Though most cellphones now come with a camera built in, few take pictures on par with a good digital compact. That's changing as manufacturers ratchet up the megapixels and wedge optical zooms into these go-anywhere, photo-ready devices.
It's not just the trendsetting five-megapixel resolution that makes this two-way slider our model of the year. All those pixels are put to the test by a Zeiss Tessar lens, and reside in an image sensor that's unusually large for a cellphone. The chip's as big as those in many compact cameras -- and its pixels are bigger too, so the resolution doesn't come at the price of extra noise. Camera controls include scene modes and image editing; photo blogging and mobile Web gallery software are preinstalled. Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, FM radio prove, although Nokia is Finnish, this GSM model is the Swiss Army knife of cellphones.
This two-megapixel CDMA model brings a new level of innovation to the slider phone. In vertical position, its alphanumeric keyboard pulls down from the bottom for calls. Turn it horizontally and a QWERTY keyboard slides out so that you can type, surf, and view images laptop-style on its 2.4-inch LCD. But when all the buttons are tucked away, the Ocean looks a lot like an ultracompact camera, complete with LED flash. It captures MPEG-4 video, while integrated GPS supports both Google Maps and Helio's Buddy Beacon, which alerts friends to your location (or you to theirs). The phone even comes loaded with MySpace software. About $300 (with contract).