Remember back when phones were just ... phones? Now they’re feature-fat cornucopias that take pictures, coordinate appointments, monitor online auctions, play some tunes, and, yeah, make a few calls now and then.


Assets: Highly intuitive user interface, single-band world phone, brilliant screen, and full set of Palm PDA functions.

Liabilities: A bit pricey, no analog roaming.

Bottom Line: Solid performer seems almost old-fashioned sans camera, but hey, we’ve already got a camera.


NOKIA 3650, $400

ASSETS: Built-in camera will take stills and short video clips.

Liabilities: The retro-esque circular keypad looks cool enough (Liberace, call your office), but takes some fumbling to master.

Bottom Line: Lots of customizable features, a large display, and voice-activated dialing make this unit sparkle.      

More     ;

Assets: A smart phone for play (downloads games, movie trailers) and work (handles corporate e-mail, syncs with Microsoft Outlook).

Liabilities: With all these features, it’s a real battery vampire.

Bottom Line: Combiningest combo of all, does everything but negotiate lower monthly bills with your carrier.