Our Favorite Reviews of All Time

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We’ve published hundreds of reviews in our 11 years of existence. From the original iPAQs running the PocketPC operating system to the latest dual-core Android phones that out-spec desktop computers of just a few years ago, we’ve covered them all. Here’s a survey of our favorite reviews published since the year 2000.

Dell Axim X30: September 2004

x30


Dell was on the cutting edge of Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices with the X30. It was the first Windows Mobile device to come with integrated Wi-Fi, made possible by the external antenna that would glow blue when in use.

The X30’s greatest attraction, along with its 624 MHz processor and 64MB RAM and ROM, is its integrated 802.11b wireless, Bluetooth, and included Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition operating system.

HP iPAQ hx4700: September 2004

hx4700


The HTC-made HP iPAQ hx4700 in 2004 was the epitome of high-end. It packed a VGA display (the vast majority of devices at this time were stuck at QVGA), a 624MHz Intel PXA270 CPU coupled with 192MB of RAM, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (no cellular connectivity here) and SDIO expansion. The hx4700 even had an innovative touchpad that placed a virtual mouse pointer on the screen.

Despite its square-edged design, this is a rock solid Pocket PC. If you need the power and performance of a 624 MHz processor, and love to have the latest in display technology and touchpad input, then this may be the perfect Pocket PC for you.”

Motorola Q: October 2006

The Motorola Q was one of the most popular smartphones before the iPhone hit just a year later. It featured a BlackBerry-like keyboard plus the Windows Mobile Smartphone operating system to provide a truly compelling messaging experience.

motorola q


The Motorola Q was one of the most anticipated Smartphones ever. Promising RAZR styling with Windows Mobile functonality and a QWERTY keyboard, this was one exciting device. Some people had even dubbed it the RAZRBerry, calling it a “BlackBerry killer”.

HTC Touch Pro: August 2008

The Touch Pro was the “pro” version of the landmark HTC Touch Diamond, a device that ushered in the era of touch-friendly HTC devices — a deviation from the stylus-centric interfaces that required you to be very precise when touching the screen. The Touch Pro also represented the pinnacle of HTC packing design: the device shipped in a pyramid-shaped box, complete with a leather case and extra stylus. Today, smartphone boxes are quite boring, and finding a case included in the box has become a rarity.

touchpro


The Touch Diamond and Touch Pro are undoubtedly game-changers in Windows Mobile land. Soon, VGA resolution will be standard, most phones will utilize accelerometers, and having some sort of Windows Mobile interface replacement will be expected. The Touch Pro is the business device that many have been waiting for. It’s got a stellar spec sheet, a beautiful design, and a generous hardware keyboard offering.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1: November 2008

The Xperia X1 was the first Xperia device to come from Sony Ericsson. The Xperia brand represents Sony Ericsson’s best attempt to compete in the smartphone arena, and its debut device, the X1, was a winner. It featured an innovative “live panel” skin on top of Windows Mobile, had a spectacular keyboard, and was one of the fastest mobile devices to ever ship at the time.

xperiax1


This is the best Windows Mobile device that has ever passed my desk. Period. Sony Ericsson was right by declaring it a “game changer” – this has raised the bar, and if the Panel interface takes off and we see a lot of neat Panels, the X1 could become a benchmark mobile device.

Not only is the X1 refined from top to bottom, but it brings a new interface paradigm that challenges our idea of what a Windows Mobile Today screen should be. I was super impressed by its high performance and excellent battery life, and was refreshed by the sensitivity and clarity of the high-resolution touchscreen. If you’re big on one-handed use, this device is not for you. But for everyone else that desires a powerhouse of a device, this is definitely it.

HTC HD2: November 2009

The HTC HD2 is a beautiful, thin, and powerful device. It was the first Windows Mobile device to have a capacitive touch display, a feat that drew tremendous interest from the smartphone community. It also brought forth a new version of the HTC Sense interface that helped to bring information out of apps and onto the homescreen. The HD2 is still very much relevant today, nearly two years after its release: with it you can run the latest version of Android, Windows Phone 7, Window Mobile, and other operating systems too, thanks to the vibrant development community at XDA-Developers.

hd2


The HD2 is a legend. Not only is it the first Windows Mobile device with a capacitive multitouch display (and you thought it wasn’t possible!), but it has the largest screen of any smartphone on the market at 4.3″. The display, coupled with a screaming fast 1GHz Snapdragon processor, tons of RAM, and a robust GPU, equates to a device that is not only gorgeous but also very fast.

Samsung Focus: October 2010

Microsoft surprised the world when they announced Windows Phone 7 in a dramatic departure from their mobile strategy of the last decade. The Samsung Focus was one of the first, and best, devices running Windows Phone 7. As one of the launch devices, it featured a fantastic display, great performance, a terrific camera, and the polished new Windows Phone 7 operating system.

inhand1


So here we have it: Microsoft’s attempt at making a modern smartphone. What’s the verdict? From a hardware perspective, the Focus is a huge win. It’s fast, has a beautiful screen, and it represents Windows Phone 7 very well.

From a software perspective, Windows Phone 7 is truly a compelling mobile operating system. It’s totally different than any other smartphone platform, and that’s a good thing. It’s incredibly stable, it feels smooth and refined, and it looks like the key apps are going to be there when the marketplace fully launches in October. We just wish that Microsoft had included important features like fast app switching, copy and paste, removable storage, and a whole lot more before going gold with the platform.

Samsung Galaxy S II: May 2011

amoled


Seldom do we rate a phone a perfect 5/5, but compared to the competition, the Galaxy S II is a true gem.

…the Galaxy S II is one of the most advanced, well-rounded, and powerful smartphones we’ve ever tested. Samsung truly delivered on its second-generation Galaxy S. We can’t get over how thin the Galaxy S II is, and it’s a true joy to be able to browse the web with such smoothness and speed.

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About The Author
Brandon Miniman
Brandon is a graduate from the Villanova School of Business, located near Philadelphia, PA. He's been a technology writer since 2002, and, in 2005, became Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow, a then Windows Mobile-focused website. He has since helped to transition Pocketnow into a top-tier smartphone and tablet publication. He's so obsessed with technology that he once entered a candle store and asked if they had a "new electronics" scent. They didn't.