Top 5: Noah's Top 5 Phones

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| June 2, 2010

Post I/O, Pre-WWDC, it's time for a Top 5!

Here's the part where I admit to being a "flip-flopper," as a few of you called me last time out. Once upon a time I went on Fox Business Live and called the Google Nexus One the best smartphone in the land. Then I dropped it from my Top 5 list because I was fed up with Google's lack of customer support on the device. Now, you'll notice (if you keep reading), I've brought N1 back to the list. What gives? Froyo, that's what. 

Look, I never claimed to be consistent. I'm workin' on it, but it's hard for me. And so I'm sorry for that, but things happen, things change, and I say what I say to reflect the moment. For the moment, N1 is back in my Fave Five. Next time out, maybe it won't be. And then you can call me a "Flip Flop Flip-Flopper," and I'll probably agree with you. And argue against you. That's just how inconsistent I am. I know, it's maddening.

Also, I'm doing this list using the "Phones available for purchase/pre-order only," rule, which is also a switch from last time. That means no Galaxy S. That also means I listened to those of you who complained about the way I did the last list. Which probably means I'll *not* listen next time around. Anyway ... 

Top 5 Smartphones - June 2, 2010

1. Google Nexus One (AT&T, T-Mobile)

Android OS 2.2 "Froyo" is a massive enough update that it could have warranted a full "dot zero" version number. Speed, cloud-based messaging, wireless backup, tethering and all sorts of other goodies are on tap for Android users once they get their 2.2 updates. Right now, a select batch of Nexus Ones have officially been upgraded, and plenty of other N1 users have manually got their "not official" Froyo on via a build that's floating around the InterWebs. Either way, 2.2 is the best Android going and N1 is the first phone to officially get 2.2. Ergo, N1 tops the list this week.

2.  HTC Evo 4G (Sprint)

Evo vs Incredible is a tough one. I think more people will buy more Incredibles because the phone is better suited to one-handed use and easy pocket-a-bility and the carrier has a better reputation. Me, I'll give Evo the nod for three main reasons: 1. The giant display makes for easier two-thumbed typing, which is the only way I know how to do it; 2. HD video capture; 3. Evo on Sprint is cheaper each month than Incredible on Verizon.

3. HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon)

Read what I wrote in #2 above and flip it around: Incredible is arguably just as good as Evo (same processor, display resolution and Sense-enhanced UI) but offers a sleeker, lighter body, arguably "better" carrier, and arguably better video capture quality at entirely usable WVGA resolution. If you want to construct a solid argument for swapping Incredible ahead of Evo in this list, don't expect a strong retort from me: They're both great in many ways and it really comes down to personal preference.

4. Apple iPhone 3GS (AT&T)

Google brought the heat at I/O a few weeks back, and so Apple had better counterpunch when they take to the same Moscone Center in San Francisco for WWDC next Monday. The next-gen iPhone is rumored to feature video chat and an insanely high-res display in a thinner body. Will that be enough to vault iPhone back ahead of Android on my Top 5 list? Stay tuned, I'll be there live on June 7 to let you know what goes down and whether it's made me flip-flop yet again.

5. Palm Pre Plus (Verizon)

HP breathed life back into Palm and webOS, but it's Verizon who's keeping them on my Top 5 list with their ongoing free Mobile Hotspot offer. While Palm really needs some second-gen hardware and a strong push from developers if they're going to battle Apple and Google for smartphone mindshare, it's hard to argue with the VZW Pre Plus' combination of webOS awesomesauce and free tethering value.

Okay, go ahead, let me have it in the comments!