It’s already been a great year for smartphones, with the likes of the Motorola Atrix and the Samsung Galaxy SII blowing us away. But the handset world waits for no man, so what are the highlights of the latter half of 2011 going to be? Here’s a handset that’s arriving now, one in the rumour mill and one for those who have a slightly smaller budget.
LG Optimus 3D
Hitting the stores in July, the LG Optimus 3D is either the first in a long line of 3D smartphones, or the beginning of the end for the 3D hype machine – take your pick! Featuring a dual camera set up, it will record both stills and video footage in 3D and you don’t need glasses to watch it, as the screen will display them perfectly. There will also be a dedicated YouTube 3D channel launched to coincide with the handset, alongside games and other fanciness.
But away from the 3D, this is an LG flagship handset in many other ways too. There’s a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 2.2 OS, whopping 4.3-inch WVGA TFT stereoscopic touchscreen and 8GB of on-board memory. And as well as 3D, the dual five-megapixel cameras have autofocus and LED flash, while recording video at 1080p at 24fps. Expect the LG Optimus 3D to be a winner, whether the 3D catches on or not.
Apple iPhone 5
You can’t have a ‘top smartphone’ list without putting the iPhone in there – whether you like it or not, Apple’s smartphones have taken the industry by storm and forced many old dogs to lean new tricks in a race to keep up. It may be the iPhone 4S, or maybe the iPhone 5, but whatever it’s called the new Apple smartphone will be with us this autumn, or early winter.
Rumoured to have a radical new exterior design, it is also likely to be sporting the new iOS 5 operating system, which is also slated for this autumn (and would suggest the iPhone 5 is the more likely moniker). It’s all speculation right now of course, but you should expect an improved camera and dual-core processor to keep up with the Joneses. The screen has been an important area for Apple all along, so a market leading step here is almost guaranteed – the smart money is on a 1080p full HD offering, in line with the iPad 2.
Thanks to its pioneering work on touchscreens – and jumping into bed early with Google to produce some of the first Android smartphones – HTC is at the cutting edge of mobile. The Salsa isn’t one of its high-end models, but an 800MHz processor, five-megapixel camera and the latest Google OS (Gingerbread) push it way above other mid-range smartphones currently on the market. It also boasts a direct-to-Facebook button on the front, making it the perfect weapon for any social networking junky to add to their armoury.
It has all the email, internet and multimedia functionality you’d expect from a Google powered handset, plus all the connectivity options you can shake a stick at: the quadband Salsa has 3G HSPA and EDGE, GPRS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. And better still, a powerful 1520mAh battery should keep you connected all day. In short, the HTC Salsa can do everything you’ll need, at a great price, as long as you don’t want the fastest, flashiest and poshest handset on the market.