Perhaps you’ve heard about my longing for a smartphone.
Well, I finally got myself down to a Rogers store this weekend to look at my smartphone options. My first stop was the local Rogers video store that has one of those Rogers service kiosks. I went with my husband and we had our daughter in tow. She very much wanted to touch all the shiny phones on display.
We asked a few questions and our young Rogers representative did an OK job of comparing the features of the iPhone to the Xperia. He himself has a Blackberry. I know this, not only because he told us, but because he felt it was fine to text his friends while serving us. So you know…I saw the Blackberry in his texting-on-the-job-hands.
That move didn’t impress me too much. My husband and I left feeling no more ahead in our smartphone search than when we first walked in the door. As we meandered down the Kanata Centrum boardwalk grumbling this very fact, we all of a sudden noticed there is a Rogers store – as in an authorized dealer store – selling all the same stuff as the Rogers video store sans video rentals.
The representatives here were extremely helpful. They took the time to compare phones for us and this is what we learned.
Plus: The Xperia has a lot going for it. It’s built with the Android operating system (OS) and is super fun to use. It’s also immediately available, which can’t be said for the iPhone 3Gs or the iPhone 4. It features “Timescape” and “Mediascape” – which aggregates your friends’ status updates across Twitter and Facebook as well as creates a timeline of photos, text messages, emails, etc. The timelines are presented in a 3D stack called “Splines” that are pretty cool to scroll through.
Minus: The Xperia is built using the Android 1.6 OS – a bit disappointing because newer software is out (i.e. on-the-not-available-through-Rogers-for-some-reason-Nexus-One); apparently a software upgrade to Android 2.1 OS is coming in September.
About that Nexus One: I read on Wikipedia that Google stopped selling the Nexus One through its web store in May, but has plans to sell the phone through its many partners. Maybe the Nexus One will be available in the near future through Rogers. Although that same Wikipedia article also stated that Apple is suing HTC (who manufactured it for Google) for patent infringement, so who knows.
Plus: With an 8.1 megapixel camera, the Xperia has one of the greatest camera phones on the market.
Minus/Plus: You have to manually download music (yes copy/paste aka drag and drop) – no easy sync with iTunes. At least this is what I was told. If you know different – let me know! The plus of course is you’re not locked into DRM. Also, around 62% of apps are free in the Android Market, while only 23% are free in the Apple app market.
Minus: Reading the reviews on the Rogers website, it looks like the battery life is short and the call volume doesn’t go very high. That’s disappointing.
The iPhone 3Gs
Minus: I’ll start with the obvious minus. It’s currently out of stock and who knows when it will come in. Our helpful young man at the Rogers service kiosk told us to call everyday to see if an order has arrived, then come in and buy the phone – first come, first serve.
Because we have time to keep calling Rogers to see if any iPhones are in.
Plus: What was helpful is that through the authorized Rogers dealership store (or whatever it’s called), the representative said I can order the phone and they will call me when it’s in. Even better, there’s no commitment to purchase the phone if I change my mind.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Plus: It’s built by Apple so you know it’s extremely easy to use and has thousands of apps available. You can also run more than one app at one time (Apple calls it multi-tasking), so you can check your email while listening to music and it won’t slow down the performance.
Minus: It locks me in to doing things the Apple way – but honestly, I’ve already been drinking the kool-aid for a while. I use iTunes, we bought a Macbook in the spring and really, what is one more sip going to harm?
Plus: I can sync my iPhone to my Mac and share all kinds of nifty files easily.
Plus/Minus: When at networking events, I can be a part of the geeky iPhone huddle (you know what I’m talking about) and instantly share contact info via MMS or email. You decide whether that’s a plus or a minus. 😉
Interestingly, there are no reviews for the iPhone 3Gs on the Rogers website, while there are tons of reviews – good and bad – for the Xperia. It’s food for thought because it seems that the people who give the Xperia a thumbs up really think it rocks. Yet, I’m hesitant about the battery life and the low call volume.
What I’ve decided is to go ahead and order the iPhone 3Gs (there’s no harm and no rush), and do some more research on the Xperia.
I don’t want to rush this purchase because I want to really be sure that I get the right phone for me. I don’t want to be disappointed with my decision.
If you own an Xperia, iPhone 3Gs or any other smartphone, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you like and dislike about them.