Buyer's guide to mobile phones

Mobile news

Apple is about to launch its SDK (Software Developers Kit) for third-party programmers to create third-party applications for theiPhone and iPod touch. Expect games, customisable weather widgets and a pocket T3 Cool-ometer. Well, maybe, if we learn
how to program first.

Top tips

  1. Onboard mobile memory can be, shall we say, limited. If you want to store loads of tunes or videos on your phone, purchase a model with a memory card slot.
  2. When it comes to picture quality, camera phones can’t match proper shooters. However, the Sony Ericsson K850i and the Samsung G600 snappers are both very good.
  3. To access email on the move, get a phone with push email, eg RIM’s BlackBerry series. Email is forwarded (pushed) to your phone as soon as it arrives on the server.
  4. Increasingly, mobiles let you sync all your contacts with Outlook and its ilk. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work with Mac’s Address Book, so make sure you check compatibility.

#1 Music phone

Sony Ericsson W910i

£330

Performance: Walkman phones are among the best musical blowers around, and this is the best Walkman phone you can get. That means top sound quality, easy tune browsing, and TrackID to – yes – ID tracks.

Love: Sexy look. Sexy software. Sexy sound. Sexy Sadie.

Hate: The flat, mechanised keypad is, erm… less sexy.

Buy one here

Best of the rest - music phones

Motorola Razr2 V8

£290

Performance: Hello Moto. What’s that? You’ve added a music-controlling touchscreen to your latest flogging of the RAZR horse? Thanks very much; it sounds mighty fine.

Love: Tactile touchscreen. Iconic RAZR shape.

Hate: Although thin, it’s very wide and feels heavy. No 3G.

Buy one here

Nokia 5700 Xpress

£185

Performance: A meat-andpotatoes mobile that comes pretty close to the Walkman and the RAZR in terms of sound quality, without those phones’ tendency to make you look a big ponce.

Love: Solid all-round performance. MicroSD slot.

Hate: Not the most elegant looker. Lacks extras.

Buy one here

Camera phones

Sony Ericsson K850i

£420

Performance: Five megs, electronic lens cover and a xenon flash make this the number one cam-phone.

Love: Superb picture quality. Tons of photo effects.

Hate: No optical zoom. Weirdly shrunken buttons.

Buy one here

LG Viewty

£160

Performance: Streamlined, sexy design, a five meg camera and supreme video recording.

Love: Looks great. Takes fabulous pictures.

Hate: Apart from the camera, this mobile is a touch lacking in most other areas.

Buy one here

Samsung G600

£295

Performance: How Samsung fits a five-megapixel camera in a 14.5mm-thin frame we’ll never know.

Love: Nifty style. Very good camera.

Hate: Lacks features. No 3G. Poor LED flash.

Buy one here

Do-it-all phones

Blackberry Pearl 8120

£295

Performance: The Wi-Fi-toting, trackball controlled Pearl puts the web in your pocket.

Love: Push email. Great browser. Wi-Fi. Trackball.

Hate: No 3G. Two-letters-per-key unpleasantness.

Buy one here

Apple iPhone

£269

Performance: Over-hyped it may be, but the iPhone is undeniably desirable, thanks to the multi-touch interface and 3.5-inch screen.

Love: Amazing touchscreen. Great music player.

Hate: No 3G. Crap camera.

Buy one here

Nokia N95

£390

Performance: The original super-phone packs a five-meg camera, satnav, HSDPA, and Wi-Fi.

Love: Featires galore. Great camera and screen.

Hate: Utterly feeble battery. A few bugs.

Buy one here

Smartphones

Nokia E90 Communicator

£660

Performance: Throbs with HSDPA, GPS, Wi-Fi, 352x800 widescreen and a 3.2-meg camera.

Love: Awesome muscle. High-speed connectivity.

Hate: As heavy as some small dogs.

Buy one here

T-Mobile MDA Vario III

£220

Performance: Using Windows Mobile 6, the Vario III has a large, tilting touchscreen. Nice.

Love: Super-large touchscreen.

Hate: Super-large everything else.

Buy one here

Sony Ericsson P1i

£375

Performance: The P series gets a makeover with a new, sleek chassis for the suits.

Love: Built-in Wi-Fi. Business card scanner.

Hate: Annoying and fiddly keyboard.

Buy one here

Palm Treo 500V

£220

Performance: A competent smartie with a fantastic interface, plus Windows Mobile 6.

Love: Great for email. Simple to use.

Hate: No Wi-Fi. It’s quite average.

Buy one here

Search for audio visual shops

07-07-2011