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How does the original iPhone compare to the Nokia N800 and Sony Mylo?
Please note that this Q&A compares the original iPhone as shipped on June 29, 2007 to two other handheld devices available at the time. These products have been discontinued and newer devices have been introduced. The original iPhone was replaced by the iPhone 3G on June 9, 2008.
The Nokia N800 and Sony Mylo both offer a great deal of the same functionality of the iPhone, albeit neither arguably offers an interface as refined as the Apple product. Most notably, however, neither the Nokia N800 nor the Sony Mylo include cellular phone functionality. Likewise, these products are not tied to a cellular network or expensive cellular contract.
Based on e-mail messages received, there are a number of readers who would be interested in an Apple iPhone with the iPod and Internet capabilities, but without the "phone". Those interested in a wi-fi enabled handheld device without phone functionality might want to consider the Nokia N800 or Sony Mylo (or the subsequently introduced iPod touch).
Photo Credit: Sony & Nokia (Top & Bottom, Respectively - Not to Scale)
The Sony Mylo is a fairly simple device designed for Internet communication and media playback. It does not have a touch screen, so data entry is performed with a small Qwerty keyboard that "slides down" from behind the display. It has a built-in Opera web browser (rather primitive compared to the iPhone), Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, and a text editor -- as well as support for media playback -- music, video, and photos. In addition, the Mylo offers an application that makes it possible to stream playlists and music between multiple Mylo handhelds (the iPhone lacks this capability).
The Nokia N800 in particular offers a great deal of functionality in a reasonably compact handheld -- it has a touch screen, albeit it is not "multi-touch" like the iPhone. It also lacks the "self switching" accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. Lacking "multi-touch", the included Opera web browser does not allow one to "zoom in" by touch, but it has buttons for zoom, and with a large 800x480 display, zooming is less necessary. The N800 also handles media playback, and movies work well on the large display, but it's primary function is that of an Internet tablet.
The Nokia N800 has two expansion slots, which allows the paltry 256 MB of internal storage to be expanded substantially. Most impressively, as it is Linux-based, it is completely open to third-party development -- and numerous useful applications are available for download at Maemo.org.
The major differences between the Apple iPhone, Sony Mylo, and Nokia N800 are summarized below:
|Apple iPhone||Sony Mylo||Nokia N800|
|OS:||OS X||Linux (Qtopia†)||Linux (Maemo)|
|Display Resolution:||320x480 (160 ppi)||320x240||800x480|
|Storage:||4, 8* GB||1 GB||256 MB††|
|Battery Life (Web):||6 Hours||7 Hours||3 Hours|
|Battery Life (Music):||24 Hours||45 Hours||12 Hours|
|Height x Width:||4.5 x 2.4 in.||2.5 x 4.875 in.||2.95 x 5.7 in.|
|Depth:||0.46 in.||0.97 in.||0.5 in.|
|Weight:||4.8 oz.||5.3 oz.||7.27 oz.|
|Original Price:||US$499, $599*||US$349**||US$399|
† As shipped on June 29, 2007, the iPhone did not support third-party applications. On October 17, 2007, Apple formally reversed this foolish decision, and on March 6, 2008, Apple formally released an official SDK.
†† The Nokia N800 also shipped with a 128 MB MiniSD card.
§ The Sony Mylo has one Memory Stick Pro Duo expansion slot. The Nokia N800 has two memory card slots that support SD, MicroSD, MiniSD, MMC, and RS-MMC.
* This is the original price of the Apple iPhone subsidized by a two-year Cingular contract in the United States. On September 5, 2007, Apple discontinued the 4 GB model and dropped the price of the 8 GB model to US$399. On February 5, 2008, Apple introduced a 16 GB configuration for US$499. The other handhelds were not tied to a contract.
** The Sony Mylo included one year of free access to T-Mobile hotspots in the United States.