Saturday, July 14, 2007

Choices choices choices - This time, what smartphone do I buy?

Having used imate PDA phones for the past 4 years now, it's going to be a little difficult for me to get used to a different PDA/smartphone but it's about time I switch phones methinks. For the past few days I have been comparing various smart phones with the intention of getting one soon but can't seem to make up my mind. I've narrowed it down to 3 phones now, the imate JAQ3, the Samsung i600 and the Blackberry Pearl.

While the JAQ3 is my first choice at the moment, it is the first phone from imate to look and feel similar to a Blackberry and I have had qualms about the Blackberry since day one. Just like its predecessors the JAQ3 has good battery life (a must for a power user like myself), Quadband, GPRS with Push Email, a front placed QWERTY keypad, a decent camera with movie recording capability (for those specially over-the-top moments) and the usual Microsoft Windows Mobile for the on-the-go user. And it's got a stylus which I'm very very used to! Overall I think it's a pretty decent phone.

Second we've got the Samsung i600 with a sleek and sexy design. The thumbwheel is similar to the one provided by Blackberry and the Windows Mobile interface is a familiar sight for the hardcore imate user. (Don't you just hate the Sony Ericsson and the Handspring Treo interfaces?). The only weakness I see (apart from the slightly small QWERTY keypad which may take a while to get used to) is the battery. Samsung smartphones have been known to be battery drainers and how this one runs in the market is yet to be seen. Perhaps that is one of the reasons they give you a second battery.

The third in this review is the Blackberry Pearl 8100. The one really good thing about Blackberry is their marketing although the phones themselves have been getting rave reviews in Europe and the US. I honestly have a hard time buying what Americans buy! The Pearl comes with the usual Windows Microsoft interface, superior push email capabilities to add to the already much talked about email functionality of this phone with EDGE support. However the phone is sans 3G (don’t know when we'll get the full use of 3G in Kuwait but….) the QWERTY keys on the keypad are a little too small and according to some people that already have it, the phone capabilities of this piece are a little below expectations.

So there you have it; 3 good phones and I need to make up my mind by the end of this month. Any advice or input people?


Rubick said...

Choosing a phone is always an ordeal. Take it from me, ive bought over 10 phones in the past 3 yrs.
dont know much about the samsung or the imate but i think the blackberry is quite good. I'd try the nokie E61 mate. Its a good phone with a lot of the same capabilities of the other 3 phones u've mentioned and it has a good battery too.
Let us know what you decide.

Rayboy said...

Have you tried the Sony Ericsson P990? im currently using the P910 and its quite good . not bulky. Keyboard neat tucked in as a flap

Lord Raj said...

the p990 rocks.

im hooked onto the p series from SE. previously used a p900. with the flip removed .. these phones look really cool.

the only reason i didnt get a 910 was coz of the keyboard being on the back of the flip.

WLAN, 3g.. 2 MP CAM, touch screen, handwritin recognition (browsin the web from a cell phone.. neva been easier).

QWERTY keyboard.

Lord Raj said...

the P1 isnt too bad either.. but it jus didnt do for me.

the keyboard.. well.. ehmm kinda put me off.

each key denotes two values.. example. Q n W. so if u press the key to the left it will print Q n if u press it to the right, it will print W..

n that jus doesnt set well with me while tryin to type a text while im drivin.

thats the only time i actually need to use the key pad.

thats why left the p1 alone.

Lord Raj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lord Raj said...

but all said n done.. jus cant think of a smartphone worthy being called a smartphone if it doesnt have handwritin recognition..

jus ma views.

all the best to u mate.

Lord Raj said...

sendin texts or whateva.. pull out ur stylus n write away on the screen... doesnt get betta than that.

As i had mentioned, the only time i ACTUALLY use the keypad is when im drivin. at all other times.. handwritin recognition is the most convenient for typin texts, emails, browsin the web... yaada yaada yaada.

the e61 or e61i.. a lil too broad. no handwritin recognition. weighs jus abt the same as the p990 but looks alot more bulky..

not for me.

other than the p990, im also usin the n95 from nokia. the main attraction for me was.. smartphone, compact frame. light weight.. 5 mp cam.. n GPS

GPS works.. but i got bored with it in some time.. the rest is ok.. but still jus can seem to do without the p990.

3g.. well works for me. EGO from MTC is based on 3g.. n it works fine. video calls work too (jus that .. well .. i dont see the point of holdin the phone - so ma friend can see ma face - n usin the handsfree when ma hands arent really free.)
but still for the ones to whom it matters, it does do its job.

Lord Raj said...

BTW.. jus for info. leavin 3g and / or WLAN on through out drains the battery quicker.

pretty sure u knew, but jus incase u didnt.

the thing is.. the phone keeps searchin for a Wireless device to connect to (in case of WIFI / WLAN) or a 3G network (in case of 3G).

so .. unless u need to use 3g and / or WLAN, dont put it on.

BarryUno said...

Don't think I'm going to use 3G or WLAN features as yet. I really liked the N95 but the only things that puts me off is the user interface. I'm too used to Windows Mobile and nothing else realy works for me. (geez I must be getting old). But thanks anyways guys. I'll give myself the end of the month to decide. Have you checked out the new Treo with Windows Mobile? It's looks quite neat although I have qualms regarding the battery. Let me know. Cheers!

Boney said...

Barry, I am just waiting for the Apple Iphone though the interest has calmed down a bit after knowing that it would be marketed in the middle east only by the early next year.
Why don't you go for a blackberry 8800. Or perhaps wanna have a look at

BarryUno said...

Thanks Bones!

The iphone has already got bad revivews as a phone and business tool. I see it as more of a leisure phone. It packs a lot of good features from the ipod but it isn't too good as a phone. It looks stunning though (I met a guy from the US who had one a few weeks ago). Overall I think it's great if you're a Mac user. It will definitely need to get heavier duty battery before being launched in the middle east since the battery on the existing phone drains out pretty quickly too!

The Blackberry as well (especially the 8800) has not been praised a lot for its phone capabilities although its email features are far more superior than many PDA/smartphones around. besides the keypad is too congested for my liking!

Think I'm going to wait around for a bit until I finally decide.