Call-rounders

Modern mobile phones prove it's good to talk...as well as e-mail, surf the net, download music, take photos and organise your life, says David Phelan

Remember when a mobile could only make calls? Nowadays, they can stand in for a digital camera, an MP3 player, a personal organiser, or even a computer for surfing the internet or checking your e-mail. Meanwhile, users who don't need all these add-ons can opt for ever-smaller phones, including some of the most stylish models on the market.

Remember when a mobile could only make calls? Nowadays, they can stand in for a digital camera, an MP3 player, a personal organiser, or even a computer for surfing the internet or checking your e-mail. Meanwhile, users who don't need all these add-ons can opt for ever-smaller phones, including some of the most stylish models on the market.

Last month, at M3 (no, not the motorway, but the Miami Music and Multimedia conference), manufacturer Motorola was due to talk about a new product that's become known as the iTunes phone. In the end, it didn't launch the handset, apparently because its project partner, Apple, likes to announce its products just before they hit the shops. The phone's due to arrive between now and June and, from what is already known, it will let users download music to the handset directly from the iTunes website, thus allowing you to increase your music library on the move. However, it's also possible that UK networks won't support the handset. The networks already have systems in place to download music from their own sites, so why would they encourage you to buy it elsewhere?

Motorola did launch its new advertising technology, which lets you point a mobile at special spots on posters containing hidden transmitters which then send your phone more information. If the poster is about a rock tour, for example, your phone will receive all the concert dates and link you to a site where you can buy tickets or ringtones related to the band.

Motorola E1000

While we wait for the iTunes phones, Motorola already has several music-friendly handsets available, including the E1000, a snazzy 3G phone which has a decent camera, a great screen and an MP3 player which sounds fantastic whether you play it through headphones or the phone's built-in speakers. Only 16Mb of memory is included in the phone, but a tiny TransFlash storage card the size of a child's fingernail can be added to increase capacity.

From free with contract, tel: 08000 151 151, www.motorola.com/uk

Samsung E720

If MP3 appeals but you don't want a 3G phone thank you very much, then the new Samsung E720, out in the next couple of weeks, might be for you. The clamshell phone is a small, tidy and highly specced phone. It has an external screen that uses OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, which is effective and not very energy-hungry. The built-in 88Mb memory is big enough for a few albums, but if you don't want to listen to music then this space can be used to store photos taken on the one-megapixel camera.

From free with contract at Carphone Warehouse, tel: 0800 925 925, www.carphonewarehouse.com

BlackBerry 7290

If you want a business phone, then you'll probably want to be able to use it to check your e-mails as well. A lot of mobile phones can do this now, but the gold-standard is still the BlackBerry. Recent models that were more traditionally phone-shaped didn't have the Qwerty keyboard which is the unit's greatest strength. You won't want to use it to write a novel, but it's unbeatably good for short e-mails. It also offers you the ability to turn the aerial off so that you can write e-mails on an aeroplane without getting told off, and then send them as soon as you land. The new 7290 model has a much brighter backlight (the dim screen was an Achilles' heel of earlier versions). It's available on the T-Mobile network, which also has a useful tariff available: if you don't plan to use it to make calls you can opt for a data only set-up where you can send and receive e-mails and surf the net for £17 a month. The handset costs £169 with this contract.

T-Mobile, tel: 0845 412 5000; www.t-mobile.co.uk

Siemens SK65

There's another BlackBerry option if you want a more conventional-shaped phone. The smart Siemens SK65 comes with BlackBerry software and a cunning twist-out keyboard. The phone is blessed with the intuitive Siemens user interface but there's no camera (as some companies are banning camera phones from their premises).

From free with contract, tel: 0845 7400 700, www.siemensmobile.com

Sharp 902

This phone's 2-megapixel camera takes excellent photographs, and its Bluetooth wireless connection means you can transfer the large images you create quickly and easily to a PC. It's quite big, but it's tremendous for pictures.

From £99.99 with contract, tel: 08700 700 191, www.vodafone.com.

RAZR V3

Finally, Motorola still has the best-looking phone around with its RAZR V3. It's thin, tough and cute. And now, as well as the dazzling silver model, there's also a new black version that's exclusive to the T-Mobile network. These are similar to the ones that were given to Academy Award nominees in February but now, it seems, anyone can have one.

From free with contract, Motorola as before

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines