Amita Persaud uses her BlackBerry smart phone as more than just a phone.
"My smart phone is my calendar. It's my MP3 player. It's my camera. It's my banking. It's my e-mail access, my Web browsing. I can keep in touch with everyone through social networking. You name it, I have it on my cell phone," said Persaud.
Consumer Reports has put dozens of smart phones through a series of tests.
To check voice quality, a high-tech dummy was hooked up to a computer that simulates phone calls. Software analyzes the incoming and outgoing sound.
Since many people also use their phone as a camera, Consumer Reports tests picture quality.
And testers rate how easy it is to text message, view e-mail, and browse the Web. And they also assess how long the battery lasts.
The very popular iPhone 4 is a fine performer. However, Consumer Reports' tests found if you touch a gap on the phone's lower left side, you could lose your connection. Apple says call to request a free bumper to alleviate the problem.
Among the top-rated phones in Consumer Reports' tests are a number of Android phones, including the Samsung Captivate, used with AT&T, and the Samsung Vibrant, with T-Mobile service.
"These phones were among the highest scoring in our ratings, particularly when it came to their displays, which are especially adept at showing high-definition video," said Mike Gikas, Consumer Reports.
And for Verizon, Consumer Reports top-rates the Motorola Droid X and Droid 2. They offer excellent navigation and displays.
For Sprint-Nextel, Consumer Reports top-rated the HTC Evo 4G. The Evo is the first phone to work on Sprint's 4G network, which is faster for browsing the Web and uploading video files.
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