Tested Hard and Proven ModelsDell Streak
Available since: June 2010 in the U.K., August 2010 in the U.S.
Although Dell is positioning the Streak as a tablet device, not a smartphone, we think it's a bit of both. The 5-inch 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen is significantly bigger than any other smartphones, even compared to the massive HTC EVO and HD2, but not quite as large as a typical tablet -- the iPad features a 9.7-inch display, for example.
The other obvious difference compared to most tablets: you can make calls... if you don't mind looking a bit foolish with this thing held against your face. Among its most notable features is a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and dual LED flash, a front-facing camera, accelerometer, 2GB on-board storage plus a pre-installed 16GB card. The MID-shaped phone comes with a skinned Android 1.6 version, but an update to 2.2 should arrive "soon".
|Carrier: AT&T||Talk Time: 9.8 hours|
|Price: $549 unlocked||Standby Time: 16.6 days|
|Manufacturer: Dell||Weight: 7 ounces
|Platform: Android 1.6||Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR|
|Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2||Storage: 2GB built-in, 32GB supported via microSD|
BlackBerry Torch 9800
Available since: August 2010 in the U.S.
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 resolution touch screen, and is the companyâs first device to run OS 6.0. Admittedly, despite its new features and polish, RIMâs latest operating system still feels a little behind the curve next to the competition. But if you are a die-hard BlackBerry the Torch 9800 is definitely a worthy upgrade.
|Carrier: AT&T||Talk Time: Up to 5.8 hours|
|Price: $199 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 (32GB supported)|
Motorola Droid X
Available since: July 2010 in the U.S.
The Droid X was launched in July as Verizon and Motorola's answer to the HTC EVO 4G. It features a huge 4.3-inch touch display, a fast 1GHz OMAP processor and 24GB of storage capacity out of the box. Motorola preloads Swype for fast typing and it also includes a multi-touch keyboard, which allows users to use multiple finger presses at once -- a first for Android phones. Other features include an 8-megapixel camera with 720p video recording, HDMI output, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 support, GPS navigation with full turn-by-turn directions, FM radio, and a thin enclosure.
|Carrier: Verizon||Talk Time: Up to 8 hours|
|Price: $200 with two-year contract||Standby Time: 9.2 days|
|Manufacturer: Motorola||Weight: 5.5 ounces
|Platform: Android 2.1||Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR|
|Network: CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A||Storage: 8GB on-board plus 16GB microSD card included, upgradeable to 32GB|
Apple iPhone 4
Available since: June 2010 in the U.S.
This follow-up to the popular iPhone includes a high-resolution so-called 'Retina Display' that's able to squeeze in 326 pixels per inch of its surface, or two times the number of pixels as its 3GS predecessor. The result is a 640 x 960 crisp clear screen that puts (almost) everything else available out there 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 a redesigned chassis and the new iOS 4 software.
There have been some serious controversy surrounding the phone's wireless reception, which apparently can degrade significantly depending on how users hold it. This may result in a hardware update down the line, but for the time being Apple is sitting tight (and selling phones like there is no tomorrow).
|Carrier: AT&T||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||Storage: 16GB or 32GB on-board|
HTC EVO 4G
Available since: June 2010 in the U.S.
The HTC EVO 4G is billed as the world's first 3G/4G Android handset, offering simultaneous voice and data connectivity and download speeds of up to 6Mbps where Sprint's WiMAX network is available. The device uses HTC's Sense interface and boasts a pretty impressive feature set, including a huge 4.3-inch touch display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera in addition to a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing, GPS, digital compass, stereo Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI (720p) output.
|Carrier: Sprint||Talk Time: Up to 6 hours on 3G|
|Price: $200 after rebate with two-year contract||Standby Time: 6 days|
|Manufacturer: HTC||Weight: 6 ounces
|Platform: Android 2.1||Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR|
|Network: CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A, WiMAX||Storage: 1GB on-board, up to 32GB via microSD|