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Which mobile operating system?

Debating the merits of the latest iPhone over the Blackberry or arguing that the green Android monster makes buying the whole phone worth it are commonplace around campus (unless I’m the only one who loves the green Android). With 24 month contracts being signed ever more frequently, how do we know which handset is best suited to our needs?

With the highest market share, handsets running the Android operating system are clearly a popular choice. Many manufacturers making many handsets mean there is more choice from the low end basic smart phones to the high end handsets which are more powerful than the average laptop. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S2 boasts a dual core processor. The 8 megapixel camera combined with the sharp 4.3 inch display can hardly hurt either. It also claims a longer talk time than most other smart phones at over 11 hours. Removable SD cards mean Android phones can accommodate as many pictures/contacts/drunken videos as you want.

Blackberry has traditionally been seen as the phone for business. Features such as Microsoft Office and PDF viewers make this a popular choice for people who need the office in their hand. Whilst the iconic style of handset has been copied by many manufacturers using the Android operating system, Blackberry are now releasing phones with touchscreens. One of these, the Blackberry Torch 9800, has a slide out QWERTY keyboard, five megapixel camera and the slightly shorter talk time of five and a half hours. Space for a memory card means Blackberry phones can also have plenty of space for storage.

It could be said that nothing will ever compare to the Apple iPhone. Seen frequently as a status symbol, the iPhone has long been the “must have” phone. There is little choice in handsets, but having the largest app store means phones running this operating system can still be personalised. The latest iPhone 4 comes with either a 16GB or 32GB hard drive. Even the cheapest 16GB model has more internal storage than both the Samsung and Blackberry models above but this amount of memory cannot be changed. At seven hours talk time, the battery life is between the Blackberry and Samsung. The five megapixel camera and high definition video recording make this phone perfect for those planning on recording their friends on a night to use as leverage at an opportune moment.

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Leah Wong

Former Sci and Tech editor (2011-2012).
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