The successor to the popular LG Voyager has so much going for it, it really blurs the line between "feature phone" and "smartphone." Featuring a 3.5mm headphone jack, a more responsive touchscreen and nicer UI than Voyager, and Web browser that's arguably better than the ones found on many smartphones, enV Touch just about does it all. If you can live without WiFi and smartphone-style PC syncing, enV Touch brings solid messaging, Web, and multimedia experiences to a relatively thin form factor featuring a top-notch QWERTY board. Just keep an eye on that battery life if you're tweeting and listening to music all day long on your enV Touch.
1a. LG enV3 - Verizon
Imagine enV Touch minus the touchscreen, with a somewhat lower-res display and less tricked out Web browser. Now imagine that with better battery life. Boom!: enV3.
2. Samsung Memoir (T-Mobile)
Memoir stands perched at the top of the cameraphone mountain right now, thanks to its combination of quality optics (for a phone) and a full feature set. While AT&T's new SE c905a matches Memoir in pixel count, Memoir's full touch interface, large display, and thinner, more pocketable form factor give it the edge. I wish phone companies would stop with the megapixel race already, as most cameraphone photos wind up being shared online, where 2 or 3 MPs more than suffice. But if you actually plan to print some of your photos and can't be bothered with carrying a separate camera, Memoir is well worth a look.
3. LG Lotus - Sprint
Lotus may or may not be a "girl's phone," but it doesn't matter - LG packed a ton of features and a very useable QWERTY board into the compact, somewhat oddly shaped Lotus, and it's a winner. With a full HTML browser, a bunch of messaging, media, and social networking features, and an external display with media controls. Lotus does just about everything a feature phone should. And that odd square shape provides ample room for a very comfy QWERTY thumbboard.
4. Samsung Impression - AT&T
While Impression's AT&T stablemate, the LG Xenon, may be a slightly better value, it's hard to argue with Impression's huge, glorious AMOLED display and roomy QWERTY thumbboard. While the display suffers in bright outdoor light, once you take it out of the sun it's spectacular. Samsung's featurephone Web browsers provide a full HTML experience, and that QWERTY is seriously roomy. If only Sammy would ditch the proprietary connectors in favor of USB and 3.5mm audio, already.
5. Nokia 5310 XpressMusic - T-Mobile
You might laugh, but the 5310 still gets a nod from me as one of the best non-smartphones out there. Why? It looks good, it's super thin, it gets great reception, and it's got a real headphone jack that makes it the ideal low-cost iPod replacement - or a great "second phone" for runners and other athletes to slip into a pocket for music and connectivity during workouts.