Science

Smartphones

Visit CBCnews.ca's forum to weigh in, offer your views and debate the pros and cons of the latest smartphones.

Share your thoughts on the iPhone 3G and its competitors

 
Smartphones have been around for years, but that term has been wide open to interpretation — and misuse. Many of these phones have been anything but smart, offering clunky controls and limited multimedia features. Not to mention the fact that surfing the web on their small screens, slow connections and primitive browsers has been an experience in frustration.

Smartphone Forum

Visit CBCnews.ca's Smartphone Forum  to debate the pros and cons of the latest mobile devices.

Now the market is undergoing a renaissance as people realize the productive, creative and entertaining possibilities that arise when a powerful and easy-to-use smartphone is coupled with a fast internet connection. Those on the go are starting to demand the same things that computers offer them on the desktop — readable screens, simple graphical interfaces, fast downloads for images and streamed video. And they want web pages to look like, well, real websites, rather than something that has been "optimized" for a handset by stripping out everything except a few lines of basic text and links.

The latest contenders for the smartphone crown in Canada are the Apple iPhone 3G (launched in Canada July 11 through Rogers Wireless/Fido), the low-cost Samsung Instinct (Bell Mobility), and Research in Motion's yet-to-be-released but much-talked-about 9500 touchscreen phone, dubbed the "Thunder."

Do these phones represent a long-awaited leap forward for the mobile internet? Which one would you consider buying, and why? Have you used one and want to share your experiences? Visit CBCnews.ca's Smartphone Forum  to weigh in, offer your views and debate the pros and cons of the latest smartphones.


The smartphone contenders at a glance:

 

 
iPhone 3G

Canadian Carrier: Rogers Wireless/Fido

Weight:  135 grams

Measurements: 2.4 inches wide, 0.7 inches thick, 4.6 inches high

Touchscreen: 3.5 inches, 320-by-480 pixels, and 16,777,216 colours

Features:

  • 2 megapixel digital camera
  • WiFi b, g - Bluetooth
  • Voice recorder
  • Video and audio player (doubles as an iPod)
  • Lots of add-on software available through "App Store"

Wireless:

  • GSM Quad-band phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • UMTS tri-band global 3G (850/1900/2100 MHz) 
  • GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA 1.8 Mbit/s/HSDPA 3.6 Mbit/s

Talk time: Up to 600 minutes (10 hours)

Web Browser: HTML, Safari Browser (supports tabbed browsing)

E-mail/Messaging:

  • POP3, IMAP4, SMTP/Microsoft Exchange
  • Text messaging

Document formats: Reads PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel files

Share your thoughts on this phone.


 
Samsung Instinct

Canadian Carrier: Bell Mobility

Weight: 136 grams

Measurements: 2.2 inches wide, 0.5 inches thick, 4.6 inches high

Touchscreen: 3.1 inches, 240-by-432 pixels, and 262,000 colours

Features:

  • Cost is fraction of the iPhone's price tag
  • 2 megapixel digital camera
  • FM radio/Sirius satellite radio Voice recorder 
  • GPS-capable 
  • Bluetooth 
  • Video and audio player (Music downloads through Bell's Full Track Music service)
  • Mobile television service with more than 20 channels, exclusive HBO programming

Wireless:

  • CDMA dual-band phone
  • CDMA2000 1xRTT/1xEV-DO rev.0/1xEV-DO rev.A

Talk time: Up to 345 minutes (5.75 hours)

Web Browser: WAP 2.0, XHTML browser

E-mail/messaging:

  • SMS, Text messages  
  • Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Hotmail embedded

Share your thoughts on this phone.


 
BlackBerry 9500/"Thunder"

The Research In Motion phone, referred to widely in media reports as the 9500 or "Thunder," has not been officially announced by RIM. No specifications or official photos of the 9500 have been released by the company, but while RIM remains tight-lipped the telecom industry is alive with speculation. The following list is a selection of rumoured Thunder handset features that have been circulating in media and online reports:

Carrier: Rumoured exclusive deals in works with Verizon, Vodafone

Delivery date: Possible September rollout

Screen: Full colour touchscreen (rumour pegs size at 360-by-480 pixels), virtual keyboard

Features:

  • Video player
  • Music player
  • Digital camera (speculation of upt to 5 megapixels)
  • MicroSD card slot for memory expansion
  • Picture/ring ID
  • Voice recorder

Wireless:

  • GSM Phone working in Europe/Asia (900/1800 MHz) 
  • UMTS European/Asian 3G (2100 MHz)
  • Possible CDMA dual band model (800/1900 MHz)
  • hybrid CDMA EV-DO Rev. C / GSM HSPA radio
  • GPRS/EDGE/ HSDPA 1.8 Mbit/s/HSDPA 3.6 Mbit/s/HSUPA
Share your thoughts on RIM and smartphones.

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