However, there are a few things you should know about touchscreen phones before you buy one. Touchscreen phones are fun to work with as it incorporates one of our senses. But the chances of this excitement wearing off eventually are high. Touchscreen phones have a large screen that's good for viewing, but then it gets smudgy quickly.
Now since touch operated phones do not have keypads, it gets confusing and tedious when you do not have any sense of where you are tapping the screen without looking. So typing a message without looking at the screen is history. Large screens mean a free fall of the phone could spell disaster; you got to be more careful with it than standard phones.
Nonetheless, here are the best touchscreen phone options under different budgets if you plan to go for one.
Samsung Star GT-S5233A
Price: Rs. 9,500
Samsung has gone crazy releasing several phones after showcasing them at the Mobile World Congress. Among the new releases were the Star phones. There are two Star phones; Star 3G and Star. The Star was aimed to kill the market that the LG Cookie opened up. Going head-on against the Cookie, the Samsung Star turned out to be a winner. The phone is much better and so is the interface. If you are looking to buy a touch phone with a limited budget of 10K I would suggest the Samsung Star over the LG Cookie. The experience on the Star is way better than on the Cookie. I rate the Star as a much better phone, even over its sibling the Star 3G, which is priced close to 12K. Right now this is the best budget touchscreen phone that is available even though it has got a few shortcomings.
If on a tighter budget, I suggest you have a look at the Ray T65. It's available for 6.5K and is pretty impressive.
HTC Touch Viva
Price: Rs. 14,300
Released at the end of 2008, HTC had two new phones to offer in their Touch series; Touch 3G and Touch Viva. The Touch Viva is a lower end phone suspected to replace the original Touch, which is now outdated. The Viva has the newer TouchFLO interface and is fast. The phone has lots to offer, like a 2.8-inch screen and Wi-Fi. The Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional run handset comes with office applications and sports decent multimedia.
The other option is the Samsung ToucWIZ F480 but this is only if you are willing to shell out a little over 15K. The phone has the TouchWIZ interface and has great multimedia capability, like a 5MP camera and great audio. The only downside is the missing Wi-Fi and the full QWERTY keymatt.
HTC Touch 3G
The HTC Touch 3G sells for around Rs.20,000. This HTC phone is pretty powerful and has a bit of something for everyone. The TouchFLO interface is prominent here as well and it's what sets this phone apart. The phone is capable of crunching almost anything thrown at it and has varied data options. The 3G capability of the phone at the moment can't be exploited because of the unavailability of 3G throughout the country, but it's a powerful handset for 3G networks.
The phone also comes loaded with Pocket Office and business applications. The power of the handset can also be used to relish some good multimedia like movie playback etc. When we reviewed the handset the pricing was 26k, but now with the revised pricing, it's a good option. You can also look at the HTC Touch Diamond for its style. It is available at a similar price, but the restricted capacity of 4GB and problems with the handset are a letdown.
Also, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is a good contender but it seems to have far too many problems. Its price has been revised but a problematic phone is a big no-no. I've had several of my friends complain about the handset; some have exchanged it for some other new handset, while others have had it sent over to the priority center several times.
With a budget maxed out at 25K there are two options when looking for a touchscreen handset; the LG Arena and the Samsung Pixon. The Samsung Pixon emerges as the better of the two. Even though there are a few things missing like Wi-Fi, 3.5mm jack, GPS and limited multi-tasking, the phone still is the better of the two as it's a more user friendly. The Pixon has great stuff to offer on the multimedia front along with its slick interface. Good video with support for formats like DivX/XviD and great audio along with the 8MP camera completes a good package.
Price: Rs. 30,000
The iPhone 3G 8GB is the best choice out there when you have 30k in hand to spend on a touchscreen phone. The iPhone is the one that revolutionized touchscreen phones. With its multi-touch operation and Mac interface nothing comes even close in terms of touchscreen phones. The iPhone also has loads of apps through its App Store for support, making it possible to enhance the phones capabilities. A remarkable handset in most ways, even with its shortcomings, like just 2MP camera, Bluetooth, etc. The rest of it is so good that it just overcomes all that it falters at. The iPhone can be upgraded to the 3.0 OS and that brings more functionality. This is the best touchscreen phone and only gets better with every update or upgrade.
The Nokia N97 is the new kid on the block. After the 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia has come out with the N97. The phone already has seen its price being revised to 33K, placing it pretty well in terms of pricing. A lower pricing would definitely be welcome but that will be sometime later. The phone has a full physical QWERTY keypad that enhances the usability of the handset. Also, this handset is much powerful in terms of multimedia and is good to go even if it is business. The interface and the use of widgets make the N97 a great handset.
Another phone to consider in this price band is the Samsung Omnia. A powerful handset but its user interface sticks to a standard Windows Mobile, which falls short on usability from time to time.