Comparing my new iPhone to my old "Smartphone"

in iPhone edited January 2014
This is my old phone, which was running Windows Mobile 5. The one I had was branded as an i-Mate Smartflip, but it was made by HTC and went under a few different brand names:

I still think it's a good phone in many ways. After reading all of the reviews of the iPhone so far, however, and then playing with an iPhone in person at an Apple Store yesterday, I decided that in the complicated balancing of pluses and minuses, the iPhone came out ahead.

Here's where the iPhone outdoes my old phone:
  • Voice mail. I love the new voice mail system. I love not only the random access to all of your messages, but the fact that you can easily scrub back and forth through a message to listen to something over again. I hate it when someone leaves you a message, reciting their life story or the contents of War and Peace, then quickly babbles a phone number at the very end of the message, as fast as if they were placing a bid at an auction, leaving you no other choice than playing the whole tediously long message over again, perhaps more than once, before you can finally get the phone number copied down. If I can figure out a way to forward my missed land-line calls to my iPhone, I will.

  • Web browsing is hugely better.

  • Maps are much better.

  • E-mail is much better. (Well, at least it had been working better -- I'm now hitting some snag where I'm stuck at "Syncing mail accounts" for a very long time -- I've canceled syncing now a few times after 15-20 minutes of waiting. I'm afraid I might have to give up e-mail (at least synced e-mail) if I can't find a fix for this bug, and if giving iTunes an hour or so to sync doesn't help. I'm not sure, but I may have triggered this bug by playing around with my SIM card.)

  • Music/video playback is much better. If it weren't for the 8GB limit (my current complete iTunes library is around 30GB) I could be pretty happy giving up my iPod. I'm hoping there will be an iPod coming soon that takes advantage of iPhone tech.

  • Text input in general is much better. YMMV if you're a well-practiced texter, but I'm not, and I find multi-tap text entry on a standard numeric keypad painful. Compared to that, the virtual keyboard is much, much nicer and faster for me.

  • Having a quick and easy physical switch for putting the phone into silent mode.

  • A better quality camera.

  • Wifi -- the Smartflip only did GPRS/EDGE or Bluetooth for connectivity.

  • I think, although this is just a guess at this point, that GSM reception might be a little better, so hopefully I find fewer dead spots now than I have been ever since I switched from Verizon back in November to Cingular/AT&T.

  • Better overall user interface.

Things I miss from my old phone (some of which I'm hoping will be amended by future software updates):
  • Having an unlocked phone, not tied down to any specific carrier.

  • Voice-activated dialing.

  • Maybe I've just missed it, but I haven't seen anything like speed dial on the iPhone yet.

  • Knowing the main display was nicely protected when I closed up the phone.

  • Somewhat smaller overall size (although the iPhone is thinner).

  • Having a Bluetooth modem. Being able to use my phone (even with its slow EDGE data speed) as a back-up internet connection is something I've been happy to have on a few occasions. Fortunately, it seems that if I hold onto my old phone, I can use my iPhone's SIM card in the Smartflip, and still get data and web service as

  • Being able to install and use my own ringtones.

  • The ability to delete individual calls from the call history.

  • Games. For times when I have no connection to the outside world, or simply don't want to do anything online, but feel like killing time for a few minutes, I like having something like Solitaire built-in and ready to go. My iPod has Solitaire, but I don't generally carry my iPod with me -- I mainly use my iPod in my car.

  • Although it wasn't a great implementation, and it was only for MSN, there at least was some type of chat client built in.

  • The ability to record short videos and voice memos, as well as take pictures.

  • MMS (not that I used this feature really).

  • Java support -- not that it worked in the web browser any way, just for "midlets".

  • Simple left-right cursor movement. I'd like the iPhone to have a pair of virtual left/right arrow keys for moving the cursor a short distance, rather than doing that kind of fine adjustment by finger pointing.

  • Disk mode.

Things neither phone has that I'd like to have:
  • Better text editing, including being able to select spans of text and at the very least delete them, and better yet, be able to copy and paste text too.

  • Java applet support.

  • More media support.

  • Easier navigation through web browser history.

  • 3G.

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