YOU'RE in the market for a smartphone now, forget it. Cancel your plans, save your money and avoid frustration.
This is the worse time to buy a smartphone. (Then again, there is no good time to buy anything related to technology because it just becomes old after three months.) It's definitely not the time to be buying a smartphone now if you're living in Southeast Asia, more so if you're in Brunei.
Why? Dual-core phones were announced just this year with LG's Optimus 2X being the first of its kind. What does dual core mean? Imagine this, combine two of the Optimus 2X's, they will be as capable as the Macbook Pro I am using. And then 3D phones are already on the way.
Let's take a look at the breakdown of the major operating systems available.
Windows Phone 7 (WP7)
Many thought this was going to be the next hottest thing for mobile devices. But upon release, reviews went from good to bad. It's been almost a year after release and it hasn't really made much of an impact since.
WP7 came with a semi multi-tasking ability. But the market already had other existing operating systems that were already capable of running a 100 per cent multi-task. WP7 is only planning to introduce the copy-and-paste function, an extremely necessary feature to have, "soon".
The WP7 apps are not growing as fast as users would like them. You won't see many with these in Brunei, but if you're looking to be unique, then yes, buy WP7.
People love their Nokia. Nokia phones are solid and cheap. Brunei actually has one of the highest users of Opera Web (percentage wise) which is what Symbian users have for web-surfing. With their new E7 recently announced, (at a whopping $900 retail), I'm not particularly convinced. Nokia just announced recently that they'll be moving towards WP7 this year so Symbian fans won't be very happy about that. Nokia, the biggest user of Symbian, however, promises it will keep updates going for two more years or so, but who would really want to sink their money in a product which might or might not be in use or be relevant in the future.
Apple still refuses to give full Flash support to its devices, insisting HTML5 is the way to go. The iPhone 4 is good but still not good enough to make 3GS users switch, not to mention the ridiculous price tag and oh yeah, iPhone 5 is coming within a few months too.
You can bet that the new iPhone will be running a dual-core processor seeing that the iPad 2 already has it. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the next iPhone update is just as frustrating as the new iPad changes. When the iPad 2 was launched, I was pretty excited to find out what they had changed. Sadly, Apple is still taking advantage of their consumers. Besides a speed bump and front camera, there isn't much to rave about. It would be hard to switch from an iPad to an iPad 2 that's for sure.
This is the first OS to feature a dual-core processor. That's two times the power for your phone. While we haven't seen any of these yet in Brunei, they will definitely be here soon. The latest high-end Android phones in Brunei are the Sony Xperia Arc, HTC Incredible S and Nexus S. All of which are still running a single-core processor. Although the three phones are running Android's latest Gingerbread (very soon for the Incredible S), reviews have been .... sub-par. I played around with the Optimus 2X last week and boy, it was blazing fast. Applications loaded almost instantly while loading web pages in the background and three to four other apps ran simultaneously. A number of dual-core Android phones already released in the West include: Motorola Atrix, Sony Xperia Play and Samsung Galaxy S II. HTC was scheduled recently to host an event to announce their upcoming products just after they showed off the HTC Evo 3D last month.
The Torch was released almost six months ago and since everyone is going dual core, so is BB. There have been rumours about what RIM's next phone will be, with many expecting the Torch 2 and Dakota. Both expected to have BlackBerry's OS 6.1. RIM is also hosting BlackBerry World next month, so qwerty keyboard fans will have to sit and wait.