Slideshow: The Smart Phones of CES

Most of the smart phones we saw at CES were updated versions of older models. But the new Palm Pre (and its webOS) was a breath of fresh air--and it definitely stole the show.

Palm Pre

The new Palm Pre has an ergonomic curved body with a slide-out vertical QWERTY keyboard and multi-touch screen. Slick in appearance and efficient in function, its webOS aims to bring together all of the facets of your life into one seamless application. And from what we've seen, the Pre looks like it could be a major threat to the iPhone and Android-based G1.

Palm has not set an exact availability date or a price for the Pre, but it will be on Sprint's 3G network.

HTC S743

One of the many smart-phone rumors that had been floating around prior to this year's CES is that T-Mobile will unveil an HTC G2, the successor to the Google Android-based G1. But the new HTC phone announced at CES is a Windows Mobile phone: the HTC S743. Already available in other regions, the HTC S743 handset takes some design cues from last year's HTC Touch Diamond.

Though the S743 is not a touch-screen device, it does have a distinctive and sophisticated design. Style comes at a high cost, however: The unlocked phone has an estimate price of $600 to $700. The phone will be available later this quarter.

Nokia N97

The ultimate entertainment device, the Nokia N97 has a digital music player with an equalizer and playlist editing. The N97's gorgeous 3.5-inch, 16:9 widescreen plays videos in 30 fps, supporting a variety of video formats. The N97 has 32GB of on-board memory and expandable memory of up to 16GB, so it can hold your huge media collection. It also has a full QWERTY keyboard with a sliding tilt touch display.

The Nokia N97 will be available globally in the first half of 2009. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the N97 will be sold as an unlocked phone, so it won't have a subsidized carrier price.

Motorola MOTOSURF A3100

The Windows Mobile-based MOTOSURF A3100 from Motorola is a full-touch smart phone with a 2.8-inch display and additional trackball navigation. The 3G handset has a widget-based home screen, which you can customize with your favorite apps. Also included: Opera's mobile browser, built-in GPS, a 3-megapixel camera, and Wi-Fi access.

The MOTOSURF A3100 will be available in Latin America and Asia sometime in the first half of 2009.

Pharos Traveler 137

One of the more interesting handsets we saw at CES was the Traveler 137 from Pharos. The slim Windows Mobile GSM handset has a 3.5-inch LCD touch screen and mobile broadband (UMTS/HSDPA) support, so it can work just about anywhere in the world. It has two cameras: a conventional back cover 3-megapixel camera and a second 0.3-megapixel camera for videoconferencing. The Traveler 137's MicroSD slot supports SDHC.

Pharos offers a pay-as-you-go GPS feature: U.S. maps and service are free, but you must pay a specific fee for access to maps of Canada, Western Europe, or Eastern Europe. Yet another unlocked phone, the Traveler 137 will ship by spring for the steep price of $600.

Blackberry Curve 8900

The thinnest and smallest full-QWERTY BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is the latest addition to Research In Motion's popular family of smart phones. Available from T-Mobile, the Curve 8900 has a more powerful processor and the 2.4-in. 65K display has the highest resolution of any full QWERTY BlackBerry available. Unfortunately, though, the Curve 8900 has no 3G support.

The Curve will be available by the end of February at T-Mobile stores and online; pricing has not yet been announced.

T-Mobile Shadow

The T-Mobile Shadow will be revamped as a smart phone running Windows Mobile 6.1. It will also be HotSpot-enabled for use with T-Mobile Unlimited HotSpot Calling service, which allows you to make voice calls over Wi-Fi networks. The Shadow has a nice balance of entertainment and enterprise features, including a music and video player, pre-loaded multimedia content, a mobile version of Microsoft Office for document viewing and editing, and Microsoft Outlook. The Shadow's 1.6-inch screen, however, is disappointing.

The Shadow retains a similar candybar slider design found on its predecessor, but comes in some new colors. The phone is anticipated to be available in select stores and online; pricing has not yet been announced.

Nokia E63

The Nokia E63 is the little brother of the Nokia E71, which was released in the U.S. last fall. Though it has enterprise features such as Mail for Exchange and Lotus Notes, the E63 isn't strictly a business phone. The handset allows users to customize two separate home screens: one for work and one for play. The E63 also comes with an audio and video player, various games, a 2-megapixel camera, and a full HTML browser with Flash support.

While the E63 might not be sexiest handset at CES, at $250, it is quite affordable for an unlocked phone. The E71, in comparison, was priced at $500 when it was first announced last year.

More CES 2009 Slide Shows:

For another great slide show visit our collection of car tech shown this week at CES.

Looking for more gadgets and gizmos? Here is some show-stopping tech we spotted.

For a look at our best of picks for CES 2009. For a look at the products we think missed the mark at CES 2009.

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