HANDY CALLERS

New smart­phones let you see the world from the palm of your hand, writes Stephen Fenech

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

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.

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