As each new smartphone or multimedia phone is launched or announced, each one is touted as the latest 'iPhone killer'. We've seen the Nokia N95 termed such, the enigma that is the Deeda Pi, Samsung's double sided media phone, and most recently two new models from Motorola - the Q9h and the RAZR2.
As it turns out, in our humble opinion, none of these are iPhone killers, iPhone spoilers, iPhone ruiners, or whatever else they're being called.
The Nokia N95 isn't anymore of an iPhone killer than the iPhone is a Nokia N95 killer. We'll bet the new Motorola Q won't stop prospective iPhone customers from laying down their hard earned cash. Neither, we're confident to say, is the RAZR2 going to sweep the proverbial leg out from under the iPhone, Johnny.As it turns out, the devices all put forth some impressive specifications. The reality of the matter is that each phone will likely serve a particular segment of the population. Sure, the demographic for each will overlap with that of the others in several ways, but each phone still has it's unique place in the market. These are not head-on clashes.
Since it's ever popular, and often valuable, to look a things side by side - the following table compares the specs of the Apple iPhone, the Motorola RAZR2, the Motorola Q9h, and the Nokia N95:
|iPhone||Motorola RAZR2||Motorola Q9||Nokia N95|
|Size||114 x 60 x 11.6 mm||103 x 53 x 11.9 mm||118 x 67 x 12 mm||99 x 53 x 21 mm|
|Weight||4.8 oz (136 g)||4.4 oz (125 g)||4.7 oz (134 g)||4.7 oz (134 g)|
|Operating System||OS X||Motorola Synergy||Windows Mobile||S60 (Symbian)|
|Dimensons||3.5 in||2.2 in (main), 2.0 in (outside)||Unknown||2.6 in|
|Resolution||320x480 (160 ppi)||320x240 (main), 2.0 in (outside)||320x240||240x320|
|Type||LCD TFT||LCD TFT||LCD TFT||LCD TFT|
|Built-in||4GB or 8GB||45MB||256MB||160MB|
|Data||EDGE||HSDPA 3.6||HSDPA 3.6||HSDPA 3.6|
|WiFi||802.11 b/g||None||None||802.11 b/g|
|A2DP (Stero) Bluetooth||Unknown||Yes||Unknown||Yes|
|Push Email Support||Yes||-||Yes||None|
|Outlook Sync||None||Yes, MotoSync||Yes||None|
Each device has it's standouts.
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Size and Weight
All four devices are quite compact, especially compared to many predecessors in the smartphone genre. The iPhone and the RAZR2 get the slight edge here by coming in a bit smaller than the others, especially in terms of their thickness. The Q9h is barely bigger. The N95, tips the scale in the thickness category, a negative for those of us who are getting used to paper thin devices.
The RAZR2, at 4.4 oz, might be noticeably lighter than the rest of the group.
We're going to jump the gun an give the Apple iPhone the clear edge here. Though every techie has his/her opinion on what the best operating system is, and for various reasons, the most important feature in a phone operating system is useability. Even having not seen the iPhone incarnation of OSX, Apple is notorious for making it's devices wonderfully useable and we expect no less from the iPhone.
On top of the confidence we're giving Apple to put together a nifty iPhone version of OSX, the others have their faults. Symbian is not always the easiest OS to navigate, though improving - Motorola's Synergy UI is often painfully dumb and awkward, and Windows Mobile is well, Windows Mobile.
Screen and Video
All devices step up with impressive screens/displays. In fact, the RAZR2 bothers to step up with a pair of impressive displays. Still, the Apple iPhone gets the edge here again. Though we're not sure how many colors the iPhone display presents - the 320x480 resolution and extra inch or more it holds over the other displays give it the clear edge in screen real estate, and likely video performance. Add in that the few public iPhone displays have shown off what seems to be a true beauty of an LCD and the others fall behind.
Depending on your perspective, the iPhone can take a real hit here from the others by failing to include expandable storage in the form of a microSD, or other format of, memory card. Then again, the iPhone comes with 4GB or 8GB of included storage, while none of the others carry more than 256MB on board. Again, a matter of perspective.
With an extra 3 megapixels hanging over the heads of the rest of the group, the Nokia N95 forces the others into relative camera obscurity. No contest here.
The Nokia N95 is the standout here as well being the only one of the four to offer both 3G and WiFi connectivity. The two Motorola models fail to offer WiFi (we're still not sure about this based on preliminary Q9h specs) while the iPhone lacks 3G.
Though we too are dissapointed the iPhone isn't coming to the US with 3G, at least not a first, we're also willing to bet that most iPhone users won't be bothered by the lack of the high speed connectivity. With WiFi present, and most iPod converts used to syncing their music from their PCs, the lack of quick OTA downloads likely won't get in the way. At least not a first.
Though Nokia gets a nod for adding the wildly popular FM radio feature, we're going with the iPhone here as well.
It's music. It's Apple. Get serious.
Shame on Apple and Motorola for leaving GPS out of the iPhone and RAZR2. The Motorola Q9h and the Nokia N95 both managed to fit GPS in, and Nokia included many rich GPS features in the N95. Though many GPS features are hard to take advantage of on small mobile device screens (though this might not have been the case w/ the iPhone had they included it), many folks consider the lack of GPS on certain devices a deal breaker.
The Q9h is going to be the best phone for email here unless Apple shocks us. The N95 does a decent job in this category, though the lack of built-in push support is sort of annoying (push support can be accomplished via third party software on the N95 at around $50). The RAZR2 with it's non-QWERTY keyboard clearly pulls up the rear.
With the pricing information at the available time, there's no clear cut edge here. Though the listed iPhone prices are for 2 year contract commitments, the other manufacturers have slapped high price tags on their devices as well. Though the iPhone has been highly criticized for it's high price point, when compared with comparable devices - it lines up well.
All in all, neither of these devices are going to "kill" one another regardless of how well they do or don't match up. Each device is impressive in its own right. More importantly, these devices, regardless of what anyone says, aren't aimed directly at eachother. The RAZR2 may kill the RAZR, but that's about it. The Q9h may kill the first Q, the N95 is probably killing some other Nokia, and the iPhone may kill the iPod.
Consumers should avoid the suggestion that there's a "correct" phone for them to buy in this bunch. Learn about the features of each phone and experiment with each model, then buy the phone you like the best. Simple as that.