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Consumer watchdog Choice rated two Android phones ahead of the Apple iPhone 4 in a recent smartphone test.

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HTC and Samsung topped the latest ‘What to Buy’ list with higher rankings than the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4 at half the cost.

The HTC Wildfire headed up the list of 27 reviewed mobiles, featuring Android OS 2.1, one of the best cameras on a mid-range phone, high display quality and also excelling at web browsing.

The Samsung Galaxy 580 came in second, running a wealth of functions on the same OS as the Wildfire but with a screen quality and camera downgrade. The phone does come at a significant price dip though, selling for $329 as opposed to the Wildfire’s $480.

Apple’s iPhone 4 (16GB) falls behind Android at third, but comes in strong ahead of many others with its ease-of-use, wealth of apps, high quality display, dual-facing cameras and internal memory. Being one of the few phones without a memory card slot and being premium priced at $859 set it back.

Nokia took the fourth and fifth spots, with the Symbian OS holding the brand down with dated functionality and application support.

 

The Nokia 5230 was touted a top choice for an entry-level smartphone, excelling at SMS performance and as a music player. Symptoms of the low price point of $245 include lack of Wi-Fi support, basic web browsing and a low-res camera.

Nokia’s C6-00 is the favourite for keyboard fetishists, with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for SMS and social networking addicts. On the downside, it lacks a touchscreen unlike most other smartphones currently on the market. It sits at $405.

Nokia took the most spots on the list with nine phones listed, while BlackBerry took two spots, Sony Ericsson taking three and Samsung’s Bada operating system making one appearance.

The smartphones in Choice’s list were tested and ranked based on ergonomics, ease of use, web browsing, SMS, display, sound quality, camera, music quality, durability, battery life and sensitivity.

 
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Smartphone Wrap Up:

HTC Wildfire
$480 | htc.com/au/

– 3.2inch capacitive touch with pinch-to-zoom function
– 118 grams
– Runs on Android 2.1
– High res screen
– Flash support for top web browsing and video streaming
– 5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash
– microSD slot

Samsung Galaxy 580
$329 | Samsung.com/au/

– 3.2inch capacitive touchscreen
– 109 grams
– Runs on Android 2.1
– 3.2MP camera with 3x digital zoom, auto focus and multiple shot modes
– microSD slot
– SWYPE predictive texting for typing without lifting a finger off the screen

 
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Apple iPhone 4 (16GB)
$859 | apple.com/au/

– 3.5inch multi-touch display
– 137 grams
– FaceTime video calling over Wi-Fi
– Longer battery life than typical Android phones
– 5MP camera with 720p video recording and LED flash
– Front-facing camera
– Heaps of apps from App Store
– Top quality high-res capacitive touch screen

Nokia 5230
$245 | nokia.com.au

– 3.2inch touchscreen
– 113 grams
– Comes with a stylus as an option for navigating the phone
– Micro-USB connection and microSD card slot
– 2MP camera
– Excels as music player
– Runs on Symbian OS

Nokia C6-00
$405 | nokia.com.au

– 3.2inch screen
– 150 grams
– Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
– Simplicity for SMS and email – anything heavy on typing
– microSD card slot (up to 16GB rather than the usual 32GB)
– Supports PC applications ranging from Microsoft tools to Lotus Notes

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