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Engadget iSwitchers defend their decisions

Chris Ziegler

In case it wasn't plainly obvious, several Engadget staffers took the plunge in the past few days, buying an iPhone (or iPhones, as the case may be) and making the fateful switch from Brand X to Apple. Of course, migrating to the Dark Side isn't without its pitfalls; functionality is sometimes lost, apps are no longer usable, and data speeds go down, just to name a few. What did our iSwitchers give up for the iPhone, and how'd they justify it? On the flipside, what was it that our iReturner just couldn't give up? Read on to find out, and be sure to add your own iSwitcher / iReturner stories in comments, yeah?

Ben Drawbaugh
Switched from:
BlackBerry 8700c
"Gave up a BlackBerry 8700c because of the awesome user interface and so I'd no longer have to carry around two devices (cellphone and media player). What I miss the most is the great Java applications -- the same ones that would sometimes force me to reboot -- like Newsgator Go! and Gmail. While the iPhone is not perfect, it would be for me if Gmail integration was as good as it was with Google's Java app. As for RSS, Newsgator's mobile web page works really well."

Paul Miller
Switched from: Nokia E62
"For me the most important part of my phone is the browser, and the S60 browser has the same roots as Apple's Safari. I really appreciated the site compatibility, but the shortage of RAM and all-around sluggishness of the E62 was incredibly frustrating. I love the new wave of QWERTY Nokia devices, but none of them are 3G in the States, so there didn't seem to be much point to upgrade on that route. The simplicity of Apple's software on the iPhone strongly appealed to me, and hasn't disappointed for the most part.

Synchronizing iTunes is simple -- I'd hardly dream of trying to make my media work on any other phone, I'm such a n00b in that way. And my experiences with the Baby's First Email Client on the phone have actually been pleasant. Once I set it up with a Yahoo! Mail account. I miss the real keyboard on the E62, and I have a Finnish friend who will be sorely disappointed in me, but otherwise I'm quite happy to call the iPhone my own. Oh, and I used to have a (sluggish) SNES emulator on my E62. If the iPhone got some external buttons via a slide-on peripheral keyboard or gamepad, along with third-party software support, an iPhone SNES emulator would be my killer app."

Dante Cesa
Switched from: Sony Ericsson K800i
"Truth be told, I can't think of anything that I've gained by switching to the iPhone. I could do Google Maps before and Opera Mini was adequate for light browsing. That said, the way one interacts with an iPhone is way beyond the experience with Sony Ericsson's UI (which, in my opinion, is still the best non-smartphone UI out there). One thing I miss the most (which I never thought I would have missed) is copy and paste. It's so aggravating on the iPhone when one wants to move text from app to app or from field to field. I'm also sacrificing on the camera front. The K800i held the spot of being my day-to-day point and shoot, so we'll see if the iPhone's 2 megapixel cam is up to the task.

It's been a week in, and I'm also realizing I'm suffering a bit from tactile withdrawal. Even though the touchscreen keyboard on the iPhone is good, nothing is a true replacement for physical keys. Finally, my last major gripe with the iPhone would have to be stability. I was always amazed at how I could play music, have Opera Mini and Google Maps open and loading content in the background, all while taking a picture at the same time on the K800i without a hitch. Despite all these open applications, the phone was responsive and fluid and would rarely crash. So far, the iPhone's been crashing left and right."

Ryan Block
Switched from: HTC TyTn
"I gave up my TyTn -- sort of. I'm still keeping it around, between the HSDPA and keyboard it's no less a great device than it was last month, and I can always pop in my iPhone SIM and be on my merry way. But the EDGE on the iPhone is surprisingly palatable, and although the thing has a lot of bugs and issues, it's still a step ahead of where WM6 is right now in a number of ways. But it's also a big step behind in the mobile productivity front, so there's that. I also went back to playing with S60 to see how it compared after having moved into my iPhone -- it doesn't, at least not right now. Now, when Photon (WM7) lands we'll have to revisit, because what Microsoft is doing there (behind closed doors) looks pretty unbelievable."

Chris Ziegler
Switched from: Nokia N75
"The iPhone is an interesting study in refined minimalism -- just how much seemingly necessary functionality can Apple take away from us, and still convince us to switch on the strength of the iPhone's brilliantly executed UI alone? I'm extraordinarily bitter that I've sacrificed expandable memory, third-party apps, A2DP, and 3G data, but at the end of the day, what little Apple has left behind is simply too well done to ignore. Of course, my 'switcher' status is largely contingent on Apple treating the iPhone as a franchise; if Cupertino goes too long without giving us some extra goodies via firmware update, a company like Nokia will likely get something in its lineup that convinces me to switch back."

Conrad Quilty-Harper
Switched from: Sony Ericsson K800i
"I switched because although the K800i does the phone and camera aspect better (plus it has 3G and was almost free to pick up [FYI: Conrad lives in Europe. -Ed.]), it takes 9 or more button clicks to load up Opera Mini, the email application is a joke, and the same deal with the multimedia player interface: it makes me shudder to think of playing music, checking email, or browsing the web on my K800i now that I've used the iPhone."

And now for our iReturner!

Joshua Topolsky
Went back to: Palm Treo 650
"I returned the phone because I couldn't find a way to justify spending $600 on what amounts to a closed system. It's like buying a laptop you can't tweak or put software on. Also, I was highly annoyed by the keyboard and EDGE (although the iPhone's implementation seems faster than my Treo). I went back to my old, ugly, totally awesome Treo 650, which I can happily do anything I want with and to!"

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