by Al Sacco

Forget iPhone 3G S: Eight Great New iPhone Alternatives

Jun 09, 20095 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Apple unveiled its latest smartphone offerings this week, in the form of two new devices: the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3G S. That's all fine and good for Apple fanatics; you can have your spiffed up iPhones. Here are eight more devices we like just as much - or more - than Cupertino's new mobile wares.

iPhone 3G S

Description: Apple’s new iPhone 3G S looks just like earlier iPhone models, but its belly is full of new innovations. Specifically, there’s now a 32GB version; a new 3.0 megapixel camera with video capture and autofocus; a built-in compass feature, which integrates with Apple’s native Maps app; and “better” battery life.

Pricing: $199 with new two-year AT&T service agreement, 16GB; $299 with two-year contract, 32GB.

Availability: June 19, 2009 in the U.S.

Palm Pre


Description: Palm’s first webOS-based device finally arrived after months of rumors. Packed with features and a shiny new user interface, the Pre represents struggling Palm’s last ditch effort to get back into the smartphone game along with Apple and RIM—and based on early first impressions, the Pre just might do the trick.

Pricing: $199.99 with new, two-year Sprint service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate.

Availability: June 6, 2009 via Sprint, though supply shortages are expected due to very strong demand.

What Pre Has That iPhone Doesn’t: More compact size; physical, full QWERTY keyboard; brand new webOS handheld software.

HTC Touch Pro2


Description: HTC’s follow-up to its popular Touch Pro, a.k.a. Fuze, the Touch Pro2 packs a punch in the form of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional software, a mean, 3.6-inch touch screen and a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. Sleek and stunning—if a bit clunky compared to the iPhone—the Touch Pro2 represents the current cream of the Windows Mobile crop.

Pricing: £510 (approximately US$845) unlocked.

Availability: TouchPro2 is available unlocked through European retailers, but it’s not currently for sale in the United States. Rumors suggest the device will hit U.S. carriers’ shelves in late summer/early fall.

What Touch Pro2 Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Large, physical QWERTY keyboard; slider design; Windows Mobile 6.1 OS software.

BlackBerry Storm


Description: The Storm 9530 is the world’s first BlackBerry with a touch screen, and despite some early software “hiccups” it’s now one of RIM’s most popular devices—and Verizon Wireless’ best selling BlackBerry. Its large display and included 8GB memory card make it a multimedia machine. The Storm’s SurePre’s touch screen may not quite equal the iPhone touch-experience—yet—but it did win RIM a Mobile World Congress award.

Pricing: $199.99 with new, two-year Verizon Wireless service agreement.

Availability: Now via Verizon Wireless in the U.S.

What Storm Has That iPhone Doesn’t: “Clicky” touch screen provides tactile feedback to improve typing; BlackBerry’s messaging and security features; more virtual keyboard orientation options.

Nokia E71x


Description: Nokia’s U.S. version of the popular, candy-bar styled Nokia E71 packs all the punch of its European counterpart, including a great—if a bit small—full QWERTY keyboard. The E71x delivers a quality digital camera and the Symbian S60 mobile OS—within an extremely thin form factor.

Pricing: $99.99 with new two-year AT&T service agreement and after $50 mail-in rebate.

Availability: Immediately via AT&T in the U.S.

What the E71x Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Full QWERTY, physical keyboard; expandable memory; Symbian, S60 3.2 mobile OS; 3.2 megapixel digital camera with auto focus, flash and video capture.

HTC Magic


Description: HTC’s Magic smartphone, a.k.a., the G2 (Google Phone 2) or I/O, is the second U.S. Android-powered device. It also runs the latest iteration of search-giant Google’s mobile OS, Android 1.5, dubbed “Cupcake,” with new features like an on-screen keyboard, integrated device-wide search and video recording.

Pricing & Availability: Vodafone U.K. currently offers the Magic for free with qualifying monthly service plans. T-Mobile will release the device under the name “myTouch 3G” during the summer of 2009.

What the Magic Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Google’s latest Android OS 1.5; trackball and on-screen navigation; expandable memory.

BlackBerry Bold 9000


Description: RIM’s first 3G, GSM BlackBerry packs a blazing 624-MHz processor and stunning 360 x 420 display, making it one of the most powerful and functional smartphones on the market. The Bold 9000 is slightly larger than the iPhone 3G, but its impressive feature set, including one of the best keyboards to ever grace a mobile device, more than makes up for the extra bulk.

Pricing: $199.99 along with new two-year AT&T service agreement and after $100 mail-in rebate.

Availability: Immediately via AT&T in the U.S.

What the Bold Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Large, functional full QWERTY physical keyboard; BlackBerry’s renowned messaging and security features; faster processor.

Nokia N97


Description: Nokia’s latest “multimedia computer,” the N97 could really be grouped in an entirely different category than the new iPhones; however, its multimedia-centric nature and massive touch screen clearly make it an iPhone competitor—and one that could actually give Apple a run for its money in the consumer device space.

Pricing & Availability: Available in Nokia flagship stores in the U.S. for $699.00. No official U.S. carrier as of yet.

What the N97 Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Large, full QWERTY physical keyboard; 32GB of built-in storage capacity along with expandable memory slot; large 3.5″, 640 x 360 resistive touch screen; high-quality 5 megapixel camera.

Bundles of Unreleased ‘Berrys


Description: Not one of these RIM devices has been officially announced—let alone assigned a release date—but it would be wrong of me not to mention them, since each and every one could put the new iPhones to shame in its own right. The BlackBerry Tour is a CDMA, BlackBerry Bold/Curve 8900 hybrid; the Onyx is a “bolder,” sleeker Bold 9000; the Magnum reportedly has both a Bold-like keyboard and a Storm-ish touch screen; and finally, the Storm 2, is, well, you guessed it, an enhanced Storm with new features like Wi-Fi.

Pricing & Availability: Nothing official but predicted $200 – $400; all expected to be released in 2009.

What BlackBerry Has That iPhone Doesn’t: Revered keyboards; SurePress touch technology; BlackBerry’s renowned messaging and security features.