POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 5, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:16 a.m. HST, Sep 6, 2010
Without a doubt, Apple's iPhone has garnered more attention than any other model of mobile phone in the history of the technology. With its whiz-bang appearance and social cachet, it's easily the most recognizable single mobile phone on the market. But for serious folks who want to get business done on their phone, there are plenty of options. The HTC Evo is an excellent alternative, especially for Hawaii residents.
The prime advantage of the Evo, available exclusively from Sprint, is its use of the 4G network. Sprint's 4G network is available islandwide on Oahu and Maui, as well as in select cities on the mainland. Eliminating the techno-babble, a 4G network is fast.
"The speed I see with data traffic is comparable to, if not better than, a DSL connection," said Justin Goo, president of local systems integrator Opihi Net (www.opihinet.com). "I can pretty much do anything I want over the Web, including video conferencing anywhere, picking up video, and e-mailing large files."
On the Net:» http://www.htc.com/us/products/evo-sprint
From a data perspective, that's pretty much what business people need: quick, reliable access to the corporate data network and critical websites. With the increased usage of cloud-based applications, this will become more important as time goes on.
The Evo takes advantage of the 4G network such that it can act as a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight computers. Says Goo: "This comes in really handy for me when visiting customers who are having problems with their Internet connection. It makes me a popular guy!"
The other purported advantage of the 4G network is its ability to support a greater workload, theoretically resulting in fewer dropped calls. While not as much of a problem in Hawaii as in other parts of the country, poor quality or dropped calls are a big issue for the iPhone. Most experts attribute this to the load the iPhone puts on the AT&T network. Users report poor quality calls in big cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, more so than in smaller locales, supporting this assertion.
There is now just one carrier for the iPhone, AT&T. This will change next year when Verizon will begin offering the iPhone as well. Users are hopeful that splitting the load between two carriers will improve the quality of service. After all, no matter how cool, cell phones are primarily designed to facilitate conversations.
What about cost? There are basically only four cell phone carriers in the U.S. today. As a result, pricing plans will be comparable. While cost is certainly important to everyone, the best strategy for phone selection is to not worry about the price when shopping for a new device. When all is said and done, any price delta is going to be insignificant when compared to the desired feature set.