I have been openly critical of Smartphone designs in the past. During the advent and development of these new mobile communications devices, I found much fault in the massive size, unwieldy keypads, and quasi-functional styluses used to navigate these convoluted technological wonders. That’s why I wish to offer my apologies to the much-maligned Smartphone form factor—thanks in no small part to the two Smartphones we’ve recently had here in the TigerTV labs. I’m talking about the Palm Treo 680 and the Nokia E62 Unlocked GSM Smartphones.

I’ll start off with the slimmer of the two, the Nokia E62 Unlocked GSM Smartphone. This is an excellent all around Smartphone, from a company that has been in the thick of the Mobile Phone Industry since the beginning. I have to say, I’m opposed to Styluses. And that’s one reason why I like the Nokia E62—its been designed to use a 5-way intuitive navigation button instead of the little plastic stick. The interface has been redesigned as well, so that most everything on your phone from contact numbers to your emails are accessible via a one-touch icon. No more sifting through menus or hunting around—this phone gets it done but fast.

And it’ll get it done anywhere. That’s the key to these two phones: they’re both Unlocked Quad-Band GSM Phones, meaning that they’ll operate anywhere in the world where you can get a signal. (Hey, they’re still phones, after all.) The voice quality on the Nokia E62 is also really impressive—clear, crisp sound from a phone that does plenty of other stuff? Practically unheard of. But the first thing that strikes you when you pick this phone up is the size of the screen. 320×240 pixels gives you more than enough eyeball room to browse the News Blogs like ours (Fully functioning web browser, anyone?) as well as organize, edit, and just plain look at your digital pictures. Only Drawback: It doesn’t actually have a camera itself.

What few features this phone lacks, it makes up for by making the onboard technology incredibly easy to use. You can customize your ringtones and text alerts to specific callers. The Nokia E62 can communicate with other devices via Bluetooth connectivity—from your hands-free earpiece to your home or office Printer. Connectivity of the physical variety has been redesigned as well. Gone is the old Nokia-specific connection; now the E62 comes with a Mini USB connection as well as an IR transmitter. There’s even programmable voice commands that you can enable with the push of a side-mounted button. It keeps the volume control for your MP3 player (also onboard) company. There’s so much to this Smartphone, I could go all day. But that would mean missing out on the Palm Treo 680—unthinkable.

The Palm Treo 680 Unlocked GSM Smartphone represents Palm’s best shot at a PDA-turned-Smartphone yet. The Stylus is gone. Instead, a huge touch screen sits squarely on the front of the phone—it’s so large you can’t miss it. The Palm Treo 680 also has a 5-point touch navigation button, but if you’re the impatient type, or have thin enough fingers, you can just punch up what you’re looking for the good old fashion way. And like the Nokia E62, this is a Quad Band GSM phone, meaning that it can work anywhere in the world. That’s good news for the globetrotting businessman or semi nomadic merchant sailor alike. But read on.

Along with a Full QWERTY keyboard that features a separate key for each letter of the alphabet (Predictive typing, my elbow), the Palm Treo 680 has the most comprehensive array of Palm’s signature software packaging yet! Smartphone software isn’t ordinarily anything to get excited about, but Palm is a different case altogether. The Company’s plentiful experience with PDAs long before the advent of Smartphones has given rise to their powerful Office to Go and Documents to Go software. These two useful programs let you keep your contacts and edit, read, and proof word documents. You can also get live traffic updates, Audible Online books, and review PDF files right in the palm of your hand. That’s not a pun, I promise.

This Smartphone Does have a camera. In fact, it can take both Video and Still photography. You can manipulate and edit your photos as well as create slideshows. And you can store all those digital photographs easily, because the Palm Treo 680 uses ordinary SD cards up to 2GB in sizes. Other features include Bluetooth Stereo Wireless connection for your hands-free equipment, and a handy function that allows you to use your Palm Treo 680 as a wireless Modem, in case you need your Laptop online somewhere where there’s no Line at all. And the Palm Treo 680 comes in Four different colors: Arctic White, Copper, Crimson Red, and Silver.

Related Links: Nokia E62 Unlocked GSM Smartphone, Palm Treo 680 Unlocked GSM Smartphone, Want the Palm Treo is another Color? Follow this link to see them All!