Answering the call: 15 Mobile phones reviewed

Answering the call: 15 Mobile phones reviewed

Summary:  Answering the call  Mobile phone reviews...

TOPICS: Reviews, Mobility
 Answering the call
 Mobile phone reviews :
 LG G7100
 Motorola MPx200
 NEC e313
 NEC e616
 Nokia 6230
 Nokia 6600
 Nokia 6820
 Nokia 7200
 Nokia N-Gage QD
 Panasonic G50
 Panasonic GD55
 Panasonic X70
 Sharp GX30
 Siemens SX1
 Sony Ericsson P900

Mobile phone reviews In this special report, ZDNet Australia highlights more than a dozen mobile phones -- from smart phones and high-end 3G handsets to mobiles for the fashion-conscious -- which may suit your daily communication needs.

What features do you look for in a mobile phone?

The biggest problem any potential mobile phone user faces is, surprisingly, choice. Gone are the days where phones the size of a brick ruled. Today, mobile phone makers have successfully combined technology and lifestyle needs in one tiny gadget.

Colour screens are pretty much standard now. Every now and then we see the odd monochrome screen on a display, such as the cute Panasonic GD50. However, more and more colour-screened handsets are hitting the market, and currently range from supporting a dismal 256 colours to an astonishing 260,000 colours (in the case of Sharp's GX30).

Battery life varies enormously between different phones. If you're an avid traveller, you'll need a phone that can go the distance. 3G (third generation) phones are notorious for short battery life but to combat this, backup batteries might be bundled with a phone plan -- such as for the NEC e616 from Hutchison's 3 service.

Until somebody builds a wireless dream device that is interoperable with everything, connectivity needs to be considered. Most phones now offer support for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks. However, for direct connection with your PC or other devices, you might want to consider getting a handset with Bluetooth, infra-red or even a data cable. This allows you to easily transfer files, photos and synchronise elements such as Outlook calander and your contacts with a PC. Travellers should keep an eye out for a mobile phone that supports tri-band operation, for roaming to different network frequencies abroad, especially in the US.

A specification often overlooked is the amount of memory a mobile phone has. Whether it is to store hundreds of contacts or photographs, or to play your MP3 collection, you'll need a phone to keep up with your needs. Increasingly, phones supporting external memory cards, like the Siemens SX1, are becoming available.

If integrated e-mail is what you are after then you might want to consider a BlackBerry-compatible mobile phone, such as the Nokia 6820. Until recently, Telstra held an exclusive agreement to delivery BlackBerry wireless solutions to its customers. However, now that the deal has ended, other carriers such as Optus and Vodafone have announced plans to sell BlackBerry devices.

For PDA-like functionality, users should keep an eye out for smart phones. Microsoft Windows users will find a familiar interface on the Motorola MPx200 handset, which is powered by Windows Smartphone Edition. Sony Ericsson has recently upgraded its popular Symbian smart phone, the P800, to the P900.

Finally, some people simply admire style over substance and mobile phone manufacturers have many offerings in the fashion phone category. Panasonic's GD50 is the ultimate phone for night clubbers, the Nokia 7200 encompasses textile covers with an almost Louis Vuitton style, and the sleek LG 7100 boasts more flexibility than Nadia Comaneci.

LG G7100 LG G7100
Swivelling screens might be alluring but will LG Electronics have to twist your arm to persuade you to buy this mobile phone?

Motorola MPx200 Motorola MPx200
Heavyweights Motorola and Microsoft unite to produce the MPx200; a sleek, all-black clamshell smart phone.

NEC e313 NEC e313
Like a centre player on a basketball court, the 313's length makes it stand high above the rest. Does this combination from NEC and 3 score well with us?

NEC e616 NEC e616
A high-end handset from 3, the NEC e616 is capable of making video calls, sending video messages, downloading music/games and playing multimedia files.

Nokai 6220 Nokia 6230
This is a beautifully simple looking phone cleverly disguising a rich feature set.

Nokia 6600 Nokia 6600
This high-end mobile can be used for TV watching, taking photos, recording video, and Internet browsing

Nokia 6820 Nokia 6820
It's a Nokia phone that spreads open and gives the users the option to use "always on" access to e-mails. But is it as practical as they say it is?

Nokia 7200 Nokia 7200
Nokia has long dominated the mobile phone market yet strangely enough the Finnish manufacturer has never dabbled in creating clamshell phones. That is, until the 7200.

Nokia N-Gage QD Nokia N-Gage QD: First Look
Can Nokia's redesigned N-Gage hit the sweet spot with gamers? We take an early look.

Panasonic G50 Panasonic G50
The Japanese electronics maker mixes with Ministry of Sound to tweak the tiny G50; a mobile phone for clubbers and the fashion-conscious.

Panasonic GD55 Panasonic GD55
Miniature in size and light on the features, this great value handset will appeal to a young market segment.

Panasonic X70 Panasonic X70
It may seem like just the successor of the GD88, but the Panasonic X70 has its own features that will earn its own fan club.

Sharp GX30 Sharp GX30
Sharp's latest handset offers one megapixel photography, but only Vodafone Live users need apply.

Siemens SX1 Siemens SX1
Siemens mixes business with pleasure with the SX1 -- a smart phone which isn't just a pretty face.

Sony Ericsson P900 Sony Ericsson P900
Sony's update to the P800 is smaller, slicker and a solid challenge to every other smart phone out there.

ZDNet Australia's Scott Jeffery, Alex Kidman, Kristyn Maslog-Levis, Jeremy Roche, Lisa Simmons and ZDNet US's Joni Blecher contributed to this report.


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Topics: Reviews, Mobility

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  • Who cares? I spend good money on large screens for web access and watching video content at home, why would I pay large amounts of money to do the same on minute screens, at the slower rate wireless offers?
  • Does any mobile phone manufacturer cater for us "over 40's" who have failing eyesight? Do any of the current phones allow for increasing the size of the characters on the phones display?
  • For the over 40's...YES!
    C21 is selling off their Motorala V60i phones for
    $170(with $10 free calls)These have a 'Zoom'
    feature to increase the size of the text on the display, and decent size BLACK KEYS with WHITE
    numbers. With a very neat clamshell design it fits easily into my wifes purse and sits on my hip without geting caught in the car seat belt.
    In a month of searching nothing came near it. Why
    are all phones made for asian teenagers?
  • what ever happened to real specifications being supplied with equipment i allways though that performance is the real factor in equipment like, reception measured in db gain that is all that i want
  • I have a NEC 616e it is truly a serious piece of crap, it freezes up, it has poor reception (maybe network related 3G), extremely poor service from "three", it has now had three software upgrades in 2 months and still bad.
  • hi,
    i use a hearing aid in on ear and i am deaf in the other.the problem i am
    having in a situation i cannot hear the phone ring. as you might be
    aware that a lot of sounds cannot be heard or are hard to hear for deaf
    people. if i have my hearing aid out, and the phone rings and it can be next
    to me, on most accasions i cannot hear it,it is only because of the
    vibration that i know it is ringing.mabe it is possible for you to recomend a mobile phone that will be able to compose a
    sound if you have not already,like a car horn,truck air horn,train whistle,a
    loud nock as on wood. i do use a nokia as i am told by hearing australia
    they are best as far as sound goes.also if you think that there is a better
    phone please advise and i can give it a trial. i am sure that if you can do
    something on this line as far as a ring tone or or mobile phone goes it would be a big seller
    because there are a lot of people in the same situation. thanking you for
    your time and help if possible.if possible a reply please
    kind regards
    john bailey
  • your dead rite the phone is crap i cant wait for my contract to end so i can have plesure wacking it with a great big hammer