Each section is ordered by review date. Scroll down for Windows Mobile, Nokia S60, Palm and BlackBerry reviews.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s PlusFor an "s" year, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus offer significant improvements over the last generation of this extremely popular phone family. The size and look remain the same, though there's a new rose gold color that blushes pink. The 4.7" iPhone 6s and 5.5" iPhone 6s Plus sport newer and significantly faster Apple A9 CPUs with double the RAM for a nice performance boost. Both front and rear cameras are much higher resolution and Apple's finally joined the 4K video recording bandwagon. The casing is more rigid and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner recognizes your fingerprint nearly instantaneously. Lastly there's 3D Touch for new interactions with the touch screen. Not bad for an off cycle year. Editor's Choice 2015
iPhone 6Apple's mainstream phone is larger now at 4.7", but it's still hand and pocket friendly. The IPS display is stunningly colorful and sharp with great viewing angles, and the newest iPhone is fast thanks to the Apple A8 dual core 64 bit CPU. The iPhone 6 has an aluminum body finished in silver, space gray or gold, and it's available with 16, 64 or 128 gigs of storage. It has a very good rear 8MP camera with fast lens and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that will work with Apple Pay for mobile payments. Editor's Choice 2014
iPhone 6 PlusIt's Apple's first phablet, or really big smartphone if you hate that label. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" full HD IPS display that's one of the best, long battery life, a crazy slim design and as ever an attractive unibody aluminum design. The phone runs iOS 8 on Apple's dual core, 64 bit A8 processor with multi-core graphics and 1 gig of RAM. You can get it with up to 128 gigs of storage and in your choice of silver, space gray or gold. Is it a handful? Yes it is. Is it wonderful for watching videos and playing games? You bet! Editor's Choice 2014
iPhone 5sThe iPhone 5s features Apple's new A7 CPU and a fast PowerVR multi-core GPU that's twice as fast as the iPhone 5 and 5c. The latest flagship iPhone sticks with the Leica inspired metal design and 4" Retina Display, and Apple has added a gold color option. The updated 8MP iSight camera with larger pixels takes noticably better low light shots and the front FaceTime camera offers sharper and brighter video chats. The new iPhone features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor so you can unlock the phone with a press of a finger. The smartphone runs iOS 7 and as usual is available in 16, 32 and 64 gig capacities. Editor's Choice 2013
iPhone 5cThis is the first time Apple introduced two new iPhone models at the same time: the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. While the iPhone 5c is basically an iPhone 5 in more playful colors, it's certainly more exciting than leaving us with the choice of buying this year's model or last year's at a discount. In fact, the iPhone 5c makes us realize how viable that older model still is, with fast performance, the usual excellent (albeit small) 4" Retina Display and a capable 8MP rear camera.
iPhone 5Apple's latest iPhone is the first to feature a larger 4" Retina display with a 16:9 aspect ratio that's perfect for watching TV shows and video. As ever, it's one of the sharpest displays on the planet, and despite the larger display, the iPhone hasn't gotten that much larger. The iPhone 5 is available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon in the US, and all models have LTE 4G for very fast data speeds. The iPhone 5 features Apple's new A6 CPU and triple core GPU that keep up with the fastest Android phones in the US. It has an 8MP rear camera that can shoot panoramas and a much improved 720p front video chat camera. The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6 and as usual is available in 16, 32 and 64 gig capacities. Editor's Choice 2012
iPhone 4SThe iPhone 4S hardly needs an introduction: it's Apple's latest and greatest (yes greatest) iPhone yet, and it's available on three of the big four carriers. Each carrier uses the same hardware, with only software and firmware differences setting them apart. The iPhone 4S has a dual core Apple A5 CPU that's twice as fast as the iPhone 4, and it's available in three storage capacities. It uses the same 3.5" Retina Display as the iPhone 4, and it has an improved 8 megapixel camera that can shoot 1080p video. It runs the new iOS 5 operating system and it has the remarkable Siri voice-activated personal assistant.
iPhone 4It's June and you know what that means: a new iPhone model. The iPhone 4 once again had thousands of people standing in line at absolutely ungodly hours, waiting and hoping to get Apple's latest wonder toy. And the iPhone 4 is undoubtedly the best iPhone yet with a stunning industrial design, superb build quality, an excellent camera and free video chatting over WiFi. The Retina Display is extremely sharp and easy on the eyes and the smartphone is very fast. But all isn't perfect with the iPhone 4, and that gives the competition a little room to breathe. Editor's Choice 2010.
iPhone 3GSAnother summer and another iPhone are here. The iPhone 3GS is Apple's newest phone to take the world by storm, or at least a modest tempest. The new model looks the same as the old, but it sports more storage (16 and 32 gig), has a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus and VGA video recording at 30fps, it supports Bluetooth stereo headphones and adds voice dialing and voice command. It's noticeably faster too thanks to a new CPU and graphics chip. 3G HSDPA speed should double once AT&T builds out their upgraded 7.2Mbps network which the iPhone 3GS supports thanks to upgraded hardware.
iPhone 3G Another year and another iPhone has hit the market, this time worldwide, with just as much fanfare as the first model. Though the iPhone 3G adds only a few new features, they're big ones: 3G HSDPA and a GPS. Other improvements include better audio, improved Bluetooth and that nifty new 2.0 iPhone operating system pre-installed, which adds support for 3rd party applications that are easy to download and install via iTunes on the desktop or directly to the iPhone. The phone has a curvy back that feels better in hand and looks great, though it's slippery as heck. The iPhone 3G is a quad band GSM world phone with worldwide HSDPA support, and it's sold by AT&T in the US.
iPhone Probably the most talked about consumer electronics or mobile phone ever, the iPhone is finally here. And yes, it works as well as it does in the demo videos on Apple's website. The iPhone is wildly innovative thanks to its unique touch screen that's gesture sensitive, multi-press aware and it even knows when it's close to your face and turns the touch screen off. It's super-fast, has the best web browser we've seen on a PDA or smartphone, syncs to Macs and PCs, is a full iPod Video and it has a capable email client. It's available only through AT&T, and it's a GSM world phone with EDGE for data. Also included are a 2MP camera, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR. Editor's Choice 2007.
Amazon Fire PhoneAmazon's first smartphone runs Fire OS 3.5 with full access to Amazon's many services, including Kindle, Prime Instant Video, Amazon Music and Audible. It has a 4.7" HD display that's bright and very attractive and it has Dynamic Perspective for 3D effects. The Fire phone runs on a 2.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2 gigs of RAM and 32 or 64 gigs of storage. The phone has a very good rear 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and Amazon's Firefly feature that identifies products, TV shows and movies.
Android Phones and Tablets
HTC One A9The HTC One A9 is HTC's "more affordable" but still stylish Android smartphone. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone 6s, but once you get past that, you'll admire the quality aluminum casing and slim design. The One A9 is available unlocked and via carriers, and it has a 5" 1080p AMOLED display, 32 gigs of internal storage and a microSD card slot. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense software on the Snapdragon 617 midrange CPU. The rear 13MP camera is a great improvement for HTC and it takes pleasing photos.
Moto X Pure Edition (2015, aka Moto X Style) Another year, another Moto X. For 2015 things get really exciting with the Moto X Pure Edition (Moto X Style overseas); it's a much more powerful phone than anything we've seen under the Moto X, G and E labels, and it's much bigger. The Moto X Pure Edition has a 5.7" QHD display and a fast Snapdragon 808 CPU with 3 gigs RAM. Other goodies include a microSD card slot, 21MP rear camera, and the usual Moto Maker customizable backs, trim and colors. This is an unlocked phone that works on all major US carriers (GSM and CDMA) with a starting price of $399. Note that Moto sells this phone direct and unlocked, AT&T stores don't carry it.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+The super-sized version of the Galaxy S6 edge sports a stunning 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display with side curves. The phone is available in gold and black, and it's a stunning looking piece. Inside, it's mostly the same internals as the Note 5 (minus the pen) and Samsung Galaxy S6. It runs Android 5.1 and TouchWiz on the 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with 4 gigs of RAM and fast UFS 2.0 storage. The edge+ has a 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and a front 5MP camera and rear 16MP camera.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 The fifth generation Samsung Galaxy Note goes high style with a glass and metal design that matches the Samsung Galaxy S6. Undeniably the best looking Samsung phablet to date, the Galaxy Note 5 is also faster, has an even better display and some of the best cameras you'll find on a phone. Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the new S6 Edge +, the Note 5 runs Android 5.1 and TouchWiz on the 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with 4 gigs of RAM and fast UFS 2.0 storage. It has a 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and the venerable S Pen, but it loses the removable battery and microSD card slot that were staples of previous Note models. Editor's Choice 2015
Samsung Galaxy S6 ActiveThe rugged sibling to the standard Galaxy S6 is exclusive to AT&T in the US. It has the same goodies inside, including the extremely fast 2.1GHz Exynos octa-core CPU, 3 gigs of RAM, a heart rate monitor and Samsung's best in class rear 16MP camera. The Active is water and dust resistant, and you can submerge it up to 3 feet deep for 30 minutes. It's also designed to withstand drops, something the glass and metal Galaxy S6 and S6 edge cringe at. Even better, battery capacity is significantly higher at 3500 mAh, though alas it's not removable.
LG G4The LG G4 is the company's best high end smartphone yet. With an evolution of the LG G3 design that makes a 5.5" phone seem manageable, a comfortable curve and new leather backs that simply look stunning, it's hard not to like the looks. The LG G4 has a QHD IPS quantum 5.5" display, a truly impressive 16MP camera with a fast f/1.8 lens and OIS, a sharp 8 megapixel front camera and a removable 3,000 mAh battery. The phone runs Android Lollipop 5.1 with LG UI on the 1.8 GHz Snapdragon 808 CPU with 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. The LG G4 will be available on most carriers in June 2015.
HTC One M9The HTC One M9 is every bit as gorgeous as the One M8. In fact it has a little more polish, literally and figuratively, and I'd say it's the best looking One yet, though some might have trouble telling the M8 and M9 apart at first glance. The HTC One M9 runs Android 5 Lollipop with HTC Sense software on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU clocked at 2 GHZ. It has 3 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot HTC stuck with the same 5" 1920 x 1080 LCD 3 display as the M8, but upgraded the rear camera to a traditional 20MP model.
Samsung Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 EdgeWhat a difference a year makes. Samsung's new mainstream sized flagship phones for 2015 are every bit as attractive and elegant looking as the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9. Clad in glass and aluminum, both the GS6 and S6 Edge are classy and attractive phones whose looks match the excellent features inside. From the scrumptious 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED displays to the fast 2.1 GHz Exynos octa-core CPU these phones are winners. There's a much more reliable fingerprint scanner, a sharp 5MP front camera and an excellent 16MP rear camera with OIS and 4K video capture. Editor's Choice 2015.
LG G Flex 2 Let's face it, the original LG G Flex wasn't a huge sucess-- the specs were lacking and the phone was too big for most. The LG G Flex 2 remedies these issues, and it's actually a fine phone that might charm you with its attractive and comfortable curve. The LG G Flex 2 runs on the new 2 GHz Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU and it has a pleasing curved 5.5" full HD P-OLED display that's color saturated and sharp. The phone has the same very good rear 13MP camera with OIS as the LG G3 along with dual band WiFi 801.11ac, NFC and an AV remote. The smartphone is flexible and the back has a self-healing finish that's somewhat scratch resistant.
Google Nexus 6This year Google is attacking the phablet market with their 6 inch Nexus 6. It's back to the high line too, with the device priced at $649 full retail and unlocked. The big 4 US carriers will also offer the Nexus 6, so you'll have payment and contract plan options. The Nexus 6 runs on the fastest CPU currently available in an Android smartphone, the quad core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with Adreno 420 graphics and 3 gigs of RAM. It's available in 32 and 64 gig capacities. It has 4G LTE on 12 bands, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and a GPS. Surprisingly for Google and Moto, who don't have the best track record with phone cameras, the Nexus 6 has a capable 13MP rear camera with a Sony sensor.
Samsung Galaxy Note EdgeWe've seen phones that have curved glass simply to have curved glass. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, the curvy twin to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, has a curved display with a purpose. Sure it takes the Note 4 design and makes it look cool and different, but that waterfall curve on the right side gives us a secondary 160 pixel display to interact with. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is otherwise the same as the excellent Note 4. It has a QHD 5.6" Super AMOLED main display (enhanced with curved Gorilla Glass 3 and a curved AMOLED panel underneath that adds the 160 x 2560 edge display), a removable faux leather back cover, metal sides and it runs on the Snapdragon 805 quad core 2.7GHz CPU with 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage plus microSD card slot. The excellent 16MP rear camera with 4K video recording is here too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4That fabulous phablet is back and better than ever. The Note 4 is the most stylish looking big phone from Samsung yet, thanks to metal sides and a refined design. The S Pen is here for precise writing and drawing, and the striking 5.7" Super AMOLED display runs at an impressive 2560 x 1440 resolution. The Note 4 runs on the new 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 quad core CPU with Adreno 420 graphics and it has 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. Other goodies include a fingerprint scanner, health monitor, 4K video recording and a removable battery. Editor's Choice 2014.
Moto G (first gen)The $219 4G LTE Moto G is extremely affordable, stylish and it fits nicely in the palm of your hand thanks to the 4.5" screen size. Of course you won't get flagship specs or a giant screen for that price, but it's a classy looking device with good build quality, reasonable speed and a colorful display. The Android 4.4 phone has a 4.5" HD display and it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU with Adreno 305 graphics and a gig of RAM. It's available with 8 or 16 gigs of storage and it has a 5 megapixel rear camera.
Samsung Galaxy AlphaThis is the first Samsung Galaxy to have a metal frame around the edges (the Galaxy Note 4 will soon join it) and it's meant to be the classy model. It's also downsized and designed to compete with the 4.7" iPhone 6. The Alpha shrinks the standard sized flagship Galaxy S5 without dumbing down the specs too much. Thus the Alpha has a 4.7" Super AMOLED display, the same 2.5GHz quad core Snapdragon 801, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It has a 12MP camera that takes photos and videos that are nearly indistinguishable from the 16MP GS5 and it has a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button. Sounds lovely if you prefer a more manageable size phone and better looks than the Galaxy S5. The drawbacks? No microSD card slot and the display resolution drops to 720p.
Moto X (2nd gen) Once again Motorola mixes extreme fashion with a low price tag, but the 2014 Moto X amps up the specs to battle the flagship competition. The Moto X has a 5.2" AMOLED display, this time running at full HD 1080p resolution. It's wildly colorful with impressive contrast. The Android 4.4 KitKat phone will get the upgrade to Android L and it runs on the Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, just like other high end phones. You can order it with your choice of 25 different back colors, including 4 wood and 4 leather options, and it's one of the best looking smartphones money can buy. The Moto X is available as an unlocked GSM phone with LTE 4G and both AT&T and Verizon sell it too.
LG G3The LG G3 is the company's flagship Android smartphone for 2014, and it's a big one, literally and figuratively. Actually, for a 5.5" phone, it's surprisingly compact, and it's not much larger than the smaller-screen HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The G3's biggest claim to fame is the impressively high 2560 x 1440 IPS display--that's the same resolution as high DPI Windows 8 laptops, but crammed into a 5.5" screen for 538 PPI density. Is that overkill? Sure it is, but it's great for marketing in a world where better than HD and 4k are big buzzwords. Editor's Choice 2014.
Samsung Galaxy S5 ActiveThe more rugged sibling to the Samsung Galaxy S5 can withstand a drop of 4 feet onto a flat surface, and it has the GS5's water and dust resistance. The Active has the same flagship specs and features as the standard S5 except it has no fingerprint scanner. It has a vibrant Super AMOLED HD full HD display and it runs on the new 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU with 2 gigs of DDR3 RAM. Other features include an excellent 16MP rear camera, 4G LTE and a removable back and battery.
Asus PadFone XThe Asus PadFone has been around for two years, but a model hasn't made it to the US until now. The question is, is it too late or is the timing just right? The timing might be just right for adoption by average folks who want both a tablet and a smartphone and for enthusiasts in the US who weren't quite daring enough to order an import. The PadFone X is available on AT&T for just $199 with contract. That price nets you both the phone and the tablet dock. Now that's pretty sweet. The PadFone X is a flagship level Android smartphone with a 5" full HD IPS display, 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera. The tablet dock transforms the Padfone into a full HD tablet.
Moto E The Moto E is just $129, no contract. Wow. For a phone with a nice enough design, interchangeable and colorful back covers, the latest 4.4 KitKat OS, a pleasing display and good voice quality, that's crazy. This is an unlocked GSM world phone, so you can use any GSM carrier's SIM (there are AT&T and T-Mobile friendly models), and you'll get 3G but no 4G LTE. The most affordable Motorola Android smartphone has a dual core Snapdragon CPU, a 5MP rear camera and a 4.3" qHD 960 x 540 display.
Samsung Galaxy S5The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the manufacturer's flagship mainstream size Android phone for 2014, and it sports a new fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor. It has a best of breed 5.1" Super AMOLED HD display running at 1920 x 1080 and it runs on the new 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU with 2 gigs of DDR3 RAM. As you'd expect from Samsung, it's very slim yet it has a removable battery and a microSD card slot. The rear 16 megapixel camera is one of the better models on the market and it can even shoot decent 4K video. The GS5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung's TouchWiz UI and software. It's available on all major and some regional carriers. Editor's Choice 2014.
HTC One M8We liked the first HTC One quite a lot, and this year's model address many of its (sometimes small) shortcomings while bringing us one of the most gorgeous phone designs yet. The HTC One M8 is or will be available on all major carriers and it runs Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6 for a tasteful and light customization of the OS. It's the first phone to ship with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU for modest speed gains and it has 32 gigs of storage plus a microSD card slot. The 5" full HD LCD is sharp and bright, and the new 5 megapixel front camera will be a hit with the video chat crowd and selfie fans. Is it perfect? Not quite, but it's good enough to win our Editor's Choice award.
LG G FlexSome folks have given the LG G Flex a hard time for being downright odd: it's a curved 6" Android smartphone with some flexibility to avoid breaking. The curve actually feels good in the hand, cuts down on glare and makes this otherwise huge phone a bit more manageable. Inside the specs are all flagship with one exception: a 2.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage, a huge battery and a capable 13 megapixel camera that can shoot 4k video. But the display resolution is relatively low at 720p, and that hurts. Is that enough to doom the G Flex? Read our review to find out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3There's no denying that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 continues to top the charts as best phablet. Since the original Note shipped a few years back, we've seen occasional competition for the bigger than a phone but smaller than a tablet crown, but Samsung's combination of a relatively compact and light body, S Pen digital pen and custom software still make the Galaxy Note 3 the best phablet at the high end. The third generation Note has a 5.7" full HD Super AMOLED display, a very fast 2.3GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU with 3 gigs of RAM, our beloved S Pen with note taking and art apps, a capable 13MP rear camera and the usual LTE 4G, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11ac.
LG G2This is LG's best Android smartphone to date. From the glorious 5.2" full HD IPS display to the capable 13 megapixel camera to the new super-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core 2.26GHz CPU, the phone is a winner. Despite the larger display, the G2 is no bigger than the smaller-screen Galaxy S4 and HTC One, thanks to the edge-to-edge display. The phone has a generous 3,000 mAh battery, dual band WiFi 802.11ac, NFC and a capable 2.1MP front camera.
Moto XFinally, an Android smartphone that caters to ergonomics and usability with handy features like an active sleep screen that keeps you informed and always-on voice command. The Moto X will be available on all major US carriers and it has a 4.7" 1280 x 720 AMOLED display, 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU with custom processors to handle voice and motion recognition (Moto calls this their X8 processing platform), 2 gigs of RAM, 16 or 32 gigs of storage, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR, NFC, a front 2MP camera and capable RGBC 10MP rear camera.
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3Here in the US, we don't get tablets that do cellular voice as do lucky consumers in Europe. The Mega-sized Galaxy with a 6.3" display is large enough that it could do double duty as a small tablet. Yet it's still a phone and it has the usual calling features, speaker and built-in mic. This is a mid-range device with a fairly low price tag, but for those who use data and apps more than calling, the Mega 6.3 still has what it takes to be productive. It has a 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1.5 gigs of RAM, 8 gigs of storage and a 1280 x 720 PLS display.
Samsung Galaxy S4 ActiveIf you love the Samsung Galaxy S4 but need a water and dust resistant smartphone that can survive poolside splashes and an accident with cocoa powder when baking, the Galaxy S4 Active is your phone. It has the same internals, software and apps as the non-Active model, and that means you get a very fast 1.9GHz quad core processor, 2 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of storage and Android 4.2.2 with Samsung TouchWiz software. The phone has an 8MP camera (a downgrade from the GS4) but as a consolation it has an underwater photo mode.
LG Optimus G ProThe LG Optimus G Pro grows on us the more we use it. No pun intended; yes it's a large 5.5" Android smartphone, but the narrow design makes it easier to hold-- it feels like a phone, just bigger. The G Pro runs on a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, and that's currently the fastest CPU on the market. with 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of internal storage, it's got top shelf specs. The removable battery, microSD card slot and excellent 13 megapixel camera round up a very solid feature set. But the real selling points are the full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS 5.5" display and $199 on contract price that's less expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Samsung Galaxy S4This is Samsung's 2013 flagship Android smartphone. Yes, you could call it an evolutionary device, but the new features (love 'em or hate 'em) are more than evolutionary. When a phone watches you and responds to your movements, that's something new and exciting (and sometimes crazy making). Perhaps it's a revolutionary smartphone trapped in an evolutionary casing? The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 5" full HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 quad core CPU with 2 gigs of RAM and an excellent 13 megapixel camera.
HTC OneThe HTC One has the perfect storm of smartphone features, from its fast and brand new Snapdragon 600 quad core CPU to its stunning full HD 4.7" display and impressive UltraPixel camera that laughs at darkness. Then there's the striking aluminum casing that gives the iPhone 5 a run for your money and excellent BoomSound stereo speakers up front where they belong. Better yet, it's available on three of the top four US carriers and HTC sells an unlocked GSM edition for those who like their autonomy and unlocked bootloaders. Editor's Choice 2013.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0If you love the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 but prefer something more portable, the new Galaxy Note 8.8 is for you. This 8" Android tablet has all the features of the larger Note 10.1 tablet, including the S Pen with Wacom digitizer, a very fast 1.6GHz Exynos quad core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and Samsung's custom software for multi-tasking, playing video in a floating window and more. The only drawback? The price. But if you need the precise digital pen, it's worth the price of admission. The tablet has a 1280 x 800 display, a microSD card slot, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a GPS.
Pantech Discover Pantech isn't known for their high end phones, but that's changing with elegantly designed, well equipped Android smartphones like the Pantech Discover. The phone has a 4.8" display running at 1280 x 720 and a sleek design that doesn't look the least bit cheap though the phone is only $49 on contract with AT&T. The Discover has a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 CPU with a gig of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage and a microSD card slot. The Discover has large side-facing stereo speakers and a 12.6 megapixel rear camera with LED flash.
HTC One X+How do you make a very good thing even better? If it's a smartphone you add a few more cores while cranking clock speed, increase battery capacity and cram in 64 gigs of internal storage. That's the HTC One X+, available exclusively on AT&T in the US. It's the mid-cycle spec bump to keep the phone competitive with the Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Optimus G and other high end phones. The iconic unibody polycarbonate design, superb 4.7", 1280 x 720 Super LCD2 display with 312 ppi pixel density and smooth and reliable performance are here from the One X. But the One X+ moves up to the new NVidia AP37 1.7GHz quad core Tegra 3 CPU, making it faster than both our US One X with the dual core Snapdragon and the international 1.5GHz Tegra 3 One X.
Samsung Galaxy Note IIYou know the Samsung Galaxy Note was one of our top picks last year, right? Well, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a 5.5" smartphone or phablet is even better. Bigger display, much faster CPU than our US first gen Note, a better camera and more S Pen features. The Note II is available on all major US carriers, with a $299 price tag with contract. The Note II has a 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display that works with both touch and the included S Pen. It runs on Samsung's quad core Exynos CPU with MALI 400 graphics and it has 2 gigs of RAM. Other amenities include a micro SD card slot, LTE (except on T-Mobile) and a removable 3,100 mAh battery.
LG Optimus GLG's new flagship phone has what it takes to fight the competition from Samsung and HTC. This Android 4.0 smartphone is available on AT&T and Sprint, and it packs an excellent 1280 x 768 IPS display into a slim 0.33" casing with a patterned glass back. This is the first US smartphone to run the 1.5GHz quad core Qualcomm S4 Pro CPU with Adreno 320 graphics and it's by far the fastest in most tests. The phone has LTE 4G, NFC, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a GPS. The Sprint version has a 13 megapixel camera AT&T version has an 8MP rear camera. Both run LG's Optimus UI with compelling features that we actually find useful, even if we're still not fond of their icon selection.
Pantech FlexThe Pantech Flex is a lot of phone for just $49.99 on contract with ATT. Soon to be joined by the similarly priced LG Escape; the Flex offers some reasonably high end features like a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU (the same as that used on the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X ), LTE 4G and a qHD 4.3" Super AMOLED display. It's a slim and good looking phone, and doesn't have that chunky budget look of previous Pantech models in this price range.
Motorola Atrix HD The bargain priced Android smartphone with high end features! The Atrix HD looks more like the Motorola Droid RAZR than prior Atrix models, and that means a beveled Gorilla Glass front and Kevlar back. The phone runs a clean version of Android 4.0.4 on the same 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm S4 CPU used in the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III. It has 4G LTE, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a front video chat camera and a rear 8MP camera with LED flash. The ColorBoost 720p LCD display is one of the Atrix HD's best features: it's colorful and extremely sharp.
Sony Xperia IonThe Xperia Ion might not be getting a lot of marketing love, but it's a sweet phone. For $99 on contract with AT&T, you get an award winning design with a sleek glass front and curved metal back, LTE 4G and a 12MP camera. The phone has a 4.6" 720p Mobile Bravia display that's simply stunning, and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon dual core CPU. The bad news? It ships with Gingerbread, but it will get ICS as an over the air upgrade.
Samsung Galaxy S IIIThe 2012 edition of Samsung's top of the line Android smartphone features a 4.8" Super AMOLED 720p display, a very fast 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of storage. It has an excellent rear 8MP camera, clear voice and LTE on the Sprint, Verizon and AT&T versions.
HTC One XIt's hard to not fall in love with the HTC One X on AT&T. The polycarbonate unibody design is stunning, the 720p Super LCD wraps around the front of the phone in a show of colors and crispness and the phone is fast thanks to Qualcomm's fourth generation Snapdragon "Krait" 1.5GHz CPU with Adreno 220 graphics. If that's not enough, the 8MP camera has a BSI sensor, fast lens, 1080p video recording with neato options like panorama, slow motion video and simultaneous video and photo recording. Oh, and there's fast LTE 4G with HSPA+ to fall back on, great call quality and more. Editor's Choice 2012.
Samsung Galaxy Note There's nothing quite like the Galaxy Note. This Android smartphone is a pocket tablet with a 5.3" display running at an impressive 1280 x 800 resolution, just like 10" Android tablets. That means the Super AMOLED HD display is extremely sharp and it boasts the usual super-saturated colors and deep blacks. The phone has a Wacom dual digitizer and comes with a pen that tucks neatly into a silo. The AT&T version runs on the very capable 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snadragon CPU and it has 16 gigs of storage. Throw in a sharp 8MP camera, a strong GPS and AT&T LTE 4G, and you've got an amazing Android smartphone.
Pantech Burst AT&T has been aggressive with their LTE phone pricing, and the Pantech Burst is their latest pleasant surprise. For only $50 on contract, you get a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core Android smartphone with 4G LTE and a sharp and bright 4" Super AMOLED display. The Burst isn't particularly thin but it's not bad looking and it feels and looks well made. It offers good voice quality and fast data both on LTE 4G and HSPA+. If you're looking for a fast Android smartphone with LTE but don't want to spend too much, be sure to check out the Burst.
LG Nitro HDThe LG Nitro HD is definitely a phone worth getting exciting about. What's so hot about this Android smartphone? It has a 720p IPS display, and LG makes some impressive mobile displays. It runs on the same dual core 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU as the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the slightly lower clocked HTC Vivid, and it has an excellent 8 megapixel rear camera. Good stuff, no? Better yet, the Nitro HD has true 4G LTE on AT&T.
Samsung Captivate GlideCan't get enough Samsung TouchWiz and Super AMOLED goodness? Wish the Captivate or Samsung Galaxy S II had a hardware keyboard? Samsung's latest mid to high end Android smartphone on AT&T gets you some keyboard love. The Samsung Captivate Glide has a slide-out hardware keyboard married to a 4" Super AMOLED display, Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread and a 1GHz Nvidia dual core Tegra 2 CPU. Not too shappy for $149 with contract.
HTC VividThe HTC Vivid is a lovely high end phone with enticing specs and true 4G LTE. Though its 4G LTE launch mate, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, shows it up in some, but not all, respects, we can still recommend it, especially for HTC fans. The HTC Vivid it has a 1.2GHz dual core CPU, a lovely 4.5" qHD display and HTC's high end 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording. It runs Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 3.0 software.
Samsung Galaxy S II SkyrocketGot LTE? If you're an AT&T customer in one of their fifteen 2011 launch markets, the Skyrocket is an enticing variant in the sucessful Galaxy S II line. The Skyrocket has true 4G LTE with fallback to pretty zippy HSPA+ 21Mbps. The phone has a 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display running at 800 x 480 resolution, and a dual core 1.5GHz CPU that's impressively fast. Throw in a large battery, two excellent cameras and Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top of Android OS 2.3.5 Gingerbread, and you've got an exhilarating smartphone. The Skyrocket and HTC Vivid are AT&T's first LTE phones. Editor's Choice 2011.
Motorola Atrix 2The Motorola Atrix 2 has crept out from under the iPhone 4S' coattails this weekend for a mere $99 on contract. That doesn't mean the Atrix 2 isn't an excellent high end Android smartphone. What's improved from the original Atrix? The Atrix 2 has a larger 4.3" qHD display that's more colorful and brighter. Text is easier to read on the larger display, and movies are more enjoyable too. The phone has HSPA+ 21 Mbps, and we indeed got faster speeds vs. 14.4 Mbps AT&T. The Atrix 2 has Webtop and works with the optional Lapdock 100 that turns it into a an ultraportable notebook of sorts.
Samsung Galaxy S II One of the hottest high end phones of 2011 has made it to AT&T, and it's virtually unchanged from the overseas version. That's not a bad thing since the phone keeps the manageable yet capacious 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display and super-fast Samsung Exynos dual core 1.2GHz CPU that sets a new limit for speed. This Android super-phone has an 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen, 4G HSPA+, an admirable 8 megapixel main camera plus front video chat camera. Did we mention that it's literally pencil-thin? The Samsung Galaxy S II has earned our Editor's Choice award, and should be on your short list when shopping for a smartphone on AT&T. Editor's Choice 2011.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4GNow you can get your game on with Sony Ericsson's first Playstation Certified phone on AT&T as well as Verizon. AT&T has bargain-priced this capable Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone at $50 with contract. It has a slide-out Playstation controller that's a working copy of the console controller. It makes gaming much more enjoyable and you can select from a healthy selection of titles in the Market once you've played through the included games. The Xperia Play has a second gen 1GHz Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 205 graphics, an absolutely lovely 4" capacitive touch screen, 4G and dual cameras.
LG Thrill 4G The LG Thrill 4G is a hard smartphone to beat for $99. it's got all the high end trimmings, including a glasses-free 3D display and 5 megapixel 3D camera. The Thrill has a 4.3" display and it runs on a dual core 1GHz CPU with Android OS 2.2 Froyo and LG's pleasing UI customizations. The phone is large and solidly built, with LG's signature soft touch back that's highlighted with a metal strip that houses dual camera lenses and an LED flash. It has HSPA+ 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS. We particularly like the selection of 3D apps and LG's adjustable 3D effect. It's fast, 3D is fun and this is the first phone that makes us want 3D.
HTC Status(Video Review) HTC and AT&T's affordable and cute QWERTY messenger is the closest you'll get to a Facebook phone. It has a Facebook button that launches the app, and it supports Facebook chat. There's plenty of other social networking and messaging goodness in this compact Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone with HTC Sense software. We like the excellent hardware keyboard, but the 2.6" display is a bit small. The Status has a front video chat camera and a rear 5 megapixel autofocus camera that takes decent shots. The phone has the usual GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth, and it runs on an 800MHz CPU.
Samsung Infuse 4GThe Infuse 4G is an easy phone to fall in love with: it has a gorgeous and huge 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display yet it's very slim and potentially pocketable. This Android OS 2.2 Froyo smartphone runs Samsung TouchWiz on a 1.2GHz Hummingbird CPU with graphics acceleration that indeed hums along nicely. The battery capacity verges on extended with 1750 mAh of power and the phone has HSPA+ 21 Mbps 4G with HSUPA uploads (no speed cap here). Throw in 16 gigs of storage and two cameras with a very good 8 megapixel rear main camera and you've got a summer blockbuster on AT&T.
Motorola Atrix 4G The Motorola Atrix is currently the fastest Android phone on the market, and it's one of the most innovative thanks to a line of super-accessories like the Lapdock and HD Multimedia dock that turn it into a laptop or desktop computer of sorts. It's all powered by Webtop Linux which runs smoothly on the dual core 1GHz Tegra 2 CPU. The Atrix also has the highest resolution among Android phones with a 4", 960 x 540 pixel display. It runs on Android OS 2.2 Froyo with Motoblur software and it has 4G HSPA+.
HTC Inspire 4GAT&T is getting serious with Android now that their iPhone exclusivity is over, and the Inspire 4G is one lovely high end Android phone at a reasonable price. The Inspire 4G has HSPA+ 4G, a sharp 4.3" SLCD display running at 800 x 480 resolution and a second gen 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. The unibody aluminum alloy body is sumptuous and the 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash does 720p video with aplomb. The Inspire runs Android OS 2.2 Froyo with HTC Sense software. It's quickly become one of our favorite Android smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy TabThe first Android tablet that's a viable iPad opponent, the Galaxy Tab is offered by all 4 major US carriers and has a lot to love. The Tab has a 7" capacitive display running at 1024 x 600 and Android OS 2.2 Froyo. Like the Galaxy S phones, the Tab runs on a 1GHz Hummingbird CPU with GPU, has 512 megs of RAM, lots of storage, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth and a GPS. All Galaxy Tab models have 3G data but US versions cannot make calls over the cellular network. We review the T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon versions.
Dell StreakWe confess, we've got a little crush on the big Dell Streak. With a 5" super-sharp display, Android and full phone capabilities, this is a very versatile smartphone and tablet. It edges out the more expensive Galaxy Tab on portability and unlike the US Tab, the Dell can do voice calls too. The Streak has 3G HSDPA 7.2Mbps, a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 16 gigs of storage courtesy of a bundled microSD card and both front and rear cameras. The rear shooter is 5 megapixels with a dual LED flash, and the Streak has a GPS with compass, WiFi and Bluetooth. The Streak is gorgeous looking and it boasts high quality materials including a metal back cover and Gorilla Glass. If you're looking for a pocket computer and Internet tool first and a voice phone second, the Streak is well worth a look.
Motorola FlipoutAT&T and Motorola are at it again, making unusual looking Android smartphones with flipping and sliding full QWERTY keyboards. The Flipout is a standout in terms of looks and it's easy to pocket too. But the QVGA display is limiting and not the best looking we've seen. The phone is affordable and has mid to entry level specs including 3G HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth and a 3 megapixel fixed focus camera. The Flipout runs Android OS 2.1 with MOTOBLUR software. This is a video review.
Samsung CaptivateAT&T's first high end Android smartphone qualifies as a superphone. The Captivate is AT&T's version of the Samsung Galaxy S, and it features a fantastic 4" capacitive multi-touch Super AMOLED display with mind-boggling colors, a 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, 16 gigs of internal storage and Android OS 2.1 with Samsung TouchWiz 3.0. Other goodies include a good 5 megapixel autofocus camera that can shoot HD video, a GPS that works with Google Maps and AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi and a micro SD card slot. We like. No, it's not perfect, but Samung's first high end Android phone can definitely compete with the big guys.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10Sony Ericsson has gone through quite a few smartphone operating systems in the past few years. Now they're on Android, a hot and exciting new smartphone OS, and that's a good thing. Like most Sony Ericsson smartphones, this is a high end piece of hardware with a capacious 4" capacitive touch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 3G HSPA and an 8.1 megapixel camera. Sweet. Other goodies include the full Google suite of software, a GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and Sony Ericsson's enhancements to Android.
HTC AriaAT&T's second Android smartphone looks like a lot like the HTC Incredible, only small, much smaller. These days touch screen smartphones are livin' large, so if you want something that easily fits in a pocket, the Aria is one of the few. It's a solid mid-range Android phone with a 3.2" capacitive multi-touch display running at 320 x 480 resolution. The Aria is powered by a capable 600MHz CPU and it runs Android OS 2.1 Eclair with HTC's excellent Sense software. Other amenities include a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, a GPS that works with Google Maps spoken navigation and AT&T Navigator, WiFi and Bluetooth. It might not compete with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S (Captivate) Android superphone, but at $129 it's easy on the pocket.
Motorola BackflipThe Backflip gets its name from the unusual reverse clamshell design. When this QWERTY smartphone is closed both the display and keyboard face outward. It's a polarizing design that will have you doing backflips or calling it the "Backflop". We like the design since the 3.1" capacitive display is always accessible and it allows for a large keyboard in otherwise compact phone. This is Motorola's third MOTOBLUR Android phone, and that means it's social networking-enhanced; great for you cyber-social types and those who need solid Exchange support. The features are mid-range with a 528MHz CPU, 320 x 480 pixel display, a GPS that works with Google Maps and AT&T Navigator, WiFi and Bluetooth. The 5 megapixel autofocus camera is better than average for a mid-tier smartphone. The Backflip is no threat to the Droid but it's on par with the Motorola Devour and classier than the Motorola Cliq.
Palm Web OS
HP Veer 4GOne of the smallest smartphones on the planet, the diminutive Veer weighs just 3.6 ounces and will fit in a tiny jeans pocket. It looks like a miniature Palm Pre Plus and does all the same things the Pre does too. Though usability suffers when you shrink a phone this much, the Veer could appeal to those upgrading from features phones and those who despise behemoth smartphones. The Veer 4G runs webOS 2.12 on an 800MHz CPU and it has 4G HSPA. Other goodies include WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, a GPS and 5 megapixel camera.
Palm Pixi PlusThe third time around is a charm, and the Pixi Plus on AT&T is the best Pixi yet from Palm. It's features are identical to the Pixi Plus on Verizon, but it's a bit more responsive thanks to Palm's continued tweaks and improvements. The Pixi Plus is a great starter smartphone that's fun and easy to use, yet powerful. And if you're upgrading from a Palm Centro or an older Windows Mobile QWERTY bar phone it's worth a good look too. Features include a capacitive multi-touch display, an excellent web browser with pinch zoom, WiFi, Bluetooth, a GPS and 8 gigs of storage.
Palm Pre Plus The third time around, the Palm Pre is really hitting its stride. The Pre Plus on AT&T, like the Verizon version, features 16 gigs of storage and double the RAM of the Pre on Sprint. With a 3.1" capacitive multi-touch display, a fresh yet maturing webOS, full multi-tasking and a growing app catalog, this Palm breathes life into AT&T's ailing smartphone touch screen line. Other features include an improved slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a GPS that works with Google Maps and AT&T Navigator, 3G HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth and a solid camera that can shoot VGA video. Well worth a look if the iPhone doesn't float your boat. Heck, it's worth a look even if it does.
BlackBerry (OS 10)
BlackBerry Passport(video review) BlackBerry is back with a flourish. The Passport is certainly a unique phone that's wider than the average supesized smartphone. Though it's a challenge to hold and pocket, the design affords a useful wider display and roomy hardware keyboard that's a joy to use. The specs are thoroughly modern with a quad core Snapdragon CPU, high resolution rear camera and of course 4G LTE. We look at the AT&T version.
BlackBerry Q10This is the BlackBerry that Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It has a thoroughly modern OS that's fast, great at multi-tasking and secure, and it maintains that hardware QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry users love. For those who talk and text more than surf the web and watch videos, the BlackBerry Q10 is your phone. The keyboard is excellent and the phone has very good voice quality. Inside, it runs on the same internals as the already released BlackBerry Z10: 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon CPU, 2 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot. It has 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, a GPS and NFC. There's a front 2MP camera and a rear 8MP camera with HDR. The Q10 runs BlackBerry OS 10.1 and it has a 3.1" touchscreen.
BlackBerry Z10The all new BlackBerry OS 10 is here on RIM's first new phone in quite some time. The BlackBerry Z10 is a slab touchscreen smartphone with a 4.2" IPS screen running at 1280 x 768. It has a removable battery and microSD card slot, an increasingly rare set of features. The phone runs on a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with a gig of RAM and 16 gigs of storage. It has a 2MP front camera and rear 8MP camera with LED flash and backside illuminiated sensor. The Z10 is fast, fun and stable: BlackBerry is off to a good start.
Microsoft Lumia 640 XLThis big screen Windows Phone is easy on the wallet, selling for $249 full retail and 99 pennies with contract. The 640 XL has a 5.7" display, a removable 3,000 mAh battery, 4G LTE and a microSD card slot. It runs Windows Phone 8.1 update 2 on the quad core Snapdragon 400 and it's upgradable to Windows 10 for phones. It has a 5MP wide angle front camera and a capable 13MP rear camera. We look at the AT&T version in this review.
Nokia Lumia 830Think of the Lumia 830 as the affordable and slightly more pocketable version of the excellent Nokia Lumia Icon and Lumia 930. It has the same elegant design with a metal frame, but it adds goodies like a removable battery and microSD card slot. The specs are dropped down from the more expensive Lumia Icon, and the Lumia 830 has a 5", 1280 x 720 IPS display and it runs on the 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 with Adreno 305 graphics and 1 gig of RAM. The real star of the show beyond the classy chassis is the 10MP rear PureView camera with a fast Carl Zeiss lens and OIS (optical image stabilization). That might not be a class-leading camera resolution, but the photos and videos are quite good for a midrange phone.
Nokia Lumia 635This is a wildly affordable 4G LTE Windows 8.1 smartphone that's available on AT&T and T-Mobile for just $99 to $168 full retail. It has a 4.5" IPS display, removable battery and swappable back cover shells. The phone runs on a quad core Snapdragon 400 CPU with 512 megs of RAM and 8 gigs of storage, expandable via microSD cards. It has Cortana, Microsoft's new voice assistant, a 5megapixel rear camera and a GPS with GLONASS.
Nokia Lumia 1520And now for those who want something smaller than the Nokia Lumia 2520, we have the Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone, released at the same time as Nokia's first Windows tablet. The Lumia 1520 has a few firsts as well: it's the first Windows phone phablet, the first with a full HD display and the first to sport a quad core processor. Nice! Though the 6" Lumia 1520 might be too big for some, there's no denying the temptations of a Windows Phone that finally competes spec for spec with flagship Android phones. And the Lumia manages to beat most with its 20 megapixel main camera with dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss lens.
Nokia Lumia 1020The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the latest, greatest Windows Phone 8 flagship smartphone, and it's got something very special: a 41 megapixel Nokia PureView camera that reinvents zoom. It's not as bulky as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and it looks much like the Lumia 920, complete with a curved polycarbonate unibody design, curved Gorilla Glass 3 display and 4.5" ClearBlack AMOLED display that's outdoor viewable and glove friendly. The Lumia 1020 is exclusive to AT&T in the US right now, and it's available in matte white, black and yellow. It has 4G LTE, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and a GPS with GLONASS. The camera has a Xenon flash, Carl Zeiss Tessar f/2.2 6 element lens and a backside illuminated sensor. Does it steal the show? If you're a shutterbug, the answer is a definite "yes".
HTC 8XThe HTC 8X Windows 8 smartphone is one of the best looking and pleasing phones to hold in the hand. The soft touch finish and pyramid design with tapering sides is comfy and grippy, and the phone looks like none other on the market. The HTC 8X has a 4.3" Super LCD II display with Gorilla Glass running at 1280 x 720 and it runs on a capable 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU with Adreno 225 graphics. The phone has an excellent 8MP rear camera with backside illuminated sensor and it uses HTC's ImageChip.
Nokia Lumia 920The Windows Phone 8 flagship smartphone for the launch of Microsoft's newest phone OS has a great combo of features. From the super-sharp and bright 4.5" IPS display to an iconic polycarbonate housing in your choice of 5 colors, the Lumia 920 is a sweet smartphone. It runs on a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 CPU with a gig of RAM and 32 gigs of internal storage. It has LTE 4G, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC. The 8.7 megapixel PureView camera takes excellent photos and 1080p video and features optical image stabilization to take the blur out of shaky-handed shots. The phone is fast, fun and easy to use and it won't break the bank either.
Samsung Focus 2 The Focus 2 is Samsung's first LTE Windows Phone, and it's more portable and affordable than the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II LTE Windows Phones on ATT. The Focus 2 has a 4" Super AMOLED display running at the usual 800 x 480 resolution, and it's powered by the same 1.4GHz Snapdragon second generation CPU used in many current Windows Phone 7.5 Mango smartphones. The Focus 2 fights the popular Lumia 900 with its low $49.99 price tag with contract.
HTC Titan IISequels aren't always that exciting, but when you take an already popular and solid smartphone and add exciting features like LTE 4G and a whopping 16 megapixel camera, you've got our attention. The second generation Titan on AT&T still features a 4.7" Super LCD and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU, but the exterior has gotten a cosmetic lift with pleasing and un-slippery soft touch finishes and a curved chin with curved glass. The Titan II has a front video chat camera, and the usual WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM radio. But it's that big screen and 16MP camera that really steal the show.
Nokia Lumia 900This is Nokia and AT&T's latest flagship phone, and it's refreshing to see Windows Phone get the leading role. The Lumia 900 looks a lot like its little brother the Lumia 800 that's sold overseas. The Lumia 900 stretches the luscious ClearBlack AMOLED display to 4.3" and adds LTE 4G for fast data. The Nokia is distinctive, attractive and durable thanks to a sculpted unibody polycarbonate housing and Gorilla Glass display. It runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango on a 1.4GHz Snapdragon CPU with 16 gigs of storage, and it has a front video chat camera and an excellent 8MP rear camera. The smartphone sells for just $99 with contract.
HTC TitanHTC knows about livin' large, after all they created the at the time mammoth and ground breaking HTC HD2 and HD7S. Now that big phones are the trend, they've once again made one of the largest screen phones on the market: 4.7". The Titan joins the Samsung Focus S and the Samsung Focus Flash on AT&T as their first wave of Mango smartphones. It has a 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU, an excellent 8 megapixel rear camera and a front 1.3 megapixel video chat camera. Like the Focus S and Focus Flash, it has HSPA+ 4G 14.4 and the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS that works with Bing Maps and AT&T Navigator.
Samsung Focus SThe Samsung Focus S is one of three new Windows Phone Mango 7.5 smartphones on AT&T. It joins the HTC Titan and the smaller and more affordable Focus Flash, and it features Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display for super-rich colors and deep blacks. The Focus S shares a lot of DNA with the Samsung Galaxy S II on AT&T, and like the GS II it has a 4.3" display, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a very similar casing. The phone is only 0.33" thick and it weighs just 3.9 ounces. The Focus S has HSPA+ 14.4 for "4G" on AT&T, Zune music and video, XBOX Live gaming, WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS that works with Bing and AT&T Navigator.
Samsung Focus FlashThe Samsung Focus Flash is AT&T's most affordable second gen Windows Phone running OS 7.5 Mango. At $49 with a 2 year contract, it's a bargain. You get the same 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU found in the $199 Samsung Focus S, and the usual Windows Phone standards like an 800 x 480 resolution touch screen, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a front camera and a GPS that works with Bing Maps and ATT Navigator. This is a video review.
HTC HD7SAT&T's fourth Windows 7 device comes almost 8 months after they launched their intial trio of Microsoft's completely new smartphone lineup. The HD7 is an improved version of T-Mobile's HD7 with an upgraded 4.3" Super LCD, a tweaked 5 megapixel camera and the "no do" OS update pre-installed. We definitely love the large display for gaming and video watching too with the kickstand deployed. The HD7S is a great Netflix phone, an impressive XBOX gaming smartphone and it handles music beautifully. Since it's a Microsoft OS, you can count on MS Exchange and a solid MS Office suite. As always, we thoroughly enjoy the Metro UI, and HTC's elegant and robust industrial design.
Samsung FocusThe Focus is the hottest Windows 7 Phone on AT&T thanks to its stunning Super AMOLED display, slim design and user accessible microSD card slot. The display has eye-popping colors, is sharp and is quite viewable outdoors. The Focus, like all Windows 7 phones has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU with graphics acceleration, plenty of internal storage, a 5 megapixel camera that takes very nice shots, a GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11n. Of the first launch group of US Windows 7 phones, the Focus is our favorite.
LG QuantumAmong US launch Windows 7 phones, the LG Quantum is the only model with a hardware keyboard. The Quantum is a horizontal slider with a wide QWERTY keyboard and a 3.5" 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen. Like all Windows Phone 7 smartphones, it has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, plenty of internal storage, 3G HSDPA, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, a GPS and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera.
HTC SurroundIf you're an HTC fan and an AT&T customer, you'll likely be considering the Surround as your first Windows 7 phone. The Surround features HTC's usual excellent build quality and stately design, but it's a tad heavy and thicker than skinny smartphones like the Samsung Focus since it has a slider. No, it's not a keyboard slider but rather a slider for the stereo speaker bar amped up with Dolby Virtual Mobile and SRS Wow. If you want your Zune phone to sing it loud to the masses, the Surround is for you. Otherwise, it's your standard Windows Phone 7 smartphone, and that's not a bad thing given the high baseline specs: 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, 16 gigs of storage, WiFi, 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth, GPS and a 5 megapixel camera that shoots HD video.
Feature and Fashion Phones
Samsung Eternity IIDo you like electric blue? And really cool bubble patterns on your phone's back? For better or worse, these two features stand out most on the Eternity II. While the first Samsung Eternity back in 2008 was one heck of a cool touch screen phone for its time, the Eternity II doesn't really add anything to that two year old formula. The second Eternity is inexpensive though, and we actually really do love that blue color. The phone is available on AT&T and it has a 3" resistive touch screen, FloTV, 3G HSDPA, a 2 megapixel camera, music player, Bluetooth and a GPS. The phone runs Samsung's TouchWiz UI and it comes with social networking software, streaming video and other goodies.
Sharp FXThink of the Sharp FX as a Sidekick minus the Sidekick OS. This multimedia-heavy feature phone has FLO broadcast digital TV, AT&T's streaming video, a capable music player with Napster support and a 3.5mm stereo jack. The FX has a roomy QWERTY keyboard, a resistive touch screen and solid build quality. The usual goodies are there too: a GPS with AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth with A2DP stereo and a microSD card slot. If you're looking for a multimedia messaging phone and don't want to get into the smartphone thing, the Sharp is a worth a look.
Pantech LinkThe Link is an affordable messaging phone with better than budget looks and a sharp QVGA display. The Link features a good QWERTY keyboard and it's very slim. If you're a messaging maven or a heavy IM user but don't want a smartphone and the more pricey smartphone data plan, the Panech is definitely worth a look. It has 3G, a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth and it supports AT&T's services like Mobile Email, CV and Video Share.
Samsung MythicThe Samsung Mythic is the follow up to the very successful Samsung Eternity on AT&T. It's a tweaked and improved version of the Eternity and it gives you the goodness of a pocketable touch screen phone on AT&T without the iPhone's pricey data plan. The Mythic has a 3.3", 360 x 640 pixel touch screen with haptic feedback and an accelerometer. It runs Samsung's TouchWiz UI as do most of their touch screen phones, and that means it has a three screen desktop and widgets. Other goodies include a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with flash, Bluetooth with A2DP stereo, a music player, capable video player, GPS and Mobile TV which is broadcast digital TV over the air.
Samsung FlightWant a touch screen phone with a full QWERTY keyboard but don't want a bulky side-slider? The Samsung Flight SGH-A797 is a rare bird: it's a feature phone with a vertical slide-down keyboard and a touch screen. More pocketable and affordable than the Samsung Impression on AT&T, the Flight offers a QVGA touchscreen, 3G HSDPA, a GPS, 2 megapixel camera and Bluetooth. The touch UI is easy to use, though this isn't a TouchWiz phone.
Samsung SolsticeAT&T and Samsung's latest TouchWiz touch screen phone looks pretty good unless you compare it with the Samsung Eternity also on AT&T. The Solstice has a 3" touch screen and a fun, intuitive user interface with widgets. This 3G phone supports CV streaming video, Bluetooth with stereo and it has a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator. Other goodies include a 2 megapixel camera, voice dialing and a music player.
Sony Ericsson C905aWe take a very in-depth look at one of the highest megapixel camera phones on the US market. The Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C905a is offered by AT&T and it has an 8.1 megapixel camera with an autofocus lens, Xenon flash and an LED focusing light. Sweet! The C905a has a wealth of camera settings and controls and it takes excellent shots-- after taking 300 shots we're convinced. That wouldn't do much good if the Cyber-shot flunked on phone features and we're happy to say it has great call quality and solid calling features. The C905a has a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth 2.0, an FM radio, 3G HSDPA and an M2 card slot.
Sony Ericsson W518aIt must be Sony Ericsson month-- two new phones for AT&T and an unlocked high end Walkman phone. The Sony Ericsson W518a is a mid-level Walkman phone disguised as a super-thin flip. It's attractive, well made and not too slippery. Better still, it has very good music playback quality and runs the usual likeable XMB media interface with Walkman 3.0 software. The budget-priced flip has a GPS with AT&T Navigator, 3G, a full HTML web browser, Bluetooth with stereo support and a 3.2 megapixel camera. Not too shabby.
Samsung ImpressionCovet a touch screen phone like the Samsung Eternity but can't live without a hardware QWERTY keyboard? Samsung's answer is the Impression, which adds a roomy hardware keyboard for your texting pleasure. Though very similar to the Eternity, the Impression adds a few new goodies including more useful widgets and a jaw-dropping AMOLED display that's ultra-vibrant. The phone has a 3.2" touch screen, GPS, 3 megapixel camera, SDHC microSD card slot, music and video players. The Impression is a feature phone that runs Samsung's TouchWiz user interface and the phone is offered by AT&T.
LG Xenon One of two touch screen phones with side-sliding QWERTY keyboards just released by AT&T, the Xenon is the less expensive and more compact model. Despite its small size, it has an ample keyboard that's great for texting and email. It has a 2.8" resistive touch screen, 3G HSDPA, a GPS with AT&T Navigator, 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth with A2DP stereo and both music and video players. If you're looking for a budget texting phone with a touch screen, the Xenon is worth a look, with some caveats.
AT&T Quickfire The AT&T Quickfire by UTStarcom takes on the SideKick and then some. The phone features a slide-out keyboard whose design is reminiscent of the SideKick and T-Mobile G1. The Quickfire is feature phone, not a smartphone, and it has 3G HSDPA, a full HTML web browser, IM, basic email support, CV streaming video, a music player and an SDHC microSD card slot. Bluetooth with A2DP and a 1.3 megapixel camera round out this messaging phone's features.
Samsung PropelThe Samsung Propel SGH-a767 is one of an army of QWERTY keyboard messaging phones out for the holiday season. The Propel, like the QuickFire, Slate and Matrix have hardware keyboards but aren't smartphones, meaning lower data plan prices and they're easy to use. The Propel is a slider whose keyboard tucks away, and it has a 1.3 megapixel camera, music player with Bluetooth stereo, 3G HSDPA, CV streaming video and a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator.
Samsung Eternity Pretentious name aside, we really like AT&T's latest touch screen phone. The Samsung Eternity SGH-a867 features a large 240 x 400 touch screen with Samsung's cool TouchWiz UI. It has haptic feedback, a great on-screen QWERTY keyboard, Mobile TV, a full web browser, CV, a strong 3 megapixel camera, and a capable music player with 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and Bluetooth stereo. A great follow up to the popular LG Vu and a worthy competitor to the Samsung Behold on T-Mobile.
Sony Ericsson W350aAn incredibly thin, 2.8 ounce Walkman music phone that's free with an AT&T contract. The W350a comes in 3 colors (blue, black and white) and it has a Walkman music player, FM radio, Music ID and access to Napster tunes. The flip houses music controls and it opens to reveal a standard keypad and phone controls. The Sony Ericsson supports Bluetooth stereo A2DP and it has EDGE for data and a 1.3 megapixel camera.
Sony Ericsson Z750aTime to celebrate, Sony Ericsson fans: we've finally got a 3G model offered by a US carrier. AT&T is carrying the Z750a in your choice of three colors: gray with silver accents, pink and purple. It's a flip phone with HSDPA 3.5G for fast data and the HTML-friendly NetFront web browser is inside. The phone has a music player, A2DP stereo Bluetooth, a Memory Stick M2 Micro card slot, FM radio and it supports AT&T's multimedia services such as CV, MusicID and XM Radio. A pretty good little phone for $50 after rebates with a new contract.
Samsung AccessA member of AT&T's new Mobile TV duo, along with the LG Vu CU920. For those who prefer a normal phone with a number pad rather than the Vu's too cool for school touch screen gig, the Access A827 beckons. If broadcast TV gets you all hot and bothered, it's here with 10 channels that are digitally broadcast TV-style and not piped over the data network. The Access has 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth with A2DP and DUN, a music player, 1.3 megapixel camera with VideoShare support and a very good HTML web browser.
LG Vu The LG Prada's stateside cousin sports the same stunning looks and small size but adds a few goodies including a quad band GSM phone radio and US 3G HSDPA. The Vu is offered by AT&T and it's one of two phones to support their new broadcast TV service powered by Qualcomm's MediaFLO. It has a widescreen 400 x 240 touch screen display with haptic vibration feedback that looks great and works well. Also inside are a microSD card slot, 2 megapixel camera with autofocus lens, Bluetooth with A2DP stereo, mobile YouTube support and more.
Motorola Z9 Motorola's sexy new slider was just announced for AT&T at the CTIA trade show in early April. This is a feature phone that seems to have it all: stunning good looks with a metallic sheen and attractive color, solid build quality and a wealth of features. The Moto Z9 is the slider cousin to the popular RAZR2 V9 and shares that phone's styling and OS. But the Z9 adds something special: it's AT&T's first feature phone with a GPS and AT&T Navigator. The Moto also has a very good 2 megapixel camera, a large QVGA display, music player, SDHC microSD card slot and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR with A2DP stereo support.
LG Shine CU720 It's nice when a fashion phone is more than just a pretty face. The LG Shine CU720 for AT&T Wireless, like all Shine series phones, is uncannily attractive and well... shiny. But it's got a great laundry list of features including HSDPA, Cellular Video support, a capable music player, better than average 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth and a music player. The CU720 is a quad band GSM phone with dual US band 3G that's offered by AT&T in the US.
Sony Ericsson W580iThe new mid-level Walkman phone from Sony Ericsson is available from AT&T and unlocked from SonyStyle (we review both versions). This quad band GSM phone has EDGE for data and is small, really small. The slider design is sturdy and the curvy profile is attractive. It's available in white, black and gray and it has the usual full-featured Walkman phone music player, excellent audio quality, Music ID and an FM radio. The 2 megapixel camera takes quite good shots and there's a Memory Stick Micro slot to save photos and store music.
LG CU500 One of the phones in Cingular's slim 3G portfolio nonetheless has much to offer for a relatively low price tag. The CU500 supports UMTS and HSDPA on the US bands, works well with Cingular Video and it has Bluetooth, a 1.3MP camera, voice dialing, stereo speakers and an MP3 player. Well worth a look if you're looking for a phone that has fast data on GSM networks.
Sony Ericsson W810i The latest Walkman phone from Sony Ericsson not only holds more songs than an iTunes phone but it's got a great 2 megapixel camera as well. Looking more stately than the day-glow orange swiveling W600i, this phone is small, great looking and easy to use. It's a quad band GSM world phone with EDGE that's currently sold unlocked but will likely be picked up by Cingular in the US. It also has Bluetooth, an FM radio and Memory Stick Duo slot with 512 meg card in the box. Quite a lot in a small package!
July & Sept. 2006
Sony Ericsson W300iThis is one of Sony Ericsson's most affordable Walkman phone models, and it sports a good set of features including a great music player, Memory Stick Micro slot, VGA camera and Bluetooth. It's a quad band GSM flip phone that's available direct from Sony Ericsson unlocked or from Cingular in the US.
Motorola RAZR V3One of the most popular mobile phones ever sold, the RAZR banks that its thin-is-in looks, stunning metal keypad and popularity will convince you to slip one into your pocket. This flip phone has a quad band GSM radio that will work anywhere in the world GSM service is available, GPRS for data, Bluetooth and a VGA camera. It's offered by Cingular and T-Mobile in the US, and we take a look at the Cingular version.
Motorola SLVR L6The L7's little brother is a very fashionable and functional phone for less than $50 in the US. It's a Cingular phone but Radio Shack currently has the bragging rights to selling the phone. The L6 is a super-slim candy bar GSM quad band phone with Bluetooth, strong reception and a VGA display. Unlike the L7, it does not have iTunes.
Motorola SLVR L7The candy bar sibling to the sexy RAZR is super-slim at 11.5mm, and has the RAZR's signature polished metal keypad. The phone is all about looks and it's gorgeous to be sure and very light. The SLVR is Moto's second iTunes phone and it can hold up to 100 songs. It's got a VGA camera, Bluetooth and a TransFlash slot for expansion. The SLVR is a quad band GSM phone that's sold in the US by Cingular.
Sony Ericsson W600iThis is Sony Ericsson's first US Walkman phone with an integrated high quality MP3 player and FM radio. The phone has 256 megs of memory to hold tunes, and comes in a striking orange color with a swivel design. It's a GSM quad band world phone with EDGE for data, Bluetooth and a 1.3MP camera. It's offered by Cingular in the US. c
Smartphones: Symbian (Nokia S60)
Nokia SurgeHere's a Nokia phone that doesn't look like a Nokia. Designed with AT&T's input for the US market, the Surge is a typically funky looking messaging phone with a slide-down QWERTY keyboard. Aimed at those who want to move up from a basic messaging phone, the Surge is a capable S60 smartphone at a reasonable price. It has a QVGA display with accelerometer, GPS, 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth with a full set of profiles including A2DP stereo, an FM radio, MS Office suite, music and video players and CV streaming video.
Nokia E71xAT&T's version of the Nokia E71 keeps the charm alive.This super-slim and attractive metal-clad smartphone features a very good QWERTY keyboard, 3G HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth and a QVGA color non-touchscreen display. The E71x runs Symbian OS with S60 3rd Edition and it has a webkit-based web browser, email client and IM. For fun there's Flash Lite, Real Player, a music player and CV streaming video. Top that off with a GPS and AT&T Navigator and you've got a well-rounded smartphone. At $99 with contract, the E71x is a bargain.
Nokia N75The first Nokia S60 smartphone with US 3G. This quad band GSM clamshell phone is offered by Cingular in the US and it has UMTS 3G on the US bands. S60 flip phones are relatively uncommon but we love 'em in the US, so Nokia cooked up the N75 which features a fantastic main display, a capable music player with external controls, Bluetooth 2.0, Cingular Video, an FM radio and a 2 megapixel camera with LED flash. It has a best of breed web browser and it syncs easily to Outlook.
Nokia E62The US sibling of the Nokia E61 we reviewed and loved in August. This slim and attractive phone wants to be your PDA too. Its metal sleek silver casing has that thin is in look but with all the power you'd expect from a smartphone. It has strong PIM applications with Outlook syncing, an Office suite, a fantastic web browser, and support for several push email solutions including BlackBerry Connect. This quad band GSM world phone has EDGE for data, Bluetooth 2.0, a really sharp landscape QVGA display, excellent battery life and a QWERTY keyboard. It's offered by Cingular in the US for a modest $149.
ergonomic delight as a phone and PDA. Closed it looks like
a large candy bar phone, open it's like a mini notebook. This
triband GSM phone runs Symbian Series 80 and has full support
for PIM, Office, web and email. It has GPRS and EDGE for
data and a sharp widescreen color display. It's offered by Cingular in the US.
Sept. 2005 and March 2006
Windows Phones: Windows Mobile Professional (touch screen)
HP iPAQ GlistenThe HP Glisten is a Windows Mobile Pro QWERTY bar smartphone that calls to you business and messaging types. What does it have over a BlackBerry? It has both a QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen. The Glisten is solidly built and it has a fairly high capacity battery to accompany a full compliment of wireless: 3G HSDPA, GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi. It runs Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro on a 528MHz Qualcomm CPU and it's offered by AT&T in the US.
LG eXpoThe HTC Tilt 2 has a competitor among AT&T's Windows Mobile touch screen, high-end QWERTY sliders. While the eXpo doesn't do much to change the standard Windows Mobile 6.5 user interface, it goes for high end hardware with gusto. The eXpo is one of the very few US smartphones with Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, and the LG is indeed fast. It has a very capable 5 megapixel camera with autofocus lens, a biometric fingerprint scanner, a GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi. Even more interesting is the optional pico projector that turns the LG eXpo into one of the world's smallest presentation computers.
HTC Tilt 2AT&T's last to the race with their version of the HTC Touch Pro2 Windows Mobile Pro smartphone, but they're the first to offer it with Windows Mobile 6.5. The Tilt 2 boasts the same feature set as the Touch Pro2 on the 3 other major US carriers, but it ships with the newer Windows OS for phones and changes the keyboard layout a bit. It has an 800 x 480 touch screen, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and an awesome slide-out and tilt QWERTY keyboard. This review includes a 10 minute video review.
HTC PureAT&T's first Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro smartphone is here with HTC's TouchFLO 3D goodness. This small and light full-featured smartphone features a 3.2" resistive touch screen, a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus lens, very good video playback performance, WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS all at a reasonable price. It's the close relative to the HTC Touch Diamond2 sold overseas. If you're looking for an HTC WinMo phone with the latest OS that won't break the bank or your pants pocket, the Pure is worth a look. This review includes a video review.
LG InciteA new slate design touch screen Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional phone from AT&T. The Incite is something a little different from the world of HTC and Samsung touch screen PDA phones that have dominated this year. it's small and light, has a very sharp and bright 240 x 400 pixel display and a touch-customizations. We like the accelerometer and adore the proximity sensor (the iPhone isn't the only kid on the block with that feature now) that turns off the screen when the phone is against your face and turns it back on if you move the phone away. The Incite has a GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM radio and a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus lens.
HTC Fuze The TouchFLO 3D invasion continues, and now we have AT&T's answer to the Sprint Touch Pro with the HTC Fuze. The Fuze has the same set of features, but the casing is classic GSM Diamond, with a gloss black faceted back and angular lines. The Fuze is a quad band GSM phone with triband 3G HSDPA for the US and overseas. It runs HTC's TouchFLO 3D UI on top of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, and it has a wonderful VGA touch screen. Like the HTC Tilt it replaces, it has GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth with A2DP stereo too. The Fuze has a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard and support for email including push email, SMS and IM.
Samsung Epix Think of it as the Samsung BlackJack II on steroids. The Epix i907 on AT&T is a 3G QWERTY bar Windows Mobile Professional phone with a 320 x 320 pixel flush touch screen. It has a fast 624MHz CPU, yet it's got very good battery life. There's plenty of memory on board along with WiFi, a strong GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP stereo and a 2 megapixel camera. It plays CV, AT&T's streaming media service, and comes with a nice bundle of Samsung applications. One of our Fall favorites.
AT&T Tilt by HTC Last year we thought the Cingular 8525 was an impressive PDA phone. This year HTC and AT&T show themselves up with the Tilt, which adds a GPS, slide-out and up keyboard, better camera and Windows Mobile 6 Professional. The Tilt whose codename was the HTC Kaiser first shipped overseas as the HTC TyTN II and MDA Vario III. The Tilt is a Pocket PC phone with a touch screen, quad band EDGE, triband 3.5G HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 with AVRC and it has a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus lens. It adds a few AT&T-centric goodies like Cellular Video that keep this business-oriented device from turning dull during downtime.
Palm Treo 750The latest Windows Mobile Treo Pocket PC Phone gets a lot of love from us. Palm has done more than warm over a Treo 700: this GSM Cingular phone went on a diet, lost the external antenna and gained an improved camera and Bluetooth. Palm's customizations of Windows Mobile and the front-facing QWERTY keyboard make the Treo 750 a breeze to use one-handed. The 300MHz processor, ample RAM and ATI graphics accelerator keep it humming along nicely and 3G plus AKU 3.2 keep the emails flowing in nicely.
Cingular 8525 and HTC TyTNThis worthy successor to the HTC Wizard line of devices including the Cingular 8125 really wow-d us. We take an in-depth look at both the Cingular 8525 and the HTC TyTN which are non-identical twins running on both the US and European 3G networks with support for HSDPA. This quad band GSM world phone sports a 400Mhz CPU, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi 802.11b/g and has an excellent slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Its 2.0MP is the best we've seen on a Windows Mobile phone and the device is ready for serious business work and multimedia fun. The Cingular 8525 is sold by Cingular in the US and the HTC TyTN is sold unlocked by importers for use with any GSM carrier.
HP iPAQ hw6915 While the iPAQ hw6515 didn't meet our view of perfection, HP's new Windows Mobile 5 model, the hw6915 comes pretty close. This Pocket PC has a strong quad band GSM mobile phone, full PDA, WiFi, Bluetooth and a good GPS inside. No external antennas either, despite the 4 wireless radios inside. It runs on a 416MHz XScale processor, has 128 megs of flash ROM and a very good QWERTY thumb keyboard. Release date estimate: June 2006.
May and Oct. 2006
Cingular 8125 This HTC Wizard variant is a winner with slick looks and an excellent slide-out thumb keyboard. The device sports WiFi, Bluetooth 1.2 and has EDGE and GPRS for data. It's a quad band world phone that works anywhere GSM service is available. The phone is compact, has a 1.3MP camera, a great QVGA display and good battery life.
Windows Mobile Standard - Microsoft
Samsung JackIf you don't know Jack, it's worth getting to know him if you're the card carrying QWERTY-bar messaging type. This affordably priced Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard smartphone brings a new BlackBerry-esque look to the BlackJack line with more curves and an improved keyboard. The Samsung Jack is offered by AT&T and It's got a 528MHz CPU, 3G HSDPA for the US and Europe, a 3 megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth and a QVGA non-touchscreen display. This review includes a video review.
Pantech Matrix ProThe successor to the Pantech Duo shows a great deal of improvement. The smart cousin to the Pantech Matrix feature phone on AT&T, the Matrix Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard Edition and offers more robust email, syncing, web browsing and 3rd party application expandability. This QVGA non-touch screen phone features a dual slider: one for the number pad and another for the full QWERTY keyboard. It has 3G, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2 megapixel camera and a good GPS.
Pantech Duo The first 2-way slider Windows Mobile smartphone to hit the US, the Duo pays homage to its distant relative the Helio Ocean. The Duo is one of the smallest Windows Mobile 6 smartphones on the planet, if not the smallest. Though by no means thin, it's small in every other way and weighs only 3.9 ounces. AT&T offers the Duo which features HSDPA for the US, quad band GSM and support for CV streaming video, XM radio and MP3 playback. It's got a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 1.2 and a 416MHz processor. With both QWERTY and number pad sliders, the Duo also has very good ergonomics.
Samsung BlackJack II The follow-up to the extremely popular Samsung BlackJack for 2008 doesn't mess too much with a good thing. The II keeps the original version's excellent slim form factor and light weight while adding a GPS, more memory, a 2 megapixel camera that takes much better shots, Windows Mobile 6 and a wee bit larger display. The BlackJack II is offered by AT&T in the US and it's a quad band GSM phone with EDGE and triband 3G HSDPA. It has MS Direct Push email support, a microSD card slot that's compatible with high capacity cards and CV streaming video service along with XM Radio.
Motorola Q9 Global Motorola's been working the smartphone thing for several years now, and we say that the Q Global, AT&T's version of the Motorola Q9h is finally a winner. The slim good looks wouldn't mean a thing without an excellent set of features that work well: fast HSDPA 3.5G for data, a quad band GSM radio with excellent voice quality and good reception, GPS and a decent 2.0 megapixel camera. The Q9 has a faster-than-average 325mHz CPU, 256 megs of flash ROM, 96 megs of RAM, a QVGA landscape display and it runs Windows Mobile 6 Standard.
Samsung BlackJackThe 3rd Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition with a QWERTY keyboard to hit the US market, the BlackJack SGH-i607 might just be the best. It's got great ergonomics (with a few caveats), a lovely display and best of all, really fast 3G data on Cingular's HSDPA network. The BlackJack is slim, sexy and weighs only 3.5 ounces yet it has a surprisingly roomy keyboard, a good 1.3MP camera and Bluetooth 2.0. It's a quad band GSM smartphone offered by Cingular in the US.
T-Mobile Dash and HTC S620One of our favorite smartphones. The Dash and its unlocked near-twin the HTC S620 came out at the end of October. This super-slim and attractive quad band GSM Windows Mobile Smartphone has a very usable QWERTY keyboard and a landscape 320 x 240 pixel display that's just fantastic. It's got EDGE for data, WiFi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 and a 1.3MP camera. Certainly one of this year's hot MS Smartphones. The Dash sells for a modest $199 with contract from T-Mobile and the S620 will set you back a few hundred more.
Cingular 3125 You're going to flip over this phone. Puns aside, this clamshell Windows Mobile Smartphone has brains, good looks and a low price tag. It's a member of the HTC STRTrk family but it improves on other variants by adding twice the flash memory, 50% more battery capacity and it has good reception as well. The quad band 3125 is offered by Cingular in the US and it has EDGE for data, Bluetooth and a 1.3MP camera. Editor's
Samsung i320This Motorola Q killer is smaller, sleeker and faster than the fabled Q. Alas it's not offered by US carriers but you can buy it from importers unlocked for use with any GSM carrier. This triband phone has EDGE, Bluetooth and a wickedly fast 416MHz Intel XScale processor. And let's not forget a small but very usable QWERTY keyboard and a decent 1.3 megapixel camera with flash.
Cingular 2125Cingular's latest MS Smartphone runs Windows Mobile 5, and though it looks very much like the Audiovox SMT-5600 it replaces, a lot has changed under the hood. The 2125, which is a close cousin to the T-Mobile SDA features a 1.3MP camera, Bluetooth 1.2, a great 240 x 320 pixel display and easy syncing to Outlook on Windows desktops. This quad band GSM phone has both GPRS and EDGE for data, and has MS Office viewers and the usual Windows Mobile MP3 and video playback panache.
OS Smartphone Models
Palm Centro (AT&T) The Centro is back, this time for AT&T Wireless. We reviewed the Centro on Sprint's network last Fall and now AT&T is offering the GSM version for the same low $99. This makes the Centro the most affordable touch screen PDA phone on AT&T's network, and like Sprint, they're hoping that first time smartphone buyers will be attracted by the price and hop looks. The Centro runs Palm OS and it has a QWERTY keyboard that's ready for texting and email, including push email. It has a 320 x 320 color display, Bluetooth, a 312MHz processor and a microSD card slot.
Palm Treo 680The "affordable" Treo sells for $199 through Cingular and $399 unlocked for use with any GSM carrier direct from Palm. The Treo 680 sports a sleeker, antenna-less design but inside closely resembles the Treo 650. It's a quad band GSM phone with full Palm PDA features. It has EDGE for data, an SD expansion slot, VGA camera and Bluetooth 1.2 with better range than the Treo 650.
650The most popular
Palm OS smartphone just got better. The Treo 650 adds a slew
of improvements to the very popular Treo 600. It offers a
fast XScale processor, Bluetooth, a gorgeous 320 x 320 transflective
color display and great phone ergonomics. Let's not forget
that handy thumb keyboard, a sharper camera and Sprint's
fast data service. The device in both CDMA and GSM versions in
the US. Currently offered by Sprint, Cingular / AT&T
and Verizon Wireless in the US. An unlocked GSM version is also available
for use with any GSM carrier. Editor's Choice 2005
Dec. 2005 to May 2005
BlackBerry (OS 7 and Older)
BlackBerry Torch 9810 The Torch 9810 is AT&T's second generation Torch with a much faster CPU, a higher resolution display and the new BlackBerry 7 OS. The smartphone has a very solid slider, excellent build quality and a very sharp VGA capacitive touch screen. Other goodies include a much improved web browser, BBM 6 with new social integration, a better camera that can shoot 720p video and HSPA+ 4G. The Torch keeps up with the big boys thanks to its 1.2GHz CPU, 768 megs of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage. It's a Torch on steroids.
BlackBerry Torch 9800RIM's latest BlackBerry dares to be different, and that's a good thing. The Torch 9800 has both a capacitive touch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. There's a new OS to go with that multi-touch display and it brings the BlackBerry into the 21st century. It's intuitive, enjoyable and quite powerful, yet veteran BlackBerry users won't find it unfamiliar. The Torch has a new Webkit web browser, a 3.2" display, the usual excellent hardware keyboard, push email galore and a heap of multimedia. Other amenities include a 5 megapixel camera, 4 gigs of storage, a GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth. The Torch is certainly good enough to keep Berry addicts loyal, but is it enough fight off Android and iOS?
BlackBerry Bold 9700The baby Bold is here for those of you who found the original BlackBerry Bold 9000 too large and heavy. The Bold 9700 is narrower and lighter, while sporting the same impressive build quality as the 9000 (OK, it's a tiny bit less luxurious). It features an even higher resolution display than the first Bold, WiFi with WiFi calling on the T-Mobile version, a GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera and Bluetooth. This is the first 3G BlackBerry on T-Mobile. The 9700 is available on both T-Mobile and AT&T in the US.
BlackBerry Bold RIM's top of the line traditional BlackBerry has a fantastic 480 x 320 pixel color display that looks so good it's unreal. We call the Bold 9000 for AT&T "traditional" because it keeps the standard QWERTY hardware keyboard and non-touch screen display that the upcoming BlackBerry Storm on Verizon sets aside. The Bold is the first 3G HSDPA BlackBerry, and it has WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS too. Throw in Bluetooth stereo A2DP, a 3.5mm stereo headset jack, 2MP camera, and a great media player and an SDHC microSD card slot and you've got some serious entertainment possibilities as well. A beautiful phone, though somewhat large and particularly wide; the Bold is nonetheless a looker. Editor's
BlackBerry Pearl 8120Think of it as "Pearl 2.0". The new Pearl is small, super-light and sexy just like the original Pearl. The 8120, available on AT&T and T-Mobile adds several tweaks and improvements including WiFi, an easily accessible microSD card that's compatible with SDHC cards, a 2 megapixel camera that takes video and still shots, improved text prediction and a better web browser. Like all BlackBerry smartphones, the pearl 8120 does push email with aplomb and it features a SureType keyboard where two letters share a key. It's a quad band world GSM world phone with EDGE for data.
BlackBerry Curve 8300As the name suggests, the Curve isn't an angular beast like the 8800. It feels great in the hand, and has a more traditional BlackBerry keyboard with rounded keys that have plenty of separation. The 8300 is available on AT&T in the US, and it features a full QWERTY keyboard, a bright and colorful QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth and the usual push email goodness along with a good web browser.
BlackBerry 8800The wide brother to the sexy and successful BlackBerry Pearl sports the same great looks and slim goodness in a wider package that accommodates a full QWERTY keyboard rather than the Pearl's share-a-key design. Like the Pearl it has a vibrant display, newfound multimedia capabilities (it plays music and video), a trackball, Bluetooth and EDGE. The 8800 has an internal GPS and it's a quad band GSM world phone that's currently offered by AT &T (Cingular) in the US.
BlackBerry PearlWant BlackBerry push email but hate the looks and bulk? Well, RIM now offers one of the smallest and sexiest phones on the market: the Pearl 8100. This phone aims to compete feature-wise with MS Smartphone, Palm and Nokia offerings as it brings multimedia to the BlackBerry platform. And it competes with the sleekest of fashion phones in the looks department. The Pearl does email alright, but it also has a 1.3MP camera, MP3 player, video player and more.