Great 2010 Smartphones

Samsung Nexus S
Available: December 16, 2010

This smartphone is notable for being the world's first handset to feature Android 2.3 Gingerbread in its raw version without any fancy UI on top. This of course means that unlike most Android phones out there, the Nexus S will always get timely updates directly from Google. It's also among the first with NFC technology for mobile payments -- though that's not very useful right now. Other features include a front-facing camera, mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, 4-inch OLED display, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, and 16GB of built-in memory.

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Carrier: T-Mobile Talk Time: 6.7 hours
Price: $199 with two-year contract Standby Time: 17.8 days
Manufacturer: Samsung Weight: 4.55 ounces
Platform: Android 2.3 Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Network: GSM, WCDMA, HSPA 7.2 Storage: 16GB built-in


Samsung Focus
Available since: November 2010

The Samsung Focus is basically a Windows Phone 7 version of the popular Galaxy S Android phone line and has a lot in common with its European brother, the Omnia 7, boasting the same 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 8GB of internal storage, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and 5 megapixel camera. It's a great addition to AT&T's smartphone lineup, offering seamless social network integration, solid multimedia features and allows you to play games with Xbox LIVE.

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Carrier: AT&T Talk Time: 6.5 hours
Price: $100 with two-year contract Standby Time: 18 days
Manufacturer: Samsung Weight: 4.1 ounces
Platform: Windows Phone 7 Wireless: 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2 Storage: 8GB internal


HTC / T-Mobile G2
Available since: October 2010

This successor to the G1 is thinner than the original model, while adding more memory and a 3.5mm audio jack. The device offers a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7320 processor. It also upgrades to a 5-megapixel camera, 3.7-inch display, Android 2.2, 4GB of internal memory, and is among the first phones to support HSPA+ 14.4 3G data services. The phone is available as the HTC Desire Z in European and Asian markets. The main difference between them is that the G2 runs the stock Android 2.2 interface instead of HTC's customized Sense interface. An unofficial port of the latest Android version 2.3 Gingerbread has been doing the rounds online but so far T-Mobile hasn't come forward with a date for the official update.

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Carrier: T-Mobile Talk Time: Up to 6.5 hours
Price: $100 with two-year contract Standby Time: Up to 17.5 days
Manufacturer: HTC Weight: 6.5 ounces
Platform: Android 2.2 "Froyo" Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 14.4 Storage: 4GB internal, 8GB microSD included


BlackBerry Torch 9800
Available since: August 2010

A cross between the previous Bold and Storm models, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is meant to retain the company's traditional corporate audience while capturing consumer share from the Apple iPhone and Google Android. It features an optical trackpad, vertical slide-out keyboard, 360x480 touchscreen, and is the company's first device to run OS 6.0. Admittedly, despite its new features and polish, RIM's latest operating system still feels a little behind the competition. But if you are a die-hard BlackBerry fan, the Torch 9800 is definitely a worthy upgrade.

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Carrier: AT&T Talk Time: Up to 5.8 hours
Price: $100 with two-year contract Standby Time: 13 days
Manufacturer: Research In Motion Weight: 5.7 ounces
Platform: BlackBerry OS 6 Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2 Storage: 4GB built-in, 4GB microSD included


Motorola Droid 2 Global
Available since: August 2010

The original Droid from Motorola helped bring the Android platform to stardom more than a year ago. Although its successor didn't have the same impact with a myriad of competing Android-powered smartphones available, it's good to see Motorola has maintained many of the aspects that made its older sibling popular while bringing some refinements to the table. The Droid 2 sports a 1.2GHz processor, mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with video capture, and wireless video output via DLNA. It also touts a large slide-out QWERTY keyboard, GPS navigation with full turn-by-turn directions, a compass, 3.5mm audio jack, up to 40GB of memory, and dual-mic noise reduction. A 'limited edition' version of the device featuring Star Wars character R2-D2 with exclusive apps and content is still available from Verizon.

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Carrier: Verizon Talk Time: Up to 9.6 hours
Price: $200 with two-year contract Standby Time: Up to 13.1 days
Manufacturer: Motorola Weight: 6 ounces
Platform: Android 2.2 "Froyo" Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Network: GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, EV-DO Rev. A Storage: 8GB on-board, 8GB microSD pre-installed


Apple iPhone 4
Available since: June 2010 in the U.S.

The latest iteration of the popular iPhone includes a high-resolution so-called 'Retina Display' that squeezes 326 pixels per inch into its surface -- that's twice as many pixels as its 3GS predecessor. The result is a crisp 640 x 960 screen that puts (almost) everything else available to shame. Other notable new features include a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video capture, front-facing camera for video conferencing (Wi-Fi only), three-axis gyroscope for gaming, a larger battery and faster A4 chip, plus the iOS 4 software.

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Carrier: AT&T, Verizon Talk Time: Up to 7 hours on 3G (14 on 2G)
Price: $199 with two-year contract Standby Time: 12.5 days
Manufacturer: Apple Weight: 4.8 ounces
Platform: iOS 4 Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2 / CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A Storage: 16GB or 32GB on-board