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Smartphones and U.S. availability: Ask the Editors

CNET editors answer reader questions about the U.S. availability of several smartphones.

Nokia E71
Nokia E71 Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Q: I've been looking into getting the Nokia E71, but can't justify the price. Have you heard anything on it becoming available with a U.S. carrier. Also, a whole other box of worms, if you purchase an unlocked E71, are you mandated to a contract? --James via e-mail

A: James, you are not alone. I get quite a few number e-mails about the Nokia E71 and it's really no surprise why. It's a great smartphone that's loaded with features for the mobile professional, and it's packaged in a sleek little frame. Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything official from Nokia or any of the U.S.-based carriers but the rumor is that the E71 will make its way to AT&T. And frankly, this wouldn't surprise me. AT&T offered the E71's predecessor, the Nokia E61i, for a while so the rumor isn't completely off base. Again, all just speculation at this point though.

If you do buy it unlocked, you won't be tied down to a contract, which is the beauty of unlocked phones. The E71 is a quad-band handset, which means you'll be able to use with either AT&T or T-Mobile. Just be aware that the E71 only supports the 850/1900 HSDPA bands, which operates on AT&T's 3G network and not T-Mobile's.

Q: In your opinion, do you think the HTC Touch HD will be carried by Sprint if and if ever it comes to the U.S.? The reason I ask is because Sprint already has two HTC Touch phones. --Emilio via e-mail

A: THAT is a really good question, Emilio and to be honest, I have no idea. Usually, there's some sort of speculation about which U.S. provider might pick it up, but nothing so far. As it is, the Touch HD is a quad-band GSM phone, so by those specs, it could go to AT&T or T-Mobile if they so decided. However, the original HTC Touch was also released as a GSM handset overseas, and then was eventually picked up by two CDMA carriers here in the States, Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

You make a good point, though. Sprint already offers three HTC Touch models--the HTC Touch, (which is nearing the end of its life cycle), the HTC Touch Diamond, and upcoming HTC Touch Pro--so I'm not sure how eager they would be pick up another at this point, even though the Touch HD looks pretty darn cool. I could see Verizon Wireless possibly adding it to its lineup replace the Verizon Wireless XV6900.