Answering the call: 15 Mobile phones reviewed

Summary: Answering the call  Mobile phone reviews...

 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.

Topics: Mobility, Reviews

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