Since the iPhone won't come out here in the UK until the end of this year, some normally patient phone fans are getting antsy. But there are some great mobile phones available now, or in the next few months, that could well give the iPhone a run for its money. They won't have that special Apple smugness, but they'll play your music, let you browse the Internet and even do a few tricks the iPhone can't manage.
For those of you unfamiliar with the iPhone's specs, or those of you who just love reading them over and over again, here's a quick roundup. The iPhone measures 61mm wide by 115mm tall by 11.6mm deep. It runs a version of Apple's Mac operating system, OS X, and includes Widgets, Google Maps, the Safari browser and iTunes with CoverFlow. Apple has partnered with Google and Yahoo to bring maps and email to the device.
It has a large 89mm (3.5-inch) touchscreen with multi-touch capabilities that lets you do things like enlarge photos using two fingers. The screen adjusts the brightness depending on the ambient light and turns itself off when you're making a phone call to save power. It will also automatically change from portrait to landscape mode as you turn it, so you can take advantage of the widescreen.
There's a built-in Web browser that can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or EDGE connectivity. It has a 2-megapixel camera on the back, a 3.5mm jack so you can use your own headphones, Bluetooth connectivity and of course, it's also a widescreen video iPod with a capacity of 4GB or 8GB. Now let's get to the phones you can buy before next Christmas.