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Comparing Top Smartphones: iPhone, Pre, Droid, Blackberry Storm

Comparing smartphone can be confusing because the gadgets have so many features. The top five smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry Storm, Palm Pre, Moto Droid, and Google MyTouch) offer a variety of features that can help you manage your e-mail and keep track of your schedule, surf the Web, play games, listen to music, and watch videos—and don't forget about all those apps.

Here's a breakdown of the features of each of the top five smartphones to help you make your choice.

iPhone 3G S (AT&T)

The iPhone 3G S is the epitome of a smartphone. This high-tech, multitouch device has been at the top of most people's "best of" list. Its iPhone 3.0 operating system and huge app store is a combination that's hard to beat. The iPhone comes with a 16 or 32 GB hard drive and a 3MP camera.

One of the iPhone's most popular features is 3-D positioning, which allows you play many games with a flick of a wrist or find the nearest sushi bar based on your current position.The iPhone also has the ability to link to other iPhones nearby allowing you to share data, pictures, games, and music with each other.

The iPhone sells for $200-$300 and the average monthly service is $150.

Palm Pre (Sprint)

The Palm line of smartphones has been around for some time and they keep getting better. The new Palm Pre prides itself on being a more intuitive smartphone. The Web operating system is designed to predict what you want to do and jump you to the application you're looking for. The Palm Pre can hold up to 8GB of data and has a 3.0MP camera.

The multitouch Pre lets you browse through your apps while on a phone call. Unfortunately, the Pre has only 300 apps available through the Palm App Catalog. On the plus side, the Palm Pre is significantly cheaper to own than an iPhone.

The Palm Pre sells for $100-150 and the average monthly service is just $90.

Moto Droid (Verizon)

The Moto Droid is one of the latest arrivals on the smartphone scene, and Motorola is hoping that it will give iPhone a run for its money. The Moto Droid has a 16GB hard drive and a 5.0MP camera (the best of all the smartphones). Like the Pre, the Moto Droid can multitask, allowing you to use its apps while on a phone call. The Droid offers a full touchscreen experience in addition to a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for those who prefer to type "old school."

The Moto Droid also uses Google's Android operating system (OS), which many believe is the best OS out there. One of the advantages of using the Android OS is that Google has made the Android code open to any developer who wants to create an app. Although they don't have the 90,000-plus apps available that iPhone has, they've already accumulated 10,000 apps in their Android Market in the short time they've been on the market. In addition, you can get your apps from anywhere.

The Moto Droid costs $150 and the average monthly service is just $90.

BlackBerry Storm (Verizon)

The BlackBerry brand has been around for a long time and is very popular. The Storm comes with either 1 or 2GBs of embedded memory and a 3.2 MP camera. The Storm uses the BlackBerry OS and has a touch screen, but it uses a SureTouch system that makes a clicking sound to let you know when you click something. This is one of those feature that you either love or hate.

The BlackBerry Storm is more of a utilitarian smartphone than a play phone, but there are several hundred apps available through the BlackBerry Store and you can also get apps from anywhere you find them.

The Blackberry Storm sells for $200-300 and the average monthly service $150.

Google MyTouch (T-Mobile)

The Google MyTouch is another newcomer to the smartphone category. One area in which the MyTouch stands out is customization. You can customize the look of the MyTouch to reflect your personality in ways that no other phone offers. The MyTouch also uses the powerful Google Android OS and has access to 10,000 apps with more becoming available every week.

The MyTouch has a large touchscreen and a trackball for easy navigation. The MyTouch comes with a 4GB hard drive and is expandable up to 32GB. It also has a 3.2 MP camera that can send photos and videos to the Web with just one click.

The MyTouch costs $200-300 and has an average monthly service plan of $150.

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