Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Samsung Galaxy Pro, Nokia X7, Samsung Tocco Icon, Sony Ericsson XPERIA neo and HTC Salsa
The Samsung Galaxy Pro is a slippery little fish. We want to praise it for its keyboard, but berate it for its screen. Samsung could have helped matters by offering a higher resolution on the screen.
If you want a handset of this design, take a look at the HTC ChaCha or Nokia E6. But don’t forget the Sony Ericsson Xperia 10 Mini Pro which, while it is a side-slider, is teeny – or, indeed, any of the larger side-sliders that offer a more desirable, larger screen.
There are nice things we can say about the Nokia X7. It has good hardware design, a basically pleasing screen and good battery life. And Symbian Anna is a step in the right direction.
But we just aren’t sure where Anna is headed in the long term, and that alone could make the Nokia X7 a blind alley. And it doesn’t do anything supremely well.
If you are a Nokia fan and want a top quality camera you should be looking at the Nokia N8.
If you want a superb physical keyboard, then the Nokia E7 is worth your attention.
Great social networking integration? Go Android instead, with something such as the HTC Sensation.
With those bases covered, it’s tricky to see precisely where the Nokia X7 fits in.
You might have expected LG to better the Optimus One with the LG Optimus Me. Sadly, the Me is inferior in all but a few areas. The screen is smaller, the processor isn’t any faster and the camera’s still mediocre. Check out the Samsung Galaxy Fit, HTC Wildfire S and Optimus One before laying down your moolah.
The Orange Rio II improves over its predecessor with a neater design, 3G and an updated operating system. Issues such as poor battery life, no Wi-Fi, unresponsive touchscreen and a generally slow processor take the edge off its performance, but you have to remember it’s costing you well under £100.
If you’re considering a BlackBerry 8520, but begrudge spending over £100 for a phone that lacks 3G, we’d recommend you seriously consider the Rio II. It’s cheaper and in many ways provides a superior experience.
Overall, the Samsung Tocco Icon isn’t a massive step up from the Tocco Lite, but the inclusion of a capacitive touchscreen is certainly a compelling reason to buy if you liked the original phone. The compact chassis, slick design and ease of use also add to the package, while the features such as the straightforward audio player and the sneaky fake call function may appeal to some.
While the screen is large, the resolution isn’t great and that combined with the fact that there’s no 3G connectivity means that web browsing isn’t brilliant, although it is just about usable. Likewise, the social networking offering is very basic. What you really miss out on, however, is all the fun that you’d get opting for an entry-level Android phone with much more potential.
If your budget is tight, then the Samsung Tocco Icon offers you a reasonable touchscreen experience for your cash.
There’s plenty to like about the Optimus 3D, including its fun 3D features, fast processor and beautifully bright and vivid screen. However, problems with displaying 3D images on the screen and the phone’s short battery life mean that it’s not the must-buy handset that many were expecting.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo has much of the cool technology sported by Sony Ericsson’s top-notch Xperia Arc but at a fraction of the price. It’s not as slim, but if you can put up with the bulk, it’s really a bit of a bargain.
Though it runs Froyo and has a capacitive screen, the Vodafone Smart has been ruthlessly built down to a price. Despite that, for talking, e-mailing, texting, navigating and social networking it’s up to the job. Yes it falls down when faced with more demanding tasks, but a £75 mobile will never be the gaming or multi-media platform that a £400 1GHz Snapdragon handset is. The Orange SF is a better phone but then it’s twice the price and still doesn’t support Adobe’s Flash player
The HTC Salsa is a solidly built smartphone with a good screen, reasonable camera, fine UI and an emphasis on social networking, thanks largely to its clever Facebook button. This latter will endear it to ’bookers, but otherwise it doesn’t stand out strongly from HTC’s ever-expanding range of handsets.