New smartphones let you see the world from the palm of your hand, writes Stephen Fenech
NOKIA N900 $899
Nokia: 1300 366 733, nokia.com.au
NOKIA’S latest entry into the smartphone market offers the best of both worlds with a touch-sensitive screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard. The N900’s 3.5-inch screen is very responsive and the keyboard lets you type messages, tweets or status updates quickly. The downside of having both is the added weight (181g) and thickness (1.6cm) of the device. The N900, which is due for release next month, also runs a new Maemo operating system that makes it easier to multi-task and browse the web. For nearly all of its functions the N900 needs to be held in landscape mode like a laptop, but it can be flipped sideways to make calls.
HTC HD2 $829
HTC: 1300 482 482, htc.com/au
THIS phone’s headline feature is its enormous screen. It’s simply huge at 4.3 inches and makes web browsing, media viewing and reading messages comfortable. The device is also quite thin and, with an exclusive Telstra partnership until March 31, it sings along nicely on the Next G network. It has space for memory cards to expand its storage and a 5-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom. Under the hood, the device runs Windows Mobile 6.5 and it’s here that it puts the smart into smartphone with mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint plus full email synching with Outlook using ActiveSync.
IPHONE 3GS $879 16GB/$1040 32GB
Apple: 13 36 22, apple.com.au
THE iPhone reinvented the smartphone with a touchscreen interface and slick operating system. It also created a new mobile computing platform that has inspired more than 140,000 apps for the device. Apart from being a phone, the iPhone is also a great way to browse the web and access email, both private and corporate. It incorporates a fully fledged iPod that can store thousands of songs and can play movies and TV shows in the palm of your hand. Couple that with GPS navigation, wi-fi connectivity, a 3-megapixel camera that can capture video and stills, a voice recorder and voice controls and you have got a very personal computer.
SAMSUNG ICON HD $999
Samsung: 1300 362 603, samsung.com.au
THE specs on this are impressive, starting with its bright 3.7-inch screen that can display up to 16 million colours. The Icon HD packs in an 8-megapixel camera that takes highquality images, but the trump card is its ability to capture and play video in high definition (720p). Running the Symbian operating system, the Icon HD provides a clean and reliable interface to navigate its many features, including Outlook email, Microsoft Office compatibility, a business card scanner, voice recorder and FM radio. It can also share files, including high-definition video, wirelessly using DLNA to compatible devices on a home network such as a TV or computer.
BLACKBERRY BOLD 9700 $999
BlackBerry: (02) 9463 7600, blackberry.com
BLACKBERRY cut its teeth as a tool for business users, but today the smartphones are selling faster among regular consumers. The Bold 9700 reflects this trend with a designer look, high-res screen and multimedia features that make it as much an entertainer as a communication device. Its strength is as an email device that can deliver your Gmail or connect to your company’s secure server for business mail. And having a full qwerty keyboard means heavy email users who don’t like typing on glass can power through messages with ease. A new feature is the trackpad that allows users to navigate the device with the brush of a finger.