As far as apps go, O2 only has the one My O2 which lets you check your account status and does what it says on the tin. Vodafone has three. The first is People Sync for backing up and transferring your contacts from your previous phones to your iPhone, Vodafone Update that integrates your status updates and messages across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and, finally, Vodafone Navigation, which gives you turn-by-turn routing. The first two are free, while the third is 5.00 a month.
One other difference we did notice when we had the phones side by side was that our O2 iPhone 3GS phone, which we've had since day of release, had a yellow tinge to its screen, which we only noticed when placed next to our sample Vodafone handset, which was white and clear. If this was an early 3GS issue though we imagine that it would be solved by now on all networks.
Data speed really is the crux of the argument between the networks and it's definitely something that O2's competitors are playing on. Indeed Vodafone's slogan claims in its iPhone advertising that it is "the network you can rely on".
How true is it in the real world? Naturally, there are a great many factors that could affect network performance, such as how busy the cell happens to be at that particular time. As such, we could only hope to get a snapshot of performance on that particular day, so that's what it should be considered.
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Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.
Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.