The iPhone vs the iPod touch

15Sep07

Was meaning to write this since last week but things sort of piled up. I am waiting for iLounge’s mystery review of the iPod touch. The veil of secrecy adds suspense and a sense of dread. Is the iPod touch not what’s cracked up to be? We’ll soon know either by tomorrow or next week.

But for the curious, what is the difference between the iPhone and the iPod touch. The most obvious answer of course is that the iPod touch is not a cellphone. The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s Erica Sadun has given readers a rundown of the main differences between the two devices. I’ll leave it up to you guys to read here posts.

What I am going to do is give my thoughts on why I am more inclined to get the iPod touch rather than the iPhone. Then I’m going to give my reasons why I am not going to get the iPod touch.

Even though the iPhone is hailed by some as revolutionary product, there are some things missing that leaves me wanting. During the limited time of using the iPhone, I was impressed by the screen, the UI, and the ease of use. However, I cannot see myself using the iPhone as my primary phone. The reasons are as follows:

  • I’ve often riled against people who keeps complaining about the 2 megapixel camera on the iPhone and how it’s not enough. I dismissed this initially and thought that the camera really doesn’t matter. But using my K800 I slowly began to appreciate the fact that even if the K800’s 3.2 megapixel camera won’t beat a dedicated 3.2 megapixel digicam in a shootout, it was already good enough to take pictures with. Aside from that, I could also shoot videos. Again, shooting videos was something I never gave much thought. That is, until I started using Facebook. I found out that it was really fun to take random, silly events and share them with your friends. The iPhone doesn’t have video nor does it allow you to send MMS, which is another stickling point. It’s something very minor but if you use this feature, no more how infrequent, you are going to miss it.
  • The iPhone has a limited number of SMS that it can store and as far as I know, there’s no way to backup your SMS from the phone to your PC. Backup SMS messages? Is that odd? Well, I think most will find it odd but I’m a bit of a packrat and I tend to keep things. That includes messages. This is one thing I surely will miss. The iPhone by the way can store 200 SMS messages. The K800, 1000 messages.
  • Some other points include the recessed headphone jack: I want to be able to use the earphones of my choosing. Don’t force me to buy an adapter that cost $20. It’s ridiculous. The weight is also a factor. It’s heavy enough to become a nuisance when placed in my pants pocket. A holster would probably solve this.

What is a plus when it comes to the iPhone is that it eliminates having to carry two devices with me: my phone and my iPod nano. Then again, Both devices together probably take up much less space and weighs less than the iPhone.

That said I am not saying that I’m ruling out the possibility of me ever owning an iPhone. It’s just that version one-point-oh of Apple’s cellphone is not compelling. That and the fact it’s not yet available in Asia. Hopefully, by the time that it is released here in Asia, there is a vesion 2.0 with a better camera and video. I can live without the SMS backup. Maybe.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the iPod touch. Surely, this device is my iPod holy grail. I can listen to my music and podcasts, watch videos, and surf the tubes with this ultimate device. PC Magazine even gave it the Editor’s Choice award and gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Cool! 

Well, yeah. It is cool. But I also have issues with it. How unenamored am I with the iPod touch? Let me count the ways:

  • The lack of physical buttons is a big deal for me. Right now, I can control my iPod nano without having to take it out of my pants pocket. I can play/pause, rewind and fast forward by feel alone. I can even adjust the volume levels. Unless a product comes out that will let me control my iPhone’s iPod feature without having to take it out of my pocket, then I’m not buying. Of course, that means I have to spend more.
  • I’m bringing up the issue of weight again. One of the reasons why I gave up my 5G 30GB iPod was that bugged me a bit when I was carrying with me. My left pants pocket would act like a pendulum every time I walk. I never was able to fill up the 30GB. I think I only managed to use half. I also didn’t watch that many videos or movies. Audio is my preferred media.
  • No bluetooth. Why? I mean, why? I just realized lately how cumbersome it is to have your ears tethered by earphones. When I have my iPod nano with me (which is all the time) I would snake the earphone wires under my shirt. I often find myself having to untangle the wires even when I’m already using the Sumanjin smartwrap. Bluetooth would have freed me from this. Of course, I understand that freedom from the wire would mean decreased battery life. No win situation for now. Perhaps Apple will have built bluetooth in their iPods once they have their own bluetooth headset.
With these complaints I still am attracted to the idea of having an internet device in my pocket. Surf almost anywhere. Anywhere with free Wi-Fi, that is. Bragging rights of being one of the first to have it also is alluring. Still, they are not compelling enough reasons. I’m giving the iPhone and the iPod touch a pass for now. Maybe 2008 is the year. Maybe.

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