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iPhone, Android, Windows vs BlackBerry

Are you buying a new mobile phone? Just recently, I bought a new phone and before that, I did some research thru the Internet and visiting some electronics shops. There are many choices around there and it all depends on the features you want. Either way, today's mobile phone's become smarter and it almost replaces your computer and PDA of the 90's in some aspects. The choices are Android, Windows Phone 7, iPhone / iOS / BlackBerry and Symbian OS platforms.

Most hardware features differs on memory card slot availability, screen quality, HDMI output, front and rear cameras, network speed, physical QWERTY keyboard and camera buttons, etc. but you must give priority on screen size, processor speed and memory size. The first one you may ask yourself is what phone operating system (OS) you need. Here are the pros and cons of popular phone OS.

Since, 2009, my experience with Android phone's is superb, fast and highly configurable.


Google's e-mail and cloud applications are tightly integrated in Android. These includes Gmail, Contacts and Calender. 

The added benefits is that you can load custom ROMs for enhancements and if you need a software upgrade which is not available from your manufacturer. I did this with my HTC Magic where I was able to update to Android 2.2 Froyo from Android 1.5 Donut which is a huge upgrade.

Most of the phone's out there is loaded with Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) and the roll out for Android version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwhich) begins this year. Take note that this version 4 upgrade depends on the phone's manufacturer and hardware specs although you can load custom ROMs as I stated earlier.

There is a wide range of screen sizes, from ~2" up to 5.3". The 3.7" to 4" screen are preferable for browsing and pocketability.

Some Android phones have features built-in such as HDMI output, memory card slot, etc.

There are a lot of apps in Android Market but fewer compared to iPhone. 


User Interface (UI) and settings options are little confusing for novice users.

You may find it hard to choose a phone. Unlike iPhone and BlackBerry, Android phones are 

manufactured by several manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Acer etc.


The Metro UI look intuitive, beautiful and a breath of fresh air. Later this year, Windows Phone 8 (WP8 or Apollo) will be available along side Windows 8 for your computer. Take note that upgradability of current handsets to Apollo is unsure and Microsoft has no official word yet.


The UI is new and has a feeling of uniqueness among phone OS.

The UI is simple but informative especially on apps that have live tiles that gives you updated data.

Hardware configuration on all Windows Phone 7 is on a strictly standard specifications by Microsoft. This means that when you buy any WP7 phones, you will have a good experience common to all WP7 phones.

Microsoft is releasing OS updates frequently (Mango 7.5) even though the OS is around 1 year only.

There is also limited number of applications but most common apps are there. I have a feeling,  that developers will release more apps when WP8 is released late this year.

There are some common smart phone features that are not available such as true multi-tasking, memory card slot, USB mounting feature (use your phone as a USB drive in your PC), grouping of your apps (default is sorting alphabetically and not by folders).

Current handsets are not confirmed if they will be upgradable to WP8.

3. iPHONE OS / iOS

I have used a 1st gen iPhone and sometimes I'm using an iPhone 4.


Lot of quality software in the App Store and accessories such as cables, adapters, covers, etc.

UI is simple.

Price is a costly than your average phone.

The 3.5" screen is smaller than most Android phones but it still viewable.

The home screen and UI is not configurable although themes are available.

No memory card slot although 64 Gb phones are available.

Using a custom ROM is not available


I haven't use a BB phone so my knowledge is limited only although I own Rim's BB PlayBook.


Security is at best.

Most BB phones are with physical QWERTY keyboard so texting and e-mailing is a breeze.

BBM or BlackBerry Messaging (messaging not by SMS) is out of the box and you don't need to download any software.

If you currently own a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, this is a good combo.


Only Torch models have larger screens. Most models have around 2" to 3" screens only.


Nokia's own Symbian OS seems a little outdated which is the reason they lost to Android and iPhone. They will now primaly support Windows Phone OS as they just recently released several of their Lumia WP7 line up. Symbian OS is great in simple and cheaper handsets with smaller and non-touch enabled screens.


If you like highly customizable and Google services-integrated phone, buy an Android ICS 4.0 capable phone. If you want a breath of fresh air on UI, get a Windows Phone.Otherwise, if you own or accustom to an Apple product, want a simple UI and you will not install a custom ROM, buy an iPhone. Most BlackBerry phones is used by SMS and e-mail users for its physical QWERTY keyboard. 


CarlBytes is a personal technology blog. Contact me at carlbytes [at] gmail {dot} com for any comments and suggestions.

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