Whether you are focused on business and productivity, or are looking for something designed with multimedia and entertainment in mind, there are so many new smartphones being released week in and week out that it's hard to keep track of what's hot anymore. From phones in the Palm and BlackBerry catalogs that emphasize push connectivity and QWERTY keyboards for easier typing, to the popular iPhone and the latest breed of Android-powered devices that have flooded the market as of late, with its sheer number of available apps that can greatly extend the phones' functionality.

Since hardware exclusivity agreements are all too common these days, it's possible the phone you want won't be available on the network you're on. Nevertheless, we've compiled a list with some of the best options currently out there and a quick glance of what's coming soon. Our selection covers every major U.S. carrier and lists devices according to their release date. If your favorite smartphone didn't make the list and you feel it's being underappreciated, feel free to share it in the comments!

  • Currently trending:
    Apple iPhone 4, HTC Evo 4G, BlackBerry Bold 9650, HTC Droid Incredible, HTC HD2
  • Currently trending (Page 2):
    Motorola Backflip, Palm Pre Plus, Google Nexus One, HTC Droid Eris, iPhone 3GS
  • What's coming:
    Dell Streak, Motorola Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia N8, Blackberry 9800

Apple iPhone 4

The latest from Apple. This follow-up to the popular iPhone includes a very high-resolution 'Retina Display' that's able to squeeze in 326 pixels per inch of its surface, or two times the number of pixels as its 3GS predecessor. The result is a 640 x 960 crisp clear screen that puts everything else available out there to shame. Other notable new features include a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video capture, front-facing camera for video conferencing (Wi-Fi only), three-axis gyroscope for gaming, a larger battery and faster A4 chip, plus a redesigned chassis and the new iOS 4 software.

There have been some controversy surrounding the phone's wireless reception, which apparently can degrade significantly depending on how users hold it. Apple hopes to appease angry customers with an upcoming software fix.

Additional views:

Carrier: AT&T Talk Time: Up to 7 hours on 3G (14 on 2G)
Price: $199 with two-year contract Standby Time: 12.5 days
Manufacturer: Apple Weight: 4.8 ounces
Platform: iOS 4 Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2 Storage: 16GB or 32GB on-board


The HTC EVO 4G is billed as the world's first 3G/4G Android handset, offering simultaneous voice and data connectivity and download speeds of up to 6Mbps where Sprint's WiMAX network is available (at time of writing that's 36 cities). The device uses HTC's Sense interface and boasts a pretty impressive feature set, including a huge 4.3-inch touch display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera in addition to a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing, GPS, digital compass, stereo Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI (720p) output.

Additional views:

Carrier: Sprint Talk Time: Up to 6 hours on 3G
Price: $200 after rebate with two-year contract Standby Time: 6 days
Manufacturer: HTC Weight: 6 ounces
Platform: Android 2.1 Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Network: CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A, WiMAX Storage: 1GB on-board, up to 32GB via microSD

BlackBerry Bold 9650

On the outside, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is essentially a Tour 9630 with an optical trackpad and similar dimensions. Under the hood it retains much of the functionality of its predecessor, but with a few noteworthy exceptions. For instance, the Bold 6950 now has integrated Wi-Fi, so you don't always have to rely on 3G for data connectivity. It also adds OpenGL support for 3D graphics and doubles the onboard memory to 512MB, which provides more room for apps and should be able to handle OS 6.0 and the WebKit browser well when they get rolled out later this year.

Other specs include a 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera with video capture, memory card slot, push email, QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, and GPS navigation. On the multimedia front BlackBerry devices are still rather weak, and RIM's operating system has felt a little outdated for a while. However, if you're looking for a business-oriented smartphone with world roaming capabilities and strong messaging features, then the Bold 9650 is a solid choice.

Additional views:

Carrier: Verizon, Sprint Talk Time: 5 hours
Price: $150 after rebate with two-year contract Standby Time: 13 days
Manufacturer: Research In Motion Weight: 4.8 ounces
Platform: BlackBerry OS 5 Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Network: CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A Storage: 512MB on-board plus 2GB microSD card included, upgradeable to 32GB

HTC Droid Incredible

The aptly named HTC Droid Incredible packs a lengthy list of features into a slim and sexy package. This includes a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB of internal storage, 512MB ROM and 512MB RAM, a microSD slot with support for up to 32GB cards, an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and autofocus, a beautiful 3.7-inch (480 x 800) AMOLED capacitive touch screen, and Android 2.1.

The internals and screen technology are almost identical to the Nexus One, but the inclusion of HTC's Sense interface makes it more intuitive and improves usability by better integrating Android's features. The flip side to this out-of-the-box usability with Sense, though, is that you will have to wait a bit longer for OS updates. Even so, if you're on Verizon, this is definitely among the best smartphones you can buy right now.

Additional views:

Carrier: Verizon Talk Time: 5.2 hours
Price: $200 after rebate with two-year contract Standby Time: 6 days
Manufacturer: HTC Weight: 4.6 ounces
Platform: Android 2.1 Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Network: CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A Storage: 8GB on-board, up to 32GB via microSD


This high-end Windows Mobile smartphone sports a 4.3-inch screen with capacitive multi-touch technology and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor inside its thin metal and glass body. As you might infer from the massive display, this device places significant emphasis on its multimedia abilities with Windows Media Player and an FM radio, a 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, default high-quality YouTube videos, a built in Blockbuster application from which you can rent or permanently download full-length movies, and access to T-Mobile's growing 7.2 Mbps 3G network.

The nearly obsolete Windows Mobile 6.5 platform is perhaps this phone's biggest shortcoming, but we know a lot of people still rely on Microsoft's mobile operating system. Fortunately, HTC has used its Sense UI to hide Windows Mobile 6.5 and vastly improve on some of its annoyances, easily making this the best Windows Mobile smartphone out there. If you want to stay on the platform but can't stand WinMo 6.5's stock look and feel, the HD2 is the answer.

Additional views:

Carrier: T-Mobile Talk Time: 6.3 hours
Price: $199 with two-year contract Standby Time: 20.4 days
Manufacturer: HTC Weight: 5.3 ounces
Platform: Windows Mobile 6.5 Wireless: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Network: GSM, HSPA 7.2 Storage: 1GB on-board plus 16GB microSD card included, upgradeable to 32GB