Christmas Gift Guide: Mobile Phones

Does your mobile phone look like it has been through a war zone? Do you still have an old monochrome screen? Can you remember last time you purchased a new mobile phone? Is it time for you to upgrade?

Does your mobile phone look like it has been through a war zone? Do you still have an old monochrome screen? Can you remember last time you purchased a new mobile phone? Is it time for you to upgrade?

There has never been a better time to buy a mobile phone. Despite the economic crisis, mobile phones will continue to sell, as the world can't live without them. With Christmas upon us again, why not treat yourself to the latest in mobile technology?

For prepaid or low-volume users on a budget, there are plenty of choices. If you're not interested in all the bells and whistles and just want to make calls and send text messages, then why not check out the Nokia 2630? One of the cheapest handsets on the market at just $79, it also manages to throw in Bluetooth and an FM radio. If you've got a little more room to move, Sony Ericsson's W380i boasts touch-sensitive music controls and includes a gesture motion feature that allows you to silence incoming calls and set the alarm to 'snooze'.

If your budget is a little more flexible, Nokia's 6600 Fold is one of the most stylish phones on the market. It impresses thanks to its excellent build quality and it has a flashy external display that blends into the phone when it's not on. The Samsung U900 also stands out. It features an "adaptive touch" control panel that changes depending on which handset functions are being used. A 5-megapixel camera with LED flash as well as 7.2Mbps HSDPA technology also place it in good stead.

At the top end of the market there are a mix of handsets claiming the latest and greatest features. Nokia's N96 is one of the most feature-packed smartphones available, with built-in GPS, a 5-megapixel camera, HSDPA technology and a whopping 16GB of internal memory. A similar handset is Samsung's INNOV8 (i8510), claiming many of the same features but upping the camera to 8 megapixels. Also joining the 8-megapixel club is Sony Ericsson's C905 — definitely worth a look if you're after quality photos.

For those looking for a touch-sensitive Christmas, there is plenty of good news for you! There are a wealth of models available, headed by *drum roll* the iPhone 3G — you didn't actually think we'd have a Christmas gift guide without the iPhone, did you?

Thankfully, if you are over the iPhone hype but still want a touch-screen phone, there are alternatives. Samsung's Omnia i900 uses a skinned Windows Mobile interface and throws in all features bar the kitchen sink. HTC's Touch Pro manages to combine a full QWERTY keyboard with a touch screen, and it packs in plenty of style whilst doing so.

Finally, there are a number of touch-screen models being released just in time for Christmas, including the long-awaited Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1, the Blackberry Storm 9500, Samsung's F480T and the LG's 8-megapixel Renoir.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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