Smartphone recommendations?

Smartphone recommendations?


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PacketCollision

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My T-mobile contract is going to expire in a month or two, and I've been itching to upgrade from my BlacBerry Pearl for a while now. I'm looking for something with 3G, a full QWERTY hardware keyboard, email and a good web browser (can render complex pages correctly). I mostly check/write emails and browse the web, with some occasional phone use and SMS messaging. I never use the camera or play music. I really like a physical keyboard.

The options so far:

  • HTC Dual Pro (Verizon/Sprint) AKA HTC Fuze (ATT)
  • T-mobile G1 (T-mobile)
  • Blackberry Bold (ATT)
  • Suck it up and deal with my hatred for software keyboards and get an iPhone (ATT)
Pros/Cons

HTC Touch Pro (Sprint/Verizon) AKA HTC Fuze (ATT):
+ Really nice keyboard
+ Opera Web Browser
+ Flash works (some would say this is a con)
+ Lots of software for Windows Mobile
+ Tethering
? May have good linux host computer support.
? may or may not have multi-touch when WinMo 7 drops
? Windows Mobile 6.1
- Tethering is not free
- Verizon / Sprint / ATT versions all incompatible with the other two networks. ATT's version should work with T-mo at at least EDGE speeds with an unlock.

G1:
+ Geek hot toy to have
+ Linux
+ Web browser is either Gecko or Webkit (can't remember) so works.
+ Flash works (I can waste even more time online!)
+ Tmo offers free tethering
+ open SDK should mean lots of good apps
? Can probably sync to linux since it is runing it too but who knows.
? May or may not support multi-touch eventually.
- Seems to be suffering from 1st generation jitters
- T-mo has barely been able to keep their network running for the last two months.
- Huge.
- Almost as tied to Google as the iPhone is to Apple.

BlackBerry Bold:
+ Push email that Just Works(tm).
+ Familiar OS
+ tethering
- Web browser seems better than older BBs, but still not as good as WebKit or Opera
- tiny keys are hard to use.
- Not many 3rd party apps.
- Terrible linux support (my only OS)
- no touch screen

iPhone:
+ App store
+ Safari
+ Multi-touch
- No PHYSICAL KEYBOARD
- Requires iTunes (I run Linux)
- no push support for 3rd party apps yet, and now background processes.
- you look like a tool using it.

Does anyone have an opinion on which I should choose? I'm leaning toward an HTC Fuse (HTC Touch Pro) on ATT because I had some bad experiences with Verizon last time they were my provider, but I'd love to hear what other people think. I'd especially like to hear whether anyone thinks ATT/Verizon/Sprint is evil/best so that I can decide which company to use. Again, I really want a hardware keyboard, so please only choose the iPhone if you think there is something seriously wrong with my other options, and please say why you think so too.
 
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leviathan

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Well, I have a HTC Touch (the very first one) for almost a year now, and so can only recommend you to go for the Touch Pro.

It's basically a Touch Diamond with a hardware keyboard, upped memory capabilities and better battery, and so has all the benefits of the Diamond (fast processor, brilliant screen, stable working connectivity stuff) with none of its drawbacks.

WinMo 6.1 itself I would not call a con, it's a nice mobile OS. Suffers from occasional (quite rare) instability issues, as every Windows does, but in general does its work fine. And the amount of third-party software is unimaginably huge. Opera browser is great, similar experience to the iPhone - sometimes even faster when using 3G or WiFi.

Syncing with Linux might be an issue, though - I could not get my Touch (WinMo 6.0) to sync with Ubuntu properly, one of the reasons I continue using Windows on my laptop. Although maybe I wasn't trying hard enough, if you mention "Good Linux host computer support" in your Pro's list :)

And I'm quite sure it doesn't have multi-touch. Especially since WinMo will only support it from the version 7. It has a very good touchscreen though, with gesture control software from HTC.
 

Shawn

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Go for the Windows Mobile devices if you like to tinker with your gadgets and customize them.

If you want something that will impress others and yourself probably right out of the box, go for the iPhone. But don't expect to be able to do much with it other than things you've seen in the commercials.

The Android OS looks very promising, but the hardware itself is bullshit for now. The G1 looks old and cheap.

Anyway, my vote is with the HTC, but it is way too thick for my liking due to the keyboard. If keyboard wasn't an issue I'd say go for the new T-Mobile Verizon Samsung Omnia :)D).

If you like the BlackBerry platform, you could also go with a BB Storm.
 
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PacketCollision

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WinMo 6.1 itself I would not call a con, it's a nice mobile OS. Suffers from occasional (quite rare) instability issues, as every Windows does, but in general does its work fine. And the amount of third-party software is unimaginably huge. Opera browser is great, similar experience to the iPhone - sometimes even faster when using 3G or WiFi.
I'm glad WinMo 6.1 is good, I know the ancient versions were bad, but I haven't heard first-hand reports of any recent release.
Syncing with Linux might be an issue, though - I could not get my Touch (WinMo 6.0) to sync with Ubuntu properly, one of the reasons I continue using Windows on my laptop. Although maybe I wasn't trying hard enough, if you mention "Good Linux host computer support" in your Pro's list :)

I use scheduleworld for syncing my BB, and it fully supports both Thunderbird and Evolution, as well as WinMo, so I'll be using that for OTA syncing. I was mostly talking about being able to plug it in and have it show up as a modem/mass storage device. I could have sworn I saw somewhere that it worked well, but I can't find the site now so I may have been hallucinating or something.
And I'm quite sure it doesn't have multi-touch. Especially since WinMo will only support it from the version 7. It has a very good touchscreen though, with gesture control software from HTC.
Well, http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=693 seems to think it does, but I believe you that WinMo doesn't support it for now. Once again my mind is playing tricks on me because I distinctly remember zooming in Opera and thought I did it with the two-finger pinch. It was probably using the scroll-wheel though.

Thanks for your input and corrections!
 

teeb

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Anyway, my vote is with the HTC, but it is way too thick for my liking due to the keyboard. If keyboard wasn't an issue I'd say go for the new T-Mobile Samsung Omnia :)D).

If you even consider the Omnia the Nokia N96 would also be worth a thought - same Symbian S60 software, a physical keyboard (albeit TXTone not QWERTY) and so on.

Other than that I can't help, other than to say I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates touchscreen keyboards and would say "don't get the iPhone".
 

Shawn

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Well, http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=693 seems to think it does, but I believe you that WinMo doesn't support it for now. Once again my mind is playing tricks on me because I distinctly remember zooming in Opera and thought I did it with the two-finger pinch. It was probably using the scroll-wheel though.

It's HTC's software that gives you many of the same abilities as the iPhone's multi-touch screen. It's still just a resistive screen though, so it will never be as nice to use as the capacitive screen on the iPhone. It's close, but not great.


If you even consider the Omnia the Nokia N96 would also be worth a thought - same Symbian S60 software, a physical keyboard (albeit TXTone not QWERTY) and so on.

The Omnia is a Windoze Mobile device. I think some stuff in the US version is different than the one I have, but it's still WinMo 6.1. ;)
 

ahpadt

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? Multi-touch when WinMo 7 drops

I wouldnt really call WM7 a valid reason for picking a HTC. By the time WM7 is available in the stores, you are prolly in search for your next-next phone. :)
Anyway, almost being forced to go ATT kinda blows, but I'd go Apple or HTC...

iPhone:
- no push support yet.

Wrong. Last time I checked you can use push, even from Exchange. :)
 
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GerFix

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Blackberry Bold.

"No touch screen" is hardly a negative ..... and the screen on the Bold is superb (same resolution as iPhone). The web browser is good and very useable. E-mail is unsurpassed and the keyboard is fine for 2 thumb typing (the keys are all angled to minimise incorrect strokes).

Battery life is a bit poor though, especially with bluetooth "on", I get about 24 hours out of it with moderate useage.

Only real drawback for you would be syncing it with Linux.. don't know if there is a spuitable program for this from the Linux side, but pretty sure RIM don't have one.
 

cvrefugee

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How much are you paying each month for your plan? That would be the deciding factor for me (as I've pointed out in another thread). I personally think Sprint has the best data plan, hands down.



So I would go with the HTC Touch Pro or another Blackberry with Sprint.
 

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Iphone 3G, you know that it's the one you really want.
 

Shawn

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Iphone 3G, you know that it's the one you really want.

If the choice was so easy then why did it take you so long to decide to buy one?

Buy an iPhone if you want a very basic phone that also functions as a light sabre.
 

ahpadt

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If the choice was so easy then why did it take you so long to decide to buy one?

Buy an iPhone if you want a very basic phone that also functions as a light sabre.

So what kind of apps can you get for a WM mobile, that you cant get on the iPhone? Obviously, you'll always find a lot of niche products, but I reckon you can 'do the job' with both.
 

Shawn

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I can't list them all, the development community for Windows Mobile is simply massive.

But you can find apps doing the randomest things, and more importantly, you can fundamentally change around the OS.
 

PacketCollision

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Wrong. Last time I checked you can use push, even from Exchange. :)
Sorry, what I meant was that it supports neither background applications (because they drain battery life) nor pushing network activity to applications and waking them up, which means no IM (or at least not easily or well). With BB and WinMo I can run BeeJive IM and as long as I accept that having an app constantly polling the net will drain the battery.

Blackberry Bold.

"No touch screen" is hardly a negative ..... and the screen on the Bold is superb (same resolution as iPhone). The web browser is good and very useable. E-mail is unsurpassed and the keyboard is fine for 2 thumb typing (the keys are all angled to minimise incorrect strokes).

Battery life is a bit poor though, especially with bluetooth "on", I get about 24 hours out of it with moderate useage.

Only real drawback for you would be syncing it with Linux.. don't know if there is a spuitable program for this from the Linux side, but pretty sure RIM don't have one.
Well, I think SuSE has a proprietary module to make it work, but in general I just use OTA syncing via ScheduleWorld. It works as long as the data connection is stable (which means for the last 2 months, it has been popping up errors every couple of hours and regularly hosing my contact list, because Tmo's network has been basically down the entire time). The iPhone is the only product that will be an issue I think, as for the rest you can just use the mass storage mode to transfer any files you need.
How much are you paying each month for your plan? That would be the deciding factor for me (as I've pointed out in another thread). I personally think Sprint has the best data plan, hands down.

So I would go with the HTC Touch Pro or another Blackberry with Sprint.
I am currently paying about $70/m for 600 minutes and an unlimited BB data plan (at EDGE speeds) but I would be willing to pay up to $100 if there was a good reason. I had been thinking ATT over Sprint because GSM is more standard (I can keep my BB as a backup, and simply buy a prepaid SIM if I go overseas, assuming I unlock both) and because I had heard bad things about Sprint's network and customer service. On the other hand, I currently have Tmo, so Sprint's network couldn't be worse than what I'm used to, and ATT isn't exactly known for their corporate kindness so maybe that isn't really an issue. Is anyone a Sprint customer who can vouch for the network (especially in San Francisco or New York City)? One major advantage with ATT is that I could return whatever phone I got and try another choice, as they have every phone I'm interested in except for the G1.


One thing I'm not looking forward to is losing my free tethering support. Being able to use my phone as a modem has saved me several times (although using SSH over EDGE isn't very fun), but unfortunately none of the other networks let you do it for free. It appears that for WinMo at least there are applications that turn your phone into an access point, bypassing the tethering fee, so by that logic, the best provider would be the one who's definition of "unlimited" is as close to the dictionary definition as possible. Has anyone used tethering successfully on any of these devices (with or without a tethering plan ~ $30/m)?
 
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Lilleput

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So what kind of apps can you get for a WM mobile, that you cant get on the iPhone? Obviously, you'll always find a lot of niche products, but I reckon you can 'do the job' with both.

The difference with iPhone apps and WM apps are that WM apps are allowed to do anything really, where iPhone apps are very restricted which means most of them are some form of entertainment.
 

Solberg

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The difference with iPhone apps and WM apps are that WM apps are allowed to do anything really, where iPhone apps are very restricted which means most of them are some form of entertainment.

Appstore apps may be restricted but you can get just about anything on Cydia or Installer.
 

smib

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Since you're up for unlocking, I'd have to recommend the Fuze, and if it seems slow as it has with some people, flash it with a bloat-free WM6.1. I've only been able to toy with a Fuze a little bit, but it is awesome, and I will definitely get one asap. It's just too bad that asap will likely be January... 2010.
 

teeb

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One major advantage with ATT is that I could return whatever phone I got and try another choice, as they have every phone I'm interested in except for the G1.

In the UK, laws say that for two weeks after you've signed a new contract and got a new phone, you've got a "cooling-off" period where you can cancel or change phone, without any charges (other than whatever data you've used, obviously), as long as your phone is as-new (ie, still got the box and not used a knife to carve your initials in the screen).

If there's something similar in the US you should be able to take a phone back on any network?
 

cvrefugee

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I am currently paying about $70/m for 600 minutes and an unlimited BB data plan (at EDGE speeds) but I would be willing to pay up to $100 if there was a good reason.

If you are willing to pay up to $100/month, you can get the Simply Everything Plan that includes...UNLIMITED EVERYTHING.

I had been thinking ATT over Sprint because GSM is more standard (I can keep my BB as a backup, and simply buy a prepaid SIM if I go overseas, assuming I unlock both) and because I had heard bad things about Sprint's network and customer service.

The CDMA networks are much larger than GSM in the U.S., so if you're not going to go overseas often it's smarter to chose a provider with a larger network (Verizon or Sprint). The CDMA carriers also have the largest and most prevalent 3G networks over any GSM carrier in the U.S. My friend, who just bought the iPhone 3G, gloated on how awesome and fast this "new" 3G network is. Old news for me, as I've had 3G with Sprint since 2005. If you live in an area with EVDO Rev. A then the speeds will be awesome.

Sprint's network is the only one that was (insert advert) built from the ground up. You could say they have the most pure network out there. And from a technological standpoint, CDMA is more advanced than GSM. The only downfall to Sprint, as you mentioned, if their customer service. It's Sprint's #1 priority right now so don't let that be the deciding factor.

On the other hand, I currently have Tmo, so Sprint's network couldn't be worse than what I'm used to, and ATT isn't exactly known for their corporate kindness so maybe that isn't really an issue. Is anyone a Sprint customer who can vouch for the network (especially in San Francisco or New York City)?

You can check coverage for Sprint here.


One major advantage with ATT is that I could return whatever phone I got and try another choice, as they have every phone I'm interested in except for the G1.

With Sprint you get one phone exchange in the first 30 days.


One thing I'm not looking forward to is losing my free tethering support. Being able to use my phone as a modem has saved me several times (although using SSH over EDGE isn't very fun), but unfortunately none of the other networks let you do it for free. It appears that for WinMo at least there are applications that turn your phone into an access point, bypassing the tethering fee, so by that logic, the best provider would be the one who's definition of "unlimited" is as close to the dictionary definition as possible. Has anyone used tethering successfully on any of these devices (with or without a tethering plan ~ $30/m)?

You can tether with a WinMo device with Sprint for free. You only need to modify a few files and Sprint won't know the difference.
 
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