Tech Guru Helps You Choose Right Phone For Your Lifestyle

BlackBerry or iPhone? You be the judge

BLO_SmartPhoneFrom the iPhone, to the Palm Pre to the BlackBerry, consumers have a lot to choose from when selecting a Smartphone. As someone looking to upgrade from a Samsung Alias to a more –ehem–top-of-the-line gadget, I needed to know where to begin.

I, along with Sonia Alleyne, Black Enterprise magazine editorial director, recently spoke to tech guru Omar Wasow about how to choose the right phone. In case you don’t know, Wasow is the brain behind one of the earliest versions of social networking sites, BlackPlanet.com. He also schooled Oprah on how to use the Internet.

When thinking about a new phone, consider “the network coverage in your area, what unique needs do you have when customizing your phone, and think about your budget,” says Wasow. Make sure the phone and its price plan are affordable. The last thing you want is be stuck with excess hidden and not-so-hidden charges.

BlackBerry vs. iPhone
Ah, the great debate. If you’re like me, you’re probably trying to figure out if you should go for a BlackBerry or an iPhone – two of the most popular Smartphones on the market. I’ve been a Verizon customer since I purchased my first cell phone in high school and I’m reluctant to switch providers. Plus, a friend’s constant complaining about AT&T’s service after jumping from Verizon to the iPhone –which is only serviced my AT&T – only increased my reticence. Here are key points to consider about the iPhone:

–Its 85,000 phone applications are sure to keep users occupied.
–It comes with a virtual keyboard which means you’re typing on a glass screen.
–The total cost of an iPhone 3GS with a two-year contract is $2,394.76, according to PCWorld.com.

For those debating whether a BlackBerry is the right fit, Wasow says it’s perfect for someone who is constantly checking their inbox. Unlike the iPhone, the BlackBerry is available on most major carriers. Check out these key points to consider about the BlackBerry:

–It has more than 2,000 apps, significantly less than the iPhone.
–Its mobile keyboard is convenient for heavy e-mail usage.
–Total cost of a BlackBerry and two-year contract on Verizon is $2,160, according to BBGeeks.com.

My next step? While researching this piece, I learned the AT&T – iPhone partnership expires next year. Given the thousands of apps that would allow the iPhone to operate more as a mini-Mac, this seems to be more of a fit for my lifestyle. While there’s no word whether Apple will extend the iPhone to other carriers, this will be my first option. Otherwise, BlackBerry it is.

For more tips from Wasow, check out this episode of Black Enterprise Business Report, airing on Nov. 14 on TV One.

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com.

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