By Naheem Zafar
Where were you when you read about the iphone being announced? I will hazard a guess: On the internet. Or reading the paper. Or talking to a geek "mate" of yours. (Well that does just about cover the options doesn't it?)
Apparently, the iphone is not the only phone to be launched this year. Shock horror!
So in this tech guide I will have a quick look at some pretenders to the throne. They will all be high end "Smart phones". So let's see what we have here:
Nokia N93i BLACK
The cons first: It's a Nokia. Next!
What? Some people actually like Nokia's? (Grumbles…) Ok then… to the details. As the name suggests, it is in black. Black is the new black, so it is kewl. Because I said so. It is also as sleek as a baby elephant.
For the gadget freak in you it has a 3.2 Meg camera with Carl Zeiss Optics. For the normal person, just say that with a slight nod. It makes you look 200% more clever. For the normal person it means it has a good quality camera which supports 3x optical zoom (nod your head in a knowing manner again). It also has decent quality video recording. The phone supports miniSD memory cards, so you can add a ton of memory if you want to.
For the lyrical gangster in you, it has support for MP3. You know for the nasheeds. Yeah that must be it. And the obligatory full screen video support.
If that is not enough, it has the Symbian operating system allowing you to install software, and also has wifi support (wireless internet - most likely crippled by the network providers as they do not like it if you can do useful things with your phone and not pay them for the privilege.)
The Revival Verdict: It's a Nokia!
Aka the iphone rip off merchant. This is due around the October time frame (so before the phone is released…[EDIT - apparently not. The phone has been delayed til december, making it arrive after the iPhone.]) and has a touch screen interface. Who needs buttons. They are soooo 2005! (Let’s forget for a moment the full slide out keyboard…)
It also has a whopping 3.2 mega pixel camera (the bigger number, the better, right? right?), but no wifi (saving the network the "effort" of disabling it).
It is also has the Symbian operating system, allowing you to install other programs.
Once again this is another smart phone, so size matters. Smaller than the N93, but bigger than a butterfly.
The Revival Verdict: Looking good. Shame about the lack of wifi.
Aka will sell a shed load. Why? Because it is made by Apple. This has the vanity angle fully covered. If you are into your designer gear, stop reading this thing and get yourself one of these pronto! (teehee it's not out in the UK yet. Rumours point to November. But it's a top secret. Sshh!!
If you can't wait on the vanity front, get the LGs Prada. Come on it is by Prada. The LG bit is really a misnomer… Which self-respecting manufacture would call itself LG?)
For those not into vanity in a big way, this phone still may be for you. It is a phone and ipod all in one, with a massive amount of memory to boot. Just remember that it will cost an arm and a leg. Maybe more.
It has an ok-ish 2 meg camera, but it (potentially) has unhindered wifi. And it is cool. It has a multi touch interface. Once again buttons are so passé. Multi touch means you can use two hands to touch the screen. Wooo!
One major drawback is that the current (US) version of this phone does not have 3g, so it may be a little slow if you use it for internet browsing. Oh, I forgot to mention it contains a full web browser, and a youtube app allowing you to play youtube videos in full screen. For those nasheeds. Honestly.
Since it is a smart phone you can install more programs. Actually, no you can't. It is pretty much locked down so unless the program is built-in or can run in a browser, you are out of luck. The price of vanity eh? But how many people actually do install such things?
Possible price point? It costs $400 in the US with a 2-year contract. Considering £1 is about $2, I would say around… £270 plus a possibly expensive contract. (Yeah most companies are pretty bad at maths when it comes to currency conversions. Or are greedy? I can never decide…)
The Revival Verdict: What you already pre ordered? It is looking good. May even be decent as a phone.
The Samsung F700 has a 3.2 Megapixel camera, not the 5 Megapixel as mentioned in the original article as printed in Issue 9. The release date was also pushed back from when we expected it to be available.
The iPhone was reduced to $400 (from the $500 mentioned in the article) in the US within a month of going on sale. The UK launch price was £269 (lower than our estimate of £350 but way higher than what any sane person would spend.) and sell through has not been as spectacular as expected.