By way of a different take on the beloved Top 5 lists, I decided to go carrier by carrier instead of phone type by phone type. I'm sticking to the four major US carriers since theirs are the phones I regularly review and are available to the widest swath of our audience. Maybe I'll have to do a Top 5 unlocked phones list, too.
As you peruse these lists and come up with counter-arguments and nasty names to call me, bear in mind that we should see a nice big handful of new devices hit all four of these carriers between now and Thanksgiving. So these lists could change drastically over the next few months.
More Top 5s for Sept. 1, 2009
Noah: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Aaron: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
1. Apple iPhone 3GS/3G
Love it, hate it, tired of hearing about it, Apple's iPhone is still the best thing going on AT&T - for my money, anyway. Business users will likely opt for a Bold or Fuze, while many consumers can save some coin and get a perfectly great experience on a Samsung touchscreen device. And there's no hard keyboard. But man, surfing the Web, listening to music, playing with all of those apps ... iPhone's just fun to use, and the newly improved camera on 3GS makes it all the better.
2. BlackBerry Bold
Bold is the BlackBerry I'd want with me, even if the 8900 and Tour are a little more pocketable. I love Bold's keyboard and roomy display, and the combination of 3G and WiFi is Bold's and Bold's alone when it comes to carrier-supported BlackBerrys in the US. More likely than not Bold will soon be replaced by a new version sporting an optical-trackpad, but until then it remains king of the Berrys on AT&T.
3. Tie: Samsung Impression and Samsung Eternity
Sammy has an old favorite and a brash newcomer that both should appeal to AT&T customers. The new(ish) Impression features a large, bright AMOLED touch display and roomy slideout QWERTY board for your mobile messaging needs, while the older Eternity is an all-touch device with a 3.5mm headphone jack and mobile TV support. Both devices feature HTML browsers and Samsung's TouchWiz UI. If only they had multi touch capacitive displays, too ... maybe the sequels will?
5. Nokia E71x
Even though AT&T's version of the E71 omits some features I liked on the original and adds some bloatware, the E71x is still a sleek, sexy smartphone. If you like Symbian or are open to trying it, the E71x's build quality, keyboard, and form factor could make it your dream device for mobile business use.
Honorable Mention: LG Xenon - Think smaller, slightly cheaper Impression with a nifty LG UI; HTC Fuze - Until Touch Pro 2 arrives, this is the go-to Windows Mobile device if you value a comfy QWERTY board; Samsung Jack - The latest in Sammy's popular "Blackjack" line of Windows Mobile smartphones; Sony Ericsson c905a: 8 Megapixel cameraphone.