Best mobile phones of 2008

About The Author

CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

2008 won't be remembered as a year of innovations, but more as a year of refinement. In 2007 touchscreen smartphones left the realms of daggy business devices and exploded into the mainstream, along with built-in GPS receivers and mapping. This year we've seen these technologies become prolific; passed a point of tech-wants to become must-have elements of high-end devices.

(Winner's podium 2 image by Svilen Mushkatov)

The iPhone has driven this change considerably and for this reason Apple's ever-popular handset belongs in this list. We may not think it's the best smartphone, but it's easily the best music playing mobile in the market and remains the only mobile phone to have caused enough hysteria to warrant a midnight launch.

The honour of the best smartphone is split between Nokia's E71 and the BlackBerry Bold. Both phones build on the previous success of phones from RIM and Nokia, and deliver excellent upgrades in their respective family of devices.

The introduction of 8-megapixel camera phones was a high-point of the year, and the Samsung INNOV8 and LG Renoir take the lead in this category with excellent built-in shooters. The Samsung i450 and Sony Ericsson W890i were two of our favourite music-playing iPhone alternatives.

Lastly, special mention goes to the "Nanna phone", Telstra's EasyTouch Discovery, for offering an alternative to people who may struggle to use the newer, ever-shrinking mobile phones.

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esko posted a comment   

Iphone is just a marketing trick. The phone gives very little when compared to phones with similar price. I would pick e71 from here although n96 (which is not here) is a good option for those who prefer multimedia phones. I didn't put n97 because i do not prefer screen touch.


Hozefa Vanak posted a comment   

New Iphone 3GS will be the best Iphone ever made by apple as new Nokia 97 will be in market but Iphone will be best because N97 still got keyboard which is not good for music lovers and navigation to use, I suggest to have Ihpne instead of N97


Sarah posted a comment   

If the iphone had a better camera and zoom I would definitely have no hesitations going on a plan or buying this outright. But for now I'm just going to wait until the Nokia N97 comes out and get that.


kan101 posted a comment   

i really don't know what cnet considered bt not mentioning the samsung omnia is folly.


johny 5 posted a comment   

I think the samsung omnia is by far the most interesting phone on the market 2day..operating with its windows mobile 6 program, it almost makes you think your on a computer until it starts ringing. Also all the Android phones need more developing but will deffinatly take over the market depending on how HTC brings upon new applications and cool add ons=)


Monique (Australia, QLD) posted a comment   

Best kept secret: If you're looking for a mobile under $200 AUD, Optus Pre-paid have a SMART-PHONE sold exclusivley through Dick Smith Electronics and Tandy Electronics for just $17 over-budget! (ask for the best price and you'll get it for $217, instead of $229). It's the Samsung SGH i560. I've had it for months now and it is a beautiful phone. Big on features too. I highly reccommend it! :-)


Grimreaper posted a comment   

I own a blackberry storm and its a total dud. Battery stops working l'm on my 2nd and the applications have frozen, Good one vodafone


jr posted a comment   

i own the iphone , and as far as i can tell it's the best gadget i've ever put my hands on. It's is far more better than everything you've tried. It's like a girl\boy you meet. You need to hang a while with it to understand that's the thing .


Nk posted a comment   

I have a Bold and love it, best phone I myself have used. iPhone is nice and has some killer software but also has allot of issues with it which users seem to bury their heads in the sound about it (Also its a slippery thing which isnt great when its just one big screen) The E71 keeps coming up with good review and users I have heard thinks its by far the best. Might have to check one out.


peripo posted a comment   

I'm with the iPhone crowd. Since I've had iPhones (first 2G now 3G) I've stuck with them. I used to get bored with a mobile phone after a week or two. I now have a much lighter handbag because I don't have to carry a PDA, and a Notebook along with my mobile - the iPhone does it all....and I don't have to have a swag of CDs in the car either, all the music I own is on my phone as well.

I've had a play with an E71 too, and thought it was clumsy with a twee screen, and the palm/blackberry type keypad isn't a plus either.

Of course, I consider the keypad on the iPhone a minus too. I prefer the traditional mobile keypad - much easier on the fly.

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