Battle of the smartphones: RIM BlackBerry Bold vs. Apple iPhone 3G

Should you buy an iPhone 3G, or is RIM's top-of-the-line Blackberry Bold the better fit for you?

RIM's BlackBerry Bold is an email-centric smartphone that boasts plenty of multimedia features

RIM's BlackBerry Bold is an email-centric smartphone that boasts plenty of multimedia features

Being a mobile phone reviewer, I often get asked the question: "Should I buy a BlackBerry or an iPhone?" In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question, I probably wouldn’t be writing this article.

Superficially, both RIM’s BlackBerry devices, and Apple’s iPhone 3G smartphone seem to offer similar features. In reality, though, the two devices couldn’t be more different. Although it’s hard to compare BlackBerry’s multitude of smartphone models to Apple’s single iPhone 3G, we’ve chosen the top of the range BlackBerry Bold smartphone as a basis of our smartphone showdown.

Operating System

The iPhone 3G's operating system is completely closed and is being developed by Apple purely for Apple devices, and the BlackBerry OS is developed by RIM for the company's own handsets. The fundamental difference between the two is obviously the fact that the iPhone 3G is a touch-screen based smartphone, while the BlackBerry Bold relies on a physical QWERTY keyboard. Both operating systems support downloadable applications — Apple's App Store for the iPhone and BlackBerry App World for the Bold.

Winner: Split decision

User Interface

Again, both are admirable efforts. But Apple's attention to detail and dead simple layout just pip the BlackBerry OS here. Both interfaces are excellent, with the iPhone's touch screen supporting multi-touch gestures, and the BlackBerry Bold utilising a handy trackball. The BlackBerry Bold is responsive, and, when adjusted to the appropriate sensitivity setting, the trackball is very effective. The BlackBerry Bold also features some nice eye candy in the menus, and is very zippy as well, even with multiple applications open simultaneously. But the iPhone's sleek, responsive and simple user interface is one of the main reasons for its sustained popularity and success.

Winner: iPhone 3G

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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