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1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Mobile Phone Buyers Guide, July 2011

The first mobile phone call in Australia was placed in 1987 using a Mitsubishi Electric handset and since then the range of phones has grown exponentially. With so many to choose from, buying a new phone can be a testing experience. There’s one out there for everyone, but pinning it down takes time. This guide explains the differences between the manufacturers, networks and form factors and helps find the perfect mobile for you and your lifestyle. Click on any of the images to find out more about a particular handset.

So, where to begin? Mobiles phones have evolved from a basic communication apparatus to anything from a camera, positioning device, diary, music player, fashion accessory and more. There are now more active mobile connections than people with an estimated 8 million new phones sold in Australia every year. As a result there are hundreds of models to choose from on and new models appearing faster than the old ones are phased out.

Manufacturer 95% of the phones in Australia are produced by one of eight companies. In order of popularity, they are Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson, Apple, BlackBerry and HTC. While each appeals to different sectors of the market, here’s a rundown;

In a nutshell;

The market leader with easy to use and reliable phones, but rapidly losing market share to Andriod and iOS as smartphone penetration increases.

Pro’s: Intuitive operating systems and reliable performance.

Cons: Often slow to innovate.

Iconic phone: Nokia 5800 – Nokia’s first touchscreen smartphone.

MobiCity recommends:

Nokia E7 (E7-00) – Ultimate business smartphone that features a sliding QWERTY keyboard, anodized aluminium body, 8MP camera & HD recording capability and is equipped with a 4-inch display that features Nokia ClearBlack technology.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

In a nutshell;

The emerging giant with a massive range of high quality phones.


Good cameras and nice styling.


Difficult to update handset software.

Iconic phone:

Samsung i9000 Galaxy S – Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S series smartphone.

MobiCity recommends:

Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II – Sleek & Stylish Android 2.3 smartphone powered by dual-core 1.2 GHz processor & features a 4.3" Super AMOLED plus display.

In a nutshell;

Renown for its slim flip phones, but reassessing its involvement in the mobile space.


Flip phone pioneer.


Very few new products on the radar.

Iconic phone:

Motorola Milestone – Motorola signalled their resurgence with this iconic phone in 2009.

MobiCity recommends: Motorola ATRIX – Android smartphone powered by dual-core 1GHz processor. Features world’s first qHD display for a smartphone.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

In a nutshell:

Affordable phones for everyone.


Relatively high-spec phones at low prices.


Build quality can be inconsistent and sometimes difficult-to-use operating systems.

Iconic phone: LG KP500 Cookie Budget friendly touchscreen phone with 3" display.

MobiCity recommends:

LG Optimus 3D – High-performance Android smartphone offering the world’s first full 3D experience (Recording-Viewing-Sharing).

In a nutshell:

The brand for business people and young professionals; greater than the sum of its parts.


Cutting-edge design and outstanding battery life.


Higher pricing than similar phones from other brands.

Iconic phone:

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 – Powerful multimedia Android smartphone with 8MP camera and HD video recording capability.

MobiCity recommends: Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc –Latest Android 2.3 smartphone in a stunning design.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

In a nutshell:

The new kid on the block that has changed the rules forever.


Intuitive user interface with touchscreen technology.


Guarded sales and distribution models and glaring hardware omissions (Bluetooth file transfer, MMS, copy/paste, etc)

Iconic phone: Apple iPhone 3GS

MobiCity recommends: iPhone 4 – Winner of best Mobile Device award at MWC 2011.

In a nutshell: The global leader in mobile email.

Pro’s: Email management capability and QWERTY keyboard.

Con’s: New models better address consumer needs, but the new OS is quite buggy.

Iconic phone:

BlackBerry Bold 9000 – Form and function.

MobiCity recommends:

BlackBerry 9800 Torch – Business smartphone with a new touch, slide form & OS.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

In a nutshell:

Formerly High Tech Computer, and the manufacturer of brands such as Dopod, Qtek and XDA, HTC is a world leader in mobile business devices.

Pro’s: Powerful business tools, running on Windows Mobile and the Android OS.


Most are quite large and relatively expensive.

Iconic phone:

HTC Google Nexus One – Flagship smartphone built by HTC and running on Google’s Android OS.

MobiCity recommends: HTC Sensation – Stylish, powerful multimedia smartphone featuring a brilliant 4.3” touch display and 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.

Networks Australia has a combination or 2nd and 3rd Generation mobile network infrastructure. 2G offers a wider coverage area, while the 3G network has a wider bandwidth, allowing for faster downloads and more advanced calling options such as video calling. When choosing a new phone it is critical that the handset you select meets the system requirements of your network. Check the specs of the phone you are interested in, but almost all phones on are 2G compatible but it pays to do your homework if you have a 3G SIM or uSIM as many handsets may not work.

One of the most profitable telecoms companies in the world, Telstra operates a 2G network and a 3.5G network called ‘Next G’. Australia, the US and Brazil are pretty much the only countries running on the UMTS 850 band and as a result there is a reduced range of handsets available on this frequency. However, the longer range of this frequency gives Telstra the best coverage with approximately 98% of the Australian population.

MobiCity recommends:

BlackBerry Bold 9780 – NextG compatible

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Like Telstra, Optus run a standard 2G network that will be compatible with most phones. Their 3G network runs at UMTS 2100, the same as most of Europe and Asia and as a result most 3G phones will work with an Optus 3G SIM, but you get only 96% network coverage.

MobiCity recommends:

Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace

Vodafone is very similar to Optus, but only have 94.5% coverage. Voda have just announced a merger with Three, so we are yet to see how the joint venture will work going forward. Newer Vodafone 3G SIMs are backwardscompatible, meaning that they will work in 2G phones but you should check this with your provider before buying a new 2G only device.

MobiCity recommends: HTC 7 Trophy

Three is the relative newcomer to the bunch and have a 3G-only network infrastructure with a uSIM. This means that you must have a 3G enabled phone running on the UMTS 2100 frequency, 2G phones are not compatible with a Three SIM. Outside of the 3G network, Three services currently roam on Telstra’s 2G system.

MobiCity recommends: Motorola Milestone 2

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Form factor The common mobile phone styles or shapes are Candy Bar, Clam, Flip, Slide, Swivel and more recently the Touchscreen.

Candy Bar

Otherwise known as the Bar or Block, this is the most basic style. The entire phone is one solid monolith, with no moving parts aside from the buttons and possibly antenna. To prevent keys from being pressed accidentally while the phone is in a pocket, etc., a "key guard" feature is usually provided, requiring a special key sequence to "unlock" the keys.

MobiCity recommends: Nokia C2-01


Perhaps more commonly known as the ‘Flip’, this type of phone consists of two halves, connected by a hinge. The phone folds closed when not in use. The top half usually contains the speaker and display, with the bottom half containing the keypad and remaining components. The main display and keypad are protected when closed, although many phones have a secondary display on the outside.

MobiCity recommends: Nokia 3710

Flip This type of phone is a cross between the Bar and Clamshell types. Most of the components of the phone are in one part, but a thin "flip" part covers the keypad and/or display when not in use. The flip may be all-plastic, or it may contain one or two minor components such as a speaker or secondary keys. This style is now obsolete.

MobiCity recommends: Samsung S7230 Wave 723

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Slide This type is usually designed similarly to a clamshell, with a large main display and speaker in one half, and the keypad and battery in the other half. But the two halves slide open instead of using a hinge. Slide designs allow the main display to be seen when closed, and are generally easier to open and close one-handed.

MobiCity recommends: Sony Ericsson Zylo W20i


This type is similar to the slide type, with a large main display and speaker in the top half, and the keypad and battery in the lower half. But the two halves pivot at one point instead of sliding.

MobiCity recommends:

Motorola MB511 FLIPOUT


While not actually a separate form factor, touchscreens are an emerging handset style and can be integrated into any shape or style phone. Touchscreens allow for a dynamic keyboard which can change according to the function. They also enable a much greater screen size.

MobiCity recommends: HTC Incredible S

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Operating Systems Mobile Operating System (also called Mobile OS, Mobile platform, or Handheld operating system) is a software through which a mobile device is operated. This is similar in principle to a Desktop / Laptop operating system such as Windows or Linux.

iOS (iPhone OS)

iOS (also known as iPhone OS) is Apple’s mobile operating system. iOS has been something of a revolution in the handheld market that offers an elegant and easy to use user interface, great multimedia capabilities and an efficient mobile browser. iOS was originally developed for the iPhone, but has been extended to support other Apple devices as well such as iPad and iPod touch. As of January 2011, Apple's App Store has more than 300,000 iOS applications available.

Pro’s: Easy to use. Largest number of Apps available (over 300,000). Desktop Synching.


Multitasking not supported (except iOS 4.0). Only available in Apple products (Limited hardware choice). No Adobe Flash support.

MobiCity recommends: iPhone 4


Android is Google's Linux-based open source mobile platform and is currently the world's best-selling Smartphone platform. The Android Market is the online software store developed by Google for Android devices. Using a preinstalled application program on most Android devices, users can browse and download apps published by third-party developers hosted on Android Market. There are currently over 150,000 apps available for Android on the Android Market. According to an Analyst firm Android is all set to overtake the iPhone OS by 2012.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Pro’s: Easy to Use. True multitasking. Open Source Platform . Over 150,000 apps available. A number of top cell phone manufacturers use Android (including HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, etc.). Adobe Flash 10.1 support.


Complicated Desktop Synching. OS version fragmentation.

MobiCity recommends: HTC Desire S

Symbian The Symbian operating system offers a broad range of personal information management (PIM) features, including contact and calendar management and a robust library of thirdparty applications. The latest update on Symbian software is Symbian Anna which includes new icons and usability enhancements alongwith an improved text input, a faster browser and refreshed Ovi Maps. Nokia has recently announced a partnership with Microsoft on February 11, 2011 and this will result in Nokia adopting Windows Phone 7 for its smartphones.

Pro’s: User-friendly UI. Great personal information management (PIM) features. Multitasking. Adobe Flash Lite support.

Con’s: Web browser not among the best in the market. Text input through onscreen keyboard (touchscreen phones) is not as convenient as in other top operating systems.

MobiCity recommends: Nokia E6

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Windows Phone 7 Microsoft announced new OS ‘Windows Phone 7’ at Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, while the announcement for first handsets was made in October 2010. Windows Phone 7 is the successor to Microsoft's line of Windows Mobile phone operating systems, most recently Windows Mobile 6.5. WM 6.5 and handsets with older OS versions cannot upgrade to WP7. With WP7’s strong integration and synching capabilities with Microsoft Office 2010, many reviewers believe that the new OS can give a really tough time to BlackBerry OS, in particular.

Pro’s: Easy to use UI. Wider Carrier support (even more than the iPhone). Mobile Office apps. Access to SharePoint-based documents.

Con’s: Consumer focused OS. No Adobe Flash support. No support for removable storage. Limited apps available.

MobiCity recommends: Samsung Focus

BlackBerry OS RIM’s BlackBerry phones are regarded as great business tools, thanks to the BlackBerry operating system. BlackBerry OS is built for the business user but has extras for the consumer. The OS has the most reliable and secured email system that is why BlackBerry phones are considered the best email handheld devices.


Business friendly. Secure and reliable email.

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 - Robust wireless synchronization. Adobe Flash 10.1 support.


Not the best of the Web browsers (especially in earlier versions) Limited apps available

MobiCity recommends: BlackBerry 9700 Bold 2

Samsung bada OS

Samsung bada is a mobile operating system developed by Samsung Electronics. Samsung claims that bada will rapidly replace its proprietary feature phone platform, converting feature phones to smartphones. Samsung Wave was the first device that was launched with bada unveiled to the public at Mobile World Congress 2010. With the phone, Samsung also released an app store, called Samsung Apps, to the public. Though Samsung plans to install bada on many of its phones, the company still has a huge lineup of Android phones.

Pro’s: Easy and Intuitive UI. Adobe Flash 10.1 support.

Con’s: Limited Multitasking. Limited apps available.

MobiCity recommends: Samsung Wave II S8530

1a, 36 Agnes St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 - 1300 14 6624 -

Features Other important features to consider are a still and/or video camera, GPS, expandable memory, connectivity, size and weight, and durability. Most mobile phone owners don’t use 80% of the features and functions on their handset. Only buy what you need and don’t be tempted by the ‘latest and greatest’ as you may be paying more for things you don’t want or need.

Don’t believe the hype Most people buy a phone as they like its look, have seen an advertisement/review or have heard it’s the newest model. While these can be valid reasons, where possible do your research and ask the advice of a professional if you are unsure. In most cases there are other options you have not considered that will better suit your need and save you money. If you are unsure or need more information, speak with a MobiCity expert by calling us on 1300 14 6624 sending an email to at any time. In the meantime please browse our website and if there are any phones or accessories not listed that you require, please let us know and we’ll do our best to track them down. You can also stay abreast of new releases, exclusive offers and promotions through our through site or visit our Stay mobile!

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MobiCity Buyers Guide  

July 2011

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