Cell Phones

The latest


It’s far better than the alternative

Getting the most out of your beloved Apple gadget doesn't have to be costly. Upgrade your devices with these affordable tools.

We went way out there to put these through the paces

How do the cameras stack up? It all depends on your adventures.

The messaging device uses a pay-as-you-go model that’s more flexible than the monthly contracts required by other companies

The Olloclip Filmer's setup will seriously improve your iPhone photos

This palm-sized satellite device enables you to send and receive messages (and call for rescue) right from your cellphone

After getting hit by a car, our bike-test director comes to terms with distracted driving and a society that devalues cyclists

Using a phone outdoors? This is what you need to know to stay in touch.

The new Pixel delivers a top-notch shooter that takes crisp photos, high-res video, and that can go toe to toe with Apple's iPhone

We all know smartphones make convenient picture-takers. But they’ve finally gotten so good that you won’t regret leaving your big camera at home.

Nobody likes a soggy phone. That's why our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, risked total iPhone destruction in a quest to find the greatest waterproof case of all. Watch and see why the Lifeproof FRE came out on top. …

Now that you can actually shoot decent photos on your phone, it's time for a best-of-the-best battle

The future is here, and it doesn't involve smartphones

Chad Copeland, a professional photographer whose work has appeared on National Geographic Creative and in adventure campaigns around the world, had doubts about the quality of smartphone photography.

A cell phone smart enough to never grow obsolete

Turn your smartphone into a sophisticated music player

On the chairlift, in a kayak, at the crag, we’ve all dropped our phones. This handy tether prevents the device from hitting the deck.

Control your sustainable energy on the go with a smartphone app

Making sure you’re always safe and found

With so much phone and so little pocket room, you need cases that will protect your 4G device from wind, dirt, dust, and water—so that it may live to Instagram another day.

Why the Internet is turning photography on its side

A lens so sharp, you won't leave home without it.

Tech to ensure you thrive on the sand and in the water this summer.

You're overworked, overstressed, and overconnected. But don't worry. We're here to help.

Guess what? The grid is expanding and we predict in the next five years, you won't be able to unplug—even in the backcountry.

Nearly unlimited transit and trail data is coming to an app near you. And whether you're seeking singletrack or chasing a commuter train, that's a very big deal.

Depending on the school of thought you’re following, meditation can be practiced in a number of ways—sitting cross-legged in a dark room, while on a long run, or even on a crowded bus with the help of a smartphone app and a pair of headphones. In general, though,…

The answer is yes, you can use your other half—your iPhone—abroad. But here are a few tips for making sure you have money for something other than international roaming. First, call your carrier and inquire about their particular packages for out-of-country travel. For instance, AT&T will charge…

Forget about rubbing two sticks together. Without matches, your only hope of getting a fire started in the wild is to take advantage of other tools at your disposal. Mykel Hawke—a former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and founder of survival school Spec Ops—recommends two easy,…

Yes, I write about gear for a living, I have access to the most sophisticated toys and tools in the outdoor world, and I’m constantly geeking out over tech details. But I’m keenly aware of the fact that the gear does not make the athlete. I was a much better…

From the coolest kayak we’ve ever seen to a super grippy water shoe, this is the gear you need for those quiet days on the river.

Outside picks the best iPhone cases of May 2013, including the Lifeproof Fre

Sharing powder shots, filming your friend's huck, and keeping in touch have never been easier with gadgets like Fujifilm's XP170 and the DeLorme InReach communicator.

I'm in the market for a new cell phone that will stand up to some rugged adventuring. Is it possible to find a device that will replace my GPS unit?

Meet the preppers, a rattled, robust survivalist movement whose members just hate being called survivalists. Emily Matchar investigates the 21st century's wildest new apocalyptic scene.

I’ve already sung the praises of digital distractions—in moderation—when traveling with young children. But even the best kids’ apps are useless if your toddler keeps pushing the home button and navigating away. Not only is it annoying, but it’s also dangerous for your data. The last thing…

Two-way radios might seem absurdly retro, but having an open channel of communication can be priceless on a multipitch climb or when trekking through rainforest in Costa Rica.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Contour+ POV camera.

Surf reports, bouldering routes, bike shops, and more—all at your fingertips

Five must-haves for navigating city life, including the Samsung Nexus S.

Five accessories to transform you iPhone into a supergadget, including the Photojojo Telephoto and Fish-eye lenses.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Motorola Brute i680 cell phone.

Seven performance-boosting devices to give you an edge.

Whether you need to capture, connect, or just sit back and relax, the newest portable gadgets are ready to serve.

The next step in the smartphone revolution? Social fitness.

WALK, TALK, RUN, ROCK Fitness fanatics, listen up: This audio-focused, 3.3-ounce slider phone is the smallest, lightest device we tested—a stellar running companion. On board you’ll find a two-meg camera and a fitness app that can count steps, gauge speed, and monitor calories burned. Once we swapped out the puny…

1. The C905 is the only camera phone we’ve ever felt deserved the name. Its 8.1-megapixel camera features autofocus, a xenon flash, image stabilization, instant Web uploads, a sliding lens cover, and face-detection technology. We printed eight-by-tens that compared favorably with prints from a beginner DSLR. There’s even a…

Looking for something more sophisticated than your basic cell phone but not crazy about stuffing a mini-computer into your pocket? This slim unit is a perfect middle ground. Because the touchscreen provides feedback—clicking and vibrating with each touch—we found texting, especially when multitasking, easier than with most phones. The…

The G1 is the first phone loaded with Google’s Android operating system. And as you’d expect, it’s all about integration: Android promises to bring the same level of multifunction- ality you expect from Google—search, mail, maps, documents, etc.—to multi­media mobile devices. The interface isn’t quite there yet, but we’ve…

The N96 is a multimedia wizard, and it comes with the same five-meg camera and Zeiss lens that helped make the N95 our 2008 Gear of the Year winner. Unlike most phones, in which the camera feels like a gimmicky add-on, the N96 has the exposure and flash controls…

The Bold is more than just a business phone. With a smoother, more intuitive operating system, it’s way more user-friendly than previous Black­Berrys. And it’s ideal for international travelers who want to stay in touch—with Wi-Fi to avoid roaming charges, cellular-assisted GPS, long battery life, and quad-band accessibility. For…

For starters, the interface is almost too much fun, like having a Mac in your hands, and audio integration is a snap with iTunes. Like the first-gen iPhone, the 3G has a 3.5-inch touchscreen that’s almost impossible to scratch—proven on multiple beach trips. Unlike the original, it boasts a…

BELIEVE THE HYPE Yes, actually, the iPhone is all that. First off, it’s sexy. The aluminum-and-glass build gives a nice solid feel, the 3.5-inch touchscreen and Mac OS X make operation fast and intuitive (despite the typing learning curve), and it’s a breeze on the Web. Thanks to its…

This relatively svelte, Windows-based smartphone is a pure traveler, with a great navigation system (geotagging and U.S. maps built in), a 2.8-inch touchscreen, an intuitive interface, and a 3.2-meg camera that delivered decent shots in a variety of conditions. htc.com…

1. Introducing the rare smartphone that earns the title. Most do-it-all devices compromise one system for another, but the N95 shines as both multimedia and communication device, with Wi-Fi, GPS, and FM to boot. And the intuitive setup makes operation a snap: Slide the panel up for the keypad…

After a decade of ever-more-mobile devices, 2010 has seen several advances we’ve been hoping for. Some companies have countered the problem of disposable gadgets, designing higher-quality products that are so fast and functional (like our Gear of the Year winner, right) that you’ll have no reason to trade them…

SMALLER AND SMARTER This is BlackBerry’s finest model to date. Svelte and ultralight, it’s more like a cell phone—and less like a paperweight—than its predecessors. But despite the diminutive scale, the Curve is endowed with a full qwerty keyboard we found to be unbeatable among smartphones for fast, accurate typing.

You Can Hear Me Now?! A godsend to anyone who’s accidentally water-skied with a phone in his pocket, the Brigade is the first messaging phone sold in the U.S. that’s shock-resistant and waterproof (to one meter, for 30 minutes). At 4.4 inches long and 5.5 ounces, this sideways-clamshell unit is…

EASY PHONE HOME This Belkin number syncs with Skype, the free online-telephony app, making for a simple but truly effective device for those who regularly go abroad or frequently make calls to friends or family overseas. Once you’ve got an account, you can call—and be called by—other Skype users directly.

We didn’t expect the first hybrid Android smartphone/GPS device to do both jobs so competently. Preloaded with maps for North America—with worldwide ones downloadable from Garmin’s store—it uses cell towers and satellites, for better, faster mapping (especially in rural areas) than any other phone can offer. The camera, music player,…

“Not just different. Better.” That tester’s observation sums up this 15-degree bag from Montbell, whose major tech innovation—spiraled baffles—made it the most comfortable and best-functioning bag we tested this year. Far from a gimmick, the spiral baffles drape more evenly over the body, creating…

Five brilliant new devices for playing at home and traveling abroad.

Laptops and cell phones are merging. Here's the new range of options for connected travelers.

Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...

Presenting nine foolproof rules to keep in mind when scouting for presents (or just a little swag for yourself), plus 67 great products we couldn't keep under wraps.

The iPhone as all-knowing, all-seeing guide to adventure.

What is the best storage case to protect my iPhone while kayaking/biking/running? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

My son is cycling the Lower 48 starting on January 1, and I would like some way to keep up with him. Is there a GPS unit that can accomplish this? Karen Atlanta, Georgia

ON THE LEFT Columbia’s moisture-wicking Omni-Dry Mountain Tech Thermal Base­layer. ($60; columbia.com) Few‘s acrylic Moa Hunter Sweater, for the bold. ($54; few.co.nz) Aigle‘s lightweight Polartec recycled-fleece Walker Track Jacket. ($105; aigleusa.com Obermeyer‘s insulated Tungsten Jacket is tricked out…

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