BUSINESS OF LAW
Which is best for you?
FOR THE LAWYER’S SMARTPHONE, THERE IS NO STORM BREWING
over our top choices: The Apple iPhone 3G and the BlackBerry Bold are two of the best smartphones available. Price is
the minor part of the equation—user plan expenses, cost of additional services and IT resources can be significant. But it’s a testament to the quality of both devices that the choice comes down
to personal preference.
Here’s a breakdown of their features, provided by former technology contributor David Beckman, a lawyer in Burlington, Iowa,
and his son Christopher, an IT worker at the University of Iowa
A critical application for smartphone-toting lawyers. Both devices sync wirelessly to your firm’s calendar system.
Detailed scheduling system resembles
a full agenda planner.
For the lifeblood of many lawyers, both
phones provide rapid direct delivery of
e-mail, the ability to view attachments
and server integration.
The physical keyboard has the advantage. We even set up our fax machine
to e-mail the Bold and can now read
faxes on the run.
System is simpler, offering fewer calendar views
The larger screen allows easy e-mail reading,
but the virtual keyboard takes getting used to.
Global Positioning System
Both have GPS integration with Google
Both transition seamlessly from wireless
Internet hot spots to the phones’ data
An outstanding GPS turn-by-turn system
is available for an additional charge.
If a calendar entry includes a physical
address, it will provide real-time traffic
Small screen size and a clunky mobile
browser hold back Web browsing.
Does not offer spoken turn-by-turn directions.
Assisted GPS with Google Maps is impressive
but won’t replace your car’s GPS unit.
Large display and multi-touch system make
browsing a near-desktop experience. To interact
with a website, touch, pinch or drag your fingertip
over the screen.
Both take good-quality pictures.
Battery life is a challenge for most smartphones. These two need daily charging.
With its integrated flash, this camera
could easily replace your point-and-shoot.
Tops in low light, even though it has no flash. The
added Griffin Clarifi 3G case with a macro slide
lens allows a lawyer to photograph a document
at the courthouse and e-mail it for conversion to
a Microsoft Word document.
Battery is integrated into the device, so the phone
must be returned to have the battery replaced.
Both have standard headphone jacks
and high-resolution screens.
Has a basic media player.
Along with an impressive media-playing function-ality, the large screen makes it suitable for reviewing video depositions before trial.