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Do you need an iClone?

There are many contenders to the iPhone. They might lose out when it comes to awesome design, but in terms of utility, many of them are streets ahead.

Print Edition: December 13, 2007

The iPhone

Cousins and friends in the US and UK might be flaunting their iPhones, but there’s no reason for you to burn with envy.

There are any number of contenders to the iPhone. Okay, so they might lose out a tiny bit when it comes to awesome design, but in terms of utility, many of them are streets ahead.

The huge advantage of these is that, unlike the iPhone, you will not be tied to one service provider. Other than the Meizu, these are not mere iClones; they are feature-rich 3G smartphones.

If these don’t satisfy you, keep an eye on the market—the Asus Aura and the Nokia Aeon could leave the drawing board soon and enter the market.

Feature-wise, these phones match the iPhone. Yes, it’s difficult to offer the design, interface and sheer snob value of the iPhone. But if you want value for money, you’d do well to choose one of these.

If, after all, only the iPhone will do, get an unlocked (and thoroughly illegal) version online. But at $800, it’s really not worth the trouble of breaking the law, when there are good legal alternatives easily available.

 
Nokia N95
Nokia N95
Built-in GPS mapping, Web-enabled, fast downloads, 2.6" display, locationbased mobile search, Web browser with Minimap, USB 2.0, WLAN, Bluetooth connectivity...Do we really have to go on? Price: Rs 26,000
 
Samsung F700
Samsung F700
Not yet launched. When it is, you’ll get triband GSM, compatible GPRS, sliding keyboard, 3MP camera, Bluetooth, touchscreen, video sensor... it’s being called the iPhone killer. Price: NA
 
Asus P535
Asus P535
More PDA than phone—mini-computer, GPS unit, 2MP camera, business card recognition, Bluetooth, PocketOffice... Price: Rs 32,500
 
HTC Touch
HTC Touch
A sleek touchscreen device with Windows Mobile 6, one-touch access to e-mails, text messages, calendar appointments, contacts, etc. Available from Airtel. Price: Rs 18,000
 
LG Prada
LG Prada
Next to the F700, this is the iPhone’s closest competition. Almost entirely touchscreen-based, it comes with 2MP camera, music/video player, Bluetooth. Price: Rs 52,000
 
Palm Treo 680
Palm Treo 680
Phone, e-mail, messaging, Web access. And contacts, calendar, photos and songs. A large touch screen. And a keyboard... Now, will it make coffee as well? Price: Rs 25,000
 
Meizu M8
Meizu M8
Chinese imports are flooding the market, so you could soon buy this cheap ripoff here. You get an unlocked phone, 3MP camera, and iPhone looks. Price: $195
 
Sony Ericsson P1i
Sony Ericsson P1i
E-mail, calendar and contacts, Office appli cations, music, 3.2MP camera, business software, Blue tooth, Skype, touchscreen, handwriting recognition, RSS feeds...Do you want more from a phone? Price: Rs 24,000
 
BlackBerry 8300
BlackBerry 8300
The latest Curve variant, this comes with a 2MP camera, media player, new desktop media manager, full Qwerty keyboard, Web browsing, voice-activated dialling... Price: Rs 25,000
 
Motorola Rizr Z8
Motorola Rizr Z8
The “media monster” doesn’t have a touchscreen; supports fullmotion video playback and 3G Internet browsing, Symbian OS, unique sliding design. Price: $350 (approx)

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