Apple iPhone 3G vs HTC Dream: smartphone showdown

Can Google's Android platform finally knock the iPhone off its perch?

Apple's iPhone 3G

Apple's iPhone 3G

Text Entry

The iPhone 3G's on-screen keyboard has long been the source of fierce debate — heavy e-mailers and business users are thought to prefer a physical keyboard, while Apple fan boys will argue the iPhone 3G's on-screen keyboard is just fine for text entry. While we admire Apple's efforts in this regard and believe the on-screen iPhone keyboard is efficient, we feel that there is no substitute for a physical keyboard. HTC has produced an excellent one on the Dream, with each key slightly raised and easy to press. Each key is spaced a comfortable distance from other keys. The only downside is the chunky bottom section of the handset that gets in the way of your right hand while typing.

Winner: HTC Dream

E-mail

A big chink in Android's armour is the fact that it doesn't offer support for Microsoft Exchange, so business users are left out in the cold. This may change in the future, but at present the iPhone 3G comes out ahead. Despite the fact that Apple's e-mail client could certainly use some improvement, unless you use Gmail the HTC Dream's regular e-mail client can best be described as mediocre. Of course, the beauty of the Android platform is open source development, and there will surely be a number of mail applications available to download in the future that will solve some of these issues.

Winner: iPhone 3G

Applications

Both the App Store and the Android Market are excellent additions to their respective mobile platforms. This is a difficult one to judge, as the Android Market has only just opened up to non-free apps. The iPhone's App Store has had quite a head start and features far more applications than the Android Market. Both have an impressive layout, feature user ratings and descriptions and have a seamless integration with their respective handsets, but the App Store is that little bit more impressive.

Winner: iPhone 3G

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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