iPhone vs. BlackBerry - which is best?

It's a popular question when people first dip their toes into the smartphone waters, and although there are many other makes the originals are often the first port of call. But which is the one for you?

Mark Hooson: What is the meaning of life?
Les Roberts: To be or not to be?
MH: Beatles or Stones?
LR: Blur or Oasis?

MH: All questions that have divided opinion over the years but there’s one that’s split the nation like no other…and that's iPhone...

LR: ...or BlackBerry? Let’s take a look at the two pieces of kit and see how they measure up against each other, first off, the iphone…

MH: One of the iPhone’s strongest features is that it combines the best features of the iPod touch with mobile phone technology so you not only have a portable mp3 player and games platform, you also have a fully functional smart phone.

LR: Well you get all that with the BlackBerry and not only does it have more sophisticated email capabilities than the iPhone but it also has an integrated mp3 player.

MH: But the iPhone 4 has a 32GB memory that is capable of storing around 8,000 songs…

LR: Well if you go for the newest BlackBerry Torch model, you can expand the 8GB memory to 32GB with a microSD card so it looks like it’s honours even there!

I think an area where the BlackBerry could trump the iPhone is in it’s capabilities as a camera: all BlackBerry models come with a flash, unlike the iPhone, and come with a 3 megapixel camera. The BlackBerry Torch goes one better and has an integrated 5 megapixel camera.

MH: OK, it’s true that older iPhone models don’t come with an integrated flash, so taking pictures in poor light has been a problem but the iPhone 4 comes with a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash…anyway, how are the Apps on the BlackBerry?

LR: Er….the Apps are fine thank you very much! OK, the BlackBerry App world isn’t quite as extensive as Apple’s App store but you can still service all of your social networking needs through the Facebook and Twitter Apps.

MH: But hardly the hundreds of thousands you can pick up in the App store? I think the iPhone wins on that score!

LR: Fair enough, but let’s look at the one thing that always seems to get overlooked in these arguments, it’s functionality as a phone! Many iPhone users complain that their phones often drop the line midway through conversations and getting a signal is often a problem, you very rarely hear of BlackBerry users being troubled with such issues!

MH: That may be true and I suppose you’re going to go on about battery life next aren’t you? Let me save you the trouble. The iPhone 4 has a talk time of up to 7 hours and can cope with up to 40 hours of music playback on a single charge. Compare that with the
BlackBerry Torch’s promise of 5.5 hours of talk time and 27 hours of music playback and the iPhone wins again!

LR: OK, but does the iPhone have full Bluetooth capabilities?

MH: ...No.

LR: Right, that’s a point back to me then! It’s beyond me how the iPhone doesn’t have full Bluetooth when this is now a standard feature on the most basic of handsets! Furthermore, BlackBerry have the BlackBerry messenger service which means that you can send messages, pictures and even music and video files to other BlackBerry users - all for free!

MH: I guess it ultimately comes down to what you want from a smartphone! If you want an all-in-one multimedia device that offers a multitude of apps and add-ons…and is fun to use…then the iPhone is probably the one for you.

LR: But if your primary concern is that your smartphone functions as a means of communication then the BlackBerry could be for you. It’s social networking capabilities are perfectly adequate, and it’s email capabilities and general functionality as a phone goes beyond that of the iPhone.

MH: The choice is yours!

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