All gadgets have a defining, evolutionary moment. For smartphones, the time may be now. As we closed the year 2011, we’ve seen a handful of surviving OS species in the world of super smartphones blossomed and developed distinct personalities of its own. And as we enter 2012, I would like to pit against each other 2 of the giants, and my best personal choices in the industry: the iPhone 4S and the BlackBerry Bold 9900.
Sure, there are several other contenders out there worthy of comparison, like the new Nokia Lumia 800 running on Windows Phone 7, or Android’s one of the freshest and powerful phones to date, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I personally chose to compare Apple’s newest and undisputed flagship handset, the iPhone 4S versus BlackBerry’s arguably the best QWERTY communicator to date, the Bold 9900.
Why? I use both, and for a great deal of reason. Let’s go right down to the tale of the tape!
Apple just recently unleashed into the market the latest iteration of its iPhone, the 4S. What was rumored to be supposedly the iPhone 5, quite a few were disappointed to learn that it was merely a retouch of the iPhone 4. But disappointments were soon dampened as we learn that, although virtually there is no change in the form factor, the leap from iPhone 4 to 4S is quite heavy handed. The 4S is now armed with the new A5 chip that is twice as fast in performance from the original iPhone 4, paired with the new iOS 5 and and whopping 8 megapixel camera upgrade that seems to be one of the best mobile cameras to be released. With an armada of the largest collection of apps and games from the App Store, it pushes the PSP or the NDS a bit offside with the availability of portable games with powerful graphics. The introduction of Siri, the virtual assistant highly marketed as an ingenious feature, is received with mixed reactions particularly for us Filipinos who would use it locally here in the Philippines. Though it may work perfectly well in the U.S. and may seem to be life-changing, for us Pinoys it may just be a disappointment. Siri won’t be able to search map locations outside the U.S., and cannot do much unless you speak fluent American English. Until a localized upgrade would come sooner, the famous virtual assistant that is Siri won’t be changing everyday lives for Pinoy anytime soon.
BlackBerry released its first touch screen for the premium Bold line, the Bold 9900, and though it may seem a bit late in the emerging touch screen battlefield, the presence of the signature QWERTY keypad makes the odds in favor of the BlackBerry. For people who regard typing and fast communication above everything else, the Bold 9900 is perhaps the best in the market. The new BlackBerry OS 7 is equipped with an outstanding multitasking feature for all your running apps, an upgraded crystal-clear resolution screen, makes the Bold 9900 a competent edge amidst tales that BlackBerry is a dying brand. With its standard issue of the famous BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), push email, and unparalleled secured communication servers that even the President of the U.S. trusts enough to use, the Bold 9900 remains to be king of communicator devices. Of course, many argue of the disappointment users have in the utter lack of available apps compared to the massive one that Apple has, but user preference enters here on how and where you would actually use your smartphone for. The camera, a modest 5mp upgrade, still needs fine tuning but would do well in point-and-shoot with fine lighting conditions.
To wrap it up, the iPhone is almost the perfect phone, with an undefeated arsenal of Apps, powerful features, outstanding camera, and basically everything else they claim it to be. Apart from the lack of a physical keypad, which is obviously dependent on user preference, the iPhone 4S may have bested my list completely uncontested. Blackberry’s signature feature of push email, ultra-secured servers enough for world leaders and governments to trust, the best QWERTY keypad existing today, and probably the best communicator in the lot, makes the Bold 9900 a formidable alternative to the iPhone.
In the final verdict, it is best to have both – depending on usage. For a more versatile, intuitive, modern, and perhaps savvy, the iPhone 4S is definitely a juggernaut that lords over practically all other smartphones out there. Yielding the most powerful variety of apps and games, and wrapping everything you need for the day in a single fancy hand-held device. For those who would still prefer the use of the smartphone as primary communication tool, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 may still be the best possible handset you can grab your hands on. The keypad and ultra-fast communication are priceless things to trade.