HARDWARE

No Longer Untouchable

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The iPhone 3G finally has some serious touchscreen competition -- from RIM's BlackBerry Storm and from T-Mobile's G1, which is powered by Google's operating system, Android. We put them to the test.

Apple iPhone 3G

Pros: The iPhone has the best-looking Web browser and, at 3.5 inches, the largest screen. It also has the most accurate touchscreen; when you touch a link, you seldom hit the one next to it. The 3G connection is speedy and widely available on AT&T's network.

Cons: Sometimes the phone drops to the slower EDGE network when it should be within 3G range. And applications sometimes randomly crash, sending you back to the home screen.

Price: $199 to $299

T-Mobile G1

Pros: Despite the G1's clumsy zoom function, it's fairly easy to navigate the Web on its 3.2-inch screen. A real keyboard, which slides out from under the screen, will appeal to many business users. And a button brings up a Google search bar in one touch.

Cons: High-speed coverage is good where it's available, but it's limited, because T-Mobile's network is immature (120 major U.S. cities at presstime).

Price: $179

BlackBerry Storm

Pros: BlackBerry offers the best e-mail program for business users, and it allows you to edit Word and Excel attachments. (The other phones don't.) Verizon's 3G network is widely available and generally the most reliable.

Cons: Web browsing on the Storm's 3.25-inch screen isn't as fluid as it could be. Also, the Storm lacks Wi-Fi, so the Internet connection is slow when out of range of Verizon's network. Sometimes the Storm needs five seconds to exit an app or load a photo.

Price: $199

Last updated: Jan 1, 2009




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