After saturating the portable music market with its iPod and iTunes, Apple are now systematically taking on the mobile and handheld computing markets too. Available in the UK only through the 02 network, with contracts starting at £ 35 per month and costing an additional £ 269 for the phone itself, the new iPhone has already proven to be an exclusively costly device for some.
But in the advent of iPhone, do not forget the handheld computing market is rich in diversity and choice. For your every need, there is a PDA waiting to take the it's place in the palm of your hand. Once you get one, you'll wonder how you coped without having one before.
HTC TyTN II
For the best laptop replacement
Because of its capabilities in all aspects – connectivity, usability and design – the HTC TyTN II marks itself apart as a solution for those seeking a laptop and communication device in one.
With a powerful 400MHz processor and good memory, using the internet and sending emails is quick and simple. Multiple communication options, including Bluetooth, WiFi, GPRS and 3G to name a few, keep you constantly in touch. And with Windows Mobile 6 Professional and a highly fluid interface, the applications are easy to load, run and use. It's enough to make you want to leave the office entirely.
As well as possessing all the qualities and essential applications of your home computer, the TyTN II does a stylish imitation too. The spring loaded QWERTY keyboard, complete to the finest detail with status lights for caps lock and shift functions, is easily operable and complemented by a generous 2.8 "display. It's light and svelte too, weighing a mere 160grams.
And if the specification has not fully convinced you, let the experts. PDA Essentials magazine not only made it winner of Best PDA and Best Handheld at their 2007 awards, but editor Andy Betts proceeded to describe it as "quite simply a stunning handheld."
Nokia N95 8GB
"The Audi of Smartphone's" according to PDA Essentials, the Nokia N95 boasts nearly every conceivable handheld feature. Why have a phone, music player, handheld console, camera, PDA and GPS device when you can have a single unit that combines them all?
With one of the most impressive built-in cameras available on the market at a fantastic 5 mega pixel, and a 2.8 "display of up to 16 million colours, taking and storing high resolution pictures on the N95 brings you as close to a digital photography experience without actually using a digital camera. Indoor image capturing is achieved with a built-in LED flash, and a scene mode selector enables you to configure landscape shots and close ups with ease. There's even a white balance setting to keep the colours of your photography accurate – just like that of a standalone camera.
You can buy and download music using Nokia's Music Store – a direct rival to iTunes, and purchase games on the re-launched N-Gage gaming service too. And to top it off, there's a huge 8GB of internal flash memory to store all your multimedia content on, as well as 100MB of internal dynamic memory for messages, images and video clips. Having fun has never been so smart.
Toshiba Portege G900
Let your fingers do the talking with the Toshiba Portege. A sophisticated fingerprint sensor ensures only the owner can access the device, allowing you to work in confidence and safe in the knowledge that your files and multimedia are secure.
One of the first PDA's to run the Windows Mobile 6 system, all applications run exceptionally smoothly on the Portege and are aided by fantastic memory options. 128MB of internal memory is complemented by an additional miniSD card, perfect for storing music and video files on while the G900 keeps connection and communication rapid.
The Portege comes with a slick, slide out keyboard and vast 3 "display too – making your mobile computing experience a comfortable as well as a secure one. It comes highly recommended too – PDA Essentials nominated it Best PDA at the 2007 Awards.
If you want a Smartphone that's more phone-like
Style is not compromised by the highly usable design of the Samsung i600 – beneath the clear 2.3 "display is a full QWERTY keyboard. Ultra compact and just 99g, much like a normal mobile phone, this device is designed to be used comfortably with just one hand. Its slender size does not make the keys difficult to press either. In fact, with the inclusion of Windows Mobile 5.0 Direct Push email on this tri-band device, it's ideal for typing out emails, messages and SMS whilst remaining as hands free as possible.
And for making those essential 3G video calls, a second camera integrated on the front can be accessed effortlessly – quickly putting the smart back into Smartphone.
Blackberry Curve 8300
If you want to access and send lots of emails
Already renowned for offering a sophisticated approach to handheld computing with their sleek and lightweight style, BlackBerry now offer the ultimate mobile emailing solution in the form of the Curve 8300. Wireless instant email and attachment viewing, simple QWERTY keyboard, large display and high security makes emailing on the move easier than ever. You can also integrate your Curve 8300 within existing and new email accounts.
Downloading and viewing email attachments is a process made quicker by the Curve 8300, and expandable memory options – a microSD card of 64MB is available – mean you can store them without worrying about storage space.
Other applications on the Curve 8300 to make it a real all-rounder include an organiser you can synchronise with your computer and a multi media player. But weighing in at only 111g, you might struggle to put it down anyway.
HTC Touch Dual (Nike / Touch II )
Have everything you need at your fingertips with the worlds newest intuitive touch screen phone.
TouchFLO technology coupled with a basic interface make the HTC Touch Dual a digits dream – effective for navigation, sending messages or browsing the internet effortlessly. With interaction at the heart and soul of its design, it comes as no surprise that the multimedia facets incorporated into the Touch make it a great tool for entertainment. Sending messages, emails and using Windows messenger can be done at the flick of a finger.
It's a unique device rich in potential – 64 MB of Ram make storing and accessing your favourite music and videos simple and quick. With HTC's very own audio player and Windows Media Player combined in this one package, you'll want to use the Touch even when you're not at work. And with the microSD removable memory offering 1GB of additional memory, you have the ability to store and upload photos, videos and music at will.
It does not just play hard, though – the HTC Touch certainly knows how to work hard too. A Qualcomm 400MHz processor gives instant access to your Outlook and other office applications, ensuring you switch swiftly between functions with minimal difficulty.
Mio Digiwalker A501
If you're on a budget
For functionality without the fortune, you could not find a better device to embody it all than the Mio A501. Merging all the best qualities of a PDA, phone and GPS into one singular device, why bother splashing out on anything more?
Fitting snugly into the palm of your hand, the Mio A501 is very light and portable. Windows Mobile 5.0 ensures all the latest office applications are available while Bluetooth keeps you connected. And with a bank of European maps built in, you need not bother with additional GPS software. An in-car charger means you're always ready to go when you reach your destination, too.