Smart phones have changed the way America communicates. Cell phones dominated the late nineties and early two thousands, but quickly gave way to the onslaught of the smart phone. At first, the smart phone realm was dominated by BlackBerry, however it is losing ground quickly to the iPhone and Android based smart phones. There aren’t cheap though. So are there alternatives to the two rising stars, or are you destined to saving money to buy an Android or iPhone?
Some stores still carry the first generation of Palm Pre phones. Currently, AT &T lists refurbished ones for free, with a contract. Most smart phones require a contract, so I will go with contract pricing. The Palm Pre was sadly not appreciated. It runs the popular Palm webOS and has an apps store. At 16 GB, it has a standard memory for a smartphone. It has a built in browser and email capabilities. It even has a physical keyboard that many favor, although I prefer the virtual keyboard of new phones and tablets. Sadly, the keyboard is somewhat cramped also. And although it is not the fastest smartphone, the price is definitely right and would be the perfect introductory smartphone for someone. If you found you liked it, you could save up some money and upgrade eventually to the new version, which HP is releasing.
HP iPaq Glisten
The iPaq was released last year on AT & T. It will costs you $79 with a contract, which isn’t a bad deal for a smartphone. It looks the part of a great smartphone, resembling a BlackBerry or my first smartphone, the Moto Q. But if you try it, you may feel that you are being ripped off. The phone is slow. It’s touchscreen isn’t as responsive as most. To offset this, it has a decent sized QWERTY keyboard, but this doesn’t excuse the lackluster touchscreen. It also runs an earlier version of Windows Mobile. The most unforgiving trait, though, if you ask me is its measly 512 memory onboard. Yes, there is a microSD slot, but why should you have to upgrade right away? For a two year country and $80, you can get a much better smartphone than the Glisten.
BlackBerry Curve 3G
The BlackBerry Curve 3G is one of the better smartphones, if you want to try and not spend as much as an Android phone or iPhone will put you back. It cost $99 with the contract though, which is putting it close to the lower level iPhone 4. It has Wi-Fi access and 3G capabilities, which will give you the ability to be online all over. BlackBerry has always ran a decent web browser, so your surfing should be quite enjoyable. It comes with a 2 GB microSD card, if you purchase it from AT and T, which isn’t bad, but could be considered small if you plan on buying many apps. BlackBerry has many you can choose from which include most social media, so this might be the phone for you, if you want a cheaper smartphone.
Samsung’s Solstice is a decent, entry level smartphone, with several things holding it back from the big leagues. For $29, you get a phone with a browser and email capabilities. There is GPS, through AT and T. It has a sizeable app store, but unfortunately most of the apps are subscription based. It’s a slower phone, so you won’t be zipping through web pages, lightning fast either. We bought my wife one of these at the same time we purchased my iPhone. She has regretted it almost ever since because it is so little compared to the iPhone. When we are eligible for the upgrade, she has already told me we will be buying 2 iPhones.
This might be considered cheating, but when you check the price of the iPhone 3G, you will see it really is an excellent deal. AT & T sells a refurbished iPhone 3G for $49. Its browser is brilliant. I have now realized I prefer it to anything else, and run Safari on my laptop too. With the updates to the OS, you can send picture messages, use folders, and have access to some of the best apps on the market. It runs on Wi-Fi and 3G. It can double as your GPS, web browser, and e-book reader. I personally don’t think you can get more bang for your buck.