What they want

Most music-phone buyers don’t yet know how to differentiate one handset from another. Here are some key factors to point out to them:

  Capacity – The bigger the better. People may not listen to many tracks at a time, but they do like the option of selecting from a large collection.
  Battery Life – Music functions can clobber the battery on a mobile. The main power hogs are hard disk drives (only available on a couple of hones right now) and music playing software in Java.
  Headphones – Most phones come with headsets that are good enough for voice calls but seem tiny and ineffectual for music. The option for plugging in a better-quality headset is important, and for maximum flexibility that means a standard 3.5mm jack socket.
  Operator – The networks vary widely in terms of what they can offer the music fan.

We’ve found a dozen phones you can buy with confidence: these are the best of the musical bunch right now.