It's the best of times to be a smartphone buyer. The competition is cutthroat, innovation reigns and multiple companies are vying for attention. The smartphone market is developing rapidly and arguably the most interesting tech sector to watch.
Articles about Smartphones
Although the 3.7in. Torch 9860 is easy to use and responsive, we're not sure that RIM is best serving the BlackBerry brand by jettisoning the physical keyboard.
The Torch 9810 has a touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard, but both have their drawbacks. Performance and battery life are good, but the lack of Flash support is disappointing.
If you want to try 3D on a smartphone we recommend the less expensive LG Optimus 3D, which shoots 3D stills to a higher resolution and has a dedicated 3D user interface with better 3D integration.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 offers an upgraded OS, solid specifications and good integration of a small touchscreen with an optical navigation pad and keyboard. But battery life is disappointing and, despite the novelty of Near Field Communication support, this is primarily a catchup device.
It's difficult not to be impressed with the 3D aspects of this smartphone, but there are drawbacks: it's large, sluggish at times and the battery life is abysmal. We're not sure this handset has much staying power, particularly as a business tool.
Motorola's Atrix is a competent high-end smartphone with a fast dual-core processor, good battery life, a fingerprint reader and a high-resolution screen. If you're prepared to invest in the accessories, you'll get considerably more functionality than the average smartphone delivers.
HTC's Sensation has a fast dual-core processor and a high-resolution 4.3in. screen. The Samsung Galaxy S II remains our favourite high-end smartphone, but the Sensation comes a very close second.
The Galaxy S II's large Super AMOLED Plus screen and lightweight build are impressive, and there's a useful software bundle running under Android 2.3. This is a very expensive smartphone, but if you have the budget, we heartily recommend it.
Dell's Venue Pro is a first-generation Windows Phone 7 device whose standout features are a large screen and a slide-out portrait-format keyboard.
The Desire S is an advance on last year's Desire, but not a huge one. Despite Android 2.3 and dual cameras, there might not be enough here to tempt you to upgrade.
The Optimus 2X's dual-core processor makes the UI feel responsive and enhances many activities, while its 4in. screen is great for multimedia, web browsing and email. However, LG has crammed too many apps on-board, and we'd have preferred Android 2.3 and longer battery life.
A 4in. screen, 1GHz processor plus front and rear cameras give the Incredible S smartphone plenty of appeal, although we'd class it as impressive rather than 'incredible'.
Apart from its slide-out keyboard, the HTC 7 Pro is similar in many respects to other Windows Phone 7 handsets, thanks to the Microsoft platform's locked-down nature.
Google's Nexus S runs Android 2.3 at good speed, has a high-quality 4in. Super AMOLED screen, front and rear cameras, and delivers decent battery life. We like it, and if it had a microSD card slot we'd like it even more.
The Bold 9780's key new feature is OS 6, as many of its specifications are unchanged from the 9700 model. We'd have preferred a faster processor, but the ever-excellent mini-keyboard should be a winner for mobile email fans.