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Saturday, 24 January 2009

iPhone Killers

LG RenoirWelcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the next chapter in our iPhone Killers season. After the drubbing the iPhone gave the LG Renoir, it’s time for another competitor to step into the ring, and see if it can take down Apple’s wonderkid. The iPhone’s feeling all smug, now, as it trounced the LG Renoir, and ready to face its next opponent; to quote the iPhone itself, at a recent press conference, “I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

Today, it’s the turn of the other 8 megapixel touchscreen phone that hails from Korea. This time, though, it’s from one of the biggest names in the world of consumer electronics. From the second biggest phone manufacturer in the world… ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Samsung Pixon!

1. How useful is it for doing actual work on?

As with the Renoir, this is going to be a close run thing. Both the iPhone and the Samsung Pixon do things like email well, both have an onscreen QWERTY keyboard, and both have really fast internet access. However, the exact same things apply here as did with the LG: the iPhone does the internet and email better, unfortunately, and as I said in the LG fight, you can view and edit Office docs, whilst the Samsung Pixon can only view them. Until the Pixon gets that feature (if it even does), the iPhone wins this round.

Winner: iPhone

2. How good is the phone for mucking around and not doing any work on?

After losing one category, it’s time to see if the Samsung Pixon can do any better in the ‘mucking around’ category, and the answer is… no, unfortunately, for the same reasons as the Renoir. It does do some really cool stuff, with an astonishing camera, Java games and superb media support, but the App Store on the iPhone just beats all-comers. Unfortunately, that makes it 2-0 for Apple’s wonderkid…

Winner: iPhone

3. How many opportunities for showing off to my mates will the phone give me?

Now, here, the Samsung Pixon starts to come into its own. Oh, I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy fight, due to the sheer number of games and fun apps available through their App Store. But the Samsung Pixon has a massive trump card up its sleeve, and it’s to do with video… y’see, like the LG Renoir, the Pixon has a TV-Out socket, so you can plug it into your telly. But unlike the Renoir (and unlike any phones I can think of, off the top of my head, including the iPhone), the Samsung Pixon has SRS 5.1 Surround Sound. You find something that’ll impress your mates more than the fact your home cinema system’s centred around your mobile phone…

Winner: Samsung Pixon

4. How easy is it to use the phone to cheat at pub quizzes?

There’ll be a definite winner in this category for two reason, one of which is a serious one, one of which is completely stupid, but true. The serious reason: it comes back to the Safari browser in the iPhone, again, because it completely outclasses the Samsung Pixon. The silly but true reason: Samsung mobile phones always have this habit, without fail, of bleeping at you whenever you even look at them funny, and that’s gonna give the game away if you’re trying to sneakily cheat…

Winner: iPhone

5. How good will I feel using it, and how GOOD will I look using it?

And now, the final fight, and this one’s based purely on perceptions, because I’ll be perfectly honest, both mobile phones feel really rather lovely to use. The iPhone’s probably the slightly more fun to use, and therefore, slightly more rewarding, but the Samsung Pixon isn’t far behind. So it falls down to perceptions again, and the iPhone still has one big problem: its users, one of whom said that because I didn’t know the brand of my shoes, I was obviously not cool, and therefore didn’t deserve an iPhone. This inevitably makes non-Apple fans think Apple lovers are gits. The Samsung does not have this problem, and so, as with the Renoir, the Samsung Pixon is the winner.

Winner: Samsung Pixon

And the winner is…

The battle between the iPhone and the Renoir was almost a walk-over. The battle between the iPhone and the Samsung Pixon, however, was a proper stand up fight, with blood spilled, and teeth flying everywhere. The Korean heavyweight put up a spirited fight, but in the end, the victory goes once again to the iPhone. So, how does that leave our league table looking? Well, the Samsung Pixon is, based on how many rounds it won, a whopping 67% as good as the iPhone, taking it straight to the top of the leaderboard. I wouldn't expect that to last for very long, though, because next week, the iPhone’s going up against two touchscreen phones from the biggest name in the business, starting with its hardest fight, yet, against the Nokia 5800.


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