From displays that are so crisp you can't see the pixels to handsets with cameras that are better than your dedicated point-and-shoot camera, smartphones (and the technology inside them) have improved in leaps and bounds in 2010.
Relaxnews takes a look at some of the smartphones that have exceeded expectations, integrated world-first technology and seduced consumers with their desirable features in 2010.
The iPhone 4 is Apple's "biggest leap [in mobile phone technology] since the original iPhone." The device packs in a forward-facing camera, a Retina display, HD video recording, a 5 MP camera, and increased battery life into the slimmest form factor ever seen on a smartphone. iPhone 4 also ships with Apple's iOS which offers multitasking, application folders, threaded Mail, Enterprise support and access to hundreds of thousands of apps. Pricing starts from $199 on a two year contract. http://www.apple.com/iphone/
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung's attack on the high-end smartphone market arrived under the guise of the Samsung Galaxy S. The high-powered and much-loved device features a 1GHz processor, a 4 inch 480×800p Super AMOLED touch screen, six-axis motion sensors, HD 720p video recording, a 5 megapixel front facing camera (and a VGA front-facing camera), entertainment and social networking features, plus access to more than 60,000 applications through Google's Marketplace. Variants of the phone (including the Vibrant, Fascinate, Captivate, and the Epic 4G) have since been released and are also proving popular with consumers. The device is priced at around $199.99 on a two year contract.
Dubbed the Nexus One clone in the tech world, the HTC Desire is a powerful smartphone built on the foundations of HTC's Bravo. The Desire runs on Google's Android OS, features HTC's Sense UI and sports a 3.7 inch AMOLED WVGA display, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, geotagging, digital compass, optical joystick, FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi and Adobe Flash 10.1. The HTC Desire is free on a two year contract.
Nokia's flagship N8 Symbian^3-powered smartphone is the first of many to run Nokia's updated operating system. The device sports a whopping 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and the largest sensor ever seen on a mobile phone. The N8 can also capture high definition video footage, connect to your HD TV with its support for HDMI and has social networking aggregated to your home screen as a standard feature. There is free global walk and drive navigation system with Ovi Maps, a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen, access to Ovi Store apps, and support for up to 48GB of storage with a micro SD card. The N8 is priced at €449 unlocked.
The Nexus S is the successor to Google's first in-house developed smartphone, the Nexus One, and is the first handset to run the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread. The Nexus S is manufactured by consumer electronics company Samsung and is the world's first mobile phone to feature a 4 inch contour display. The handset is available unlocked and without a contract for $529 or with a two-year contract for $199.
HTC Evo 4G
The HTC Evo was the world's first Android phone to run on the 4G network when it was first released. The HTC Evo comes equipped with some pretty 'supersonic' specifications too. For instance, the phone has one of the biggest pinch-to-zoom touchscreen displays at 4.3 inches (making it a pretty nice phone to cuddle up with and stream the latest video on the go). It also has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, dual cameras (an 8 MP auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a 1.3 MP forward-facing camera), wireless tethering for up to eight WiFi-enabled devices, and an aggregated social networking experience thanks to the HTC Sense user experience. The HTC Evo 4G is available for $199.99 on a two year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate.
Google Nexus One
Google's Nexus One superphone is an Android-powered, HTC Corporation-manufactured device. The handset sports a 3.7 OLED display, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset for super-fast speeds, and provides users with a rich multimedia experience. There is also a voice-enabled keyboard, and a host of native Google applications. The phone was originally sold through a dedicated Google-hosted web store for $529 unlocked or for $179 on a two-year contract but is now only available for registered Android developers.
Motorola Droid X
The Droid X is the sibling of Motorola's flagship Android-powered Droid smartphone. Inside the high-powered "superphone" you will find an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, a 1 GHz processor, Android 2.1 or 2.2 software and 8GB of memory. It also comes with a 4.3 inch high-resolution WVGA 854x480 display, 720p HD video capture and Swype. The Motorola Droid X is priced $199.99 on a two year contract or for $579.99 unlocked.
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 was the first handset developed by Research in Motion (RIM) to run the BlackBerry 6 operating system. The touchscreen slider packs in a QWERTY keyboard, a Rich WebKit Browser, a capacitive 3.2" (360x480) touchscreen display, optical trackpad, a 624 Mhz processor, 4GB of built-in memory, and a 5 MP camera with flash and video recording (640x480). The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract.
LG Optimus 7
LG's Optimus 7 (aka the LG E900) is a Windows Phone 7 touchscreen handset packed with LG-"exclusive" features such as "Play-To" DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-based technology, augmented reality and Voice-to-Text translation. The device comes with a 3.8 inch capacitive 800 x 400p LCD display, a 5 MP camera with LED Flash and 720p video recording, 16GB of internal memory, an accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. The LG Optimus 7 is free on a two-year contract.