Smartphone showdown: Are these the iPhone 3G killers?

A look at the competition

The announcement of the iPhone in January 2007 caused excitement throughout the smartphone market, although the phone had some notable omissions in terms of features. Last week's announcement of the updated model, the iPhone 3G, fills in most of the gaps, with the addition of 3G HSDPA bandwidth speeds, Assisted GPS, and software support for Microsoft Exchange. Nevertheless, there remain a number of competitors on the smartphone market that stand ready to take on the iPhone juggernaut.

Nokia N96

Nokia's latest flagship smartphone, the N96, is definitely the leader when it comes to features. Matching the iPhone 3G's HSDPA speeds, A-GPS and 16GB of internal memory, the N96 surpasses the iPhone with the addition of a 5-megapixel (Mp) camera with LED flash, DVB-H mobile television, and better all-round codec support for audio and video files. However, be prepared to sacrifice the iPhone's unique touch-screen input, as the N96 relies on a conventional keypad with some extra media keys.

  • Dimensions: 103mm(L)x55(W)x18(H)
  • Weight: 125g
  • Display: 240x320 pixels, 2.8 inches, 16M colours
  • Input method: Keypad
  • Operating system: Symbian OS 9.3 (Series 60)
  • Storage: 16GB internal memory, microSD
  • Bandwidth: HSDPA (3.6Mbps at 900/2100 MHz)
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g
  • Camera: 5Mp, autofocus, dual LED flash
  • GPS: Assisted GPS (A-GPS)
  • Music: MP3, AAC, EAAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR, RealAudio
  • Video: MPEG-4, H263, H264, WMV, RealVideo
  • Java support: Yes
  • Flash support: Yes
  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

    Sony Ericsson's flagship smartphone relies more on design than a comprehensive feature set, but still presents some competition. Its HTC-designed case and customised Windows Mobile interface allows for looks and functionality that are attractive to both regular and business users alike. Some may be put off by its paltry 400MB of internal memory, though this is easily expandable through its microSD card slot. One of the major complaints about the iPhone as a business device is addressed here, with the Xperia X1 managing to fit a QWERTY keyboard into its unique Arc-Slider design.

    • Dimensions: 110mm(L)x53(W)x16.7(H)
    • Weight: 145g
    • Display: 800x480 pixels, 3 inches, 65K colours
    • Input method: Touch screen, QWERTY keyboard
    • Operating system: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
    • Storage: 400MB internal memory, microSD
    • Bandwidth: HSDPA (7.2M bps at 850/900/1900/2100MHz)
    • WLAN: 802.11b/g
    • Camera: 3.2MP, autofocus, flash
    • GPS: Assisted GPS (A-GPS)
    • Music: MP3, AAC, AAC+, EAAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR
    • Video: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, WMV
    • Java support: Yes
    • Flash support: Yes

    HTC Touch Diamond

    The Touch Diamond sees a coming-of-age for HTC's Touch range of smartphones, managing to incorporate smart design and functionality in a package slightly smaller than the iPhone. Offering a touch screen interface based on Windows Mobile 6.1, the Touch Diamond features a VGA 2.8in screen, though this is somewhat let down by a rather poor 65K colour set. Unfortunately, the screen continues to require a stylus for input, which may be a hindrance to those used to a finger-sensitive screen. Like the iPhone, the Touch Diamond doesn't offer expandable memory, and its 4GB of internal memory can seem insignificant in comparison to the iPhone's 8GB or 16GB.

    • Dimensions: 102mm(L)x51(W)x 1.35(H)
    • Weight: 110g
    • Display: 640x480 pixels, 2.8 inches, 65K colours
    • Input method: Touch screen
    • Operating system: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
    • Memory: 4GB internal memory
    • Bandwidth: HSDPA (7.2M bps at 900/2100 MHz)
    • WLAN: 802.11b/g
    • Camera: 3.2MP, auto focus
    • GPS: GPS and Assisted GPS(A-GPS)
    • Music: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR
    • Java support: Yes
    • Flash support: Yes

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James Hutchinson

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