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New mobile phone designs – how do they compare?

  • A comparison of the screen and appearance of the latest smartphones
  • Motorola Defy, samsung Galaxy SII, iPhone 4 and Nokia X6
  • Defy a great choice for toughness, iPhone 4 has a beautiful design
Written by Alana Faigen

The screens

The Motorola Defy’s 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen features what they call ‘Gorilla Glass’ – something which apparently bestows it with the superpowers needed to stop it from shattering. The screen is responsive although sometimes jerky when you’re scrolling quickly. The resolution of the screen is set at 480 x 854 pixels, and is bright, sharp and responsive.

Samsung Galaxy II boasts a large 4.3 inch super AMOLED Plus display that won’t disappoint. Apparently what this means is that it boasts 50 percent more subpixels than the first-generation Super AMOLED displays. Sitting at 480 x 800 pixels, there are however smartphones out there with higher resolutions.

Many will remember Apple CEO Steve Jobs announcing that the iPhone 4 has an LED backlit 960 x 640 resolution screen, calling it a "Retina Display" because of its high resolution and pixel density. The 3.5 inch screen matches the older generation iPhones, but Apple’s straightforward operating systems mean they make the most of what they can fit in.

The screen of the Nokia X6 is slightly on the small size at 3.2 inches, however this also means customers get a slimmer phone to slide into their pocket – so there is an upside. The resolution is 360 x 640, so it‘s not as sharp as some of the other smartphones out there.


The Motorola defy may be tough enough to take some hard knocks, but it still maintains a smooth, simple and stylish appearance. The front features a touchscreen which extends to the edges of the phone, and four buttons line the bottom. The sides are plastered with a white, high-quality sleek plastic. A micro-USB port sits on the side, and the standard 3.5mm headphone jack is featured on top – a win for those who listen to music with the handset in their pocket. Each port is covered with a removable flap to protect from splashy water and dust.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is a lightweight phone that is built with high quality materials which make it feel much more refined than its predecessor. The back is textured to provide you with a good grip, and at only 8.5mm deep, the phone is super thin. There’s a home button which sits below the screen, a power button on the right and volume button on the left.

The iPhone 4 is a little boxier, but it’s narrower, slimmer and faster. Apple has stuck with the minimal home screen button and a large touchscreen that reaches out to the edges. On the left are the volume controls and the sleep/wake button. Apple has used two panels of aluminosilicate glass – the same material used in helicopter windshields and high-speed trains. It’s also supposedly 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic

The appearance and feel of the Nokia X6 tends to feel a little on the cheap side compared to other smartphones. Unfortunately the lightweight plastic doesn’t give a high quality feel, and the battery case is a little feeble and tends to scrape when opened and closed. The handset itself features a volume rocker, camera key, touchscreen switch, 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port.


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