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Top 10 Touchscreen Phones of 2009

2009 was the year of the touchscreen revolution, and so we take a look at the best touch phones from the year gone by in our Top 10 Touchscreen Phones of 2009.

Touchscreen technology is now a must-have feature on mobile phones. Apple were not the first, but they took such a big step that since the 2007 release of the iPhone, we have seen touch phone after touch phone flooding the market.

So how do you know which touchscreen phone is the right one for you? Hopefully that’s where we can help. Our Top 10 Touchscreen Phones of 2009 list is based on three key factors; design, features and value for money. We give you the low-down on each handset, as well as a star rating to help you compare.

If you like one of our top 10 touchscreen phones and want to see more specs or you wish to proceed and buy, simply click on the image or one of the links in the article and you will be taken directly to our store, which is part of Carphone Warehouse, where you can buy securely and in confidence.

So here it is, our list of the Top 10 Touchscreen Phones of 2009…

 

1. Apple iPhone 3GS

 
Apple iPhone 3GS

Display 320 x 480 pixels – 3.5 inches
Operating
System
iPhone OS (based on Mac OS)
Processor ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz, PowerVR SGX graphics
Memory Up to 32GB storage and 256MB RAM
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
Video VGA@30fps, video geo-tagging
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack out
Dimensions 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm
Weight 135 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 300h
Talk time: Up to 12h (2G) / 5h (3G)
Music: Up to 30h

A must have accessory for the stylish social networker of today, the Apple iPhone 3GS oozes style, exquisite design, a breathtaking and intuitive user interface, and some really useful features.

Where it lacks in areas such as a top notch camera and battery life, it more than makes up for in stlye, usability, functionality, stability and expandibility. The App Store and iTunes services can be used directly from the phone allowing the user access to millions of music tracks, videos and software applications; plus with Wi-Fi and 3G access to the Internet, this really becomes the ultimate mobile multimedia centre.

 

2. Nokia N900
 
Nokia N900

Display 800 x 480 pixels – 3.5 inches
Operating
System
Maemo 5
Processor ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz, PowerVR SGX graphics
Memory 32GB storage and 256MB RAM
Camera 5 MP Carl Zeiss optics, 2592×1944 pixels, dual LED flash, autofocus
Video WVGA@25fps
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack out
Dimensions 110.9 x 59.8 x 18 mm
Weight 181 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 100h
Talk time: Up to 9h (2G) / 5h (3G)

The Nokia N900 offers a powerful mobile Web platform, a huge amount of internal storage, a great 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and an ultrasharp display. It’s also fast, multitasks well, and has excellent call quality.

However, where it doesn’t beat the iPhone is on it’s user interace. It is slick and eye catching but not as intuitive as Apple’s device. It’s also a little bulky and has access to fewer applications than the iPhone simply because the Ovi Store is not as advanced yet as the App Store.

A superb handset however, worthy of five stars, and due to hit out website on Boxing Day.

 

3. HTC Touch HD2

 
HTC Touch HD2

Display 480 x 300 pixels - 4.3 inches
Operating
System
Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD2850 1 GHz Processor
Memory 448MB RAM and 512MB ROM plus microSD slot
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, LED flash, autofocus
Video VGA@30fps
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack out
Dimensions 120.5 x 67 x 11 mm
Weight 157 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 490h
Talk time: Up to 6h 20m (2G) / 5h 40m (3G)
Music: Up to 12h

A must have look good accessory. the HTC Touch HD2 not only boasts style but awesome power through the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor - it wasn’t all that long ago that laptops were boasting 1GHz processors! A truly magnificent 4.3-inch touchscreen with some great added features to improve the user experience, plus a good camera, a microSD expansion and the ability to be used as a Wi-Fi router making this a superb top-end device.

If I had to, I would choose a handset as stylish and as powerful as this, but without Microsoft Windows Mobile. Whilst this handset has the latest Windows OS in 6.5 Professional, I am not convinced that Microsoft has mastered the mobile operating system, which has always historically been buggy and sluggish. However, on the Touch HD2, it’s far from sluggish due to the power under the bonnet but only time will tell on stability. What I do like about Windows Mobile however is software availability and expandability.

The only area we can actually knock the HD2 down below the iPhone and the N900 is battery life. Watching a movie or two or listening to 12 hours of music will result in you having to connect to the mains, although standby and talktime aren’t too bad. However, we could not score this anything less than a five star. Once you hold one, you’ll understand why.

 

4. Nokia N97

 
Nokia N97

Display 360 x 640 pixels – 3.5 inches
Operating
System
Symbian OS v9.4 Series 60 Release 5
Processor ARM II 434MHz Processor
Memory 32GB internal storage plus microSD slot and 128MB RAM
Camera 5 MP Carl Zeiss optics, 2592×1944 pixels, dual LED flash, autofocus
Video VGA@30fps
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack out
Dimensions 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm
Weight 150 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 432h
Talk time: Up to 9h 30m (2G) / 6h (3G)
Music: Up to 40h

Very nearly the last of our five-star handsets, the Nokia N97 was downgraded to a four and a half star when we looked at it against the HTC Touch HD2. It has a good looking touch screen, a great camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a huge amount of internal storage plus a microSD slot for further expandability, and terrific battery life when compared to its competitors.

However, like the N900 it doesn’t beat the iPhone on it’s user interface. This time, it’s the touch screen integration which just isn’t a slick and simple as the iPhone. Once again, there is access to fewer applications than the iPhone from the Ovi Store, plus the N97 still carries a fairly hefty price tag.

Probably superceded since it’s release as a top smartphone by some of its close competitors, but at the time of release this was one of the top handsets around. If I was a Nokia fan looking for a new handset though, I’d probably go with the N900.

 

5. Sony Ericsson Satio

 
Sony Ericsson Satio

Display 360 x 640 pixels – 3.5 inches
Operating
System
Symbian Series 60 Release 5
Processor ARM Cortex A8 600Mhz Processor with 3D Graphics
Memory 128MB internal storage plus microSD slot
Camera 12 MP, 4000×3000 pixels, vid LED flash, xenon flash, autofocus, smile detection
Video VGA@30fps
Sound Audio Player with custom headphone socket
Dimensions 112 x 55 x 13 mm
Weight 126 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 340h
Talk time: Up to 4h 30m

The Satio boasts a sharp, responsive touchscreen and is certainly the year’s best camera phone. It’s simple to use, and packed with features plus it looks stylish and is easy to carry around.

Unfortunately though, the Satio falls down on battery life. Talk time and standby time are poor, and using it as a media player is not made simple by both the battery life and the missing 3.5mm headphone jack.

 

6. Samsung Omnia II

 
Samsung Omnia 2

Display 400 x 800 pixels – 3.7 inches
OS Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Processor ARM 1176 800Mhz Processor
Memory Up to 16GB internal storage plus microSD slot
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, dual power LED flash, autofocus
Video 720×480@30fps
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 118 x 59.6 x 11.9 mm
Weight 117 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 430h
Talk time: Up to 10h

Whilst it’s not the most powerful smartphone on the market, the Samsung Omnia II features an improved user interface and a richer multimedia experience to make it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor. Not quite the same experience as the HTC Touch HD2, but probably still one of the best Windows Mobile devices on the market.

 

7. Nokia 5530 Xpressmusic

 
Nokia 5530 Xpressmusic

Display 360 x 640 pixels - 2.9 inches
Operating
System
Symbian OS Series 60 Release 5
Processor ARM II 434MHz Processor
Memory 70 MB internal storage, 128MB RAM plus microSD slot
Camera 3.15 MP Carl Zeiss optics, 2048×1536 pixels, LED flash, autofocus
Video 220×176@16fps
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 104 x 49 x 13 mm
Weight 107 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 336h
Talk time: Up to 5h
Music: Up to 27h

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is significantly cheaper than most other touchscreen handsets on the market. Whilst it’s nowhere near as slick as the iPhone or HTC HD2, we still think it offers a good user experience and grea multimedia features for the price.

 

 

8. Blackberry Storm 2

 
Blackberry 9520 Storm 2

Display 480 x 360 pixels - 3.25 inches
Operating
System
Blackberry OS
Processor Qualcomm 528MHz Processor
Memory 2GB internal storage, 256MB RAM
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, LED flash, autofocus
Video QVGA
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 112.5 x 62.2 x 14 mm
Weight 160 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 305h
Talk time: Up to 6h

The BlackBerry Storm 2 (9520) from Reseach in Motion adds Wi-Fi, more memory, and an updated operating system that brings a number of feature and user interface enhancements. The revamped SurePress touchscreen allows for more precision, key rollover, and limited multitouch capabilities.

However, BlackBerry browser isn’t on par with the competition. and Whilst improved, the touchscreen still takes some acclimation. Plus, battery life doesn’t stand up to the multimedia test. The main struggle for the Blackberry Storm 2 is going to be the competition.

 

9. HTC Touch Pro2

 
HTC Touch Pro2

Display 480 x 800 pixels – 3.6 inches
Operating
System
Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Processor Qualcomm 528MHz Processor
Memory 512MB internal storage, 256MB RAM plus microSD card slot
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
Video VGA
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 116 x 59.2 x 17.3 mm
Weight 178.5 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 750h
Talk time: Up to 8h 30m

Stlyed like a cross between the Nokia N97 with slide out QWERTY keyboard and the HTC Touch HD2 but without the breathtaking touchscreen, the HTC Touch Pro2 is a practical and attractive handset.

It’s a complete winner on battery life, and has plenty of multimedia features making it the perfect handset to take on the move. However, with the slower processor and the distinct lack of any blow-away features, the Touch Pro2 fails to stand up against the competition and only just creeps into our top ten.

 

10. HTC Hero


HTC Hero

Display 320 x 480 pixels – 3.2 inches
Operating
System
Android OS v1.5
Processor Qualcomm 528MHz Processor
Memory 512MB internal storage, 288MB RAM plus microSD card slot
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus
Video VGA
Sound Audio Player with 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 112 x 56.2 x 14.4 mm
Weight 135 g
Battery
Life
Standard battery – Li-Ion
Standby: Up to 750h
Talk time: Up to 8h

The HTC Hero offers a highly customizable user interface thanks to HTC Sense. It also improves on past Android devices with Outlook e-mail, calendar, and contacts synchronization, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 5-megapixel camera. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 3G support are all onboard plus battery life is excellent.

However, the smartphone which we feel lacks any style can occasionally be sluggish, and we found that flash content didn’t always work from the Web browser. Application and file management could be better too. There will be more Android phones in 2010, particularly from HTC, and we’d advise that you wait for them instead.

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