This category is now officially "Media Phones" and no longer "Music Phones." Why? iPhone. Apple's debut handset has officially raised the bar and changed the game when it comes to music and video on your cell phone - and, besides, most handsets now being marketed as "Music Phones" can handle video, as well.
So without further ado, the Top 5 Media Phones available for use in the US right now:
1. Apple iPhone - AT&T GSM
On the one hand it lacks 3G so streaming video over cellular lines is a bit sub-par. And there's no support for stereo Bluetooth. And the recessed headphone jack doesn't actually work with most headphones. On the other hand iPhone literally amazing when it comes to anything else having to do with media. The multitouch interface, amazing high-res screen, and and up to 8GB of storage make this the most advanced iPod ever. Add a YouTube player and Wi-Fi connectivity to the mix, and you've got the phone that might just change the face of cell phones as we know them.
2. Nokia N-Series - AT&T and Unlocked GSM
Nokia's N-Series handsets pack a ton of audio and video capabilities, microSD expandable storage (save the N91 with its 4/8 GB hard drive), and high-res displays. The N95, N91, and N76 also feature standard 3.5mm headphone jacks so you can listen through your favorite 'phones. Just beware of issues with excessive hiss that plague certain models.
3. LG Muziq - Sprint CDMA
UpStage was something of a flop, but Sprint got it right with the successor to the underrated LG Fusic. Muziq features external media controls with haptic feedback, 3G connectivity for access to streaming/downloadable media, and a slimmer, better looking clamshell housing. Add to that reasonable pricing and Sprint's 99-cents-per-track Music Store, and you've got yourself one of the best buys available in a mediaphone.
4. HTC Mogul - Sprint CDMA
What? A Windows Mobile 6 device on the mediaphone list? Mogul earns it's spot by adding a 2MP camera, stereo Bluetooth, and Sprint Music Store support to Windows Media Player 10 Mobile's native support for audio/video playback. Add to that an HTML browser, Java Support, and both EV-DO and WiFI connectivity, and you've got yourself a powerhouse device for play .... and work. Mogul suffers from some performance lag at times, but it's still the premier smartphone on the US's premier carrier for broadband media.
5. BlackBerry Curve - AT&T GSM
What? A BlackBerry on the mediaphone list? Believe it. BlackBerry's started adding cameras and media players to their legendary eMail-centric handsets, and the reviews have been positive. Curve packs a 2MP camera and media player with standard 3.5mm headphone jack, which might be bad for productivity but has garnered accolades like, "Best BlackBerry Ever!" all over the press. The 8300 is lacking 3G or WiFi, but AT&T's EDGE network makes for reasonable Email speeds. If you're tied to BlackBerry for corporate email reasons, Curve might just be your next phone.