back to article 2009's Top High-End Touchscreen Phones

Our choices will be controversial, but for every Register Hardware reader irritated by Apple's command-and-control approach, dozens of phone users don't care so long as their handset delivers a high-quality smartphone experience. And the iPhone 3GS does deliver exactly that. It's not a phone for everyone - but then neither is …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    For me a smartphone means multitasking, and for that reason alone I will never consider the IPhone, and that's before I even begin to think about the non-removable battery, lack of expansion, poor camera, Apple's freaky control nature, etc.

    I really don't give a damn about how shiney it may be. Sure for many it may be fine if their useage is limited, but I consider it so limited it's basically a toy and I'm utterly sick of hearing about how great it is over and over and over.

    1. mccp

      La la la la - I can't hear you.

      I really love my iPhone - it's the best phone I have ever had (c.f. ancient Nokia & SE, more recent WinMo & Symbian).

      I really don't care about the downside as the upside is so good. Mmmmm, shiny and slick, come to daddy...

    2. Tim Cook

      It is great though

      Over and over and over...

      For me, a smartphone means functionality, and through the apps available, the iPhone has more easily accessed and usable functionality than any other smartphone on the market, bar none. And no, I don't give a damn how many functions I can have sitting in the background eating up processor cycles and battery life, I just want to be able to switch between them easily, and the iPhone lets me do that too.

      You, sir, have never used an iPhone in anger - and it's your loss.

    3. Michael Brown

      Ideology vs reality

      You've clearly never used an iPhone, otherwise you'd have realised that the issues you mention above are actually non-issues, with the possible exception of the poor camera. Starting out with an ideological stance like "smartphone means multitasking" is never a sensible way to approach buying hardware. What's important is how the thing works day to day as a useful tool, and in this respect the iPhone beats all other smartphones hands down. It is not just fine for people who's "usage is limited", it's fine for a vast number of people who's usage is anything but limited.

      The iPhone does have multitasking, just not for 3rd party apps. I can check my mail whilst on a phone call (something that the Android 'multitasking' Verizon Droid cannot do), listen to music whilst doing anything else, and know that all the while my e-mail is being checked, and I'm receiving IM messages and any number of other possible push notifications that 3rd party apps may support. The lack of true multitasking for 3rd party apps is hardly, if ever, noticeable and is really just a non-issue.

      Ditto the non-(user) removable battery. Simply not an issue. The last time I carried around a spare battery for a mobile phone was circa 1995 when my Ericsson GH337 only lasted a couple of hours on a charge. Since then removable batteries have been a total non-issue.

      Ditto lack of expansion. What do you seriously need more then 32Gb for??

      Ditto Apple's control of the App Store. The App Store provides all the apps that I could possibly ever want, and then some. It's safe, secure and very easy to use.

      As for being "shiney", I couldn't care less. I'd have an iPhone even if it looked like the back end of a bus, because it does everything I want it to do, brilliantly.

      The iPhone is only a "toy" for the ideologically challenged like yourself who can't see further than a spec sheet in deciding whether a bit of kit is actually good at what it does.

  2. Mark Alexander
    Thumb Up

    Well done

    I think you've avoided the problem nicely, what with putting Android in a separate category!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Dead Vulture

      I don't think they have...

      It still says 'Top High-End Touchscreen Phones" and not "Top High-End Apple and Nokia Phones" indicating that this category is the best touchscreen phones, but the Hero isn't in here so it can't be.

  3. Dave 145

    Eye phone!!!!

    How can this be the best phone of this year. Reg i like you always have buty for this you suck, The HTC HD 2 is WAAAAAYYY better than the iphone. It is faster, the screen is as responsive and as for the app veriety there is loads for this phone.

    Yes the Windows Marketplace sucks but there are any more site dedicated to offering FREE apps, and there not bound to STUPID rules like apple. To cap it off once and for all, IF there is a software fault you can easily roll back the OS to one that worked and if you dont want you are not forced into updating everytime you connect your phone to iTunes.

  4. Stef 2

    Top smartphones - except for...

    "Controversial" - as in wrong?

    As any tech blog will avow, the Motorola Droid/Milestone is a clear winner.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    High end?

    So does this mean that Windows and Android phones can't be considered high end smartphones?

  6. Hankster

    Something is missing in the picture...

    Funny... Did I miss something, or is Motorola Milestone consistently ignored in both Kit Of The Year specials where it could have been a contender?

    It's did not figure in the Android article (perhaps by virtue of being introduced too late), and it's not in the Top High-End Touchscreen Phones article of today either, whereas Nokia N900 (in many ways a similar offering, especially hardware-wise) is...

    Any plans to mend this oversight?

  7. Jim Coleman


    They said the only phone that can only do one thing at a time is number 1!


    Sorry but having something shiney that can only do one thing at a time is a bit like having a car which either drives or operates the electric windows, but not both at once.

    To call it the best smartphone is frankly ridiculous. SMARTPHONES MULTITASK!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      More strawman bullshit.

      So go on then, what can other smartphones do more of at the same time. The thing is, you haven't actually got a clue, have you? Whilst making a call, I can surf the net, look for and address, email OR message an address/phone number/copied url to someone. I'd suggest that that was multitasking. Realistically, the multitasking that you are talking about, as found on desktops, *isn't actually possible* on devices of this size. Jim mate, give it up, or stay under your bridge...

    2. Tim Cook

      No they don't

      Smartphones let you do smart things. For a definition of that, see the iPhone.

  8. Daniel Owen


    2009's Top High-End Touchscreen Phones That Aren't The HTC Hero

    Would have been a more accurate title.

  9. Citizen Kaned
    Thumb Down

    what about htc diamond2

    much better than the touch2! also looks a fair bit better than the samsung one!

  10. Yorkshirepudding
    Jobs Horns


    No nokia 5800! FAIL!!!

    its like the gadget show last night forgone conclusion

    /walks off muttering about consumer whores and sheep

  11. Nigel Wright

    iPhone = smartphone?

    It can do one thing at a time. Hardly smart even if the UI is nice and it's very usable. It's not smart.

  12. Andrew James

    [ - awesome title goes here - ]

    I am getting sick and tired of this constant barrage of iPhone is great vs iPhone is pants rants whenever a phone, be it smart or otherwise, is mentioned.

    No phone will be all things to all people. What some phones lack in features they make up for in ease of use. What they lack in ease of use they make up for in slick design or i-want-one-of-those-so-much-i-could-bleed-from-ever-orifice-iness.

    Sales figures don't lie. If the iPhone was rubbish it wouldn't sell. It does what a lot of people want their phone to do. Yes, there are phones that do more, better, all-at-once, but that doesn't mean that the person buying the iPhone would think it was a better phone for them personally if they ended up with something else.

    Some people think locked = good. Some people don't want to take their phone apart, hack its source code, write their own custom apps and bore their friends with the amount of apps they can run at once while getting the highest score on a game, texting their friend, bluetoothing music to someone on the train, downloading email from 14 exchange servers etc.

    If your phone is better than my phone, it's probably because my phone doesn't suit your needs, which is why you didn't buy it... just as I didn't buy yours because I thought it wouldn't suit the purpose for which I most use my phone.

    I will be upgrading from a phone that doesn't sing and dance to a flavour of smartphone in the next few months. I will make an informed decision based on what I want it to do. Whether its an iPhone or not remains to be seen... but my decision wont be based on fashion, fanboism or the rantings of Apple/Android/WindowsMobile/Symbian users.

    Just accept that people make their own decisions and shut up about it.

    I probably wear some shirts you don't like; but that's not a good reason for you to rant at length about why you don't wear one just like it.

    1. Mark 65

      Point of order

      "Sales figures don't lie. If the iPhone was rubbish it wouldn't sell. "

      The crazy frog ring-tone sold well and the World has never been short of an idiot or two. Not debating the iPhone + or - just your statement above.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Could be better

    If you don’t already own an iPhone then the iPhone 3GS might well be the model that finally wears down your resistance. The camera is a weak point,

    Exactly.. I really liked the iphone interface when I tried it in NY in 2007, but i don't like apples control over the phone.. we donrt need nannying and we don't like interference. However I think the cameras too crap! there are two types of phones music players and cameras, I want the camera flavour iPhone.. if it took decent pics I'd probably own one.. so when is the iPhone HD camera phone out? (is that the 3gshdcp?)

  14. steven00b


    I was eagerly awaiting the release of the Nokia N97 and bought one when it came to Three...... Big mistake!

    I have always been pleased with the performance of Nokia phones in the past but this pile of badger bile has completely ruined my faith with them. The N97 system runs very clunky and slow and I experience constant screen locks which prevent me from hanging up calls and picking up my text messages. Luckly it does become responsive again after about 30 seconds. As for Navigation, when I eventually get a GPS signal for longer than a few minutes it tells me to turn about 200 yards too late. And yes I am running the latest firmware '20.0.019.'.

    Have Nokia forgotten their existing Symbian customers to bring you the N900? Personally I feel they have. One last thing, has a title showing beta? Are Nokia are now using their customers as a testing ground?

    My advice, buy an iPhone 3G or something running Andriod.

    Thanks Nokia, now with the N97 and my 2 year contract with Three, I cry myself to sleep at night.

  15. Andrew James
    Paris Hilton


    Smart: keen mental suffering, as from wounded feelings, affliction, grievous loss, etc.

    This definition is fitting to most SmartPhones I have had the pleasure to use.

    Paris, because she's smart enough to use a handbag sized dog for multi-tasking on the go.

  16. Eponymous Cowherd

    Weird idea of high end

    How, in any definition of the phrase, is the Samsung Jet "high end"?

    The defining feature of "high end" phones is the ability to install and run 3rd party apps (and I don't mean cruddy J2ME apps) and the availability of tools to allow them to be developed.

    Neither are available for the Samsung, which places it firmly in the mid-range category.

  17. Michael Brown

    @Jim Coleman and Nigel Wright

    If either of you had ever actually used an iPhone before discarding it for not meeting your arbitrary "it must have multitasking" spec sheet checklist, then you'd have realised that:

    a) the iPhone *does* to multitasking where it matters, just not for 3rd party apps.

    b) if you need to get your Twitter / IM etc updates in real time then push notifications does that for you much better than having to have all those clients running at the same time sucking your battery dry.

    c) There really are very few cases where not having multitasking for 3rd party apps makes any difference at all. iPhone apps maintain state and you can switch between them as fast as you can switch apps on a WiMo phone so it's a non-issue.

    But if you like to choose your phone by using a spec sheet checklist instead of whether they work and do what you need then don't let me stop you.



    what is it with people and iphones i dont get it at all just because its a apple everyone has to rush out the door to grab one its crazy theres alot more phones out there you know not just apple im also getten a little sick of hearing what the iphone does sure its nice but the price does not justify what your getten other phones do 5 8 megapixals iphone dont sure the apple may have the app store but i bet half of the apps on there you wouldnt even need or want. i personnally want a phone for tesxing and calling end of not stupid things like apps and pointless things i may not even use. sorry apple fans but apple isnt the only phone company in this world theres others like motorola milstone or nokia n900

    1. Andrew James


      "i personnally want a phone for tesxing and calling end of not stupid things like apps and pointless things i may not even use. "

      If you want a phone to do nothing but make calls and send texts there are plenty of options out there with a much more basic spec sheet than a Nokia n900 or a Motorola Milestone. What you have done is picked out two phones that do stupid things like apps and pointless things you may not even use. Well done.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Ivan Headache

      If you were to get yourself

      an iPhone your posts will improve a thousandfold. It magically puts capital letters at the beginning of sentences, corrects your appalling English and generally turns you into a magnet for young ladies. I think you might like that.

      How many things are wrong with this sentence?

      sorry apple fans but apple isnt the only phone company in this world theres others like motorola milstone or nokia n900

      I counted 11 errors - not including the turning of pieces of hardware into companies.

  19. Mage Silver badge


    It's a fail because Apple controls what goes on it.

    I'd not buy a DVD player where I can only buy DVDs via the Maker's store.

    I'd not buy a Laptop/Netbook where I can't decide what to install, and where from. So ChromeOS is a fail.

    I'll not buy an iTouch/iPod/iPhone while Apple continues to totally control and charge a premium.

    Apple iTrip styled FM transmitter €60

    Generic 3.5mm Jack model (fits even my E65 via adaptor) €8

    Also NO buttons and having to buy a screen protector is a FAIL for something primarily for making phone calls.

    Your reviewer has succumbed to the Jobsian Reality Distortion Field.

    1. Ivan Headache

      just a couple of things

      How many million more iPhones must Apple sell before it stops being a fail?

      I'd not buy a DVD where the Hollywood studios dictate which countries I can watch it in.

      How does Apple control my iPod?

      iTrip styled FM transmitter is NOT made by Apple.

      No idea what your next line means.

      And NO buttons - somehow I thought the iPhone was a touch-screen phone.

      It comes with a screen protector already fitted at the factory. (And don't say that it doesn't - just take one out of the box and look at it. My iPod Touch still has its after 20 months)

      Mage has made up his own reality distortion field.

  20. Notorious Biggles

    A bit crap...

    First of all, the comments regarding the Jet are spot on. It's a feature phone, not a high end phone.

    Secondly, the list is crap.

    I'll accept the iPhone 3GS being on it. I don't like it, it doesn't multitask 3rd party apps, it has a crap camera and a low res screen and I feel it's a middle ground between feature phone and smart phone, but I can accept it. However, the N900 is too much of a beta to warrant 2nd place. It's just not ready yet to use a line from Grolsch adverts.

    What should of been on there is one of the high end Symbian phones. My preference is the Satio, which is very very good, but the Samsung i8910 HD could have been on there, as could the Nokia X6. Hell, it's not high end, but the Nokia 5800 is a damn good phone - it's a fantastic musc phone, a fully fledged smartphone, better camera and screen than an iPhone. Not to mention it still has a whole load of apps.

    Once again a pretty quick and dirty list with little thought. I'm disappointed vultures.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So nice and so close - but..

    I am a current Windows Mobile user.

    That said, I do like the iphone 3gs: it is a well made piece of hardware, a lot of good apps, dominates the current mindshare so more are coming etc etc. Despite all the obnoxious hype, it is a good device.

    It's the artificial limitations that get me. I can't access the whopping 16/32GB storage. Oh no. I can put stuff on it through itunes, put apps through appstore, or even maybe put stuff on it through an app I got off the appstore. Why can't I have a file browser? (Apple can hide the OS, I don't care, let me access the rest). Why? Why can't I connect the USB cable and use it as, say, storage? Why can't I transfer files through a wireless network, or bluetooth? The capability is definitely there..

    Even the no-multitasking I get - non removable battery, UI response, etc. But why not have a "Expert Mode" setting, hidden somewhere undocumented, which we can just switch on at our peril and choice?

    For most it is "The" smartphone : it's an ipod, it's internet with facebook and the rest, it's the many games. For me it's desirable, but too crippled by design to live with.

    But the article is correct. It is the current king of the hill, by sales number and by mindshare. It is the current yardstick. It may not be the smartphone for geeks, but it is for the masses.

    Paris, because she couldn't care less.

    1. Andrew James
      Thumb Up

      Finally ...

      "It may not be the smartphone for geeks, but it is for the masses."

      Someone else with an unbiased opinion. Someone who doesn't really want one but can see that it's not a bad product in general.

      Well done!

  22. Carl Williams

    Find myself agreeing with some one here about the 5800

    Wife has one, it works really well and there are some good apps available for it (Garmin XT for one). It has a good screen and the battery last really well for a smartphone. She is not a tech either and has got to grip with it really quickly. Would suggest it is more high end than the Jet in everything but price.

    As for iphone it does what it does and probably very well, but I will not be told what I can and can't do with my phone, I will not install itunes on my PC's and I will not pay nearly £900 for one over the course of the contract when I can get something else that does what I want for less than half that.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022