Celine was in a mobile phone shop and perhaps was being talked into updating her basic mobile phone into one of those jazzy touch screen phones with an arm length of features. She called me for my opinion on her choices, I told her that she should first research these models.
Her phone carrier had a falling off with Apple and therefore do not offer iPhone as an option. Here’s a link to someone’s 10 Alternatives to the iPhone. She also told me that what she really wanted is the PDA function of the phone. So here’s another list of what someone had considered to be the Top 5 PDA-Phones.
The following are the candidate phones for this exercise as they are available in plans in Celine’s phone carrier. It is hyper-linked to a review of each phone.
- HTC Touch Diamond
- Samsung Omnia
- HTC Touch Pro
- Nokia N96 – not a touch screen but a PDA-Phone
Of course, she could still buy an iPhone out right from another shop and just buy the plan off her carrier. They priced this option competitively.
You get into these phones to achieve the following in no particular order :
- Email Access on your mobile
- Web Surfing
- Skype Access via Wifi or VOIP via Data Access
- Replaces your MP3 player
- Oh yes – to make and receive phone calls.
A fashion statement or a status symbol are also reasons, but I guess my opinion is not being sought for that.
A major drawback of these phones is the BATTERY LIFE. It takes energy to power-up a touch screen. If you use this for browsing in lieu of a notebook, you will draw the battery quickly. Their size can only accomodate smaller battery to be fitted. With very short battery life, their use becomes limited.
A phone must be something that require very little care. Charge it once a week, talk for hours and you should still have some power left to make another call. If you forget to charge on due time, you should be able to plugin for 20 minutes – and have enough power to last you a day. If it requires constant charging, the battery will not last 24 months – which is the pay-off period of these phones. You would soon realise that in 6 months, it just requires too much attention and its novelty gone, it becomes just another brick. Yet for the next 18 months it will continue to cost you $ dollars because of the plan.
The irony is that these expensive phones are BAD PHONES. They are hard to operate as a phone and has poor signal quality. They have to make room for circuitry of the other features and still make it slim and sexy.
If you use this as an MP3 Player – you would soon realise that they manage music haphazardly. With clunky controls and difficult to update. If you’re used to your iPod – this will be a nightmare. Much research and development has gone into iTunes, you just can’t duplicate that for each phone. (Unless you buy an iPhone which is still a bad phone).
Use it for surfing and you’ll notice that most contents are really not suited for small screens. As an email client, it is really just for those odd occassion because the controls are just too small.
My verdict – not a very good idea. Concept wise these phones promises everything, but their very nature makes it impossible to live up to. Buy a simple phone – with little bells and whistles but great in making calls and requires little care. Keep your iPod for your music, it is the best music player I know as it keeps your music in your PC and iPod organised and synced. If your tablet-notebook is too heavy, buy a NetBook. Netbooks are cheaper than these phones, with the savings, subscribe to a wireless broadband.
Use a tool for its intended purpose – phones are phones, ipod for music and videos, and netbooks for your contacts, calendars, web browsing, emails etc.