Smartphone OS smackdown: Apple iPhone vs. Windows Mobile vs. Symbian vs. Blackberry

“A smart phone’s power comes as much from its operating system as it does from the capabilities the vendor builds in. To help you at least narrow down your choices, we tested four smart phones, each based on a different operating system, to find out which platform is better for particular tasks,” David Haskin and Ryan Faas report for Computerworld.

To represent their different platforms, Haskin and Faas tested:

• Apple’s iPhone 3G, based on a mobile version of OS X
• HTC Touch Dual, based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1
• Nokia’s E71, based on the S60 variant of the Symbian platform
• Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Curve 8310, based on BlackBerry’s proprietary operating system

Haskin and Faas report, “We compared how well these phones performed four common road-warrior tasks: browsing the Web, sending and receiving e-mail, taking a photo and emailing it, and playing music and streaming video. We felt these tasks were typical of what most smart phone users need to do, and would also test the power and usability of both the devices and their operating systems.”

Here’s what Haskin and Faas report they found:

• “Browsing the Web” Winner: Apple iPhone
• “Email” Winner: Nokia E71 (With its excellent keypad, was the most satisfying smart phone to use for writing e-mail messages, even though it doesn’t auto-suggest names when addressing messages. The iPhone was a close second in this test simply because, subjectively, we preferred the Nokia’s keypad.)

MacDailyNews Note: Remember when word processors came on the scene and some clung to their typewriters for way, way too long? Someday we’ll all look back on these mobile device plastic key clingers as the Luddites they are.

• “Photography” Winners: Apple iPhone and BlackBerry Curve 8310 (tie)
• “Entertainment” Winner: Apple’s iPhone (Easily the most entertaining of the four smart phones.)

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:


  1. I used to own the BlackBerry 8830 and now own the iPhone. I got it mainly for its multi-media capabilities and web browser. Nothing comes close to the browser on the iPhone for me and I love having my iPod with me all the time without having to carry my Touch along with my BB. I love the iPhone.

    Having said that, the iPhone is no match to the BB when it comes to e-mail push. Sure, MobileMe has really improved recently but with the BB, all my e-mails were instantly pushed and I miss that. Would I go back to the BB, NO WAY. I can live with the 15 min delay.

    I also prefer typing on my iPhone over the BB now that I have gotten used to it. I can type much faster with two thumbs.

  2. PK… what delay? I get my emails instantly. I just email a picture from my work email and a few seconds later my iPod said I had a new message. Did you enable Push?… because you can.

  3. Jesus, I am talking about instant push to Hotmail, Gmail etc. Those are still fetch with a 15 min delay. MobileMe is the only push. With the iPhone, I can’t even get Hotmail to work easily (without 3rd party options) and in the BB, I got instant push.

    Do you have something that I don’t have?

  4. @Cubert…
    How many cars did you overturn?

    Set up your iPhone to receive email from your or email, and then have gmail and hotmail forward mail to that account. Should solve most of the delayed push issue.

  5. MobileMe had a rocky start, I’ve been along for the ride the whole time. Anyone still having issues may need to start from scratch and set up MobileMe again on your iPhone, Mac, etc…
    These last couple weeks MobileMe has been rock solid doing everything it should be doing. Maybe its the drugs, but I could swear my Mac is pushing with MobileMe and not waiting for the 15 min interval. To test this, if I have open and access Mail on my iPhone, I delete a message, and a second or two later, its gone from the, and vice versa. Tells me true push has been implemented all around.

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