Mobile Phones that made a mark in Year 2010

The year 2010 saw quite a long list of announcement of some amazing bunch of phones. Talk about Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, HTC, Samsung or the Apple, each and every brand chipped in with something interesting to offer. It is tough to put all the phones in a beam balance and see which one takes the lead; although, we decided to compile a list of some of the best that really deserve more than just a second glance. Let us start right away.

Nokia N8

Nokia, which was once a standout winner in the smartphone market, seems to have been hurt by recent releases by Motorola, HTC, Samsung and other manufacturers. However, Nokia was quick to notice this and announced the launch of another flagship handset called, Nokia N8. The release was held off for about half a year though, but this was to make sure that user experience could be taken to an optimum level. The announcement was made in April, 2010 and the world finally got to see what Nokia had had up their sleeves. Sporting an AMOLED 360×640 pixels AMOLED screen, Nokia N8, was improved from the older Symbian version to Symbian 3 Operating System. This, surely, was a step forwards but did it really pay off as well-well, sort of. With an internal storage of 16 GB and provision of 256MB RAM as well as 512MB ROM, Nokia N8 exhibits a good overall performance in handling most Symbian 3 programs. The design feels special as the aluminium body delivers a luxurious cold metal sensation and really stacks it up against most other good looking smarties out there in the market. The screen is also an aspect worth talking over. The AMOLED Gorilla glass display shines back at you and being 3.5 inches in size, it’s a real beauty which handles 16M vibrant colors with ease and grace. The 12 MP camera is the standout feature of this very handset. An auto focus Carl-Zeiss lens to support it, the camera on the Nokia N8 does impress. The buzz surrounding this camera on the N8 was a huge one. With a wide variety of scene modes to choose from and also features like face detection and optional on-screen grid available, the camera is quick to activate and easy to play with. Undoubtedly, it does a pretty good job of handling noise, exposure as well as white balance. Moreover, the incredible flash lights up a small room also. The video capture is not as much impressive but it still serves better than most other HD video phones. A revamped music player will surely interest a huge audience; although, the onboard loudspeakers fail to impress. Talking of Symbian 3 browser, it managed to deliver the punch with a support for pinch to zoom and an accurate display for pages. Also, the on board GPS also manages to take itself over the line. All in all, at 680 MHz ARM 11 processor, Nokia N8 does a pretty good job, well supported video playback and features like crisp and clear voice calling and a much improved battery life, N8 goes registers itself as one of the best for year 2010.

Motorola Droid X

Featuring a 4.3 inch capacitive touch screen and an 8-megapixel camera, Motorola Droid X hit the markets in July, 2010. With an enhanced processor sped and a reworked user interface, the phone won over a huge audience. The large phone size not only makes it seem like a gorgeous device, but it also enhances the readability at lower zoom levels. A nice and easy-to-use on screen keypad is a treat to watch as the keys are well spaced out and thanks to the large touch screen once more for bringing in the mash keys error-free feature. Moreover, multi-touch is supported which would interest most people. Speaking of the camera on the Droid X, it delivers a less grainy and more promising result as a whole. Mind you, this involves both still photos as well as video capture. Not to mention, the sound quality is pretty impressive also. Features like narrative mode and wind-cutting outdoors mode add a lot to the already aped up camera facilities that the phone has on offer. Hence, this means that issues like noise cancellation and buffeting are best avoided to produce some remarkable results. Despite all the goods on the shooting side of things, when it comes to viewing you might not be as much impressed as the interface isn’t quite up to the mark. A periodic shutter lag might also make things worse at times, but that would be a rear case. Moving on, Droid X makes use of Android 2.1 OS which was restyled to meet the Android challenges that the former versions failed to cope up with. An improved user interface coupled with some of the most amazing Android applications revamp the style of this particular phone. Being among the first batch of phones to make use of TI OMAP 3630 processor must have made Motorola Droid X feel special and why wouldn’t it-this processor feel as fluid and lag-resistant, if not more, as the Snapdragon. The phone battery suffices and takes out a day easily, with no real issues. Standby time is roughly about three days and over and overall, it exhibits a pretty good performance. All in all, this seems like a very pretty execution of an Android 2.1 OS along with a good processor that supports the web all along rather nicely. It surely seems that Motorola is up against some of the best phones in the business but the technology that the phone itself employs and the amount of effort that has been put into creating this beauty really pays off. We really believe that Motorola Droid X is one of the best out there-try it for yourself.

HTC Desire HD

Now this is one phone we just love reviewing-the HTC Desire HD. Successor to the popular HTC Desire handset, the new HTC Desire HD was released in October, 2010. With a larger 4.3-inch screen and higher screen resolution, HTC Desire HD is surely a bigger buy. Designed with a beautiful single block of aluminium, Desire HD is a beauty, to say the least. The phone is powered by 1 GHz Qualcomm processor with 768 MB RAM which is simply a powerhouse to work with. Equipped with 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, Desire HD also comes geared with Dolby sound surround and 720p HD video recording. 1.5 GB internal memory along with micro SD card support adds much more to this master piece. The phone has definitely benefited a lot from the Froyo version of Google Android OS with added Flash support as well as ability to store third part apps and built-in wireless tethering. The HTC Sense technology also adds a great deal to this HTC product and the UI benefits largely form this very feature. Being one of the very first phones to make use of the HTC Sense, HTC Desire HD is infused with extra bit of life and spice. Enhancements from the HTC Sense include much faster boot up time, cached maps that facilitates map viewing and enhanced desktop-based services such as back up and security. The virtual keyboard on the HTC Desire HD is one of the best e have ever witnessed. Equally spaced keys are never tough to type with and rarely, you would find yourself messing up with inserting a letter. This also comes in handy while browsing and/or writing text messages. Good call quality and an impressive speakerphone make HTC Desire HD a good buy. The camera performs very well and shoots nice and detailed photos. However, the videos are not as crisp and clear as the photos. Not to worry, HTC has already announced an update at the time of writing this post, which will soon be released and shall fix the flaws with the video as well as some other bugs that exist. Internet browser is one of the best features that HTC has to offer and really, the browser is much more polished and much more advanced compared to the former edition of HTC Desire. The built-in GPS functionality is of top-notch quality. In addition, there is a wide variety of applications available for the HTC Desire HD. A very responsive touch screen and multi-touch allows for much more accurate and efficient use of these applications. Therefore, if you are need of a great Android smartphone AND if you think you can put up with the rather short battery life, you can not go too wrong with this beauty of an Android handset available out there.

iPhone 4

Apple has been on the money with its hi-fi releases and iPhone 4 is just the culmination of Apple’s years of refining line of products. This latest edition broke through with a number of spectacular functionalities such as the 3.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, efficient battery, multi-tasking and much more. Geared with a powerful iOS 4 operating system, the iPhone 4 experiences a new design that has been updated to use the ultra-scratch resistant aluminosilicate glass. That does not mean that you start drop-testing the phone because..well, it might just break so never mind that. Not to mention, this design looks simply fantastic. It would be safe to say that the current design of the iPhone 4 takes the iPhone family to a new level. Compare the phone body to iPhone 3G and you will notice that iPhone is noticeably thinner and in addition, it also amps up the internal volume. The phone feels very good in the hand and with the addition of a case; the phone feels very compact too. The sheer density and solidity of the make would pleasantly surprise you. Speaking of durability and safety, Apple has put in valuable effort in this respect-the phone has been covered with a layer of plastic that goes all around so as to alleviate shocks every time the phone drops. Yet again, we advise you not to try to do so; unless you are a spoiled brat and have lots of bucks to waste. The retina display on the iPhone 4 is a major improvement and also supports high resolution with up to 960×640 pixels which has a great impact on readability on web, email and eBooks etc. The iPhone 3G might have run short of a few pixels but the iPhone 4 makes a mark with more pixels and hence, higher resolution. The phonebook and dialing features on the iPhone 4 are some of the very best that have been experienced till date. The phone des seem to have a few issues, the most annoying one being the death grip reception. This is simply because when you tighten your grip on the phone, you connect two antennas on the phone and this can cause a connected call to drop at times and in some cases it would take your download speed down to zero. It’s a shame for a brand like Apple to mess things up this way without a notice, eh? Indeed. Well, they did come up with an advise-hold your phones differently. As odd as it sounds, the magnitude of this issue is rather small and negligible. Not to worry, the phone is still very much usable and one can, by no means, write it off. In spite of an issue like death grip and rumors surrounding this problem, the data speed on the iPhone 4 is enhanced has appreciated about 30% compared to its predecessor. The incredibly responsive and silent virtual keyboard coupled with an excellent web browser make the case for the iPhone a strong one. With the support of flash and an amazing addition like copy/paste feature, the interface is literally a powerhouse package. The 5-megapixel camera equipped with LED flash manages great results even in low lighting. Similarly, the phone shoots as good a video at 720 fps as it shoots camera pictures. Proceeding to the A4 processor that the iPhone 4 uses, it is responsive and very effective, to say the least. Video playback and speakers also exhibit marvelous performance and so do the music player and image gallery. To sum up, iPhone 4 might be an expensive buy but it is really worth the money for all that it endowed with.

Samsung Galaxy S

If you thought iPhone 4 pierced through the smart phones market as the ultimate, think again. Apple’s iPhones might have been sold like hotcakes but saying that they are unmatched or completely unbeatable is so not true-at least not anymore. We say that because the Samsung Galaxy S has been launched into the Android market, and oh boy it really amazed plenty with what it has brought with itself. Galaxy S has made a grand appearance following the launch of the iPhone 4 which many people regarded as the unmatched product till date. As a high-end android phone, Samsung Galaxy S comes in a pretty decent build quality; although, not the best that we have seen of Samsung so far. With a layer of metal frame running across it, the phone is mostly plastic but good thing is that it does not make any clicking sounds(hmm, reminds me of Nokia X6 which was an annoyance with those clicks and ticks). The back cover has been designed with tough plastic; yet, the phone feels very good in the hand. The 4-inch screen is a Super AMOLED Gorilla glass display and honestly, it looks simply superb! Yet, for a screen this big, the phone feels extremely light. The blacks on the screen are deep and dark and thanks to the super AMOLED, visuals look crisp, sharp and thus, the display offer great sun legibility. Powered by the ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 1 GHz and 512 MB RAM to back it up, the phone becomes a monster of a device. Plus, with the options of 8GB and 16GB storage spaces you never fall short of space. The phone has been upgraded from Android 2.1 Éclair to Android 2.2 Froyo which is a great plus, indeed. TouchWiz 3.0 UI has also added new options and helps you operate smartly within the phones unlimited features. The latest update fixed a number of loading and slow-down issues that the phone had which has really put the Samsung Galaxy S in a strong position. Pre-loaded with quite a few applications, the phone makes use of some of the best applications from the Android market. Moreover, Samsung Apps store adds some extra brownie points with an array of applications. Decent music qualities with Dolby surround sound and some nice music effects add to the outstanding looking music payer. The 5-megapixel camera lacks flash but it is still an excellent performer, both indoors and outdoors. Crisp and sharp images are a treat to view on the super AMOLED screen but since the flash is absent, we won’t recommend taking pictures in the dark. Video capture is also another fun thing in itself. Furthermore, the video playback is just superb and you must have realized by now that that is due to the phone’s super AMOLED screen which is just ideal for viewing videos. Not to mention, 3D playback is also supported which is plain awesome. GPS is not something extraordinary to talk of but speaking of internet browsing, the phone delivers a full fledged experience in this regard. Not only do the pages load quickly, but with features like multi-touch and pinch to zoom, the phone offers good text reflow and easy readability. The phone lacked flash at first, but courtesy the new Froyo update the feature has been added to this device. Moving on to battery, Samsung has also been very smart and selective in this regard and this is exactly why the phone battery is up against some of the best in the business-it is remarkable and easily lasts a day with heavy usage. So then, we have no doubts in saying that Samsung Galaxy S is the real deal at the moment and it easily outweighs its cons with what endless possibilities it puts on offer. Buy it to believe it.

Honorary mentions:

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

HTC Google Nexus One

HTC Desire Z

Nokia N900

Dell Venue Pro

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