Clash of the Touch Titans summary; which device is my favorite?

Clash of the Touch Titans summary; which device is my favorite?

Summary: I completed my Clash of the Touch Titans articles last week and wanted to thank all of you for your active participation. I had quite a few comments on those posts and received several emails from people thanking me for the posts on each device. As I stated in my first post I use these types of comparisons as a way for me to make personal device buying decisions and evaluate different devices. Take a look at this comparison spreadsheet for a snapshot of features and specifications of each of these Touch Titans as it may help you when thinking about which device fits your needs best.


I completed my Clash of the Touch Titans articles last week and wanted to thank all of you for your active participation. I had quite a few comments on those posts and received several emails from people thanking me for the posts on each device. As I stated in my first post I use these types of comparisons as a way for me to make personal device buying decisions and evaluate different devices. You can check out my thoughts on the following announced or current touchscreen-focused devices:

I have now had a chance to get hands-on with everyone of these devices and operating systems, except for the iPhone 3.0 OS update. Some may ask why I compared each device to the iPhone 3G in the last page of each post and my reasoning is that the iPhone is the hottest device in the mobile operating space and in just under two years of existence has shaken up the entire mobile space and in many ways is setting the bar. Surprisingly, Apple leads in areas that other mobile players had the opportunity to lead years ago (application store on the device, capacitive touch screens, and outstanding mobile browsing experience) and they let Apple step right in and take over.

As much fun as I do have with my iPhone and iPhone 3G, there are still many features and functions missing on the iPhone (even after the upcoming 3.0 update) that limit what a power user can do with the device. For example there is no video recording, no multitasking, no Bluetooth keyboard support, US wireless carrier choice (Windows Mobile and RIM rule here), no accessible file structure (results in no email attachment support or iPhone as an external drive), no expandable storage capacity, and no removable battery.

Take a look at this comparison spreadsheet for a snapshot of features and specifications of each of these Touch Titans as it may help you when thinking about which device fits your needs best. Price and data plan fees are not included because they have either not yet been established or are changing regularly (iPhone 3G pricing drops). I highlighted areas that made a device stand out (good and bad) from the others.

After checking out each of the devices over the last several weeks and posting my comparisons, here is the order of my personal preferences for the six devices and major issue that affected the order I placed them in:

  1. HTC Touch Diamond2 (Virtually limitless functionality)
  2. Palm Pre (New OS that shows lots of promise)
  3. Samsung OmniaHD (Media creation powerhouse with virtually limitless functionality)
  4. iPhone 3G (No multitasking or file access)
  5. HTC Magic (Limited application installation support)
  6. RIM BlackBerry Storm (OS not optimized for touch)

I think each of these devices have significant pros and cons and what may not be good for me may be just perfect for you. Some people recommended I take a look at the Nokia N97 and Nokia 5800 for the S60 comparison, but the N97 is more keyboard focused and the 5800 is less of a "Titan" than the OmniaHD with the targeted audience being the beginner or mid-level S60 user.

I am much more of a QWERTY keyboard fan and may be looking at QWERTY devices using this same type of comparison feature soon because there are one or two QWERTY devices I am seriously considering this year.

Topics: Software, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Operating Systems, Wi-Fi

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  • What does it mean exactly?

    The phrase "Virtually limitless functionality"? If that is your criteria
    then why did the Samsung which also had another benefit as a media
    creation power house I think not rate as the higher of the 6 for the
    HTC only had the virtually which Samsung also shared so based on the
    fact that you gave HTC no other comment why is it number one and
    the Samsung third?

    You have too admit that Virtually limitless Functionality is kind of
    vague don't you?

    After all does it matter if a given device can do a lot of stuff? What if
    a lot of the stuff it can do is not what you would want or need? What
    if that ability to do all that stuff actually got in your way of doing what
    you wanted to do?

    Take an example I often carry a pocket knife. I find a knife is almost
    always useful to me on a daily basis. Now a Swiss Army model has a
    lot of functionality but that means it also has a lot of bulk. However a
    well made Gerber is slim and light and does what I need. Not nearly
    the same functionality of a Swiss Army but I don't need such and I
    don't have a huge bulky thing giving my co-workers and excuse to
    say "Are you happy to see me or is that a ..... in your pocket"..:P

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Personal choices with many reasons to back them up

      This closing article is simply a summary article and to find out why I think the Touch Diamond2 is better FOR ME than the OmniaHD then you have to see my full article on each. For example, I use Exchange and the Diamond2 (Windows Mobile) gives users the BEST Exchange experience compared to all other devices and this is very important to me. The OmniaHD is indeed functional and a media creation powerhouse, but the OS isn't really optimized for touch and it is a bit clunky to use. The Exchange experience is OK, but not great so that is why it is lower on my list.

      By virturally limitless, I mean there are really no restrictions on how I want to use the device as a power user. All Bluetooth profiles are supported, all wireless capabilities are present, I can load up as many applications as I want, I can put as much memory in the device as I want, etc. In comparison, I can't even get an email attachment to edit on my iPhone, I can't connect it with a Bluetooth keyboard for extensive text entry, etc.

      As I have said over and over, a mobile device is a PERSONAL choice and each is better for different needs and uses and this is the list that fits ME best.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Yeah ok I get that.....

        To me attaching a blue tooth keyboard or anything external destroys the
        whole mobility concept. It's like the whole battery argument. So I would
        want to carry an extra battery for my mobile device? Care free is my
        moto... that and keep it simple. If I wanted to struggle I'd still be
        supporting "other" systems:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • TV out...

          Do you have anything against the TV-out functionality in most portable media players as well? I mean, carrying a TV with me destroys the concept of mobility, doesn't it? So why do they have it (iPods included)? Could it be possible that they stand on their own as a mobility device, but could be used as more than a mobility device when the user wants them to be?

          Does having the ability to replace the battery burden me with the responsibility of always having to carry a spare battery OR does it free me from having to worry about battery drainage if I am willing to carry the spare battery of my work phone in my brief-case that I always carry to work?

          If one of the iPhone applications were to require me to connect a device to the iPhone connector that could instantly monitor my blood-sugar, does it destroy the mobility as well? I am sure you can appreciate that.

          Carefree is great; one person's carefree could be another person's burden. Somehow, people seem to miss that especially when it comes to a product that made a different decision than what Apple made. Very interesting indeed.
          tick tock
          • Oops see below....

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
  • Why even write about what is best for you - its about the market not you-NT

    • Do you even know what a "blog" is?

      They are generally personal opinions of the folks that write them. This is *exactly* the sort of article one would expect to find on a blog.
  • Hey I've got nothing against Swiss Army Knives or

    the company. All I want to make clear is that there are
    alternatives. Its like many things. Don't HATE Windows or
    MS Office but don't use them either and one of the
    reasons is too much clutter. I prefer OSX and iWorks.

    In theory anything in terms of an add on or other device
    does effect the mobility of a product. After all I don't carry
    a brief case nor would I want to. So my iPod Touch sits in
    my pocket. So as I see it... that is a perfect function for a
    mobile device. No special belt clip or holster. No belly
    pouch or nap sack and no brief case. Do I worry about
    battery life? I guess once in a great while but its the
    choice I made to be mobile rather than cluttered with stuff
    and cases for stuff. Everything has a cost attached too it.
    To be "Virtually Limitless" costs too much to me. I rarely if
    ever find myself missing some function or feature because
    before I purchase something I always ask myself what is I
    expect/want for said device? Usually Apple fits the bill for
    me quite well. MS almost never does... just too much

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Apple Battery Life?

      All you have to do is find some power or send it in and Apple will change it for you.

      Or just buy any other phone and an extra battery, keep it charged and switch it when required.

      Why Apple devices are toys.

      No email attachments nor multi-tasking! What a bad joke on the fool who buys them!
  • Sorry, but what a silly comparison when reading tick tock's post!

    TV-out is great! You can find a TV in any hotel room. A monitor in any meeting room/office. And guess what? My iPhone connects just fine with my iPod photo AV Cable! Just like you can find a power outlet in any place you visit (hence why you DON'T need a backup battery unless you are in the desert for 18+ hours (i.e. an anthropologist).). But with bluetooth keyboard (which would/is nice with the next release of iPhone OSX) I would have to carry MORE WEIGHT! Why?!? If the site I go to has a bluetooth keyboard, great! But chances are I'll just be using their computer. My iPhone is for Phone, 1st. Web 2nd. Text 3rd. General computing use 3rd (where the built in on-screen keyboard works fine since I rarely use my phone as a computing device). Game player 4th. Get the picture?

    Fact is, ANYONE can come up with reasons why a device does NOT fit their needs. I think it's more important to pick the device one WANTS and DOES fit their needs. Like me! I picked the iPhone after years of using a BlackBerry and a Nokia. iPhone rocks! Love the apps and everything JUST WORKS! Same monthly fee as any other smartphone I would have picked so why NOT have a fun, cool, beautiful device that does EXACTLY what I NEED AND offers new applications every week that I may want to try and buy? ?Duh?
    No More Microsoft Software Ever!
    • reasons

      biggest reason is cost for usage. I don't anticipate needing to use such a device in the first place, second place I will not switch carriers just to be able to use an iPhone. What is so valuable that you cannot do all this at home or the office? Sure they are lighter weight than a laptop, but again what is the value added? I have aphone, I use as a phone. What a concept!
      Where I work may of the managers have a smart phone (in most cases a Blackberry) It would be nice to use something like that, but for the time I would spend doing such functions, it is not worth buying a new phone/PDA and paying th eextra service fees.
      I carry a SMALL Swis Army Knife, comes in handy occasionally. I don't want the bulk of a big knife in my pocket whenit is not necessary, when it is I could use something other than the little one.
      • Defensive

        Opinions are just that opinions, and if everyone felt like you then the industry would shrivel up and die. However since everyone is entitled their own opinion, we have a market full of new technology that someday you too may embrace, until then being defensive about the need for such devices is not necessary just because you do not wish to join in. I personally have a Centro (not touch, but much more than "just a phone"), however my wife has the HTC Touch Pro and she was just like you in that she saw no "NEED" for it before she got it. She now will never go back to "just a phone". Once she started using the different apps she grew very fond of her "phone" and all the additional things she could do with it.

        Caveat, I think this country is getting to judgmental about everything. I choose my products based on what I want and need, and do not taunt or ridicule anyone else's choice to do otherwise, until they try to force that opinion on my choice. Thanks and have a nice day.
  • I'm laughing at the bulky swiss army knife comment!

    The depressing thing for Mr. anti swiss army knife is that it is the crippled iPhone that is big, bulky, and ugly while it is the feature packed HTC that is slim, svelte, and sexy! I don't think it would have been possible for the zealot to pick a worse example! If mobility were actually important as the zealot pretends it is, he'd go with the HTC.
  • HTC has a nice little hidden gem

    HTC includes an amazingly simple RSS feed reader that they call "RSS Hub" on most of their WinMo phones. It's really just a customized version of Newsbreak, by Iliumsoft.

    Nice program. When you want to get updates on websites, if they carry an RSS feed it's much easier using an RSS reader to read on a small screen. It also has support for video and audio podcasts, and does OTA syncing and downloading of attachments. It's so much better than having to continually pan-and-zoom in an HTML browser on a tiny screen.

    It's a lot more productive when you want to get to the real meat of a news story or website update.

    WAP and HTML aren't ideal formats for small screens - RSS is. Any phone could be adapted to include an RSS reader, even "dumb" phones. And yet you can still include images, video, and audio into the format. The format should be made so that it could be standardized on every phone instead of WAP, which is pretty useless by comparison. WAP is just a hacked up version of the obsolete Gopher protocol.

    I was keen on HTC offering Opera Mobile on their phones, but RSS Hub has permanently changed the way I receive content updates from websites.
  • RE: Clash of the Touch Titans summary; which device is my favorite?

    First of all, Apple has never competed on feature list. They have always been missing features, and yet, what they do, they do so well that they become the standard.
    Secondly, features are a very personal thing, and your needs difer from many other people's needs. Glad we know which is YOUR favourite.
    Thirdly, you are using a lot of hypotheticals until you can compare a new iPhone with the latest OS to physical specimens of the other phones.
    The whole article is premature.
    • As usual....

      As usual this guy said that the best is a windows mobile device, contradicting the market, where the standart being copied for all manufacturers is the iPhone.
      And there?s no way to compare anyone of them with iPhone because iPhone is not a cell phone, is a hand computer that can make calls.
      • as yousual...

        As usual, there are spelling mistakes galore,
        as well as all the butt-hurt Iphone users who
        don't understand why people don't like things
        the exact same way they do, and assume it's a
        Microsoft vs. Apple issue. His article was a
        Blog about comparisons for HIS use & needs.
        You are supposed to read it and see how well
        they match up with your needs as an aid in
        evaluating the phones. That's it - in the end
        you have to make up your own mind and
        obviously, you have made your choice. I
        personally like the Android OS, but I'll bet
        the Pre is going to to be hard to beat.
  • Chart says: 3.5mm jack

    Shouldn't it be 2.5mm jack ?
  • Vague...what does virutall limitless mean exactly?

    I think this article is too brief. When you say that the HTC has "virtually unlimited functionality" and rate it over the iPhone, what exactly does that mean? There are thousands of iPhone apps that do everything from balance my checkbook to tell me how to cook. Exactly what functionality does the HTC offer over iPhone? What am I going to jump up and down that the HTC does that the Iphone does not? I'm confused.

    Then you rate the palm as higher, even though you acknowledge it's new and simply "shows a lot of promise". Again, vague and noncommittal.

    After reading this article and viewing the chart, I'm still not sure why the iPhone rates fourth on the list, nor what the HTC or Samsung even offer that's better than the others.

    Not the worst article, but comeon...let's spend a few more minutes, gather more data, and write a professional article that isn't full of vague useless references to "limitless functionality". Doesn't EVERY smartphone offer limitless functionality?
    • Didn't you read

      the previous 6 articles that lead up to this [b]conclusion[/b]? They're even linked to in this story. In them he goes into the details you are wanting.