Smartphone watch

Looking to buy a smartphone this year? Here is a selection of the best phones coming our way this year.

Motorola Atrix

Once a mobile powerhouse, Motorola has been struggling to remain relevant in the fast-moving cellphone market over the past couple of years. Now the company looks as if it is ready to make a serious comeback. The Motorola Atrix 4G was awarded the title of best smartphone at the recent Consumer Electronics Show and will be the company’s flagship device for the early part of this year. The handset runs Android 2.2 operating system and is powered with a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor coupled with 1GB of memory – the device is a serious contender.

HTC 7 Pro

Although HTC has a reputation for shipping some of the best Android-based phones, this one is different. The 7 Pro is (as the name might suggest) a Windows Phone 7-based device. It also features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Based on a 1Ghz processor and sporting a 3.6-inch display, the Pro 7 will also be reasonably powered. It also has a 5 megapixel camera and supports 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. The Pro 7 is expected to be released in Europe early this year so should head to SA after that.

Blackberry Torch 2

Blackberry maker RIM has come under intense pressure over the past year with Android and Apple’s iPhone making inroads into its market. There has also been a perception in the market that Blackberry’s devices were underpowered, something RIM is hoping to change in 2011. One of the anticipated releases this year from RIM has to be the Torch 2. Reacting to accusations of being underpowered, the Torch 2 will sport a 1.2GHz processor and will be compatible with 4G networks where available. Screen size will be 3.2-inches and a 5 megapixel camera will round out the package. Under the hood the Torch 2 will run RIM’s latest Blackberry 6.1 software.

Samsung Galaxy S2

This is the company to watch in 2011. Already a formidable player in entertainment devices, Samsung says it hopes to sell in excess of 60 million smartphones in 2011. The company’s Galaxy S smartphone sold 10 million units last year. Leading the attack will be the Galaxy S2 phone, a successor to the original Galaxy S. The new device is expected to be announced during the Mobile World Congress in February and will include a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, Android 2.3 and a dual-core processor. Notably the Galaxy S2 is also expected to include an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip which allows users to set up the short-range peer-to-peer connections that promise to make mobile phone payments possible.

Nokia E7

Another company that struggled in 2010, Nokia is planning on releasing its E7 early this year. Unlike many of the smartphones coming onto the market, the E7 will run Symbian, Nokia’s own operating system, which has struggled to make headway in the market. The E7 is similar to the E8 but has a tilt-out keyboard which is becoming popular option in smartphone design. The E7 will run Symbian 3, have a 4-inch touch screen and Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync on board. 16GB of built-in memory, an 8 megapixel camera and Nokia’s Maps for navigation.

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Smartphone watch