1. Computing

Pick the Perfect Smartphone for Your Mom

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Today's moms are busy. Whether they're running to work or to soccer practice, they need to stay connected -- and what better way to stay connected than with a smartphone? Here are the best smartphones for moms.

Apple iPhone

iPhone 3G S
Apple
Let's be honest: The iPhone is the smartphone that tops most wish lists--even your mom's. Like the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G, the new iPhone 3GS features a sleek design with a big, beautiful touch screen. You also get support for AT&T's HSDPA 3G network, built-in GPS, and thousands (and thousands) of available apps. And if the iPhone 3GS is too pricey for your budget-minded mom, consider the iPhone 3G. It's a steal at just $99.

Palm Pre

Palm Pre
Palm
Most moms spend a lot of time multi-tasking, so why not opt for a smartphone that's a true multi-tasker? The Palm Pre, which runs Palm's slick webOS software, can handle several tasks at once. And, just like Mom, the Pre looks good while doing it. It packs in both a 3.1-inch touch screen and a hardware-based QWERTY keyboard for easier typing.

BlackBerry Bold

BlackBerry Bold
AT&T
Chances are, your mom is too busy to spend much time at the computer checking her e-mail. So why not give her a phone with the best e-mail handling around? Few phones do e-mail better than BlackBerry smartphones, and the Bold is one of my favorites. It offers 3G service, Wi-Fi support, built-in GPS, music and video players, and an absolutely gorgeous screen. It doesn't offer a touch screen, but you do get a full QWERTY keyboard, which makes typing even long messages a breeze.

BlackBerry Pearl

BlackBerry Pearl 8120
T-Mobile
If the BlackBerry Bold looks a little too corporate for the mom in your life, you may want to consider the BlackBerry Pearl, a more compact version of BlackBerry's popular smartphones. It takes the familiar QWERTY keyboard layout that you see on most smartphones, and makes it smaller by putting two letters on most of the keys. This allows for a smaller, sleeker phone--although it can also mean slower typing. The Pearl is available in slightly different versions from all of the major cell phone carriers.

T-Mobile myTouch 3G

T-Mobile myTouch 3G
T-Mobile
Just because you're a mom, that doesn't mean you can't keep up with the newest, coolest products around. And one of the coolest new developments in the world of smartphones is Google's Android operating system. It offers the touch-friendly interface of the iPhone, plus the ability to customize your phone to your heart's content. The myTouch 3G, the second Android phone to hit the market, offers the Android software in a handset that's just as appealing on the outside as it is on the inside.

LG Lotus

LG Lotus, in purple
Sprint
A smartphone doesn't have to be bland and boring. Take the LG Lotus: this phone features a unique square shape and a folding design, and it comes in a purple case etched with flowers. (Plain black and red versions also are available.) But it's more than just a pretty face: The Lotus is an easy-to-use messaging phone that will allow Mom to stay in touch while she's on the go.

Sidekick LX 2009

Sidekick in Carbon
T-Mobile
The Sidekick may have a reputation as a phone for the younger crowd, but in recent years this smartphone has grown up. It still features the fun, swiveling design that Sidekicks are known for, but adds some features that busy moms will love -- like 3G support and better e-mail handling.

Samsung Memoir

Samsung Memoir
T-Mobile
Don't make your mom carry a phone and a camera: Buy her one gadget that can pull double duty. That's the beauty of the Samsung Memoir, a well-equipped phone that packs in an 8-megapixel camera. Yes, you read that right: 8 megapixels. It also includes a Web browser, support for T-Mobile's 3G HSDPA network, and Samsung's handy TouchWiz interface, which makes the phone easy to navigate. And, oh yeah, it makes calls, too.

LG EnV3

enV3
Verizon Wireless
Sometimes, less is more. Mom may not want a smartphone that can double as a mobile office--or even a mini computer--so why pay for one? The LG enV3 is a good alternative for anyone looking for a basic smartphone with good messaging features and a few extras. The phone folds open to reveal a roomy QWERTY keyboard that lets you type with ease and provides easy access to its multimedia features, like the camera, music store, and video player.
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