Roundup: 5 Smart Phones for Summer

Last month, we looked at two phones that offer an alternative to the typical Blackberry or other business-oriented productivity handsets. This month, we look at and test a different breed: the all-in-one mobile device. These are mobile phones that were designed to go above and beyond what a typical smart phone can do.

The iPhone is a great example of this product category, but we’ve seen so much of it, that, to be frank, we’re wary of overkill. With AT&T’s vice grip on Apple’s device, changing services or upgrading may be out of the question for large swaths of consumers. However, for this article, the iPhone 3GS was the standard against which we tested the other phones.

We tested five recently released phones to see if they could match or better the iPhone in features and performance. Here are the five devices we looked at:

  


Samsung Instinct S30
Samsung Impression
LG enV Touch
Palm Pre
Nokia N97
Dimensions (in.)
4.57x2.17x.484.48x2.28x.614.52x2.16x.663.9x2.3x.674.61x2.18x.63
Weight (oz.)
3.885.28
4.9
4.76
5.3
Display Size (In.)
3.13.233.13.5
Screen Resolution (PX)
240x432240x400800x480320x480640x360
Operating System
ProprietaryProprietaryProprietaryPalm WebOS
Symbian S60
Touch Screen
Resistive, Single TouchResistive, Single TouchResistive, Single TouchCapacitive, Multi-touchResistive, Single Touch
Camera
2 MP
3 MP
3.2 MP w/flash & autofocus3 MP w/flash5 MP w/flash & autofocus
Internal Memory

189 MB
8 GB (7 available)32 GB
Upgradeable Memory
16 GB16 GB16 GBNone
16 GB
Data Transfer Speed
EVDO 03G
3G EVDO Rev A3G EVDO Rev AUp to 3.5G
WiFi
NoneNoneNone802.11b/g802.11b/g
Usage Time
Up to 4.6 hoursUp to 3 hoursUp to 260 minutesUp to 9.5 hours GSM
Standby Time

Up to 250 hoursUp to 17 hours
Up to 17.9 days GSM
Price
$99.99 w/2 year service contract$149.99 w/2 year service contract and mail in rebate$99.99 w/2 year service contract$199.99 w/2 year service contract and mail in rebate$699 retail
Service Provider
Sprint
AT&T
Verizon
Sprint
Unlocked

      

Each phone has unique features, so we tested them both individually and against each other (when appropriate) in a multitude of lab and real world tests. We looked at speed, functionality, design and service.

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13 comments
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  • SlyMaelstrom
    Where's the HTC Touch Pro 2? It's superior to all of these phones and will be available on all major US carriers by the end of September. It's already out on T-Mobile.
  • jamezrp
    HTC Touch Pro 2? Keep your eyes peeled on this site...
  • jamezrp
    HTC Touch Pro 2? Keep your eyes peeled on this site...
  • georgeb45
    HTC Touch Diamond 2 rulez them all. HTC Touch Pro 2 is the most advanced smartphone but is too large. Diamond 2 has the perfect size and works great. I'm using it for 3 months now and i'm very satisfied with it.
  • nerdherd
    This is a strange review...comparing a Palm Pre to a Samsung Instinct? Why don't we compare apples to apples, like mentioned above where are some HTC phones like the Diamond 2 and the Touch Pro 2? Not to mention some kind of Android or Symbian based phone...
  • Where's the G1? By far the best phone out... Better than all the phones reviewed in this. I would've liked to see it compare against these phones...
  • moullas
    "There are currently three major players in the touchscreen operating system business for cell phones: Apple with the iPhone OS, Google with Android, and Palm with webOS."

    ?? Is this supposed to be an unbiased review? Forgetting Windows Mobile with the largest userbase seems a bit suspicious
  • Noobster15
    Why wouldnt a Iphone be considered a Smart phone?
    It could own all of those Phones
  • Boxa786
    your name says it all, iphone is not classed as a smart phone when compared to true smartphones due to its crippling features, such as;
    No MMS
    No Video recording

    the latest iphone 3gs has many improvements over its predessors, but it still lacks some features compared to the rest.

    Although all these phones mentioned are great, there are other handsets available which should have been included in this review, such as the latest HTC and not forgetting the world number 1 for business users, RIM handsets!
  • kyeana
    If im not mistaken, the pre's app are done entirely in html/javascript, meaning that if they open the app store up to everyone, we should see apps flowing into it in no time.
  • kyeana
    Also im not sure if this has been addressed yet, but the pre did have a bug in is messaging app that caused the battery to drain faster then it should. Perhaps that could account for some of the battery life issues (but of course not all of it, i still would have loved to see a bigger battery in there)
  • Tomsguiderachel
    nerdherdThis is a strange review...comparing a Palm Pre to a Samsung Instinct? Why don't we compare apples to apples, like mentioned above where are some HTC phones like the Diamond 2 and the Touch Pro 2? Not to mention some kind of Android or Symbian based phone...

    There is a Symbian unit in this roundup.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Thanks to everyone who commented on this article. Here's some insight into our editorial process: we can only include articles for which we have review units in any given roundup. We did not have the HTC Touch Pro 2 when this roundup came out, but we had those 5 phones so we reviewed those. But now, we finally have the HTC Touch Pro 2, so check out: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Toshiba-TG01-HTC-TouchPro2,review-1386.html

    Please keep this in mind when you make comments about missing products in roundups. Not every product is available to every review at every moment in time. We do try our best!