What’s the best mid-ranking smartphone? The UK smartphone market has been earmarked for huge growth in 2012. More affordable handsets, more choice, more competition. As every manufacturer fights for every customer it’s a good time to be browsing the shelves for a good deal. For many the very top tier devices turn them off. Who really needs a quad-core processor or a device in your hand that runs faster than your PC? OK some of us, but these devices come with a hefty price tag and for those of us wanting to reduce our outgoings we can look to the incredibly powerful, but more modest, middle tier of the smartphone market. And the good news is there is a wealth of choice.
The soon to launch Galaxy Ace Plus is the sequel to the popular midrange phone that is still giving high end devices like the Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4S a run for their money in terms of sales. The second Ace will not have it so easy though and will be up against some stiff competition from the likes of the Blackberry Bold 9790.
The Bold is a high performance piece of kit which combines the accuracy of the trusty QWERTY keyboard with what you can expect with regard to touch screen responsiveness and pleasing speed. Combined with this functionality its beautiful design and premium finish cover an awesome processor which fires up to provide a wicked experience whether its web browsing or emailing.
The Blackberry Bold 9790 also offers a striking high-resolution screen, so videos, websites, pictures or presentations are vibrant and aesthetically pleasing. Its powerful 1GHz processor, razor-sharp graphics and a smoother, faster browser is your ultimate PA enabling you to network, updates and organise events quickly and efficiently. Wi-Fi hotspots allow you to hook up and explore with built-in compass, GPS and Augmented Reality. BlackBerry 7 is good; Near Field Communication (NFC) lets you link up with other NFC-enabled devices or authentic BlackBerry accessories, just say the word and when you search on the web the universal voice-activated search will find your request without having to type a thing.
On the other hand the Nokia 710 gives you a neat alternative showing you don’t have to splash out to find a smartphone that will do all you want it to do. It’s very comfortable and has a rounded back like the iPhone 3GS a soft-touch rubber finish and a 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen. The screen on the Lumia is vibrant, using the old familiar ClearBlack technology. Its downside might be the press-in keys that feel strangely anachronistic now and the sleep button can be hard to locate whereas turning the Nokia 710 on its side and you are on a rollercoaster.
The Nokia Lumia is the device that acts like the first one to hit the dancefloor at a party, all sassy and sociable. Windows Phone is an operating system that offers just about all Android and iPhone competitor capabilities, added to that you will experience brilliant Twitter and Facebook integration with rapid web browsing inside Internet Explorer 9. They continue to play to their strengths with Facebook chat built seamlessly into the texting app, Xbox Live, and the best contacts app, People Hub. The 5 MP camera on the Lumia 710 is good and does the job.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus hits the same points with almost the same specs. A 3.65 inch screen and 480 x 320 pixel resolution, an 800 MHz single core processor with 3GB of on-board storage, a 5 megapixel camera with a flash designed to suit settings with low light levels, Wi-Fi and 3G, Android 2.3 and Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Many of the headlines about the smartphone market focus on the big hitters; the Samsung S2’s, the iPhone 4S’, the HTC Titan’s. For many UK shoppers though, they want to set their sights at something a little more affordable. These mid-range devices do the job more than adequately and are paving the way for smartphones to grow and grow in the UK.