Sunday 25 February 2018

Smart Consumer: App attack! How Nokia is taking a bite out of Apple

Bill Tyson

Apple isn't having it all its own way in the war to dominate the smartphone market. A new wave of phones are being touted as iPhone killers with features that supposedly outsmart even Apple's iconic product.

But do they measure up to their claims? And how much do they cost to run?

Nokia has at least three models that measure up to the iPhone, scooping the top three awards for best value in the latest smartphone survey by Consumer Choice magazine (excluding the iPhone).

It rates the Nokia XB, whose massive 16GB capacity will store a mountain of data, as the best smartphone, matching the iPhone 4 on memory at least.

It scores 70% on the survey -- but at €337 to buy sim-free online, it ain't cheap.

The old reliable N97 comes second with 69%, and as a proud owner of its predecessor, the N95, for two years, I can personally vouch that this model is a cracker.

It's reliable and durable, and its 8GB memory will store thousands of songs, as well as pics and videos from its 5MP camera.

These features were way ahead of the posse, including the iPhone, in many respects when I bought the N95 in 2007.

However, it's odd that the camera and memory haven't moved on since then in the newer N97 model, even if they remain impressive.

Again the N97 is pricey at €389 and is available on prepay with O2 and on contract with Vodafone, Meteor and O2.

A cheaper option is the third-place phone, Nokia's 5230, which also scores 69%.

This must be on account of the price as its 2MP camera seems disappointingly low-res.

Not so, the 4th placed phone, Sony Ericcson's U5i Vivaz, which boasts an 8MP camera that trumps even the latest iPhone but is a little pricey at €439.

The Samsung Wave, in 5th place, is even dearer at €529 and has a 5MP camera that just matches the iPhone 4. However, this phone was also highly rated by consumer watchdog Which? magazine and its 10 hours of talktime beats the iPhone 4's seven hours hands down.

Wave's new Bada operating system also gives iPhone a run for its money, says Which?, offering multi-tasking powered by a powerful 1GHz processor.

Blackberry is still among the pick of the Consumer Choice crop with three of its models - Curve, Storm and Bold -- notching up 6th, 7th and 9th place -- with the Curve offering relatively good value at €269.

"Blackberry . . . are increasingly aiming their phones at the consumer market by adding great music players, cameras and even a choice of colours," Consumer Choice says.

In 8th place is the Nokia E72, while HTC notches up 10th 11th and 12th places.

The HTC HD2 scored best for internet and email of all the phones in this batch. It's 4.3-inch screen makes it " a great choice for surfing the web or watching videos. And it can run more than one application at a time, unlike the iPhone," Consumer Choice adds.

Irish Independent

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