You may remember this post, in which I looked at areas of functionality in which Apple are very strong with the iPhone and areas in which they really should have stepped up to the plate, evening out the gaps. Recognising that there is something of an inbalance between the functionalities of different phones on the market though, I wanted to point out that there’s another option for fans of the iPhone OS, of the superb hardware and of the App Store.
Regular readers here will know that, although having access to iPhones, I (personally) use an iPod Touch. Not crazy at all, this feature will hopefully explain one of the reasons why I’m happy with the ‘lesser’ device. The other reason is ongoing network/contract costs, but that’s another rant for another day.
You see, for Apple fans who eye up the telephony, connectivity and photography advantages of the best of the Symbian/Nokia world, it really is possible to have your cake and eat it. Read on…
Let’s get one thing straight first though. The iPod Touch is a super little bit of kit, encased in a robust metal and glass body. When it was first announced and I realised that it had 80% of the functionality of the iPhone at 20% of the total cost of ownership, I swear I thought there had to be a catch. With the iPod Touch now down to as little as £130 in the UK if you know where to look, it’s a serious bargain.
Yes, this site is all about iPhone, but I’m sure even hardened iPhone fans won’t be too annoyed that I’m praising its little sister.
Referring back to my earlier post, I was trying to demonstrate the almost complimentary functionality of the Nokia N82 and Apple iPhone 3G, arguing that Apple could level their chart and take a real lead by giving the iPhone boosts in the areas of navigation and photography. However, subverting this chart to another end, what if we accepted the iPhone’s weaknesses and used the complementary nature of it and (say) a Nokia Nseries phone’s functionality to our advantage? In fact, the complementary nature of the two lines on the chart become even more evident if we plot functionality for the iPod Touch instead of the iPhone itself:
That’s a pretty good natural fit, in terms of each device playing to its strengths and complementing the other. What I’d like to suggest is that, from my own real world experience, a top spec Nokia camera-centric phone and an iPod Touch make a good and powerful ‘two box’ solution. There are some overlaps, to be sure, mainly in the area of PIM data and music playback, but for all other aspects it’s quite easy to identify which of the two devices comes out comfortably on top.
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to spend a fortune, either. I mentioned above that the iPod Touch can be bought for well under £150 now. If you’re strapped for cash, the Nokia 6220 Classic has the same 5 megapixel camera, Xenon flash, DVD video recording, GPS and navigation features as the N82 charted above, but at £215 or so, inc VAT, SIM-free.
Add the two prices together and you effectively get the best of both worlds for a total price of well under £400, with no phone contract to keep up, month after month. And no hassles if you change your mind and want to sell either or both on eBay after a while.
Yes, it seems inelegant to have a solution which involves two devices rather than one, but the real world can’t serve us up a single gadget that does absolutely everything right now, so a compromise is needed.
I’ve been enjoying the combination of N82 and iPod Touch, shown above, for the last 6 months, with very few regrets. Quite apart from keeping a foot in both Symbian OS and iPhone camps, I’ve been able to take full advantage of the stonkingly good camera in the N82 while still enjoying the sumptuous delights of the iPhone App Store, especially some of the available games. I’ve been able to find my way around using the voice guided GPS navigation in the N82 while still catching up with my TV viewing using BBC iPlayer and YouTube on the iPod Touch whenever I’m within Wi-Fi coverage. And both devices are surprisingly robust, which is just as well considering my genetic disposition towards clumsiness and the constant presence of a small child with less than pristine fingers!
The best of both worlds? As at Feburary 2009, I think I’ve done about the best I can. If you think you’ve done better, feel free to comment!