iPhone, Android or Windows Phone? My Mobile Phone Experiment

Anyone who read my recent rant blog on the shoddy treatment I received from UK Mobile network T-Mobile, or has been following my frustrations via Twitter on how Talkmobile couldn’t even take my order successfully will realise that I’m a little bit frustrated on the mobile ‘phone front lately.

My beloved and reliable HTC HD2 has reached the end of it’s life and is so no longer beloved or reliable, and with Microsoft having retired Windows Mobile 6.5 I’ve therefore decided not to simply swap like for like.

But when it comes to choosing a new mobile phone – there are dozens of options. In fact, if you ask a dozen different people for their mobile ‘phone recommendations, you’ll get a dozen different answers on why their preferred ‘phone is best. Even if you don’t ask for recommendations, you’ll have them volunteered to you! It’s fair to say that people are very loyal to their preferred platform – reminiscent of the “format wars” of Atari –vs- Commodore in the 1980’s (and for the record, everybody knows Atari was better).

So I’m going to try an experiment.

iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devicesI’ve acquired a SIM Only deal from Three and over the next few weeks will, in turn, grab an unlocked iPhone, an Android device and a Windows Phone and use each of them as my only mobile phone for a few weeks at a time.

As for my requirements, the line between a Consumer device and Business device has blurred so much in recent months that it is now barely distinguishable. Three years ago I used to have separate mobile ‘phones for day-to-day business work and out-on-the-town with friends. Now, one device allows me to do everything I want – do business, and have fun.

So what am I looking for in a device? Here’s a rough guide:-

  • The ability to connect to Microsoft Exchange and have a good client experience for e-mail, calendar, contacts, and especially tasks and notes.
  • To install and run the Open Source software KeePass or equivalent, granting me access to all my logons and passwords wherever I might be.
  • The ability to conditionally Call Forwarding (i.e. on “Busy”, on “Unavailable”, etc)
  • A decent camera – with ability to quickly and easily upload pictures to both Twitter and Facebook.
  • To be able to connect to Google Mail and use  “Send As” functionality for the various personal accounts I use.
  • Strong Bluetooth Connectivity to my Bury CC9060 Hands-Free Car Kit
  • One-Touch Bluetooth On/Off for when I’m in/out of the car
  • Excellent apps for Twitter, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Barcode Scanner/Price Comparison, Google Latitude and Amazon Kindle
  • The ability to purchase a Brodit Pro-Mount Car Holder kit for using the ‘phone when driving.
  • The device must run Alk CoPilot Live or another equally good turn-by-turn off-line Sat-Nav app
  • The ability to create favourite contacts, and to send Group SMS messages
  • Nice to have – Micro USB connectivity (to match my Kindle and other gadgets)
  • Also Nice to have – A Skype client, and Windows Live Mesh and/or Dropbox app

There are other features that are a “given” (good call quality, HSDPA, etc) and no doubt I’ll fall in love with other features as I begin my experiment.

I’m starting off the experiment by turning off my HTC HD2 and dropping it in the drawer to gather dust, whilst I use an iPhone 3GS for the next fortnight or so.

Let the experiment begin! Smile


Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


12 Responses to “iPhone, Android or Windows Phone? My Mobile Phone Experiment”

  1. 1 Harry Falkenmire July 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    – KeePass UX on iPhone/OSX is horrible. On Android and Windows it’s good, but once you go “heterogeneous” you want 1Password (same thing, more aesthetic polish, native dropbox sync, a workable client for every platform).
    – iOS 5 includes task sync. iOS 4 doesn’t. I’d review that platform last, to allow the former to release (or run beta 3 code if you’re adventurous).

  2. 2 tubblog July 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Harry – thanks for the heads-up. I’ve started out with MyKeePass on iOS. It works quite well, but only supports KeePass 1.x files, not 2.x as I use. Not a huge issue though.

    I’ll investigate 1Password – sounds interesting!

    I think any of the platforms I visit will be promising to address any shortcomings I find “in the next release”, so I’ll tackle the lack of Task Sync in iOS 4 with a 3rd party app at this time.

  3. 3 Andy Parkes July 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Probably worth running this experiment again after iOS 5 has been released and Windows Phone Mango.

    Some of things on your requirements list will be met (or not) in different ways between now and then

    First one that jumped out at me was “Tasks and Notes”

    Exchange account tasks aren’t available out of the box (i haven’t tried any of the apps for it yet

    Your Twitter/LinkedIn experience will also be vastly different on iPhone and Windows Phone


    • 4 tubblog July 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

      Andy – fair point, but it’s the nature of the technology we work with that a bug fix or improvement is always “around the corner”.

      I know there will be a few things I hit upon that will be fixed in upcoming releases – so I’ll take that into consideration when I compile my conclusions. 🙂

  4. 5 Julian Wilkinson July 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    For tasks – I use IMExchange for Tasks etc on my iphone – works great!

  5. 7 Andy Parkes July 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Totally agree about the next bit of technology being “just around the corner”

    iOS 5 and Mango are significant platform updates though so it’s definitely something worth taking into consideration

  1. 1 How Smartphone Users See Each Other « TubbBlog Trackback on July 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm
  2. 2 My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part One – Thoughts on the iPhone « TubbBlog Trackback on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 am
  3. 3 My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part Two – Thoughts on Windows Phone 7 « TubbBlog Trackback on August 19, 2011 at 8:56 am
  4. 4 My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part Three – Thoughts on Android « TubbBlog Trackback on October 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm
  5. 5 My Mobile Phone Experiment, Part Four – Thoughts on Windows Phone Mango « TubbBlog Trackback on October 31, 2011 at 11:07 am

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