1. Helio Ocean (Pantech)
While the rest of the world waits for #2 below, cellphone heads were buzzing about Helio's do-it-all superphone. From the dual-sliding keypads to the revamped UI and potentially best-in-class Web browser, Ocean really looks like the handset that could thrust Helio into the spotlight. The $299 price tag isn't too bad, and Helio's 3G services are top notch. The thing is, will consumers really sign on to an MVNO?
2. Apple iPhone
Once again Apple steals some of the spotlight at a tech show they didn't even pay to be a part of. You know the story by now: AT&T exec pulls an iPhone out during keynote, world stops spinning for a long moment. Is iPhone as good as everyone thinks it'll be? Will consumers pay $500 for a phone? Will smartphone users flock to a device with virtually no buttons? April 11 (wishful thinking!) June 11 seems to be the day we'll begin to find out.
3. Nokia N95
Nokia's flagship superphone is somehow losing a bit of its luster seeing as it keeps showing up at trade shows but hasn't started shipping yet. The specs (WiFi, GPS with Maps app, 5mp Camera) are top notch, and the hi-res display is gorgeous, but will function outweigh Nokia's signature chunky form factor? And will those specs still be state-of-the-art when this thing finally reaches users' hands?
4. Sony Ericsson w880
SE's new flagship Walkman phone is sweet. While the specs aren't all that eye popping, the phone itself is darn near a work of art. Thin, sexy, fun to use: Is this really an SE handset? Too bad it's not gonna work on 3G networks in the US.
5. Motorola Z8
I love Symbian. Hence, I was drawn to Moto's somewhat bizarre new slider phone. It rocks Symbian and also "features" an odd, flexing housing that's meant to better conform to your face when in use. It also has some cool - or are they ugly? - neon accents. I might totally hate the Z8 in a month or two. But for now it's got my curiosity sufficiently piqued.
Honorable Mention: HTC Advantage, HTC Vox, Samsung UpStage, Samsung F700, Nokia N76, Nokia E90, SE z750, LG VX8700.