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Top 10 mobile phones to buy, this holiday season

It was back in June 29, 2007, when Steve Jobs transformed the mobile phone market with the launch of the very first iPhone. Thus started the era of smartphones. Today, we present to you 10 mobiles phones (well, technically eleven) that you’d love to take home with you, this holiday season. PICS INSIDE

gadgets Updated: Dec 13, 2011 12:38 IST
Shayon Pal

It was back in June 29, 2007, when Steve Jobs transformed the mobile phone market with the launch of the very first iPhone. Thus started the era of smartphones. Since then, hundreds of thousands of mobile phones got launched in their bid to play catch up with the flagship phone from Apple.



Whoever had imagined that Google would launch a whole new mobile OS, Android? Even the traditionally sloth Microsoft went back its drawing boards and came up with a very polished operating system, something very uncharacteristic of their corporate image. And then there was WebOS that was fancy, fresh and intuitive, and yet could make no mark in the market. Thanks to Android being open source, a lot of OEMs were born and reborn. Some of them are Samsung, HTC, Micromax and Lava. And there are much more trying to make a mark.



Choosing a smart phone isn’t that easy, today. There are at least 5 mobile platforms to choose from, and then the manufacturers’ reputation, the hardware of the phones, the bundled accessories, everything play a vital part in choosing a great phone. Today, we present to you 10 mobiles phones (well, technically eleven) that you’d love to take home with you, this holiday season.



Motorola RAZR Xt910


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The new Motorola Droid RAZR XT910 takes the best of Motorola’s Android expertise, adds in the super-slimness of the old RAZR phones and then tops it off with some of the rugged durability features of the Defy for good measure.



The phone makes you drool not just by its style, but by its power too. It’s got a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB RAM, Corning Gorilla Glass, 4.3-inches display and a TI OMAP 4430 chipset. The only drawback is the 1780mAh battery that won’t last too long under heavy usage.



HTC Sensation XE& XL


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The HTC Sensation XL was launched in India recently and is also branded as the costliest Android phone in the country. On the other side, the HTC Sensation SensationXE was launched couple of weeks back and comes packed with real good specifications for that amount of money.



Both these devices from HTC are exclusive devices with a partnership with Beats by Dr.Dre Audio system and optimized software and come with a special pair of headphones made by Dr.Dre exclusively for HTC.



Both the phones sport 1.5 GHz processors, but Sensation XE has dual cores, compared to the XL’s single core. However, XL is larger is size with 4.7-inch display, and the XE is 4.3-inch. It is surprising that even with a larger display, XL has a resolution of 800x480 whereas XE has a resolution of 960x540.



Samsung Omnia W


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Sumsung’s Omnia W is a fresh change from others in the market, thanks to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. The phone is a regular candy bar in design, but it’s surely rock solid, powerful enough to run Mango without a hitch, and comes at a sub-20K price point.



The phone sports a 1.4GHz Scorpion processor, with 512MB of RAM. It has 8GB of storage space, with no slot for an extra memory card slot. The camera is a 5-megapixel shooter with autofocus and LED flash.



Windows Phone 7.5 Mango is the reason why you’d want to pick up from a nearby store. The operating system is snappy and doesn’t freeze at all. Plus, the data connectivity over 3G also felt much faster than its competitions. The only caveat, it’s hardly a stunner in looks, other than the beautiful super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen.



Blackberry 9900


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For many users, the BlackBerry Bold represents the perfect image of a business-orientated smartphone, and its physical keyboard has certainly won it plenty of fans. The new BlackBerry Bold 9990 adds a touchscreen interface above the keyboard, but returns to a look and feel that we first saw on the Bold 9000.



The Bold 9900 is RIM's slimmest Blackberry yet and has a mean processor under its hood. What follows is an in-depth look at what the new Bold has to offer.Looks alone will make BlackBerry addicts crave this new device. With its 0.4-inch profile, the Bold 9900 is the thinnest RIM handset yet. Extremely pocket-friendly, this 4.6-ounce phone begs to be shown off.



AT the price of Rs 33,360, calling the phone overpriced is an understatement. But then again, people buy iPhone too.



Motorola Defy+


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The Motorola Defy Plus is a follow-up to the company’s popular rugged phone, Motorola Defy. The new model shares most of the features with its predecessor, including the same screen (3.7-inch Gorilla Glass capacitive touchscreen) and the same camera (5-megapixel with LED flash).



The major upgrades come in the form of the processor, which gets bumped up to a 1GHz behemoth, and the battery, which offers over 7 hours of talk-time and 16 days of standby time. And of course, it comes pre-loaded with Google Android v2.3 Gingerbread, augmented by the custom MotoBlur UI. It also sports 512MB RAM, 1GB of application memory and a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus.



Water resistant and dust proof, the rugged smartphone claims to survive a sudden rain shower, a day on the beach, an all-night party, or even a tough workout with the pre-loaded CardioTrainer application, which transforms the device into the perfect running mate. Here’s a video that you must watch –





Nokia Lumia 800


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The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Windows Phone handset to spring from the Microsoft / Nokia tie-up announced in February. shares its exterior styling with the previously substantially less hyped Nokia N9, a Meego-based smartphone, although the screen size is reduced from 3.9" (854x480 pixels) to 3.7" (800x480 pixels) to conform to the Windows Phone spec list.The CPU, however, increases from the 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 to the 1.4GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon/Scorpion which certainly helps add snap to the Windows Phone Mango OS.



The Nokia Lumia 800 is one of the most stunning smartphones around. It is made of a single piece of polycarbonate (basically a posh variety of plastic), a first as far as I know in the world of consumer electronics. Unlike other devices with a unibody design, there is no way of getting into the Lumia 800. Unless you were to break it open, the device is completely sealed from the public world. The use of polycarbonate not only improves reception, it also means that if the Lumia 800 were to suffer from a fall, the damage will not so apparent as the plastic is coloured inside out.



One of the major selling points of the Lumia 800 will be the inclusion of Nokia maps, in replacement of Bing Maps. It allows you to download maps of cities in the SD Card, thus doing away with the need to have an active Internet connection for navigation. It also features turn-by-turn voice navigation and a showcase of places of interest, nearby.



No doubt the Lumia 800 and 710 are Nokia’s ‘comeback devices’.



Motorola Atrix 2


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An attractive and comfortable phone with a great screen and solid camera, Atrix 2 is a high-end Android phone that improves on the original Atrix, adding a better display and camera, faster 4G, and a few other refinements. One thing it lacks from its predecessor is the fingerprint sensor.



It has a dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor on TI OMAP 4430 chipset. It has 1GB RAM< 8 GB of storage and a 8-megapixel autofocus camera. The display screen is 4.3-inch and is Gorilla glass capacitive touch screen.



The phone is not in the market yet, but sources reveal that it shall be launched in India during January 2012.



Samsung Galaxy Nexus


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Typically, no list of must-buy phones can ignore the high and mighty Galaxy S II. However, the upgrade to the super phone Galaxy Nexus, is expected in India during the first month of 2012.



The Nexus series is the flagship device from Google and is the first phone to sport Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS. ICS is supposed to be the bridge between Gingerbread and Honeycomb and can run on both tablets and smartphones.



Samsung Galaxy Nexus sports a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor with iGB of RAM, The phone shall come in 16GB and 32GB of storage, but has no microSD card slot. The camera is a 5-megapixel shooter with autofocus and has absolutely no lag between two successive shots. Did we mention that it also has a 4.65-inches Super AMOLED capacitive display with an amazing resolution of 1280x720 pixels?



Samsung Galaxy Note


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Personally, I was in serious dilemma to feature this beast in the category of mobile phones. Frankly, with a 5.3-inch display, it should ideally be called a mini-tablet, than a phone.


Samsung has been going great guns with its Galaxy lineage, right since they launched the first, Galaxy S. With the Galaxy Note, Samsung has taken the Streak 5 and changed every detail possible. The Note has a newer version of Android, a dual-core processor, a higher clockspeed on each core, a larger screen with higher resolution and better screen technology (TFT of Streak vs Super AMOLED HD on Note). Overall, Samsung Note’s 5.3-inch crisp display, a diminutive weight of just 178 g and 9.7 mm thickness come together really well.



Note has a gargantuan battery of 2500mAh. Equally impressive is the Note’s 8-megapixel camera and LED flash.A stylus is included with the Note, an add-on that we thought was buried with Symbian and resistive touchscreen devices. The stylus is very well integrated into the Note and a host of apps which allow sketching and drawing. The stylus fits securely into the body of the Note and should be a boon for those who feel they need to actually write rather than type. You won’t need the stylus for general business applications such as mail and browsing.



iPhone 4S


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How can a list like this be ever devoid of an iPhone? And we wouldn’t want to disappoint you either.Let's make no bones about it: the iPhone 4S is one of the best phones on the market at the moment, and the best thing Apple has ever created.



It's got all the right bits right: good camera, slick web browser, quality screen - and made it all work together in the way we've come to expect.



Some people might be disappointed not to have seen the fabled iPhone 5, with the larger screen and new design, but the iPhone 4S is more than enough to keep Apple fans happy.



Simply put: if you've got an iPhone 4, you don't need to upgrade (as long as you update to iOS 5) but for anyone else on an older device, or hankering after finally making the jump to an iPhone, you should run down to the shops and pick one up now - you won't regret it.