Best Mobile Phone: and the nominees are...

The best mobile phone of the year is always a hotly contended category at the annual Pocket-lint Gadget Awards. We do like our phones. 2010 has seen some absolute killers with Android picking up some serious traction, Apple trying to set the bar ever higher and Microsoft's renaissance with Windows Phone 7 as well. With so much going on and so many quality handsets it was next to impossible to narrow it down to a shortlist of five nominees. The question is, can you pick a winner amongst them? Read on for the case for each and don't forget to cast your vote.

Apple iPhone 4

Type
iOS smartphone

Price
£590

Released
June

PL Review score
9/10


There's very little to say about the iPhone 4 that hasn't already be said. There's plenty of hardware tweaks to get excited about. The more industrial, glass sandwich design is a treat unto itself, but throw in the likes of the front and back cameras, HD video shooting and that stunning Retina Display and there's already enough to make someone want to upgrade. Of course, it's the user experience that the iPhone 4 really offers though and the update of the iOS has given Appleites that much more to play with, on top of what already lies in the depths of the App Store. Should FaceTime calling really kick off, then one would have to look back at this model as the phone that finally got video calling into the mode, but we'll have to wait and see there. The only thing that might stand against the iPhone and victory could be Antennagate, but whether that was really a problem for the public at large remains to be seen.

HTC Desire HD

Type
Android smartphone

Price
£480

Released
October

PL Review score
9/10


While it's the Desire HD that makes it into the final five, it could equally have been the original Desire or even the HTC Legend as well. As it goes, the Desire HD has seen far because it's stood on the shoulders of giants, but that doesn't stop it being a fabulous phone in its own right and perhaps the only mobile that's truly earned its spurs as an iPhone killer. The screen might not be as punchy as the Retina Display or Samsung's Super AMOLED technology but, at 4.3 inches, some might consider that it's just raw size that counts when consuming your content. HTC Sense has been hailed as a marvel by those that use it, turning an otherwise bare Android 2.2 system into something more holistic, but as well as that, it's the little touches that make the Desire HD such a great contender. The phone features both SRS and Dolby Mobile technology to add some class to the audio output for video and music as well, and the icing on the cake has to be the DLNA connectivity which turns the handset into a real multimedia must have.

Samsung Galaxy S

Type
Android smartphone

Price
£395

Released
July

PL Review score
9/10


Just when everyone thought HTC was the last word in Android, Samsung served up the Galaxy S. It dwarfs the iPhone 4 with its 4-inch touchscreen and, while the 480 x 800px resolution isn't quite as packed as the Retina, the Super AMOLED technology makes the colours sing and the contrast sharp. Watching videos on your commute is its speciality. In many other departments, the Galaxy S matches the likes of the other top Android phones with processor power, megapixels and HD video recording as good as most pocket devices. Admittedly, there are a couple of areas of annoyance like the lack of an LED flash and it might lose out a little on HTC with its TouchWiz UI not being quite as strong sitting atop of the Android 2.2 OS. All the same, there's still some excellent home network streaming options with the Samsung AllShare function, and a clever choice of apps included out of the box. All in all, the Galaxy S makes it very hard to decide what the top Android handset is. We'll have to let you know on 8 December.

Samsung Omnia 7

Type
WP7 smartphone

Price
£480

Released
October

PL Review score
9/10


With two entries in our top five, you'd have to say it was a very good year for Samsung, given that the Korean giant has been fighting for quite some time now to be taken seriously in the mobile space. The Samsung Omnia 7 is the only Windows Phone 7 representative in our list, which must make it pretty special to have out-shone all the HTCs, the LGs and the Dell model as well. While specs are pretty similar across the board, as dictated by Microsoft, the Omnia 7 still has one massive trick up its sleeve - the exact same screen it stuck on the Galaxy S. Sadly, the phone doesn’t share the same DLNA-type connectivity with its cousin and it’s not going to be able to match it for apps, but that WP7 interface certainly wins it points for both originality and style.

BlackBerry Bold 9780

Type
QWERTY smartphone

Price
£390

Released
November

PL Review score
8/10


The BlackBerry Bold 9700 was a very close runner to the 2009 Best Mobile Phone winner at the previous Pocket-lint Gadget Awards and the refresh has come just in time for another shot at the title. Were it not for the update of the software to BlackBerry OS 6, there could be trouble, but the revamped GUI and fine-tuned features put it somewhere closer to the tricks and treats of Android, iOS and WP7. Specs-wise, it’s pretty much identical to the 9700, which could be the downfall of this year’s shot from BlackBerry, but there is a more competitive, 5-megapixel camera to enjoy as well as the luxury of an increased storage space as well. Probably the best QWERTY we’ve seen in 2010, but we expect nothing less from the Big B.

So which of these do you think should win the prize? Vote with your mouse.



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