For a start, I’m not going to talk much about the iPhone. Yes, it’s good, and yes, it’s probably the best, but traveling with it can be a complete pain in the unmentionables. Reasons for this are simple- most versions of it are sold locked, depending on where you buy it from- meaning that you won’t be able to use the SIM card of a particular country’s provider while on a two week break somewhere, and also because of the cost of international 3G data network roaming fees that traveling users may not be aware of- there have been horror stories of $3000 bills after a casual user forgot to adjust some of his data settings.
1. The Blackberry Bold
Massive battery life, durable and well built, has a camera surpassing the iPhone’s, and good looking. Acclaimed by critics and seen as a more practical, and business-orientated alternative to the iPhone, the Blackberry Bold is well worth considering. Yes, it’s usually sold locked to the carrier, but it’s easy to forget the singular massive advantage over the iPhone – Push Email. For those of you who don’t know what that means, Push Email is basically a technology where emails sent to you get sent to one of RIM’s (The maker of Blackberry) servers, which are then forwarded to you in a different way so that they arrive with the promptness and immediacy of a SMS – you don’t have to bother continually checking your email. This also lowers data usage because Blackberry’s servers shrink down any large unnecessary files such as Pictures in order to lower your data usage.
There is, however, one gripe some users may find annoying – the small size of the screen.
It’s a very bright and high-resolution one however, so most users will not find it a problem.
2. Nokia E71
Small, smart, and sleek. While the most conservative in terms of design and innovation, the Nokia E71 is the traditional conservative answer to the business phone – don’t expect revolution here, or even incredible usability – you won’t find it. What you do get though is a practical, well featured business phone much like the blackberry, except to the E71′s credit it’s sold unlocked everywhere, meaning you can travel all round and switch to as many networks on as many SIM cards as you like. Even better is the fact that prices are dropping faster than an anvil on a cartoon character. One (admittedly massive) problem with the E71 is the absence of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack – you’ll have to tote an adapter if you want to listen to mp3′s with your normal headphones. Nokia, why oh why?
3. T-mobile G1
Ever wanted the touchscreen of an iPhone combined with the physical QWERTY keyboard of the Blackberry Bold or E71? The G1 (otherwise known to the general public as “that google phone”) is the most flawed piece of hardware on this list, but what it lacks in finesse and looks it makes up for in potential. Having both keyboard and touchscreen, the G1 also runs Google’s new universal mobile phone operating system, called Android. Google’s hope is that small developers will do most of the work developing applications for it, while they provide a stable platform – a new business model which focuses on the operating system rather than the phone. Of course, Symbian (the OS on the E71) works somewhat like this, but is (arguably) dull and incredibly hard to use, as well as slow and lacking in power. Like with the E71, no normal headphone jack, but you do get a decent 3.2 megapixel camera.
Enjoy your travels!
Photo of Blackberry Bold by edans