Best Groomed: Top 5 Style-Conscious Phones

Noah Kravitz
 from Oakland, CA
Published: October 16, 2006

Sometimes you just need looks that kill.  While none of these mobiles are lacking for features, it's their high style that you'll notice first.  And they'll get you noticed, too - for your good taste, not your crazy ringtone.

1. Motorola K1 KRZR - Verizon/Alltel CDMA (K1m) and Unlocked GSM (K1)
The successor to the RAZR is taller, curvier, and gentler to the touch.  Where the RAZR was all about hard edges, the KRZR's built on sensuous curves, glossy reflective glass, and a longer, narrower profile that feels great in the hand.  Forget the goofy name, this is one gorgeous phone.

2. Sony Ericsson z610i - Unlocked GSM
Glass is in.  LIke the KRZR, the SE z610i is finished with a hard reflective glass surface.  It's like a mirror in an uber-chic funhouse.  The 610 also sports an external OLED display that appears to disappear when not in use, and then magically reappears when it has something to say.  Available in three oh so fashion-y colors: Luster Black, Airy Blue, and Rose Pink.

3. Samsung D900 - Unlocked GSM
There's something about a slider all done up in Black.  I'm not so big on the new sliders available through Cingular and T-Mobile - their silver trim seems somehow cheap to me.  I'll stick with the classic black on black of the D900 - aka Ultra Edition 12.9.  So thin and such a big, beautiful screen.  Wear one with your tux and a crisp, white dress shirt (open collar and sans bow tie, preferably).

4. LG Chocolate - Verizon CDMA
I have to admit that once I waded through all of the hype and got Chocolate in my hands, I wasn't all that impressed.  Maybe I'm a tough sell.  Still, there's no denying the success of this phone, though, and it's due in large part to a sleek form factor, touch sensitive controls laid out like an iPod wheel, and a velvet-smooth marketing campaign.

5. Tie: Cingular 3125/HTC Star Trek - Cingular/Unlocked GSM and Motorola PEBL T-Mobile GSM
The Cingular 3125 (aka HTC Star Trek) is a smartphone gone sexy.  It's definitely geek chic, like Karim Rashid got his hands on a prop from a Sci-Fi movie and turned it into a cell phone.  The 3125 is as slim and stylish a smartphone as you'll find.  Carry one of these and nobody but your fellow WinMobile users will know what you're really packing under the hood.

The MOTOPEBL is kind of chunky and odd, but it's also pretty cool looking.  Touch it, though, and you'll know why it's a winner.  The soft grip plastic is nice to hold, and the smooth-release latch mechanism makes opening the phone fun.  The PEBL's getting kind of old, but they keep re-introducing it in new colors ... I think there's a Pumpkin PEBL just out in time for Halloween.