av­er­age phone

Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son test drives what she be­lieves to be five of the best smart­phones go­ing around

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

1

LG OP­TI­MUS 3D P920

LG, $ 799 lg. com/ au

★ ★ ★ ★ ■

THE 3D tech­nol­ogy is some­thing to be­hold. The LG Op­ti­mus 3D is the first smart­phone to come with a glasses-free 3D view­ing of­fered in a sim­i­lar way to that of the Nin­tendo 3DS. Its 4.3-inch screen de­liv­ers 3D footage only when called on and res­o­lu­tion is amaz­ing. Those who watch videos or an­i­mated e-books would be well ad­vised to take breaks to pre­vent eye strain. The Op­ti­mus has a 5-megapixel cam­era with dual lenses ( for 3D im­ages), ac­cess to YouTube 3D and it runs An­droid Froyo ( 2.2). Dolby sound, Blue­tooth, a Mi­cro HDMI con­nec­tion for shar­ing im­ages on a 3D TV and a dual-core 1GHz pro­ces­sor also fea­ture, the lat­ter to keep it run­ning smoothly.

2

SONY ERIC­S­SON XPE­RIA NEO Sony Eric­s­son, $ 699 sony­er­ic­s­son. com

★ ★ ★ ★ ■

THIS phone of­fers some­thing oth­ers can­not: Sony imag­ing tech­nol­ogy. The 8-megapixel cam­era on this phone comes with an Ex­mor R CMOS sen­sor, which of­fers above-av­er­age per­for­mance in low-light con­di­tions. This makes it ideal for use in­side, at par­ties and wed­dings, pro­duc­ing high-qual­ity pho­tos and video. The Neo also de­liv­ers a 3.7-inch touch­screen for view­ing pho­tos, An­droid Ginger­bread soft­ware ( 2.3) and high-def­i­ni­tion sound over Tel­stra’s mo­bile net­work. It is also Face­book-friendly and comes in a unique form, with a curved body and rounded edges. Only of­fered by Tel­stra for a lim­ited time – three months – it is cur­rently avail­able on a $ 59 plan over 24 months.

4

HUAWEI IDEOS X5

Huawei, $ 349 huaweimo­bile. com. au

★ ★ ★ ■

3

SAM­SUNG GALAXY 551

Sam­sung, $ 480 sam­sung. com/ au

★ ★ ★ ■

EX­CLU­SIVE to Tel­stra, this slide-out key­board smart­phone’s claim to fame is it’s a mid­dle-of-the-range de­vice with plenty of op­tions for rel­a­tively lit­tle out­lay. It de­liv­ers a 3.2-inch touch­screen and a 3-megapixel cam­era, uses Google’s An­droid Froyo soft­ware ( 2.2) and fea­tures Sam­sung’s soft­ware layer TouchWiz. It also comes with a GPS chip for putting you on maps from Google or Tel­stra. The Galaxy 551 also of­fers Sam­sung’s So­cial Hub app that lets you email, text or Face­book friends eas­ily. The slide-out key­pad is ap­peal­ing and over­all it is a com­pact and use­able phone that could ap­peal to those look­ing for a less-com­pli­cated but equally pow­er­ful Galaxy prod­uct of­fer­ing. THE 3.8-inch ca­pac­i­tive touch­screen on this phone de­liv­ers crisp im­ages, mak­ing it a de­light to use. In­side, the X5 runs An­droid Froyo ( 2.2) with­out any spe­cial ex­tras added by its Chinese maker, and comes with an 800MHz pro­ces­sor and a 3.2-megapixel cam­era that is ac­cept­able, though not in the same cat­e­gory as the ChaCha or Op­ti­mus 3D tested in this round-up. Huawei does add 2GB of in­ter­nal stor­age for pho­tos and the hand­set comes with an 8GB Mi­croSD card with­out ex­tra cost. This phone can also now be used as a wi-fi hotspot, like other An­droid Froyo phones, af­ter Huawei de­liv­ered an over-the-air up­date.

5

HTC CHACHA

HTC, $ 299 htc. com/ au

★ ★ ★ ★ ■

THIS has a Face­book but­ton, mak­ing its in­ten­tions and tar­get mar­ket – teens. The ChaCha has a 2.6-inch touch­screen above a QW­ERTY key­board, mak­ing it re­sem­ble a Black­Berry and mak­ing sta­tus up­dates quick. The hand­set is curved and sits nicely in your hand, while its screens de­liver HTC Sense tweaks over the lat­est An­droid soft­ware ( Ginger­bread). De­spite its low price, the ChaCha also comes with an 800MHz pro­ces­sor, 5-megapixel cam­era with aut­o­fo­cus and LED flash, a 2GB Mi­croSD card and a GPS chip for check­ing into Face­book Places. Users may find the keys small, but at $ 299 it’s the best value for money.

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