I Need a New Spy Phone


I have a first-generation Blackberry Pearl that I've basically loved to death (OK, dropped), and the photos it takes look like I'm shooting through a dirty handkerchief. This year, I promised I would buy a cell phone with a decent camera.

Normal people would simply bring along a camera and take photos the old-fashioned digital way. In fact, there are many food bloggers who are able to take good photos at restaurants.

However, between my anonymity concerns and my normal skittishness around taking pictures in public places, I just can't do it. Pretending to text a friend while snapping shots of my dinner? Anytime. A couple of food writers and civilians recommend the iPhone, so that's currently the top runner, but AT&T's basic phone/text plans are a freakin racket.

So can any of you cell phone photographers give me recommendations on a phone that takes clear close-up shots and also has smart-phone capabilities (calendaring, mainly, plus some kind of expanded keyboard for texting)? I don't need to be able to read the New York Times or Twitter incessantly.

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