Okay, this is more like a "Paper DogFight" than a real dogfight since, you know, none of these phones are actually available yet. So what? Let's look at 'em on paper and see how they stack up so you can get a jump on arguing with your FaceBook Friends over which of these new phones is the best.
Note that I'll include the US carrier for each phone in the competitor run-down. I'm well aware that the Storm is also available in other parts of the world. And I'm also aware that it's sort of silly to do a "My Take" on phones I haven't yet reviewed. But I will anyway, nyah nyah nyah.
BlackBerry Storm (Verizon)
- Pros: Clickable touchscreen has gotten good early reviews, especially when it comes to typing. Hi-res (184 ppi) display. Robust Email and MS Office support. 3.2 mp camera with flash, zoom, and video capture. 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Cons: No Wi-Fi. Media player and Web Browser have gotten lukewarm early reviews. Larger and heavier than other BlackBerries and competitors.
- My Take: Storm is getting some serious buzz out of the gate, particularly via positive early reviews of its unique clickable touchscreen. While it sounds like the browser and music player aren't quite up to state-of-the-art standards, legions of BlackBerry users looking for a little more flash and fun in their mobile lives will be checking this one out, nonetheless. The combination of BlackBerry business power, touchscreen flash, and the potential title of "best touchscreen for typing" puts the Storm at the head of the pack when it comes to as yet unreleased smartphones.
T-Mobile G1 (T-Mobile)
- Pros: Google-backed Android OS promises power, flexibility, and extendability. Touchscreen, trackball and physical QWERTY board provide input options. Early reviews of user interface have been positive. Open source platform leaves plenty of room for quick growth. Built by HTC. Attractive price point at $179.
- Cons: Hardware has a Plain Jane look to it. No video capture, 3.5mm audio jack, or stereo Bluetooth out of box. Buying the first Android phone is tantamount to paying to join a Beta tester program in some consumers' eyes. No Exchange support or desktop sync tool.
- My Take: On paper I'm disappointed in the G1's design and lack of obvious consumer-friendly features like a normal headphone jack. But I'm still giddy as a schoolgirl to get my hands on the first Android phone. Between the online video demos and promises of the Android developers' community, the G1 could really signal the start of something big. Plus: 3G on T-Mo!
Nokia XpressMusic 5800 (No US Carrier Announced, AT&T Rumored)
- Pros: Finger-friendly version of the Symbian-based S60 smartphone platform. 640 x 360 resolution widescreen display. Excellent Web browser with Flash Lite 3 support. 3.5mm audio jack. 8GB memory card included. 3.2 mp Carl Zeiss camera with VGA video capture. Much lower cost than other all-touch competitors. Will come with Nokia's Comes WIth Music service in '09.
- Cons: Won't be available in US until sometime in 2009. Symbian OS is less widely used/accepted in US than other parts of world. Early reports are lukewarm on the touchscreen.
- My Take: Nokia's first priority has never been the US market, so it shouldn't be suprising that they're releasing the 5800 in "less mature" parts of the world before bringing it to the States. The 5800's unsubsidized cost is dramatically lower than that of comparable media-centric touchscreen phones, and Nokia may well gain a foothold as a maker of affordable but still cool devices in under-served markets. It'll be interesting to see how the device performs, and what it costs when it finally makes it to the US. If AT&T picks it up and offers it for less than $100 with a new contract, it could turn some heads - particularly if we're deep into a recession when that happens.