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Smart Phone Gifts 2010

Get them a multitasking marvel that will keep them happy for years to come.


by Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief on October 27, 2010

AT&T

Apple iPhone 4

In a sea of big-screen superphones, the iPhone 4 stands out. That's because its Retina Display is actually superior to the competition, with a sky-high resolution of 960 x 640 and incredible viewing angles (great for gaming and watching movies). This gorgeous metal-and-glass wonder has access to more than 200,000 apps, including an unmatched selection of games. A sharp 5-MP camera that works well in low light, HD video recording, and the ability to make FaceTime video calls with other iPhone 4 and new iPod touch owners solidify this smart phone as AT&T's best.

Lowest Price: $423.00 | Read Review

BlackBerry Torch

The Torch is a solid smart phone gift for people who want the convenience of a touchscreen plus a physical keyboard. Sliding up the 3.2-inch display reveals a full QWERTY that's comfortable to type on. It also makes the phone easier to use. Just start pecking away and the Torch's Universal Search function will find anything from contacts and apps to tunes and e-mails. Running BlackBerry 6 software, the Torch sports a much

improved web browser that supports tabs, as well as a one-stop Social Feeds app that aggregates updates from Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

Samsung Focus

The most compelling of the three Windows Phone 7 devices available for AT&T, the Samsung Focus has a brilliant 4-inch Super AMOLED display that really makes the slick OS pop, from the live tiles on the home screen to photos and videos. At just 0.3 inches, the device is among the slimmest Windows Phone handsets, while retaining the elegant look and feel of Samsung's Galaxy S line. The Focus features a 1-GHz processor, which provides the necessary power and speed to enjoy Xbox Live, Zune music, and more. They'll also get a 5-MP camera, a 720p HD camcorder, and a Daily Briefing app for quickly checking the news, stocks, and weather.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

Sprint

HTC Evo 4G

The Evo 4G, an Android phone with a mammoth 4.3-inch display, delivers the web at blazing 4G speeds in 50 markets and counting (including New York and San Francisco). This superphone also lets them snap 8-MP photos and record 720p footage, and then output those images to the nearest TV via HDMI. A separate front-facing camera allows users to make video calls using services such as Fring and Qik. If they're willing to pay an extra $29.99 per month, this smart phone can double as a mobile hotspot for up to eight Wi-Fi devices. That's power.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

LG Optimus S

A solid option for those on a budget, the LG Optimus S runs Android 2.2 and features a 3.2-MP camera with autofocus and digital zoom. The smart phone supports mobile hotspot functionality for up to five devices and utilizes Sprint ID pack, which allows users to customize their selection of apps based on different areas of interest. The Optimus S has a virtual QWERTY keyboard and a 3.2-inch capacitive screen.

Price: $49.99

Samsung Epic 4G

Tailor-made for mobile professionals, the Epic 4G has one of the roomiest keyboards we've used on a smart phone. It also boasts a jaw-dropping 4-inch Super AMOLED display that makes everything--from web pages to the HD video--really pop. For those times you can't find something good to watch online, there's Samsung Media Hub, which lets users download premium movies and TV shows on the spot (provided they're in 4G or Wi-Fi coverage area). A mobile hotspot app that supports up to five simultaneous connections and a six-axis sensor for serious gaming round out the features on this brainy beauty.

Price: $249.00 | Read Review

T-Mobile

HTC HD7

A Windows Phone 7 device with the chops to satisfy gamers and media mavens alike, the HTC HD7 combines a large 4.3-inch display with a snappy 1-GHz processor. T-Mobile bundles Netflix for watching movies and TV shows on the go, as well as a separate T-Mobile TV app that offers free content and Slacker for Internet radio on demand. We especially like the built-in kickstand. Other features include a 720p HD video recorder, and Xbox Live and Zune integration, and a HTC Hub app that displays the weather in 3D. Moms and Dads will love the T-Mobile Family Room app for sharing calendars, notes, and pictures.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

Samsung Vibrant

Part of Samsung's Galaxy S line, the Vibrant combines a gorgeous Super AMOLED display with a fast 1-GHz processor for a top-notch entertainment experience. Users can download their favorite flicks and TV shows from the Samsung Media Hub, but T-Mobile also bundles lots of goodies right out of the box, including a copy of James Cameron's Avatar, Kindle for Android, and The Sims 3 Collector's Edition game. A 5-MP camera with HD video recording makes it easy to direct their own masterpiece. We especially like the easy-to-use interface.

Lowest Price: $599.00 | Read Review

T-Mobile G2

As the successor to the original Android phone, the T-Mobile G2 takes the Google phone experience to the next level. This is the first device to ride on the carrier's HSPA+ network, offering 4G speeds in nearly 50 U.S. markets. The G2 sports a slide-out keyboard for rapid messaging, as well as an optical trackpad to complement its 3.7-inch touchscreen. Other specs include an 800-MHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and 720p video recording.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

Verizon Wireless

BlackBerry Curve 3G

With a great keyboard at a rock-bottom price, the BlackBerry Curve 3G is a straightforward option for those who want to stay connected on the go. While it doesn't offer cutting-edge graphics or heaps of exciting extras, the Curve 3G does boast a capable 624-MHz processor and a substantial selection of productivity and social networking apps, including Flickr and Word To Go. Plus, the device lasts a long time on a charge--and hey, that may be all your loved one wants in a smart phone.

Price: $29.99 | Read Review

Limited Edition Motorola Droid R2-D2

Got a Star Wars fan on your list? Motorola takes everything we love about its super sequel--including an improved keyboard, faster processor, and mobile hotspot functionality--and gives it a Force-full makeover. This tricked-out Android phone has a graphic design made to look like everyone's favorite droid and comes with a Star Wars media dock and wired stereo headset. Your Star Wars fan will also enjoy exclusive pre-loaded content, including R2-D2 notification sounds and ringtones and an exclusive binoculars app.

Price: $249.00

Motorola Droid X

A larger-than-life 4.3-inch display, 1-GHz processor, and HD video recording make the Droid X the most powerful smart phone in Verizon's lineup. A recent update to Android 2.2 makes this superphone even better, with support for Flash Player 10.1. HDMI and DLNA give your loved one two options for connecting the Droid X to a TV, great for showing off the HD videos and 8-MP photos they capture. When they get bored of watching YouTube, they can download top-shelf movies using the Blockbuster app. Best of all, this device lasted the longest in our battery rundown test of various Android phones.

Price: $199.00 | Read Review

 

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