Sprint/Samsung 3G Phone Kicks Apple's Core

Everyone's fascinated with the Apple iPhone. Apple's announced their new, third generation (3G) model is coming out on July 11, and all the news outlets have been pawing over the details of the handset and the plan. The iPhone has the potential to be one of those concepts that becomes the name people use to refer to all items of its type, like Kleenex or Frigidaire or Xerox once did. Not many people are that interested in the Samsung/Sprint version of the small slab smartphone with a touchscreen and not a lot of buttons. Maybe they should be. It's better than an iPhone in a lot of ways.

• It's smaller, fitting more comfortably in a pocket.

• It records video. The iPhone only does stills.

• It does picture messaging.

• It has "haptic feedback," fancy words meaning it can be set to vibrate when it registers a touch.

• Its navigation software gives turn-by-turn directions.

• It can get live, streaming TV service.

• It has a removable battery, and even comes with a spare. The iPhone's battery is not removable by the user.

• Its applications can be updated over the wireless data network.

• It can send music to stereo headsets using Bluetooth. The iPhone can send calls over Bluetooth, but not music.

The Samsung screen has fewer pixels, and you can't perform the two finger pinch motion to enlarge a picture. And it's limited in its international roaming capabilities compared to the iPhone's AT&T service. Other than that, it's as good or superior to the new iPhone in every way. But it doesn't have a gaunt looking guy with steel rimmed glasses and a turtleneck to introduce it, so I guess it can't be any good.