Smartphone Shootout

HP iPAQ hw6515
Certainly a huge step up from its predecessor the iPAQ H6365, the new HP iPAQ hw6515 is more suited for travelers than anyone else, with its integrated GPS navigation. Of course, this works just as well for those of us who keep forgetting where we parked our cars! Its GSM/ GPRS/EDGE wireless technologies keeps you connected wherever you go, and the built-in QWERTY keyboard is certainly a plus. The quad band capability means you don’t have to worry about decent voice connectivity, regardless where you are. Size-wise, the hw6515 is right up there with the best of them, being absolutely compact and easy to carry around.
Ease of Use: ★★★★✩
It’s pretty easy to navigate, though it does take a bit of getting used to.
Functionality: ★★★✩✩
Great if you plan on traveling a lot.
Price: $1,199
Value for Money: ★★★★✩
Great value for its features, but like we said, that’s only if they appeal to you.
Available at: AAAS Com Solution Pte. Ltd., #04-61 Sim Lim Square, 1 Rochor Canal Rd., 6338-6615.
PalmOne Treo 650
The much-anticipated PalmOne Treo 650 runs on the Palm Operating System, which has proved stable and reliable. It features a full QWERTY keyboard, TFT color display, integrated digital camera and wireless email client. The email client (Versamail) is quite easy to navigate and use, and the keyboard makes typing easier. All in all, the Treo proved to be a quality, stable, feature-packed Smartphone, straying away from the oh-so-mainstream Windows Mobile Operating System currently flooding the market.
Ease of use: ★★★★✩
A combination of the stylus and keyboard makes this user-friendly. We particularly liked the “silent switch.”
Functionality: ★★★★✩
Plenty of functions, including a good-quality camera and email client.
Price: $998
Value for money: ★★★★✩
It may be pricey, but this little baby is worth it.
Available at: Harvey Norman, #03-08 Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Rd., 6732-8686.
Diehard Windows fanatics will want to get their hands on this latest offering from O2. The XDA IIs runs on Windows Mobile 2003 (SE) and seems set to be the next big thing in Smartphones. Its slide-out QWERTY keyboard makes light work of sending email and SMS, and with its added application support —owing to the Windows platform—it is now possible to edit Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents on the road. Featuring a 65K color screen and a built-in VGA camera, the XDA IIs is a good choice for anyone in the market for an all-in-one Smartphone.
Ease of use: ★★★✩✩
The Windows Mobile system can be difficult to navigate.
Functionality: ★★★★✩
The O2 harnesses the power of Windows Mobile, and adds its own touches to perfect it.
Price: $1,488
Value for money: ★★★½✩
Similar products are available at lower prices.
Available at: Courts, #03-005 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, 6339-6800.
Dopod 900
Don’t be fooled by the clunky name. The Dopod 900 leaves no stone unturned. A fraction of its features include: WiFi connectivity, 3 megapixel camera, 3G, wireless email client, video camera, and a full QWERTY keyboard—at a decent size. This Smartphone runs on Windows Mobile 2003 (SE) and has a world of applications available, including a word processor, spreadsheet program and fully functional email client. The phone itself is slightly bulky, but the features far outweigh the shortcomings of the design.
Ease of use: ★★★✩✩
The Windows Mobile platform is difficult to navigate at the best of times.
Functionality: ★★★★★
The features in this device blow all the competitors away.
Price: $1,888
Value for money: ★★★★✩
OK, it’s expensive—but a product that blows its competitors away is entitled to a high price.
Available at: #01-00 Starhub Centre, 51 Cuppage Rd., Hotline: 1633.
Blackberry 7290
“The first killer application since the Internet,” says the Managing Director of Chinese telecom supplier Huawei Technologies of the Blackberry. It’s a verdict that sums up the general consensus around town. By far the most widely used Smartphone, the Blackberry 7290 features a full QWERTY keyboard to make on-the-go typing simpler. The Smartphone itself, however, lacks certain qualities that other models possess, such as an integrated camera, and advanced voice services like 3G. But, for email alone, the Blackberry 7290 does the job very well.
Ease of use: ★★★★✩
With its easy-to-use scroll wheel, the Blackberry simplifies navigation.
Functionality: ★★★★✩
Its email client is sensational, and makes for a full-featured email experience.
Price: $1,088
Value for money: ★★★★✩
A full-featured Smartphone with a great email client—at a fantastic price.
Available at: Hello! @ Orchard, #01-01 Crown Prince Shopping Centre, 270 Orchard Rd., Hotline: 1610.