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Jan 12, 2009

PalmPre vs. iPhone vs. WinMo vs. Android vs. BlackBerry - Fight!

It seems like I'm not the only one excited about the Palm Pre.

Gizmodo just published a nice post comparing between Palm Pre, iPhone and Android.

I took the original list (found in here), twisted it a bit according to my own opinion, added some new categories and of course, added Windows Mobile (and BlackBerry) to the competition.

So, are you ready?

runble


1. Touch Screen:

Android, iPhone and Palm Pre have capacitive screens. Only iPhone and Palm Pre have multi-touch which is much better, so we have 2 winners here, each with 1 point:

iPhone: 1 pts

Palm Pre: 1 pts

Windows Mobile: 0 pts

Android: 0 pts

BlackBerry: 0 pts


2. Screen Gestures

All new devices have gestures. I believe iPhone used to have an advantage here, but after watching the Palm Pre videos I believe Palm took the gestures capabilities couple of levels up (shortcuts, closing apps, etc.). 

In addition, there's this gesture interface in the bottom of the device which really gives extra points to Palm.

Palm Pre: 2 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

Windows Mobile: 0 pts

Android: 0 pts

BlackBerry: 0 pts

(Well well well, what do you know, the new-comer leads the way...)


3. Overall Design:

palm-treo-pro-4-thumb Until I saw the Palm Pre amazing pictures, I was certain that the best looking device ever created was Palm Treo Pro (or HTC Touch HD).

Omnia and Xperia are also good candidates here so since only Windows Mobile has this huge variety of different form factors, I will give the point to Windows Mobile.

Note: I wanted to penalize the Android for T-Mobile G1 for the horrible design but since it doesn't have points yet, I couldn't...

Palm Pre: 2 pts

Windows Mobile: 1 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts

BlackBerry: 0 pts


4. Single Hand Navigation:

Not every user is aware of that need, some people are even still using a stylus(!), but having the ability to operate your device with only one hand can really change your quality of life.

For me it's a critical consideration: operating my phone while holding a bag, walking with my dog, or any other situation you can think of.

2 months of experience and I still can't properly operate my iPhone with a single hand. The Android G1 has a sliding QWERTY so I guess it is out as well.

Based on what I've seen so far, and based on my personal experience with Palm Treo, I'm willing to bet the Pre will have the greatest single hand navigation. But since I just mentioned Treo 750 running Windows Mobile - it proves that WinMo can get single handed as well (it's all a matter of form factor), so I will give 1 point each.

Oh, and let's not forget BlackBerry which also gets 1 point here.

Palm Pre: 3 pts

Windows Mobile: 2 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


5. Multitasking:

iPhone - out.

Android - almost, but not quite there yet.

Windows Mobile - of course! (1 point there).

Palm Pre - the best! [The best Jerry! The best!] And did you see how they manage and close each task? multi-tasking by design. 1 point.

Palm Pre: 4 pts

Windows Mobile: 3 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


6. User Interface:

Even with the TouchFlo 3D, Windows Mobile is not doing well in this section.  iphone11

Palm Pre looks amazing as well, even better than iPhone in some aspects, but we didn't see enough, we don't know how 3rd party apps will look like, and couldn't find the flaws yet.

Android did not convince me that it's better than the iPhone, so I will give this point to Apple, they deserve it just for the sake of creating a revolution.

Note: I almost took that 1 point from BlackBerry due to the horrible 'text only' user interface in most devices...

Palm Pre: 4 pts

Windows Mobile: 3 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


7. Development platform:

The Pre's "Web OS" is an interesting concept. Many developers know how to write Java script, but the question is - how strong is it? How will the development environment work when trying to debug etc.

I once had an unpleasant experience with Java, trying to develop using IBM WebSphere tools (tip: don't ever try that), then I moved back to Microsoft's legendary Visual Studio - without a doubt, the best development framework.

With .Net compact framework - developing WinMo apps is something every kid can do. (heck, even I managed to develop a couple of free tools). Point goes to Windows Mobile.

Palm Pre: 4 pts

Windows Mobile: 4 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


8. PIM & Office Tools

No need to explain why Windows Mobile still leads this section.

BlackBerry is the best when it comes to emails, but I hate the workarounds for the office documents.

I believe Palm Pre will not be far behind but point goes to Windows Mobile.

Windows Mobile: 5 pts

Palm Pre: 4 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts

(We have a changeover! Is this fun or what?)


9. Web Integration:

I took this section from the Gizmodo list, personally I don't find it as the most important section, but I guess other people do.

Gizmodo Wrote: "The Pre subtly integrates the internet into the phone at every opportunity, and it's awesome. Contacts get pulled in from Facebook, Gmail, IM and and scanned for dupes; the messaging app shows your last several emails, IMs and SMS with that contact in a single window. Really, really smart stuff. Advantage: Pre"

Windows Mobile: 5 pts

Palm Pre: 5 pts

iPhone: 1 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts

(Can you stand the hit?)


10. App Store / Developer Community:

While there are hundreds of Windows Mobile software & freeware sites, the AppStore, managed to create a bigger buzz (even though it doesn't have trial options - which is lame)

From checking the Palm AppStore, I don't think they will be able to compete with the original one.

Android's more "open stance" might make it a decent opponent here, but I think that for now iPhone gets the points.

Windows Mobile: 5 pts

Palm Pre: 5 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


11. The Network:

Acording to Gizmodo: ("we stand by our numbers: Sprint is the best 3G network in our tests") Sprint is the best 3G network.

On the other hand, we want the freedom to choose our own network!

Since Android (G1) is a T-Mobile phone (for now), Palm Pre is Sprint, and unlocking the iPhone is a pain in the a$$, I will go with Windows Mobile. You have the freedom to choose, and there are plenty of unlocked devices too. Point goes to Windows Mobile.

Windows Mobile: 6 pts

Palm Pre: 5 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 1 pts

Android: 0 pts


12. Physical keyboard:

palm_Keyboards let's throw away this iPhone (though I must say I type pretty fast with the landscape keyboard - the problem is that many apps do not support landscape mode which brings me back to throwing it away...).

The Pre QWERTY keyboard is great, Android has it too, and Windows Mobile has many devices with good keyboard.

But for me the BlackBerry keyboard is the only one that gives a really fast and convenient typing. RIM will finally get another point!

Windows Mobile: 6 pts

Palm Pre: 5 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 2 pts

Android: 0 pts


13. Camera:

Since the best Cameras can be found in Windows Mobile devices like the Omnia (not all of them though) - the point will definitely go to Microsoft here.

Windows Mobile: 7 pts

Palm Pre: 5 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 2 pts

Android: 0 pts


14. Battery:

We still don't know what will be the battery life of the Pre, but we can easily disqualify the iPhone from participating this one (20% during the night when 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth are all off!?).

Gizmodo gave extra point to the Palm Pre because of the wireless charger. I will do the same.

Windows Mobile: 7 pts

Palm Pre: 6 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 2 pts

Android: 0 pts


15. Copy & Paste:

The iPhone is the only one which doesn't have this basic feature. Brrr.

BlackBerry's copy / paste experience is far from being convenient so RIM does not deserve a point here as well.

WinMo, Android and Pre are the winners here, but since copy/paste is such a basic feature, I will give them only one 1 point which will be split between the 3 of them.

Windows Mobile: 7.333 pts

Palm Pre: 6.333 pts

iPhone: 2 pts

BlackBerry: 2 pts

Android: 0.333 pts

(Android finally gets one... OK... almost one point...)


16. Browser:

Pre, iPhone and Android browsers are based on WebKit, which has become the standard for the mobile web.

Safari crashes every once in a while, that's true, but I still think it's one of the best browsers.

I tried the android, and the navigation was not smooth.

I know many WinMo users think that there are better alternatives for Windows Mobile, but I tried Opera and I don't think it's good enough just yet, and for me SkyFire is an Autobot. (the first one who could fly, by the way...)

skyfire

I will go with Gizmodo here as well, and give the points to the Pre and iPhone for having multi-touch in web browsing (a feature that I like very much)

Windows Mobile: 7.333 pts

Palm Pre: 7.333 pts

iPhone: 3 pts

BlackBerry: 2 pts

Android: 0.333 pts


Summary.

Wow, that was intensive, don't you think?

The first place goes to... both Windows Mobile and Palm Pre!

What a match it is going to be!

(Who would have thought that those 2 old rivals that struggled 10 years ago with green screen PDAs will meet again...)

Of course, everything here is completely subjective. I'm sure many people will still prefer the BlackBerry alternative, while some spoiled kids will still nag their dad for an iPhone.

It's amazing that the good old Windows Mobile is still standing and fighting proudly, mainly thanks to great devices that hide the weaknesses of the old OS.

I know there's a lot of mobile "power users", freaks, and blogger with a worm corner in the heart for Palm. It leads me to believe that the Pre is going to be a hit.

Update [15/1/09] based on your requests I opened a poll - vote for your favorite operating system in here!

 

Interested in some more Palm Pre stuff? Click here!

Looking for some good freewares for Windows Mobile? Click here!

Interested in some Windows Mobile tweaks? Click here!

 

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of all the detailed feature comparison lists years ago showing the iPod at the bottom of the class amongst MP3 players. Fast forward to today and the winners of those lists have invariably disappeared without a trace.

Microsoft has deep enough pockets to keep WinMo in the game for quite a bit longer, but webOS / Pre is literally Palm last throw of the dice. Here's hoping Palm's marketing savvy is up to the challenge!

Parrotlover77 said...

Why are you dissing on using a stylus? Certainly, a stylus should not be REQUIRED to operate a mobile device these days (and in that sense, WM absolutely lags behind), but the minute you need to do anything precise (smaller area than a finger press) and you are out of luck on non-sylus devices! Ever tried doing a precise sketch when taking notes on an iphone? Forget it! It is impossible.

You will have to pry my stylus out of my cold dead hands!

Gil Bouhnick said...

Point taken.
You are correct about trying to draw stuff with iPhone - it's impossible.
On the other hand, try holding a bag (or any other thing) and operate a stylus at the same time. It's impossible as well.

amit said...

I think that iPhone has gestures only when typing on keyboard, isn't that so? So those gestures have been in Win Mob long before iPhone came out. And there are gestures in TouchFlo interface as well, so I think Win Mob deserved a point there just like iPhone got one.

And I don't think in a comparison like this the capacitive & resistive touch screens & multitouch thing should be judged as there are both pros & cons to each, you can't say which is better. With all the brouhaha about multitouch, I haven't seen any 1 distinct advantage of it being implemented over single touch - so isn't that feature only on paper for now? So giving multitouch points over single touch is unfair. And if that has to be taken in & stylus has to come under fire then take pros of stylus as well & award points on that scale as well - like I can take notes on Win Mob faster by writing them down (Spoon Notes, eh!) and I can also draw a sketch on my win mob to post on blog & there's handwriting recognition as well - so these should also be considered & win mob would get points in that while others will be left out! ;)

Another thing you should've compared here is the freedom of installing software. Win Mob has it & maybe Android phones as well, while iPhone will loose out on it & I don't know about Palm Pre! :)

Stewart said...

Good post.

Not fully objective, but I had a fun read!

Didn't Google present in CES?

bringer666 said...

I came to this site to see a real comparison of the various smartphones and what I got was a one person total subjective view. Since we don't know very much about how the Pre will work (single hand nav, apps store, dev community, battery) you can't give it any points in these categories. You are obviously an iPhone basher and seeing you give the iPhone 2pts for user interface and give WinMo 4 pts, I totally lose respect for your opinions. Then you give the iPhone 2 points for cut and paste when it has NO cut and paste. Totally a waste of my reading time.
I like the Pre and I will give it a chance to show me how good it can be (I have been a Palm fan and was a Palm user for 10 years) but it's too early to be giving it such a glowing comparison.

Rod said...

bringer666, you completely missed the points system
you should read more carefully before you criticize

skyfire is not so bad

Gil Bouhnick said...

To Bringer666:
First, it’s true that this post is very subjective, but this is the idea of blogs; I spend time writing my opinions…

Regarding the points, iPhone actually won the UI section, it got 1 point while all the others got 0. You peobably missed that.

And last, it’s true that the Palm Pre is not released yet, but what a hit it is going to be!
(and if not, that’s fine as well…)

bringer666 said...

I'm sorry, I did totally misunderstand the points system. I thought each section was the points given for that section not the totals so far.
It makes much more sense now, even if I disagree with the results of a few of the categories.
I would like to see more categories in this test though. Things that are important to me are:
UI (you have that category)
Overall Design (you have it)
App availability (you have it)
Multimedia Playback
Multimedia availability and ease of download
and the biggest one that was missed is the phone capabilities. I mean, this is a smartphone comparison.
I went from a Palm Treo 700p to an iPhone and the biggest change for me was how much better the iPhone was as a phone than the Palm was. I sure hope the Pre (hate that name) is a better phone.

Gil Bouhnick said...

I'm happy we cleared the points issue :-).

I too think that the name is very bad.

BTW,
Can you elaborate about the phone capabilities you like in the iPhone?
I think it’s a great device, but it just takes too long to start a call when you don’t have any shortcut / hardware button assigned to it…

bringer666 said...

The Treo was just was a bad phone. The sound quality was bad in both directions, calls were dropped or never picked up and let's not get started on the bluetooth headset nightmare.
The iPhone on the other hand just works correctly. My wife mentioned immediately when I got my iPhone that my voice was much clearer. I've never had any problem with any of my bluetooth headsets and so far have never had a dropped call.
I don't have a problem making a quick call as my main contacts are in my favorites page, so a double click on the start button and one touch of who I want to call gets me going.

Gil Bouhnick said...

This is what I'm doing as well, but sometimes I miss being able to have long press on a key in the keyboard to trigger a call...

fh said...

This might fall outside your subjectivity, but the stylus is still an incredibly relevant piece of hardware for non-roman languages (think Chinese/Japanese character handwriting recognition). Of course nothing beats a hardware keyboard, but WM would still gain a point in that regard with strong multi-language IME options in addition to the hardware (and for many users, the alternatives, especially the iPhone, are simply unacceptable).

As for Opera, it's too bad you weren't impressed. It's certainly not the most streamlined mobile browser, but if speed was one of your qualms, the latest builds (9.5 build 2xxx or 15xxx) are dramatically faster. I'd still agree that the iPhone and Pre edge it out (despite Safari crashing), but in my experience not by all that much.

ChrisM said...

I agree with some here that the screen issue needs a second look. For me the Capacitive screen is highly over rated. It is possible to use a Touch HD without the stylus, ever, and i much prefer the double tap to multi touch. It faster, more precise and a one handed operation in every way, something multi touch never is.
Winmo does also have gestures,more thsn the iPhone does.

seigex said...

Sorry, posting a bit late, but did you notice the iphone mysteriously lost a point between 6 and 7 :) Although I think from my phone experience and what I've seen about the Pre so far, is that the Pre wins over all phones hands down.

----
seigex
Palm Pre Mojo Developer's Network
www.mojodn.com

come in and contribute to the revolution!

Kevin Hamer said...

Now that WebOS (on the Palm Pre) is out and the Palm Pixi is announced, let's update some scores...
3. Overall Design: If this category is really 'who has a lot of model options' we really need to give points to WinMo and Android now.
6. User Interface: WebOS is out and its interface is more intuitive than the iPhones. iPhone and WebOS each get a point.
7. Development Platform: Since RIM is really the only one who doesn't provide ease of development, I'll give everyone else a point.
8. PIM & Office Tools: WebOS opens documents, syncs calendar, contacts, and email with Exchange. I think WinMo, WebOS, and RIM all should get points.
10. App Store / Developer Community: Apple still has the biggest, but at least Palm and Google are competiting. I'm going to give Apple 2 points here. I'll give WebOS and Android each one.
11. The Network: All in all, the only really 'locked to a network' phone left is the iPhone.
12. Keyboard: WinMo, Android and RIM should get some points here.
13. Camera: WinMo definitely offers the highest resolution, however RIM offers motion capture. They each get a point.
14. Battery: the Pre doesn't have a great battery, though it is changeable. It definitely doesn't deserve the extra point. WinMo, RIM, and Android all are better.

In conclusion, still WebOS and WinMo.
WebOS: great OS, few setbacks other than limited hardware so far. Going to have some trouble convincing the work place that its for work and not just play, just like Apple.
WinMo: its everywhere and it'll be everywhere for a long time.
Android: still is being treated as if it was in beta or something; its not quite fully baked, and so its not being deployed or fixed like it should.
RIM: amazing hardware and they own the business market. If they only step up their OS in time, they might keep it.
iPhone: they need to add in multitasking. Oh, and let some experienced mobile hardware manufacturers like Samsung or HTC make them some phones.

awfulreview said...

honestly, windows mobile is one of the lowest operating systems in smartphones today, palm has about 2 devices, the iphone has one, and android and blackberry are cranking them out with new operating systems and new phones all the time.

Edwin said...

Dude! Half of the time you didn't even LOOK at the blackberry! How can you put the blackberry in your comparison if you don't talk about its pro's and con's?

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