Blackberrys, Google, and Droid, OH MY!

April 16, 2010 at 1:28 am 1 comment

NAIOP Tech Update:

by Andy Kim, EVS, Inc.

Technology is everywhere. There is no question that technology has become an integral part of our lives. For many, it started with AOL and chat rooms in the mid-90s; now it’s men/women wearing a Bluetooth headset as a fashion accessory.

Almost every aspect of business is heavily influenced by technology.  It’s not just another tool, but a collaboration of tools that aid you communication, sales, research, productivity, and improving the bottom line.

So, I’m pleased to bring you the first issue of NAIOP’s Business Technology update.  In these short articles, you will be presented with information related to the integration of business, real-estate, and technology.  Technology encompasses more than just your hardware, it includes software and services.  In the upcoming articles, I’ll review and provide information about products and services.  I hope this information will help you make better decisions with your purchases and utilization of technology.  One caveat, I’m not a technology industry expert, but I’ve always been a tech-junkie. I’ve also managed I/T at my company for the past 10 years.  I’ll try to provide the information in a clear and non-biased manner.

In this first issue, we’ll take a look at some of the latest and greatest smart phones.  For the purposes of this article, a smartphone is defined as a cell phone with advanced capabilities such as synchronization with your email, calendar, contacts, and web browsing.

 So what’s the best smartphone available now?

AT&T would claim the iPhone, Verizon the Droid, Tmobile the Nexus One, and Sprint the Palm Pre.  These are the flagship phones for each of the 4 major carriers.  This question has been pondered by the web community for some time now.  The folks over at have even put together a great comparison table. is a “decision engine” which helps you make decisions on cell phone equipment and carriers based on your personal needs; they also help with choosing credit cards too.

Looking at the specs really doesn’t help; in fact, it may be more confusing as each phone has its pros/cons.  I’ve used all of the phones except the Nexus One–here are my quick thoughts:

Apple iPhone:

The iPhone operating system and hardware is arguably the best.  It’s simple to use, has the largest app store, and the 3.5” screen is excellent.  So what’s the biggest knock on the iPhone? It’s only on AT&T.  It’s known that their network is struggling to keep up due to the heavy data/voice usage of iphone users.  The good news is that AT&T has announced major plans for increase network capacity which should help with complaints of dropped calls and service issues.

Apple recently announced that the iPhone OS will be updated this Summer to 4.0, a significant update.

Rumors indicate that Verizon or Sprint may get the iPhone late this year. 

Palm Pre:

Exclusively launched on the Sprint network, the Pre and its little sister the Pixi, are now available on Verizon as well.  The Pre is Palm’s brand new hardware and new operating system called WebOS.  Built from scratch, WebOS is a powerful multi-tasker but also easy to use.  The numbers of apps lags behind its competitors due to its slow adoption; many blame Palm for choosing to launch on Sprint.  Hardware-wise, the Pre has a 3.1” screen, slightly smaller than the phone, but with a slide-down keyboard.  You can enjoy a large screen and have a physical keyboard too.

Motorola Droid: 

If network coverage is #1 on your list, then you’re probably looking at Verizon and the Droid.  The Droid utilizes the Android operating system.   A relatively new OS, Android has quickly penetrated the market.  The OS and hardware are solid and the number of apps is quickly growing.  Turn the Droid on its side, and it features a slide-down physical keyboard like the pre, but this one slides in landscape mode so it offers a much larger keyboard than the Pre.   The screen is also large at 3.7”

Google Nexus One: 

The Nexus One, aka the Google Phone also runs on the Android OS.  Initially available on Tmobile, the hardware resembles the iPhone but with a larger 3.7” screen and sleek design.  As with most flagship models, hardware specs include a 5 megapixel camera, fast processor, wifi, gps, etc.  There was a lot of hype over this phone, and while it’s a great phone, it’s not the earth-shattering product many thought it would be.  The Nexus One will eventually be available on all of the major networks.  As with the Droid, the optional car cradle mount allows the Nexus One to be used as a navigation device.


Perhaps the most common phone to be spotted at a NAIOP meeting, Blackberry has established itself as the mobile email workhorse.  Praised for it’s security and integration with corporate I/T policies, even the President of the United States has one, a first for a US President; although his is modified for even greater security.  A latecomer to the web-centric mobile devices, Blackberry has faced its share of hurdles trying to compete with the iPhone and Android phones.  The web browsing is mediocre, most models are not touch screens, they have smaller screen, and the number of apps are limited in relation to its market maturity.  Newer models address some of these issues, but email is what it does best.


Windows Mobile: 

What’s missing from this roundup is a Windows Mobile (WM) phone.  At some point in your life, you’ve probably used a WM phone.  Microsoft has been criticized for not innovating and keeping up with the competition.  Although it should be noted that Microsoft has recently announced Windows Mobile 7.  The OS will finally bring “touch” friendly navigation among many other improvements. 


So there you have it.  This is not a comprehensive review, but just an overview of the major phones and systems on the market.  There’s a lot of information available on the web about each of these phones.  I’d like to hear back from the NAIOP community about your thoughts on phones and technology. 

What phone do you use?  Why do you like it?  What are your favorite apps? What are some other topics you’d like to see? 

Please feel free to email me or post a reply!  Thanks.

Entry filed under: Featured Articles.

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