So there's a wee bit of a lull here in PhoneDog Land between the first wave of phones released after CTIA and the coming Summer onslaught of new handsets. iPhone 3G, Sprint Instinct, and HTC Touch Diamond should all be hitting the streets within the next few months, along with the Verizon Dare, BlackBerry Bold, and a few new T-Mobile handsets of interest.
Until then, let's take a moment to look at the 5 best new cell phones to hit the market this Spring:
1. LG Vu - AT&T
I fear I'm being irrationally swayed here, but only just a little bit. I really like Vu. Is it the best multimedia phone AT&T currently offers? No; that'd be iPhone. Is AT&T's new Mobile TV service worth an extra $15/month? No. But Vu handles media - including Mobile TV - really well on its 3" touchscreen, and it's zippy 3G data speeds leave iPhone in the dust (at least for a few more weeks). Beyond that, I love Vu's sleek, lightweight body and clear, colorful menu system. And Vu's touchscreen is just about the best I've tried this side of that other phone I already mentioned twice in this paragraph. Too bad there's no 3.5mm headphone jack or flash for the camera, though.
2. LG Glimmer - Alltel
Pity this one's only available on Alltel. Nothing against Little A, but the rest of the country should get to experience the joy of Glimmer. It's like an LG Venus with a full touchscreen in the body of an LG Shine. Seriously, I really liked the original Shine's industrial design but found it lacking in the "fancy tech" department. And while Venus is pretty to look at, that half-touchscreen kind of annoys me. So here's the answer: Metal body, slider with a real dialing keypad, and a full touchscreen. Sign me up!
Oh, wait ... Alltel doesn't offer service where I live. Sigh.
3. Samsung Glyde - Verizon Wireless
Glyde's got its issues - a wonky touchscreen and scratch-prone body, namely - but I still really like it. Samsung and VZW took the mighty F700 and shrunk it down to a cute little phone with a surprisingly comfortable slide-out QWERTY board. The full HTML browser is hampered by a touchscreen that can make link-clicking rather frustrating, but scrolling through menus and contact lists by fingertip generally works okay. Glyde's definitely a "try before you buy" phone - I was won over by its form factor, but you might be kept at arm's length by that flaky touchscreen.
4. LG EnV2 - Verizon Wireless
EnV2 is a solid offering in VZW's now-crowded messaging phone lineup. I really like that LG shrunk EnV's size but still managed to give its successor a larger internal display and very comfortable QWERTY keypad. Points off for looking like a lame retro calculator from the outside, but points back on for giving EnV2 one of the easiest-to-use dialing keypads you'll find on any phone anywhere.
5. (Tie) BlackBerry Curve - T-Mobile & Verizon Wireless
If the Curve itself were actually a new model, the TMo and VZW releases would have ranked in the Top 3 of this list, at least. The T-Mobile Curve features Wi-Fi connectivity for fast Web browsing and UMA calling via TMo's HotSpot@Home plan, while the Verizon version is a full-on 3G smartphone. But the Curve itself isn't really "new," so I just can't rank it any higher. Bring on the Bold!