How to Choose a Smartphone

Last Updated Nov 7, 2008 2:00 PM EST

htc-touch-dual.jpgIn the market for a new phone? Maybe you're ready to make the move from an ordinary cell to a bona fide smartphone -- you know, something with a keyboard, an OS that runs third-party software, and a generally more robust feature set. Okay, but what's the best bet? BlackBerry? iPhone? Windows Mobile? Something else entirely? ComputerWorld aims to give you the answer in Which smart phone OS works best?
The answer depends on what you most need your smart phone for. Do you need a device that excels at e-mail or one that's optimized for browsing the Web? And will the best smart phone for e-mailing or browsing also keep you entertained on a long flight?
Author David Haskin (one of my old cronies -- hey, David) puts four smartphones to the test, each representative of the four major platforms. Absent from the roundup: a Palm-OS based Centro or Treo. I can understand that: The once-celebrated platform has been at death's door for years. I no longer consider it a viable choice for any business user.

So, which phone/platform came out ahead? Interestingly, Haskin didn't declare an overall winner, but instead picked a winner in each of four main categories: Browsing the Web, E-mail, Photography, and Entertainment. But I'll give you one guess which model got top marks in almost all the categories. Sigh...I so want an iPhone.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.