Ten of the best... iPhone beaters
The iconic Apple's hard to swallow? Try these tasty smartphone bites instead
Round-up The iPhone 3G S is now upon us, bringing with it incredible new things like MMS, video recording, laptop tethering, stereo Bluetooth and the marvel of cut and paste. Hang on. Haven't other smartphones been doing this sort of thing for ages?
While iPhone mania shows no sign of dissipating among the faithful, another big difference between the original iPhone and the latest version is that there are now a lot of very credible alternatives out there, all with touchscreens, fancy new interfaces, HSDPA 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and the ability to expand and improve with downloadable apps.
At Reg Hardware we’ve had a rummage around to bring you ten of the best of these iPhone substitutes. Our ratings are based on comparing iPhone-style features and don't reflect how each phone would be rated in a standalone review.
Click here for the full review
It has that love it or hate it little chin at the bottom (we don't see the point of it ourselves) but otherwise the UK's second smartphone to run on Google's Android OS is one of the most serious contenders for the iPhone's crown. Losing the slide-out keyboard of its predecessor, the G1, makes it considerably more pocket-friendly at 113 x 56 x 14mm and 116g and its 3.2in capacitive touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution looks great, as does the widget-based UI. You can get Street View with Google Maps and use it with the digital compass to find your way around, but the 3.2Mp camera is nothing special and like the iPhone, you'll be tied to one network, in this case Vodafone. If you can't bear Windows Mobile, Android is shaping up to be OS that's best placed to challenge the iPhone.
Reg Rating 85%
More Info HTC
Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
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Sony Ericsson's first Windows Mobile touch screen handset was hotly anticipated when it first appeared at the end of last year but quickly disappointed with its lack of user friendliness. The 2.8in, 800 x 480, 65,000-colour resistive touch screen is lovely and the four-line slide-out metallic keyboard is a joy to use, plus you can augment the 400MB of onboard memory with Micro SD card - no Memory Stick! - but the custom-made 'panels' UI is slow, the 3.2Mp camera failed to impress and the complicated X-shaped array of small, fiddly buttons soon got on our nerves. We've got our fingers crossed for the hotly rumoured X2 though. A gorgeous screen and very fine Qwerty keyboard are the best things about Sony Ericsson's first Windows Mobile device.
Reg Rating 70%
More Info Sony Ericsson
HTC Touch Pro 2
I didn't buy an iPhone for the sole reason I have an iPod Touch and didn't want to replace it. It's a lovely device but I bought the HTC Touch Pro 2 instead for Outlook and multiple input options.
Nothing will ever be as good as the iPhone.
Practically ALL the touchscreen phones can beat the iPhone in terms of specs. However none of them have the same mad cult of followers - hence difficult to beat.
I however think almost all touchscreen phones are better than the iPhone, especially in terms of price.
The only contender for me
I would have gone for an iphone 3GS but for the same reason as tomjol (too pricey for the minutes and texts and phone you get) I didn't.
I went for the HTC Magic. Certainly it's got failings but email and internet are great on this. I hardly use gmail or thunderbird on my PC anymore. And pretty much every app I've tried work great and the integration is really good, if not perfect. It shines for the same reason that the iPhone shines, if maybe a little less brightly : outstanding usability. My Nokia E71 did more out of the box but despite being a great phone, was a pain to use by comparison. Also the Magic benefits from the same promise of ongoing OS updates as the iPhone but without ever having to connect it to a PC.
Sadly it doesn't look as good as the iphone but much to my liking, doesn't attract much attention.
@AC re: K800i
Yes, the K800i was/is a great phone. It was by far the best phone I had ever owned until I switched to my iPhone 3G. Since doing so the only thing I've occasionally missed is the great camera, but not much TBH. The K800i camera might blow the doors off the camera in the iPhone but it's still just a toy compared with any real camera, even a point and shoot cheapie. So, for the typical "taking a pic for an MMS" usage a phone camera gets the iPhone camera is as adequate as that on the K800i or any other phone camera.
"messing about on the internet using opera mini, which with the zoom on the new version is a joy to use." and "with opera mini and just normal GPRS, I still find it acceptable".
You are joking aren't you?? Granted, Opera Mini is about as good as mobile browsing can get on a screen the size of a postage stamp but it's still a huge chore. To be used only when there's absolutely no alternative. Mobile browsing with Safari on iPhone however is just amazing, as good as using the browser on your PC or Mac. The same can be said for e-mail. Yes, it worked, painfully, on the K800i, but on the iPhone it's pretty much as good as on a PC. When I'm at home I frequently check my mail and surf the net on my iPhone rather than walk 5 yards to the iMac sitting in my office.
Videos on the K800i?? Watching them? See "postage stamp screen" above. Since I've had my iPhone I've been able to watch entire series (like Lost, Alias etc) on the train to work. You really lose nothing compared to watching them on TV.
Oh, and about people's WLAN "obsession". Guess what? My iPhone contract with Vodafone in Portugal gives me a 500Mb monthly data limit. That's perfectly fine for daily surfing (and yes, we can surf the net on the metro here) but you'll soon blow it if you watch a few YouTube vids or use streaming radio, so yes, WLAN is very important.
Know what you are talking about
@The Original Ash
Yes it's an S60 device & yes that OS has had problems and I should know because my last 4 or 5 phones have used it. The problem here though is you are knocking the s60 5th edition without knowing the score because this baby really is much, much better. The speed is near enough instant and smooth & packed with features. Also I'm not tied down to Apple!