back to article iPhone v. Q – War in the backwoods of Mississippi

Register Hardware reader Brett Brennan recently joined good friend Pat Coggins, the CTO of CATs Communications – a company that specializes in using wireless networks and GPS for real-time tracking applications - for a hunting trip of sorts. Here's the report from the field. iPhone vs. Q: a shoot-off The pair of technophiles …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "It also should have Bluetooth PAN capability, and support for HSDPA or EVDO. However, the last two are things I could live without for the time being."

    Wow how far in the dark ages are you guys? Everyone else has complained that data transfer rates is the biggest problem with this device yet you haven't mentioned this at all really? I know the iPhone is really great, it works really well but you have completely ignored the biggest problem with this device, and it's not some small issue. So much pf the features on that device needs access to a data network.

    While the rest of the world is well on to adopting HSDPA this thing is still basically just using an enhanced GPRS sytem. Regardless of how much they can improve the general speed of GPRS it doesn't solve the problem of latency.. yuk. I've used an iPhone and using it for data really sucks and I can't believe you have ignored this fact. I dunno.. this review seems pretty biased to me. I'll have one when it's on HSDPA tho :)

  2. Richard

    At last an unbiased review of the iPhone on the reg

    'nuff said really. A much better piece than Guy whinging about POP3 on gmail or Cadz returning a phone that he only wanted for a review.

    All 1.0 products have their rough edges but the iPhone does appear to live up to most of the marketing hype.

  3. Simon White

    So I should buy a Q until the next iPhone?

    I don't get it, a few bad words about the Q and many kind words about the iPhone and then the conclusion is "wait until iPhone 2.0"?

    What if I need a new phone right now? Should I buy a Q until the next iPhone? Is that what you're saying? Because the whole idea with reviews is I am buying right now and want some real-world experience to draw from. When you go "Q vs. iPhone" I want to hear a winner.

    My old phone contract just ended and the phone is basically toast, so I need to buy. Where I live in California, the Q is $99 + $2376 base 2 year contract. The iPhone is $499 + $1416 base 2 year contract. In other words:

    Q = $2475 total

    iPhone = $1915 total

    So if you're telling me to buy a Q instead of an iPhone I think you should explain it a bit better than "Q lasted only 2 hours on batteries while iPhone went all day" it is even worse than that, there are dozens of cheap iPod batteries you can plug on the dock port and go all week with your iPhone.

    I'm sorry to say it but this article stinks like rotten fish. I'm already tired of The Register's bizarre anti-iPhone bias. When you go Q vs. iPhone and can't bring yourself to declare the actual winner that is just as lame as can be. The iPhone 2.0 is as much vapor as Zune 2.0 or Earth 2.0 or whatever other thing the future may bring. I am shopping for smart phones TODAY. I need to make calls tomorrow. What should I buy, the Q or the iPhone?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    arthritically joined at the hip to qwerty?

    I see more and more people (mostly younger, but not always) using predictive text to write email - when the trade off is being able to use a small phone while out and about it can be worth it.

    If you are used to predictive text, it can be as fast as thumbing a micro qwerty keyboard. 16 wpm is not too hard using predictive text, and encourages short concise emails :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Camera Video iPhone huh?

    I thought everyone was complaining that you couldn't shoot video using the iPhone's camera?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Wow how far in the dark ages are you guys? Everyone else has complained that data transfer rates is the biggest problem with this device yet you haven't mentioned this at all really?"

    Ummm so what's this paragraph...

    The most interesting discovery about the iPhone was the performance on the EDGE network. Using CATTRAX (which uses MapQuest maps) in real time with zooming and scrolling was excellent. While some of the updates took a few seconds, there was nothing that was a show-stopper in the performance. It was much better, in fact, than the Q with EVDO and Opera: that might be the AT&T network enhancements alone, but the end result was excellent.

    I know it's fun to slag off one of its greatest weaknesses again but maybe you should've read the article before showing off your own bias...

  7. Will Leamon

    Biiggest Drawback?

    Is not EDGE or HDSPA but $600 for a phone PLUS a two year contract and mono-vendor support. I drop the price of a laptop on something I expect to use it with any damn provider I choose.

    I shall pause now for a fanboy to tell me I shall soon be able to hack the phone to a provider of my choice. As if having a hack makes the phone better... please.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much in it.

    Not the phone but the article. I do see "Wow", the post at the tops point. However at least it picked up on the Bluetooth issues, not being able to use Bluetooth stereo head phones is a right pain, particularly on a new device.

    I want to know for example how it compares directly with say my W850i, for battery life, MP3 playback sound quality, reception and so on, after all it will be a phone and mp3 player for most ppl.

    I did like the information on browsing and being able to VPN with some practical use.

    As a general feel, the article did feel biased towards the iPhone, although that might of been his style of writing. I was not surprised by his final comment of wait for version 2.0, as is often the case with new devices, however this is not a new device so if the recommendation is to wait until version 2.0 he could of suggested something else for now.

    On a side note, I recently installed the Fire fox in browser spell checker, dam its handy.


  9. Brian Sorby

    Fair article

    Since I've been using the iPhone for almost a month I can say that this article is fair. Here are some other points about the iPhone:


    Cool factor. I'm in IT and with the iPhone you're treated like a rock star when you answer it in public.

    Sound quality on both ends with a good BT headset is unmatched.

    Podcasts you can actually listen to when on the radio days are coming to an end.

    The hand-off between music/video on incoming calls is awesome.

    Wi-Fi access is fast and the ability to snoop out free networks is cool.

    The screen for video is unmatched.

    Touch screen is better than anything available.

    UI navigation is unmatched.

    I take a lot of pictures now and they look great.


    No "cut/copy/paste/select-all" capabilities. It is a real pain when you want to edit or delete large parts of email msgs.

    No dialing from iCal. If you get an invite to a meeting you can't dial from the invite. Big pain when driving and forces you to keep a pen handy to write down a number for a con-call.

    No real corp. Exchange integration. Needs Cisco VPN client to fix Exchange integration or support Activesync.

    No "disk mode" to store files like ppts for presentations on the fly. I need to carry a USB fob until that is fixed.


    I used my iPhone on a recent business trip. I got about 14hrs of use from it. This was using "airplane mode" when in meetings and limiting my EDGE www access during long periods waiting for planes, trains and automobiles. It was great to be able to listen to music when my battery life was below 5% remaining though. Gotta love FLASH NAND but you should always carry a way to charge the unit which adds bulk to any day trip through multiple airports.

    Would I go back to my Blackberry? Nope. The iPhone in rev. 1a is light years ahead of my old BB. Fix a few things in the next few OS updates and the iPhone will go beyond email and telephone, it will replace your laptop computer.

  10. Dave Hanks

    Good enough for 1.0

    I've had my iPhone for three weeks. Am absolutely happy with it for a 1.0 product. I figure it will be sold used in a year and I will have had its use and still reclaim a significant amount of my investment.

    One point is worth restating: it takes a few hours and perhaps a couple of days to really appreciate this device. Once you become familiar with it you will NEVER want to leave home without it!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Camera Video iPhone huh?

    I thought everyone was complaining that you couldn't shoot video using the iPhone's camera?

  12. Robert

    nuff said?

    "You get POP and SMTP without needing Outlook 2007 to synchronize. And there's no auto-delete when the message is removed from the device but not the server queue. 'Nuff said."

    Really? you use POP mail, and that's enough said? I disagree. How does it handle IMAP, and what of Lemonade compatibility? For most of us, email on a handheld is a pretty important issue, and to dismiss it in one sentence leaves me unsure.

  13. studentrights

    The iPhone is cheaper than other "smart phones"...

    To refer to the iPhone as expensive is nonsense. The iPhone plus a two year contract makes it cheaper than other "smart phones". The iPhone only seems expensive since Apple wants its money upfront, instead of through misdirection by hiding the cost of the in the service contract, like other phone makers; which is illegal in some countries.

    Anyone who says otherwise is just ignorant of the facts.

    Moblie Price Comparisons with Service Plans

  14. Bob Calder

    two insignificant remarks

    1. You didn't figure out how to transfer non-apple music? WTF? It just happens. You don't *do* anything.

    2. Figuring out the interface? lol The problem was un-learning what your other phones had trained you to do. No little stick to poke it with.

    Of course voice recognition would be nice but on the iPhone you can SEE things because they are BIG so there isn't any squinting at the tiny little numbers. Like everybody else you think it needs some kind of additional hardware. No sir. It just needs software. It isn't really such a limited computer. If Apple had let it connect as a normal device this wouldn't be such a pain in the butt. When I can drag an application onto the desktop and run it, I will be happy.

  15. Ted Treen


    A review which doesn't sneer at Apple/iphone?

    I suppose that's the last we'll ever see of Brett on ElReg...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not USD600!

    The iPhone is not $600, it is $600 with a 2 year contract. Its a very expensive mobile device. For $800 i am sure US comsumers could buy a SIM free WM6 Smartphone with a touch screen and 3G/3.5G capabilities. The paradigm shift represented by the iPhone is not compelling, especailly for us European comsumers that have built-in GPS and 30fps video recording on mobile phones.

  17. David Purveur

    RE: arthritically joined at the hip to qwerty?

    I now what you moan. I don't understand why people don't get productive text, it is fats and sample. Agreed you do have to chuck it or the night wands don't come out. Surely Steve Gobs must see this and correct the omission?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Response to B Sorby

    BT headset - are you saying this is better than say the Jawbone of Plantronics Explorer 665? I did not think Apple made their BT headset - other reviewers say it is 'average'

    iPhone photo capability - most reviewers say that the quality of pictures is average and poor in dim conditions.

    Seems to me that perhaps some iPhone owners have not used HTC or Nokia Smartphones...

  19. Brett Brennan

    Response to comments

    I'm pounding this out on my Q, as I'm OTR (on the road) and bereft of both my EVDO modem and WiFi.

    First, this "review" came about because two guys were driving a beat-up four-wheel-drive around the back roads of "banjo country", and one says to the other "Hey Bubba, WATCH THIS!" Not quite, but you get the picture...

    The Moto Q is a good choice for comparison, not because it is Apple to "apples", but because it compares a cheap but capable smart phone to the latest technology. OK, the iPhone "wins", but the main issue was battery life and screen real estate. On other features, the iPhone was better, but within what you'd expect for a US$500 phone vs. a US$300 phone.

    The other point was that the iPhone uses wireless connectivity creatively. Yes, it SHOULD have UTMS or HSDPA, but the way it's implemented does a good job of covering over the EDGE performance. The combined WiFi/WAN feature now has me reconsidering this capability for my next phone.

    I won't be buying an iPhone soon. I run Linux on all my desktops and servers, and wthout iTunes for Linux I'm not getting another phone that doesn't sync to my platform natively. WM5 is bad enough, but SynCE does get the job done.

    Sorry 'bout the video quote: neither Pat or I tried to find this, but assumed that QuickTime would be in there somewhere. Maybe in an update...

    If you had to buy something TODAY, it's up to you. Cost is not one of my highest priorities: I pay for what I need when I need it. So my advice is decide what features are important to you then go buy it.

    The Moto Q is a good device. If you are on Windows and don't need real video support it's a great little phone. Opera makes the browser useful, and with corporate mail it's a great tool. Get the big battery. Also, pick your carrier carefully: Sprint has ben good for me but your mileage may vary.

    I can not emphasize enough: ruthlessly establish your requirements ON PAPER before shopping. Don't use reviews for anything more than adding some questions to your list. Get hands-on experience: borrow a friend's phone for a couple of hours to see how the features work. Remember: ALL SMARTPHONES ARE A COMPROMISE! You must decide what you can live without or degraded, not just what you need or want.

    Well, my thumbs are tired. I hope this hits te main criticisms.

    Oh, I am NOT an Apple "fan-boy". My "review" was just a real-world day-in-the-life event. Go out and play with an iPhone and see for yourselves what it's like. Not a "challenge", just go have some fun with it.

  20. Brian Sorby

    Re:response to my response

    I use a Plantronics 510 BT (BlueTooth) headset. I didn't spend $129 US for the Apple headset.

    Pictures look great. Without a flash I'm sure your photos will look dim in dark situations. The green hue of IR night vision really doesn't highlight the best features of anyone so I guess Apple didn't feel it was necessary.

    Since you've obviously not used an iPhone why would I buy a Nokia (of which I've actually used) just because you have? In other words, you are not qualified to give advice here, only opinion based on inexperience.

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