Legend: 1: very bad ... 5: excellent
OS / Model:iPhone 3GWindows Mobile Touch Diamond (Pro)Touch HDSymbian S60: N95N96N78BlackBerry: BB 8800
Price (in euros & dollars; note that 1 euro equals to 1 dollar when it comes to microelectronics)500+ unlocked; when subsidized, depending on the phone and data plannew: 5...800; Used: ~350...500~800; no flow of used units yetnew: ~300; Used: about 200~700~300~200...300, may be even less used
AvailabilityAlmost everywhere (non-Third World countries)EverywhereEverywhere outside North-AmericaEverywhereEverywhereEverywhereEverywhere
Wi-Fi4 (average-to-good range)4 (as with the iPhone, doesn't have as good a range as the iPAQ 210)?2 (short range; WEP key remembering issues in v30)??n/a (no Wi-Fi)
Bluetooth1 (headset only very poor! Independent projects to cure this ongoing)5 (now that WM6 fixed the A2DP issues)See Dia5555 (newer OS'es also support A2DP and other goodies)
Working as a USB stick in mass storage mode?- (you're shot if you can't use T-PoT on the desktop)+ +++++
Multitasking3 (Not by default; pretty good with Backgrounder but some apps AppStore, Cydia etc. can't be run in background; no task manager as yet - looking up [and possibly killing] running tasks must be done from the Unix prompt)554 (RAM size somewhat limiting)555
Support for worldwide 3G+- (!); separate US model- (!); no US model planned at all- (!); separate, enhanced US model- (!)- (!)n/a (no 3G support at all)
Screen: rendition quality555?4445
Outdoors screen visibility52? (I wouldn't hold my breath)4445
Battery life42 (Diamond) / 3 (Pro)?4 (with the v20+ firmware)??5 (in this regard, BB models have always ruled)
Speaker quality and loudness5 (albeit not stereo)4?4?5+ (loud, great frequency response and stereo !!)5+ (see N96)?4 (Mono only, albeit loud)
Call recording- (absolutely impossible recording while in a call is forbidden)2 (only works in speakerphone mode)See Dia (?)55(?)5(?)- (absolutely impossible)
GPS, mapping3; maps still aren't the best, albeit new ones are announced / already demoed (e.g. iGo); that is, this will surely change in the near future5 (no doubt the best)53 (not the best GPS unit; no Symbian ports of some key GPS apps like iGo; other apps are, nevertheless, great)4 (according to reiews, better built-in GPS as in the N95)4 (see N96)2 (while the built-in GPS receiver is good, very few GPS apps)
Java MIDlet manager- (currently, no MIDlet support at all; it's promised though)4 (not so good as on Symbian S60: no Bluetooth API's, for example)See Dia5 (everything but the kitchen sink, even 3D hardware acceleration)5 (no 3D though)5 (no 3D though)3 (compared to the implementation on other platforms, slow for gaming and requires its own COD format; Opera Mini runs flawlessly though)
Camera: indoors23?3 (heavy decrease in resolution; lacks a proper flash)See N95; however, the lack of lens protecion is a BIG consSlightly worse than N95; however, still way better than that of the iPhone and most WinMo phonesn/a
outdoors44?5See aboveSee aboven/a
Video3 (with third-party app)3 (no high-res video)?5 (VGA, 30 fps)See aboveSee aboven/a
Macro- (no macro at all)??5See aboveSee aboven/a
Purchasing apps / games: Dedicated Application Store?5 (by way the best; alternative SW distribution channels Cydia are pretty similar)1 (Microsoft do promise one; current appstore imitations are more of a joke)See DiaNokia is working on one; currently, it's pretty much useless, except for the N-Gage shop, which is goodSee N95See N95No official appstores; sites like CrackBerry host their AppStore-alikes. They are, however, far inferior to Apple's (iPhone's) implementation.
App licensing; how easy it is to deploy previously purchased apps on a new, upgraded device without the explicit help of developer?One device only; therefore, it needs upgrade help from developerMore generally (about 80%), to username and are, therefore, easily transferrable upon upgrading; remaining ~20% are licensed to deviceSee DiaAll of them to IMEI, needs upgrade help from developerSee N95See N95All of them to IMEI / device serial number, needs upgrade help from developer
App pricesGenerally considerably cheaper than on the other platforms thanks to the much higher volume of sales, exceptions (for example dictionaries) are Generally, higher than with iPhone (also) because of the high commission fees required by for example Handango and the, compared to iPhone, less salesSee DiaSee WMSee WMSee WMSee WM
Hackability: Can be easily made carrier-independent?- (unlike with previous 2G model; projects ongoing to "crack")+ (already hacked)? (hopefully will soon be hacked if isn't already)- (to my knowledge, not via easily-executable software)???
Future user and official ROM upgradesNo custom ROM's; however, Apple's upgrade policy is promising (albeit a bit expensive) for owners of prev-gen units + (tons of custom ROM's; at least the Pro's hardware will be able to run WM7 because of the 256+ RAM)-?: the entirely lacking US market will mean less demand for cooked ROM's+ (while the N95 is reaching its end of life, it's recently got another firmware upgrade unfortunately, not to s60v3 FP2. As with all Nokia phones, absolutely no cusom-cooked ROM's)- (I woulnd't hold my breath as, IMHO, few people will buy the N96, meaning little upgrades, unlike with N95.)+ (hope it'll be as supported as the N95 because of the high popularity)+ (BB's phones have traditionally received several ROM upgrades)
Internet sharing, using as a modem2 (only via Wi-Fi and only with third-party apps)5 (via everything; BT DUN and Wi-Fi only via third-party hacks)See Dia5 (via everything, even IrDA; Wi-Fi only via third-party hacks)554 (via BT and USB)
Software support / compatibility: Games:4 (this may change in future, with the release of newer titles)53 (the lack of a D-pad is a showstopper for many games but in no way so many as with emulators ; many titles are incompatible with the WVGA screen)4 (both 3D acceleration and Next-Gen N-gage are supported; however, there are few third-party games)3 (no 3D acceleration; few third-party titles; N-Gage compatible, though)3 (see N96)1 (the worst mobile phone platform for gaming)
Emulators:2 (as of now, only few platforms are emulated, and even fewer without problems)5 (excellent!)2 (the lack of a D-pad is a showstopper; in addition many titles are incompatible with the WVGA screen)333- (no emulators at all)
Web browsers:4 (Built-in Safari is great, albeit is a bit light on features; absolutely no third-party browsers, though)5 (while the built-in IEM isn't the best, third-party browsers and IEM add-ons are excellent; still no official Flash Lite 3 though)See Dia4 (built-in browser good, particularly now with Flash Lite 3; however, few third-party browsers) See N95See N953 (Built-in browser is clearly better in 4.5+ than in previous OS versions; only Opera Mini available as third-party browser)
Remote desktop access apps:4.5 (RDP is also available but, currently, in the US only; "only" HVGA screen resolution)5 (albeit the very small screen will be of a problem)5+ (everything is supported; screen SVGA resolution and 3.8" size make it excellent for remote control)3 (no RDP; "only" QVGA screen resolution, no touchscreen)3 33 (no RDP; "only" QVGA (with Bold & Storm, HVGA) screen resolution, no touchscreen; however, trackball is more usable than D-pad)
Multimedia: UPnP+ (third-party apps)+ (third-party apps)+ (third-party apps)+ (built-in + third-party (CorePlayer) apps)See N95See N95-
Radio Streaming5: MP3, HE-AACv2, WMA (with 3rd party apps)5: MP3, HE-AACv2 (with only few apps), WMASee Diamond3: no WMA / HE-AACv2; CorePlayer may fix / introduce these4: WMA streaming supportedSee N95?
Video streaming: WMV- (!!!); however, promised in a later ROM version, along with full Flash Lite 3 support++- (!); CorePlayer is promised to add it some day+ (one of the biggest advantages of the N96 compared to other S60 models)--
YouTube access+ (built-in)+ (built-in client; albeit not the best quality; + CorePlayer & several other players)See Diamond+ (built-in(!) Flash Lite 3 + several third-party apps)See N95See N95+ (third-party apps only)
Google Video access- (!) the lack of Flash support is really painful+++ (built-in Flash Lite 3 + third-party apps only)+++ (third-party apps only)
Standalone audio filesEverything now that VLC is portedEverything (most non-MP3 / WMA formats like HE-AACv2 require third party players though)See DiamondEverythingSee N95See N95New firmware version already supports the most important audio formats (MP3, WMA, HE-AACv2)