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Top 10 phones for Christmas 2007

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As the song goes, "All I want for Christmas is a 5-megapixel camera, a 3G phone and an MP3 player with plenty of memory". This season’s crop of phones gives you all three in one, as well as a host of other features from GPS and blogging to photo-editing and full-screen video.

We unwrap the 10 phones we’d love to have for Christmas, so whether you’re buying a present or treating yourself, read on…

Samsung G800

They say:
"Samsung’s G800 will satisfy the unmet needs in the camera category with a true digital camera-like design and functionality."

We say:
Five megapixels is this year’s headline resolution, but the G800 – the follow-up to Samsung’s first 5-megapixel phone, the G600 – takes the mobile into compact camera territory. Not only does it have a proper Xenon flash, the G800 boasts 3x optical zoom – the first of its kind on regular camera phones – and compact camera technologies like face detection.

High-quality video recording is also available, and a built-in video editor is provided too. HSDPA connectivity will let you blog those videos in an instant and the 2.4-inch 240×320 screen displays images and videos in full colour while acting as an excellent viewfinder.

If the G600 seemed like a stopgap (5 megapixels and only an LED flash, for example), it’s because it was. The G800 looks like the Samsung phone to get this Christmas.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
An optical zoom? In a phone? Need we say more?

Buy it for the greedy so-and-so who wants a mobile phone and a compact camera in their stocking

Motorola Rizr Z8

They say:
"Now, for the first time, you can watch and listen to movies, TV downloads, music and sport, on the go, with crystal clear vision and sound quality. Full of technology, fit to face slider opening mechanism and uniquely contoured form."

We say:
This is a weird mobile and no mistake. There’s nothing wrong with the solid build quality, though the black and green colour scheme is, well, different.

What’s truly weird is a hinge in the back of the casing that means when you slide it open to get to the number pad, the Z8 takes on a bendy rather than straight shape. That helps the phone fit your face better, but it sure looks quirky.

The Z8 comes with a copy of The Bourne Identity on microSD card, and can shows this at 30 frames a second on its 16 million colour screen. It plays music too, of course, and shoots pictures with its 2-megapixel camera. it also comes with a set of bluetooth stereo headphones.

You want 3G? No problem. Have HSDPA too. And there’s a front facing camera for video calling. Heck, you can even synchronise the built-in diary with a PC, and use the Sky Anytime software to programme your Sky box remotely.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
The quirky shape and good multimedia features will suit those who like to stand out from the crowd.

Buy it for the TV and movie addict in your life

Nokia N81 8GB

They say:
“With dedicated music and gaming keys, 3.5mm headphone connector and 3G and WLAN connectivity, the Nokia N81 multimedia computer is a true mobile entertainment powerhouse."

We say:
The N81 takes Nokia’s N series to the next level, in both its available versions. Both share the same slider phone looks but while one has a microSD card for memory expansion, but our choice gets by with a whopping 8GB of flash memory inside it. That makes it equivalent to any number of mobile music players out there, including the new iPod Nanos.

Needless to say the N81 is a music specialist, and it’ll do things like synchronise with Windows Media Player 11 and support the newly announced Nokia Music Store as well as playing AAC, WMA and MP3 files. There are dedicated music controls and an FM radio too if your own tunes start to bore you.

As a phone you’ve got 3G compatibility, while wi-fi is built in and there’s a 2-megapixel camera. There’s a 3.5mm headset socket, and stereo Bluetooth output too. The 2.4-inch, 16-million colour screen dominates the front of this black slider phone.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
8GB of storage is a rarity in a mobile and the N81 combines that with cool looks and plenty of other features

Buy it for the music lover with a big stock of fave tracks who doesn’t want to carry a separate player

Sony Ericsson K850i

They say:
“The K850i Cyber-shot phone is a true digital still camera – down to the very last of its 5 megapixels. Automatic lens cover. Auto focus for no-hassle sharpness, xenon flash for poor light conditions. In short, all the functions you need for perfect shots.”

We say:
Now here is a 5-megapixel camera that should be able to do the business. The Cyber-Shot technology Sony Ericsson uses in its K-series handsets takes a neat snap and this should be the best yet. For tip-top results, Sony’s BestPic system shoots nine photos at teensy time intervals and you choose the ones you want to keep. You can take advantage of easy moblogging too.

Elsewhere this candybar 3G mobile has a clear, sharp 2.2-inch screen, music playback, 40MB of built-in memory, and both Memory Stick Micro and microSD card support. You can browse the Web and check RSS feeds, and make video calls thanks to the front-facing camera. The K850i will synchronise with a PC too, so you can take your diary with you.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
The K850’s Cyber-shot credentials should make it the best yet in Sony’s range.

Buy it for the person who can’t decide whether they want a music phone or a cameraphone

Nokia 6500 Slide

They say:
"Featuring an enthusiast-quality 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and the ability to easily share pictures, videos and even video calls on a television, the Nokia 6500 slide brings unsurpassed levels of imaging and sharing to the mid-range market."

We say:
Nokia’s two 6500 models – the Slide and the Classic – have very little in common apart from their names, their easy-to-use interfaces and a stylish design. If you had to have one in your stocking this Christmas though, we’d definitely plump for the Slide. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus and intelligent dual-LED flash.

3G lets you share videos with ease and the built-in Yahoo Go! application gives you one-click access to mobile versions of popular sites like Flickr. You can also share photos and videos on a big screen using the Slide’s TV-out port, and the refreshingly bundled TV-out cable lets you host slideshows and even big-screen video calling if your network provides it.

The 6500 Slide also has the solid build missing on previous Nokia sliders, and its stainless steel casing simply screams quality.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because: At last! A Nokia slider with the solid built quality we’ve been asking Santa for.

Buy it for the friend who loves to entertain you with his holiday slideshows

Discover five more phones for Christmas in the second part of our countdown

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