The 5 Best Smartphones for Back to School Season

Summer is nearly over and the school year is on the horizon. It is time to stock up on all the necessary school supplies. No longer are pencils and paper the only essentials; now a smartphone also makes the cut.

TV’s constantly bombard watchers with dozens of different ads for hundreds of different smartphones. It can be extremely confusing about which one is actually best. Honestly, it depends what one’s intentions are. Some are better for media, some are better for internet viewing and some have the most “useful” apps.

Here are the top five smartphones (in no particular order) for students returning to school.

T-Mobile Sidekick

This phone’s primary is messaging, either via text or email. It has a real keyboard as some people are opposing to using touchscreens. It has a 3.5 inch screen with a solid 800 x 480 pixel display, which is rather surprising given the utilitarian feel to the phone. Despite claiming to run “4G” it is not very fast when compared to other smart phones. If all you want to do is text, the Sidekick is the best; if you want a bit more functionality perhaps a different phone would be preferable.

Blackberry Torch

The blackberry is the grandfather of all modern smartphones, but it has been able to keep up with new improvements along the way. The Torch 9800 is much more versatile than previous entries. This new edition has an improved operating system and web browser allowing faster download speeds. It has a small screen compared to other smartphones, but it makes up for it with a slide out keyboard to better utilize the entire phone. The blackberry is best for reading and sending email as was their initial purpose.

Samsung Droid

The Droid has the biggest screen on the market today, bar none. The 4.3 inch screen has a resolution of 800 x 480, excellent for reading information on the internet or emails. It has no built in keyboard but rather a virtual touch one. The Droid has all the usual smartphone features, like a camera, apps, etc., but its’ one major drawback is the battery life. Even in standby mode the battery drains in two or three days, and that’s not accessing the screen at all. The charge time is also an issue as it takes nearly five hours to recharge fully. This could potentially be a problem for a student who is away from a potential charging area for a full day’s time.

Motorola Atrix 4G

The Atrix is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to smartphones, but what it lacks in experience its makes up for with flashiness. The Atrix has a dual core 1GHZ processor and a 960 x 540 resolution screen. These features are perfect for streaming video from the internet, even when not on a wireless network. It has some attachments that allow it to plug into a laptop like base. Essentially it is a hand held computer than can be used as a laptop as well. It is the fastest smartphone and best for someone on a limited budget as it can double as a phone and a computer.

iPhone 4

Now that iPhones are available on Verizon and AT T;, they are likely to be the frontrunner of the smartphone race. The iPhone 4 has the highest resolution of any smartphone, 960 x 640 on a 3.5 inch screen. Video chatting is available using the face time option and it can record 720p video. For a family with children away at college a pair of iPhone 4’s can be used to feel a little closer to home. It has a 1 GHz processor and is lightning fast on a 3G network. The major drawback is the necessity to use only Apple Store apps, as it requires unlocking to install third party applications. Essentially the iPhone 4 can do it all, just as long as you don’t get distracted by the high definition screen.

Source: Adama D. Brown, T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Review,

Shaun Mahal, BlackBerry Torch First-Look Review,

Grant Hatchimonji, Samsung Droid Charge Review,

J.R Nelson, Motorola Atrix 4G Review,

Nick Spohn, Apple iPhone 4 Review,

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