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Communications (March 2008)

Smart Phone Choices
by John R. Quain
A quick take on three alternatives
No one in the civilized world has escaped the terror of Blackberries incessantly pushing e-mail messages to their legions of fans--and in the process generally annoying the heck out of anyone attempting to have a conversation with a Crackberry addict. But like it or not, smart phones are entrenched (for now) in our society. So in recognition of this fact, JQ took a quick look at 3 of the leading smart phone options. (To watch the segment on Fox Business, click on the image at left. Who reads these days, anyway?)

Apple iPhone
Exclusive Carrier: AT&T
Price w. contract: $400 ($500 for 16 GB)

The iPhone boasts a big screen and some fine software that's relatively easy to follow. And this is probably the most popular elevator pitch device I've ever seen (people have pitched businesses on an iPhone to me in airports, cabs, and, of course, elevators).

Audiovox Rear View Camera ImageUpside:
- large crisp screen, perfect for photos and Web
- excellent software
- built-in Wi-Fi
- sex appeal

- slow Internet connection
- poor texting skills
- no stereo Bluetooth
- no GPS
- no removable storage

LG VoyagerVoyager
Exclusive Carrier: Verizon
Price w. Contract: $300

Currently the state of the art in smart phones, the Voyager has everything anyone could want: a nice touch screen on the outside, plus a miniature keyboard and second screen inside for inveterate e-mailers and texters. So what's it missing? Just that apple logo.

- tactile touch screen that vibrates
- separate keypad for messaging
- GPS for navigation and location-based services
- quick EV-DO network for Web access Voyager Open
- stereo Bluetooth
- V Cast Mobile TV
- superior call quality
- micro SD slot for adding memory

- no Wi-Fi

Samsung Ace
Carrier: Sprint
Price w. contract: $200

The Ace doesn't have all the features of the other leading smart phones on the market, but it's a good alternative for Blackberry e-mail addicts and it runs Windows Mobile 6 (so it's good at working with Windows files).

Samsung AceUpside:
- good for e-mail and messaging
- quick EV-DO network for Web access
- Windows Mobile 6
- micro SD slot for adding memory
- unlocked feature means it can work in Europe (separate SIM card required)

- no Wi-Fi
- no GPS
- small screen



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