How to pick a smart phone?


Pierre Khawand perhaps is one of the few people who has tried more smart phones that me. In fact, he tried them straight for 81 days. So he knows a thing or two about smart phones, and he is writing a special series for us and will help us pick out the best smart phone….. Om

By Pierre Khawand

Call it insanity or naivety, for the last 81 days, I have switched to a new smartphone every 9 days–ranging from the latest Treos, to the latest BlackBerries, to the latest Windows Mobile devices, and one of the latest Symbian devices. It sounds as if I am on a search for the perfect smartphone or that I like torturing myself by calling technical support centers around the globe trying to get their help synchronizing my computer with different devices.

Actually it was an experiment, the 81-day-experiment, with 9 devices times 9 days. In a way, I was on a search for the perfect device. But let us face it, there is no such a thing as “the” perfect device for everyone. It all depends on what your needs are. It actually goes way beyond needs to involve style, personality, and maybe even self-image. So I was actually on a search for determining which devices are best for which needs. Having been entrenched in the “productivity” field for some time, helping busy professional use technology more effectively, I wanted to feel the pulse of the smartphone technologies first-hand, and portray my findings back to the users.

You might say, these smartphone technologies are “madly” changing. So why should we examine them in such a detail, knowing that every time we turn around, a new one pops up. That is exactly why it is even more important to undergo such an experiment, and take a snapshot of where these technologies are, where the manufacturers are, and where the networks are. Such an experiment is necessary in order to slow down the process of change just long enough (or ignore it) so we can absorb what is going on and make sense out of it. Then when we go back into the process, we go back better prepared, more enlightened, and hopefully smarter in making our purchase and manufacturing decisions.

As you may have guessed, a core focus in this experiment is usability. After all, without us, and us being able to use these devices easily and pleasantly, these smartphones will be silent and not so smart. So as you read about the findings in the upcoming posts, you will see that usability is one of the most highlighted factors.

In the next series of articles/posts, I plan to portray to you the essence of what I discovered as follows:

Post 1: The “new kids on the BLOG”

This post will talk about the BlackBerry Pearl, the Cingular 3125, and the Blackberry Dash. These are the latest arrivals and they are serious contenders to the light and heavy weight devices that are on the market.

Post 2: The “strictly business devices”

This post will focus on the devices that focus on the business features and are meant to be for business use with less attention to multi-media and form factor. They include the BlackBerry 8700 and Nokia E62.

Post 3: The “Treo and Treo”

This post will examine the Treo 700p and Treo 700w. Two devices that come in almost identical bodies but almost from different planets.

Post 4: The “Windows Mobile Evolution”

This post will examine how Windows Mobile have come a long way, and how the new Windows Mobile devices are similar and different, and both different from the Windows we live with on our desktops and laptops. This will include the Treo 700w, the Motorola Q, the T-Mobile MDA, the Cingular 3125, and the T-Mobile Dash.

Post 5: The “black sheep”

This post will summarize my experience with the Nokia E62 and the Symbian OS. After all, it is very different, and the question do you want to go different? And who is it for?

Post 6: Which phone will I choose? And the drawing?

After this experiment, I need to choose a smartphone for myself. So which one will it be? Those who make the right guess will be entered into a drawing and the winner will get a smartphone!

Post 7: How to choose a smartphone?

After all, how can I go about choosing a smartphone? How do I avoid disappointment? how do I avoid going through several iterations before I find the device that meets my needs? And how do I avoid spending hours with technical support reps?


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anjan bacchu

hi there,

I second Alex.

#7: “How to choose a smartphone?” should be the 1st one. That will help those of us to make a selection before you’re done with all the posts.

Thank you,


Yomi Adegboye

Interesting. Very. I have used a number of smartphones over the years, from the old Ericsson R380s through the Nokia 9500 communicator, to my present the Nokia E61. In it all, I find that for my own needs, my smartphone must have: 1. a capable email client; 2. a top-grade web browser that can handle javascript, cookies, secure sites etc; 3. MS Office compatible document editor; 4. a capable QWERTY keyboard, and 5. Extremely good battery life. There are other factors, but these are essential to me.

Looking forward to reading your series.


this sounds like it’ll be a great series. my $0.02 would be to make your post #7: “How to choose a smartphone?” before #1. to me it would make more sense for you to give us your criteria for a smartphone first, show us the models, then tell us which one you pick based on the stated criteria.

just a thought.


I just bought my first smartphone, the Nokia E62. I didn’t really plan on using it for work stuff but do love that I can open and edit spreadsheets on it. I’m really looking forward to the series.


This looks like it will be a great series. I’ve been thinking of getting a smart phone for quite a while and I imagine this will be quite helpful.

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