The touch-screen mobile phone market has exploded in recent times. Since the launch of Apple's iconic iPhone 3G almost every mobile phone manufacturer has scrambled for a slice of the touch-screen pie. This is great news for consumers, as it has provided more competition and, ultimately, better and more capable touch-screen mobile phones.
The wow factor surrounding the launch of the original Apple iPhone in the US was hard to ignore. Previously, touch-screen technology was an afterthought in the mobile phone market. But Apple changed the phone landscape by providing an easy to use and eye-catching interface.
Although the iPhone certainly took the world by storm, there are plenty of alternatives. Here is out guide to the best-touch screen handsets on the market.
Apple iPhone 3G
You really didn't think we could round-up the best touch-screen phones on the market and not include the iPhone, did you? While many consumers are probably sick of the immense popularity of this handset, there is no doubting its appeal. The multi-touch interface is superb and the Web browsing experience with Safari is still unsurpassed. With the forthcoming 3.0 firmware update, many of the deficiencies of the phone will be remedied: iPhone users will have access to copy and paste, MMS messages and A2DP Bluetooth.
Apple's iPhone may not have all the bells and whistles of competing smartphones, but its appealing user interface will ensure it remains an appealing choice, despite the existence of feature-packed alternatives.
Powered by Windows Mobile, Samsung's Omnia attempts to push the clunky Windows interface as far into the background as possible. It only half succeeds though, as the further you delve into this handset the quicker you realise this is still largely a Windows Mobile smartphone with a nice coat of paint. The main attraction of the Omnia is its features list — HSDPA, Wi-Fi, GPS, 8GB of internal memory and a 5-megapixel camera. Samsung has thrown everything in bar the kitchen sink.
Another Windows Mobile–powered device with an overlaying interface, HTC's Touch Pro has one feature that definitely trumps the iPhone — a physical, slide-out keyboard. Despite the keyboard, the handset manages to retain a sleek and stylish design and offers a wealth of features. Borrowing inspiration from Apple, HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface certainly delivers a lot of eye candy, and most of it is functional too.
LG's Renoir is certainly impressive. A whopping 8-megapixel camera is the main attraction, and the touch-screen interface is excellent. Although it isn't perfect, the Renoir is undoubtedly the best camera phone we've ever reviewed.
The HTC Dream is a strong smartphone effort overall and the Google Android OS has a lot of potential. The Dream is missing some critical hardware and software features that prevent it from being a standout handset, but early adopters and gadget freaks will be excited by the Android operating system.
Exclusive to Vodafone in Australia, the BlackBerry Storm is RIM's first attempt at a touch-screen phone. The Storm features a "clickable" touch screen to simulate the pressing of actual buttons, differentiating itself from the rest of the touch-screen smartphones on the market. The lack of Wi-Fi connectivity is a huge letdown, though, and while the Storm is an admirable smartphone it falls short in a few areas.
We had to wait a long time for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1; it was announced almost a year before it was released in Australia. It's not the game-changing handset that it looked like it would be when it was first announced, but the panel system has its merits and the display and design of this smartphone are first class.
Nokia's first touch-screen mobile phone, the 5800 XpressMusic is not an iPhone killer but it provides a solid building block as Nokia moves into this space. This smartphone packs in plenty of features, but it falls short in terms of usability due to the resistive touch screen and an unorthodox text input method.
Boasting a screen larger than the iPhone 3G's, HTC's Touch HD is attempting to steal the limelight from Apple. Although the screen isn't full high definition, it is one of the best on the market. Combined with HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface, the Touch HD is one of HTC's best smartphones yet.