By Dick Betts, e-PRO
For the past three months I have been telling agents to wait until after the first of the year if they are in need of a new Smartphone; well it’s the first of the year, and things are starting to become clear. The industry wants us to start using a new phrase to define the new breed of Smartphone’s; they want us to call them “Super Phones”. I am not sure if that will stick, but until I finish this article that is what I will call them.
After visiting all of my favorite geek sites that cover Smartphones this is what I have put together. There are four phones that fall into the Super Phone category; the IPhone 3G, Palm Pre, Nexus One, and the Droid. If the current phone that you have does not make the list, remember this is just a research article based on reading geek sites and NOT the opinion of the writer.
So which one of these is best? None of them are best for everyone; only you can decide which one provides you with the tools that you need. If you are a true Smartphone user, and you are taking advantage of 50 to 75% of the phone’s features, there is no other electronic device that affects your life more than your phone. Forget about the price. Look at how this device can improve your life, increase your productivity, keep you organized, and for many, provide a source of relaxation with music, games, web surfing and reading.
For many of you the first question is, will it open my lockboxes? Currently no; heard rumors, but nothing at this time. Your next question might be; will my contact management system work on the new phones? For those of you using Outlook, you will be fine; if you are using something else it could be problem. There is a great new program coming out for Customer Relationship Management that will work with Outlook, and all web enabled phones; but I am not able to talk about it just yet.
Okay let’s get into the phones; starting with the IPhone. If you have AT&T, and live in one of their great 3G areas, it wins! Being able to talk, surf the web, and get emails while having a conversation, it makes this phone the best tool out there. Having 127,600 applications does not really impress me because we normally only use 5 or 10 to run our business and life. I do not see the IPhone on any other networks in the near future. Is it worth switching from your carrier, no?
The Palm Pre and Pixi: currently with Sprint, but announced yesterday that they will be coming to Verizon on the January 25th. AT&T has said, according to the geek sites, that they will be offering two Palm products shortly; however wonder which two? Both are nice devices; love the keyboard. The biggest feature it has that the IPhone does not have, is the multitasking; which means having many apps open at the same time. They are the smallest in size of the Super Phones, if that is important to you.
The Droid, which operates on Verizon’s network, is probably not happy today. Best features are the keyboard, it lacks multi touch screen; therefore it is not the best tool to show people a picture or information from a website. Multitasking on the Droid does work, which also gives it a thumbs up. Of the 4 Super phones the Droid has the best screen! Now, why they are not happy today; is how Google has thrown the Droid under the bus. The new Google phone has a 2.1 operating system, making some needed changes to the software that the Droid has because it’s running the 2.0 system. Gee a phone released a mere 2 months ago already outdated…?
The Nexus One (Google Phone), seen as the IPhone killer; the jury is still out on that statement. I have not had one in my hands; however, based on people in the business that I trust, “they like it”. Now that statement alone speaks volumes, big difference between like and love? The Nexus phone does multitask, which in case you haven’t figured out, I think is on the very top of the list of features. It is more customizable than other Super Phones, but I am not sure that the average user cares. I could fill pages of benefits and features for all these phones, but this one might have a slight edge. Currently Nexus One is only on the T-Mobile network, and expected to be available in the spring on Verizon network. You can purchase an unlocked unit and work on AT&T because of the sim card.
So here we go again with the same question I get thousands of times all over North America, what is the best phone? There isn’t one! Just like there is not a best carrier, it all depends on where you live and work. We all need to look at how we do business, run our lives, and select a device that benefits us. Don’t get caught up on “yours is better than mine”, it really doesn’t matter. Here’s a link with a great comparison chart that spells out some very basic questions about the 4 Super Phones:
In closing, don’t let your lockboxes or contact management program make you buy a dumber phone. Buy a phone that helps you in your business and personal life the most. If you feel the most important feature on your phone is opening lockboxes and operating an outdated contact management system, then go on eBay where you may purchase a brand new Palm Treo’s that work with all carriers.
Dick Betts, www.DickBetts.com.