Battle of the Touch Screen Phones

The year 2008 will be remembered in the mobile industry as the year when everyone started shifting from the plain keypads to the touch screen. Everybody is coming out with their own version of a keyboard-less mobile phone after seeing the great success Apple had with the iPhone. Let’s look at the top contenders from each manufacturer and see how they fair.

Apple iPhone 3G. Apple may have started it all. We will eventually get into touch screen someday but Apple pushed everybody else to revolutionize how we use our mobile phones. It’s major advantage was that it was able to develop their own device with their own platform. This seamless integration allowed them to maximize the phone’s usability. However, the biggest leap Apple had was the introduction of the App Store in their ecosystem. Thousands of games and applications, both free and paid, enables people to creatively maximize the productivity and add a fun factor of using the iPhone. Costs at least Php38k and locks you in with a single provider.

Samsung Omnia (SGH i900). Samsung’ flagship touch screen phone has a 3.5” display screen and has an 8GB and 16GB capacity. Runs the latest Windows Mobile platform, the Omnia gives people access to hundreds of applications developed for WinMo devices. Samsung has since dropped the price but when it first came out it was Php34k (8GB) and Php38k (16GB).

Sony Ericsson XPeria X1. Sony Ericsson went ahead and introduced a touchscreen with a horizontal slide-out keyboard. The size of the phone still resembles the candy-bar form factor so the screen is a little small at only 3 inches. Also ran Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Sony Ericsson added their own UI panel on top of the platform which users can customize. Only been out for about 2 weeks and costs Php42,500.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Not yet locally available but should be out by January of 2009, Nokia introduced their first full touchscreen phone that includes not only a regular stylus but also a pluck (same as the one used for guitars) to navigate the menus. No local pricing available but estimates put it at around Php20,000.

HTC Touch HD. HTC’s full touchscreen phone is the one that has the biggest screen of the pack at 3.8 inches. The company also boasts that the phone supports hi-def video playback to maximize the effect of the large screen real-estate. You’ll need an microSD card for more storage though and it’s the most expensive of the whole pack -– Php55,900.

LG KP500 Cookie. The LG Cookie may be the one with least features in the pack but LG’s approach was to reach a market that could not afford the high price tags of the rest but still are looking into touch screen phones. At Php11,900, it costs at least 1/3 (or even 1/4) of the price of the others which makes it attractive to a most consumers. Gets you the best bargain for a touchscreen phone at just under Php12,000.

Everyone in the pack, except for the LG Cookie, are feature-packed – WiFi capability, 3G/HSDPA connectivity, GPS and A-GPS support. Storage capacity will vary between 8Gb and 16Gb while others may require you to stick in a memory card.

Your choice will eventually depend on how much budget you have and which platform you are most comfortable with. the biggest challenge will be getting used to the virtual keyboard so check out each unit and see how easily you can adapt to the new feature and which one suits you best.

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