Best mobile phones of 2010

We rate the best mobile phones of 2010 -– so far

Apple has launched its highly anticipated iPhone 4, Google's Android operating system is going from strength to strength, and BlackBerry continues to push its e-mail-centric smartphones. But which mobile phone is best for you?

To help aid your buying decision, we've rounded up the 10 best mobile phones of 2010 so far. From the usual suspects like Apple and Nokia to the ever-impressive HTC and Samsung, BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson, there is something for everyone.

Apple iPhone 4

Despite well-publicised antenna issues, Apple's iPhone 4 is definitely the best iPhone yet. Its superb design, outstanding display and excellent camera make it an ideal upgrade for owners of older Apple handsets and enticing for non-iPhone owners. Many competing smartphones can do more, but none of them do it in a manner that's as slick or polished as the iPhone 4.

Outright price: $999 (32GB), $859 (16GB)

Available through: Apple online store, Apple retail stores and licensed dealers, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile

Read our full review of the Apple iPhone 4 for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Need help choosing an iPhone plan from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone/3 or Virgin? Check out all the Australian iPhone 4 plans.

HTC Desire

The HTC Desire was the first Android phone to be released by Telstra, and we think it's the best Android phone period. A highly impressive design, a superb customisable user interface and all the features and capabilities of Android combine to produce an excellent smartphone. Better still, the HTC Desire continues to improve with software updates. If you're after an iPhone alternative, look no further.

Outright price: $779

Available through: Telstra

Read our full review of the HTC Desire for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Check out our iPhone 4 vs HTC Desire smartphone showdown.

Samsung Galaxy S

The Samsung Galaxy S possesses the best display we've seen on a smartphone — with the exception of the iPhone 4 — and benefits from Android's customisable and slick interface. However, this Android smartphone is let down by a few niggling annoyances, particularly the all-plastic body and the TouchWIZ UI, which that lacks the polish this premium smartphone deserves. The Samsung Galaxy S is a great smartphone, but it sits a notch below the HTC Desire.

Outright price: $779

Available through: Optus

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Google Nexus One

The Nexus One smartphone isn't as revolutionary as Google might have you believe, but it remains an excellent mobile phone regardless. The Android platform is only going to get better and the Nexus One's excellent display and sleek hardware are a winning combination.

Outright price: Not available outright

Available through: Vodafone

Read our full review of the Google Nexus One for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Check out the best Android phones.

Samsung Wave

The Samsung Wave features the new Bada OS. The Wave possesses excellent build quality, an outstanding display, great multimedia capabilities and impressive performance — all wrapped up in a slick, easy to use interface that will only get better.

Outright price: $599

Available through: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile

Read our full review of the Samsung Wave for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

HTC Legend

HTC's Legend may lack the extra-large screen of the company's flagship HTC Desire, but the unibody aluminium casing is a superb piece of industrial design. The Legend is an excellent smartphone and a solid improvement over its predecessor, the HTC Hero. It is also one of the sexiest looking mobile phones we've ever reviewed.

Outright price: $599

Available through: Vodafone

Read our full review of the HTC Legend for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700

RIM's latest BlackBerry Bold remains a great business smartphone and is a sleeker and more compact device than the original Bold. The compact size results in a smaller keyboard and display, though, which power users may not appreciate. There is plenty to like about the BlackBerry Bold 9700, even if RIM hasn't offered anything innovative in this release.

Outright price: $999

Available through: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3

Read our full review of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Check out our iPhone 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S smartphone showdown.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro

Sony Ericsson deserves a lot of credit for the XPERIA X10 Mini Pro's excellent UI and a great physical keyboard, not to mention the fact that this is a fully fledged Android smartphone that doesn't skimp on the features found on larger, more expensive devices. Many people will find the XPERIA X10 Mini Pro too small; we think it is a quirky but compelling mobile phone.

Outright price: $629

Available through: Telstra,

Read our full review of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

Check out the best budget Android phones.

Nokia N900

The Nokia N900 is best classified as an interesting but ultimately incomplete mobile phone. The Linux-based Maemo 5 OS does some things superbly and others poorly. This smartphone offers one of the best mobile Web experiences available but there is plenty of room for improvement elsewhere. Watch this space.

Outright price: $889

Available through: Telechoice, Harvey Norman

Read our full review of the Nokia N900 for hands-on analysis and expert star rating.

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Tags iphone 4AndroidGoogle AndroidNokiaiPhonesmartphonesRIM BlackBerrysamsungApplehtcSony Ericssonmobile phones

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide




Why does everyone keep on making negative comments about the Samsung Galaxy S build quality. I have one and I can tell you it is superb. I should know I work in the field of industrial design. While the back cover is indeed plastic, the material used and the way it is finished is of a very high standard. In my hand it feels like a very high quality product. Yes the HTC Desire feels more weighty but not necessarily higher quality.

Also the Touchwiz UI is quite polished. I am enjoying it immensely.

The Iphone, while a very nicely made phone ultimately does not look as good as the materials it is made of would suggest. As a phone its design is flawed because of the relatively sharp edges. Because it is so thin one ends up having to grip it a bit harder and that is when the edges feel a tad uncomfortable. The slickness of the phone cannot make up for the feel of being hemmed in when you use it because of the OS. Android makes me feel free because it is so so much more customisable.

Ross Catanzariti


Hi Sash,

Thanks for the feedback.

I wouldn't say it is a negative comment - but in my opinion the plastic build of the Galaxy S doesn't feel nearly as polished or sturdy as something like the iPhone 4, or the HTC Desire, or even the HTC Legend.

That's not to say it is a badly built phone, it isn't. I just prefer the build of its direct competitors. In the end though, this really comes down to personal preference.

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