SLIDESHOW

Cool New Cell Phones for Fall

Nifty designs, snazzy interfaces, and music and video galore: We give you the skinny on a dozen trend-setting mobile phone models that are slated to debut this fall.

MotoZine ZN5 Packs a 5-Megapixel Camera

The first product from Motorola's partnership with Kodak, the Motorola MotoZine ZN5 features a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, Xenon flash, 4GB of optional external memory, and settings for low-light environments. The camera also has a fun panoramic mode, which stitches together continuous shots into a single extended image. Pictures can be uploaded and shared in one click to the Kodak gallery or any other photosharing site. Other notable features of the Motozine include a 2.4-inch high-resolution screen, dual compatibility for GSM and Wi-Fi, and stereo Bluetooth.

Already available in China, the MotoZine ZN5 is expected to roll out worldwide later in 2008. Motorola has not yet announced pricing or a carrier for North America.

Xperia X1's Unique Windows Mobile Interface

Another handset slated to hit North America later in 2008 is Sony Ericsson's sleek Xperia X1, the first product to be marketed under the Xperia subbrand. Encased in a stainless steel body, the phone features a 3-inch VGA touch screen with a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard. Sony Ericsson touts the Xperia as being as adept for work as it is for play, with a wide range of enterprise and entertainment features. Just as HTC did, Sony Ericsson is introducing its own overlay to Windows Mobile. Xperia Panels UI allows users to customize up to nine desktop screens with their favorite content and applications.

Sony Ericsson has not yet announced a price or a carrier for the Xperia X1.

Affordable Samsung Rant

Ideal for text messaging, the Samsung Rant has a horizontal-slide full QWERTY keyboard. The handset also comes with a 2-megapixel camera/camcorder, stereo Bluetooth, expandable memory (up to 16GB), and quick access to Sprint Navigation, Sprint Music Store, and Sprint TV. The Rant is one of many new phones to adopt Sprint's new OneClick user interface, which allows users to customize their phone's home screen with their favorite features and content.

The Samsung Rant will be available in October for $50 with a two-year contract. It comes in red or black, though Best Buy will offer an exclusive purple option as well.

Dual-Slider Samsung Highnote for Music Lovers

Another new Samsung for Sprint handset is the Highnote, a slim music phone with a unique design. The Highnote can slide in two directions: Up reveals a dial pad, and down exposes the phone's built-in stereo speakers. The device features a scroll wheel to navigate through Sprint's OneClick interface. As with other Sprint multimedia phones, customers have access to Sprint Navigation and Sprint Music Store as well as to a Web browser, e-mail, and texting. The Highnote has expandable memory (up to 16GB), stereo Bluetooth, and a 3.5mm headset jack.

The Highnote comes in red or blue and is available in October for $100 with a two-year Sprint service contract.

Quality Without Contract for Virgin Shuttle

Virgin Mobile USA's first 3G EvDO handset, the Shuttle, is ideal for users who want a multimedia phone but don't want to commit to a contract. Reflecting Virgin's recent acquisition of Helio, the Shuttle is the company's first handset to integrate features from the Helio portfolio, such as access to social networking communities and other mobile sites. In addition, the Shuttle will be the first to use Virgin Mobile's location-based services from uLocate. This small slider phone has a 1.3-megapixel camera, a 2-inch screen, a music player, stereo Bluetooth, and SD Card support.

Going on sale this month exclusively at Best Buy, the Shuttle costs $80 on Virgin's Totally Unlimited plan; or you can opt for monthly or pay-as-you-go add-on Mobile Web data plans.

TV in Your Pocket: LG Invision

The LG Invision is AT&T's smallest phone to include AT&T Mobile TV. Running on AT&T's 3G network, the Invision invites TV fans to enjoy programming from CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, and NBC2Go on the the handset's 2.2-inch screen. The Invision offers plenty of music features, too, with access to AT&T Mobile Music, side-loading compatibility from Napster To Go, and streaming digital radio by XM Radio Mobile. The music player's customizable equalizer supports all unrestricted MP3 files.

The Invision is available now for $100 with a two-year AT&T contract. Customers must pay additional costs for access to Mobile TV and XM Radio.

LG's High-Fashion Lotus

The stylish LG Lotus, another new phone on the Sprint network, is a full QWERTY flip phone that resembles a square makeup compact. Besides having a sophisticated design, the Lotus comes with built-in GPS, a 2-megapixel camera, an integrated music player with external music controls, and up to 12GB of expandable memory. The Lotus's 2.4-inch wide-view display incorporates Sprint's OneClick customizable interface for fast access to texting, the Web, e-mail, and the user's favorite content and features. The Lotus has EvDO support, too, so customers can take advantage of Sprint's broadband and entertainment services.

The Lotus is available in October for $150 with a two-year Sprint service contract and is available in a textured purple design (with embossed flowers on the front surface) or in satin black.

A Touch-Screen Phone With Optical Mouse Navigation

Another competitor to the ubiquitous iPhone is the Samsung Omnia, powered by Windows Mobile 6.1. This model is 100 percent touch screen, but it includes an optical mouse for navigation. Samsung joins the ranks of mobile phone manufacturers that have customized their own variations on Windows Mobile 6.1: The Omnia includes Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, which enables users to personalize their home screen. The Omnia comes with Microsoft Office Mobile, GPS, and a 5-megapixel camera; it is available with a capacity of 8GB or 16GB, with an extendable slot. The 3.2-inch WQVGA LCD screen on the Omnia is slightly smaller than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen, but it's larger than the 2.8-inch screen of the HTC Touch Diamond.

The Samsung has not yet announced availability dates, a carrier, or pricing for North America.

BlackBerry's Clamshell Pearl

Since the beginning of the BlackBerry, this iconic messaging device has been synonymous with the flat, easy-access candy bar style phone. But with the new BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip--Research in Motion's first flip phone--the paradigm changes. And it's about time: Flip phones hold a lot of appeal, and a recent J.D. Power study noted that nearly 70 percent of current cell phone customers use a flip phone. The Pearl 8220 Flip is more compact than other BlackBerry models, making it easy to slip into a pocket. The phone has an outside secondary display for previewing calls and messages, and for viewing the time. The keyboard looks similar to that on other Pearl models: It has 20 keys, and uses SureType Technology coupled with a spelling checker. The new phone has surprisingly strong multimedia chops, too: Turn the phone on its side to watch video in wide-screen mode; upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr; or use BlackBerry Media Sync to transfer music from your iTunes collection to your phone. The built-in GPS and integrated BlackBerry Maps (for location-based information and directions) will help you find your way, and integrated Wi-Fi supports phone calls and data streaming.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip will be sold via T-Mobile in the third quarter of this year.

Stylish, Comfortable, High-Resolution Bold

Research in Motion's BlackBerry Bold 9000 makes a bold and confident statement. This eagerly anticipated smart phone boasts a stylish design, with leatherette accents at back and a gorgeous 480-by-320-pixel, 65,000-plus-color display (that's twice the BlackBerry Curve's resolution, albeit at the same screen size) up front. The keyboard has a sculpted, comfortable feel. And the phone features a range of connectivity options, including tri-band HSDPA, quad-band EDGE, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, and stereo Bluetooth. This model also has a 2-megapixel camera, and assisted and autonomous GPS (with BlackBerry Maps). Like the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip, this model supports BlackBerry Media Sync for importing music from iTunes on your PC.

The BlackBerry Bold will be available exclusively on AT&T in October of this year.

Sprint's Keyboard-Equipped HTC Touch Pro

It may look similar to its sibling, the HTC Touch Diamond, but viewed side-by-side the HTC Touch Pro is clearly thicker. No wonder: The Touch Pro has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard--a feature that hard-core messaging types may prefer over the Diamond's on-screen soft keyboard. The unit carries a 2.8-inch LCD screen with VGA resolution, and it runs Windows Mobile 6.1. The screen dominates upper portion of the unit; it rotates sideways to landscape orientation when you turn the device to use the keyboard. Like the Touch Diamond, the Touch Pro incorporates HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface on top of the Windows Mobile 6.1operating system; the HTC interface simplifies frequent tasks such as messaging, checking your calendar, and placing calls. It also has integrated GPS with turn-by-turn navigation, built-in Wi-Fi, and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

The Touch Pro will be available in October from Sprint for $300 with two-year service contract.

The YouTube-Friendly Touch Diamond

At 4 by 2 inches, the candy bar case on the HTC Touch Diamond is about as wide as the Apple iPhone 3G's screen. And at, The svelte (0.45 inch deep) Diamond isn't superthin, but it is slim enough to fit into your pocket. The 2.8-inch VGA touch-screen display provides crisp, bright images; and as with the iPhone 3G, you get an on-screen software keyboard for text input. The Touch Diamond's operating system is Windows Mobile 6.1--but you might not notice that at first glance because you can accomplish many tasks through HTC's customized TouchFLO 3D interface, which puts contacts, text messaging, e-mail, media (video and music), and Internet access at your fingertips. A built-in accelerometer automatically rotates the screen if you tilt the phone on its side. The device is primed for multimedia, too: It has a YouTube application for viewing any YouTube video over cellular or Wi-Fi; its music player handles MP3, AAC, and WMA format audio; and it comes with 4GB of internal memory.

The Touch Diamond is available now from Sprint for $350 with a two-year service contract.