There are literally hundreds of cell phones out there made by dozens of manufacturers. It is hard to determine which are the best of the group - or at least, which is best for you. The decision is a difficult one, and we hope the information below will help you make a wise choice. The five cell phones listed below are truely the best of the best in terms of quality design, dependability, and overall user satisfaction. Although there are a lot of great cell phones out there, we are sure that these are some of the very best.
Motorola i860 Video and Camera Mobile Phone
Manufacturers Description: The sleek Motorola i860 is packed with more than a dozen top-of-the-line features including 10-second video capture and playback and a 0.3-megapixel camera with 4X digital zoom. In addition, it allows users to easily exchange digital photos and contact information with others.
"The Motorola i860 handset is another example of how Motorola strives to meet our customers' needs by offering one mobile device to streamline communications," said Rey More, senior vice president and general manager, Motorola's iDEN® Subscriber Group. "Its multimedia services enable users to easily capture the moment when it happens and share it with others, wherever they may be."
The phone's 10-second video capture capability includes a short-range LED spotlight to provide additional light for close-up pictures. The camera allows users to take pictures in a variety of sizes suitable for sharing, in-camera viewing, wallpaper designs, and picture caller ID. Users can get themselves in the picture using the self-timer.
With the Motorola i860, users can share their pictures and audio recordings by sending and receiving multimedia messages.1 The phone's integrated Media Center allows users to conveniently manage all pictures, voice recordings, ring tones, videos, and wallpaper designs from a single area.
Other features of the Motorola i860 that are new to iDEN handsets include:
Picture Caller ID - allows a previously-assigned picture of a caller to appear in the external display when a phone call is incoming from that contact
Larger external color screen - displays up to 3 lines of text and pictures
Larger internal color screen - displays up to 11 lines of text in vibrant color
Push-to-Send My Info2 - allows users to send their contact information via the "push-to-talk" (PTT) button. Users can limit the amount of information sent or send a virtual business card to network more efficiently.
Push-to-Send Contacts2 - allows users to easily share another user's contact information via the PTT button
Media Downloader application ? available for download from the Internet, this free application allows users to transfer photos and videos from their phone to their PC via a USB cable (not included)
25 MB of memory available to end users - for ring tones, voice recordings, videos, pictures, messages, wallpaper designs, and Java? applications
MP3 ring tones - including music and voice
Openwave 7.0 Internet microbrowser - lets users browse graphic-rich xHTML sites
Push-to-open button - offers convenient, one-handed operation of the flip-style phone by mechanically opening the flip when pressed
The phone also has many of the features associated with Motorola's iDEN technology, including location-based services, integrated speakerphone, voice recorder3, voice dialing, downloadable applications, and a two-way radio for instant communication at the touch of a button.
The Motorola i860 handset weighs 4.77 ounces and measures 3.45 x 1.96 x 1.01 inches with the included high performance battery.
Overall Value Rating: 9.7 / 10 - Excellent
Price: $250 - $400
Nokia 6230 Cell Phone (Cingular)
Manufacturers Description: Offering the best and latest technology and features, the Nokia 6230 meets the requirements of the most demanding mobile phone users. The tri-band (GSM, GPRS, EDGE 900/1800/1900, GSM, GPRS, EDGE 850/1800/1900) mobile phone offers multiple connectivity options via EDGE and Bluetooth wireless technology, a removable multimedia memory card as well as an integrated VGA camera to capture pictures and videos. Sleek and compact, the Nokia 6230 is expected to start shipping in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and Americas in the first quarter of 2004.
"Traditionally, mobile professional are early adopters of mobile technology, demanding advanced functionality and higher data speeds to keep them informed, entertained and connected while on the move," said Kai Öistämö," Senior Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones. "With EDGE, Bluetooth technology, an integrated camera, MMS functionality and even an integrated MP3 player, the Nokia 6230 addresses these needs with an impressive range of features to help balance a busy work schedule with after-work responsibilities."
One of the key benefits of the Nokia 6230 is a compelling multimedia experience. With an integrated VGA camera and a display with 65,000 colors, pictures and videos taken with the Nokia 6230 appear sharp and bright. The video player adds the ability to record, send and receive video clips with audio, as well as receive streaming video content in 3GPP video streaming format. High quality video and images, voice, presentations, files and music can be stored on a removable multimedia memory card. Users can also create, send and receive multpicture, multimedia messages with Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) technology. SMIL technology allows users to compose multi-image messages that display text, sound and images in a pre-determined order.
For flexible and efficient wireless connectivity, the Nokia 6230 phone offers Bluetooth wireless technology and infrared connectivity as well as HSCSD and GPRS support. Bluetooth enables a wide range of new exciting enhancements for seamless connections and comfortable wearability, like the Nokia 610 car kit phone and the stylish Wireless Boom Headset also announced today. The complete list of Bluetooth enhancements compatible with the Nokia 6230 can be viewed at www.nokia.com/products/Nokia6230.
Using the high-speed packet-based EDGE connectivity of the Nokia 6230, business professionals can enjoy faster browsing, messaging and downloading. With a downlink data speed of up to 236.6 kbps, downloading with the Nokia 6230 via EDGE enables downloads more than 4 times faster than with GPRS.
In addition, the Nokia 6230 has a mobile email client that lets users manage their email quickly over EDGE, GPRS and HSCSD networks. The advanced xHTML browser gives fast access to mobile services and information, and the integrated TCP/IP technology** enhances both the ease and speed of over-the-air file downloads. Data synchronization capability allows users of the Nokia 6230 to update personal data remotely over the network. Local synchronization of personal data can also be done via Bluetooth, IrDa, USB and the Nokia PC Suite.
With the presence-enhanced contacts service, users of the Nokia 6230 can share their availability, intentions and whereabouts with colleagues, family, friends and other contacts. For example, a business professional can change his phone profile to 'Meeting' and advise his colleagues to reach him by SMS or MMS. Exchanging instant text messages is another interesting possibility with the presence-enhanced Chat function, where users of the Nokia 6230 can create their own private chats and invite others to participate, or even join public chats of their interest.
The Nokia 6230 also includes a digital music player for AAC/MP3 music formats. In addition to enjoying high quality stereo music, music enthusiasts can set their favourite music as wake-up tones as well as alert and ring tones.
Key features include:
Active TFT color display - with up to 65.536 colours
Integrated digital VGA camera
High speed packet-based EDGE and GPRS connectivity
Digital camcorder and video player
Video streaming including AMR audio
MMC Multimedia card support
Java MIDP 2.0
Presence-enhanced contacts and chat
MP3/AAC music player and built-in FM stereo radio
xHTML browser for enhanced mobile browsing experience
Advanced PIM functionality (calendar, phonebook, to-do list, notes)
OMA Digital Rights Management version 1.0
Integrated hands-free speaker
Polyphonic ring tones (supporting up to 24 instruments)
Infrared, USB, PC Suite
76 cc, weighs 97 grams
Talk time of up to 5 hours and a standby time of up to 300 hours.
Overall Value Rating: 9.6 / 10 - Excellent
Price: $150 - $300
Motorola A630 Cell Phone (T-Mobile)
Manufacturers Description: Following in the footsteps of the game-changing Motorola StarTAC and the company's revolutionary two-way pagers, the model A630 is yet another innovative new product from Motorola. Packaged in a unique, multi- functional design featuring a QWERTY keyboard hidden inside a sleek candy bar form, the Motorola A630 lets you call, text or email with style and ease.
From the outside, you see a fashionable, compact mobile handset. Once opened, the device reveals a full QWERTY keyboard that makes texting, email exchanges and Instant Messaging easy. The A630 does not stop there. For multi-media fun, the handset comes with an integrated camera with 4 x zoom, multi-media messaging for sending and sharing images, dedicated gaming keys and a vivid color display that offers portrait as well as landscape views. When its time to be productive, the A630 offers integrated Bluetooth® wireless technology, an office quality speakerphone and email support including POP3, SMTP and Imap4. The Motorola A630's fusion of the mobile and messaging worlds without sacrificing weight, size or style makes it the ideal device for today's text-savvy trendsetting consumer.
With the debut of the model A630, Motorola delivers a uniquely designed handset that stands apart from the pack, promising simplified voice and messaging communications supported by the latest technology," said James Burke, Sr. Director of Product Operations for Motorola, Inc. "With its clever combination of fun and function, the model A630 is sure to please style-conscious movers and shakers."
The Motorola A630 features include:
Full QWERTY keyboard with 5-way navigation for easy messaging, fun gaming and more
Integrated VGA camera with dedicated photo button for quick shoot and send power
220 x 176 pixel color landscape display capable of supporting up to 65,000 colors
Built-in Bluetooth wireless technology
Advanced messaging including Multi-Media Messaging Service (MMS), SMS, e-mail support (POP3, SMTP, Imap4) and multibranded IM (Instant Messaging)
GSM tri-band capabilities
J2ME? downloading functionality
Integrated hands-free speakerphone
Polyphonic speaker for the ultimate sound and cool MP3 ringtones
Overall Value Rating: 9.3 / 10 - Very Good
Price: $150 - $350
Samsung p735 Cell Phone (T-Mobile)
Manufacturers Description: Featuring a package of design and multimedia features, the imaginative p735 is Samsung's first GSM megapixel camera phone in the U.S. With options that entertain, enrich and enhance a consumer's wireless experience, the p735 boasts an eye-catching twist and flip display and advanced multimedia technology, including a megapixel camera phone, video recorder, MP3 player and expandable memory.
The phone's distinct feature is a swivel form factor that allows the consumer to twist the display so that the vibrant 262,000-color screen rotates to a horizontal position, giving the phone a more camcorder-like feel and making picture taking and video recording easier. And with a megapixel camera, film-quality pictures can be stored and printed at sizes up to 4x6.
For moments such as upcoming holiday gatherings that require more than a quick snapshot, the video recorder is practical and convenient, and video and pictures can be shared wirelessly via T-Mobile's messaging services. While the phone's 64MB of internal memory provides space for pictures and video, the p735 comes with an RS MMC media slot and additional 32MB multimedia card so no moment is ever missed. In addition, the expandable memory slot offers space for easy and quick access to supplementary applications and games.
For those that still have the gamer in them but are too busy to play at home, the p735 acts as a gaming device with access to 3D games, including Metalion and Zio Golf. For music download addicts, the p735 comes equipped with a personal MP3 player, so downloading, playing and sorting music wirelessly becomes a convenience, not a hassle. Sounds come in clear with T-Mobile's HiFi Ringers and the device's pre-packaged headset provides a heightened auditory experience.
The p735 will change the way consumers view their wireless phone" said Peter Skarzynski, senior vice president of Samsung's wireless division. Whether using the phone to download and listen to music, or snapping pictures and video clips to send back to the office while on a business trip, the p735 will enhance consumers' digital lifestyle.
This is a truly fun phone" said Todd Achilles, director of handset product management for T-Mobile USA. "From the bright screen, to cool swivel design, and MP3 player to the megapixel camera, there's a lot to keep you entertained"
Integrated MegaPixel Digital Camera - Take pictures on the go. Enjoy one megapixel pictures plus digital zoom, multishot, and more. RS MMC Media Slot - Add memory, applications, and store photos with a memory card.
MP3 Player - Download, play and sort your favorite tunes to listen to on your phone.
262 TFT Main Color Display - Makes everything come to life on your phone including photos, picture caller ID, and more. Video Messaging - Record up to 15 second clips with sound and send them to other compatible phones.
Overall Value Rating: 9.0 / 10 - Very Cool
Price: $400 - $550
LG VX4600 Cell Phone (Verizon Wireless)
Manufacturers Description: The attractive VX4600 is the perfect mobile phone for consumers who are looking to express themselves with high-end quality, style and essential functionality. Its ultra-cool clamshell design, high-resolution internal color display, and innovative external OEL (Organic Electro-Luminescent) screen make an undeniable statement of style.
Talk time: 200 minutes Standby time: 165 hours Size: 3.43H x 1.81W x 0.98D inches Weight: 3.38 oz
1.9 Ghz PCS, 800 MHz CDMA (All Digital)
Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) to send and receive text messages with graphics and sound
E911 Emergency Location-capable
2.5mm headset jack to accept universal hands-free headsets
65K TFD Main Color Display (120 x 160) 8 lines of Text
OEL Sub Display (96 x 38) 3 lines of Text
Blue Backlit Keypad
5-Way Navigation Key
CMX MIDI (musical instrument and games digital interface) for sounds and ringers
Large Phone Book: 499 contacts (each stores 5 numbers and 3 email addresses)
36 Embedded Ring Tones and download more
Vibrate and Silent Modes
Speed Dialing (99 Entries)
Bilingual (English and Spanish) capabilities
Personal Organizer: Calendar with Scheduler, Alarm Clock, Voice Memo, Notepad, EZ Tip Calculator, Calculator and World Clock
External USB Capable
1-Year limited warranty
Meets FCC SAR limit. Manufacturer's highest FCC reported SAR 1.22 at ear, .74 on body. Actual SAR may vary.
Overall Value Rating: 8.8 / 10
Price: $100 - $200
Bradley James is the chief editor of the consumer electronics review website SciNet.cc. Get more information about cell phones, compare prices and read reviews at our best cell phones website.