Despite the hoo-hah of antennagate, there’s no disputing the fact that (for now) the iPhone 4 sits at the top of the smartphone pile. And thanks to the recent iOS4.1 update, it’s even better. The iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel camera now features an HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting which allows you to take better shots in badly lit areas and you can now upload HD videos directly to YouTube. Similar to the HTC Desire HD and Nokia E7 it can record HD video at 720p. Thanks to the built-in iMovie app you can easily edit films and import music from your iTunes library to use as the soundtrack. The iOS4 software is also the first edition of iOS that allows you to multitask on an iPhone, which is pretty awesome. Of course, Android phones have been able to multitask for a while now…
HTC Desire HD
The HTC Desire is one of the most popular handsets of 2010 and the HTC Desire HD looks set to repeat the success. It’s got a huge 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash that shoots HD video and a new improved version of HTC Sense. In other words, it’s got everything that we liked about the original Desire but on a larger scale. The Desire HD comes with 1.5GB of internal memory to play with, which is great news as despite Android 2.2 allowing you to move Android Market apps to SD cards (which gives you more storage) not every developer has updated their apps to allow this yet – we’re all for more internal storage on our Android phones.
The Nokia E7’s 4-inch touchscreen might not be quite as big as that of the Desire HD, but size isn’t always everything. The E7’s capacitive AMOLED screen is one of the first smartphones to feature Nokia’s new ‘Clear Black’ technology, which basically improves the visibility of screens in direct sunlight. What good is a massive screen if you can’t read your texts on a sunny day? The Nokia E7’s camera also matches that of the Desire HD in terms of megapixels, dual LED flash and HD video output (they can both record at 720p). The Nokia E7 also features an HDMI output, allowing you to watch your high definition creations on an HD TV, which might give it an edge. The Nokia E7 however runs on the largely untested Symbian^3 OS – whether or not this can offer a user experience to rival that of the iPhone 4 or higher-end Android phones remains to be seen.
LG Optimus Chic
There’s no hiding the fact that the LG Optimus Chic’s capacitive touchscreen, measuring 3.2-inches across, can’t pip the Desire HD or E7 for size – but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As enamoured as we are with those big 4-inch screens we appreciate that for some users this will be too much. A more svelte device with a smaller screen will undoubtedly be a more pocket-friendly affair. It looks like the LG Optimus Chic provides more of a raw Android experience than the heavily customised HTC Sense UI of the Desire HD. So if you’re used to or prefer the look and feel of vanilla Android then you should feel more at home with an Optimus Chic. Unfortunatley, the Optimus Chic’s 5-megapixel camera doesn’t come with a flash or any kind of HD video recording, so if you want to shoot and upload high definition video you may want to consider one of the three above phones.