Tryphone lets you test out new phones online

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Buying a new phone? You don’t want to let a smooth-talking mobile salesperson decide which one you want for you. Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to bone up on new handsets online before making a purchase, whether that’s reading reviews, watching hands-on videos, or surfing forums to see what other people who own a handset think of it.

Tryphone is a new site that aims to let you virtually test-drive handsets online too. It emulates a bunch of handsets, letting you press the buttons, run applications, and explore the services that come preloaded on the phone.

Meanwhile, around that there’s user ratings and tutorials, and even the ability to embed a phone in your blog or social networking profile (I’ve embedded a Palm Centro after the jump as an example).

It’s a clever idea, although at the moment the site is US-centric, with only a couple of handsets from Europe. Still, you can see how the idea might catch on, and become another useful stage in the process of buying a new handset without actually getting it in your hands.

As I said, here’s an embedded version of the site’s emulated Palm Centro:

Tryphone website

Stuart Dredge