Pitching my smartphone recommendations

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No, not a blatant Phones Show plug (though Phones Show Chat 18 is out), but a serious attempt to provoke thought and discussion. Ahead of a video feature on smartphone recommendations, I've opened up my thought processes to you below, in some detail, breaking down the market into a whopping seven stereotypes(!) Maybe you'd like to chip in with comments, recommendations and disqualifications of your own?

A perennial question being fired at me (and Rafe, I suspect) is "Which smartphone should I buy?" And, of course, the answer depends hugely on exactly what the phone is needed for. We're all different and, short of recommending my own favourite device du jour, some kind of clarification is needed.

In a previous Phones Show (no. 67), around 14 months ago, I broke users down into three categories, recommending a device for each category - the idea seemed to go down well, though here at the end of 2009 it seems that quite a bit more granularity is needed. Thus, I've expanded my idea to include no less than seven categories - for seven user stereotypes, if you will. 

And, yes, every real world user is going to be a mix of the various categories, but at least it'll give buyers a place to start. And, this being All About Symbian, I wonder how Symbian's licensees/members will be represented? I have ideas on which devices I plan to choose as 'winner' in each category, but I'm willing to be influenced by your comments below.

So, without further ado... and note that the nominations in each category are in (as they say on the best TV shows) no particular order:

Media Creator (e.g. photos, videos, audio recording)

  • Apple iPhone 3GS
  • Nokia N86
  • Sony Ericsson Satio
  • Nokia N82


Communications junkie (e.g. email, Twitter, IM, Facebook)

  • Nokia E72
  • Nokia E75
  • Nokia N97 mini
  • HTC Touch Pro 2
  • T-Mobile G1
  • Nokia N97
  • Apple iPhone 3GS
  • Blackberry Bold (added after comments below!)


Hardcore mobile gamer

  • Apple iPhone 3GS


Media consumer (e.g. podcasts, music, video, iPlayer with downloads, YouTube)

  • Nokia N96
  • Apple iPhone 3G upwards
  • HTC HD2
  • Nokia 5800
  • Samsung i8910 HD
  • Nokia N97 mini


Work addict (e.g. working with Office docs, PDF storage and viewing, push email, making conference calls)

  • HTC Touch Pro 2
  • Nokia E90
  • Nokia N97 classic (with Quickoffice Premier)


Tech enthusiast/hacker/fiddler (you know who you are!)

  • HTC Hero
  • Motorola Milestone/Droid
  • Samsung i8910 HD
  • Apple iPhone 3GS (jailbroken)
  • Nokia N900


Web-a-holic (working on full Web, netbook-style - the Web browser is your computer, think Google Docs, GMail etc.)

  • HTC HD2
  • Nokia N900


Over to you, then. Which smartphones shouldn't be there at all? Which one should win each category and get The Phones Show recommendation?

Steve Litchfield, AAS and The Phones Show, 28th Dec 2009

(See also my updated Grid, now including the Nokia N97 mini, HTC HD2, Nokia E72 and Nokia N900, which should also help you choose. "Enough of the plugs!!!" - Rafe)

Choosing your perfect smartphone?