Smartphones are typically black. There’s nothing wrong with black – it’s unobtrusive, suitable for work and can look exceptionally slick, however, black phones are a little bit routine.
Recently we’ve seen a move away from all-black smartphones phones. Apple, RIM and HTC have all introduced white versions of their top handsets, including a white iPhone 4S and white Blackberry 9900.
So what is the appeal of a white phone? Well going white adds a bit of sophistication, and is different, without being too different.
If white is still a little pedestrian for you with a pink Samsung Galaxy S2 on sale in Sourth Korea, a cyan version of the Nokia Lumia 800 and the magenta HTC Rhyme, it seems like we’ve got a technicolour fightback against black and white.
Here’s our pick of the best white phones currently available in the UK.
Apple iPhone 4S
Dodgy discolouration issues prevented the iPhone 4 from going on sale with both black and white models at launch; a blunder that was thankfully rectified for the arrival of the updated iPhone 4S. With the same A5 chip as can be found in the iPad 2, the iPhone 4S is nippier than its predecessor, and also packs a beefier, 8MP camera on the back with 720p video recording capability. It’s also something of a looker, with a slim, 8mm deep chassis wrapped in an aluminium antenna, and a glass backplate. But the real pull of Apple’s latest smartphone is the inclusion of Siri; a virtual assistant that can understand and answer spoken questions like a computer in a 1970s science fiction series (although asking it the meaning of life won’t cause it to explode).
BlackBerry Curve 9360
The latest BlackBerry handset in the 9300 range, the 9360 continues the line’s history of sleek, capable handsets that don’t ask the Earth when it comes to pricing. For a modest £280 or so, you get a dainty, 11mm think business phone with an 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM – putting this handset in direct competition with the likes of the HTC Wildfire S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro. Being a BlackBerry, the big pull of the Curve 9360 is the physical keyboard, which makes frantic work e-mailing or firing off BBM’s a breeze. The trade-off, of course, is the screen, which has to make sacrifices to accomodate the keyboard and measures just 2.4 inches. That said, for a mid-range phone the somewhat pokey display looks crisp and bright, and the inclusion of a 5MP camera on the back makes the Curve 9360 a good mix of work and play.
BlackBerry Bold 9900
BlackBerry’s flagship Bold 9900 pulls the company back up to the level of its Apple and Android competitors, combining the trademark BlackBerry physical keyboard with a beautifully clear screen and an updated OS. It’s a speedy handset, with a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM under the bonnet, as well as 8GB of built-in storage and a 5MP camera with 720p video recording. It might not sound as impressive as some of the other phones on the list, but if multimedia is a secondary concern to more business-centric activities like e-mailing, BlackBerry is still the dominant brand, and the Bold 9900 has the imposingly official good looks to go with its pedigree.
HTC Sensation XL
While HTC isn’t leading the market when it comes to mobile displays (Apple has its Retina Display for the iPhone, while Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus screens still offer the best contrast on any mobile device), the company’s recent partnership with Beats By Dr. Dre ensures its mobile audio technology is second to none.Certain network providers will even throw in a pair of Beats earphones with a Sensation XL on contract – the first pair of bundled earbuds you won’t want to bin straight out of the box. Audio savvy aside, the Sensation XL is a capable media workhorse, with a 1.5GHz processor, 768MB RAM and a massive 4.7-inch display for web browsing and movie watching.
HTC Wildfire S
HTC’s smaller, cheaper alternative to its flagship HTC Sensation XE and HTC Sensation XL, the Wildfire S is a bargain for anyone looking for a fully-featured Android phone that won’t break the bank. With a bright, responsive touchscreen just 0.3 inches smaller than that found on Apple’s iPhone (the Wildfire S’ display measures in at a dinky 3.2 inches), it’s still just about big enough to watch video and browse the web with, and offers the full Sense overlay that HTC fans love so much. Under the hood you’ll find a modest 600MHz processor and 512MB RAM, while on the back you get a 5MP snapper all cased in a trademark HTC cool metal body.
Samsung Galaxy S2
A true multimedia powerhouse, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is one of the few handsets on the market that can confidently go toe-to-toe with Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone and come out swinging. The screen is gorgeous; a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display that offers the best contrast ratio of any display on any mobile device. It also comes with market-leading internal specs, with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, all squirreled away in an impossibly thin 8mm body, which also houses an 8MP camera with 1080p digital video recording. As if all that weren’t tantalising enough, the Galaxy S2 also took home the title of Best Smartphone at this year’s Recombu awards – high praise indeed.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
Sony Ericsson’s flagship handset, the Arc S is both gorgeous and high-spec. With the same swooping lines and curved design of its predecessor – the Xperia Arc – Sony Ericsson have definitely set themselves apart from the standard, rank and file iPhone lookalikes that have Apple’s legal team all in a tizzy, and the 4.2-inch AMOLED display is great for watching video or flicking through pictures snapped with the phone’s 8MP camera. Compared to the original Xperia Arc, the Arc S has crammed some tasty specs into its slim body, with a 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM that makes scrolling through its Android homescreens a noticeably smoother experience. The icing on the cake is the Arc S’ price: just £300, or around £17 ppm on most handset-free contracts.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro
Touchscreen typing isn’t for everyone. The Xperia Mini Pro is one of the few smartphones available to successfully balance sexy design with the added bulkiness of a slide-out, physical keyboard. The QWERTY keyboard itself (which is what sets the Mini Pro apart from the standard, touchscreen-only Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini) is a dream to type on, with backlit keys and a grippy, rubberised finish. The screen is another standout feature; a 3-inch display which makes use of the Sony Bravia Engine and Reality Display (Sony’s answer to Apple’s Retina Display) to offer crisp, vivid images whether watching video or surfing the internet. As befits a handset that will cost you sub-£250, its internals aren’t a match for other phones on this list like the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S2, but a 1GHz single-core processor and 512MB RAM make this a fine tool for on-the-go business use.