Point • Counter-point: Smartphones


My advice: avoid the temptation of the illustrious Apple. The BlackBerry is where it’s at. The locally developed, secure, all-around quality smartphone is clearly better than the Apple iPhone 4. Sure, you can sync your iPhone 4 to your iPad 2 or your MacBook Pro. If you have a lot of Apple products, it’s probably without question that you’d buy the iPhone.

But let’s say you’re not sure which one to buy. You walk into the big-name telecom provider’s store and you are bombarded with prices and options.
The baseline price for a 32GB Apple iPhone 4 is $749 or $269 with a three-year plan. The current Blackberry Bold model rolls in at $574.99 or $49 with a three-year plan.

If the immediate savings isn’t enough for you, plans also generally cost less depending on social networking and messaging — they run from $40-80 a month.

Not exactly cheap, but they’re better than those required for an iPhone, which runs purely off of data. Mobility plans for an iPhone start at $50 and can easily exceed $100.

At the end of the day the iPhone is overloaded with bells and whistles to make up for the fact it consists of pieces of plastic cheaply adhered together, yet marketed superbly. With HD cameras, FaceTime, Apps and games like Angry Birds, I can see why someone would be misled enough to want an iPhone. Apple is legendary for packaging their product just right so that the general public will run in droves to buy it. It is a shiny new toy, but lacks practicality and usefulness for day-to-day life.

BlackBerry, on the other hand, is the pinnacle of practicality. BlackBerry Messenger allows one to connect instantly with friends for free and the physical keyboard allows for fast typing far beyond the capability of a fancy touch screen.
Not to mention the push e-mail functionality of a BlackBerry is leaps and bounds over an iPhone.

After all, smartphones are supposed to be about convenient communications, not gimmicky apps. The BlackBerry is a clear winner for the business and practical crowd.

Battery life, keyboard and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server over a slick, nice looking glorified iPod touch? I’ll take the BlackBerry.

-Marcie Foster


About three months ago, I had a very important decision to make. People told me that if I tried all my different options, I would just know what felt right. But still, I hesitated. This was a decision that would impact me for a long time. I needed to live with this decision 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I needed the right combination of beauty and design along with functionality and compatibility.
After some time, many texts and phone calls later, I can report my iPhone 4 and I have “clicked.” We are very happy together.

The iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market. The unprecedented design of the “retina” display is outstanding. Videos and pictures can be viewed with pristine quality, much clearer than either the Android or BlackBerry smartphone.

Everything I ever need to do on a daily basis is in my iPhone. I no longer need to bring a digital camera with me to concerts or parties; the quality of the built-in front and back (with built-in flash) cameras rivals that of the camera I used to use.

I don’t need to carry around an iPod either.

The App Store has made customizing my phone easy: everything from mindless games that make procrastinating essays so much more fun, to professional and easily navigable news and politics apps that I can flip through all day with the flick of a finger (the touch screen being a really nice plus too).

Plus, heaven forbid that my iPhone and I ever get separated, I will run to the nearest computer to check-in at MobileMe where I can lock my phone, erase my data and look up its location on GPS. No one will get between my phone and me.

Okay, sure, nothing is perfect. A little glitch in the Apple alarm clock failed to recognize that 2011 had arrived, making me about two hours late for lunch with a friend. (She doesn’t have a smartphone, so she sadly didn’t understand my lack of physical alarm clock.)

It has become apparent to me by writing this piece that my relationship with my iPhone is probably (okay, certainly) a little unhealthy and excessive. But if you are going to make a commitment to a smartphone — to have it in your pocket wherever you go, to be the first thing you check whenever you wake up — the iPhone is the way to go.

-Joseph McNinch-Pazzano