9 (More) Smartphone Alternatives To Apple's iPhone - InformationWeek
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1/24/2008
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9 (More) Smartphone Alternatives To Apple's iPhone

The latest and best in smartphones -- most with 3G capability -- from Nokia, HTC, Research In Motion, Sharp, and more.

Sure there's a 3G iPhone expected this year, but why wait? There are plenty of phones already available that have 3G and everything else the iPhone has: 8 GB of storage, a built-in music player, a touch screen (often accompanied by a qwerty keyboard), and even add-on features like visual voice mail.

As a follow-on to our story of last June, Nine Alternatives To Apple's iPhone, here are some additional selections to consider. From the top four carriers in the United States: Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Since T-Mobile hasn't widely rolled out its 3G cellular network yet, subscribers will have to opt for phones which use a slower data network. However, even in this case, there are some solid iPhone alternatives to choose from.

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LG Voyager
Verizon Wireless; $299 with contract.
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LG Voyager

One of the most-talked about iPhone knock-offs this year is the LG Voyager. It has a large external touch screen for easier phone and Internet navigation, a built-in music player, and Shortcut Menu icons that appear on the Voyager's touch screen and another set of icons at the bottom of the screen -- all the features that bear resemblance to the iPhone.

What makes the Voyager slightly different are some additional features, such as a full qwerty keypad that slides open sideways, expandable memory that holds up to 8 GB, and 3G connectivity for high-speed Internet access.

The Voyager also comes with multimedia capabilities, including an HTML Web browser; Verizon Wireless' V Cast mobile TV, video, and music service; and the ability to play MP3, WMA, and unprotected AAC files. For more storage room, the phone has a removable microSD memory slot that holds up to 8 GB of memory.

(click image to see larger view)
HTC Tilt AT&T; $300 with contract.
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HTC Tilt

Offering a mix of business and pleasure, the Tilt is the first AT&T smartphone to run Microsoft's latest Windows Mobile 6 operating system. It also includes Research In Motion's BlackBerry Connect 4.0 software, which offers features found in BlackBerry smartphones such as push e-mail.

The Tilt has a slide-out qwerty keypad and a 2.8-inch color screen that tilts up, making it more convenient to write e-mail, browse the Web, and play videos. It also includes Bluetooth 2.0 technology, which allows up to six Bluetooth devices to be simultaneously connected to the smartphone.

A feature that any mobile user will enjoy is the Tilt's GPS-enabled mapping software from TeleNav, a provider of mobile location-based services. TeleNav GPS Navigator provides turn-by-turn audible and on-screen driving or walking directions in addition to 3-D maps and traffic alerts.

The Tilt uses AT&T's 3G network to connect to the Internet and has tri-band UMTS/HSDPA capabilities, which means it can work in other countries. Alternatively, the smartphone's built-in Wi-Fi provides access to hotspots and wireless local area networks.

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