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Archive for May 15th, 2012

Weighing the options: BlackBerry vs iPhone vs Android

May 15, 2012 @ 15:40 By: gordon Category: Gadgets, General

Assuming Rogers doesn’t once again change the eligibility date for a hardware upgrade, I should be eligible for a new phone in a couple of days. Currently, I have a BlackBerry 9700 Bold, which I’ve generally been happy with, but there are now other types of phones available that weren’t viable as options when I got my first smartphone a few years ago. These include iPhones, Androids, and Windows 7 phones, along with various other propriety almost-smartphones. There are also newer BlackBerrys to consider.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I’m looking for in a phone (besides the basic functionality of placing and receiving phone calls) and I’ve come up with a list:

  • The screen must be larger than the one in my BlackBerry 9700: While the display on the Bold is fine, having more screen real estate would make it easier to use. The BlackBerry Torch has a larger screen.
  • The screen must be a touchscreen: I’ve gotten so used to interacting with my iPad by touching the screen that I even find myself trying to zoom and scroll à la iPad. When I let other people use it, they try to scroll by touching the display, even when I tell them as I hand it to them “it’s not a touch screen” and “don’t poke the screen” — even other people who have identical phones to mine. iPhone owners are completely baffled if they try to use my BlackBerry that I eventually take pity on them. Some of the newer BlackBerrys have touchscreens, even if they have a screen similar in size to the 9700.
  • Forward-facing camera: It would be nice to have the ability to make video calls, possibly with Skype. iPhones and Androids have them, but I’m not aware of any BlackBerrys that do.

Given that most phones these days have large touch screens, it’s really the forward-facing camera that’s starting to influence the decision. But it’s the next two that are the deciding factors: