone 3GS does?

  85. David Lucke

    Capacitive screens and overheating

    If you're looking for a smartphone with a resistive screen, you're I supect you're going to be SOL, pretty much all the new ones are going capacitive these days. I think there are some WinMo ones that are still going resistive, but as a concept it seems to be dying.

    @Ian 11

    Regarding the heat issues, Several of my colleagues have 3Gs's (I'm still stuck on my "ancient" 2G) , and are reporting no heat problems whatsoever. I can't help but think that this is either being blown out of all proportion, or that the've had a bad batch of batteries somewhere. DOes anyone have any hard numbers for how many people are reporting this?

  86. Eric Dennis
    Grenade

    Blah Blah blah

    iPhone this.. iPhone that.... It seems that the iPhone fan boys just get their shorts all in a bunch whenever anyone doesn't just accept the iPhone as the secret of the universe, by default. The simple fact is that anyone who doesn't want AT&T as their vendor or anyone who wants features the iPhone doesn't support, will not get an iPhone. The rest who have more money than sense will buy an iPhone. I recently talked to an AT&T store employee about why she switched from the iPhone to a Blackberry. Quite simply because the iPhones short comings were things she simply couldn't get past. Not everyone will just because fruit flavored fanboys love their fruit flavored kit. Some aren't going to drink the coolaid and have an Apple love fest with you. Get over it. It's just a phone. Not the second coming of Christ.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Another poor man's iPhone...yawn

    I think this article just makes me glad I've been using an iphone all the way through from the first one to the 3GS. Basides the multi-tasking, there's nothing the pre offers which would make me drop the iphone, and the person reviewing clearly doesn't use an iPhone daily (or else he doesn't know the OS very well). The pre looks fugly too, they need to make it look prettier.

    I find it amusing how people are still going on about Android dominating the industry. It hasn't and it most likely won't. The time for it to dominate is past, public opinion is apathetic and it was a missed opportunity for Google. The HTC rubbish phones it was introduced in were tantamount to a poor man's iPhone, and apart from a couple of nice innovations such as multi-tasking, the Pre falls into that same category. Who will buy a product that looks and feels cheap and confusing outside of the IT industry?

    Re apps, the exponential growth in apps, s because of the exponential growth of iPhone ownership. The installed units needs to be there to justify people developing for a platform. Seeing as how Pre piggy backs on the achievements of Apple (iTunes) rather than have its own infrastructure, I can't really see it having a viable app store, at least when compared to iTunes and at best there'll be something comparable to The google one or the blackberry one i.e. a decent facebook app and that's about it.

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