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The mobile phone market has quickly become one of the most cut-throat of any technology sector, in the last year we have seen the release of a new generation of smart phones that pushed the devices over the line from a clever PDA to a portable computer with powerful graphics and processing and large enough screens to be used comfortably.
Google`s Android OS has risen to become the market leader overtaking Apple`s iOS but they lag behind on app choice. Nokia`s Symbian OS is widely being abandoned for Android while Microsoft have been very slow to emerge in the mobile market, this year should see their first release of a range of Windows 7 Mobile phones.
The Apple iPhone4
Apple offers the iPhone4 with a market-leading display, powerful graphics processing for apps and access to Apple`s superior applications store.
The downside to choosing Apple is a more expensive contract with fewer minutes and lower data allowance in comparison to what would be available with a similarly specified smart phone from another company.
The Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung`s top phones are the Galaxy S and related Nexus S, sharing the same processing hardware with the high resolution and very bright Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy S comes in 8 and 16 GB versions and the Nexus S with 16 GB of storage but lacks the memory card slot of its Galaxy S brother. The Nexus S is also one of the first phones to support NFC technology, allowing mobile phones to act as debit and Oyster cards. While the two are similar the Nexus S has the latest version of Android (2.3 Gingerbread) and as the Googlephone 2 is guaranteed to receive prompt updates, in contrast the Galaxy S remains at Android 2.1 and may be there for some time due to update cost negotiations between Samsung and mobile phone providers. Both are very solid phones offering the latest features at a top end price but lower than the iPhone4.
LG Optimus 7
The LG Optimus 7 is best of the first Windows Mobile 7 phones and comes with some impressive add-ons including augmented reality weather display and the PlayTo DLNA service allowing you to stream media to your big-screen TV.
It`s highly functional, light-weight and good value for money.
Nokia`s N8 phone runs on the new Symbian^3 OS and offers a sturdy metal case to go along with a 12 MP camera with a Xenon flash, the downsides of this device are its bulk and how badly behind Sybian has fallen if you are an app user.
This phone is good for its ruggedness and for those who value the camera function.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is a small and affordable smartphone with a touchscreen interface, it also has a high-quality build but lags behind in tech terms by remaining on Android 1.6. HTC`s Desire HD offers an impressive 4.3 inch touchscreen but suffers from poor battery life making it a poor choice for anyone on the go.
If you need a physical keyboard the Blackberry Torch running the latest Blackberry OS 6 is the best choice, though it is larger and has a poorer resolution screen than the mobile phones it is competing with. The top phones are now all very capable but it is Apple and Samsung who stand out.