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It’s a personal choice

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After using both the iPhone 3GS and BlackBerry Storm 2 for a few months, SEAN BACHER attempts to decide which one he prefers best. They both offer similar functionality, similar applications and are both geared for the user who wants a little more than just a phone. But which one is best?

A few weeks ago I decided to retire my iPhone and try something different. At the time I had been using the iPhone for around three months and so became very used to it. It was for this reason that I was rather daunted at the fact that I would once again have to start learning how to use an entirely different operating interface.

The buttons on the phone would be in different places, the functions work in different ways and generally, the entire interface completely different. After much deliberation, I decided on BlackBerry’s latest Storm ‚ the Storm 2. Now, before I got the iPhone I was using the original Storm and did not have any problems with it at all. It worked as I wanted it do, hardly ever froze and had a reasonable battery life. Thus, the Storm 2 for me was a logical choice.

So first things first, unpack the phone, slip in my SIM card and plug it into my notebook. I had religiously made backups from my previous Storm, so I would only lose the data that was on my iPhone – not really a train-smash as my contacts and mail would be pulled down the moment I use the change device wizard and my original Storm’s setup would be transferred to my new one.

Needless to say, this was all completed in less than a few minutes and as a bonus I didn’t have to reinstall any of my previous BlackBerry applications as they were also backed up and then automatically installed.

This brings me to the point of my article, which phone is actually better, the iPhone or the BlackBerry Storm 2? Well if you ask me the both have their pros and cons. The operating environment is very similar between the two, although I must admit having your applications in various folders like I did on the BlackBerry does make finding them more difficult. However, on the other hand, having them all viewable on multiple home screens does make the phone look cluttered ‚ much like my iPhone did.

In terms of typing, the phones once again employ similar technology, although the Storm uses something called ‚Sure Type’ basically offering you a form of tactile feedback every time you push a button. Now, this works well as you are sure to push the correct letter or number and I am sure would be great for people with bigger fingers. However, my smaller fingers worked just fine on the iPhone and more often than not I ended up hitting the key I wanted. One thing I did notice with both phones is that when the keyboard is in portrait mode, or you are holding it horizontally, it is nearly impossible to hit a key on the left hand side of the screen with your right hand a vice-versa ‚ the same goes for your left hand. However, this is just nitpicking, as both phones offer a landscape mode for one-hand operation.

In terns of email synchronisation and the like, both phones worked perfectly. I work entirely from my Gmail account and getting the phones to connect with the POP and SMTP servers was child’s play. In terms of the calendar, I did have to set up a separate account on the iPhone and for the BlackBerry I downloaded an additional application, but both were dead easy to configure.

When it came to Internet browsing, both phones did it seamlessly. YouTube worked perfectly and there was not a site that did not display correctly. Just a word of advice, both these phones are data intensive, so be careful when you decide to start streaming video, especially from the likes of YouTube, else you could end up like me ‚ with a 2GB data usage bill in a month.

In terms of memory, the Storm comes with 1.8GB on-board memory of which some is dedicated to applications, however media cards are available for the phone at nominal rates and at sizes of up to 16GB. The iPhone I tested came with 16GB memory which is used for applications, operating system modules music and images. However, I didn’t even come close to filling this up, even with all the images, MP3s and applications I had on-board.

So with all this and more in mind, I couldn’t really decide if I like one over the other. I suppose it’s a personal preference. If you like the sleek and slender looks of Apple, then the iPhone is your device. If you like the more rugged, macho, all business no play look of the Storm then the BlackBerry is yours. Either way I doubt you will ever be left sitting with one device, wishing you had chosen the other instead.

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