And skeptics said camera phones would never be more than a novelty … well, now these novelties are everywhere. Several new ones offer higher resolution and sharper photos, while others offer an ever-growing complement of bells and whistles. We’re talking the talk on these sweet five.
Samsung SCH-a970

We can never remember if it’s form follows function or vice versa, but we love the way this hip 2 megapixel phonecam flips and swivels open to reveal the camera. Great LCD screen, Bluetooth support, and MP3 player. For an extra charge, Verizon customers can download videos and 3-D games. $299 with a two-year agreement. www.verizonwireless.com

Nokia 6682
This multicapable 1.3 megapixel phone-cam will hold its own with most of the bigger boys. It offers a bright flash, captures up to an hour of video, and a flip-down cover starts the camera when it’s opened. $249 after $50 instant discount (with two-year agreement). www.nokiausa.com
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Nokia N90
The highly respected Carl Zeiss optics aboard this 2 megapixel baby prove that phonecams are more than a flash in the pan. It boasts an integrated flash for low-light pix, superior autoexposure, and a great range of settings — including white balance, color saturation, and more. $299 with T-Mobile contract. www.nokiausa.com

Sprint Power Vision MM-A940
Answering the what-else-can-they-put-on-these-things question, this 2 megapixel multimedia phone doubles (or triples) as a business card scanner and a modem. It also has a camcorder, a removable 32 MB TransFlash memory card, an MP3 player, and plenty more. $399 ($249 after rebate). www.sprint.com

Palm Treo 650
Palm Pilot pioneers are back with this ménage of phone, camera, and (of course) organizer sporting the familiar Palm OS calendar and contact list. The 650 runs on Alltel’s wireless network (for an extra $59 a month, users can connect to the web through Axcess Mobile Link), and the camera, though sub-1 megapixel, still gets decent images. $399 (after $50 rebate) with two-year agreement. www.alltel.com