Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 19, 2017
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Torn between two smartphones

iPhone 4

Sleek and smooth
In terms of design, the iPhone is the standard. Steve Jobs compared iPhone 4 to a “beautiful, old Leica camera.” It’s simply two pieces of strengthened glass in the front and back and a stainless-steel band wrapping around the sides, top and bottom. It’s noticeably thinner than its predecessor at 0.97 centimetres, compared to 1.22 centimetres, but weighs the same.

Awesome display
The crtics all agree: the iPhone 4 offers the sharpest and clearest display out there. The ever-confident Apple calls its screen Retina display. Colours and blacks are rich and deep and text rendering impressive.

Intuitive
iPhone is famously user-friendly. Its operating system usually takes minutes to figure out. Apps, apps and more apps Apple obviously does apps well, with iTunes offering about 200,000 apps as well books, music and movies. Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where doctors use the iPhone to link to the hospital’s server, has developed an in-house app called VitalHub to securely access practically everything from appointments to records to reading material. MDs can also take advantage of medical apps in the iPhone’s Apps Store. VitalHub tells you what’s been prescribed to a patient, while an iPhone’s app can instantly tell you if a drug has an interaction.

Two cameras
It may not be enough to get the pros excited (this isn’t exactly Apple’s forte) but it’s close: the iPhone 4 has a five-megapixel shooter in the front and a 720p capture video camera in back. That’s pretty much the standard for a smartphone. Having enough storage capacity for a regular load of vacation videos may be an issue. That said, with a new version of its popular iMovie just for the iPhone 4, you just might have some serious fun on your next family holiday.

Improved multitasking
Apple has made great strides here. Now you can leave a half-written email, do something else and return later to the exact point where you left off.

Experience FaceTime For the moment, FaceTime phone calls are only possible between two people on iPhone 4s and over WiFi… pretty limited. Then again, imagine being alone at a conference (not hard) and holding up the phone for everyone at home. “Hey kids, this is where the Berlin Wall once stood!” Could be fun. apple.com/iphone.

Blackberry Torch

A full keyboard Externally, the big deal is the Torch’s nifty vertical slide-out keyboard. Sure, the Torch’s design is painfully dated, but it’s solid and capable. It is though a hefty 1.45 centimetres thick. But that nifty keyboard is, after all, a full QWERTY keyboard. Besides an 8-centimetre touchscreen, all the familiar Blackberry buttons are there: call, menu, back and end, along with an optical trackpad.

Best call quality
Blackberry’s not the businessperson’s phone for nothing. Calls on the Torch are crisp, clear and fast without issues of lost signals and dropped calls.

Improved operating system
Thanks to Blackberry 6 and a new Webkit engine, Research in Motion (RIM) has made the Torch more usable — everywhere on the home screen is designed to get you to your most-used functions quickly and with a lot less cluttered. Managing a lot of emails remains Blackberry’s strength.

Best universal search function
And Blackberry’s strength has gotten even stronger. You’ll be able to find just about everything — from email to contacts or music — really fast by typing a word or two into its search function.

The cameras
The Torch’s camera is 5 megapixels – the standard. The video camera is lacking – it can shoot up to 640 x 480 resolution clips. The industry standard is 720p at 30 FPS. Best battery life No other smartphone compares to Blackberry right now in terms of battery life. blackberry.com.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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