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. BlackBerry Tour
If I had to sign on with Verizon right now I'd choose the Tour as my daily phone. Honestly, it's a tough choice between Tour and enV Touch, and earlier this month I gave the LG the nod on my Top 5 Phones list.
But that was, in part, because I already had one BlackBerry (AT&T's Bold) in my five. Now, thinking about my day to day usage, I think I'd rather have Tour in my pocket if I had to choose. That keyboard is nice to type on and accessible without having to open a flip, and smartphones are easier than featurephones to sync with desktop calendars and media apps. And, of course, nothing feeds an E-Mail addiction like a BlackBerry.
2. LG enV Touch
The featurephone that does it all, LG's enV Touch is just about good enough to make me forget all about fancy smartphones. Widescreen displays, tabbed Web browsing with Flash support, 3.5mm headphone jack, full QWERTY. Throw in some WiFi and easy desktop syncing with my Mac's calendar, contacts, and media apps and I'm sold. If you don't need true smartphone functionality but want to do it all on the go. enV Touch is a worthy upgrade from the popular Voyager it replaced.
3. Samsung Saga
Verizon's version of HTC's Touch Pro is, for whatever reasons, crippled and sluggish as compared to its AT&T and Sprint brethren. Saga steps in as the best QWERTY smartphone in Big Red's current lineup. Though I prefer the more squared-off form factor on the otherwise similar Samsung Epix (AT&T), Saga's sleek blend of touchscreen, QWERTY and optical trackpad serves Windows Mobile well. While I wish the phone supported global 3G data, at least it supports global voice and 2G data via an integrated SIM card slot.
4. LG Dare
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Dare more than a year after its release. Even though it wasn't officially a Dare successor, I had high hopes for LG's Versa when it came out. But Versa's modular accessories proved more clunky than useful, and I missed Dare's slightly larger touchscreen and better camera. A Dare 2 with acapacitive touchscreen and updated UI would be kinda sweet, no?
5. LG enV 3
Wow, Verizon is all LG all the time, huh? If you don't need high-res touchscreens and tabbed browsing getting in the way of your TXTNG sessions, enV 3 is the latest update to the incredibly successful line of LG/Verizon messaging phones. Thousands of teens ignoring math class to send text messages under their desks can't be wrong, right?
Honorable Mention: LG Chocolate 3, if you want a flip phone