2007 started off with a lot of phones on display at CES and one more being previewed at MacWorld. But many of the more exciting new handsets, including the LG Shine, Nokia N95 and N76, Apple iPhone, and MobiFlo-powered "TV Phones" from Samsung and LG - won't be shipping for a few more months.
So what's the best mobile you can purchase and use in the US right now? Here's my first Top 5 for 2007:
1. HTC TyTN/Cingular 8525
Though it does look that different from the Wizard/8525 it replaced, HTC's new PocketPC device puts more power into a familiar touchscreen/slide-out QWERTY board design. Cingular users started snapping up the 8525 as soon as it came out, and other GSM subscribers flocked to the unlocked HTC version. Given its feature set, time-tested form factor, and the ubiquity of Windows Mobile, the TyTN is the current Titan of mobile phones.
2. Sony Ericsson K790a
While the N95 will soon trump SE's flagship Cyber-Shot phone as the king of multimedia handsets, until it ships the K800/790 series reigns supreme. The 790a is the EDGE-enabled North American version, and its 3.2 MP camera with Xenon flash is the best still-image taker you'll find in a phone. Rumor has it that Sony Ericsson is working on a 5MP successor to compete with the N95's 5MP Carl Zeiss optics. 2007 should be a fun year for cameraphone shutterbugs.
3. LG enV VX-9900
The newly released successor to the popular "V" VX-9800, enV is sleeker, sexier, lighter, and more powerful. LG managed to retain the versatile clamshell/candybar hybrid form factor, hidden QWERTY board, and speedy EV-DO data connection while upping the camera to a 2MP model ... and shrinking the whole package into a size that bridges the gap between stylish cellie and clunky smartphone. The enV is truly the one handset that makes me wish I had a Verizon contract.
4. HTC Excalibur/TMobile Dash
How is it that HTC gets it right when so many others get it wrong? The Dash packs everything a mobile businessperson needs into a compact, easy to use package. Windows Mobile? Check. QWERTY? Check. EDGE and WiFI? Check. Throw in stereo Bluetooth, a 1.3MP camera, and a MicroSD slot and you've got connectivity on the go with a little entertainment thrown in for your down time. HTC's already teasing us with the Cavalier, an Excalibur follow-up featuring HSDPA, a faster processor, and a 2 MP camera.
5. Samsung Blackjack
Samsung's new Cingular smartphone delivers on the promise Motorola made with the Q. The Blackjack is slim, sleek, and speedy, bringing high-speed data connections to those in range of Cingular's HSDPA network. Some may cry "WiFi" as Blackjack's downfall, but if you've got 3G you probably won't miss it