iPhone, Nokia and India

Saturday, 23 August 2008

We realise that we have been going on and on about the iPhone and the Nokia N96, but thats all what we can do since this is our job and specially when the two iconic phones launched together in the same week in India.

Price Comparision:
The Nokia N96 will cost you around Rs. 36,000 while the Apple iPhone 3G with 8GB memory will cost Rs. 31000 and 16GB about Rs. 36,100. On price points even though they are hugely expensive we give them equal rank.

Camera
In the days when 5-7 megapixel camera seems to have become a rule, Apple iPhone’s 2 megapixel seems pale. Its closest rival, Nokia N96 boasts of 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash and video light. The video camera captures at 30 frames per second.

Not only this, N96 predecessor N95 also boasted of a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss autofocus lens. It has support for multiple scene bright flash, high quality VGA video recording at up to 30 fps and front-facing VGA camera for video calling.

However, missing features like video recording and optical zoom in iPhone only add insult to injury.

Samsung’s iPhone wannabe Omnia too features a 5 megapixel camera. It supports auto focus, image stabliser, auto-panorama shot, wide dynamic range and face detection options.

It also supports video recording, video editing and audio and live dubbing.

The latest touchscreen smartphone from BlackBerry, Bold, though has a 2 megapixel camera, but support video recording, built-in flash and digital zoom, unlike iPhone.

HTC’s Touch Diamond too has high-resolution camera (3.2 megapixel) with an optical auto-focus lens, video calling capability and auto sensor screen pivoting.

Like HTC’s smartphone, Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X1 too has a 3.2 megapixel camera with photo light. The phone is company’s answer to Apple iPhone.

Audio
Another feature where Nokia’s ‘Killer Product’ steals a march over iPhone. For music lovers, Nokia N96 has media keys, 3.5 mm headphone connector and built-in 3D stereo speakers. Users can access digital video broadcasting, wireless Internet and Bluetooth.

To engage gaming enthusiasts, there are N-gage games. Nokia N96 has support for stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), but iPhone lacks this.

Samsung Omnia too stands high on multimedia features with a TV-Out feature to playback content from the phone directly on the television screen. DivX technology enables video content transfer from the PC to the mobile.

SMS Forwarding, FM Radio:
These two features are the darling of any mobile phone user in India. Since Texting messaging is really cheap in this part of the world forwarding SMSes is a very normal thing for all users. FM Radio is the life of people whilst traveling this is your one source of entertainment on the roads of the Indian metro cities. The lack of both these features on the iPhone is a big minus as far as its Indian market is concerned.

Battery Life:
Nokia N96 wins on this hands down. There have been lots of problems with the battery drainage of the Apple iPhone and these don’t seem to stop. You will have to charge your phone everyday or twice a day for that matter if you are a heavy user.
Another area where iPhone struggles to compete with rivals is no user replaceable battery. Users cannot change an iPhone battery on their own. They will have to send it to an Apple outlet for this. On the other hand, Nokia N96 offers users the freedom to remove and replace the battery.

Though Apple reportedly claims that it has intentionally left out the user-replaceable battery because it adds bulk and weight, but users may not wish to buy that reason.

However, it’s rival BlackBerry’s Bold that supports removable/rechargeable battery which provides multi-hour usage with a target talktime of approximately 5 hours and standby time of 13 days.

Unlike Apple iPhone, Samsung Omnia supports a removable battery.

GPS:
This is not a huge factor for the Indian market, but still a talking point. On the GPS front Nokia again wins this pretty easily.

Video Calling:
Video calling is not possible on the iPhone and the Nokia N96 is pretty good at it.

Data Transfer and Bluetooth usage:
A major , major talking point regarding the iPhone. The bluetooth on the iPhone can only be used for hands-free calling. No data transfer allowed between handsets or even with a computer with bluetooth enabled.

Storage:
You thought the storage factor will play in for the iPhone ? That isn’t true. The Nokia N96 comes with 16GB of internal storage plus you have the luxury of adding a 8GB memory card giving you a whopping storage of 24GB. The iPhone again loses here.

Design:
There is no beating the iPhone, as simple as that!

All in all, if you are looking for more bang for the buck, go for the Nokia N96. Lookwise and as a fashion symbol, we still say there is no beating the iPhone!

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