WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Windows Phones

WP Central

With the Holiday Season fast approaching everyone is looking for the perfect gift for the Windows Phone user in their life. When it comes to gifts for the Windows Phone user, it's hard to beat a new phone.  There are a lot of new Windows Phones hitting the market and while each is a quality device, one may be more appealing than the other.

While we've reviewed most of the new Windows Phones hitting the market, hit the break to catch a quick overview of each of the new phones hitting the shelves this Holiday Season.

Just a quick note with regards to pricing.  These Windows Phones are available through several third party outlets as well as the carriers themselves.  Depending on the contract terms, you can find several of these phones for as low as a penny.  Out of contract these phones will run upwards of $550.  Our advice is check with your carrier of choice or third party outlets such as Amazon Wireless, WireFly or Expansys.

Compact/Entry Level Phones

These are the smaller Windows Phones of the bunch that may not have all the features their big brothers have and are offered at a lower pricing point. Some may find the minimum specs too limiting while those just starting out with a Windows Phone won't.  Some may find the smaller form factor too small while others see it fitting just right.  While these phones may be considered entry or budget in nature, they are still solid performers.

HTC Radar: The HTC Radar (here's our review) measures 4.7 x 2.4 x .43 inches and weighs in at 4.83 ounces. The Radar is fitted with 8gb of storage, a 3.8" WVGA screen, 5mp f2.2 rear camera and VGA front facing camera. Its uni-body design fits comfortably in the hand and the white/silver color pattern gives Windows Phone fans an option other than the traditional black. Key features missing from the Radar is the digital compass and gyroscope. If these features aren't critical for your needs, the HTC Radar is a solid performer to consider.

The HTC Radar is available through T-Mobile in the U.S. and various international carriers.

Samsung Focus Flash: Measuring 4.57 x 2.31 x .43 inches and weighing only 4.1 ounces the Focus Flash (here's our review) joins the HTC Radar and Nokia Lumia 800 in the compact Windows Phone category. The Flash has a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 8gb of storage, a 5mp f2.6 rear facing camera, and VGA front facing camera.  As a bonus, it is our understand the Flash is fitted with Gorilla Glass.

The Flash does have a digital compass and gyroscope. As another added bonus, the Flash has a physical Start Button to compliment the capacitive Back and Search buttons.  The only limitation some may find with the Focus Flash is the 8gb of storage.

The Samsung Focus Flash is an exclusive to AT&T.  Internationally, the Focus Flash is essentially the Samsung Omnia W.

Nokia Lumia 800: The Nokia Lumia 800 (here's our review) is Nokia's first venture with the Windows Phone platform. Measuring 4.57 x 2.4 x .47 inches the Lumia weighs in at 5 ounces. The phone features a uni-body design with curved glass that seems to fold into one piece with the body of the phone. The Lumia 800 has a 3.7" WVGA screen protected by Gorilla Glass, 8mp camera, 16gb of storage space and is powered by a 1.4ghz single core processor. The Lumia 800 does not have a front facing camera.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is on the high end of the entry level/compact Windows Phones with the larger storage capacity and some may consider it more of a mid-sized sedan than a compact economy model.  The Lumia 800 is available in black, cyan, and magenta.  The Lumia 800 is available through various international carriers and is not currently available in the U.S. Market.

High end/Large Screen Devices

These are the devices that offer more storage, larger screens, larger cameras, and offers all the bells and whistles to take full advantage of Windows Phone 7.5.

Samsung Focus S: This 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus Windows Phone measures in at 4.96 x 2.63 x .33 inches and weighs only 3.9 ounces.  At .33" thin, the Focus S (here's our review) is the thinnest Windows Phone amongst the second generation models.  The Focus S has 16gb of storage, an 8mp f2.8 camera, 1.3mp front facing camera, and is powered by a 1.5Ghz processor.  Samsung balances the 4.3" screen by one of the thinnest Windows Phones available to avoid making the Focus S too bulky.  It does have an odd quirk with the auto-brightness control that dims the screen a notch more than other Windows Phones but overall, the Focus S is a very nice choice.

Currently, the Samsung Focus S is an exclusive AT&T offering in the States.

HTC Titan: Measuring 5.14 x 2.78 x .39 inches and weighing 5.64 ounces, the HTC Titan is the largest Windows Phone on the market.  While the Titan is a large Windows Phone, its size is a little deceptive when held in the hand due to the curved, uni-body design.  As with the Samsung Focus S, the Titan finds a nice balance in design to avoid being bulky.  The Titan sports a 4.7" WVGA screen, 16gb of storage, a 8mp f2.2 rear camera, and a 1.3mp front facing camera.

We should have a full review on the Titan up shortly but HTC isn't far from the mark by describing the Titan as "Unlike anything you've ever held before."  The HTC Titan is available through AT&T and various International carriers.

We've focuses on the latest, second generation Windows Phones but there are several first generation Windows Phones that you may find appealing such as the Samsung Focus and HTC HD7S over at AT&T, the HTC Trophy over at Verizon and the HTC Arrive on Sprint.  Updated to Windows Phone 7.5, these first generation Windows Phones may not have all the second generation features (front facing camera, gyroscope, digital compass, etc) but are good performers and you should be able to find them at a bargain.

So which Windows Phone is going to wind up on your Holiday gift list?

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.