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How does the iPhone 3G compare to the Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch Diamond, and LG Dare?
Please note that this Q&A compares the iPhone 3G as released on June 9, 2008 to the Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch Diamond, and LG Dare available at that time. The iPhone 3G was discontinued on June 7, 2010 upon the introduction of the iPhone 4.
Although the original iPhone certainly was not the first mobile phone to have a touch screen, its arrival spurred competitors to place more emphasis on developing phones that support touch screen input.
Numerous touch screen phones have been introduced since the original iPhone, and three recently released iPhone 3G rivals include the Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch Diamond, and LG Dare.
Photo Credit: Samsung, HTC, LG (Left to Right, Not to Scale)
After even a cursory glance at the promotional websites for each phone, it becomes quite clear that these models are much more directly comparable to the iPhone 3G than most phones on the market when the original iPhone was released. However, each of these phones have some excellent features that the iPhone 3G lacks.
The Samsung Instinct, for example, supports voice commands for common functions and even search for local businesses when using the mapping application, haptic feedback for the virtual keyboard -- which defaults to a landscape orientation for easier two-handed typing -- picture messaging, Sprint's streaming Internet radio and live and on demand television service, a camera that can record video, turn-by-turn directions functionality via GPS, and a MicroSD slot that supports up to an 8 GB card.
The Instinct even ships with a second battery that can be charged with the same charger that recharges the phone, making it possible to swap batteries for longer runtime. The biggest drawbacks of the Instinct compared to the iPhone 3G is a paltry 32 MB of internal storage and no wi-fi support.
Like the Instinct, the HTC Touch Diamond supports voice dialing and commands as well as turn-by-turn directions via GPS, but most notably it has a higher resolution 2.8-inch 640x480 display, and two cameras -- a 3.2 megapixel one for still photos and video and a VGA CMOS color camera that supports video calls. It runs Windows Mobile 6.1 -- and can take advantage of all the applications available for the platform -- but it has been enhanced with a slick 3D version of HTC's TouchFlow interface. The biggest disadvantage of the HTC Touch Diamond is that like the iPhone it does not have an expansion slot, but the Diamond only has 4 GB of storage compared to 8 or 16 GB for the iPhone.
Just like the Instinct, the LG Dare offers voice command support, haptic feedback for the virtual keyboard, picture messaging, and a MicroSD slot that can support up to an 8 GB card. It supports the Verizon V Cast Video and Music services as well. The most substantial advantage of the Dare is the inclusion of a relatively high-quality 3.2 megapixel camera with a Schneider-Kreuznach lens with a bright flash and quality software that detects faces and compensates for color and lighting issues. It also supports up to an hour of video and even includes basic in phone editing software. The most substantial disadvantages include no support for wi-fi or Microsoft Office as well as a relatively meager 200 MB of internal storage.
The major differences between the Apple iPhone 3G, Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch Diamond, and LG Dare have been summarized in this chart for your convenience:
|OS:||OS X||Samsung/Sprint||Win Mobile||LG|
|Cell Data:||3G/EDGE||EV-DO (3G)||3G/EDGE||EV-DO (3G)|
|Office:||View Only||View Only||Yes*||No|
|Navigation:||Multi-touch||Touch Screen||TouchFLO 3D||Touchscreen|
|Storage:||8, 16 GB||32 MB||4 GB||200 MB|
|Talk Time:||5-10 Hours||5.75 Hours||4.5-5.5 Hours||4.66 Hours|
|Standby Time:||300 Hours||N/A||285-396 Hours||360 Hours|
|Still Camera:||2.0 MP||2.0 MP||3.2 MP**||3.2 MP|
|Height x Width:||4.5 x 2.4 in.||4.6 x 2.2 in.||4.01 x 2.0 in.||4.1 x 2.2 in.|
|Depth:||0.48 in.||0.5 in.||0.45 in.||0.5 in.|
|Weight:||4.8 oz.||4.4 oz.||3.88 oz.||3.76 oz.|
|No Contract Price:||US$599, $699†||US$449||US$699||US$409|
|Subsidized Price§:||US$199, $299||US$129||N/A||US$199|
* The HTC Touch Diamond can view and edit Word and Excel files and view PowerPoint files.
** The HTC Touch Diamond has two cameras, one a 3.2 megapixel camera with "auto focus" and another VGA CMOS color camera for video calls.
† Some time "in the future", AT&T will allow one to purchase an iPhone 3G without a two-year contract for US$599 and US$699 for the 8 GB and 16 GB configurations, respectively, but these "probably still would be locked to the carrier".
§ These prices all require a two-year contract in the US. As of the date published (see top), the HTC Touch Diamond is only available in Europe and Asia.
Ultimately, the Apple iPhone 3G is an excellent choice for those interested in a multi-functional smartphone, but the Samsung Instinct, HTC Touch Diamond, and LG Dare also are worth consideration for those interested in the offered features.