Camera phones are becoming ever more ubiquitous, and some of the latest and greatest mobile devices boast more megapixels than the gold standard in point-and-shoots of just a couple short years ago. At the same time, however, video phones are still coming of age. To be sure, progress on the video front is being made – and being made quickly. The last few months have seen the release of some impressive video-capable handsets. We count down our picks for the Top Ten Video Phones of Summer 2009, but offer you the raw footage so you can make up your own mind. You can also check out a countdown complete with 15 second clips on YouTube.
The HTC Touch Pro for Sprint is another member of the expanding “Touch” family from HTC. With a feature set similar to the Touch Diamond, the Pro also adds a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a memory card slot. Other notable features include HTC’s impressive TouchFLO 3D interface, Windows Mobile Pro, a 3.2-megapixel camera, EVDO data speeds, and WiFi.
Taking the nine spot, the Samsung Eternity A867 for AT&T is a touchscreen device aimed at satisfying the multimedia hungry. The device features support for AT&T Mobile TV, Navigator, Video Share, 3G browsing, and a 3-megapixel camera. The Eternity’s touch display offers vibration response and a full virtual QWERTY keyboard.
The LG Xenon for AT&T is a messaging-centric device that features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for rapid-fire texts, instant messages and emails. The Xenon is equipped with Bluetooth v2.0 compatibility, voice-driven menu navigation and dialing, and a 2-megapixel camera. It also sports support for AT&T’s Video Share service so you can broadcast live video to friends and family.
The BlackBerry Curve 8900, available for AT&T and T-Mobile, doesn’t top the list in video quality but offers BlackBerry’s renowned messaging power. The 8900 has a full HTML browser, WIFI, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and GPS. Unfortunately, there’s no 3G support.
The Samsung Behold T919 for T-Mobile debuts Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. It features a set of drag-and-drop widgets that will allow you to customize the home screen, a 5-megapixel camera, expandable memory, and voice-controlled menus.
Taking a noticeable step up from the Behold in video quality, the Samsung Omnia for Verizon Wireless is a touch screen smartphone. The Omnia is loaded with Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro, and features a full HTML Web browser, 5-megapixel camera, FM radio, 8GB of internal memory, and a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 16GB.
The Samsung Memoir T929 for T-Mobile is the nation’s first device to boast an 8 megapixel camera with a Xenon flash, auto-focus, 16x digital zoom, shutter modes and editing tools. With an additional 16GB microSD memory card, you can shoot up to one hour of fairly impressive video on the memoir.
The popular LG Dare for Verizon Wireless takes a laudable, if surprising spot near the top of the Video Phone list. This touch screen device offers EVDO speeds, a 3″ hi-resolution display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a built-in music player, full featured web browsing, and GPS.
The Apple iPhone 3G was often poked fun at for lacking a camcorder feature. The iPhone 3GS for AT&T came onto the video phone stage with something to prove — and with video quality that’s among the best in our tests, the 3GS undoubtedly accomplished its mission. It’s also easy to trim iPhone 3Gs clips and upload them directly to YouTube, but iPhone users with a lot of video to shoot won’t want to throw out their camcorders. Without a memory card slot, you are limited to the iPhone’s built-in memory.
If we said we expected the video quality the enV Touch delivered when we first reviewed the device, we would be lying. We were undoubtedly pleasantly surprised. Since its debut a couple months back, the LG enV Touch has been making waves in Verizon Wireless’ handset lineup. The enV Touch is a messaging device with advanced multimedia capabilities, including an HTML web browser, an enhanced music player, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and a 3” external touchscreen display with a twin non-touch internal screen and full QWERTY keyboard. While it was a close call between the enV Touch and iPhone 3GS, the LG enV Touch emerges as the true champion of this summer’s Top Ten Video Phone lineup.