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QOTW: what constitutes a perfect smartphone?

by Parm Mann on 18 July 2008, 14:09

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaofm

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This week's question turns to smartphone. The media had its work cut out earlier this month with the launch of Apple's highly-publicised iPhone 3G. The handset has already sold millions of units worldwide, and fellow smartphone competitor, BlackBerry, will soon be launching its retort in the form of the BlackBerry Bold.

Over the past few years, our fairly simple mobile phones have grown into pocket computers, and promise to do just about every task formerly allocated to our desktop machines. But, do they ultimately fall short of that promise?

BlackBerry Bold (left), Nokia N96 (centre), Apple iPhone 3G (right)

We'll be the first to admit that some of these handsets are truly outstanding portable computers. Apple's iPhone is about as easy-on-the-eye as it gets, and its stunning looks are coupled with functionality that seemed impossible on a mobile handset just years ago.

Similarly, BlackBerry devices have become renowned as the ultimate mobile productivity tool for the business user. Even the likes of Nokia, Samsung and many others are providing no end of smartphone models to choose from.

Yet, despite the huge selection of smartphones available, has any handset quite managed to provide the perfect blend of portability, functionality and style? Apple's iPhone comes quite close, but to the surprise of many it still lacks basic features such as MMS support and stereo Bluetooth.

Clearly, different users have different opinions on what a perfect smartphone should offer. So, dear readers, we ask you, what constitutes a perfect smartphone? Is battery life all important to you? Or is a higher resolution screen more important? Are you unable to grasp typing without a haptic keyboard, or does a touch screen best serve your needs?

Share your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums, and let us know, what would you want your smartphone to do?

Previous question's of the week

9th July 2008: has HDTV lived up to your expectations?
2nd July 2008: have you bought into the subnotebook craze?
25th June 2008: what will be your next graphics card?
18th June 2008: is Firefox 3 the best browser to date?
9th June 2008: do you use antivirus software?


HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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I've been looking for the answer to that question for ages, here's a few to get the ball rolling:

Able to make phone calls and texts (duh).
GPS
High speed data connection (3G+)
WiFi
Bluetooth
Camera(s)
Lots of memory
A relatively open OS (i.e. Symbian/WM6 good, Apple bad)
A user friendly & fast OS (Apple good, Symbian/WM6 bad)
Big screen
Pretty much as Salazaar put it. The current offerings just don't quite tick all of the right boxes - I've been waiting for a good few years to find one which does but it appears I'll have to wait a while longer yet :(

(Oh and that BB Bold, where's the screen? It's so damn tiny!)
Personally my key features would be decent touchscreen interface (with stylus for preference!) and WiFi connectivity. For business use, Push e-mail is also pretty much a necessity, along with a good battery life (if it can't last a whole day of use without charge, it's no good!)
I would think of a good smartphone as a general purpose computer that has been shrunk to pocket size, and includes a cellar interface. In some ways I think having a good computer & operating system is more important than some of the extra features Salazaar mentioned like high speed data, and a camera.

Part of the reason I think that way, is because a good smarphone is also a PDA, that help you organize yourself The linux familiar project is quite cleverly named with this idea because it compares a PDA with the idea of a magical animal (such as a cat) that a witch uses to help her express her powers. When you think of a smartphone as part PDA, and get away from attempting to create a phone that does everything, then features like a camera become less important, and it is much more important to think about what the computer can do, and how the user can program it to be more clever.

For that reason, I am following the openmoko project to create an entirely open Linux smartphone. In terms of features on Salazaar list, it does not get a camera or high speed data, but it does get all the rest. More importantly the OS is absolutely open from top to bottom, and you can program it do do anything you want, in more or less any language. To me it has the potential to be a killer smartphone, the only snag is, at present the software is in it's infancy, and it has trouble even being a phone, but in 6 months or so it should be great.
Hey guys, your missing a recently released phone!..

The HTC Diamond also came out in July, it's availble from Tues 15th on T-Mobile as an MDA Compact IV. Stock limited though!.. :ill: I think the diamond is perfect is just a shame about the soggy bloated windows os underneath.

http://www.htc.com/www/product.aspx?id=46278

Hopefully an iPhone killer but it seems every man, women and sheep :shaun: has already bought an iPhone.

But is a good phone to keeep me going until Android arrives! :)