Smartphones

 

HTC One

Smartphones have become the favoured web and social media tool for the “post-PC generation”. As well as being great communications devices, the latest crop boasts features designed to please the most discerning consumers – including better battery life, advanced digital photo apps and high-quality audio.

 

Paul Taylor

Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 900, available today in the US from AT&T, has broad shoulders – which is fortunate because Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T all need this new handset to be a big success.

The Lumia 900 runs on AT&T’s expanding LTE network and boasts a distinctive unibody design with curved side edges, a big 4.3 inch screen and an 8 megapixel digital camera sensor but despite these high-end specs, costs only $99. 

For mobile gadget enthusiasts, the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona provides a smorgasbord of delights.

This year’s show, which ended on Thursday, was no exception. So here are three handsets which, for different reasons, stand out in an increasingly crowded smartphone market. 

Chris Nuttall

If you think the 5.3in-screen Samsung Galaxy Note is a little too large to fit in a pocket, then you will have a real problem with the 10.1in version just unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung has yet to make an official announcement about the phone, but a gargantuan poster to match the giant-sized device has appeared, and at this size, there seems no argument about whether it is a smartphone or a tablet this time. 

Paul Taylor

Nokia’s Lumia 710, which went on sale in the US yesterday and is due in Europe shortly, is one of the first products of the partnership between Microsoft and the Finnish phone company which is relying on the new operating system to revitalise its flagging fortunes.

The launch of the Lumia 710 which costs $50 with a T-Mobile USA contract also marks Nokia’s re-entry into the US market where Stephen Elop, Nokia’s chief executive, has vowed it must succeed. 

Chris Nuttall

Samsung’s scatter-gun approach to screen sizes for its smartphones and tablets, with versions ranging from 3in to 10in, suggests a company looking for the right formula as much as one sympathetic to consumers’ varying needs.

With the 5.3in screen of the Galaxy Note, Samsung thinks it has finally found the middle ground; a happy medium for consumers who want to carry just one device, rather than both a smartphone and a tablet and whatever other portable gadget they pick up on their way out. It costs £500 in the UK; a US launch has yet to be announced. 

Chris Nuttall

If the growth of Android smartphones continues at its current rate, the world’s population will need much larger hands.

That is, if you look at screen sizes rather than units sold, although the staggering smartphone fact-of-the-month is that the number of Android devices activated has doubled from 100m to 200m over the past six months. 

Nokia has much resting on the launch of its first Windows smartphone, the Lumia 800, the first off the production line since its exclusive partnership was agreed with Microsoft in February. The phone is key for Nokia to claw back a position in high-end phones having been marginalised by Apple and Google’s Android in recent years, writes Daniel Thomas,  FT telecoms correspondent

Chris Nuttall

Staggering fact of the week for me was the news at the Google music launch that the number of Android devices has doubled in the past six months – from 100m activated to 200m.

Add another one to that total. I have just registered the latest and greatest Android smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy Nexus – the first to feature the new Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 version of Android. 

As I stood 71st in the queue at 7am at the local Apple Store last Friday, there was a collective feeling of “It’s time” among the gathering crowd as we waited in line to receive the sacrament of an iPhone 4S. Everyone had a story. There were lots of first-timers like me no longer able to resist the allure, but hardly any iPhone 4 owners – the new device looked just the same as its predecessor. Instead, there were many who had bought the original 2007 iPhone or its 3G successor. They were still cosseting them in ancient protective sleeves. It was definitely time for these Apple devotees.