Top 10 phones for Christmas – Part 2


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Motorola RAZR2 V8

They say:
" Packed with powerhouse features, this unbelievably strong stainless steel structure feeds the appetite for music, browsing, email and video. Slimmer than the original RAZR, MOTORAZR2 makes faster connections and features bigger, more brilliant screens."

We say:
If you liked the original RAZR and its subsequent variants then this new incarnation should please. Its stainless steel build is eye catching – the gold trim on the Luxury Edition even more so – but not as much as its thin profile and vast outer screen.

In fact the outer screen steals the show. At 2 inches corner-to-corner it is massive. It can show the entirety of all but the longest text messages, and you can reply with a standard message without opening the flip using side-mounted buttons. When you’re playing music, the outer screen magically offers touch buttons for playback control.

Inside is another large screen, this time 2.2 inches across, and a big, flat number pad. It’s quad-band rather than 3G and without a flash memory slot for adding to the built-in 512MB, this is nonetheless a mobile that is destined to add more oomph to the RAZR range.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
Those running on the original RAZR are ripe for an upgrade

Buy it for the frequent texter who wants a stylish, thin, flip phone

LG Viewty KU990

They say:
"LG, which led design innovation in the mobile handset arena last year, is once again driving new mobile phone trends by shifting its focus to high-tech functionality."

We say:
Well, yes LG’s Prada was a real eye turner earlier this year, and the Viewty does look as though it will have a similar effect. Like the Prada, the Viewty is all screen to look at. The 3-inch touch-screen on the front of the phone is simply vast. You’ll get a stylus so texting using the screen should be relatively easy, and you can do other things with the stylus too, like write notes directly onto the screen.

The Viewty is another handset with a 5-megapixel camera, and it sports a xenon flash for better night shooting. There are some other features that might make this a better than average photo shooter such as image stabilisation and a manual focus function.

Where the Viewty could find itself a real niche is in its video recording capability. It can shoot at 120 frames a second. Add in the ability to edit videos on the handset and upload them to YouTube and this could be a mini-movie-maker’s dream. Oh, and it is a 3G handset with HSDPA to 3.6MBps too.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
With its neat looks and video capture features, the Viewty takes mobile phone photography to another level

Buy it for the YouTube addict in your life

Samsung F210

They say:
"Anyone who enjoys music on the move will instantly see the appeal of the Samsung F210. The pocket-sized styling makes it clear where its priorities lie… but don’t be fooled by the size. This is a well-specified mobile phone that’ll outperform many larger handsets."

We say:
The F210 updates a previous Samsung handset, the X830. Yes, we know there’s no clue in the name, but trust us on this one, there are plenty of clues on the handset itself.

Just like its predecessor, the F210 looks like a music player with a large front screen and a scroll wheel. No surprise, then, that it does indeed play music, has an FM radio and boasts 2GB of built-in storage.

To get to the phone keyboard you rotate the screen round a hinge in its top to reveal a teeny keyboard for number dialing and texting.

We don’t say this teensy swivelling mobile will appeal to all, but we reckon it will have quite a following – among those who like their small mobile music players and don’t like carrying a bulky phone in addition.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
it’s cute and clever at the same time

Buy it for the music geek in your life who doesn’t need a really fancy mobile

Nokia N95 8GB

They say:
"A new look. A bigger screen. Up to 8GB of internal memory. The Nokia N95 8GB multimedia computer has more of what you’re looking for."

We say:
The Nokia N95 has topped many gadget polls since its launch earlier in the year, and is often touted as an iPhone-buster, and the Finns have refreshed the phone just in time for Christmas.

The clue to the major enhancement is in the name – the Nokia N95 now comes with 8GB of Flash memory, enough for 2000 music tracks or more applications to complement the phone’s GPS tools and other assorted goodies. It’s no coincidence that 8GB also brings it into line with the iPhone’s storage capacity.

The screen is larger too – up to 2.8 inches – and the N95’s multimedia player is shown off to good effect on this upgrade, with the entire Spider-Man 3 movie pre-installed.

With 3G and HSDPA capabilities and easy-to-use wi-fi connectivity, the N95’s internet options are excellent, and the Series 60 operating system gives fast access to business tools like email as well as the much-vaunted Maps and GPS applications.

In short, Nokia has built on its most talked about phone of the year and made it even better.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
It’s got more treats than a box of Quality Street.

Buy it for the gadget freak who wants everything – in one neat package

Apple iPhone

They say:
"iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows you to make a call by simply tapping a name or number in your address book, a favorites list, or a call log. It also automatically syncs all your contacts from a PC, Mac, or Internet service. And it lets you select and listen to voicemail messages in whatever order you want — just like email."

We say:
From the moment Steve Jobs showed the iPhone to the world, it’s been 2007’s must-have mobile. And now that it’s arrived in the UK after US sales put it on course to sell four million units by the end of the year, it hasn’t disappointed.

O2’s contract terms have raised an eyebrow or two, but early adopters will say it’s well worth it; beyond the famous touchscreen interface the video voicemails and a whole new way of presenting SMS messages – as rolling conversations rather than as individual messages – are just two examples of how Apple has re-invented aspects of mobile telephony with the iPhone.

Browsing the web on the iPhone is another revelation, whether via wi-fi or GPRS (3G being one of the phone’s few missing features). Full-sized web pages are shrunk down to fit the huge screen, and switch from portrait to landscape mode as you rotate the screen, as do photo slideshows. And whatever you’re doing, navigation is by touching or stroking the touch screen.

Although there are other phones that rival the iPhone feature for feature in this list (and a great camera interface is let down by only capturing 2-megapixel images), innovation, build quality and sheer style puts Apple’s offering on top of our Christmas tree.

It’ll be a hit this Christmas because:
Apple fans – and iPod addicts – will love it

Buy it for your Apple-loving best buddy

Find another five phones for Christmas 2007 in the first part of our feature

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