The good: The Motorola Droid Pro combines a touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard into a compact design. The Android 2.2 smartphone offers enhanced security features for business users, as well as mobile hot spot capabilities.
The bad: The Droid Pro's HVGA display isn't quite as sharp as the competition. Call quality could be better. Paltry internal memory.
The bottom line: The enhanced security features and touch-screen-keyboard combo make the Motorola Droid Pro a nice BlackBerry alternative, but it still has some shortcomings.
The good: Clean, accessible design; great library of family-friendly games; still-iconic controller design can be used for motion games or more traditional button-based games; Virtual Console library and WiiWare games offer a unique and affordable collection of classic titles; Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports included with system; Wii Remote Plus controller updated to include MotionPlus built-in; Netflix streaming.
The bad: Online connectivity hampered by closed-garden design; graphics and video playback cap at 480p; other than Netflix, no other video-streaming or entertainment offerings; can't play CDs or DVDs; graphics continue to look ever more outdated compared with rival consoles; the unique qualities that motion gaming offered are now available in accessories from rival consoles.
The bottom line: For families and lovers of casual games, the still-affordable Wii represents the best console bundle value of the holiday season in terms of dollars spent; however, the Wii's getting long in the tooth, and other game consoles offer more entertainment options and functionality for their higher price tags.
The good: The Pantech Crux is slim and lightweight with a bright and colorful touch-screen display. It has external media keys, a 3.5mm headset jack, GPS, stereo Bluetooth, a 3-megapixel camera, an HTML browser, and threaded messaging. The music player has stereo and surround sound settings. We also like the sliding screen-lock mechanism.
The bad: The Pantech Crux has sluggish performance, and the touch screen can be rather finicky. Call quality is mixed.
The bottom line: The Pantech Crux makes a good multimedia feature phone on paper, but its poor touch-screen performance prevents us from recommending it.
The good: The Samsung Continuum features two displays; the smaller ticker window is a great tool for quickly accessing information and multitasking. The smartphone also has a 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture. It offers full wireless options and can be used as a mobile hot spot.
The bad: The smaller screen makes for a more cramped typing experience. Ticker display currently isn't available for third-party apps. Runs Android 2.1, and Bing is set as the default search engine. You can't uninstall preloaded apps and services.
The bottom line: More than just a gimmick, the Samsung Continuum's secondary display is a useful management and multitasking tool, but its constant flow of information might not appeal to everybody.
The good: Attractive user interface; two-sided RF remote includes a QWERTY keyboard; quirky cubelike design; built-in browser that can play Flash video; apps currently include Pandora and MLB.TV; extensive codec support for local content.
The bad: Basic apps like Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu Plus are promised soon, but not available yet; content holders like Hulu are blocking Boxee's browser; double-sided remote has an assortment of usability issues; Boxee's online TV show data is frequently outdated and incomplete; virtually no popular movies available; unorthodox design may not fit in small home theater cabinets; can't be controlled by standard IR universal remote; can't connect to older, non-HDMI TVs.
The bottom line: The Boxee Box by D-Link has some innovative design choices and a promising user interface, but mainstream content is mostly missing in action until future firmware updates are available.