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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Gadget review of Touchware mobile phones

Now when the new generation touch mobile phones are all out (not everywhere yet) but it is time to take a quick look. One Apple OS, one Symbian (Nokia), one Android (Google/HTC G1) and three Windows Mobile (LG, Samsung and SonyEricsson). Two with "slider style" qwerty keyboards (G1 and SonyEricsson X1) the rest with touch qwerty keyboard. The pros-cons of this is real qwerty ones are easier for traditional computer style functions such as browse and type but I personally favor the touch on a device that you use most of the time as multi-media mobile device different than a laptop plus you avoid the additional weight from the mechanical slider keyboard. The G1 and X1 are about 40 grams heavier than the rest, with an exception for Samsung who has a beefed up battery as standard. Some noteworthy differences between all of these devices;
LG 910 Renoir: 8MP camera, video, dolby, slim but with a relatively small battery, a little bit odd though that for a phone that emphasizes photo and video, screen resolution is not the best 240 x 400 pixels, 3.0 inches
Samsung Omnia: 5MP camera, video, beefier battery than others, really good UI layer on Windows Mobile. Same screen resolution comments as for LG, 240 x 400 pixels, 3.2 inches
SonyEricsson X1: 3.15 MP camera, video, different UI layer than the LG and Samsung with "panels" as different default layers on top on Windows Mobile. Don't know about that one until I have used one myself. Good screen resolution, 480 x 800 pixels, 3.0 inches.
HTC G1: 3.15 MP camera. Android OS. Very cool "Apple like" UI with the exception of the keyboard. One of the most interesting aspects of this device is how much the developer community will pick up the mobile app store and the openess of this device vs. all the other ones. Screen resolution as Apple but with less colors, 320 x 480 pixels, 3.2 inches.
Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic: 3.15 MP camera, video, the lighest device of all of these models but still with a high capacity battery. Good screen resolution, 360 x 640 pixels, 3.2 inches.
Apple iPhone: 2 MP camera, still the reference standard for the new generation UI. Featurewise, it shows that the other phones are newer, they have richer camera and video services. Good screen, 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches
An overall conclusion, I like the formfactor of the Apple, LG, Nokia and Samsung. Pricewise, Nokia is the clear winner (for an unlocked not tied to a contract), the others are about $200 more. I like the Samsung UI layer for Windows Mobile, they have done a good job hiding the traditional layers. My take is though, regarding feature content, size, shape, weight and price that Nokia is the winner. The catch maybe the dependence on Symbian and its ongoing support and Nokia will have to make sure of that they do not repeat initial troubles they had with N95 when that came out. But as I said in previous post, the driver will be war between the ongoing developments for each OS software package whether you believe more in anyone of the following; Apple, Microsoft, Google and OHA and Symbian. Also to fully be able to compare these devices with the different screens and UIs, you need to use them next to each other to see with your own eyes what will a certain function look like on a particular device, it is not enough to watch a company demo video.

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