Editor’s Picks: Top 5 Back to School Smartphones

So it’s that time of the year again. The summer is coming to a close but its cool because you were running out of things to do anyways and you were starting to get bored and miss your friends from school. Also, seeing as you bought that phone you’re currently using on a contract with (insert big name mobile phone company here) around this time of the year 2 years ago, it means you’re finally free of that pesky contract and you’re in the mood to tie yourself to some other big mobile phone company for the next 2 years. and hey, you’ve had this phone for too long anyways. The back cover is missing and now for some weird reason, you have to hold the volume up key down while dialing or the call won’t go through. It’s time for an upgrade don’t you think?

Here are my top 5 (though maybe not in that order) picks for a new smartphone:

1) HTC Sensation 4G

This right here, is a powerful phone. Boasting a 1.2GHZ dual-core processor, a 4.3″ qHD screen that delivers images in widescreen 16:9 ratio, a 4G connection and an 8 megapixel camera with flash and 1080p video recording. All this for a meager $150 on a three-year contract here in Canada. With its superior build quality, this is definitely a phone to look out for.

2) Samsung Galaxy S2

As seems to come standard with all new Android phones, this phone also boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, though it comes with Samsung’s industry-leading 4.3″ Super AMOLED display which delivers beautiful high-resolution images with a significantly wider viewing angle than the Sensation. Other than that, they have the same basic specs (4G, 8 megapixel camera with flash and 1080p video recording) though the Galaxy s2 is significantly lighter (116g) and thinner (8.49mm) than the Sensation(148g and 11.3mm) so depending on what you’re looking for in regards to size and portability, this phone is considered by most, the cream of the current Android crop. This one is priced at $170* also with a three-year ball and chain (I mean, contract). Both phones come with Android Gingerbread installed.

3) Blackberry Torch 9850/9860

It seems I’ve been on about Android phones too much, and that’s probably something to do with the fact that there are so many of them, and I will be getting back to them, but I figured that for those of you who, against all reasonable logic, insist on using a BlackBerry, I thought I should mention the one device in the lineup that I would not want to destroy on sight. The Torch 9860 is RIM’s first attempt at producing an all-touchscreen BlackBerry since the failure that was formally known as the Storm. It looks to me that RIM has actually learned from their mistakes because this is a pretty sleek device. It runs Blackberry OS 7 which has the smooth QNX-like interface and currently houses RIM’s largest ever smartphone display (3.7″). The phone also has a 1.2GHz processor (though it is single core), a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording and the fabled BBM that BlackBerry users around the world cannot seem to do without. This one is priced at a modest $129* on a three-year term.

4) LG Optimus 3D

Getting back to the droids, we have a stunning offering from LG in the Optimus 3D. It comes with the standard Android Froyo and Dual-core processor. However, what is so great about this phone is that it delivers glasses-free 3D images on the screen and also comes with a pair of 5-megapixel stereoscopic camera for high-definition 3D video recording. So for those of you video and 3D fanatics out there, this just might be your wet dream come to life (okay maybe not quite that dramatic but its pretty cool). The phone comes with 8GB of internal memory which is expandable to 32GB with an SD card. How much for this beast, you ask? The phone is available for pre-order from Rogers for just $50* on a 3-year term.

5) iPhone 4/5

I think it would be kind of rude to make a list of the must-have smartphones and not add the iPhone to that list. Now the problem is that I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone buy an iPhone 4 at this time. I mean, sure, it has similar specs to the Torch 9860 (Processor, Camera, Screen size) but it came out last year and rumours are flying rampant about the release of the iPhone 5. The currently most popular rumor due to various reasons, is that it will be released in the first or second week of October. Now this is easily one of the most eagerly anticipated smartphones of the year and Apple has actually not even said that they will be making one. That’s right, this phone has never been officially mentioned by Apple in any press release or otherwise. That being said, a lack of announcement has done nothing to curb the wild speculation about the phone’s specs. It is said to have a 4″ display, an 8-megapixel camera, and NFC capabilities. So to all you iOS lovers out there, my advice is to give it a month and not run out and buy an iPhone 4 right now.

So there you have it. Our top 5 picks for a new smartphone. What do you think? What smartphone do you use or are you planning to get? Leave a comment and let us know.

*Prices and contract lengths are for Canada only

Dunni Abiodun

Dunni is a tech enthusiast who has great interest in all fields of tech but places his primary interests in the development of mobile platforms and in tech innovation in emerging markets. He has been a blogger for over 3 years now and covers a variety of topics.

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  • http://upnepa.blogspot.com Binjo

    3 Android Phones out of 5? Winning! :) You missed my Droid 3 tho :(