Getting a New Smartphone

David Shin




(iPhone 4S)


(Samsung Galaxy S2)


(Blackberry Torch 9800/9810)

Free Messaging Service



Blackberry Messenger

Application Service

App Store

Android Market

App World





Camera Quality

8 MP

8 MP

5 MP

Video Recording Quality

1080p HD

1080p HD

720p HD

Operating System

iOS 5

Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS

Blackberry 7 OS






Great apps, good design, good web browser

Customization freedom, open market

Good e-mail service, QWERTY keyboard


No customization freedom

Overheating issues, low battery life

Lack of apps in the App World, slow speed


*No contract price for the lowest memory model. The 3-year contract price varies with every service provider.

* Information as of October 12th, 2011

Purchasing a new smartphone can be an intimidating, but important choice in a student’s life. Smartphones vary greatly, and many of them are great. However, they all have pros and cons.

iPhone: The recent release of the iPhone 4S makes the iPhone an even better smartphone. Messaging Service: iMessage is a free instant messaging service that runs over WiFi/Data, just like the Blackberry messenger. You can chat with any iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone for free. Application Service: The App Store is one of the greatest inventions on the Internet. It has a variety of over half a million apps, including social networking sites. The best part of the App Store is the games. There are plenty of free games to download, and occasionally the higher quality paid apps are also offered for free. So you don’t even have to spend a cent to play your favourite games. Camera and Video Quality: 8 MP and 1080p are decent qualities for a phone. Siri: Siri is an incredible voice recognition assistant. It will hear 100% of what you say, and it will understand 99% of what you say. If you search for how many calories are in a banana, it will tell you. Siri is also a great assistant that saves you lots of time. Cons: The iPhone doesn’t allow for customization of things such as font. Additionally, third-party applications from places other than the App Store can’t be downloaded. The Bottom Line: The iPhone is a great ‘apps’ smartphone.

Android (Samsung Galaxy S2): The Samsung Galaxy S2 is a great example of an Android device. Application Service: The Android market has over 300 000 apps. But, it the lacks creative and interesting apps that are featured in Apple’s App Store. This is because it is an open market, where anyone can share his or her applications. This means that it has many free apps that would usually be paid for in the App Store. Camera and Video Quality: Similar to the iPhone, Androids have 8 MP and 1080p quality cameras. Pros and Cons: The great thing about the Android is that you can customize it the way you want, and you can also download third-party applications.  You can change your keyboard, font, etc. Almost anything can be customized! Additionally, Androids don’t limit you from downloading from the market. However, the downside is that the Android’s security isn’t great, so you have a chance of downloading a virus. The Bottom Line: The Android is a great ‘customize it the way you want it’ smartphone.

Blackberry (Blackberry Torch 9800/9810): The Blackberry is popular phone at North Toronto. Messaging Service: The Blackberry Messenger (or BBM) is one of the reasons why the Blackberry is a popular phone. Just like the iPhone’s iMessage, the BBM is a free messaging service that allows you to chat for free with other Blackberry’s over WiFi/Data. QWERTY Keyboard: Having both a touch screen and a keyboard is great, as you can type faster, and move around in the Blackberry faster too. App World: The App World is the worst application service out of the three phones, as it has just over 10,000 apps. The Blackberry is definitely not a phone for having lots of good apps. Camera and Video Quality: The iPhone and Android cameras have much high quality than the Blackberry’s. Cons: The App world has a big lack of apps, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re an app person. Also, the phone can lag (slow down) sometimes. The Bottom Line: The Blackberry is a great ‘social’ smartphone.

All of the smartphones are excellent. However, you just have to find which one fits your preferences.