So, you want a touch UI mobile device. I’ve been checking out some of the latest touch UI mobile devices lately, curious to see who’s coming out with what and what features are being offered. To date it seems it’s tough to find that one touch device that offers everything. I’ve looked at 4 touch UI devices (+ the Nokia 5800) this week, some of the quick observations made follow:
Google (Android) G1 – touch action is a bit “clunky” (ie. hit or miss), slow network (T-mobile, no 3G), brutal camera (although 3.2 megapixel) , small number off third party apps, nice track ball action, large slide-out QWERTY keyboard, slightly smaller than iPhone with a 3.2″ display area, Bluetooth and WiFi enabled plus an added microSD memory slot is a nice feature. First impression is that I’d stay away from the very first Android mobile device but the future is likely bright and there’s plenty of room for improvement. One reason why you won’t find many of these in use… T-Mobile shops (mine anyway) don’t keep them in stock, therefore users must order them… this is a brutal move! Also, T-mobile staff don’t seem very knowledgeable about G1 n’or are they eager to push this device.
Apple iPhone 3G – fast network, excellent touch and swipe UI, poor camera, no video, delicate (ie. don’t drop it!) awesome app shop, nice acelerometer, no extra memory card support, WiFi and Bluetooth enabled, large 3.5″ display. No surprise, the iPhone is the device all others must live up to!
Samsung Behold (SGH t919) – T-Mobile now offers the Samsung Behold (T919) touch mobile device. One of my biggest gripes about Samsung is that they don’t seem to provide WiFi along with most of their devices… a big strike for me. This sharp looking device offers users a similar experience to the iPhone (ie. touch QWERTY keypad) along with an impressive 5 megapixel camera which also supports video capture as well (nice!) The behold comes with 180MB internal memory and external memory supported via microSD (up to 16GB) A quick hands-on demo provided me with a look at the touch action, a nice clicking action takes place when you tap an icon (I like that) although there wasn’t that fast, smooth swiping action that you experience with iPhone (perhaps I didn’t dig deep enough though). Overall, a sharp looking device with a decent touch action, however, I’m not sure what kind of applications are supported. Note: Samsung also has a touch UI F700.
Blackberry Storm – the first Blackberry with touch UI is available to consumers via the Verizon Wireless Network. The device sports 1GB internal memory as well as additional memory via MicroSD card. Users will find a 3.2 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities (same as Bold 9000) along with internal GPS. Communication via Bluetooth is provided as well as WiFI (I’m assuming this although not verified via documents yet). Like all Blackberry devices, corporate communication tools is a real strength of this device. My guess is the Storm may become the #2 most popular touch device real soon!
One last touch mobile not seen by me yet is the Nokia 5800 Express Music. This Symbian OS (9.4) device sports A-GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera, stylus and touch input, Bluetooth and WLAN, 3.2″ display screen, MicroSD card support (16GB) and offers users a wealth of supported Symbian applications. Real strengths are likely the available apps (although no central app shop) fabulous music player, and excellent camera (with LED Flash). This is a very fashionable device although you won’t be able to buy it in a shop, rather, you’ll need to hit an online shop (BestBuy or other online mobile shops) or a Nokia flagship store. The device was recently featured in the latest Batman movie.